President David Treadwell opened the meeting at 12:30 PM, led members in the Pledge of Allegiance, and introduced Russ Savage to present the Words of Inspiration.
 
Russ shared a quote from the 13th century poet Jalal ad-Din Mohammad Rumi, which focused on welcoming and even embracing adversity because of the positive growth that results from it.
 
In Secretary Mike Carmichael’s absence, his predecessor in the position Haleh Vaziri welcomed the following guests and Rotarians joining us from other clubs: 
 
  • Dennis Chestnut - Executive Director of Ground Work Anacostia River DC and Glen O'Gilvie's guest
  • Doug Siglin - Executive Director of Anacostia River Front Trust, also Glen O'Gilvie's guest
  • Jillian Larsen - Past President Jennifer Hara's guest
  • Bryan Schaaf - Policy Officer at the U.S. Department of State, President of the Dupont Circle Rotary Club, also Jennifer Hara's guest
  • Lukas Mandl - Member of Parliament in Austria's Lower House, visiting from the Vienna-Hofburg Rotary Club
  • Kevin Mathees - Rotary Global Grants Scholar at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies and Past President David Klaus's guest
  • Mohammad Shouman from the Washington, DC Rotaract Club
  • Marcus Soriano from the Washington, DC Rotaract Club
  • Deja Stewart - Executive Assistant at Court Play Athletics and Michael Harper's guest
  • Lindsey Walton - Director of Communications for DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson
  • Eliot Williamson - President of the Market Rep, Inc. and Abrahem Helal's guest
Haleh also asked members to congratulate Russ and his wife Trish who marked their 53rd wedding anniversary on February 1.
With Sergeant-at-Arms Ken Kimbrough traveling this week, Donnie Shaw announced the birthdays of those Rotarians celebrating this week:
  • Deraux Branch, February 2 - Sponsored by Irene Koerner, Deraux joined our club in 2013. His classification is Banking: Commercial.
  • Brendan McGinnis, February 2 - Sponsored by Abe Helal, Brendan joined us in January 2014. His classification is Consulting: Environmental.
  • Wilhelmina Bratton, February 4 - Sponsored by Sam Hancock, Wilhemina joined our club in 2009. Her classification is Forestry.
  • Ben Fisher, February 6 - Sponsored by Benton Tolley, Past President Ben joined Rotary in 1964. His classification is Law: Federal Communications Regulation.
 
ANNOUNCEMENTS
 
Max Salas shared the details of the Super Bowl Pool. The winner will take $500, and the Washington Rotary Club Foundation will receive $500. He needed to fill all of the squares, at $10 apiece, by the end of the meeting. When we adjourned, he declared success—all the squares had been sold.
 
Bryan Schaaf, President of the Dupont Circle Rotary Club, invited us to the Fourth Annual Trivia Night on February 28 at RFD in Chinatown. The event will run from 4:00 to 7:00 PM, the cost of admission is $20, and proceeds will benefit his club’s project to build a footbridge for schoolchildren in rural Zimbabwe. More information is available on the club’s website, http://www.dupontrotary.org/.
Our club is holding its monthly Happy Hour on Thursday, February 4 at the University Club’s pub from 6:00 to 8:00 PM.
Our monthly Movie Night is scheduled for Thursday, February 11 at the Landmark E Street Cinema (555 11th Street NW). The featured film will be 45 Years.
 
Glen O’Gilvie gave a spirited presentation, leading us in a cheer of “DC DUCK RACE!” He showed a short video that promoted the April 30 Duck Race, showcasing local nonprofit organizations that would receive funding raised by this event, including the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington chaired by Debbi Jarvis and the Anacostia Waterfront Trust led by Doug Sirlin. Glen reminded us that the Duck Race’s first prize is $5000. Lisa McCurdy offered other important information about this community festival.
  • Clarification: “We are racing artificial ducks, not real ones! I’ve gotten a few inquiries…”
  • Purchase duck sponsorships! The Duck Race team will be available again next Wednesday after lunch. Rubber ducks cost only $10 each. Cash, checks and credit cards are accepted. You can make an online purchase through the DC Duck Race website, www.dcduckrace.org; click on the duck’s picture.
  • Dan Mullin is hosting a DC Duck Race Happy Hour on Friday, February 5 from 5:00 to 8:00 PM at Bar Louie, 701 7th Street NW. Souvenir gifts will be given to those who purchase 10 or more duck sponsorships!
  • The DC Duck Race Monthly Meeting will take place on Wednesday, February 10 at 6:30 PM, hosted by Hal Vaughn at his home, 4000 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Apartment 223. Please RSVP to Lisa at lgmccurdy@thewealthcounselor.com by February 8.
  • We are hosting the DC Rotary Duck Race Open House on Tuesday morning, February 16 at K&L Gates. This will be a fantastic opportunity for prospective sponsors, exhibitors and other event partners to hear more about the Duck Race, to understand the opportunities for partnership and to ask questions. Please let your contacts know about the Open House.
PRESENTATION OF AWARDS AND BANNERS
Lukas Mandl, visiting from the Vienna-Hofburg Rotary Club, presented us with a banner.
Sheldon Ray brought back a banner from the Rotary Club of Hong Kong South, which he had joined 26 years ago. He visited the club recently and discovered that eight of its original members were still there. He conveyed their club’s gratitude to the Washington Rotary Club Foundation for its $5,000 donation which they leveraged into $100,000 for their leprosy project.
Past President Jennifer Hara informed us that the District has recognized our club’s “Rule of 35” membership program.
 
GUEST SPEAKER
Jennifer Hara introduced guest speaker Phil Mendelson, DC Council Chairman, who delivered very informative and interesting remarks on the significant work that the City Council is doing. 
 
Mr. Mendelson discussed several issues—among the most important: community policing and the need for DC residents to trust local law enforcement; the city’s budget and cash flow; the Council’s improved performance in managing resources; WalMart’s decision not to build two of the promised five stores in the District; and efforts to review economic development proposals thoroughly so as to sell properties at their real value for the purpose of building affordable housing.
 
In a memorable quote, Chairman Mendelson declared that “Recessions are never announced in advance,” explaining the dynamics of borrowing and generating resources for DC. Recalling the city’s history of problematic annual financial audits, he proudly noted that the most recent audit showed “no material weaknesses and no significant deficiencies.”
 
Mr. Mendelson fielded several questions from Rotarians. In responding to one about crime prevention and juvenile justice, he stressed the Council’s efforts to identify truant youths because continued unexcused absence from school is a leading indicator of risk for trouble and criminal behavior. Shrinking the number of truant days reduces youths’ interaction with the juvenile justice system.
 
CLOSING
President David awarded our Trees for the Capitol Certificate to Chairman Mendelson. President David announced that our guest speaker for February 20 will be Gasby Brown, author of Think Like a Non-Profit, Act Like a Business. He then thanked Ken Brown and Stu Shalloway for staffing the Hospitality Table, Howard Davis and Bob Schott for serving as Greeters, and Scott Love for writing the Meeting in Review. The meeting adjourned at 1:30 PM.