MINUTES OF THE ROTARY MEETING
September 2, 2021
By Dr. Leona Onderdonk Rowan
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by Elizabeth Stevens, President of the Rotary Club of Mobile, at 12:15 p.m.
Invocation: Kim Garrett offered the invocation.
Pledge and Welcome: Jeff Zoghby led the members in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and Elizabeth Stevens called upon members to introduce their guests.
Announcements: Chris Gibson, with Mobile United, offered congratulations to the class of Leadership Mobile. Claire McCarron announced member birthdays.
Program: Sumpter McGowin introduced the guest speaker, Mr. Terrance Smith, Director of the City of Mobile’s Innovation Team. A native of Prichard, Alabama, Terrance began his college education at Miles and later graduated from the University of South Alabama. He served in the Leadership Mobile Class of 2014 and he was listed in the top five of the ELGL’s Treager Awards in honor of those making the greatest impact on local government all across the country.
Terrance began his remarks by explaining he is deeply rooted in the Mobile community and never considered living elsewhere. He thanked George Talbot and Mayor Sandy Stimpson for mentoring him and providing him many opportunities.
The purpose of the Innovation Team is to develop strategies to solve problems within the City of Mobile and surrounding communities. This is achieved by making connections and by communicating with citizens who are most affected, thereby gaining a deeper understanding of the impact of issues on both internal and external stakeholders.
Terrance said he is guided by a familiar phrase “by the people and for the people”, but cautions that government should operate WITH the people. That begins by identifying and engaging a diverse set of internal and external partners. Through early involvement with partners and maintaining partnerships many issues can be addressed in areas such as city services, fiscal sustainability, future focus, and growing the economy. He explained that the Innovation Team strives to Inspire others, share different perspectives, bridge gaps through communication, support citizens, offer services, and reflect on progress that has been made as well as additional tasks to be addressed.
After questions from the floor were answered, Elizabeth thanked Terrance for speaking to our club and presented him a certificate noting that a donation has been made in his honor to the Dauphin Island Sea Lab.
Closing Remarks and Adjournment: Elizabeth announced that Colonel Scott Bannon Marine Resources Division Director at the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will be guest speaker at next week’s meeting in the Crystal Ballroom. She adjourned the meeting at approximately 1:00 p.m.