MEETING IN REVIEW: AUGUST 3, 2016 by Monica Smith
President Ross opened the meeting at 12:30 p.m. and asked a citizen-member to lead the group in a pledge of allegiance to the United States flag.
Mary Goldsmith led the inspiration by giving a prayer essentially reminding us, in these difficult times, to offer more understanding and less judgment, more listening and less talking, and aim for tolerance in pursuit of peace.
Secretary Alicia Fougere welcomed visiting Rotarians and guests:
Visiting Rotarian:
  1. Terry McCormick
Guests (in alphabetical order):
  1. Afnan Agramont Akiyama, guest of Maria-Nelly Pavisich
  2. Tahani Elmogrbi
  3. Emily Jin, guest of Steve Adkins
  4. Patricia McLamb, guest of Max Salas
  5. Maurice Shane, Sr., guest of Lisa McCurdy
Acting Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Harper, Jr. recognized Rotarians celebrating birthdays this week: Chris Teras (August 1); Oscar Bartoli (August 2); Mike Carmichael (August 2); and Myrna Charles (August 4). Happy birthday, all!
Michael also recognized DC Rotary Club anniversaries for: Jack Arness (49 years); Josette Conell (8 years); Dave Hamod (25 years); Tim Hurd (7 years); Ken Kimbrough (9 years); Stu Shalloway (8 years); Scott Love (1 year); Richard Madison (1 year); Michael Onyemelukwe (1 year); and Mimi Kanda (5 years). Thanks for your collective years of “Service above Self”!
Edmund Breitling and Scott Love are taking on Membership Committee Chair/Co-chair duties as President Elect Abe Helal and Monica Smith transition off. Edmund and Scott announced the following regarding membership:
  • Edmund announced we now have electronic sign-ins for guests and visiting Rotarians so the lists can be electronically sent to the Secretary for immediate use at the podium to welcome them to our meeting.
  • Scott requested volunteers to serve as Guides for new members. Please follow up with Scott, Edmund, or Monica if you’re interested in welcoming and orienting new members to the Club and helping them move through the Red Badge to Blue Badge checklist.
  • At upcoming meetings Edmund and Scott will lead a “recruiting tips” series to help all of us feel more comfortable reaching out and recruiting members into our wonderful Club.
President Ross announced the Board will share information more regularly, including posting monthly meeting minutes. He will also host three to four Town Halls through the Rotary Year, starting with August 10, 2016. This Town Hall will address the Club’s financial affairs, which have been clarified thanks in great part to new Treasurer Mike Carmichael. A quick vote showed the Club was split between (1) scheduling Town Halls right after lunch meetings, or (2) scheduling them in the evening; President Ross will discuss with the Board.
President Ross presented a Blue Badge to Scott Love on his 1st anniversary in the Club. Congratulations!
Cherry Baumbusch presented prestigious Paul Harris pins to: Sam Holt (PH+7!); Mike Carmichael (PH+2); Lisa Cohen (PH+2); Buz Gorman (PH+2); Bob Schott (PH+4); plus a Paul Harris certificate to Erminia Scarcella. Thanks to all of you for your generous financial contributions supporting important Rotary International projects that promote peace, fight disease, provide clean water, support education, and more!
Past President Shaun English introduced speaker Lorie Hood, M.S. (PhD candidate), who is a clinical psychotherapist, certified coach and is board certified in forensic traumatology, emergency crisis response, and domestic violence. Her research revolves around mind-body integration, trauma, and creativity as they inform human potential and performance. Lorie uses her experience as a competitive athlete, horsewoman, professional musician, actor (SAG), and dancer to expand her research and clinical work. She is currently consulting on a documentary film about resilience and PTG and is completing a book on high stakes performance. Lorie is the founder of The Hood Group, LLC, a performance firm based in Washington, DC.
Lorie Hood began by asking the seemingly simple question: How are you? After attendees responded, she said this question is all too often asked in passing while being distracted, rather than waiting and wanting to hear the real answer. Then she led the group in a special breathing and meditation exercise to “practice gratitude”: Get in a comfortable position and close your eyes; take a few slow, deep breaths; begin to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth; think of someone or something you feel grateful for and why; allow a sense of warmth to grow around your heart; take a final deep breath and open your eyes. This exercise will help in any stressful situation, welcoming a new, centered, and relaxed feeling into ourselves that we can then share with others.
Lorie works with military, police, attorneys, executives, and other top performers and PTSD-sufferers to help them learn how to similarly calm their minds and bodies in high-stress environments. She believes our country in general has become “the traumatic states of America.” (She said “trauma” has different personal meanings, but once someone has been traumatized he/she is more likely to feel traumatized again.) We live in a constant modified fight or flight mode. It isn’t political or religious, it’s more primal than that. So her exercise in practicing gratitude was meant to encourage us to do “self-work” and commit to a conscious life, not adding unnecessary stress to others’ lives but instead encouraging positive social engagement.
She gave the example of her older brother, who was a very accomplished fighter pilot and instructor but had an increasingly negative, narrow outlook on life. She believed this was in part due to only spending time with people like him who agreed with him and to blaming others for things that didn’t go his way. Lorie talked about the importance of spending time with people who have different views and backgrounds, getting outside of yourself and serving others, and taking responsibility for your own actions.
When asked for daily stress-relieving tips, Lorie suggested the fundamental breathing exercise she began with, reminded us to stop multitasking and constantly checking the phone (the average American checks 110 times per day), and also suggested questions to ask yourself to help reconnect with your vital social engagement system, including: Have you danced, listened to music, or played around just for enjoyment? Have you truly laughed with another person or held their hand? Have you had a real face-to-face conversation with someone for more than 30 minutes? Live consciously.
President Ross presented Lorie with a Trees for the Capital certificate in honor of her speaking to us today.
President Ross announced that Clara Montanez has been selected as the Rotary International representative for the World Bank. Congratulations!
Peter Kennedy won the small pot of $61 but did not win the large pot of $1446. Be sure to buy tickets next week for your chance at the big bucks!
President Ross announced our next program, August 10, 2016 will feature international human trafficking expert
Matt Friedman, who is founder and CEO of the Mekong Group.
President Ross thanked Julie Duriga for conducting today’s Raffle, Ken Brown and Stu Shalloway for staffing the Hospitality Desk, and Monica Smith for writing today’s Meeting in Review. [No greeters today.]
The meeting adjourned at 1:30 p.m.