The Meeting was called to order at 12:30 p.m. by the Club President, David Klaus. President David deviated from the printed agenda, asking recently naturalized new American and club member Nadia Saad to lead American members and guests in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Words of inspiration were given by David Treadwell, who offered a prayer.

Secretary Lynn Holec announced the following guests of Rotarians:
  • Eugene A. Spiro, guest of Clara Montanez
  • Ric Cunningham, guest of Abrahem Helal
  • Harold Mohn (partner at our accounting firm), guest of Joan Bristol
  • Aida Ayas, guest of Hal Vaughn
  • Zeenat Karim, guest of Ayesha Baigmohamed
Secretary Lynn then asked American Rotarians to introduce themselves:
  • John Converse, President Elect of the Medford Sunrise Rotary Club (Massachusetts)
  • Richard Lechner, President of the Medford Sunrise Rotary Club (Massachusetts)
  • Evan Hodson, Harker Heights Rotary Club (Texas)
Sergeant at Arms Peggy Schoen announced the following birthdays:
  • Laurie Husak - June 16
  • Jim Lanning - June 17
  • Joanne Marx - June 17
  • John McGraw - June 17
  • Lenore Jacobs - June 22
  • New members Gene and Lauren Lloyd have invited club members to celebrate Gene’s retirement from the Air Force.  He has served in the Air Force for 20 years.  The party is Friday, June 28, from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at The Club Room at National Harbor.  If you would like to attend, RSVP to Lauren Lloyd—her email is in the directory.
  • Walter Reed Bingo, scheduled for this Thursday, has been cancelled this month. The room where we usually host it is under construction, and another location is not available.
  • We need two volunteers for Grate Patrol this Friday.  If you can volunteer, let Gretchen know and she’ll put you in touch with John Jackson, who coordinates the volunteers.
  • Club Happy Hour is next Thursday, June 27 at Ancora, 600 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, from 5-7 p.m.  It’s located in the Watergate Complex.  The closest metro is Foggy Bottom.  See Haleh Vaziri for more information.
  • The CHANGING OF THE GUARD party is Sunday, June 30.  We have chartered The Cherry Blossom boat out of Old Town Alexandria.  Please RSVP with the cards on the tables or online.  We have a special extra raffle prize to give out at the end of the meeting from the caterer!
  • There WILL be a meeting on Wednesday, July 3.  It is Shaun English’s first meeting as President and it will be a club assembly to go over the upcoming Rotary year.

Foundation Moment:  Jennifer Hara presented the Paul Harris+6 award to President David (and boy, was he surprised!)

President David announced that the Rotaract Club would be holding a fundraiser on Thursday, July 11, to benefit Stanton Elementary School, a low-performing elementary school which our Rotary Club has “adopted” in terms of our Tutoring Project and School Beautification Day.  The fundraiser will be at the One Lounge in Dupont Circle for a happy-hour fundraiser running from 6:00 to 10:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 11.  The entrance admission of $15 includes one drink and one raffle ticket.  Additional drinks are $10 include a raffle ticket.  The Rotaract Club has been assembling a number of wonderful prizes for the raffle!

District Governor Bob Parkinson was our guest and present District Awards to President David Klaus (for outstanding achievement as a club president this Rotary year), to Jennifer Hara (for service in organizing the Rotaract seminar at the District Conference), and to Gus Gallagher (for service in organizing the Sergeants-at-Arms at the District Conference).

President David then turned to the main order of business of the day:  the recognition of all of the members who contributed to the successes of our club in this Rotary year.  He began by saying that new members may not yet have realized it, but the Rotary year runs from July 1 to the following June 30.  It was one of the most sensible decisions made by the founder of the Rotary movement, Paul Harris, that each President should serve for just one year.  He said further that it is a tradition that the President, towards the end of each Rotary year, recognizes those who have assisted him or her in carrying out all the activities of the club.  He announced that the President of our club’s Foundation, Monica Boner, had recognized the members of her Foundation Board at their meeting earlier this month.  So now it was the turn of the club.

