November 23, 2015 Rotogram: 18


Rotarian Martin Lifer, pastor of Starkville First Presbyterian Church, leads us in a focus on Thanksgiving.

Next Week: MSU CAVS

Roger King is the director of the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems (CAVS) at Mississippi State University. Joe Thompson will introduce him.

For the Record—November 16

Invocation and pledge:      Jeremy Nicholas

Attendance:                                        68.2%

Present — 105 (43 exempt)

Absent — 76 (14 exempt, 12 honorary)

Guests: Member guests were John Hughes of O. A. Cleveland, Stephanie Arnett of Robyn Havard and Caitlyn Rackley of Gathian Wells. Guests of the club were LaSonya Ferguson, Trevon and Tremell Sherman, Candace, James and Alyza Murray, Joseph Stone, Benedetta Trentarossi, RYE student, and Alex Onken, Starkville Daily News.

Meeting Notes

  • President Zach reported that the Boy Scouts were able to pack 43 Operation Christmas Child boxes funded by individual Rotarians.
  • He congratulated Jeff Read on becoming a “third-degree grandpa.”
  • Jeff Donald presented a club banner from Corpus Christi, Tex., that was designed by a quadriplegic artist who paints by holding his brush in his mouth.
  • Santa’s ride for the Starkville Christmas parade has been tuned up for next Monday evening.

Between the Lions


Reading Schedule

  • 11/24, 10:30, First Baptist CLC Tommy Tomlinson
  • 11/30, 9:00, First Presbyterian   Larry Mullins
  • 12/3, 9:15, Emerson Warren Housley



Christmas Bell Ringing

Rotarians will ring the Salvation Army Christmas bell from 9:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. twice during the season.

  • Thurs., Dec. 3 — Walmart both entrances
  • Sat., Dec. 19 — Kroger

Rodeo Sponsors Needed

The annual Rotary Classic Rodeo in February is our major fund raising event. Underwriters account for the majority of our earnings.

Members need to be recruiting sponsors for the event. Let the Rodeo Committee know of any prospects.

Nominate Next Year’s Leaders

Candidates for club leadership will be presented on Dec. 7 by the nominating committee of past-presidents Debra Hicks, Brent Fountain and Michelle Amos. We will vote on Dec. 14.

Nominating forms are on your table today. Before nominating someone, check with the person to see if he or she is willing to serve.

MSU Technology Research Fuels Economic Development

November 16 — As Mississippi’s flagship research university, MSU is a magnet for private enterprise investment.

Key to economic growth is the Mississippi State University Research and Technology Corporation and the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park.

Marc McGee, director of Mississippi State’s Research and Technology Corporation, explained that the unit is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit established under Mississippi law. He noted that fellow Rotarian Charlie Guest, as university counsel, handled the incorporation three decades ago.

“A state agency like MSU has limitations of what it can do,” he said. “But, a non-profit associated with the university has broader limits.”

Mississippi’s first and largest research park encompasses 272 acres with eleven buildings housing more than 1,500 employees. Several hundred students are involved in some way. And, a SMART route runs through the park.

Its $100 million infrastructure investment includes redundant fiber and electricity to ensure uninterrupted operation. Power is fed from two independent substations. McGee noted that when TVA had to interrupt service to connect its new Starkville area transmission line only the park and hospital did not go black.

The one-mile loop Research Boulevard is home to seven university centers or offices and 12 other public and private partners.

The Industry Partners Multi-Tenant Building comprising 39,000 square feet opened in December 2010 and now is full.

The new Technology Boulevard has seen $80 million in private capital investment. There are three multi-tenant office buildings with 43 acres remain for building sites.

The newest area includes a business incubator and the II-VI facility. II-VI is a publicly traded company with a satellite operation that specializes in silicon carbide crystal growth.

When C Spire sought to build a data center outside the New Madrid fault area, it chose the park for its 22,000 square foot facility. When it opened in November 2014, it brought a lot of infrastructure to the park. It now provides data cloud space for rent.

Commenting on the center’s strict security, McGee noted that the building has no brand markings. He said he couldn’t even walk onto the lawn to check on a water main leak without security challenging him.

The Phase II Expansion is on the east side towards the R. R. Foil Plant Science Research Center, known by many as North Farm off of Highway 182.

Originally known as the Mississippi Research and Technology Park, the facility was renamed to honor Mississippi’s senior U.S. senator in 2004.

Beyond the Oktibbeha County location, the RTC manages the MSU Science & Technology Center at the Stennis Space Center in Hancock County. The 40,000 square foot building houses the university’s Northern Gulf Institute and Geosystems Research Institute. Part of it is rented to NOAA.

McGee’s advice for anyone contemplating building 0n Federal property is “Don’t.” He said the procedural learning curve was huge.

The RTC handles university intellectual property assignment by facilitating startup companies and taking equity in some of the new operations.

The corporation is governed by an independent board of directors presided over by David Shaw, MSU vice president for research and economic development. It is subject to an independent A-133 Audit



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