Friday May 24, 2013

Seattle's Fifty Year Journey from World's Fair to World Stage!

Michael Luis

Scribe: Jenny Andrews Editor: Jim Kindsvater

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In this Issue

The meeting opened with a selection of music followed by the invocation, flag salute and introductions. Mike Ralph presented a rundown of International projects and Ann Norman covered current situations re exchange students. Chris presented Girish as Rotarian of the Month and Paul Chapman reminded all of the upcoming Rotating the Wheel gala. Katherine De Stephano presented a rundown on the 10K. Michael Luis described his book about the growth of Seattle from a business perspective.

Speaker Program

Bob Holert
Bob Holert

Bob Holert introduced Michael Luis, who discussed his book “Seattle’s Fifty Year Journey from World’s Fair to World Stage”. Mr. Luis pointed out that Seattle’s success is unusual. Generally speaking, in order to succeed a business community needs to be large (the bigger the better), have a central location, have economic activities and good weather. Seattle has none of these assets; in size we are overshadowed by San Francisco and Los Angeles. We are not centrally located nor do we have a viable business climate. And Pacific Northwest weather actually repels people!

However, as Mr. Luis points out, we are a central location for Pacific Rim trade. Our railroads and ports contribute mightily to our success. Our semi isolation actually helps with respect to transportation.

Mr. Luis noted that Boeing was a timber company and acquired spruce forests for aircraft. As we all know, Boeing is no longer in timber nor are airplanes made with wood and cloth. “Good fortune goes to those who are prepared”.

Speaker's Award
Speaker’s Award

Mr. Luis concluded by noting that while good fortune requires the right people, the Pacific Northwest has trouble recruiting the “Right People”. We need to find out specifically why people don’t come and/or why they leave.

Seattle and environs are a Century 21 City!

President Chris presented Mr. Luis with a certificate recognizing 1000 pounds of food donated to Rotary First Harvest in his name.

Club Business

Francine Weaver and Justin von Gortier
Francine Weaver and Justin von Gortier

The morning started with a medley of tunes selected by Andrew Face followed by the invocation from Justin von Gortier and introductions by Francine Weaver.


Mike Ralph
Mike Ralph

Mike Ralph, Director of International service, presented a brief rundown of BBRC International Projects:



• Youth Exchanges

• Columbia Water Project

• Computers for the World

• Malaria-Kalalushi project

• Greatest Goal Ministry

• Kenya Water Project

• Imagine Scholar Project


Ann Norman
Ann Norman

Ann Norman, Chair Youth Exchange, followed Mike noting that Danielle Kremen will be our outbound exchange student this year. We have a need for housing for our inbound German exchange student.

Pres. Chris and Girish Bhatia
Pres. Chris and Girish Bhatia


President Chris presented Girish Bhatia with the plaque designating Girish as Rotarian of the month.


Paul Chapman noted that there will be no Friday meeting June 15 as Rotating the Wheel will be June 16 at the New Castle Library. The theme this year is “Rock of Ages” and the buffet line will be in the same order as registrations!


Katherine DeSephano
Katherine DeSephano

Katherine DeStaphano presented the results of the 10K:

• 233 Volunteers

• 632 10K Runners

• 667 5K Runners

• 455 Walkers

• 141 Kids Dash Participants

• 1895 Total Participants

Katherine noted that we received $53,300 from sponsors and $55,733 in registration fees which nets us a bottom line of $76,389 from the 10K. ($32,644 expense estimate not in Katherine’s report.) Katherine noted that the 10K net, $76,389, coupled with the Golf net of $32,625 provides approximately $109,000 for Foundation Spending.


BBRC now has a Polio Facebook page; Members are encouraged to “Like” the page.

June 29 will be a Good Earth Day. Bellevue Parks would like 20 volunteers for work in the Mercer Slough.

Thought for the Week

I never think of the future – it comes soon enough. Albert Einstein

About the Speaker