The meeting was called to order at 12:30 p.m. by President-Elect Nominee Jennifer Hara who led members in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Words of inspiration were offered by Maria-Nelly Pavisich who noted that December 1 was World AIDS Day as she asked members to remember individuals they know affected by the disease and called for compassion towards those with HIV/AIDS so as to eliminate the stigma associated with this illness.

Filling in for Secretary Lynn Holec, Sergeant at Arms Peggy Schoen introduced the following guests and visitors:

  • Peter Bielak, historian of the Boy Scouts, a guest of Dan Mullin
  • Ben Burkhardt, manager of programs at CTIA the Wireless Foundation, a guest of Abrahem Helal
  • Marie Drissel, community activist and public servant, a guest of May Gwinn
  • Christopher Dyer, owner of Dyer Consulting Services, a guest of Abrahem Helal
  • Todd Leibbrand, founder of Best Kids, a guest of Abrahem Helal
  • Cedric Loiseau, mentor-recruiter at Best Kids, a guest of Abrahem Helal
  • Helen Moore, vice president and counsel at FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority), a guest of Irene Koerner
  • Connie Roy, judicial assistant for the United States Court of Federal Claims, a guest of Lawrence Margolis
  • Scott Sasjeck, law clerk for the United States Court of Federal Claims, a guest of Lawrence Margolis
  • Herbert Borja, visiting from the Rotary Club of Metro Legazpi in the Philippines

Sergeant at Arms Peggy announced the birthdays of:

  • Dr. Sam Hancock, December 2
  • Ausra Kaminskas, December 5

Sergeant at Arms Peggy reminded members that Wednesday, December 5 was the last day to register for the Holiday Party which will be held at the DACOR Bacon House on Sunday, December 9. More detailed information about this event is available on the Club’s website.

President-Elect Nominee Jennifer made the following announcements:

  •  President David Klaus has spoken with President Elect Shaun English who is recovering from a stroke, now at home, and is starting to feel better.
  • This month’s Happy Hour will be on Thursday, December 6 from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the University Club.
  • Movie Night will be on Thursday, December 13, and the film is Anna Karenina. Preceding the movie, there will cocktails and appetizers at the National Press Club. Please contact Alexander Kravetz or May Gwinn for more information.

Howard Davis, Chair of the Nominating Committee, reminded members that elections begin next week. Members may vote online or cast ballots in person at the Club’s December 19 meeting. He identified the candidates for the Club’s Board and the Foundation’s Board.

  • Running for three posts on the Club’s Board are six candidates: Lisa Cohen, Abrahem Helal, Nancy Riker, Russ Savage, Peggy Schoen and Kathy Ward.
  • Running for two posts on the Foundation’s Board are four candidates: Steve Adkins, Natalie Korytnyk Forrester, Alexander Kravetz and Bob Watson.

Maria-Nelly Pavisich was presented her Blue Badge by President-Elect Nominee Jennifer. Maria-Nelly was previously a member of the Capital Hill Club and president of her club in Bolivia.

Nancy Riker reported on the success of the Career Fair organized primarily by Kathy Ward and held on Tuesday, December 4 at Theodore Roosevelt High School. Some 350 students attended this event, and the school’s administration acknowledged the participation of Rotarians with certificates of appreciation which Nancy gave to Lisa Cohen, Violet Habwe, Abrahem Helal, Jack Jackson, Mimi Kanda, Ken Kimbrough and Gladys Pemberton.

Davis Kennedy introduced the week’s speaker Chairman of the Council of the District of Columbia Philip Mendelson, praising him for his commitment to public service with integrity particularly at a time when the Council has experienced tumult due to charges of corruption among certain members. Chairman Mendelson, elected four times since 1998 as Council Member-at-large, stressed the challenge of representing the city as a whole while addressing the concerns of DC’s diverse neighborhoods. He focused on three issues: public safety and the criminal justice system, improvements in the DC school system and citizens’ perceptions of the Council. Based on his experience chairing the Council’s Committee on Public Safety & the Judiciary, Chairman Mendelson highlighted the need to balance security through law enforcement with the individual citizen’s liberty, to ensure continuity for public safety officials and to be proactive in tackling crime. Similarly, with regard to education, he emphasized the benefits of continuity, remarking that keeping qualified teachers and principals not only strengthens the school but also enhances their ability to reach students at an early age and build up a system of proficiency appropriate to grade level. Chairman Mendelson concluded by recognizing the need to increase the public’s trust in the city’s representatives even while anticipating continued investigation and indictments of Council members. Toward this end, he advocated a reinvigorated effort to follow the rules and a slowing down of decision making that would give citizens the chance to understand the policies being considered and to participate in the political process. A brief but lively question-and-answer period followed Chairman Mendelson’s remarks.

The Club Raffle tickets were sold by Nancy Riker. The small pot, valued at $52, was won by Sam Holt who indicated that he wanted to donate the money to the Club. The large pot of $735 will continue to grow.

The meeting was supported by Norm Coe, Balraj Gupta, Ted Hamady and Stu Shalloway at the Hospitality Table. Greeters were Jessica Hancock, Lenore Jacobs and Chris Lane.

The next meeting will be on Wednesday, December 12 and will feature Palestinian-American author Kathryn Abdul-Baki as speaker. The meeting will be led by President-Elect Nominee David Treadwell.

The meeting was adjourned at 1:30 PM.