Submitted by Tommy Fulton, Contributing Editor
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by Ernest Ladd.
President Ladd asked for a moment of silence for the passing of John Morrissette, Jr.
Pratt Paterson gave the invocation, followed by Larry Sindel, who led us in song and the Pledge.
Introduction of Guests & Visitors: Jeff Zoghby introduced our guests along with visiting Rotarians.
Announcements: Rotary Happy Hour will be held on September 18th at Five on Dauphin Street.
Program: Casi Callaway introduced our speaker, Scott Posey, Director of Communications with AM/NS Calvert.
Mr. Posey began by saying that there are several misperceptions about the Steel Industry. Right away, he mentioned the misperception that one’s attire is an indication of a person’s intelligence. As he obviously demonstrated, his “work-ready” clothing was appropriate to his purpose. He mentioned that although the steel industry workforce has declined by 30 percent in the last 40 years, productivity is up by at least 20 percent.
Another misperception is that his industry is not environmentally responsible. He stated that while it may have been true fifty years ago, it certainly was not the case in today’s world. This brought him to another misperception. Stakeholders and environmental groups must necessarily be in an adversarial role against the industry. Mr. Posey described that feeling as he attended various internal environmental committee meetings and saw the real concern from the members regarding the quality of life in their community. These folks loved hunting, fishing and all kinds of recreational activity, which motivated their desire to improve the areas in which they live.
While he was at Thyssenkrupp(TK), there was a perception in the community that the plant was “fast-tracked” to the detriment of the environment. That was not what he saw first-hand. He reached out to Mobile Baykeeper in an effort to improve that perception. He knew that TK was using the latest and greatest technology, unlike so many other plants that had been around for at least fifty years. After all, he had worked at the Chamber of Commerce for six years, and had seen the mistrust between environmental and business groups.
Mr. Posey discussed the challenges as he developed a working relationship with Casi Callaway, the leader of Baykeepers, and how that developed and improved over the last several years. This has led to creating curricula for students and helping with monitoring and teaching the importance of water quality. To date, more than 4,000 students have participated.
Casi closed out the program with positive remarks about the effectiveness of the working relationship, and how it benefitted both groups during a real crisis.
After a question and answer session, Ernest Ladd thanked Scott for his presentation and presented a certificate to him, noting that a donation in his honor had been made to the Rotary International Foundation.
The meeting was adjourned at 1:00 pm.