June 25, 2015

Meeting date: June 25, 2015
 By Monde M Donaldson
 Speaker: Chief James Barber
Mobile Police Department
Invocation, Song Music and Pledge
Ken Robinson called the meeting to order. Lewis Shreve gave the invocation.
Distinguished Young representatives led the song and pledge. They were accompanied by Les Greer.
Student of the Week
John Dukes recognized Linda Tran of Alma Bryant High School as one of the two winners of the 2015-2016 Rotary Scholarship.
The Tarpon Tournament will be August 1 with the Captain’s Reception at Ruth Chris on
July 30.
 Chelsea Fenton representing the Distinguished Young Women program introduced two Has Beens. They shared the story of how the program had impacted their lives and Fenton encouraged members and their families to attend the preliminaries and finals.
Mobile Police Chief James Barber was the main speaker. He told Rotarians safety is a fundamental right of government. “Everyone has the right to feel safe in their home.”
He reminded members that everyone is touched by the Mobile Police Department (MPD) every day whether they call a policeman or not – their safety at home, at work, at school and on the roads are all components of the job. “My goal is to make his the safest city on America,” he stated. “This means mutual respect for everyone.”
In November 2013, Barber said he was asked to draw a comprehensive plan for the MPD by Sandy Stimpson. Once he became police chief. Mayor Stimpson asked him to put this plan in place. Barber said he realized that the traditional police training had to be refocused to foster a mutual respect between the department and the community.
Ninety per cent of the neighborhoods don’t have serious crime, the hot spots that make up the other 10 percent are the areas where there were a disproportionate number of cases of serious crime (felonies).
Among the initiatives, Barber has implemented include constant contact by  the precinct captain in the neighborhoods, a re-entry task force for returning prisoners helping them to get jobs and avoid crime, expansion of the family intervention teams and a highly successful fatherhood intervention program focusing on a select group of participants.
The meeting was adjourned.

June 18, 2015

Minutes of the Rotary Meeting
June 18 2015
By Erin Kinney
Call to Order:  The meeting was called to order by club president Ken Robinson at 12:15 p.m.   Jeff Luther offered the invocation followed by the song led by Tom Martenstein accompanied by Les Greer on the piano.  Tom Martenstein welcomed visiting Rotarians and members’ guests.
Student Guest: John Dukes presented the first of two 2015-2016 Rotary Scholarship Award Winners to Daly Wettermark of St Paul’s High School for $4,000. She will be attending MIT to pursue her engineering degree.
New Members: The club welcomed 25 year Rotarian Rod Koberg, as well as Richard Sullivan.
Announcements:  There was a board meeting after the meeting. The Tarpon Tournament is set for Aug 1st with the captains’ reception on July 30th at Ruth’s Chris.  Bob Chappelle presented both William Oppenheimer and Robinson McClure of the Rotary Centennial Committee co-Rotarians of the year with a speech inspired by the Comic Cowboys.
Program:  The day’s program was fellow member Rob Hackbarth, who was introduced by Tommy Fulton.  Rob is the owner of Hackbarth Delivery, and Mondays Are Great mondaysaregreat.com  His first book is titled “There Are No Small Moments” and his second book will be published soon is called “The BET”
Mr. Hackbarth’s mission is to help individuals and organizations to succeed by implementing best practices based on timely principles.  Success is being and becoming the best at what you are meant to be and do in life.  BET=belief enthusiasm team.  Mr. Hackbarth handed out cards that had space to fill out a success tip, and a goal target date, which is either the due date or a reminder to review the goal.
Rob told a story about when he was a child about The Game. There was a newspaper article about a local kid who pitched a no hit shutout, and he was encouraged by his friend to do the same at their next Little League game.   This gave him a goal and motivation to do his very best.  He was an anxious 10 yr. old, trying to pitch a perfect game when he walked a batter, thereby ruining the perfect game, but keeping the no-hit shutout in place.  The next batter popped the ball up to the center fielder who caught the ball and threw it to 2nd base for a fielder’s choice.  Rob thought he gave up a hit, but team encouraged him. When the game ended, and the shut out remained, the team congratulated him.  However, the center fielder didn’t receive or want attention.  He was content to stay in the background.  10 years later, Rob was reading success theory books, especially Napoleon Hill, and he remembered that game and came up with BET:

  1. Belief—the second most powerful words we will ever say to another person is “I believe in you”. No doubts. Parents, teachers, etc. Faith, belief, enthusiasm, incentive passion


  1. Enthusiasm for a goal.


  1. Team—those around you who encourage you.

To get a center fielder, you must first BE a center fielder.  Figure out the best practices based on BET that work for you.  BET on the club, BET on each member, BET on your team.
Adjournment:  President Robinson adjourned the meeting at 1:00 PM.

