Program Report – Dr. Paul Weisenfeld – International Development at RTI

weisenfeld-at-rti-webAre you ever confused about what some of those organizations at the Research Triangle Park actually do?   On Dec. 5, our speaker, Dr. Paul Weisenfeld, clarified what Research Triangle Institute does.  This is not a business, nor is it a government agency.  Instead it is an independent non-profit founded in 1958 to provide research development and technical services to their government and commercial clients worldwide.

stanger-at-rti-webPast President Don Stanger began the program by introducing Dr. Wayne Holden, the President and CEO of RTI who had also addressed us back in January of this year. Dr. Holden introduced his colleague Dr. Weisenfeld, who manages International Development, one of the four major divisions in RTI.

Thus, right here in Durham, we have an organization that has a very ambitious mission — to improve the human condition by turning knowledge into practice for the whole world and especially for marginalized people!  And with 4,150 staff members around the world, they are doing an amazing job of doing just that.  With offices worldwide and in the US, their headquarters is still right here in RTP.

Dr. Weisenfeld then spelled out the four areas of their work.  They take a multi-disciplinary approach with their staff having expertise in 250 disciplines, reflecting 90 languages and 105 nationalities.holden-at-rti-web

First, he explained their programs for International Education.  They have moved away from the traditional approach of testing, and instead are focusing on enabling schools to increase reading skills, especially in the first three grades.  They have developed a program called “Early Grade Reading Assessment” which has now been adopted in four countries.

The second area he discussed was Governance and Economic Development.  They are not involved in working on the political process, such as voting procedures, but rather work to help governments do a better job of delivering basic services such as water, sanitation, and roads.   This also involves developing more workforce and economic opportunities, with better career opportunities, by using labor market analysis.

The third area is Global Health.  The goal here is to strengthen health systems across the board. They also are seeking to combat neglected tropical diseases, especially since many of those can be cured, but are underfunded.

The last area is Food Security and Agriculture.  Their goal is to make food accessible, nutritious, safe, and sustainable.   With the  growth of population worldwide, the prediction is that the world will need to produce 60% more food in the near future.  They are working on programs to enable countries to better manage their food supply, especially to cope with “food loss” that takes place between farms and retail markets.  In addition, better nutrition and better food choices will increase the health of the populations and avoid the major problem of the “dual burden” of undernourishment and obesity.  This refers to the pattern of having people moving up the economic ladder, but  having higher rates of obesity.

Dr. Weisenfeld’s final point was about the “data revolution” we are all experiencing with so much data now available.  Data driven development has the potential to improve the human condition by providing better information for decision making by their government and commercial clients.  Thus RTI is again thinking big for the whole wide world by working to make “Big Data” more useful for countries to meet their needs.
Of all the groups In the world with the ambitious mission to “improve the human condition by turning knowledge into practice”, RTI appears to be a major leader in doing this.

Submitted by Brady Surles

Program Report: Dallas Stallings and Newman Aguiar – The Rotary Foundation

dallas-stallings-foundation-program-webEveryone who is acquainted with Dallas Stallings knows that he’s a storyteller extraordinaire. On Monday, he charmed his fellow Rotarians with a first-person tale about the birth of the Rotary Foundation. “Conceived in Cleveland and born in Atlanta one hundred years ago,” he began, and proceeded to weave the narrative of Arch Klumph.

At the 1917 convention, outgoing Rotary President Klumph proposed to set up an endowment “for the purpose of doing good in the world.” He challenged his fellow Rotarians to contribute, saying that the interest on the funds could be used to help underprivileged children, preserve clean water, and promote world peace, as well as support other acts of service around the globe. The concept didn’t exactly catch fire; one club in Kansas City contributed its entire treasury – twenty-six dollars and fifty cents – for the distinction of being the first club to show support. A Rotarian from California sent in ten dollars just to get in early on a good idea.

The “grandfather” of Rotary, Paul Harris, encouraged donations to what would become The Rotary Foundation, but after ten years, there was only about $5,000 in the endowment. Nevertheless, in 1929, the Foundation made its first gift of $500 to the International Society for Crippled Children. Created by Rotarian Edgar F. Allen, this organization later grew into Easter Seals.

Sadly, Harris was not around to witness the results of his visionary work, but after his death in 1947, contributions began pouring in to Rotary International, and the Paul Harris Memorial Fund was created to build up the Foundation. Within months, the $5,000 had grown to $1.5 million, and now exceeds $3 billion. The Association of Fundraising Professionals named The Rotary Foundation its Outstanding Foundation of the Year for 2016.

In the years that followed, the Foundation’s programs indeed reached around the world. In 1947, the Fellowships for Advance Study, now known as Ambassadorial Scholarships, were established. Ten years later, the Group Study Exchange and Matching Grants programs were created. In the 80’s, Rotarians took up the charge of eradicating polio worldwide; an early 3-H (Health, Hunger, and Humanity) grant paid for the immunization of six million children in the Philippines, and PolioPlus was born. Today, there are fewer than 30 cases of polio worldwide.

