LCOL Jason Kirkland: 99th Airlift Squadron

August 16, 2016: Wando High School graduate Jason Kirkland, now Lt. Col. in the US Air Force and Commander of the 99th Airlift Squadron, was our speaker.  He graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1999 and then completed flight training.  He flew jet fighter planes and saw service in the Iraq Freedom Campaign flying T-17A Globemaster cargo planes.  In 2010 he was assigned as commander of 120 cadets at the Air Force Academy.  IN 2013 he was attached to the 89th Airlift Wing at Andrews Air Force Base and was eventually promoted to Commander of the 99th Airlift Squadron.

The mission of the wing is to transport senior members of the government and military staff including the Vice President, the First Lady, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of the Military Service.  Also included are senior military at the rank of four- star general.

The wing has five different types and sizes of aircraft available for service to any point in the world.  Most planes are clearly marked with the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA logo, but in some cases due to the sensitivity of a mission the planes are pure white without identification.  The wing includes 350 air force personnel, each selected for having an outstanding record and proficiency at the highest level of skill.  Subgroups of the wing specialize in flight arrangements, maintenance of aircraft, and the actual staffing of the plane selected for the mission.

The for-front challenge of the 89th Airlift Wing is to present a positive image of THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA at every point on the globe where they land.  Whenever you read and hear about top officials of the USA being in another part of the world, you can rest assured that Lt. Col. Kirkland and his staff have taken them there and will bring them home.

Fred Sales, Keyway Committee


Jay Karen: National Golf Course Owners Association

August 9, 2016: Jay Karen, CEO of the National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA) joined us for our August 9 meeting. Karen was most recently CEO of Select Registry, a collection of more than 300 fine inns, bed and breakfasts, and boutique hotels and for seven years prior, CEO of the Professional Association of Innkeepers International. Jay holds a Master of Arts degree in American History from the College of Charleston and is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) by the American Society of Association Executives. His primary interests include spending as much time with his family as possible (priorities), playing golf (since the age of 8), amateur photography (who isn’t these days?), social media (he keeps Facebook in business), contemplating the meaning of life (doesn’t everyone?), swinging a 53-pound kettlebell as often as he can (you should too), and eating foods that are really bad for him (one foot on the gas, one foot on the brake).   Read more

Cindy Alewine: Alzheimer’s

August 2, 2016: Virtually every Rotarian’s hand went up when guest speaker, Cindy Alewine, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Alzheimer’s Association of South Carolina, asked how many of us were directly or indirectly affected by Alzheimer’s disease.  It’s not surprising that nearly everyone is the room is impacted in some way by Alzheimer’s since it is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and five million of our citizens are suffering from this horrible disease.  In fact, as we learned from Ms. Alewine, one in nine people 65 or older suffers from Alzheimer’s or some form of dementia and one in three seniors dies from them.  Read more

Jordan Marsh: South Carolina Fix Our Roads

July 26, 2016 – Our keynote speaker this week was Jordan Marsh with South Carolina Fix Our Roads (“SCFOR”).  SCFOR is the only non-partisan, non-profit (501(c)(4) group that exclusively advocates for additional, sustainable and recurring funding for South Carolina’s long-term needs. SCFOR does not have a Political Action Committee and believes a safe and efficient highway system in essential to continuing South Carolina’ economic growth, thriving tourism industry, and most of all, the safety and well-being of South Carolinians.  Members of SCFOR include independent businesses, national organizations, local Chambers of Commerce, state-wide trade associations (safety, agriculture, trucking and tourism).  Read more

Katie Zimmerman: Coastal Conservation League

July 19, 2016 – Katie Zimmerman of the Coastal Conservation League spoke to our club this week giving an update on key issues of local importance.

Katie joined the League in 2009 as a Project Manager after working at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Coastal Services Center on performance metrics, strategic planning, and legislative tracking. She became Director of the Air, Water, & Public Health Program in 2013. Prior to her job at NOAA, Katie led several research and outreach projects on environmental justice, community empowerment, green building, and water quality. She earned her M.S. in Environmental Studies and her B.A. in English Literature with minors in Political Science and Environmental Studies, all from the College of Charleston. She currently serves on the advisory board of the Palmetto Cycling Coalition and the educational advisory board to the Lowcountry Graduate Center in Healthcare Management and Community Wellness.  Read more