June 11, 2015

Minutes of the June 11, 2015 Meeting
Rotary Club of Mobile
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by club president Ken Robinson. Rob Diehl offered the invocation and afterwards Tom Martenstein led the group in song accompanied by Bill Oppenheimer on the piano. Tom then welcomed visiting Rotarians and guests of members.
• Ken Robinson reminded the group that sponsors are needed for this year’s Tarpon Tournament which will begin with a reception on July 30th at Ruth’s Chris.
• Ken Niemeyer discussed the Literacy Project and had one of the lending library boxes on display. He said the goal is to have one in every public elementary school in the county focusing on 3-4th grade students and books appropriate for that age group are solicited. This took the place of donating dictionaries. He also explained that the Big Brother/Big Sister Program is assisting us with the project.
• Garrett Williamson directed everyone’s attention to a hand-out explaining the new Touch Point Program which seeks to increase members’ participation by recognizing members’ involvement in projects relating to club service.
Program: Dean Mosher, Artist and Author of “The Spirit of Fairhope”
Bill Hafner introduced Fairhope author and noted artist, Dean Mosher who presented a power point presentation discussing his recently published book entitled “The Spirit of Fairhope.” Historical images join current photographs and essays to trace the history of this eastern shore community.
Prominent authors such as Fannie Flagg, Winston Groom and Rick Bragg have written sections of the book which explains the history of the town. Mosher explained its settlement by a group of transplanted Iowans in the 1890’s extolling the idea of a Land Value Taxation System during what historians term the Progressive Era.
Photographs and text discuss the development of the community, the building of a wharf, schools, churches and the establishment of extensive waterfront parks for the enjoyment of residents. An image of the very first Monopoly game board includes familiar names in Fairhope. A Maryland proponent of Land Value Taxation created that game and included Fairhope in the mix, he explained. Fairhope also had the first public library in the state, he said.
Ken Robinson thanked Mr. Mosher for speaking to the club and adjourned the meeting at 1:00 P.M.

June 4, 2015

Minutes of the Rotary Meeting
June 4, 2015
By Tommy Fulton
Invocation, Song and Pledge
Ken Robinson called the meeting to order. Tom Martenstein led the song, accompanied by Bill Oppenheimer on the piano. Allen Ladd gave the invocation.
Tommy Fulton encouraged members to continue to give to the CART Project for Alzheimer’s.
Program: Matt Armbruster, Founder of Ransom Ministries, Inc. was introduced by Bill Watts.
Mr. Armbruster founded Ransom Ministries, not so much as a homeless ministry, but more of a “people” ministry. Their mission is to “Provide participants with support services to overcome barriers to employment, helping them move out of dependency and into personal responsibility and self-reliance.” At this point, Ransom is located in six communities in the Mobile/Baldwin area.
One of the more intriguing ventures Armbruster described is the “Clean Machine.” This vehicle is equipped with showers, washers and dryers. This is a first step to helping job seekers, and others, have access to facilities many of us take for granted. This is especially advantageous in their homeless outreach efforts.
In addition to providing meals to their ministry, they teach many of the youth how to prepare healthy meals. In too many cases, this is the only exposure they have had in recognizing cost-effective alternatives to fast foods.
During 2014, Ransom Cafes have served 22,000 meals, washed 548 loads of laundry, given 453 showers, 143 haircuts, utilized 150 youth services and distributed more than 2,000 pounds of fresh produce.
One of the more exciting new programs Armbruster mentioned was the new “food truck” Ransom will be using to access even more needy communities. They will also be occupying a 6,000 square foot building in Chickasaw. A new program is to kick-off in August of this year, which will feature a four-fold approach to helping underemployed or unemployed ReProgram, ReBuild, RePair and ReStore their lives.

