President David opened the meeting at 12:30 pm with the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.
 
Jay Vilar presented the Words of Inspiration-Jay started with describing different kinds of inspiration. Make sure you stay true to your vision of where you are and where you want to be. By staying close to those people who you see as where you want to be will get you where you want to go.
 
 
 
Secretary Mike Carmichael welcomed the following guests:
Visitor
Host or Rotary Affiliation
Work
Elizabeth Berman
Max Salas
Inca Kola
Rosemary Carrilto
Max Salas
NY Business Latino
Mary Burfisher
Doris Margolis
Economist
Bruce Jacobs
Doris Margolis
FCC
Darisa Salehy
Rotaract
 
Bruce Palmer
West Seattle Club
Software Developer/Consultant
Arnal Do
Maipu Rotary Club-Santiago, Chile
 
Arlene Herson
Downtown Club of Boca Raton, FL
 
 
Sergeant-at-Arms Ken Kimbrough then announced the birthdays of those Rotarians celebrating this week:
 
  • Eric Fraint - May 1. Eric joined Rotary in May 2013. Eric's classification is Accounting: Nonprofits.  He was sponsored by Glen O'Gilvie.
 
  • Conrad Posey - May 1. Conrad joined our club in 2012 and has been a Rotarian for over 40 years. His classification is Moving and Storage. Conrad was sponsored by Phil Gore and is now an Honorary member of the club. 
 
  • Frank Reaves - May 2. Frank joined the club in July 2005.  He was sponsored by John Oliphant and his classification is Mechanical Contracting. 
 
  • May Yoneyama O'Brien - May 3. May joined the club in April 2007.  Her classification is International Trade. May was sponsored by Clara Montanez. 
 
  • Max Salas - May 3. Max has been a Rotarian since 1996. His classification is Telecommunications: Corporate Development.  Max was sponsored by Ann Milne.  A dedicated and long time Rotarian, Max was chosen as Rotarian of the Year 1998-1999.  
 
President David provided opening announcements. He provided remarks on Ben Fisher’s memorial service and mentioned that there were other Rotarians in attendance.  He noted the club has an opportunity to sponsor a Rotary Scholar-She is majoring in Conflict Resolution in The Middle East. Please see Mary Goldsmith for details.
 
Happy Hour at The University Club is Thursday, May, 5th from 6:00-8:00.
 
President David encouraged everyone to wear their Paul Harris pins next week.
 
Lisa McCurdy reported on the past weekend’s first DC Duck Race. Lisa began her remarks by thanking her team, all of the behind the scenes help, logistics, marketing, printing. The first DC Duck had the support of over 200 volunteers. There were over 1,000 people in attendance. Lisa named the winners of the prizes.  As everyone knows, an event of this size will need to start to planning right away for next year.
 
Edmund Breitling gave his new member talk.  Ed is the Regional Marketing Director of Strategic Outreach at Strayer University. He has also started a non-profit called Cogoal which supports college career fairs for non-traditional students. Ed enjoys spending time with his family, hiking, camping and volunteering. Ed is an Eagle Scout and is from Newtown, CT.
 
Tony Cusack and Nancy Riker will provide an update on the Rotary Foundation next week, May 11th.
 
Past District Governor Larry Margolis will bring us up-to-date on May 11th on RI’s Council on Legislation and changes.
 
President David will bring us up to date on May 11th on the status American Councils for International Education.
 
Kenneth Farr, of Ecuador, proposed actions to help with earthquake relief to those hard-hit in Ecuador.
 
PROGRAM
 
Tom Kern introduced speaker Bud Wright, Executive Director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.   Frederick G. "Bud" Wright is Executive Director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), a non-profit, non-partisan association which advocates transportation-related policies and provides technical services to support states in their efforts to efficiently and safely move people and goods. He has almost four decades of experience in both the private sector and as a top executive at the Federal Highway Administration.
Wright, who was a transportation consultant based in Alexandria, Virginia, prior to his appointment as AASHTO Executive Director, served as Executive Director of the Federal Highway Administration from 2001 to 2008, assisting the Administrator in establishing policies, programs, and priorities for the $40 billion annual federal-aid highway program. As FHWA's chief operating officer, Wright was also responsible for a workforce of more than 2,500 transportation professionals and an annual operating budget of $400 million. Wright holds a B.A. in Economics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA.
 
Bud Wright started by discussing that roads are owned and operated by the State and Federal Governments.
 
The private sector is becoming more and more involved with highway and road operation. A good example of privately owned and operated road systems are the EZPass infrastructure and the express lanes. The express lanes are beneficial to everyone by distributing traffic based on demand.
 
Bud discussed the Federal Highway Trust Fund and the issues they are facing currently. Mr. Wright mentioned that the Federal gas tax or “user fee” is $0.184 per gallon. With fuel economies increasing, and more cars relying on electricity for fuel, the average consumer is paying about $2.00 per week for road and bridge use. The decrease in the amount average consumers are paying for the gas tax has caused the trust fund to dip into the general fund.
 
Mr. Wright closed his remarks by stating that funding for transportation should be a priority. He opened the floor for questions.
 
Q:   What policies would drive the private sector to become a more dominant player in the space?
A:   Currently tolls are acceptable in the Northeast, MidAtlantic, and in Florida. We need to change public perception and ask Government to get out of the way to allow for more private investment.
 
Q:  Why doesn’t the gas tax increase like cost of living increase?
A:  We have attempted this strategy but it hasn’t been well received. Anytime you bring about tax increases, it is a difficult conversation to have.
 
Q:   How much are we spending on roads/bridges and how much should we be spending?
A:   Quite frankly, we are investing about half of what we should be investing in our roads and bridges. As you know, when you defer maintenance, it costs more in the long run.
 
Q:   Are our bridges safe?
A:   Bridges are safe-they may be functionally obsolete, structurally deficient, design life is about to expire but no open bridges are classified as “unsafe”.
 
President David presented Bud Wright with a certificate stating that we would plant a tree in her honor in a national park area in DC.
 
Kenny Barnes won the raffle’s small pot of $ 26.00 and did not win the large pot of $531. 
 
President David announced our May 11 program will feature Andrew Buks, VP Dakota Guardian Trust .
 
He thanked Rynthia Rost for conducting today’s Raffle, Ken Brown for staffing the Hospitality Desk, Catherine Pociask for being a Greeter, and Julie Duriga for writing today’s Meeting in Review.
 
The meeting adjourned at 1:30 pm.