April 19, 2010 Rotogram


The Gaining Ground Sustainability Institute of Mississippi brings an interdisciplinary focus to improving quality of life through sustainable building, farming, recreation and conservation practices. Alison Buehler and Marion Sansing will tell us about this Starkville-based organization founded this year.


Tom Dawson and Alan Lang, co-authors of Kings of Tort, a chronicle of the downfall of prominent Mississippi attorneys Richard “Dickie” Scruggs and Paul Minor, will be next week’s program guests.


Invocation and Pledge: W.C. Johnson

Attendance: There were 109 members (33 exempt, 1 honorary) present and 82 (17 exempt, 11 honorary) absent.

Guests and visitors: Member guests included Helena Kerfoot of Matt Cox, Ken Willeford of Ned Browning, and Tyler Anderson of Jeremy Brock. Guests of the Club were Barbara Tucker, Darlene Breaux, Dolly Moore, Graham Wells, Helen Sue Parrish, John Herring, Memo Parisi, Ruth Remy, and Youth Exchange student Kasper Eriksen and his host family brother John Robert Tomlinson.

Get well: President Martha noted that Joe Blackbourn was doing well after surgery.


President Martha presented the year’s second support check for our Boy Scout troop to Gary Windham who is back as scoutmaster after 3 years. He said, “It’s like the Army Reserves, you don’t know when you’ll get called up again.” He and Jane also served as a RYE host family last year.


District 6820’s inbound Group Study Exchange team hailed from Rotary District 2050 in northern Italy’s Lombardy region.

      Bordering Switzerland at the Alps, Lombardy is known as the capital of Italian industry. With only 20 percent of Mississippi’s size, the region’s more than six million people more than double our state’s population.

      District provinces are Brescia, Cremona, Lodi, Mantova, Milano, Pavia and Piacenza.

      District 2050 comprises 66 clubs with 3,094 active and 161 honorary members.

      As a highly urbanized manufacturing region, Lombardy features Alfa Romeo, Beretta, lasers, steel, aluminum, robotics and cutlery as major products.

      Competing successfully with Paris, the area fashion industries include Armani, Prada, Corneliani and Valentino.

      With significant flat acreage, the region is strong in agriculture specializing in pears and peaches, rice, hay, corn, wheat and forestry. Its champagne is notable.

      Tied to its food and fiber production is its culinary reputation. It is the home of Parmesan cheese. Sweets, antipasti and salami round out the local menu. As a result, the district produced a cookbook with recipes from each club. Proceeds go to poor children in Brazil..

      Team leader Franco Docchio is a nuclear engineer on the faculty of Brescia University. Specializing in laser physics and optoelectronics, he also has started several companies. The past-resident of the Brescia Nord club, he serves on the district Rotary Foundation subcommittee and the Ambassadorial Scholars, Peace and Alumni committees.

      Serena Giuliano, age 26, is from Bordighera. With a degree in biology, she is pursuing a PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Pavia.

      Alessandro Copeta, age 35, is from Castenedolo. A mechanical engineer and designer, he too is a PhD student at the University of Brescia.

      Simona Gentilini, age 39, is a pediatrician from Poggio Rusco.

      Simone Stancari is an architectural engineer and ecological manager. Thirty eight-year-old Simone Stancari is from Goito. He is the head of communications and projects at AGIRE-Energy Management Agency of European Commission in Mantova

The visit of a Group Study Exchange team requires significant planning and logistics.  Sherri Vanlandingham, GSE committee chair, recognized Rotarian home hosts Bill and Helen Sue Parrish; Barbara and Alan Tucker; Keith and Ruth Remy; Graham and Martha Wells; and, Sherri and David Vanlandingham. Professional area tour hosts were Joe Bumgardner to the Oktibbeha County Hospital and Ned Browning to MSU.

      The team’s visit to the club meeting followed an action-packed weekend including:

  • Friday evening baseball and left-field lounge with hosts Russ Rogers and Steve Langston.
  • Saturday’s visit to the College of Veterinary Medicine Open House and Paccar, and a wonderful 16 pizza Italian meal at Memo Parisi’s home.
  • Sunday’s Templeton Museum visit was followed by an evening at the Vanlandingham’s home with J.C. Patton cooking out.


Rotary International District 2050 Group Study Exchange Team

The Italian GSE team includes [encode_email email=”sis@tele2.it” display=”Simone Stancari”], from left, [encode_email email=”giuser07@unipv.it” display=”Serena Giuliano”], [encode_email email=”inclfranco.docchio@ing.unibs.it” display=”Franco Docchio”], [encode_email email=”gentilsimo@gmail.com” display=”Simona Gentilini”], and [encode_email email=”alessandro.copet@ing.unibs.it” display=”Alessandro Copeta”].

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