David Burt: Sargent Jasper

May 10, 2016 – This week the club received a very timely message on a topic of interest to us all from our very own President Elect Elect, David Burt, who was pinch-hitting for our scheduled speaker who had to cancel at the last minute.  In David’s work with LS3P, he has headed the team working with The Beach Company on re-development of the Sargent Jasper site.  At the outset of his talk, David pointed out that the Board of Architectural Review (“BAR”) in Charleston was founded in 1931, making it one of the oldest, if not the oldest such institution in the country.  It has been instrumental in preserving the historic nature of downtown Charleston, which makes our community Mecca it is for both tourists and those new residents alike.  The City of Charleston Planning and Zoning Departments regulates the use, height, footprint and the like of buildings, but the BAR is charged with ensuring that buildings are in character with neighboring structures.  Read more

Amy Brennan: The Center for Women

May 3, 2016 – Our keynote speaker this week was Amy Brennan, Executive Director of The Center for Women (the “Center”).  Amy presented the 2015 Status of South Carolina Women Report – Charting the Course for Change (the “Report”).  The Report is a tool for South Carolina to measure the equality and opportunities provided to women in this State to ensure the economic success of businesses, families, and our communities. The goal of the Report is to provide a snapshot of South Carolina’s current state of equality and then to use the Report as a starting point to make changes for the better. The Center anticipates entities and organization to use the Report, including corporations who want to achieve the highest profitability, local governments who want to attract businesses, and community members who want to see improvements in the South Carolina economy.  The ultimate purpose of the Repot is to articulate the challenges that we currently face as a state that limit women’s economic success.

The Report focuses on four key indicator areas: (1) Leadership; (2) Health and Safety; (3) Education; and (4) Economic Security.

Leadership – In South Carolina, women are under-represented in elected office and in top-level management.  While the national averages of representation are not optimal, South Carolina is profoundly lacking women in leadership positions.  One way to address this issue is to increase women’s board representation on publicly traded company boards. In South Carolina, there are 43 publically traded companies and only one of them (Blackbaud) has 33% women board representation.  In addition, increasing the number of women in elected office is crucial.  The more women elected to office, the more likely South Carolina government is to support the opportunities and protections of women.  In 2014, only 19% of people who ran for statewide elected positions were women.  While South Carolina is one of five states to have a female governor, our state ranks 49th in the number of women elected to the state legislature.

Health and Safety – Access to health care is lagging and violence against women leads to lost work days/wages, court and legal fees, significant emotional and behavioral effects on children, and acute and chronic health issues for women.  The South Carolina maternal death rates have unexplainably increased by almost 300%over the past couple of years.  In January 2015, Governor Haley convened a Task Force of representatives from more than 65 government and non-government entities at the state and local levels to improve areas affecting domestic violence.  The Task Force produced 50 recommendations of identified problems.  The Center has identified 4 key recommendations: (1) develop school curriculum to help children understand healthy relationships; (2) all law enforcement adopt best practices for reporting and screening domestic violence; (3) continue to support and facilitate local communities for additional emergency housing; and (4) determine bet practice for categorizing all potential domestic violence, as current statutory definition excludes dating violence.

Education – Building an educational system that makes education attainable ensure economic success for all families.  Despite the success that women have in attaining high levels of education, there is no correlation to success in high level careers and financial security.  Unfortunately, significant gaps continue to exist.  To ensure women’s economic security, young women should be educated about which jobs in South Carolina offer opportunity.  Directing education towards successful careers allows employers to have a large talent pool.  A workforce talent gap is projected by 2018, with growth primarily in five key sectors where gender gap currently exists: (1) industrial productions; (2) computer and software; (3) science and engineering; (4) sales and marketing; and (5) medical.  To emphasize high-skill and high-wage jobs, we should encourage young women into apprenticeships opportunities early.

Economic Security – In order for women to achieve success and have the greatest opportunities, we must look at developing look at developing economic security from a holistic approach.  Encouraging interest in and providing access to high-wage, high-demand jobs and expecting equal pay for equal work are two ways to increase economic outcomes for the entire State.  Currently, there is approximately a $10,000 disparity between the median salaries for men and women in South Carolina.  Such earning disparity is an issued that affects our state’s economy.  Because South Carolina is ranked 40th in the nation for the overall state of childcare, we should increase the availability of quality, affordable child care.

The core mission of the Center is to help women success by connecting them with success.  Currently, the Center focuses on three main service areas: (1) Leadership and Development; (2) Financial Security; and (3) Advocacy and Awareness.  The Center serves more than 1,100 individuals each year through programs and workshops, including (i) The South Carolina Women’s Business Center, (ii) Ready for Work, and (iii) Smart Leadership.

Abe Gutting, Keyway Committee

COL Robert K. Lyman: USAF, Commander, Joint Base Charleston and 628th Air Base

April 26, 2016 – Colonel Rob Lyman joined us to give us an update on  Joint Base Charleston and remind us of how extensive the base’s mission is, not only locally but on a national and global scale.

Colonel Lyman is the Commander of both Joint Base Charleston and the 628th Air Base Wing, South Carolina.  As the commander, he is responsible for $7.5 billion in base property and capital assets and controls an annual budget exceeding $172 million.  He most recently served as the Director of Communications and Chief Information Officer of Headquarters Air Mobility Command at Scott Air Force Base.  Formerly, he was the Chief of Strategy Integration in the Air Force Office of Business Transformation, has served as a White House Fellow in the Office of the Secretary of Transportation, and has multiple combat zone deployments.  Read more

Michael Ackerman: First Responders and PTSD

April 19, 2016 – The term speech seems too mild a word to describe Charleston County Deputy Sheriff Michael Ackerman’s presentation to the club this week.  For three minutes rapt Rotarians were transported into the danger and anxiety lived by first responders daily as Deputy Ackerman played the recording of the radio calls from the night of September 8, 2014, when he and his partner were shot while responding to an incident at the Gardens at Ashley River apartments.  Ackerman’s partner died, he was shot in the leg and he faced the life-changing unwanted decision to end the perpetrator’s life.  To this day Deputy Ackerman battles PTSD and his attempts to gain assistance with his struggles led to his discovery that the five thousand first responders in the Charleston area as well as those throughout South Carolina, have no coverage under worker’s compensation laws for this service-related injury.  Read more

Dr. Harris Pastides: University of South Carolina

April 12, 2016:  Dr. Harris Pastides has been the president of USC since 2008 having arrived at a time of a major nationwide recession. Non-the-less his outlook for the university as to improvements and growth was positive.  And there has been both growth and change at USC. SAT entrance exam scores are the highest in the nation. The HONORS COLLEGE is ranked as the best in the nation.  As a fellow Rotarian he believes that the spirit of Rotary should be imparted to all students. They should be encouraged to vote, and to devote time for the improvement of their communities. Students should learn to provide for future generations, not just focus on their own lives. He is “bullish” on students but not as optimistic about what is taking place in the state capitols and in Washington, DC.  He feels strongly that public officials should act as Americans first and do what is required of them. Conversely the students coming to the campus do have a spirit of optimism. There have never been more applications to the university, which now has an enrollment of over 37,000. One half of the students attending college in South Carolina attend schools in the state system. USC has a growth plan to admit 100 more freshmen each year.  Read more