Monday, March 7, 2016: John Katz, President of the Columbia Fireflies

kNbl9GIJohn Katz, President of the Columbia Fireflies will address the club on Monday, March 7, 2016.  The 2016 season marks Katz’s 24th year in Minor League Baseball and his 18th as a team’s top executive. He came to Columbia to serve as President Columbia Fireflies after serving as President of the Savannah Sand Gnats – a position he held from 2009-2015.

Prior to his positions in Columbia and Savannah, Katz had operated professional sports venues in Salem, VA, Stockton, CA and Modesto, CA. Katz was named the Sterling Mets Minor League Executive of the year in 2009. He was also named the Executive of the Year for the Carolina League in 2006 and the California League in 2000. In addition, he was the owner’s representative on the design, development and construction of Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton, CA which opened in April, 2005.Katz enjoys spending his free time playing soccer and reading obscure books about economics. A Boston native, Katz lives in Columbia with his wife, Anne, and their three children.

Columbia Rotary: Dr. Harris Pastides will address the club on Monday, February 29, 2016.

list_pastides_harris_8We will meet at the USC Alumni Center (corner of Senate and Lincoln in the Vista) on Monday, February 29, 2016.  Dr. Harris Pastides, President of USC, will address the club.  The meeting will begin promptly at 12:30 and parking is available in the garage behind the Alumni Center and the Columbia Hilton.  You can enter from Park or Pendleton Streets.  Bring your parking stub to the Sergeant At Arms desk and they will validate it for you.


Columbia Rotary: Lonnie Carter with Santee Cooper will address the club on July 20, 2015.

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAK-AAAAJGQwOTQ2NjhmLWI0MzItNDcwYi1hMjlkLWMzMDc1YTM5MDRhMwPresident-Elect John has a great program lined up for Monday, July 20th. Lonnie Carter, CEO of Santee Cooper, South Carolina’s largest power producer and the source of electricity for people in all 46 counties, will speak about trends in the energy industry, Santee Cooper’s operations and its involvement in economic development, as well as the state’s energy future. Please remember guests are always welcomed and encouraged.

The final meeting of the 2014-2015 Rotary year is now ONLINE!

Columbia Rotary would like to thank President John Johnston for a successful and dynamic year of Rotary service and leadership.  Go Rotary!

Good luck to President Mark Sullivan as he takes the lead for the 2015-2016 Rotary year!

If you missed the meeting, you can make it up online.  Remember to email Debbie ( so she can adjust your attendance.

Columbia Rotary: The February 9th meeting with Dr. Pastides and Marcus Lattimore is now ONLINE!

If you missed the February 9, 2015 meeting of Columbia Rotary, you can make it up online.  Just send Debbie a note and let her know you have watched it so she can adjust your attendance record.  (Debbie’s email:

I apologize for the loss of the last 2 minutes of the meeting on the video.  The battery was not fully charged and it died before Mr. Lattimore could finish his remarks.

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, January 12th: Dr. James P. Clements; President of Clemson University

jim-clements-bioDr. James Clements, President of Clemson University, will speak to Columbia Rotary on Monday, January 12, 2015.  Hope to see a lot of Tigers in the room!  Guests are always welcomed and encouraged.



Speaker Bio:

James P. Clements became Clemson University’s 15th president on December 31, 2013, after serving nearly five years as president of West Virginia University.  He succeeded Jim Barker, who retired after 14 years as Clemson’s president.  He is also a Professor in the School of Computing, College of Engineering and Science, at Clemson.

Clements is a nationally recognized leader in higher education who currently serves as Chair of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, North America’s oldest higher education association. Annually, APLU’s 235 member institutions enroll 4.7 million undergraduates and 1.3 million graduate students, award 1.1 million degrees and conduct $41 billion in university-based research.

Clements is also Chair of the American Council on Education’s (ACE) Commission on Leadership; co-chairs the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE); is a member of the Business Higher Education Forum; serves as academic co-chair of the Automotive Sector of the Council on Competitiveness-Energy and Manufacturing Competitiveness Partnership (EMCP); and is national co-chair of APLU’s Energy Forum. He previously served on the U.S. Commerce Department’s Innovation Advisory Board, where he was the only university president in the country to serve in that role.

He holds a B.S. in Computer Science and M.S. and Ph.D. in Operations Analysis from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Johns Hopkins University. He has published and/or presented more than 75 papers in the fields of computer science, higher education, information technology, project management and strategic planning. He also served as principal investigator or co-PI on more than $15 million in research grants.  During Clements’ tenure at WVU, the university set records in private fund-raising, enrollment, research and patients served through the health system, and reached 95 percent of its $750 million capital campaign goal two years ahead of schedule.

Prior to his service at WVU, Clements served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice President for Economic and Community Outreach, and the Robert W. Deutsch Distinguished Professor of Information Technology at Towson University, the second largest university in the University System of Maryland. He also led the Center for Applied Information Technology, which was a strategic, entrepreneurial initiative for the university, chaired Towson’s Department of Computer and Information Sciences, and was a consultant to numerous private-sector companies.  His Successful Project Management book is now in its 6th edition and is published in multiple languages and used in numerous countries.

Clements and his wife, Beth, have four children.