May 28, 2015

Call to Order:  The meeting was called to order at 12:15 PM by club president Ken Robinson.  Earl Jackson offered the invocation and Tom Martenstein led the club in song and the Pledge of Allegiance.  Guests of members and visiting Rotarians were introduced by Tom Martenstein.
Announcement:  Ken Robinson reminded members who have joined since July of 2014 to email a photo of themselves to Peggy for the upcoming Roster, ASAP.
ProgramDistinguished Young Women
Art Forward introduced Pam Patterson, executive director of Distinguished Young Women. Mrs. Patterson opened by recalling her childhood interest in the Junior Miss Program and said that when she and her husband moved to Mobile they became host parents and active volunteers.  Following her retirement as a Mobile County public school teacher, she has become the program’s director.
She said that in 2014 some 10,000 volunteers and 4,000 young women participated nationwide in the program.  Since its inception in 1958, there have been 740,000 participants and $102 million in college scholarships awarded, she added.
Mrs. Patterson discussed the $2 million economic impact the program has for Mobile including hotel rooms for families from all 50 states.  Many of the young women end up accepting scholarships at the University of South Alabama or Spring Hill College and stay in the area after graduation, she said.
The program is attempting to reach out to the community with a variety of out-reach programs ranging from public school students to seniors living in Central Plaza Towers.   Baldwin County is an important component in the program and an informal event is planned at the Grand Hotel, she said.
Mrs. Patterson said DYW is always seeking host families as well as sponsors for this year’s first Mayor’s Leadership Breakfast to be held at the Admiral Semmes Hotel.
Ken Robinson thanked Mrs. Patterson for speaking to the club and presented her with a certificate noting that a donation in her honor has been made to the Bellingrath Gardens and Home Foundation.
Adjournment:  The meeting adjourned at 12:55 PM.
Tom McGehee
IMG_4737 IMG_4742 IMG_4744

May 21, 2015

By Monde M. Donaldson
Speaker: Rebecca Byrne
                President and CEO/Community Foundation of South Alabama
                “Moving Forward Together”
Invocation, Song Music and Pledge
Ken Robinson called the meeting to order. Rose Johnson gave the invocation.
Larry Sindel led the song and pledge. He was accompanied by Les Greer.
On behalf of the Club, Bob Chapelle awarded the distinction of Paul Harris fellow to Robert Edington. Robert spoke to the Rotary Club 50 years ago as a 15 year old and has been a servant leader to his country and the community throughout his distinguished life.
Rebecca Byrne gave an overview of the Community Foundation of South Alabama which will celebrate its 40th anniversary next year. The Foundation has $70 million in assets and hopes to be to $90 million by 2019. There are 400 funds held there for the Southwest Alabama service area which includes Mobile, Baldwin, Escambia, Conecuh, Monroe, Clarke, Choctaw and Washington counties.
In the past year under Rebecca’s leadership, the Foundation staff and board members worked with community leaders to identify three initiatives – Veterans, Workforce Training and Young Philanthropy.
Veteran’s Initiative
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have demanded unprecedented service from all armed services and all components of the military. Currently, there are over 60,000 veterans in the area. It is expected that by 2040 there will be over 500,000 veterans in our service area, she explained. During reintegration, returning service members face a variety of needs, including but not limited to job training, employment, health, housing assistance and education. These needs combined with stressors from military life and the culture shock of transitioning to civilian life can be overwhelming. When reintegration is unsuccessful, the consequences can be dire to the veteran, his/her family and the community. The Veterans Initiative will be a four year, $600,000 effort to identify and address the most pressing needs. In 2015, the Foundation will focus on engaging key community members to better understand the specific challenges facing veterans and to identify current services and service gaps, she said.
Workforce Initiative
For more than a decade, Southwest Alabama has continued to grow as an advanced manufacturing region, and community leaders have discussed the concept of an advanced manufacturing training facility to meet the workforce needs of industry. As the area continues to attract more opportunities, this need is even more evident.  She said area leaders have seen the benefit of aviation and maritime training facilities in producing a skilled workforce, but training needs for manufacturing transcend these two industries.
Young Philanthropy Initiative
This initiative inspires community involvement and cultivates a philanthropic culture among young adults in the eight-county service area. The Foundation seeks to identify innovative and collaborative efforts led by young professionals and encourage philanthropy among young adults. She closed by saying that in 2015, the Foundation will engage millennials in philanthropic learning opportunities and activities through targeted partnerships.
The meeting was adjourned.

