Program speaker for the day was Marjorie Treu, a motivational speaker focusing on advice to business managers and human resource officers about communicating across the various generations among their employees. She opened with questions which located Rotarians in their specific generation: Baby Boomers, Generation X, Gen Y (or Millennials), or Gen Z. She focused on communication issues and how Millennials, specifically, differ from earlier generations. She debunked five myths about them: 1) they are the most self-involved generation, 2) they have tiny attention spans, 3) they want constant attention and are used to all on a team getting trophies, 4) they can’t make a decision without everyone weighing in, and 4) they are most likely to jump ship if expectations are not met. She then focused on major characteristics of this largest generation in history: they are well-educated with women outpacing men, are technologically savvy, are civic minded, and see themselves as global citizens. She called on the group to list other characteristics and strengths of Millennials.
Members of the Peachtree Ridge High School Robo-Lions team and their sponsor, Don Shaw, visited with the Rotary Club of Lawrenceville on June 20. They came to thank the club for the financial support that helped them in their robotics competitions. Above, President Freya Myers presents a check to the officers of the robotics club.
On Monday, June 6, the Rotary Club of Lawrenceville held an assembly meeting presided over by President Freya Myers. Chairs of the various committees gave up-dated reports on activities for the year. Teresa Raetz described the Laws of Life writing contest, which the club sponsored, and read aloud the winning entry by Caroline Jernigan of Parkview High School. President Myers reported on public relations activities, such as features in the Citizen monthly newspaper and the webpage, and on volunteer projects such as the Feed the Children program and road clean-up. Mere Page reported on the upcoming mini-golf event planned for July. Art Kleve reported the club had received the $100 per capita award this year and has as a goal for next year 100% Paul Harris Fellow participation, which would qualify us as a Paul Harris Club. Beatty McCaleb and Jason Friedlander updated the group on Interact and Rotaract plans. Don Bradford reported 42 active members and one on leave. He credited the website with calling attention to the club and said that the goal for next year will be to get to 50 members. The meeting closed with a classification talk from Sondra Davis, who gave an interesting and informative talk about her work with Performance Trucking, Inc.
Speaking at the noon meeting on May 23 was Rob Jenkins, Gwinnett Daily Post columnist, Georgia State University professor, and co-author of the recently published 9 Virtues of Exceptional Leaders: Unlocking Your Leadership Potential. He spoke on the qualities of good leadership and focused on what good leaders do. He quoted the old saying “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink” and added the additional lines we don’t often hear “but you can put salt in his oats.” In other words, a good leader can encourage a “thirst” in those he leads. Other qualities included: serving as a role model, turning the light on for others, promoting a level of sanity and mental health, being friends and mentors while preserving appropriate lines, allowing people to screw up, and helping others learn discipline. He entertained with a humorous anecdote to illustrate each of his generalizations.
According to Judge Kathryn Schrader, who spoke at the noon meeting on May 16, “Accountability Courts” recognize that good people do bad things. They provide hope for the brokenness. There are four such courts in Gwinnett County: Drug Court, DUI Court, Mental Health/Veteran Court, and Parenting Court. She focused on information about the Drug Court in her talk. She pointed out that there are all sorts of addiction, not just alcohol and drugs; for example, some are addicted to shop-lifting. The court offers an alternative to jail time and connects people with mental help resources and attempts to keep them out of the system. The expanded drug court saves money, at least $6 million in housing alone just in Gwinnett County, and lowers the crime rate. Individuals are viewed as having a disease, not as experiencing a moral failure. Participants in the program are highly supervised and experience a carefully structured environment to help transition to a new beginning. She praised the positive outcome of the courts, with 75% of those who go through the program not repeating an offense.
Members at the noon meeting of the Rotary Club of Lawrenceville on May 9 heard a presentation by Mark Carnathan, Manager of the Research and Analytics Division at the Atlanta Regional Commission. He shared a wealth of information on the demographics related to Gwinnett County, past, present, and future. Beginning with perceptions and opinions held by residents about problems, education, safety, and responsiveness of local government, he moved on to present hard data collected by the Commission on global and local trends. He presented ten “Big Points”, which included these realities: we are in a fast-growing state and metro area; the population is growing older and more diverse; the job market is recovering but incomes are not recovering; jobs, both “new economy” and “old economy” jobs, are hot; the most educated are “winning” the future, but the middle class is not “winning.” He focused on population growth and presented charts showing the breakdown by education, ethnicity, and age. The future holds an increase in population and a more diverse population than in the past.
Guest speaker for the May 2 meeting of the Rotary Club of Lawrenceville was State Senator P. K. Martin (a member of this Club). He brought the group up to date on activities and laws passed at the last legislative session. He discussed the advantages and disadvantages of being in his second year and described the bills he authored and carried during the session. Of the five he authored, two passed: SB 302 re: medical provider directories and SB 270 re: retired police officers from other states. He carried twelve House bills which passed into law. He discussed a handout summarizing budget allotments for the next year. He provided some background and predictions about the most volatile issues: the Religious Liberty Bill and the Campus Carry Bill. He pointed out that they had succeeded in reducing school testing somewhat and in building up the Rainy Day Fund.
Assistant District Governor Tom Upchurch visited the Rotary Club of Lawrenceville on May 2 to present awards from District 6910 and Rotary International. The club received a Gold award, the top performance award from the District. This award recognizes our achievements in these categories: administration, membership, public image, Foundation, service, vocational service, and youth service. We also received the Literacy Award. Most significant was the Rotary International President’s Recognition Award. We were the only club in Gwinnett County to get both the Gold award and the President’s Recognition Award. ADG Upchurch presented certificates to President Freya Myers and commended the group for work well done.
Our GRSP student, Juan (J. J.) Londono, reported on his experiences over the past eight months. He praised his host family and showed pictures of activities with them. He also reviewed the numerous student week-end activities he shared with fellow GRSP students from around the state. He showed pictures of activities including the Conclave, trips out of state (Washington D. C., New York, Nashville/Asheville), and sports events. After J.J.’s report, Randy Wilhite spoke to the group about Toys for Tots. After a short history he described the process by which toys are gathered and distributed. An amazing total of 752,000 toys were distributed last year. Volunteers handle all the work. He provided contact information for those who might want to have a box in their business or who might want to volunteer.
The District Conference was held in Savannah, GA, on April 14-17. Members who attended from the Rotary Club of Lawrenceville reported to the group on their experience there. David Freeman testified to the inspirational value of interacting with members from other clubs, seeing what projects they had accomplished, and experiencing the fellowship the meeting offered. In general, the Conference celebrated and showcased district accomplishments. David described a tour of the Savannah Port facility, which impressed him with its volume and efficiency. There was a golf tournament which raised money for the GRSP endowment and talks by various Rotary officers and inspirational speakers. Al Hombroek reported on the GRSP activities, and Nina Freeman shared the awards received by the club: a Gold and a Presidential Citation. Art Kleve encouraged members to attend next year and shared his positive experiences. All encouraged members to look to the 100th Rotary International Conference to be held in Atlanta in 2017. Cheapest reservation tickets can be secured during the window of May 28 to June 6 ($265).