June 15, 2017

Minutes of the June 15, 2017 Meeting
The Rotary Club of Mobile
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by Les Greer at 12:15 PM. Keith Vaughan offered the invocation and Tom Martenstein welcomed members’ guests and visiting Rotarians. Larry Sindel led the club in song and the Pledge of Allegiance.
• Robert Greer brought the club up to date on the recent Rotary International Conference held in Atlanta. Some 80 districts were represented and participants from 150 nations., he said. Next year’s conference will be in Toronto and he urged members to attend.
• Les Greer noted that the price of meals for members’ guests and exempt members is now $24.
• Les also reminded members to get updated photos and/or information to Peggy for the new roster as soon as possible.
Program: Rhett Ross Continental Motors Group
Joe Mareno introduced Rhett Ross, President and CEO of Continental Motors Group, Ltd. Mr. Ross discussed the company’s history and plans for the future:
• History: According to Ross his firm was founded in a barn in 1904 and within a year had a factory built to manufacture automobile and truck engines. In 1927 the firm began manufacturing airplane engines and the Piper Cub was introduced in 1929 using a Continental designed engine.
• World War II: The company began providing engines for small planes and then expanded to provide engines for landing craft and tanks. The 1950’s were the “heyday of aviation” he said, noting that between 20-25,000 planes a year were being built.
• Mobile: In 1966 the firm opened its present facility at Brookley he said, and in the 1970’s the first non- stop, non –fueled aircraft to fly around the world was created here. At one point there were 1,000 employees.
• Today: Ross said that today the firm has 400 employees and is planning a new $70 million expansion in Mobile to help the firm produce the next generation of motors.
After answering a number of questions, Les thanked Mr. Ross for sharing his knowledge with the club and noted that in his honor a donation has been made to the Rotary International Foundation.
The meeting adjourned at 1:00 PM.
Tom McGehee