At 12:30, President Shaun called the group to order. Cell phone ringers were turned off. American members pledged allegiance to the flag.  
Words of inspiration were delivered by Peg Schoen, who recounted the story of 50 year old Jacki Munzel, who went through many years of training for different Olympic events, giving all her effort.  Through various misfortunes she did not make any of the teams, but set an example nonetheless.  

Secretary Tim Hurd introduced the guests of Rotarians:

  • Luba Spector, guest and mother of our speaker, Eleanor McManus.
  • Sachin Agarwal, potential member and guest of Dr. Sam Hancock.
  • Valerie Li, guest of Steve Adkins.
  • CiCi Tang, guest of Steve Adkins.
  • Jackson Huang Xiao Liang, guest of Sheldon Ray.
  • Jeanea Reynolds, consultant for Merchants First Data, prospective member and guest of Deraux Branch.
  • Jill Huang, with the Bank of China, prospective member and guest of Shelly Williams.
  • Anne Deming, guest of Shelly Williams.
  • Peter Cui, guest of Deraux Branch.
  • Darby Capps, guest of Shelly Williams.
  • Melissa Silver-Ward, Global Capacity Builders management consultant, prospective member and guest of Abe Helal.
  • Sheldon Ward, President, Global Capacity Builders, prospective member and guest of Abe Helal.
  • Adeela Abbasi, Habitat for Humanity, guest of Abe Helal.
  • Isabelle Ardelean , prospective member and guest of Abe Helal.
  • Joseph Lagomarcino, , prospective member and guest of Abe Helal.
  • Hali Jilani, prospective member and guest of Abe Helal.
  • Juliana Cardona, prospective member and guest of Abe Helal.
  • Kenneth Brown,  prospective member and guest of Abe Helal.
  • Tata Zhorzholiani, Rotaractor, George Mason Law School.
  • Marilyn Cruz, Vice President of the DC Rotoract Club, guest of Nancy Riker.
  • Amelia Lyons, Dupont Rotary Club, guest of Nancy Riker.
  • David Ryfisch, consultant on climate change with the InterAmerican Development Bank, also a Rotaractor. 

Acting Sergeant at Arms John Jackson announced the birthdays for the week:

  • Jerry Kohlenberger, January 23. Foundation Board member Jerry joined in 2005, sponsored by Thomas Parr. His classification is Private Equity.
  • Mark Wilson, January 23. International Committee Chair and Board member Mark was sponsored by Ralph Hanan when he joined in 2006. His classification is Agriculture: International Rural Development.

He also noted the birthdays of Gibby Gibson, Dick Pyle, Don Marx and Liz Delo during the week of the meeting cancelled by the snowstorm.

In announcements:

  • Past President Howard Davis reminded everyone of the Habitat for Humanity House project in Ivy City Feb. 1 and future activity. This is the Centennial Project of the club and is funded by the Club Foundation.  PP Howard said more than half the club has pledged for the fund drive which terminates at the end of the month.
  • Dictionary Project Chair Nancy Riker recognized everyone who participated this year, particularly the first-timers. She read a cute note from Moton Elementary School about how the dictionaries, with their additional encyclopedia features, help them “be smart.”
  • Membership Committee Chair Abe Helal announced that Feb. 26 is “Bring Your Boss to Rotary Day,” a good occasion to familiarize everyone with what we do here and around the world.

President Shaun again reminded everyone of the upcoming District Convention in Baltimore, May 5-11, at the Hilton. He’s hoping for a strong showing in support of DG Peter Kyle, and urges people to attend.  

Haleh Vaziri then introduced our speaker, Eleanor McManus, Chief Communications Officer and Senior Strategist, Purple Nations Solutions.  The firm was founded by Lanny Davis and Michael Steele.  Ms. McManus was a producer for Larry King Live for 10 years and has received much recognition and honor for her work at CNN, including a Peabody Award.

Ms. McManus took the podium and expressed humble gratitude for the chance to talk to us. As a former journalist, now part of a bipartisan crisis management firm, she said the things you truly believe in always take you forward to the next level.  Certainly she has reached a new degree of difficulty – the clients include Penn State, A-Rod, Redskins owner Dan Snyder and Edward Snowden. 

She talked about coming to CNN right out of college and feeling the excitement of being with young people in a new network informing the world.  She described the continuing process of finding guests and interviewees in a job that lasted late into the night.  In her new position she appreciates getting to bed at a reasonable hour, though the business of crisis management remains 24/7. 

She gave a number of anecdotes about her years at CNN and with the Larry King Show. She described meeting President and Mrs. Ford, and President Clinton.  A Russian speaker, she was struck by the emotion Mikhail Gorbachev displayed at the time of President Reagan’s funeral.    During the 2004 primary, she heard Howard Dean’s infamous scream.  In the 2008 primary, she contrasted the Hillary Clinton campaign and newcomer Barack Obama’s campaign when it came to reaching out to news media. 

Some of the aspects she was less happy with:  the constant pressure of ratings, though it did take her to the Bahamas to meet Anna Nicole Smith; pressing victims and survivors to talk to the camera; dealing with inebriated witnesses.  The attack of 9/11 and the aftermath was a particularly draining experience. 

In questions and answers, she talked about social media as a tool to reach select groups and to avoid aggressive press.  She said she sees her job not as manipulation, but as helping people to contact the press with their stories.

She complimented the Fox Network and President Roger Ailes for their dedicated adherence to the planned day’s agenda.  She talked about the reasons for whatever success she has had, how she never turned down an opportunity, how she always wore a suit to work, how she was proactive and took the initiative.  She said these things without boasting, with more like an attitude of “oh, those kids today, they all wear jeans.”

The tree certificate was read and presented.  Donnie Shaw produced the green lottery hopper.  Lynn Holec, holding a ticket purchased by Glynis Long, won $25 but the large pot of $350 was unclaimed.  

Mike Carmichael was one of the greeters.   

Ted Hamady and Stu Shalloway ran the hospitality table.

The meeting was adjourned at 1:30 p.m.