The meeting was called to order by President Jennifer Hara who led members in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Words of Inspiration were offered by Russ Savage who quoted from the Persian scholar, jurist and poet Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, suggesting that we are in a guest house and that we treat each guest honorably, meeting them laughing and remembering that each is a guide sent from the Beyond.
In the absence of Secretary Haleh Vaziri, Mike Carmichael introduced the following guests and visitors:
  • Tannia Fazernov, visiting from Finland’s Helsinki Rotary Club
  • Miwa Omori, visiting from Japan’s Maruko Rotary Club
  • Erin Adkins, graduate student at George Washington University, guest of our speaker Lynn Dillon
  • Carol Lane of the ARCS Foundation, guest of Lynn Dillon
  • Angela Phillips Diaz of Phillips Diaz Associates, guest of Lynn Dillon
  • Shadia Garcia, LLM candidate at Georgetown University Law School, guest of President Jennifer Hara
  • Jolan Vereecke, LLM candidate at Georgetown University Law School, guest of President Jennifer Hara
  • Dr. James Hollis, Executive Director of the Jung Society of Washington, guest of Erminia Scarcella
  • Gib Leonard, founder of the Buy a Brick Foundation, guest of Sam Hancock
  • Ernando Ricaodte, visiting from Colombia, guest of Clara Montanez
Sargent-at-Arms Buz Gorman had no birthdays to announce this week.
President Hara announced that a club Board Meeting is scheduled for noon, Thursday, March 26, and invited Red Badge members to attend. She then called on Monica Smith to report on membership recruitment.
Monica urged members to attend the April 25 Rotary Day at Farragut Square hosted by our club along with the Capitol Hill, Dupont Circle and Federal City clubs. She asked Past President David Klaus to share his “secret” to recruiting new members. David, an acknowledged champion of recruitment, described his three-point strategy: First, meet all the people you can. Second, follow every meeting with an invitation and application for membership. Third, invite the people you meet to lunch. He concluded that it takes 20 invitations to secure two new members.
President Jennifer invited Tony Cusack to discuss our club’s contributions to the Rotary International Foundation and to present Paul Harris Awards. Tony reviewed the club’s progress in supporting the Foundation, remarking that we are only $29,433 short of reaching one million dollars in our history of donations and that we should make this figure our goal to reach in 2015. He noted that the Foundation focuses on health, education and poverty eradication around the world. Paul Harris Awards were presented to: Violet Habwe (PH), Glynis Long (PH), Frank Reaves (PH), Monica Smith (PH), Nancy Riker (PH, PH+1), Patricia Bueno-Abdala (PH+1), Michael Carmichael (PH+1), Buz Gorman (PH + 1), Gene Massey (PH+1), Mark Wilson (PH+1), Christa McClure (PH+5, PH+6), Ken Kimbrough (PH+8), Tony Cusack (Major Donor) and Jennifer Hara (Benefactor).
President Jennifer introduced today’s speaker, Lynn Dillon, President of the Metropolitan Washington Chapter of Advancing Science in America Foundation.
Following a 25-year career in banking, Ms. Dillon has devoted her time and leadership to a 60-year-old organization that focuses on funding education for women—specifically, encouraging them to choose STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
Ms. Dillon outlined the similarities between ARCS and Rotary. Both organizations: (1) are all volunteer, (2) improve the world, and (3) have survived for decades. Now more than 50 years old, the Foundation has supported more than 15,000 scholarships with more than 100 million dollars in funding. The participants have an average grade point average of 3.5. In addition to filling vital positions in many organizations, as she reported, ARCS scholars have founded more than 1,800 companies.
Headed by Ms. Dillon, the Metro Washington Chapter is 17 years old, has raised $7 million for scholarships and has scholars at Georgetown University, George Washington University, John Hopkins University, University of Virginia and University of Maryland. The Foundation’s defining characteristics are that its funding is fully flexible in addressing the scholars’ financial needs, it is all volunteer, it allows 100 percent of funds to go to female scholars and it invests in STEM education.
In a dramatic illustration of the Foundation’s work, Ms. Dillon introduced Erin Adkins, a scholar at GWU, who presented a detailed experimental project to measure environmental damage due to climate change. Ms. Adkins reported most climate change damage is attributable to carbon dioxide, methane and black carbon or soot. Soot stays in the atmosphere for a shorter period of time, making it a good target for remediation. Adkins has focused her research on soot, developing measures she has shared at several national conferences. Rotarians asked questions to both Ms. Dillon about the ARCS Foundation and Ms. Adkins about her project.
President Jennifer presented Ms. Dillon with the Rotary Trees for the Capital certificate.
Kathy Bailey sold the raffle tickets, and Monica Smith won the small pot valued at $38 The large pot of $397 continues to grow.
The meeting was supported by Greeter Laura Khor and by Balraj Gupta, Stu Shalloway and Johnny Allem at the Hospitality Table. Johnny Allem is also writing the Meeting in Review.
At our next meeting on April 1, 2015 will feature guest speaker Dushaw Hockett, Executive Director of Safe Places for the Advancement of Community and Equity.
The meeting was adjourned at 1:28 PM.