John Sherrer, Historic Columbia’s director of cultural resources, recounted how the capital city’s history has been chronicled in a new book – Remembering Columbia – when he addressed Capital Rotary members on May 15. Sherrer (at left in photo with Rotarians Jay von Kolnitz and Tommy Phelps) said the city was physically transformed during the years from 1860 to the 1960s. Research into those changes was accomplished by combing through old newspaper stories, fire insurance maps, city directories, photographs, postcards and other sources. He noted that the Palmetto Club, where Capital Rotary meets weekly, was granted a construction permit in July 1960. It is located behind the state’s Supreme Court building – a former US Post Office neo-classical structure dating from 1917 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Sherrer has degrees from both Clemson and the University of South Carolina. In addition to his work for Historic Columbia, Sherrer has experience at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum, the National Trust’s Drayton Hall Plantation, Old York Historical Society in York, ME and Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, NH.
Columbia is planning for a future that is innovative and progressive, but also aims to maintain quality of life. That’s the message guest speaker Krista Hampton brought to Capital Rotary on April 24. Hampton (shown with club president Philip Flynn) is the city’s planning and development director. She previously created, launched and led efforts to streamline construction review and permitting. Her current priority is rewriting Columbia’s outdated zoning and land development ordinances that go back to 1977. Goals include (1) making codes more flexible so that future development doesn’t negatively impact existing neighborhoods; (2) promoting walkability and sustainability with more green spaces and green buildings; and (3) dealing with the impact that micro-mobility (such as bike sharing, standup scooters and/or hoverboards, drones and robot cars) might have on future traffic and parking needs. Hampton has over 20 years of local government experience and was the city’s historic preservation planner. She has a BA in American Studies from Miami University, an MA in Public History from the University of South Carolina, and is a graduate of the Urban Land Institute’s South Carolina Sustainable Leadership Institute and Leadership South Carolina.
Capital Rotary Club member Tony Thompson (right in photo) is congratulated by president Philip Flynn after receiving a District 7770 Leadership Award for fundraising to support the CART (Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust) Fund. Thompson organized a gala celebration last August that resulted in donations of more than $15,000 – all monies earmarked for cutting edge, high-impact research aimed at preventing or finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. The CART initiative began in South Carolina over 20 years ago and has since been adopted by Rotary clubs throughout the United States. The district award lauded Thompson’s “dedication to impactful actions and meaningful service to the Columbia community.” He has been a member of Capital Rotary since September 2001.
Image consultant Brian Maynor told Capital Rotarians that a person’s attitude, behavior and appearance are powerful, underutilized tools for success. Maynor – the club’s guest speaker on Feb. 27 – built a reputation over the past decade as a lifestyle coach, helping clients transform their image, boost their confidence and feel empowered to look and feel their best. While most people think “image” is largely based on physical appearance, Maynor said attitude and behavior influence 90% of personal success. Attitude affects mental and physical health, engagement in both work and life, communication skills and effectiveness, morale and productivity. Behavior encompasses not only actions, but also factors such as verbal and non-verbal communication, eye contact, gestures, movement, posture and habits. “Habits are a big part of our behavior,” Maynor said, “so we need to pay attention so we can address them.” He described common “bad behavior” examples that include (1) inappropriate verbiage or lingo, (2) lack of punctuality, (3) excessive cell phones usage, (4) interrupting or talking over others, (5) being disengaged and (6) not abiding by dress codes, either formal or informal.
Capital Rotary members Jay von Kolnitz (right in photo) and Jack Williamson (center) were recognized by club president Philip Flynn (left) on Feb. 6 for their latest donations to The Rotary Foundation in support of international programs promoting peace and world understanding. Von Kolnitz is a Paul Harris Fellow plus-four giver (signifying an initial $1,000 donation with four additional gifts in the same amount). He is a 30-year Rotary member and was a longtime sergeant-at-arms for the club. Williamson is a Paul Harris Fellow plus-one contributor (signifying an initial $1,000 donation with an additional gift in the same amount). He joined the Capital club in 2008 and currently serves as sergeant-at-arms.
End Polio Now – the global polio eradication initiative supported by Rotary International – continues to make steady progress against the dreaded disease. That message was delivered by Dr. Jimmie Williamson (at right in photo with Rotarian Melissa Lindler), guest speaker for Capital Rotary’s Dec. 19 meeting. Dr. Williamson, a longtime Rotarian and former District 7770 Governor for clubs in eastern South Carolina, was part of a polio immunization team operating out of northern India earlier in 2018. He said last year there were wild polio cases in only three countries: Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. Since 1988 there’s been a worldwide reduction in polio cases of 99.9%. But Williamson said immunization efforts are hampered now by cultural fears in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Rotary International helps provide funding, advocacy and mobilization for End Polio Now’s partnership that also includes the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control, UNICEF and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Epworth Ice Cream Co. – a business launched just four months ago – is already proving to be a sweet success for Epworth Children’s Home, a Methodist-based institution housing about 70 youth at its Columbia campus. Company president David Mackey (shown at left with Rotarian Jim Potter) was Capital Rotary Club’s Nov. 7 guest speaker. Mackey said his star product – peanut butter ice cream – is based on a recipe created by Epworth Home in the 1930s. Today’s premium-brand Epworth Ice Cream comes in three other flavors as well. It’s made by an artisanal firm in Georgia and sold in pre-packaged cups, pint containers and in bulk to local restaurants. All profits go to the children’s home, and Mackey envisions a future where expanded local, statewide and regional sales might not only generate a healthy income, but also raise awareness of Epworth’s history and mission. A Richmond, VA native, Mackey graduated from Randolph-Macon with a BA in economics and from Wake Forest with an MBA in business/marketing. He created a business plan and raised funds critical to Epworth Ice Cream’s start-up over the past year.
Capital Rotary member Gene Oliver (center in photo) was recognized Oct. 3 for his latest donation to The Rotary Foundation in support of international programs promoting peace and world understanding. Oliver is a Paul Harris Fellow plus-three giver (signifying an initial $1,000 donation with three additional gifts in the same amount). Oliver – a retired college administrator – joined the Capital club nine years ago and has been a Rotarian for more than 50 years. Immediate past president Blake DuBose (left) is the club’s chair for Foundation contributions, while current president Philip Flynn is at right.
Two more Capital Rotarians have been recognized for donations to The Rotary Foundation in support of international programs promoting peace and world understanding. Shown in the photo from left are Blake DuBose, immediate past president and Foundation giving chair; E.J. Newby and Stephen West, both Paul Harris Fellow plus-one givers (signifying an initial $1,000 donation with an additional gift in the same amount); and Philip Flynn, club president. Newby joined Capital Rotary in 2017, while West has been a member since 2005.
Capital Rotarian Darren Foy welcomes recent Ben Lippen School graduate Claire Davis as a guest at the club’s Aug. 15 meeting. Davis, who will attend North Carolina State University to major in mechanical engineering, is one of two scholarship winners named by the club after applicant interviews in April of this year. In high school she was a National Honor Society member, earned a National Merit Commendation and was a U.S. Presidential Scholars candidate. Capital Rotary has been supporting higher-education opportunities for local high school students for more than 20 years. The club’s scholarships are based on a combination of academic performance, extracurricular activities and economic need.