May 14, 2015

Call to Order:  The meeting was called to order by club president Ken Robinson at 12:15 p.m.   Steve Dill offered the invocation followed by the song led by Gordon Korb.  Tom Martenstein welcomed visiting Rotarians and members’ guests.
Announcements:  Today is the club’s 101st birthday.  The city of Mobile is looking for input on the Map for Mobile framework.  A big thank you goes out to the fellowship committee for putting on last week’s boat tour.  Also, check out the new look to the club’s website http://mobilerotary.org/ which is now mobile friendly.
Program:  The day’s program was Director & CEO of the Alabama State Port Authority, James K. Lyons, who was introduced by Eddie Brister.
Mr. Lyons discussed the many projects and happenings around the Port of Mobile.  The biggest is Airbus readying for full production, along with their suppliers.  The port continues to play an important part in the economic development of Mobile.
Mr. Lyons position is no longer appointed by the governor, but by a board of directors.  There is no appropriation of money from the state of Alabama, but the port authority operates on its own revenue, which was $160 million last year.  Standard & Poor’s upgraded the port’s bond rating to A-.
The main commodities going in and out of the port are forest products, steel, frozen poultry, and aluminum.  However, a strong US dollar is hurting exports.  There is a new steel warehouse that freed up 300,000 square feet of warehouse space.  The bulk division, which deals mostly with metallurgical coal, isn’t selling as well because of price pressures on the steel market.
The port owns its own railroad which has 75 miles of track.  The Port Authority rebuilt three locomotives with more fuel efficient engines.  In April 2016 the new RORO (roll-on/roll-off) terminal will be fully operational.  The Port Authority is looking to improve the dock and a large area at the Theodore Industrial Port off of Rangeline Road.
The Panama Canal is getting wider and deeper to better handle today’s cargo ships.  The Mobile ship channel is already larger and deeper and can handle the large ships.  There is an EIS in the process to make the shipping channel even wider and deeper than it is, but this is a multi-year process.
Access to Cuba is a ways off until Congress acts to lift the trade embargo.  Not much trade is allowed now beyond agricultural products, usually lumber and frozen poultry.  Opening up trade to Cuba would be good for Alabama.
Mr. Lyons took questions from members, and received a speaker certificate from president Robinson.
Adjournment:  President Robinson adjourned the meeting at 12:45 PM.

May 7th, 2015

By Tommy Fulton
Invocation, Song and Pledge
Ken Robinson called the meeting to order.  Larry Sindel led the song.  Ben Cummings gave the invocation.
Peyton Mattei promoted the Five Rivers Delta Boat Tour
Tommy Fulton encouraged members to continue to give to the CART Project for Alzheimers.
Program:  Cart Blackwell, Architectural Historian/Mobile Historic Development Commission. “Of Color & Light:  An examination of Life & Career of Artist/Designer Clara Weaver Parrish”, introduced by Eddie Brister.
Mr. Blackwell spoke for the third time to the Mobile Rotary Club.  In his examination of the life of Clara Parrish, he described the fascinating life and works of one of Alabama’s most accomplished artists.  Ms. Parrish was born in Selma in 1861.  Her family was very influential in the founding and development of Selma.  She was very accomplished in art, and showed it early with influences from such renowned artists as James Whistler.
During the 1890’s, after moving to New York with her husband, Clara began promoting women artists, while serving as an officer in the Woman’s Art Club of New York.  She eventually had two daughters, both of whom died very young.  Following the death of her sixteen month old daughter, she developed an interest in mosaic, mural and stained glass design.  She was also one of the first artists to show the relationship between blacks and whites in the South during the late 1890’s and early 1900’s.
As Mr. Blackwell showed in his extensive slide show, she became most well-known for her stained glass windows which are displayed in churches throughout Alabama and also in the Northeast.  She was featured in thirty World’s Fair exhibits before she died in 1925.  Her will established the Weaver-Parrish Memorial Trust, which provides aid to the needy of Selma and Dallas County to the present day.

