It was great to be back doing the Meeting in Review. We had a very full house today to hear our speaker.
I also got to sit up at the head table today, to fill-in for Secretary Lynn. President David called the meeting to order at about 12:30 pm, with the help of Sergeant-at-Arms Peg Schoen. It was nice to catch-up with Peg and Alexander Kravetz, who gave a nice inspiration about the life of our dearly missed Strong Legs Richardson. Peg also led us in the Pledge of Allegiance and announced the birthdays this week (see celebrants below).

As acting Club Secretary, I gave the secretary’s report today, welcoming the guests of Rotarians this week, including two dignitaries Mrs. Nahla Al-Naaimi, the wife of the Ambassador of Iraq, who was Marjorie Scott’s guest and Ambassador Extraordinaire et Plénipotentiaire, Al Maamoun Keita. Additional visitors this week included Clara Montanez’s guests Mr. Jahandad Memarian (Fellow at Non-Violence International) and Mr. Alidad Mafi (President of the West Asia Council); John Danner’s guests Mr. Ron Osterbauer (Executive Director of Kids Against Hunger) and Mrs. Peggy Osterbauer; Monish Dutt’s guest Dr. Supriya Goswami (Adjunct Professor of English at George Washington University); Renee McPhatter’s guests Ms. Brittany Waddell (Director of Community Relations, GWU) and Mr. Richard Livingstone (Coordinator, Community Relations, GWU); Guillermo Grajales’ guest and son Mr. Diego Grajales (Vice President, Kazan); Stu Shalloway’s guest Mr. Stanley Fujii (Veteran Procurement Liaison, US SBA); Sheldon Ray’s guest Mr. Timothy Chapin; Andy Cook’s guest Mr. John Estep (Associate, K&L Gates); Davis Kennedy’s guest Mr. Erik Smulson (VP, Public Affairs, Georgetown University) and my guest Mr. Artem Korniyenko, former Rotaractor. We also had international Rotarians visiting from Nigeria. Announcements: David presented a red badge to new member Francis Muraya and reminded everyone that quarterly dues are due. David also mentioned the first tree planting of the spring will be Wednesday, March 27 at 11 am on the Tidal Basin and that if any member knows any 18-30 year olds who would be a good Rotarian, to please recommend them to our Rotaract Club. We celebrated the birthdays of the past couple of weeks as we missed a few due to the ‘Snowquester’. They include Jennifer Hara and Helen Moore both on March 10, John Jackson - March 11, Larry Margolis - March 13, Renee McPhatter - March 14, Ken Kimbrough - March 15, Walter Sechriest - March 19 and Bill Arzt - March 19. Happy Birthday!

Davis Kennedy introduced our speaker today, Mr. Chris Augostini, Senior Vice President and COO of Georgetown University. Unfortunately, President John DeGioia could not be with us today as he was in New York with the other university presidents announcing the new sports conference. Mr. Augostini discussed the University’s strategic planning for the short, medium and long-term. He spent several minutes talking to the room about the change in the way the University interacts with the community, both the neighborhood and the DC Government. The University has operated one way for over 200 years, and things have finally changed. He noted that the usual way of solving problems and addressing issues that have come up with and in the community has not had a lasting impact. The University is now looking at the institutions’ long-term impact, including its physical footprint and its goal of being a place of research, innovation and growth. They have built a new internal team to handle this and the ongoing challenges of needing more space and continuing to thrive as a very well-known and well-ranked Jesuit learning institution. And, their three main foci are housing, transportation, and mid-term growth and development of their academic programs. Mr. Augostini closed by taking a few questions on medical research, the Hoyas, the cost of education, sustainability, university demographics, and diversity at the senior management level of the university. David presented him with the Tree Certificate and we had the raffle. Peg won the small pot today. Be sure and play next week, the pot is getting huge!

Until next week.