Larry Meisner

How to Build a Successful Local Bank

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Mar 022015
As the last of four business-oriented speakers in February, John F. Windley President & Chief Banking Officer, South State Bank spoke on building banks in the 21st Century. He described spending the first half of his career working for major regional and national banks in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia, and then transitioning to a much smaller bank. He succeeded in building South States Bank from a small group of local banks into a profitable regional bank with a local feel for business. John was especially proud of the bank’s performance during the recent recession, noting that the bank never lowered its dividend payments. Rotary 2-24-2015 (2) Rotary 2-24-2015 (1)

Author Teresa Bruce tells of her Other Mother

 Making Connections  Comments Off on Author Teresa Bruce tells of her Other Mother
Feb 212015
Once again a local author spoke at Sea Island Rotary. Teresa Bruce discussed her book The Other Mother. She also told us about the often hidden part of writing: marketing a book. She gave us details about finding an agent, a publisher, and the many steps still needed even with those hurdles overcome. The book itself is an excellent biography of an influential and artistic woman who left her mark on her adopted community, especially on the many young people who regarded her as their other mother. Teresa Bruce tells us what being an author is really like DC Gilley introduces Teresa to the club Rion asks for volunteers for the upcoming Biathlon Bob Gross explains he's only asking for a little blood substitute photographer Dave takes a selfie of his winning the door prize

Local Author speaks to Sea Island Rotary

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Feb 102015
Beaufort Author Wendy Nilsen Pollitzer spoke to Sea Island Rotary Club on January 20, where she presented her book South. The book is a compendium of selections by southern authors and photographers. Wendy read a passage by a veteran talking about the importance of the military in the south, including the famous quote that if South Carolina got one more military base it would break off and sink into the ocean. (That may have been Georgia or Virginia, which also have their share of military bases. ) Ms. Pollitzer presents Bob Gross with his copy of her new book

Port Royal Sound Foundation: Educating the Community about our Unique Environment

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Feb 082015
Executive Director Jody Hayward and biologist Tim Price spoke at Sea Island Rotary to educate us about the mission and programs of the Port Royal Sound Foundation. The Foundation recently opened a Maritime Museum at the former Lemon Island Marina site. The museum, which is open daily, includes both permanent and temporary exhibits relating to the environment and culture of the Port Royal Sound area, including Beaufort, Bluffton, Hilton Head Island, and the surrounding waterways. The museum also features lectures and activities related to environmental education. DSC_0034 Tim Price gives us a biologist's perspective on the Port Royal Sound area Woody Oakley thanks everyone who volunteered at the joint Rotary oyster roast

Sea Island Rotary hosts Hunting Island Adventure Biathlon

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Jan 312015

Each March Sea Island Rotary hosts an awesome Adventure Biathlon Race at Hunting Island State Park, SC.  The race includes a 6 mile paddle, which begins in the park’s lagoon and goes out to Fripp Inlet and then back to the lagoon where the paddlers transition into a 4.3 mile trail run through the pristine natural forest of Hunting Island.  Some athletes  complete the course in Teams, where one paddles and the other runs – which we call a Relay Team.  Or even both paddle in a tandem kayak and then both run and then must finish together – which we call a Tandem Team.  Recently we joined the bandwagon and added an SUP (stand up paddleboard) categories to the event.

This race has grown substantially over the past 10 years into one of the Southeasts premiere Adventure Kayak/Run Biathlons.  Athletes travel from other countries just to participate in this local favorite event.  We average about 180 athletes who compete in 57 award categories for great prizes.  Our fellow Rotarians In District 7770 – and beyond – are welcome to participate in the race or just come and watch. After the race we meet at Boondocks for our Official Post Race Party where we enjoy free beer and chili, and fellowship (or bragging as some like to call it). WHEN:  March 7, 2015 WHERE: Hunting Island State Park EVENT STARTS:  11:00 a.m. HOW: COST:  $45 Solo & $65 Teams RACE HQ:  Higher Ground Outfitters  

