President David Treadwell opened the meeting at 12:30 pm, leading the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.
Cherry Baumbusch presented very moving words of inspiration in remembrance of the many lives lost to a shooter at a gay dance club in Orlando.  She asked for a moment of silence and read comments from her son, who is gay. Taking a suggestion from the taxi driver who drove her to Rotary, she also read from a poem on the wall of the United Nations building in Geneva, written by the 13th century Persian poet Saadi:
The sons of Adam are limbs of each other,
Having been created of one essence.
When the calamity of time affects one limb
The other limbs cannot remain at rest.
If you have no sympathy for the troubles of others,
You are unworthy to be called by the name of a Human.
Secretary Mike Carmichael welcomed the following guests:
Host or Rotary Affiliation
*Tom Grassham
Paducah, KY
Diane Chase
Dull Loring/Merrifield, VA
Juliana Walton
Wilhelmina Bratten
Lee Niederman
Memo Grajales
Jill Kent
David Klaus
Robert Holm
Awad Morgan
Archer Heinzen
Alexander Kravetz
Matthew McCafferty
Alicia Rule
Cynthia Zhu
Xuan Zhu
Taylor Foster
Lisa Cohen
* brought us a club banner
President David
Acting Sergeant-at-Arms Ken Brown then announced the birthdays of those Rotarians celebrating this week:
  • Gary Gallagher - June 15. Gary joined our club in January 1993. Gary has been active in Rotary International for over thirty years, in three districts, earning perfect attendance in five clubs. He was sponsored by Jim Magee. His classification is Computers: Multimedia.
  • Gene Massey - June 15. Gene joined Rotary in December 1986. His classification is Law: Health Care. Gene was sponsored by Harry Clarkson.
  • Joanne Marx -  June 17.  Joanne joined the club in June 2005. Her classification is Energy: International and she was sponsored by Cynthia Schultz.
  • John McGraw - June 17.  John has been a Rotarian since October 1977.  His classification is Investments: Counsel. John was sponsored by Bill Railford.
Nancy Riker reported the Rotary Foundation drive is entering its last couple of weeks. All payments need to be at RI by the end of June. Nancy then presented a brief video on the impact of RI donations.  She and President David then presented Paul Harris pins to Sam Holt (Paul Harris +6), Lynn Holec (+2), and Ross Grantham (+7).
Mike Harper told us about progress with the iPad project with fourth graders. He also had a short video featuring some of the children our club has reached.
President-elect nominee Abe Helal spoke of two projects with which he has been involved since being introduced to them through Rotary:  The Theatre Lab, where he is Vice President, which extends theatre education to traditionally underserved populations; and Hands Across Waters.
Alexander Kravetz presented a grant check to Co-Partners Campesinas ISC and introduced its founder, Archer Heinzen.  She thanked the club, showed a tapestry portraying some of their work, and explained how our funds would enable six your people in El Salvador complete their education.
Clara Montenez introduced speaker Anne B. Thomas, thanking her for returning to us on short notice.  Ms. Thomas left the corporate world in 2008 to be a professional story-teller and consultant on communication.
Anne Thomas began by explaining how effective stories are in communicating with people, as opposed to data or PowerPoint presentations. They have 26 times the impact.  She then pointed out how impactful Cherry’s Words of Inspiration were, including the story of the taxi drive.  She called our attention to how Archer had used a reference to a specific number of children who would directly benefit from our grant, and how she had used the tapestry in her presentation. The videos used by Nancy and Mike also clearly showed the human impact of giving.
Changing her approach, Anne then put the entire audience through two exercises.  The first had people paired-up to describe something they wanted to communicate in some up-coming meeting or event, and then try to do that in the form of a story.  The other person would describe how that came across.  Then each person paired with a new partner and made their presentations to each other.  The presentations, using story features, were reported as being improved.  The whole process was well under 20 minutes.
Anne said the lesson from this is when we have a presentation to make, we can improve it by trying it on someone and getting feedback.  Just a 5 to 10 minute investment in this can make a big difference. Data can inform, but a story can motivate.  We can productively mix facts and a story to get our message across.
President David presented Anne B. Thomas with a certificate stating that we would plant a tree in her honor in a national park area in DC.
Balraj Gupta won the raffle’s small pot of $44, but did not win the large pot of $838.
President David announced our June 22 speaker will be General (Ret.) David Petraeus. He thanked Ken Brown, Stu Shalloway, and Balraj Gupta for staffing the Hospitality Desk, Rich Madison for managing the raffle, and Xuan Zhu for being the greeter.
The meeting adjourned at 1:30 pm.