New Member: Elisabeth Wiener


Prior to Erik Benson’s induction of Elisabeth Wiener there seemed to be a little bit of confusion about who exactly sponsored her. Both Past Presidents Don Stanger and Arthur Rogers seemed to have some role in it but Past President and Assistant District Governor Susan Ross is the official sponsor.  Obviously she was highly sought as a member. Please introduce yourself and welcome Elisabeth to Durham Rotary when you have the opportunity.  Here, in her words, is a short biography.

I grew up in Winston-Salem but, went sight unseen at 17 to Simmons College.  After college, I worked for Proctor & Gamble followed by RJR Nabisco then received an MBA from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business.  I continued my career in brand management and marketing at Nestle then Pepsi.  My husband, John, and I met while he was a resident at Duke and I was in business school.  He is on faculty at Duke as Head of Pediatric Urology.  We have three children – Betsy 23 just graduated from Wash U in St Louis and works in Houston for Exxon; Gracie 22 is a senior at Wake Forest and William 19 is a freshman at Roanoke College.

My board service includes Salem Academy and College, the Durham Library Foundation, Hope Valley Country Club where I was president in 2015 and the Hope Valley Neighborhood Association.  I enjoy playing golf and bridge, spinning (with a bike, not yarn), walking in Duke Forest, working antique wooden jigsaw puzzles and cheering for Duke at both football and basketball games (the tailgates are pretty fun too!)  I really like being plugged in to what’s happening in Durham especially in regard to development and government, which is why I go  to City Council meetings.  This fall, I attended both the Citizen’s Police Academy with Shannon and the Planning Department’s Planning Academy.  Most of all, I am happy to be joining Rotary and look forward to meeting you all!

Program Report: NC State Representative Marcia Morey – Legislative Update

Rather than reciting Marcia Morey’s numerous accomplishments and accolades, Durham District Court Judge Nancy Gordon chose a dramatic reading to introduce Monday’s speaker: she recited select passages from Sir Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s epic poem, The Charge of the Light Brigade. “Half a league, Half a league/Half a league onward/Into the valley of Death/Rode the six hundred.”

In the 1850’s, Britain was engaged in the Crimean War, and the Light Cavalry Brigade had suffered grievous losses at the Battle of Balaclava, inspiring Tennyson to pen those lines. While Tennyson, at the time Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom, was obviously referring to the horrors of war, Gordon was perhaps drawing a metaphor about the partisanship battles currently being waged in the North Carolina legislature.

Morey served Durham’s 14th Judicial District as district court judge for 18 years, and as Chief District Court Judge for 5 years. She worked closely with law enforcement, defense attorneys, and prosecutors to create innovative and productive ways of dealing with 16- and 17-year-olds who had been charged with a crime. North Carolina was the only state in the country that prosecuted these individuals as adults, rather than as juveniles. Many of their crimes were misdemeanors such as trespassing or shoplifting.

“One year ago today,” Morey commented, looking over her shoulder to the Durham County Courthouse, “I was across the street holding criminal court. When I spoke, people listened. When I made a ruling, it was the final word, and it stuck….I listened to people in our community talking about joblessness, homelessness, drug abuse and violent crime, abused women and traumatized children. And now that I’m in Raleigh, I hope I can honestly educate our legislators about some of the real problems facing our community.”

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Rotary Day of Service at Urban Ministries

Volunteer with us on February 24 as we join our fellow Rotarians in a Day of Service at Urban Ministries.  The first shift will cook and serve breakfast to up to 300 members of our community.  The second shift, in the afternoon, will decorate the Cafe for dinner, and will cook and serve dinner.  Dinner will be a more festive event, with an activity for children as well as a small raffle for the UMD clients.

Date: 02/24/2018 (Sat.)Location: Urban Ministries

Sign up here:



New Member: Nick Malinowski

Nick Malinowski has spent his entire career engaging deeply and powerfully with students and communities, all the while building and expanding dynamic music and education programs that change lives. Nick assumed the post of Executive Director of the El Sistema inspired Kidznotes in July 2017, serving Raleigh and Durham, N.C. Kidznotes changes lives through ever-expanding participation in youth orchestras, bands, and choirs. As of the 2017-2018 school year, 450 Kidznotes students in the Triangle receive a free instrument and over 400 hours a year of rigorous musical instruction.

Early in his career, Nick taught and learned from second graders as a Teach for America corps member in rural Arkansas. In a classroom overflowing with music and poetry, Nick’s students made incredible academic growth and were part of a cohort whose achievements brought about their school’s removal from state-imposed academic distress.

After completing his master of music degree, Nick accepted a position as music director at KIPP Delta Public Schools in Helena, AR, where he inherited a K-12 music program that consisted of a single choir of eight voices. Five years later, he directed three choirs serving over 120 students, and the KIPP Delta Music Program included a drumline, marching band, dance program, music theater program, elementary string program, and four full-time music faculty members. Nick also spearheaded the push by the entire district to implement arts-infused curricula, bringing music and the fine arts into every single K-12 classroom. Further, he created a “Blues in School” program, offering tuition-free lessons, master classes, and performance opportunities for local school-age children.

[Read more…]

New Member: Marcy Lowe

Ms. Lowe is the CEO of Datu Research, an international consulting firm that provides the right data to leading institutions that are solving the greatest problems facing humanity. Datu analysts go out in the field and listen, ask original questions, and challenge assumptions.

They deliver clear, memorable reports that help leaders design, implement, and evaluate programs so they will reach their goals.

Marcy has 25 years of experience in economic analysis and public policy, with a focus on land use, rural development, and climate resilience. Before establishing Datu, Marcy was a senior analyst at Duke University’s Center on Globalization, Governance & Competitiveness, where she mapped out supply chains for carbon-saving technologies and for selected agricultural commodities. As a senior researcher at the Washington, D.C.-based Worldwatch Institute, she analyzed land use issues. Lowe’s op-eds and more than 40 articles have appeared in Washington Post, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Technology Review, and others. She received her M.S. in Energy Management and Policy from the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania.

“Datu” is Mandarin for “big picture.”

Marcy was sponsored by Membership Committee Chair Marge Nordstrom. Please introduce yourself and welcome Marcy.

Alzheimer’s Caregivers’ Appreciation Luncheon

Saturday, February 10 – Noon to 2:00 PM

Jewish Community Center on Cornwallis Road

The 2018 Alzheimer’s Caregivers’ Appreciation Luncheon, sponsored by The Rotary Clubs of Durham, will be held on Saturday, February 10, 2018, from 12:00 noon until 2:00 p.m., at The JCC, on Cornwallis Road. We need about 8 more volunteers to help with hosting and logistics at the Luncheon.  Duties include: table and signage setup, registration, welcoming guests, hosting tables, helping guests carry plates from the buffet, clean up, etc.

There will be approximately 70 guests from Duke Family Support Services, JCC Memory Café, Durham Center For Senior Life, and other organizations that support caregivers.  The Luncheon includes a vegetarian buffet, entertainment by The Pitchforks of Duke University, a free raffle of wonderful prizes, and reflections on Rotary’s support for Alzheimer’s research.  The event is well received and appreciated by our guests; and your investment of time to make it a success will no doubt be very rewarding.

Please consider signing up to help.

Volunteers should arrive about 10:30 a.m. and plan to be there until about 2:30 p.m.

Please use the following link to sign up:

If you have any questions, please contact Emily Page, at:

Or At: 919.937.2643.