Columbia Rotary: Lewis Gossett from the SC Manufacturers Alliance will address the club on Monday, May 4, 2015.

image122Lewis Gossett is President & CEO of the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance, the state’s only statewide organization dedicated to the interests of manufacturers. He served as Director of the SC Department of Labor during the Beasley Administration from 1995-1999, and was a shareholder at the Ogletree, Deakins law firm prior to becoming the SCMA President & CEO in 2003.

Lewis was awarded the prestigious Harry S. Truman Scholarship in 1985. He received a Bachelors of Arts degree from Furman University in 1987 and a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1990.

Join us at Columbia Rotary on Monday, May 4 at Seawell’s in Columbia.  Our meetings begin promptly at 12:30PM and guests are always welcomed and encouraged.

Monday, April 27th: Dr. Joey Von Nessen, USC Moore School of Business

joey_office_photoPlease join us at Columbia Rotary on Monday, April 27, 2015.  Dr. Joey Von Nessen will update the club on the state of the South Carolina economy.  Guests are always welcomed and encouraged.

Dr. Von Nessen is a Research Economist in the Division of Research at the Moore School of Business where he conducts economic impact analyses, forecasts, survey research, and other applied work involving regional economic modeling. Dr. Von Nessen also specializes in housing economics and residential real estate and provides economic and marketing research to clients in both the private and public sector.


Monday March 9th: Betsy Fleming, President of Converse College, will address Columbia Rotary


On Monday, March 9, 2015, Columbia Rotary is pleased to welcome Dr. Betsy Fleming as our guest speaker.  Betsy Fleming has served as President of Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina since October 2005.  Betsy was graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with an A.B. in Fine Arts, received a M.A. in History of Design from the Royal College of Art in London, and earned a Ph.D. in the History of Art from Yale University.  Betsy has served in administrative and curatorial positions at The Frick Collection and Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, J. Paul Getty Trust in Los Angeles, Yale University Art Gallery, and Victoria and Albert Museum in London.  She has taught at Yale and Parsons School of Design.  Immediately prior to her arrival at Converse, Betsy was Executive Director of the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, South Carolina.  An Aspen Institute Liberty Fellow, she has served on the boards of the Women’s College Coalition and the National Association of Independent Colleges, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Charlotte Branch and BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina.  She lectures widely on creativity, art and design history, women and leadership.

Remember, our goal is 500 guests this Rotary year.  Guests are always welcomed and encouraged.  Hope everyone has a great weekend and we’ll see you Monday at Rotary!

Monday, March 2nd: Eric Emerson and the Burning of Columbia


Please make plans to attend Columbia Rotary on Monday, March 2, 2015.

Eric Emerson, Director of the SC Department of Archives and History willDr. Emerson 002 give a presentation on the 150th Anniversary of the Burning of Columbia.

Here are a few links to recent press about events commemorating this historic event:

The State5 Myths about the Burning of Columbia by Jeff Wilkinson

Free TimesA City On Fire by Chris Trainor



Monday, February 9: Columbia Rotary welcomes Dr. Harris Pastides, President of the University of South Carolina

list_pastides_harris_8Calling all Gamecocks!  Dr. Harris Pastides, President of the University of South Carolina, will address Columbia Rotary on Monday, February 9, 2015.  

Dr. Pastides began his presidency at the University of South Carolina on Aug. 1, 2008. Just a few months later, the great recession began. Strong in the face of adversity, Pastides promised to accelerate USC’s momentum as a world-class university. He has kept that promise. Today, more than six years later, USC has experienced remarkable growth and positive change.

USC Columbia’s freshman classes, counter to the national trend, have grown continuously while posting the highest average SAT scores in university history. USC’s Honors College has been named the No. 1 public honors college in the nation, and the Palmetto state’s only Carnegie top-tier university is also home to top programs in areas such as undergraduate international business, public health, engineering, hospitality retail and sport management and more. In addition, just as The Chronicle of Philanthropy was reporting a significant drop in charitable giving to higher education, USC was setting university records with five consecutive years of more than $100 million in private giving.

An unwavering advocate for a superior student experience, Pastides encourages engagement beyond the classroom through leadership, service learning, international experience, internships and undergraduate research. Innovative programs like Palmetto College, On Your Time Graduation, Gamecock Gateway and Gamecock Guarantee are successfully providing greater access, flexibility and affordability to South Carolinians seeking a higher education degree. To date, 57,210 degrees have been awarded systemwide during Pastides’ presidency. He often says, “Nothing makes me prouder than the students we enroll and those that we graduate.”

Prior to joining the university’s faculty as dean of the Arnold School of Public Health, Pastides was a professor of epidemiology and chairman of the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He received his master’s in public health and his Ph.D. in epidemiology from Yale University. President Pastides and the first lady, Patricia Moore-Pastides, live on USC’s historic Horseshoe.

Monday, February 2: Columbia Rotary welcomes Rick Reames, Director of the SC Department of Revenue

Rick Reames SCDORReminder:  Our meetings will begin at 12:30PM beginning February 2nd.

On Monday, February 2, 2015, Rick Reames, Director of the South Carolina Department of Revenue, will address Columbia Rotary at the new meeting time of 12:30PM.  Please make plans to attend and, as always, guests are welcomed and encouraged.

Rick Reames III was appointed Director of the South Carolina Department of Revenue by Governor Nikki Haley on July 18, 2014.

Reames joined the SCDOR after 15 years in the private sector. He previously served as a partner in one of the largest firms in the United States with offices throughout South Carolina and North Carolina. Practicing primarily in the state and local tax arenas, Reames regularly advised local and multi-state businesses on all aspects of state and local tax including planning, controversy and economic development incentives.

Reames received a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Wofford College, a Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and a Master of Laws in taxation from New York University School of Law. He is a member of the South Carolina Coordinating Council for Economic Development and chair of the Enterprise Zone Committee. Reames also serves as an ex officio member of the State Board of Economic Advisors.

Reames is one of twenty-two Fellows selected for the Liberty Fellowship Class of 2016, a program which seeks to promote outstanding leadership in South Carolina. He served previously as a delegate to the South Carolina Bar House of Governors and as chair of both the Joint NC-SC Tax Conference and South Carolina Bar Association Tax Section.

Reames is originally from Florence, SC, and now lives in Columbia with his wife, Elizabeth, and their three children.

Main Street Battle for Blood


KP Main ST Battle for Blood 2014I just donated at The 4th Annual Main Street Battle for Blood at the Agapé Conference Center on Main Street and I ran into fellow Rotarian, Michael Kohn.   Michael Kohn-Main ST Battle for Blood 2014

Hope a lot of Columbia Rotarians were able to roll up their sleeves and donate today.  If anyone got some good photos for the website, please send them my way!  ( Have a great weekend, everyone!