Nov. 9, 2017

Minutes of the November 9, 2017 Meeting
The Rotary Club of Mobile
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by John Dukes at 12:15 PM. Wade Faulkner offered the invocation and Jeff Zoghby welcomed members’ guests and visiting Rotarians. Larry Sindel led the club in song and the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance.
Announcements: John Dukes made the following announcements:
• Mark your calendar for the Mardi Gras Parade Party at the Carnival Museum to be held in lieu of a meeting on the evening of February 8, 2018.
• Douglas Kearley discussed the history of red poppies to remember the war dead, a practice which began during World War I. In honor of Veteran’s Day he handed out red poppies for lapels.
• John wished members well on their up-coming birthdays.
Program: Chief Mark Sealy, MFD
Tom McGehee introduced Mark Sealy, Mobile’s Fire Chief. Chief Sealy, a former U.S. Marine began by honoring veterans in the audience.
Sealy, who was sworn in as the city’s 15th chief in May of this year, described his department as having been without a leader for an extended period, leading to divisions within the department regarding pay and race as well as low morale.
A brief video, Turn the Ship Around, A True Story of Building Leaders by Breaking Rules was shown. The narrator discussed the success of a Navy commander who took over a nuclear submarine and was able to bring the crew’s rating up to the highest in the fleet. He did it by improving morale and instilling a psychological ownership of the sub to all of the men and women on it.
Sealy said his philosophy has always been to never bring a problem to a superior without a solution. Since his appointment he said his goal has been to create a sense of ownership among all of the members of his department and ultimately create a pool of leaders from which his replacement may be chosen. He also said the current administration has given his department more support than any other he has experienced in his 26 year career as a Mobile firefighter.
After answering a number of questions from the audience, John Dukes thanked Chief Sealy and presented him with a certificate noting that a donation in his honor has been made to the Rotary Children’s Foundation.
The meeting adjourned at 12:55 PM.
Tom McGehee