New Member: Katie Rose Levin

Please introduce yourself  and welcome new member Katie Rose Levin. Katie was sponsored by Barker French and inducted by Kay Gresham. Here is a little of her background.

After earning a BS in Environmental Studies from NC State University, Katie Rose spent several years working and studying ecology across North and South America.

In 2009 she returned to school, earning a Master of Forestry and a Master of Environmental Management degree from Duke University. In 2012 Duke hired her as their first ever Natural Resource Manager. While there she managed over 14,000 trees across Duke’s campus, and served as the primary arborist consultant to over $500 million dollars of capital projects.

It was fun, but she wanted to get out and see the world again. So in 2016 she helped launch the consulting department at Leaf & Limb and now spends her time providing high quality tree information and support to Landscape Architects, Architects and Planners. She is the co-founder of the non-profit TreesDurham and volunteers with the non-partisan group Citizen’s Climate Lobby. In her downtime, Katie Rose practices aerial dancing, gardens, and cans.

She lives with her husband, Donald Addu, and two beagles in South Durham.

Year End Celebration 2017 – 2018

It wasn’t quite the end of the Rotary Year, but it was a good way to end it, and President Seth will preside for one more meeting. No windy pronouncements, no gimmicky tradeshows, no drawings.  What we got was a few well-deserved thankyous from outgoing President Seth along with indestructible to-go cups with the new club logo designed by Allie Balling and her crew. There was one new member induction, the awarding of the Rotarian of the Year plaque, the passing of the gavel to incoming President Brady Surles and another plaque for President Seth to hang with his hunting trophies in his office.

But it was mostly good fellowship with many guests in attendance, good food provided by our hosts at the DBAP and the best of ballpark beer and wine. The version of this write-up in the Bulletin will have a couple of pictures but our A Team photographer Tom Bagby had his big camera and passed along, count them, 65 pictures.

For the website we’ll whittle it down some. Five come right off the top because Rotarian of the Year Marge Nordstrom refuses to let us use pictures of her. There was one that was especially good where you would swear you could see a tear in her eye.  This photophobia is very unusual for somebody who takes a great picture and she’s been promised many times that no one will talk publicly about her being in the witness protection program. It’s our little secret. So we have a blah little picture of the plaque she was awarded in a separate post.

In many of the pictures of happy Rotarians the star is the room itself. Perhaps one of the most significant events of this Rotary year was the change of venue.  The satisfaction level of the Club for this PNC room on the Club level of the DBAP is off the charts. It’s bright and cheerful and Oh-So-Durham with the Bull Durham mural at one end and a bar at the other. Hat’s off to President Seth for making this happen.

We’ll cut it off here and allow a little room in the Bulletin for pictures but thank you President Seth for the smooth handling of an active year and good luck to incoming President Brady who will try to fill those shoes.

Submitted by Jay Zenner

New Member: Robb Cadwallader

Please introduce yourself if you don’t already know Robb Cadwallader like many do, and welcome him to the club. Robb was sponsored by Elisabeth Wiener. He introduced himself and demonstrated his good humor and a compatibility of character that will make him a great Rotarian and then provided the short bio below outlining where his business career has taken him.

During his career, Cadwallader has been involved in the growth and development of several companies, both public and private, in various industries. In the healthcare sector, at both United Emergency Services and Coastal Healthcare, Cadwallader was a member of the executive management team that set strategic direction and led the capitalization efforts.

In the real estate sector, Cadwallader oversaw development and secured financing approaching $100 million. In partnership with Lincoln Harris, he collaborated with the Research Triangle Foundation to redevelop Park Center within the Research Triangle Park.  In partnership with the NC Treasury Department and State Employees Retirement System he created a program to develop public schools throughout North Carolina through Public Private Partnerships.

He specializes in setting strategic direction, capital formation, mergers and acquisitions, and mentoring of both financial and operations management in public and emerging growth companies.

Cadwallader was President/CEO of United Emergency Services, a privately-held healthcare services company. During his tenure he guided UES’ growth, both organic and through acquisition, and oversaw its recapitalization. Preceding UES, he was EVP/COO of Coastal Healthcare Group. As a member of the executive management team he was an active participant in the IPO and subsequent financings and oversaw mergers and acquisitions and investor relations.

Before Coastal, Cadwallader was Managing Director/President of Montrose Capital, a privately-held merchant bank. He was responsible for overall development and financing of large scale real estate developments including Robert Trent Jones Golf Club/Lake Manassas, an 1100-acre mixed-use development outside Washington, D.C. and Gwinnett Progress Center, a 1500-acre business park outside Atlanta, Georgia.

