At 12:30, President Shaun English called the group to order and the bell was rung. Cell phones were turned off. American members pledged allegiance to the flag.

Words of inspiration were delivered by Bill Busker, who read a Sanskrit proverb by acclaimed 5th century AD Indian poet and playwright Kalidara compelling us to ”Look to this day:  For it is life, the very life of life.”
Secretary Tim Hurd introduced the guests of Rotarians, Rotarians visiting from other countries and visiting American Rotarians introduced themselves:
  • Marta Pentassuglia, with Alenia Aermacchi North America, guest of Abe Helal
  • Christin Carey, with LexisNexis, guest of Abe Helal
  • Kate Giles, Secretary of the Rotaract Club of Washington
  • Jennifer Galloway, with Wolcott Hill Group LLC, prospective member sponsored by Lisa McCurdy
  • Marco Buttazzoni, with Buttazzoni Consulting, prospective member sponsored by Clara Montanez
  • Paul Koch, with the U.S. State Dept.. Rotary Scholar and guest of Heather Jaffan
  • Abdulfatai Ibrahim visiting from Rotary Club Tarauni Central of Kano, Nigeria. Classification: Banking
  • Stephen Yates visiting from Rotary Club of Idaho Falls, Idaho.
  • Eric Burger visiting from Rotary Club of Longview- Greggton, Texas. Classification: Homeless Care
Sergeant at Arms David Treadwell recognized members with birthdays this week:
  • Jessica Stewart - March 4
  • Christa McClure - March 5
  • Gordon Nielsen - March 6
In announcements:
  • President Shaun thanked the Community Service Grants Committee which evaluated more than 100 applications for our Grants and Large Grants programs. The Club and Foundation Boards are reviewing the recommendations and the grant recipients will be announced in the coming weeks.  A special thank you was extended to Committee Chairman Peter Sawyer for his exceptional leadership.
  • President Shaun announced the First Thursday Happy Hour (March 6) at the University Club at 6:00 pm coordinated by Irene Koerner.
  • President Shaun presented Red Badges to new members Isabelle Ardelean and Kenneth Brown.
  • President-Elect Jennifer Hara shared a letter from District Governor Peter Kyle and enthusiastically encouraged  members to attend and donate to the District 7620  Rotacon ‘14 to be held May 9-11 at the Baltimore Hilton in Baltimore, MD.  The Rotaractors are hosting a lively Block Party and opportunities are available to sponsor attendance of  Operation Homefront Wounded Warrior Families.  Brochures were distributed last week and please visit our website for more great information.
  • President-Elect Jennifer also reminded members of Rotaract Club’s invitation to join its networking dinner and fundraising event March 11 (yes, Jennifer’s birthday is the day before but wants members to come out to celebrate with her at the fundraising event) at La Tasca Restaurant.

Marlene Thorn then took the podium to introduce our speaker, Karen Mulhauser, whom she met on a day filled with comedy and mishaps. Nevertheless, a new friendship was birthed which led to enriching time spent  around Ms. Mulhauser’s dinner table talking through vital issues facing our citizens and communities.  With March being National Women’s History Month and March 8th as International Women’s Day, it’s especially appropriate to celebrate together with a glimpse into the life of Ms. Mulhauser.  She serves today as the chair of the United Nations Association of the USA for the Capital Area-- a membership organization dedicated to informing, inspiring and mobilizing the American people to support the principles and vital work of the United Nations.

Ms. Mulhauser brought to her position with UNA-USA as CEO and board member of domestic and international nonprofit groups with particular expertise in management, public affairs, planning and evaluation, facilitation, fund raising as well as coalition building and strategic planning.  She has been providing consulting services to nonprofits, grant makers and candidates since 1988 and is widely known in the non-profit community for her ability to develop collaborative forums, manage complex projects, mobilize issue activists and political activists.  

Before consulting, she was Director of the Center for Education on Nuclear War and Citizens Against Nuclear War (CAN) and Executive Director of the National Abortion Rights Action League. Ms. Mulhauser was also a Senior Adviser to the Obama for America campaign and has worked in other presidential and congressional elections, including coordination of re-elect campaigns for Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton.

Ms. Mulhauser spoke humbly and eloquently about a life thread that has taken her on a journey of helping women. Her advice starts with wisdom of that comes from years of accomplishment.  “Be aware of who of who you are.  Also,  if you know your passion, follow that!”

In her early years, Ms. Mulhauser chose science for her studies with hopes of helping humanity and she became a physics teacher.  Over the years, she came to realize that she would need to overcome her shyness to step into the opportunities that would come her way.  She cheerfully jokes that it’s still hard to believe that  some still think of her as their physics teacher.  She recalled that as early as the 1960’s, she started talking with teens who sought her out to learn about sexuality. In the 1970’s she became the Executive Director of the National Abortion Rights Action League where she served for eight years and began a longstanding relationship with Gloria Steinem. While at NARAL, she developed and executed an invaluable strategy of establishing local chapters and political action committees in congressional districts to increase visibility of key issues in the eyes of elected officials and the electorate.

 Though some of her work may be first identified with women’s issues, Ms. Mulhauser learned early in her career that these passions were actually broader issues, not simply women’s issues.  The  issues are interdependent and involve family, community, social issues, and civic participation in a true democracy. She led fellow citizens to get involved and to vote.  When women are invested in and empowered, entire communities and societies experience measurable economic and social benefit.

She generously attributes what she has learned about leadership to the community of leaders she has served with ....always learning alongside and seeking input from one another.  She’s been encouraged to write a book, perhaps to be titled The Botanist’s Daughter.  Ms. Mulhauser is one of five children born into a somewhat non traditional family. Her mother, born in 1905 in Arizona, ,before it became a state, was ten years older than their father. He had attended the University of Texas.  During the Q & A, Ms. Mulhauser was enthusiastically encouraged to move forward with the book to personally and proessionally  encourage both the younger generation and our older generation “of accomplishment”!

Also during the Q & A, we witnessed a very powerful testimony of Ms. Mulhauser’s impact in our community.   In 1990, she started Consulting Women which has grown to be a network of over 750 professional DC consultants.  Her 700th consultant was present and shared her exhilaration of receiving over 100 emails of congratulations from within the vibrant network.

President Shaun thanked our our remarkable speaker and passed along news he received of an offer to honor Ms. Mulhauser by matching, up to $1,000, any gifts made to Global Classroom/ Model UN by our members today.

The tree certificate was read and presented.  Susan Pausky tended the green lottery hopper.  Ken Kimbrough held the winning ticket, worth $34, but didn’t draw the Ace of Spades, so the large pot continues to grow.

Ted Hamady and Stu Shalloway ran the hospitality table.

Josette Conell  was our greeter.

The meeting was adjourned at 1:30 p.m.