Sea Island Rotary celebrates Birthday and Football, and learns History

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Jan 232015
Sea Island Rotary members had a great deal to celebrate this week. Long-time member and past president Jack Cunningham celebrated his 60th birthday, with our members serenading him. Two of our ardent Ohio State fans toasted the winner of college football’s first playoff. Jack enjoys celebrating his birthday with fellow Rotarians DSC_0005 DSC_0004                   On a more serious note, our program presented by Dr. Andy Beall of the Santa Elena Foundation board of directors focused on the early history of Beaufort and the Sea Islands. Dr. Beall showed us that the Spanish were the original European settlers in the Beaufort area, establishing a thriving colony that ended only when the English proved dominant in the region. The Foundation’s vision is to use this rich history to enhance our history-oriented tourism and thus help grow our economy. DSC_0011  

Sea Island Rotary Opens Year with TCL President

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Jan 152015
Our opening meeting features Dr. Richard Gough, president of Technical College of the Lowcountry. Dr. Gough discussed TCL’s mission and accomplishments, and also presented a fast-paced video highlighting the advantages of a technical or community college education. Rotary 1-6-2015 (8) Rotary 1-6-2015 (10) Rotary 1-6-2015 (1)  

Sea Island Rotary Marches in Beaufort Christmas Parade

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Dec 112014
Sea Island Rotary of Beaufort, South Carolina, participated in the annual town’s Christmas parade. Our float entry was called  “Light Up Rotary”  after Rotary Pres Gary C.K. Huang’s presidential theme for 2014-15.  We promoted our two fundraisers, “The Charity Shrimp Race” by having Jumbo the Shrimp (Stephanie Green) ride in Kathy Bundy’s white mustang convertible; and our “Hunting Island Adventure Biathlon” with a kayak being pulled behind Woody Oakley’s ‘53 Chev pickup. Several other members of our club passed out candy to the Christmas onlookers along the parade route. It was wonderful to watch the children’s faces light up as they received the candy, followed in almost every case by a sincere “thank you.” ChristmasParade (11) ChristmasParade (43) ChristmasParade (109) ChristmasParade (68) ChristmasParade (8)

Compassionate Beaufort visits Sea Island Rotary

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Nov 272014
Rotary 11-18-2014 (2) - Copy

Mike Seymour of Compassionate Beaufort Communities spoke to Sea Island Rotary Club. He explained how Beaufort is a small part of an international movement that grew out of Karen Armstrong’s book Twelve Steps to Compassion and the Charter for Compassion. Many cities and organizations have adopted the Charter for Compassion as a way to keep their focus and awareness around compassionate acts. As a reminder of this focus, Mike provided club members with cards to pass out when they see someone performing an act of compassion. The card thanks the person and asks them to pay it forward.

Rotary 11-18-2014 (5) - Copy Rotary 11-18-2014 (8) Rotary 11-18-2014 (7) - Copy

Sea Island Rotary hits the Jackpot

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Nov 202014
Our featured speaker on November 11 was Paula Harper Bethea, director of the South Carolina Education Lottery. Ms. Bethea, who has served on many boards, commissions, and other public bodies, has brought a wealth of experience to the SC Education Lottery. She explained that the lottery has contributed over $3.4 billion to South Carolina education since its inception in 2002, divided among grades K-12, higher education programs and scholarships, and other community education programs. She emphasized that her agency is a resource for education and a fiscally conservative, socially aware business enterprise. Ms. Bethea’s lively speaking style and passion for education kept our Rotarians involved in the program, and left us with an appreciation of the large program she administers. Rotarians busy eating lunch in preparation for the program Happy drawing winner Dave Homyk, wishing he'd won the SC Education Lottery   Paula Harper Bethea gives us a full explanation of the SC Education Lottery John Perrill makes sure we understand the benefits of the Rotary Foundation
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