In 1987-88, the first international peace forums were held, leading to the creation of Rotary Peace Fellowships. Today, we’re proud to be home to one of only seven peace centers in the world, shared by UNC and Duke. At any given time, more than 50 students work with our International Committee to promote global peace, education, and grow local economies – “the heart and soul of what Rotary is all about,” says Dallas.

As The Rotary Foundation celebrates its centennial, right on the heels of our club’s own 100th birthday, Dallas challenges us all, as Paul Harris certainly must have, “to make the coming years even more meaningful for the people on our planet.” His words echo those of founder Arch Klumpf, found on the Rotary centennial page ( “We should not live for ourselves alone, but for the joy in doing good for others.”

newman-aguiar-foundation-program-webPast District Governor Newman Aguiar stepped to the lectern to explain a bit about how the Foundation works. “It’s like a crazy Ponzi scheme – magic money that somehow comes back to you,” he laughs. When a Rotarian makes a contribution to the Foundation, the Foundation invests it, and uses the interest earned over the next three years to fund its operations.

After that, half of the money goes back to the district that made the donation (as District Designated Funds (DDF)), and half goes to fund larger programs. Last year, our district got $175,000 back, from contributions totaling $350,000 three years ago. In our club’s centennial year, along with other clubs in our district we were able to leverage that return into over a million dollars of impact locally and globally. For example, Newman cited the Crayons 2 Calculators school supplies drive. When our club was first involved five years ago, we raised about $5,000 in donations and supplies. This past August, the total exceeded $135,000.

“International grants are even more magical,” Newman said. “By partnering with other districts and clubs in other countries to solicit matching grants, our financial impact can be as much as three and a half times what the club contributes. That lets us focus on addressing huge global problems with solutions that are sustainable over time.”

Newman notes that our club has shown a lot of leadership in collaborating with other area and district clubs. “As a Rotarian you should always know that every dollar you give is changing lives around the world in significant and sustainable ways.”

Dallas stepped in to announce a matching Paul Harris program. The Rotary Foundation will match every dollar donated up to $500. “What a great gift for a spouse, or a child, to honor them with a Paul Harris Fellowship this holiday season,” he said. Contact Dallas or Andy Esser to make your contribution.

In closing, Dallas urged his fellow Rotarians to read the commemorative book, “Doing Good in the World: The Inspiring Story of the Rotary Foundation’s First 100 Years.” It can be purchased through this website:

Submitted by: Carver C. Weaver

Upcoming Programs and Bulletin


Picture of the Week. Dr. Paul Weisenfeld our speaker for Monday.


DECEMBER 5, 2016  Offsite at Research Triangle Institute.

Our Speaker Is Paul Weisenfeld, EVP, International Development.  Dr. Wayne Holden, RTI International President/CEO will welcome The Rotary Club of Durham and introduce Mr. Weisenfeld.

Special Instructions: RTI is located at 3040 Cornwallis Road, RTP North Carolina, 27709.  This is right off of the Durham Freeway. The Meeting will be held in The Dreyfus Auditorium located in The Haynes Building.  When you enter the RTI Campus from Cornwallis Road, you will be on West Institute Drive. Take the first left, which will lead you directly to an RTI Security Guard Staff Person who will direct you where to park in the Parking Garage. No Parking Pass Is Required. Parking Is Free. Enter in the front main entrance of The Haynes Building (directly across from the parking garage.)

 DECEMBER 12, 2016          BLAKE HILL-SAYA


Introduction: Lois Deloatch



Introduction: Steed Rollins

DECEMBER 26, 2016          NO MEETING!! Christmas

JANUARY 02, 2017  NO MEETING!!  New Year Holiday

Program Report: Captain Robert Viera and the Salvation Army – November 14, 2016

salvation-capt-webFor most of us, I suspect, we associate the Salvation Army with the holiday season—with its Red Kettles and Bellringers to collect money for needy families, for the cheerful and uplifting music of Salvation Army bands.  Captain Robert Viera who along with his wife lead the local Salvation Army reminded us that the Salvation Army isn’t just about providing food at Thanksgiving and Christmas, but it is about lending a helping hand to needy people all day, every day of the year around the world.

Captain Viera and his wife are graduates of Evangeline Booth College in Atlanta, the equivalent of a seminary and training center.  Robert recently became a member of our club.  It is fitting for Rotary to extend a warm welcome to Salvation Army leaders.  The mission of both is to serve others.

An outgrowth of Methodism in England, the “Hallelujah” Army proclaims the gospel of the Christian faith.  Dissatisfied by the failure of Protestant churches in 19th century England to preach to and serve the needs of the poor and uneducated, William Booth began his evangelizing calling.  What became the Salvation Army was founded in London’s East End in 1865.  Since then, the Salvation Army has spread to more than a 120 countries.  In the U.S. alone, it serves 30 million people a year in its worship and service centers.

