Passing the Torch to a New Rotary Foundation Chair

This new Rotary Year begins with new Foundation Leadership. Dallas Stallings recognized the service of Andy Esser as the outgoing Foundation Chair at our Monday meeting.  Andy served three plus years informing our club of the important work of The Rotary Foundation and the Polio Plus programs sponsored by Rotary International.  During the time of his service our club continued to see growth in both of these areas of service. We thank Andy for his faithful service  in this important area of work of the Durham Rotary Club.

At the same time Kay and Wade Grisham, both past presidents were introduced as the new co-chairs of the Foundation Committee.

President Todd Taylor with Kay and Wade Gresham

New Member: Blair Overman

Please introduce yourself and welcome new member Blair Overman. Blair was sponsored and inducted by Erik Benson. Below is a little information Blair shared about herself.

Blair Overman’s professional experience centers around community-based organizational development and management. She currently serves as the Program Manager for a new national diversity & inclusion youth initiative with US Sailing, the national governing body for the sport of sailing. Durham is her chosen home and she hails from the Coast of NC, but loves to travel and has lived all over the world.

New Member: Lauren Phillips, Sponsored by Rory Gillis

Lauren Phillips, is an Account Representative with The Durham Magazine. Originally from Connecticut, Lauren has been in North Carolina since 2005. Campbell University led Lauren to North Carolina for undergraduate work – and she never left after that. Lauren is excited to meet and grow with Durham and is already dreaming about reestablishing Change The Triangle — a non-profit volunteer + social group that allows people to meet and make new friends. In her free time, Lauren can be found on the quiet back roads on her bike, riding to support various organizations such as The National MS Society and The V Foundation, as well as riding competitively with her race team. Lauren is thrilled to be joining Rotary. She is sponsored by Rory Gillis. Welcome, Lauren!

Passing of the Gavel

A new Rotary year is upon us as is evidenced by the passing of the Presidency from Brady Surles to Todd Taylor. Thank you Brady for your leadership and we are looking forward to the year ahead with President Todd Taylor.

Presentation: Jonathan Mattingly and Gregory Herschlag – Gerrymandering

Determining mathematical algorithms in partisan and racial gerrymandering

If you’re like me, and the title of Monday’s program made you tilt your head like a confused puppy, hang in there. After a visit to Wikipedia to refresh my eighth-grade Civics lessons, I recalled that gerrymandering is “a practice intended to establish a political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating district boundaries.”

Rob Everett introducing our guest speakers

Actually, the title of Monday’s presentation by Duke mathematicians Jonathan Mattingly and Gregory Herschlag was “Sampling the Geopolitical Geometry of a State.” Rotarian and incoming board member Rob Everett introduced the pair, and if these are the types of guys Rob hangs out with, he’s clearly a pay grade or two ahead of me.

In the past two presidential elections, much ado has been made in our state accusing politicians of partisan and racial/socioeconomic gerrymandering. The US Constitution grants states and their legislatures primary authority in determining voting districts; however, it is silent on the issue of state legislative redistricting. [Read more…]

2019 Year End Celebration

A goodly crowd of Rotarians gathered at the Bull Park for the end-of-year late-afternoon meeting. Meatballs (three types), plus hummus and pita bread and a salad provided an ample repast.

There being no talk, the program consisted of a series of presentations: awards and expressions of appreciation. President Brady Searles began with a series of announcements.

First, Elisabeth Wiener was mentioned again as the Rotary Rookie of the year and then plaudits went to exceptional Sergeant at Arms Caleb Baker, who managed that function almost single handedly all year.

And last but not least, there were exceptionally unruly cheers and whoops for much-loved Executive Secretary Sharon Lassiter.

Team of the Year

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