News & Notices

News from the club and its members and notices.

A Day for Funding and Fellowship

Winston Churchill once criticized a pudding, saying “It has no theme.” The same criticism cannot be leveled at Monday’s meeting. The theme was in fact: bucks, dosh, dough, lucre, moolah, Benjamins, in short: money. Money for a range of Rotary charities, ranging from Vocational Services (Geraud Staton), which helps homeless and other unfortunates get, to the Rotary Foundation (Andy Esser), which matches, in ways Andy explained, our member donations. Targets ($60K) and attainment so far ($30K) were announced.

Other groups (out of a total of 16 tables) were Rotary fellowship; fundraising; Alzheimer’s; Rotary International: Youth; Programs; Scholarships: (the Goccolina dinner); Green Team; Membership; Crop walk (Durham Lions challenge): Sergeant-at-Arms table; Books on Break; Polio Plus. The number was bewildering, the enthusiasm great. Check the Table for others…

Alzheimer’s Awareness: Mike Priddy

Books On Break: Jenny Levine

Club Grants: Mimi O’Brien

Communications: Tammie Sellman

Community Service: Emily Page

Fellowship: Elisabeth Wiener

Foundation: Dallas Stallings

Fundraising: TBA

New Member: Emily Bragg

Please welcome new member Emily Bragg sponsored by Elisabeth

Wiener. Emily is a native of Durham and very proud to be a part of The Durham Rotary Cluband all that it stands for. Her father, Dr. Ewald (“Bud”) Busse, was a Member of our Club for years and was local President in 1973. She grew up hearing about Rotary and all the good things it was doing in the community and beyond. Emily attended college at Duke (1978) and went on to receive an MBA from the University of Chicago (1980) after which she moved to New York City where she began her career at Citicorp in Investment Banking. Several years later, she began working in Stamford, Connecticut at Xerox Corporation.

As a reitree, Emily teaches yoga in Durham at Bikram Yoga Durham as well as working part-time as a standardized patient (patient actor) at The Duke School of Medicine. She also has two home-based businesses, selling a nutritional product and home and personal design consulting. Emily is also sponsored by Elisabeth Wiener. Welcome Emily.


New Member: Kenneth (Ken) Cutshaw

Please introduce yourself and welcome new member Ken Cutshaw.

Ken is an accomplished globalist, assuming career leadership assignments in business, academia, law, hospitaity, government, non-government organizations, political campaigns and diplomacy. Ken has held positions as CEO and President and as Law Firm Partner and General Counsel, and as an Academic Dean and Adjunct Professor. He served in the Administrations of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. He was a Co-Founder of a post-Soviet private University in the Country of Georgia where he served as its first Law Dean and remains very involved on its Board. Ken was President of Quiznos and EVP of Church’s Chicken, and is now involved in an Asian restaurant holding company. Ken and his wife, De, live in Hope Valley. They
have three children.


Bulletin: Justin Sacco of LRC Properties


It’s always fun and interesting to attend off-site meetings; I generally learn some new, fun facts about various locales in our community. Monday’s meeting at Hi-Wire Brewery, however, might just take the cake. Samples of the company’s wares were available for those who ostensibly had the afternoon off, calling to mind Irish Rotary Club meetings where an open bar is a regular amenity.

Hi-Wire is located on Taylor Street, in a newly renovated but less visible portion of the old Golden Belt textile mill. The circa-1900 factory originally produced the cloth drawstring bags that loose leaf tobacco was sold in. Over the decades, Golden Belt reinvented itself several times, manufacturing everything from women’s hosiery to cigarette boxes (as cigarettes transitioned from roll-your-own to factory pre-rolled), but eventually was shuttered and the facilities were given to the Durham Housing Authority.

DHA tried to convert the buildings to residential units, with limited success, so the property remained vacant and fell into disrepair. Around 2008, Scientific Properties purchased Golden Belt, and handsomely renovated the Main Street-facing portion into stunning art galleries, office space, and the popular Cotton Room event space on the third floor. Much of the existing structure was preserved in accordance with historic covenants, including floor-to-ceiling windows and massive heart pine support beams.

In 2016, LRC Properties, in collaboration with Alliance Architecture, took over the Taylor Street side of Golden Belt, known as the Cordoba Property, the last un-restored brick-and-timber factory in downtown Durham. [Read more…]

Durham 150 – Volunteer to help with the opening ceremonies


The Durham 150 Opening Celebration is on Saturday, April 13 at The American Tobacco Campus from 10 am to 2 pm.  The event is rain or shine, but in cases of extreme weather, the event will be rescheduled to Sunday, April 14 from 12 pm to 4 pm.

We need a number for volunteers to help the event run smoothly and create a positive experience from start to finish.  You are welcome to sign up for as many shifts as you’d like.

Thanks for your time and energy to help make the Durham 150 Opening Celebration a great success!


Program Report: Goldie Byrd – Alzheimer’s


Judy Kinney, who runs the Durham Center for Senior Life and has been a member of the Club since November, introduced Dr. Goldie Byrd, the project leader for the Alzheimer’s & Dementia Disparities Engagement Network as well as the Executive Director of the Center for Outreach in Alzheimer’s Aging and Community Health (COAACH) at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro.  

Dr. Byrd began with some of the basics of the disease. Alzheimer’s, of course, is one type of dementia. There is no cure and nothing that slows down the progression.  The primary risk factor is age…it’s a disease that slowly destroys the brain and may be doing so for 15 years before any symptoms emerge. Ultimately it leads to death. 1 in 3 seniors will die of Alzheimer’s. 

Dr. Byrd was handicapped by having to condense a much longer presentation into 20 minutes, however, she approached it with good humor and several important themes emerged. 

First, if there is anything we can do ourselves to avoid or delay the disease is to TAKE CARE OF OURSELVES. She pointed out that Alzheimer’s is a neurological disease and the best defense is the same thing recommended for cardiovascular disease and lots of other problems that old age can bring with it, that is, healthy diet, exercise, stress reduction and, above all, don’t smoke.  The stress reduction piece of this formula always surprises me, but she pointed out that approaching life cheerfully reduces the chemicals the flood our system and protected us when avoiding saber tooth tigers was a major concern. I guess nobody lived long enough to get Alzheimer’s, which was only identified as a separate disease in 1906. Maintaining close relationships and keeping your mind active is also important.  [Read more…]