Nov. 18, 21



Minutes of Rotary Meeting

November 18, 2021

By Kathy Miller


Call to Order:  The meeting was called to order by Elizabeth Stevens, President of the Rotary Club of Mobile, at 12:00 p.m.


Invocation, Song and Pledge:  Graysi Gartman-Ethridge gave the invocation and Larry Sindel led the Club in singing “America” and saying the Pledge of Allegiance.


Members’ guests and visiting Rotarians:  Danny Patterson introduced our members’ guests and visiting Rotarians.


Presentation on Rotary Foundation:  Robert Greer, Foundation Chair for District 6880, introduced Bob Callahan from the Fairhope Rotary Club, who spoke to the Club about the work of the Rotary International Foundation.   Bob described a vast array of projects made possible by donations of Club members including a number of local projects.  Bob also outlined the progress of the Polio Plus Campaign and noted that, for 12 years, the R.I. Foundation has received the highest rating from Charity Navigator.  He thanked members for their support of the Foundation.


Student Guest:  Julie Otts introduced Heather Byrd, counselor at Citronelle High School, who introduced the student of the week, Allison Paige Huckabee, a senior at Citronelle High School.  Ms. Huckabee holds the rank of Cadet Colonel in JROTC, which is the highest rank at the JROTC level.  After Ms. Huckabee spoke to the Club on Service Above Self, Elizabeth presented Ms. Huckabee with the Excellence in Scholarship Certificate.


Announcements:  Elizabeth announced that there is a Board meeting today in the Ashland Suite and there is no meeting next week on Thanksgiving Day.  She also announced member birthdays for the week.


Program:  Suntrease Williams-Maynard introduced Robert F. Barrow, Lieutenant Colonel, US Army Retired, who is presently the Director of Army Instruction for the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) Program for the Mobile County Public School System.  Lieutenant Colonel Barrow spoke to the Club about his work in the JROTC Program, the contributions of men and women who serve in the armed forces for our country and our freedom as a nation and democratic republic.  He explained the bond that exists among service members, which is unlike any in civilian life.  He noted that the 100th Anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier recently was celebrated and outlined the particular challenges of Veterans of the Korean and Vietnam Wars and the War on Terror.  He noted that our country has approximately 2.5 million citizens on active duty out of a population of 350 million, i.e. less than 1% of our population serves in the military.  Lieutenant Colonel Barrow closed his presentation with his personal “Notes on Leadership:  Top 10 List”, which he tries to instill in his students:


  1. Always demonstrate humility…arrogance can lead to you becoming a toxic leader!


  1. Loyalty runs two ways…ultimately you must be loyal to the nation and its values!  It might mean risking your career to stand up for principle…but you must!


  1. Be willing to take risks…do not fear making mistakes!  Set high standards…live by them…never take the easy way out…hard training pays off in combat!


  1. Remember the ultimate purpose of our Armed Forces…no other job carries with it the necessity to be prepared to give your life in defense of freedom and the American way of life!


  1. Respect must be earned…the relationship you develop with those you lead is key to your success!


  1. Trust your subordinates…you and your Platoon Sergeant must be on the same page!


  1. Maintain your physical fitness throughout your lives!


  1. Keep a sense of humor…be approachable!


  1. Seek the hard jobs!  No assignment is a bad one….do your best regardless of circumstances!


  1. What you do while on duty…while off duty….while on social media…is always being watched…24/7…remember, character counts and once trust is lost, it is very difficult to get back!


At the conclusion of his remarks, Elizabeth presented Lieutenant Colonel Barrow with a certificate reflecting that a donation had been made to the Mobile Symphony to sponsor a gifted child for one year in the Chamber of Strings Program in appreciation for his speaking to the Club.


Elizabeth thanked Suntrease Williams-Maynard for bringing three guest speakers this month.


Closing Remarks and Adjournment:  Elizabeth adjourned the meeting at 1:00 p.m.


Kathy Miller

Contributing Editor