President Ross Grantham called the first meeting of the 2016-17 Rotary year to order at 12.30pm, inviting Immediate Past President David Treadwell to lead the club in the Pledge of Allegiance.
 
Sterling Hoffman inspired members with a short poem about Happiness, and some suggestions on ways to be happier.
 
New Secretary Alicia Fougere introduced the guests:
Robert Schott invited 3 guests from the Cyprus Program; Stavros Karantonis, Cemal Ozikisler, and Joanne Perlman.
David Klause invited Jill Kent as a returning Guest.
We welcomed Anand Seth, classification Education, from the Bethesda/Chevy Chase Rotary Club.
 
New Sergeant-at-Arms Marilyn Cruz wished a Happy Birthday to Donald Hense (July 4), who joined our club in June 2013. He was sponsored by Kathy Ward and his classification is Education: Charter Schools.
 
She also wished a happy anniversary to Shelton Williams who joined the Washington DC Rotary Club on July 9, 2013. Happy 3 years!
 
Marilyn also reported that Pete Larson had a successful double bypass last Wednesday, and is recovering well at home .
 
President’s Assembly
 
President Ross gave an insightful and admiring introduction to Immediate Past President David Treadwell before the official Passing of the Pins.  He then announced President Elect Abrahem Helal, and stated that all three presidents have been and continue to work closely together for continuity in Club leadership.
 
President Ross introduced Jennifer Hara as the new  Area Governor. Jennifer will manage the four Washington DC Clubs (Washington DC, Dupont, Capital Hill and Federal City).  On behalf of new District Governor Ana May, Jennifer announced the 100 year Anniversary of the Rotary International Foundation, and celebrated 30 years of Women in Rotary.
 
Jennifer also presented the District 7620 Governor’s Citation Gold Award to Past President David, and the Presidential Citation for our Rotaract Club, accepted by Marilyn Cruz on behalf of Peter Danjczek, for Past President Josue Calderon’s 2015/16 year.
 
Jennifer also congratulated Quentin Wodon on becoming the President of the Capitol Hill Club; he was previously a member of the Washington, DC Club. She mentioned his new pro bono initiative and invited interested parties to contact Quentin for more information.
 
President Ross then introduced his wife Annette, thanking her for the special greenstone cufflinks she gave him to celebrate his presidency.
 
President Ross then inducted the 2016/17 Board and the Rotary Class of 2015, who were formally sworn in by Federal Judge Larry Margolis.
Board:
President Ross Grantham
President Elect Abrahem Helal
Immediate Past President David Treadwell Ombudswoman and Director Haleh Vaziri
Secretary Alicia Fougere
Sergeant -at-Arms Marilyn Cruz
Treasurer Mike Carmichael
 
 
Other Members of the Board of Directors:  Tony Cusak, Michael Harper, Lynn Holec, Glenn O’Gilvie, Maria-Nelly Pavish, Donnie Sha , Monica Smith (not present) and Hal Vaughn.
 
Other officials, not on the Board, were also announced, including Mohammad Shouman as Deputy Secretary, Darren Crew as Deputy Treasurer and a Deputy Sergeant -at-Arms to be named. These roles are to support the expanded duties of the Officers to accommodate a reduced schedule for a Club Administrator.
 
Class of 2015:
Raven Canty
Matthew Ford
Marilyn Cruz
Mary Goldsmith
Alicia Fougere
Sterling Hoffman
Michael Onyemelukwe 
Awad Morgan
Michael Harper
Robert Schott
Scott Love
 
Not present were:
Bala Murphy
Alicia Rule
Robert Meins
Richard Madison
John Davies
Rynthia Rost
 
President Ross reflected on his experience with Rotary. Although he joined in 1979 at the age of 41, he was still amazed at how much time, effort and training is involved in being a Club President. He also reflected on how inspiring he found the Rotary Convention in Seoul, attending with 44,000 other Rotarians. He also reflected on how much our club does and donates in our community and internationally.
Reflecting on this year’s theme of “Re-Imagining Rotary”, President Ross highlighted:
  • Rotary membership is growing, albeit marginally.
  • Rotary’s strength is in adapting to meet the needs of a changing community.
  • 70% of Rotary’s members are 50+ years old, while half the world’s population is under 30.
  • 80 million US citizens were born between 1982 and 2000
  • This developing dynamic represents recruitment and growth opportunities
    • Work together to eliminate the gap between “young” and “old”
    • Stay committed to Rotary’s values, priorities and commitments
    • Utilize young professional for the fresh eyes, amazing energy and ability to communicate on social media.
In announcing his goals for the coming year, President Ross emphasized creativity, innovation, integrity, wisdom, keeping promises – and not making “dumb promises!” He is proud to work with the Board and Officers, and with the members, whom he invites to use their leadership skills for the club as well.
His goals for the year include:
  • Strong membership growth
  • Effective membership retention
  • More Fellowship activities
  • Even stronger community links
  • Prudent financial management
 
The Raffle was conducted by Shawn English, and Mark Wilson won $61 in the small pot, and (luckily for the rest of us!) did not win the Big Pot of $1203.
 
Hospitality was conducted by Stu Shalloway and Ken Brown.
 
Pat Cunningham acted as the Greeter.
 
Alicia Fougere wrote the Meeting in Review.
 
President Ross reminded us about Thursday’s Happy Hour and next week’s speaker, John Viscount, Co-Founder of Peace Now.
 
As a first (and possibly last!) President Ross concluded his remarks early, inviting members to enjoy an additional 25 minutes of fellowship. The meeting was adjourned at 1:05 pm.