The meeting was called to order at 12:30 pm by President Jennifer Hara who led members in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Words of inspiration were offered by Russ Savage. In honor of Labor Day celebrated on Monday, 1 September, he underscored the value of doing work inspired by passion—pursuing a job that “sets the heart on fire.”


Erminia Scarcella announced with sadness that Natalie Forrester’s husband has passed away. At Erminia’s request, Rotarians observed a moment of silence. She will provide further information on funeral arrangements as soon as she receives it.


Secretary Haleh Vaziri introduced the following guests and Rotarians visiting from other clubs:

  • Donna Smith, guest of Monica Smith and her lovely Mom
  • Diego Grajales, Memo’s son
  • Laura Foradori, Program Manager with the Global Health Service Partnership at the Peace Corps, invited by Dick Pyle
  • Lafayette Barnes, Director of the DC Government’s Office of Partnerships, invited by Glen O’Gilvie
  • Uganda’s Ambassador to the United States, the Honorable Olive Wonekha, invited by Heather Jaffan
  • Shadia Garcia, LLM Student at Georgetown University, invited by President Jennifer Hara
  • Megan Buckles, Public Affairs Specialist at the US Department of Agriculture, invited by Doris Margolis
  • Giancarlo Civalleri, Rotary Global Grants Fellow from Università degli Studi di Torino, now at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies to pursue an MA in International Relations, and from the Rotary Club of Saluzzo, Italy

Sargent-at-Arms Buz Gorman announced the birthdays of:

  • Ross Grantham, September 3 - Ross Serves on the club board and has a long history with our club. He rejoined last year after living in Thailand and was sponsored by Angela Griffin. His classification is Association Management.
  • Haleh Vaziri, September 5 - Our Secretary and Programs Committee co-chair extraordinaire, Haleh joined our club in 2012, sponsored by David Klaus. Her classification is Consulting- Public Opinion Research.

President Jennifer invited Ambassador Olive Wonekha to offer remarks about last month’s US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, DC. The Ambassador emphasized that this meeting was the first of its kind convened by President Obama. She also described opportunities for investment in her home country of Uganda, particularly in the field of minerals exploration.

President Jennifer announced that Paulo Delo declared the Dine Around at Corduroy last Thursday, August 28 a huge success. The next Dine Around will be on September 25; the location will be announced soon.

Valeria Varela received her Red Badge from our President Jennifer.

Davis Kennedy introduced the week’s speaker Washington, DC Mayoral Candidate and Council Member David Catania. Running as an independent, Mr. Catania outlined his vision for the city, stressing the following points:

  • plans to ensure high-quality public schools in every neighborhood
  • a comprehensive strategy to increase affordable housing
  • the need to establish a multimodal transportation system that drives economic development
  • new options for seniors to age in place
  • opportunities for meaningful apprenticeships and job training

President Jennifer awarded our “Trees for the Capital” certificate to David Catania.

Raffle tickets were sold by Tony Cusack. The small pot, valued at $40, was won by Balraj Gupta. The large pot of $817 will continue to grow.

The meeting was supported by Balraj Gupta and Stu Shalloway at the Hospitality Table. Greeters were Valentin Solis, Dan Kapner and May Gwinn.

The next meeting will be on Wednesday, September 10 and will feature Mayoral Candidate and Ward 4 Council Member Muriel Bowser as speaker.

The meeting was adjourned at 1:30 PM.