Greetings fellow Rotarians! I am happy to detail what transpired during our 15 October meeting.

President Jennifer Hara called members to order at 12:30 PM, leading U.S. citizens in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. She turned to Shelly Williams who inspired us with his first-hand observations as an educator of the millennial generation. Insisting that millennials are not the self-centered generation portrayed by their detractors, he recounted examples of youths helping their communities worldwide. In Shelly’s view, millennials are leaders in service, the “doers” described in the Bible, epitomizing “the Rotary way.”


I then introduced guests and Rotarians from other clubs visiting us for lunch:

  •     Silvana Arce, Director of International Relations and Cooperation at the National Ministry of Youth, Mark Wilson’s guest;
  •     Alicia Fougere, Manager of Business Development at the Washington Center, also Mark Wilson’s guest;
  •     Christine Hall, law librarian at Arnold & Porter, invited by David Klaus;
  •     Levi Leatherberry from the DC Rotaract Club;
  •     Sandra Mundle, Montgomery Public School teacher, invited by Lisa Cohen;
  •     Chatney Auger, Deputy Public Affairs Officer; Lieutenant Jason Gregoire, Flag Aide; and Edward Ziegler, Director of Public Affairs—all with the Naval District Washington and accompanying our guest speaker; and
  •     Marjorie and Bruce Hartsough, a dentist and an agricultural engineer, respectively—visiting from the Davis, California Rotary Club.

President Jennifer asked Seargent-at-Arms Buz Gorman to salute Rotarians celebrating birthdays this week:

  •     Glen O’Gilvie on 12 October – A member of our club since 2012, sponsored by Alexander Kravetz, Glen works in the area of nonprofit organization management.
  •     Glynis Long on 13 October – Joining our club in 2005, sponsored by Clara Montanez, Glynis is just back from working on the breast cancer clinic project in Turkey; her classification is international trade.
  •     Bob Watson on 14 October – Sponsored by Mary Ann Blackwell when he joined our club in 2005, Bob’s classification is education-college.

Back at the podium, President Jennifer called on Oscar Bartoli to present the Rotary Club banner he brought back from Italy’s isle of Sardinia and on Cherry Baumbusch to give her New Member Talk.

Cherry, a native Washingtonian, lives with her husband Peter in Georgetown. Escaping to Arizona during the winter, she is also active in the Scottsdale North Rotary Club there. Her Rotary experience has been local and global. She joined the McLean Rotary Club in 2006 after reading about the Polio Plus Program. In 2007, she transferred to the Dubai Rotary Club, becoming “probably one of few female American Rotarians in the Middle East” as she learned when representing her club at international conferences in Beirut and Cairo. Back in the United States, she rejoined the McLean Club in 2010, becoming its President during 2011-12.

A Marymount University graduate, Cherry has enjoyed a diverse career but quit working outside the home to raise four sons and studied art at the Corcoran Gallery. Her work is now showing at the Spilsbury Gallery, at her Georgetown and Scottsdale home studios and on her website, Cherry’s passions for Rotary and art have come together in the beautiful scarf she wore. In 2007-08, she designed scarves and notecards featuring photos of her paintings as ambassadorial good will gifts for an exchange team going to Southern Africa. Cherry’s initiative developed into the McLean Rotary Picture a Better World Program, selling these items to raise money for Southern Africa’s AIDS orphans, and subsequently expanded to become the MicheLo Program, bridging communities in South Africa and South America via education.*

As Cherry concluded her talk, President Jennifer returned to the microphone for announcements, beginning with Nancy Riker’s reminder about the need for volunteers to help with the Dictionary Project. See Nancy if you want to assist with delivering dictionaries to DC’s third graders, and please respond to her e-mails. Other news and information included:

Rear Admiral Mark Rich, Commandant of Naval District Washington  

Jennifer Paquette Galloway graciously introduced Rear Admiral Mark Rich who delivered a detailed presentation about his own professional responsibilities and the U.S. Navy’s role in defending our country and the high seas.

Admiral Rich struck a humble tone as he reflected on the history surrounding the position he assumed in June 2013 when he became the 88th Commandant of Naval District Washington since 1799. He explained that the U.S. Navy has spent the last decade “getting lean” and “optimizing its operational construct” so that it is ready to enter this “distinctly naval period of time” in conceptualizing the country’s security priorities.

From the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf to the Straits of Malacca, the United States is the world’s premier naval power. As the Pentagon’s overall budget has diminished, the Navy’s portion of that total amount has increased. Because 90 percent of international trade is transported over the high seas, the U.S. Navy protects not only American commerce but also global economic stability.

As the United States faces a rising China and a resurgent Russia among other geopolitical challenges, Admiral Rich underscored his duty to ensure that the Navy is “where it matters, when it matters.” Acting as the “conduit” between the Navy and society at large, he must also safeguard the interests of sailors and their families living ashore.

In short, the Admiral’s position entails balancing the needs of U.S. Navy men and women with the exigencies of national defense and appreciating the traditions surrounding his appointment while anticipating future security threats. Besides his extensive education and professional training, Admiral Rich’s remarks reflected his calm demeanor and sharp intellect—qualities that are serving him well as Commandant of Naval District Washington.

Adjourned Until Next Week

President Jennifer awarded our “Trees for the Capital” certificate to Rear Admiral Markham Rich and gave him a Rotary Coin reserved for special guests. As she thanked him for serving our country, Admiral Rich presented President Jennifer with a coin from the U.S. Navy.

Meanwhile, members clutched their raffle tickets hoping for good luck as the winning numbers were read. Claiming the $47 small pot was Past President Jay Pugh, but the $1,114 large pot escaped him and keeps growing.

Thank you to Stu Shalloway and Balraj Gupta for welcoming visitors at the Hospitality Table.

On 22 October, we will hear from Christopher Kelly, co-author (with Stuart Laycock) of America Invades: How America has Invaded or been Militarily Involved with Nearly Every Country on Earth.

President Jennifer adjourned the meeting at 1:30 PM … And then I put down my pen—until next week!