Cadwallader began his career as a commercial banker with the predecessor of Bank of America, ultimately leaving as a SVP and large profit center managing executive.

Cadwallader holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of North Carolina Kenan Flagler Business School and a Bachelor of Arts from Duke University.  He is married, has one son and one daughter, and five grandchildren.  In addition, he has three step-daughters.

Program Report: NCCU Chancellor Johnson Akinleye


North Carolina Central University Chancellor Johnson Akinleye highlighted the university’s growing national academic and athletic stature and massive local economic impact during an update Monday. He also called for added local investment in and around the school’s growing campus by area businesses and institutions.

“This is what we need,” said Akinleye. “We want investment in NCCU and investment in areas around NCCU.”

NCCU has entered its second century of service, and in 2016 was named “HBCU of the Year.”

But Akinleye looked largely forward.  He told a full house of Rotarians that the university works to refine and expand academic programming in combination with work to create new partnerships with academic institutions, businesses, non-profits and other institutions. The goal, he said, is to help connect the school and its students globally as part of its mission to create “market-ready” graduates who have academic credentials and real-world work exposure and experience.

Akinleye said regional economic surveys have quantified the university’s regional economic impact at $563.7 million. Many of the school’s graduates remain in the RDU area he said, as do many of its 30,000 alumni. In 2017, NCCU graduated 1,215 students, the largest class in its history. Average starting salaries for 2017 graduates exceed $40,000, in contrast the U.S. median starting salary of more than $28,000 per year.

“We are actually soaring as an institution,” Akinleye said, noting the university’s increasing national profile not only in academics but athletics. NCCU is growing in new areas of research, research grants and spending, he said, noting a $16.3 million grant from a division of the National Institute of Health (NIH) for a new research center focused on health disparities and a $1 million grant by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina in NCCU’s nursing program.

Among current-year expansions on campus are a new school of business and a new student center at Cecil and Fayetteville Street that will include a 1,400-seat auditorium available not only for academics and students but to the city of Durham. 

Concurrent with physical expansion are current-year goals to expand partnerships with institutions to recruit, support and employ students and create new strategies of economic development to promote campus and campus-area investment.

Akinleye said during questions and answers that the school is diverse in faculty, staff, students and nature of its service to the city, “one of our priorities,” though NCCU has taken is place among the premiere drivers of excellence among the nation’s historically black colleges and institutions.

Akinleye received his doctorate from Howard University in Washington, D.C. Following a stint as acting chancellor, Akinleye was named chancellor in June, 2017, by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors. He has been an administrator, consultant, motivational speaker and writer. He was introduced by former Club President Lois DeLoatch, who noted “strong ties” between Durham Rotary and NCCU.

We thank Dr. Akinleye for his update.

Submitted by Mark Lazenby

Rotary Minute – Mark Higgins

As President Seth pointed out Mark may be well known as the best dressed rider of a small scooter around town, but he showed in his minute that his interest in art and art history is at least as great as notable as is skill in suit, tie and helmet.  He also invited us to bring him along to share his insights when contemplating a museum visit. Here are Mark’snotes.

  1. My Passion – visual arts. Ironic & surprising for someone who hated museums as a child and has no natural talent.
  2. In the last 20 or so years have visited around 170 museums. Incredible learning journey. Once you start seeing the works of specific artists and being able to recognize works from one museum to another, it sparks curiosity and becomes exciting.
  3. So how can a non-artist develop an interest in art? Start with what appeals to us. For me impressionism. Later, my first trip to Italy opened up the renaissance world and the great baroque period. Initially turned off my abstract art – the kind we look at and exclaim “how can THIS be considered art?” This changes as genres of art come alive upon discovering why certain styles emerged, their historical context and upon discovering a few artists like Giotto & Caravaggio who redirected art toward new & unimagined ways.
  4. Suggestions How to visit a museum: First go online or to the gift shop and buy a dozen or so postcards. Explore elements of art work – composition, color, line, balance, harmony & movement.
  5. Go to a museum and lose yourself in beauty & wonder. Objects of art will become old friends. Art is essential to life itself as the works are nutrients to our souls.

Paul Harris Fellow – Jenny Levine

For her service to the Club and the Community, Dallas Stallings, Area 7 Foundation Chair, presented Jenny Levine her first Paul Harris Fellowship award.  Jenny was a recent Rookie of the Year and has been active in many projects including the Tree Planting and Books on Break. Congratulations Jenny.