Program Report: McKinney – Joni Madison

joni madisonweb

For many years Durham bore a reputation for being crime ridden.  Back in the dark ages about the same time in the late 80’s when the American Tobacco company shut down its operations in Downtown Durham, I attended a public hearing at City Hall about the proposed Superconducting Super Collider. As the evening got late, I decided to walk back to my office in Brightleaf Square where I had parked. Aware of the reputation, I did this with some trepidation. However, the only other human being I saw during this fifteen-minute walk through the heart of Downtown was a guy smoking a cigarette on the steps of the South Bank building.  When he saw me, he flicked away the cigarette and ran away.

So the story that McKinney COO Joni Madison recounting the difficulty of convincing their employees that they didn’t qualify for combat pay working in Downtown Durham is no surprise. In fact, we heard the same story from Scott Selig, Duke’s Vice President for Real Estate.


Ms. Madison recounted in some detail how she and McKinney Chairman Brad Brinegar arrived at the decision to relocate. She also recounted that after the fact they became aware that McKinney was the fourth and final commitment that developer Jim Goodman needed in place to finance the redevelopment of the million square feet of abandoned tobacco manufacturing facilities.

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100 Acts Opportunities


Working in the Urban Ministries’ Kitchen Earlier in the Year

Rotarians:  You can help with these 100 Acts of Service:
1.  Packing Lunch Bags at Urban Ministries – Tues, Dec 1

—  See Patrice Nelson
2.   Planning Groups for Christmas Parties at:
—  Rescue Mission  — See Ernie Mills, Jr.
—  Center for Senior Life   — See Brady Surles
3.   Reading Rangers still needed  — See Todd Taylor
4.   Work on Habitat House  
— See Blake Strayhorn
5.   Plan now to participate with Salvation Army Bell Ringers

Durham Rotary Youth Exchange – Host Families Needed

JaneneFernLighting peace candles is a wonderfully symbolic thing to do but peace itself is built from millions of personal connections. Sometimes making those connections involve sacrifices but few provide a return on investment like hosting a student from abroad. Ask any Rotarian who has hosted a student.  But bringing a stranger into you home and providing room and board can look like a major sacrifice. 

Janene Tompkins introduced our Club again to Fern Piromsantikorn from Thailand, the current visiting exchange student. Janene and her Co-Chair, Shannon Leskin and currently interviewing families to host Fern for 3 months each. Shannon developed the guidelines below. Host families do not need to be Rotary Families. Consider passing the information along to others in your network of friends and families for consideration. 

As you all know from Janene’s presentation at the club meeting Monday, we have had two families back out of hosting Fern.  Both for personal reasons and not because of the program. Janene and I have exhausted our personal contacts, so we are asking our club to reach out to our networks to find host families. The particulars are as follows:

  1. Fern is enrolled at Riverside High School. She is doing well in her academic studies.  The family should be in that district.  One note, Fern is currently in a carpool in Trinity Park and if we can find a familes in that neighborhood she can stay in the carpool. It is not necessary, just want anyone in Trinity Park to know that carpool is not an issue.
  1. We need two families. One for January until mid-March and the second mid-March until June when school is over and she goes home. The dates can be flexible and will be coordinated once we secure the two families.
  1. As you all know, Rotary is affiliated with the ESSEX Youth Exchange: and there is a button on the left side for “host family” information. I have copied the responsibilities from the website, but please go to the site for complete information.
  1. The host families do not have to be Rotarian’s. They do not have to have teenage children. Actually, families with smaller children can be a really rich experience and I think that Fern, in particular, would love to be around younger children.
  1. Fern is a lovely girl, and the family she is currently staying with has told me that she is quiet, loves to try new foods, and has become a part of the family. She is staying with them through Thanksgiving and the Christmas season because they really want her to experience their family traditions.