April 30, 2015

By Monde M Donaldson
Speaker: Most Reverend Thomas J. Rodi
Archbishop of Mobile
Invocation, Song Music and Pledge
Ken Robinson called the meeting to order. Richard Wilkins gave the invocation.
Tom Martinstein led the song and pledge. He was accompanied by Les Greer.
Student of the Week
Ernest Holloway of Lillie B Williamson High School was recognized as the Student of the Week. He was introduced by Saty Putcha.
Archbishop Thomas Rodi gave an overview of the Archdiocese of Mobile. The archdiocese is comprised of the 28 southern counties in Alabama, and encompasses half the state. The Cathedral parish was established in 1703 making it the oldest in the Mississippi Valley. There are 30 churches in Mobile and 12 in Baldwin County.  Catholic Social Services serves 11,000 in Mobile County and 5,000 clients in Baldwin County both Catholic and non-catholic. This year, the Archdiocese has broken ground on St. Michael’s Catholic High School, the first Catholic high school in Baldwin County and McGill-Toolen Catholic High School is in the midst of second phase of building for their capital campaign. There is also a new social services center under construction on Florida Street.
The archbishop noted that when Bishop Michael Portier, Mobile’s first bishop came to Mobile he faced several major challenges. They were: serving the poor, passing on the faith to families and youth, finding priests, serving immigrants, raising money for ministries, the scandalous behavior of clergy and laws facing the country troubling to the teaching of the church. Ironically, these are the same issues facing the church today, he said.
Archbishop Rodi focused his talk on religious liberties. They have been a core value of our American and religious history, he said. Today, there are troubling times where respect  for these values has come into question under the US Department of Health and Human Services guidelines, he said. The Constitution says we are entitled to free exercise of religion, he said. In the months to come, the Little Sisters of the Poor will be challenging the right of the government to impose certain laws and mandates.
In the past century, the Catholic Church has had outstanding men such as, Pope Benedict and Pope John Paul II who experienced fascism and Communism in their countries, he explained.  The political climate of their home countries promoted that your dignity came from the state. Courageously, these bishops would remind their countrymen and the world that your rights and your dignity were given to you by God. The founders of our country made it clear where our rights came from, he said. The Bill of Rights is to be respected by the government. The archbishop’s plea for  respect for fundamental rights was met with a standing ovation.
The meeting was adjourned.

April 23, 2015

Minutes of the Rotary Meeting
April 23, 2015
By Erin Kinney
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by club president Ken Robinson at 12:15 p.m. Douglas Kearley offered the invocation followed by the song led by Tommy Blankenship accompanied by Les Greer on the piano. Tom Martenstein welcomed visiting Rotarians and members’ guests.
Student Guest: Saty Putcha introduced Heath McLaney from Theodore High School as the honored student.

Student guest Heath McLaney of Theodore High School
Student guest Heath McLaney of Theodore High School

New Members: The club welcomed back former member Bill Smithweck.
Announcements: There is a fellowship event May 7. Three is a sign-up sheet with Peggy.
Program: The day’s program was Garrett Williamson, president of Personal Edge Fitness, on the Save-A-Stray Program. Garrett started the program off by introducing his foster failure, Sam, a flat coated retriever. Sam was found under a house in Pritchard. The Battle House is a pet friendly hotel. Save-A-Stray is a nonprofit that enriches the of shelters pets by finding them permanent homes.
Garrett highlighted the story of Lola, a nine week old long haired dachshund who was thrown out of a third story window by her owner. The story garnered world-wide attention, resulting in over 200 adoption applications. The former owner was sentenced to 90 days in jail and a fine of $2,300. Lola was adopted by a family that travels between Key West, Virginia Beach, and Georgia.
There are too many homeless pets and not enough homes. In 2012, over 11,000 pets needed new homes. Save-A-Stray works with Helping Hounds in DeWitt, NY, a suburb of Syracuse. Save-A-Stray readies and transports 18-25 dogs at a time. The partnership has lasted over 3 years with over 1140 dogs being placed in homes. Save-A-Stray provides veterinary care through three vets, and has sponsorships with B&B Pet and Nutro for supplies and food. Save-A-Stray also partners for cat adoption. Spay Day had four vets and 159 animals altered this year.
There are transport standards, such as the animal being located out of the shelter for 2 weeks with a family, medical checks with age appropriate vaccinations, two dewormings, heartworm testing, heartworm and flea prevention, healthcare, a microchip, and if necessary, spay/neuter. The number of foster homes dictates how many animals they can transport. Foster families can request their preference of size, gender, age, etc. Save-A-Stray covers vet costs, provides a family experience, and photos. Foster failures do happen, but are not encouraged.
Garrett concluded the program by bringing in a dozen fosters with their dogs. These dogs will be on the next transport to New York, driven by the supervisor of the Saraland Animal Shelter, Crystal Beatty, and her husband Mike, in a specially designed trailer.
Adjournment: President Robinson adjourned the meeting at 12:55 PM.