In Durham, its Boys and Girls Club—which our club has supported—provides activities and guidance to 100 kids a day.  It makes Christmas more cheerful for another 1,000 children; provides emergency assistance to pay utilities and rent.  Worldwide services include hospitals and schools in Africa and Asia.

An historical footnote to the club’s relationship with the Salvation Army: According to club records our club has been “Bellringing” for nearly 50 years—since at least 1967.

Submitted by Allen Cronenberg

Program Report: Durham Innovation Fellows: KateElia, Marlon Torres, William Jackson

christopher-gergan-inv-fellows-webThe second class of Durham Rotary Innovation Fellows has hit the ground running.  Club member Christopher Gergen was the driving force behind this innovative project whose goal is provide “an exceptional leadership development experience for emerging innovators in our community.”  With its extensive network of members with wide-ranging knowledge and leadership skills Durham Rotary is ideally situated to participate in this project.

kate-elia-web-2Christopher introduced two of the three Innovation Fellows.  Kate Elia, founded Growers and Cooks, that makes and markets “fresh bone and vegetable stocks, not that re-hydrated powder stuff in a box or can.”  She works closely with local meat producers and farmers to obtain fresh ingredients for chicken, beef, and vegetable stock.  Take a look at Kate’s website ( to see her products and yummy recipes.

Marlon Thomas is the executive director of NC Arts in Action, founded 12 years ago to bring the arts to all kids.  Its mission statement sums up its goals: “North Carolina Arts in Action helps children reach their full potential using performing arts as the catalyst to build focus, discipline, self-esteem, teamwork and leadership.”  The program is now in 10 schools including Holt Elementary School.  The Holt students will be performing at the school on Monday, December 5th, at noon and 5 p.m. (

Because William Jackson he was out of town at a conference, Past President Lois Deloatch summarized the innovative program—Village ofWisdom—that he heads.  VOW is aimed at heading off issues of high risk kids, especially black boys. lois-inovation-fellows-web The involvement of families is a key feature of this initiative.  (


Rotary Minute: Tom Krakauer

tom-krakaur-minute-webYou may not know that I am a first generation American. My parents got out of Germany in 1937 and moved to Boston, New York, a small rural community outside of Buffalo, where I was born.

I have Ph.D in Zoology. My dissertation on Water Loss in Snakes has made me forever safe from that early morning phone call from the Nobel Committee in Stockholm, but gave me the benefit of a Ph.D after my name. I taught four years at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia, but soon realized that being closer to the community was more fun. So I helped start the science museum in Roanoke then directed science museums for 30 years, and followed up by helping to found the Museum of Durham History.

Outside of museums, I have an interest in birding and butterflies and have birded on five continents. I have a strong interest in family history and genealogy. In addition to publishing a book about the family, I have recently been creating two memoirs and archiving a treasure trove of family letters.

My mother saved 400 letters exchanged by the family during the late 1930s. The memoir deals with the heart rending story of those who were still in Germany during those last difficult years before most managed to escape. In addition, at age 64 mother joined the Peace Corps and spent 6 years in Colombia uncovering a multitude of rare books, eleven going back to within 50 years of the printing of the Gutenberg Bible.

I joined the Rotary club when I came to Durham in 1985.

The total museum attendance in Jan 1986 was 3,500, so the concept of needing a bond funded parking garage is mind boggling. Shortly after I arrived, the Museum hosted a traveling exhibit of robotic dinosaurs. A phone call I picked up at the museum one Saturday morning sticks in my mind as a stark indication of how Durham’s place in the triangle has changed..

I answered the phone and an elderly southern voice said “My grandson wants to come to the Museum to see the dinosaurs. How do I get there from Raleigh?” I responded, “How do you usually come to Durham, ma’am?” I will never forget her response. “My dear young man. I have lived in Raleigh for 72 years of my life and have never felt compelled to come to Durham.”

I learned a lot from that call.

The museum focused on what is called informal science learning. What does that mean? It means that “People learn best what they almost already know”. The exhibits and educational programs must be accurate, but more important, be engaging and approachable by people of all ages.

This laser-like focus built the Museum’s reputation. We received 9 National Science Foundation and one NIH grant for programs and exhibits. They benefited Durham, but also traveled nationally and internationally. That put us in a league with only a few of the largest science museums in the country.

Between those grants, private contributions, and six bond issues we were able to convert the museum from the number of small buildings to what you see today, with the butterfly house and the exhibit building and all the outdoor exhibits north of Murray Avenue. More than half a million yearly attendance in a community of 275,000 speaks volumes.

I was very fortunate to have benefited from of an extraordinary staff and the support of so many members of this club and the community. They were and continue to be vital to the success of the Museum.

I retired in 2004 and I am very proud that many of the lead staff are still at the museum. New exhibits like Hideaway Woods offer a different type of learning experience are now coming online. If you haven’t visited recently, please do so. You don’t need to bring a child.

Thank you.