President David first recognized his Club Officers, his “Cabinet” and a major source of support:
  • Shaun English, his Vice President and President-Elect, who had flown in from New Orleans or wherever, sometimes on short notice, to stand in for David at the meetings when he had to be absent.
  • Lynn Holec, his Secretary, who had struggled manfully—no, womanfully!—to pronounce the strange non-Anglo-Saxon names of some of our guests.
  • Stefan Alber, his Treasurer, who, in addition to keeping an eagle eye on the club’s financial situation, had written the nicest and most diplomatic letters to some of our members which said, basically, “Pay up or we’ll kick you out!”
  • Peggy Schoen, his Sergeant-at-Arms, who was instantly recognizable to members, because her hand rings a bell!
  • At the beginning of the Rotary year, David continued, he had told the members that if they had any complaints, they shouldn’t come to him!  Instead, they should go to Andy Cook, his Ombudsman.  This worked quite well, said David, because he didn’t get a lot of complaints.  He also said that Andy had always been a source of sound, measured advice.
  • Howard Davis, the Immediate Past President, who (said David) occasionally had forgotten that he was no longer president, but then, said David, “I suspect I’ll be the same way!”
President David then recognized his Board of Directors, his “Congress,” saying that it had not always been easy to get a quorum, but that he and the Board had managed to get a lot done this Rotary year:
  • Marlene Thorn and Larry Wang, The Class of 2013.  David gave a special thank you for their service to the club to these two, who are completing their three-year terms on the board.
  • May Gwinn, Ed O’Brien, and Mark Wilson, The Class of 2014, with one more year to serve.
  • Wilhelmina Bratton, Glynis Long, and David Treadwell, The Class of 2015, with two more years to serve.
President David then recognized members of the club who worked in the Community Service Avenue:
  • These two Rotarians once again successfully administered the single biggest program through which our club serves the local community:  Wilhelmina Bratton & Andy Cook – Community Service Grants.
  • This Rotarian had the idea that our club could cooperate with The Washington Post and gain more exposure, particularly among the non-profit community:  Alexander Kravetz – Awards for Excellence in Non-Profit Management.  (Ed O’Brien & Larry Margolis did much of the work, but the idea was Alexander’s.)
  • This Rotarian, month after month, organized Rotarians and Rotaractors to feed the homeless:  John Jackson – Grate Patrol.
  • This Rotarian worked with the National Park Service to beautify our Nation’s Capital, not only around the Tidal Basin but also in Farragut Square:  Bill Dent – Trees for the Capital.
  • For years, Shaun English had been the driving force to organize bingo with our nation’s wounded warriors and their families.  Then, when Shaun English was incapacitated, new member Steve Genung stepped in for a few months but now is on an extended leave of absence.  Don Messer also helped out.  And recently the Rotaractors have been responsible.  But through it all, one Rotarian kept participating and was, in fact, the glue that held it all together.  So the Walter Reed Bingo award went to that person:  Peggy Garrett – Walter Reed Bingo.
  • This Rotarian had a vision that our club could have a Centennial project which would benefit poor families for perhaps the next hundred years, the Habitat for Humanity House:  Howard Davis – Habitat for Humanity House.  (Howard had promised that this project wouldn’t cut into David’s budget or David’s time.  It didn’t!  But it will cut into Shaun’s!)
President David then recognized members of the club who worked in the International Service Avenue:
  • This Rotarian spearheaded the effort to reach out to Ambassadors as speakers—and also tried, with limited success, to train the club in diplomatic procedures:  Christa McClure – Embassy Relations.
  • This Rotarian took care of all matters relating to Rotary Global Grant Scholarships and Rotary Peace Fellowships:  Jennifer Hara – Scholarships.
  • This Rotarian spent several years organizing a Vocational Training Team to travel to Turkey to fight breast cancer—and would have been there now, if it weren’t for unrest in the country.  But she’ll get there soon!  Glynis Long – Vocational Training Team.
  • This Rotarian took the lead in reorganizing the International Service Committee such that it could effectively obtain funds from the District and from Rotary International to do good works overseas:  Maria Nelly Pavisich – International Service Committee.
  • This Rotarian agreed again and again to take over ailing international projects and recast them to make them workable.  Together with Maria Nelly, he is probably the only member of the club who really understands how to do Future Vision Projects with Rotary International!  Hal Vaughn – Project Manager of several international projects.
  • This Rotarian took the lead in organizing our very successful Rotary Friendship Exchange with the Rotary Club of Edinburgh, Scotland, the last event of our two clubs’ Centennial celebrations.  He also co-chaired the International Service Committee, providing the calm, diplomatic words that often were needed:  Mark Wilson – Scotland Friendship Exchange.
  • This Rotarian kindly hosted a lovely picnic on his farm for our friends from Scotland, giving them a taste of something other than the big city:  Tim Hanson – picnic for the Scottish Rotarians participating in the Rotary Friendship Exchange.
President David then recognized a member of the club who worked in the Vocational Service Avenue:
  • This Rotarian reorganized the Career Fair such that it would carry out its intended purpose of introducing career possibilities to high-school youth in our community:  Kathy Ward – Career Fair.
President David then recognized members of the club who worked in the New Generations Avenue:
  • This Rotarian organized the trip of six local high-school students to a life-changing weekend in leadership training, the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards:  Bill Dent – Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA).
  • This Rotarian organized the annual clean-up and beautification day at the local elementary school we have “adopted”:  Howard Davis – School Beautification Project.
  • This Rotarian organized the effort to teach third- and fourth-graders in charter schools how to use iPads for educational purposes:  Larry Margolis - Charter School iPad Project.
  • When the chair of the Dictionary Project fell ill, this Rotarian immediately picked up the torch, planning, organizing and administering until the project was successfully completed:  Nancy Riker – Dictionary Project.
  • This Rotarian organized and inspired fellow Rotarians and others to tutor disadvantaged children in mathematics, raising their scores and changing their lives:  Don Messer – Stanton Tutoring Project.
  • This Rotarian looked after our outstanding Rotaract Club, providing counsel and guidance:  Jennifer Hara – Rotaract Club.
  • This Rotarian founded an Interact Club at the Washington International School, providing guidance and inspiration.  He also played a critically important role as Secretary of the International Service Committee:  Quentin Wodon – Interact Club.
President David then recognized members of the club who worked in the Club Service Avenue:
  • This Rotarian staffed the Hospitality Table week after week, making guests and visiting Rotarians feel welcome from the moment they arrived:  Balraj Gupta – Hospitality Table.
  • This Rotarian stepped up to the plate to take over the management of the Hospitality Table when Balraj finally asked to step down.  He also organized someone week after week to operate the raffle:  Stu Shalloway – Hospitality Table and Raffle.
  • This Rotarian organized Greeters for our meetings week after week, doing it himself when he couldn’t find volunteers:  Ken Kimbrough – Greeters.
  • This Rotarian organized other Rotarians to give the words of inspiration week after week, stepping in himself to do so when someone canceled unexpectedly:  Russ Savage – Inspiration.
  • This Rotarian organized new members and others to write the Meeting in Review—and ended up, more often than not, doing it herself:  Lynn Holec – Meeting in Review.
  • This Rotarian, a new member, actually volunteered to go into the office and go through stacks and stacks of papers and other materials, sorting out what could be thrown or given away and what needed to be archived:  Monica Smith – Office Organization & Archiving.
  • This Rotarian chaired the Nominating Committee, ensuring that good candidates were found to ensure the management succession of both our club and our Foundation:  Howard Davis – Nominating Committee.
  • This Rotarian managed contributions to the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International, explaining the process and encouraging Rotarians to contribute:  Jennifer Hara – Rotary Foundation of Rotary International.
  • This Rotarian organized a fundraiser which netted well over $1,000 for Polio Plus:  Paula Delo – Fundraiser.
  • This Rotarian undertook research and analysis to lay the groundwork for the eventual preparation of a Three-Year Plan for our club:  Quentin Wodon – Planning.
  • This Rotarian led the Finance Committee in preparing and monitoring the club’s budget and in reducing the list of accounts receivable to the lowest level in living memory!  (He’s also presently in Lisbon toasting us today with Port wine!)  Jay Pugh – Finance Committee.
  • This Rotarian, appointed Treasurer when he hadn’t even completed all the steps to become a blue-badge member, wrote a Treasurer’s Manual such that never again will a new treasurer come into the post with little guidance on how to proceed:  Stefan Alber – Treasurer’s Manual.
  • This Rotarian manages the funds in our club’s Foundation and some of the reserves in the club’s budget, obtaining a respectable rate of return in a difficult economic environment:  Sheldon Ray – Funds Management.
  • This Rotarian figures out a unique classification for every new member, which isn’t always easy, given the number of lawyers who apply:  Pat Kavanaugh – New Member Classifications.
  • This Rotarian developed an agenda and found volunteers to carry out each New & Prospective Member Orientation Session:  Larry Wang – New & Prospective Member Orientation Sessions.
  • This Rotarian identified more senior members of the club to advise each of the new members we took in during the year:  Joan Bristol – New Member Advisors.
  • This Rotarian assisted in scheduling the New Member Classification Talks of each of the new members we took in during the year and provided advice and encouragement on what to say:  Akiko Murai – New Member Classification Talks.
  • This Rotarian purchased birthday cards with his own money and sent them out to all the members throughout the year:  Alexander Kravetz – Health and Welfare:  Birthdays.
  • This Rotarian, perhaps not known to all by face, was nevertheless in continual contact with virturally all of us via email, congratulating us on our anniversary dates of joining the club, wedding anniversaries, promotions, and professional successes; commiserating with us on illnesses, deaths in the family, and other personal tragedies; and generally remembering us at times of other important events in our lives:  Renee McPhatter – Health & Welfare:  everything else!
  • This Rotarian organized groups to go off together to the movies every month, also raising a modest amount of money for the International Service Committee:  Alexander Kravetz – Movie Night.
  • This Rotarian, a member of the University Club as well, took care of the accounting for the Happy Hours held monthly here at the University Club:  Irene Koerner – Happy Hour at the University Club.
