November 24, 2008 Rotogram


Eric Clark, executive director of Mississippi’s State Board for Community and Junior Colleges, will update us on the system.


Continuing our tradition of recognizing excellence in education, we will honor outstanding local teachers and students. A teacher and two students will be recognized from each of four schools — Ward Stewart, Henderson, Armstrong and West Oktibbeha Elementary.


Invocation and Pledge: Carey Hardin

Attendance: There were 118 members (33 exempt) present, and 82 (20 exempt, 9 honorary) absent.

Guests and visitors: Members’ guests included Bob Jones of Bill Foster and William Pyron of Dennis Truax. Guests of the Club were Taka Sato, Youth Exchange Student, Jarrod Reneau, Ambassadorial Cultural Scholar, and Paul Sims of the Starkville Daily News.

Makeups reported: Carey Hardin in Gordo, Ala., and Sandra Harpole in West Point.

Kudos: Jack Forbus, past district governor, reported that our 2007-2008 average of $134.19 per member made us one of District 6820’s 3 clubs in the Every Rotarian, Every Year annual giving category. We are 4 times as large as Yazoo City, the number one club ($168.64), and 2.5 times as large as the second place club ($146.88), North Jackson. Ours was the district’s only EREY club in `06-`07.

One hot Rotary Minute:   Jeff Read, club treasurer, said, “As you know, budget can be some real hot and sexy material, but I’ll try to keep it PG-13.”

The annual budget process starts with committees’ submitting plans and requests for the year to the president or budget chair. Revenue and administrative costs are estimated. Then the proposed budget is submitted to the full committee. The board of directors has final approval.

Detailing the club’s budget “pie,” Read noted that 37 percent of dues go to meals, 42 percent goes to Rotary Foundation annual giving and community service projects, and the remaining 21 percent goes to administration.

“So, it sounds like your money is either consumed, well-spent, or blown on administrative costs,” he joked.

Christmas for Military Personnel: Tommy Prentice announced that First Methodist would be packaging Christmas gifts for military service persons. Anyone interested in contributing to the effort should do so before packages are shipped from First Methodist on Nov. 25.

New member induction: Greg Stewart inducted recent new members Judy Couey, Dale Tate, Dennis Bock and Doug Moore.


The Classification Committee recommended to the Board of Directors that the club admit as a new member JC Patton. A former Rotarian in Leland, his classification is Legal.


Memphis is a big player in the world marketplace due to its strategic location in the world’s biggest market — the United States.

Dexter Muller, senior vice president for community development at the Memphis Regional Chamber, set the perspective by telling us that  “Memphis is the smallest U.S. city” with a major airline hub, with an NBA team, and with a panda exhibit. It’s the place where Welcome Wagon started, where the MGM lion came from, where Holiday Inn started, and where Federal Express started.

Muller quoted author Tom Friedman’s assertion that today everybody is competing with everybody else over everything. In a world market, it is more challenging for a city or region to differentiate itself from other areas. He cited one development project that pitted Memphis against Enid, Okla. and Belgium.

In town to brief the Greater Starkville Development Partnership on Memphis’ role in regional economics, the MSU grad said, “Believe me, Starkville is not small in the world market place. You have just as much ability to compete as any other locale.”

Memphis’ strength is its position as a quadramodal transportation hub. Strategically situated for optimum use of water, rail, truck and air in moving goods, the city is an inland port.

The world’s largest cargo airport is Memphis’ biggest claim to fame with a $22 billion annual economic impact. Cargo accounts for $19.5 billion.

The per capita economic impact is the highest of any U.S. metro. More than 166,000 jobs are generated in the metro area with 30,000 employed by FedEx alone.

U.S. News & World Report has cited Memphis as the Number One Hassle Free Hub Airport.

About 100,000 people work in trucking logistics and transportation. More than 400 motor freight companies operate in Memphis offering direct service to all 48 contiguous states as well as Canada and Mexico. More metro markets can be served overnight (within 1000 km) from Memphis than any other city in the U.S.

Truck and rail are totally intertwined. Once products are moved by rail, they have to be distributed by truck.

Of the nation’s 6 class one railroads, 5 serve Memphis. All of the lines are investing heavily in the area because it is a crossroads. There are two north-south lines and two east-west lines, because “basically nobody wants to build more bridges across the Mississippi.”

The fifth line, the Canadian National, has combined the old Illinois Central with Canadian lines that connect the Gulf, the Atlantic and the Pacific. This three-coast railroad brings foreign goods into the system more quickly.

Memphis is the second largest inland port with the largest still water harbor on the Mississippi River. The fourth largest inland port in the country, it handles more than 18 million tons of cargo annually.

RAISING THE ROOF—The first of two Rotary Roofs for Starkville Habitat for Humanity houses went up this month. Rotarians Keith Remy, David Vanlandingham and Chip Templeton tour the McKinley St. site as Mississippi State students lay shingles. At the fall fellowship, the Club contributed more than $6,000, enough for two roofs. The second one will be raised in the spring.


Remember to nominate members for the Dec. 15 board of directors election. Offices to be filled include vice-president/president-elect, secretary, treasurer and 4 board members.


Christmas Parade Float Prep·································································································· Dec. 1-6
Last meeting of calendar year and election ··········································································· Dec. 15
Rodeo      ······························································································································· Feb. 13-14
Indian Group Study Exchange Team ······················································································ April
District Conference, Meridian       ··························································································· April 17-18
Volunteer as a Between the Lions reader················································································· Weekly

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