Host family responsibilities (from the ESSEX website, please see the site for complete details)

As a Rotary Youth Exchange host family, it is your responsibility to provide room and board for your exchange student. You are also expected to exercise general parental supervision over the student just as you would your own children, and involve him or her in daily household chores and activities.

However, most host families’ involvement with their student does not stop at room and board. The families often share their native background while also learning about their visitors’ culture. This does not mean that you have to arrange elaborate entertainment, but simply make the student a part of your family. Give him or her the opportunity to share in the same aspects of your family life that most teenage students experience in your culture.

If you have any questions or an interested family please direct them to one if us: Shannon Leskin, or Janene Tompkins,

Thank you, Shannon and Janene

Upcoming Program Schedule – November 2, 2015

PolioWalkPicture of the Week: Rotarians gather to raise money for Rotary’s effort to eradicate polio walking the perimeter of Duke’s East Campus and celebrating over coffee and whatever at the Mad Hatter across the street.

Rotary — Bulletin — 11-2-2015 (PDF)

Upcoming Programs:

November 2, 2015 – OFFSITE in the EVENING – McKinney at the American Tobacco Campus

Reminder: This weeks meeting (11/2/2015) will be held at the offices of McKinney, the advertising and marketing firm that gave Downtown Durham a terrific boost when it moved from its offices in downtown Raleigh to the American Tobacco Campus. The presentation will by made by the Chief Operating Officer Joni Madison. The meeting begins at 6:00 PM.

November 9, 2015 – Veterans’ Day Program

November 16, 2015 – Centennial Program: International

November 23, 2015 – No Meeting – Thanksgiving

November 30, 2015 – Civil Rights in an Era of Mass Incarceration

Congressman G.K Butterfield Introduced by Del Mattioli

December 7, 2015 – Centennial Program: Community Development

December 14, 2015 Holiday Program – Durham Public Schools Performance

Introduction by Steed Rollins

“After Hours”: Rotary & Sister Cities, Nov. 5

Blue Note GraphicJoin our Rotary Club & Sister Cities at The Blue Note Grill
709 Washington St., Durham, 27703

An Evening with Leaders from our
Sister City, Kostroma, Russia
Thursday, November 5th
5:30 -6:00  Reception (Sodas & Snacks)
6:00 -6:30    Music & Discussions by the Russians
7:00   Blue Note Presents Nash Street Ramblers 


Mayor’s Award for “Promoting International Understanding”

Rotary Mayor's Awards 10-15-15

Lois Deloatch represented our club at the Sister Cities of Durham Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony on Oct. 15, when our club received the Sister Cities/Mayor’s Award for “Promoting International Understanding” at City Hall.  This is the second year for presenting these awards, which are a collaboration between Sister Cities and the Mayor’s Office.   All Sister Cities partnership have to be signed by the Mayors of the partner cities.

This award is presented annually to individuals and organizations in the Durham area who have developed programs to help the residents of Durham be more aware of the international nature of our Durham community.

The four Rotary clubs in Durham each received the award for their international projects around the world, especially water and sanitation, health and economic projects, in fourteen countries.  These projects link Durham residents with a Rotary Club in that country, which puts our club in touch with fellow Rotarians around the world.

This was especially obvious at the ceremony with the presence of Steward and Christine Atkin who received the award on behalf of the Rotary Club of Durham, England.  Others who received the award were Star Sampson, Principal of Holt Elementary Language Academy, the Durham Children’s Choir, and Tatiana Podletvikova of Kostroma, Russia.

Pictured are (L-R):  City Councilman Don Moffitt, Mayor Bill Bell, Christine Atkin (Rotary of Durham, England), Lois Deloatch (Rotary Club of Durham),  Phil Harbuck (North Durham Rotary Club), Phil Kearney (Southwest Durham Rotary Club), Bill Wicker (Sunrise Rotary Club), Stewart Atkin (Rotary of Durham, England), B. C. Dash of the Rotary Club of Durham who presented the awards on behalf of Mayor Bell.

Submitted by Brady Surles