  • This Rotarian, a new member, carried out a survey of likes and dislikes to help determine what kinds of speakers the Programs Committee should seek:  Haleh Vaziri – Programs Survey.
  • This Rotarian picked up the torch from Dick Pyle, organizing and prioritizing all the suggestions that arose during the year for all the fabulous speakers we have had the pleasure of hearing this year.  In Quentin Wodon’s membership survey, the quality of the speakers was the item most often mentioned by our members as the most important benefit they derive from being members of our club.  Clara Montanez – Programs.
  • This Rotarian worked tirelessly throughout the year to identify candidates for membership, staying in constant touch with them, encouraging them to join, and infecting them with his enthusiasm.  He is the person primarily responsible for the 9% increase in membership we have achieved in this Rotary year:  Abe Helal – Membership Recruitment.
Finally, President David  said that there was a special group of people he wanted to recognize.  He said that he had, on his desk at home, next to the computer, a list of the telephone numbers of five people whom he called all the time for a variety of issues he faced during his year.
  • One number, of course, was that of the office (202-331-8686), which David knew by heart!  David reported that our club and our Foundation went together to get Gretchen Kearney, our Executive Director, a gift certificate worth $600 at the kennel where she regularly boards her dog when she travels.  The gift certificate was presented to Gretchen at the Foundation Board meeting earlier this month.  But he thought that the club should show its appreciation to Gretchen as well (and she received an enthusiastic round of applause!).
  • President David then said that three of the other names on his list of telephone numbers were Past Presidents.  He called them his “Kitchen Cabinet” and awarded them special “Advisor to the President” awards:
  • This Rotarian had been the president of another club larger than ours.  She knows the club’s budget, line by line, better than anyone else and is instrumental in preparing it.  She has a vast knowledge of Rotary and Rotary International.  She has the memory of an elephant.  She stepped up to the plate again and again during the year to carry out tasks that otherwise weren’t getting done.  And she provided constant advice and encouragement to David.  So David was honored and delighted to give her an award as an Advisor to the President:  Joan Bristol – Program Advisor.
  • This Rotarian is unique in the history of our club.  She has been the Executive Director in the office.  She has served on the Club and Foundation Boards.  She has been President of the Club and is now President of the Foundation.  She has an incredible memory of what has happened in the club over many years, and probably still knows every member of the club by face and name.  She was pro-active this year, providing advice and guidance to David early on, again and again, before problems could become serious—and often before David was aware that there was a problem!  So David was honored and delighted to give her an award as an Advisor to the President:  Monica Boner –Foundation President.
  • This Rotarian is the immediate Past President of the Club.  Having just dealt with all the issues that arise in the management of the club, he was familiar in dealing with them, and he was David’s first recourse when he was confronted with a problem with which he was unfamiliar.  This Rotarian provided constant encouragement and friendship to David, including taking him out to dinner last January when the Rotarian knew, from his own experience, that David was experiencing burn-out.  So David was honored and delighted to give him an award as an Advisor to the President:  Howard Davis – Immediate Past President.
President David then said that the final telephone number on the list on his desk isn’t that of a past president.  But it is the number of a Rotarian who helped him and the club with any number of things during the year:
  • This Rotarian was Fellowship Chair, having organized the two big, complicated parties of David’s year, the Changing of the Guard party last June and the Holiday Party in December, and also organizing a number of monthly Happy Hours in various venues around town.
  • This Rotarian also organized the periodic Fireside Chats, which ought to have been easy, except that Rotarians don’t necessarily respond to telephone calls and emails, so it wasn’t an easy task.
  • This Rotarian was in charge of Website Maintenance and Development, exploring and enhancing the possibilities of ClubRunner.
  • This Rotarian did a lot of groundwork to organize a major fundraiser which eventually David had to cancel, but not for lack of effort on her part.
  • This Rotarian was critically important in helping arrange the reception of the Scottish Rotarians in Washington.

Finally, said David, “You will easily recognize this Rotarian, because her hand rings a bell!  Ladies and Gentlemen, the Rotarian of the Year, Peggy Schoen!”  Congratulations, Peggy!

After handing out awards, President David gave his valedictory speech. Read a transcript of his remarks.

Club Raffle: Tickets sold by Sharon Taylor. Greg Scarliatou won the small pot of $40 and donated it to the Rotary Foundation and Rotary Foundation of Washington, DC.  He did not draw the Ace of Spades, so the large pot of $699 will continue to grow!

The Meeting was supported by these Rotarians:
    •    The Hospitality Table was manned by Ted Hamady (welcome back from knee surgery, Ted!), Balraj Gupta, Norm Coe, and Stu Shalloway.
    •    The Greeters were Susan Pausky and Joel Alperstein.
    •    Meeting in Review will be written by new member Deraux Branch.

The next program on Wednesday, June 26, will be the Ambassador of Japan to the United States, His Excellency Kenichiro Sasae.

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