Monday, January 8, 2018: William Starrett – Artistic and Executive Director, Columbia City Ballet

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Please join us on Monday, January 8th when we will welcome William Starrett – Artistic and Executive Director, Columbia City Ballet to our podium.

Dancer, teacher, choreographer, and community leader, William Starrett, began his career with San Francisco’s Ballet Celeste before joining the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.  Through appearances as a principal dancer for the Joffrey Ballet and as a member of American Ballet Theatre under the direction of both Lucia Chase and Mikhail Baryshnikov, William has danced as a guest artist with more than 40 of the world’s most renowned ballet companies, Mr. Starrett’s talent as a dancer has earned rave reviews from coast to coast as well as a medal at the very first US International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi.

Mr. Starrett is beginning his 31st Season with Columbia City Ballet, South Carolina’s largest performing arts organization. As Executive and Artistic Director, he has staged more than 50 works – including 19 original, full-length ballets, 10 classical full-length ballets and 23 original narrated one-act educational ballets for children.  The Educational Outreach Series, which Mr. Starrett implemented in 1989, has introduced ballet to more than half a million schoolchildren in the Southeast.  Under his direction, Columbia City Ballet is entering its 57th year of continuous performance seasons.

Starrett is also the co-owner of Columbia Conservatory of Dance with Ballet Mistress, Mariclare Miranda. In 2002, Mr. Starrett was honored by South Carolina’s governor with the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award for achievement in the arts. In addition, Mr. Starrett is the official arts correspondent for WACH Fox News and hosts the weekly Arts WACH with William, a segment of WACH Fox News which provides an in-depth look at unique visual and performing arts events in the Midlands.

Monday, December 18, 2017: Major General Robert E. Livingston, Jr. – The Adjutant General (TAG) of South Carolina

Please join us on Monday, December 18th when we will welcome Major General Robert E. Livingston, Jr. – The Adjutant General (TAG) of South Carolina to our podium.

Major General Robert E. Livingston, Jr. serves as The Adjutant General (TAG) of South Carolina, the head of the Military Department of the state of South Carolina. He administers the affairs of the South Carolina Army and Air National Guard, the Emergency Management Division, the State Guard, and the Youth Challenge Academy. The Governor, by law, is the Commander-in-Chief. The Adjutant General is a Constitutional Officer and has the rank of Major General.

Livingston’s military service began when he enlisted in the South Carolina Army National Guard in March 1978. He was commissioned through the Palmetto Military Academy, Officer Candidate School in 1980 as the Top Honor Graduate. His military education began with his completion of the U.S. Army Infantry School in 1978 and Airborne School in 1979. General Livingston commanded the Task Force 218th in support of Operation Noble Eagle from June 2004 to January 2005. From May 07 to April 08, he commanded Combined Joint Task Force Phoenix (VI) in Afghanistan where he was responsible for the training and mentoring (advising) of the Afghan National Security Forces. His next assignment was Director for Strategic Plans and Policy (J5), National Guard Bureau, Arlington, Virginia. His last assignment was as Director, J5 Coalition Coordination Center, United States Central Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida where he was responsible for facilitating the exchange between the Command Staff for the United States Central Command and Military Senior National Representatives from over 60 countries. He was also charged with providing deployment support for Coalition Countries within the United States Central Command Area of Responsibility. Since January 2011, MG Livingston has served as The Adjutant General of South Carolina.

Livingston is President, Chief Executive Officer and Owner of Gregory Electric Company, Incorporated, which is headquartered in Columbia, South Carolina. Gregory Electric Company is a provider of complete commercial and industrial electrical, utility and telecommunications services with operations in nine states.

Monday, December 4, 2017: Joseph “Hilik” Shenkar – Legal Counsel, SC Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services

Please join us on Monday, December 4th when we will welcome Joseph “Hilik” Shenkar – Legal Counsel, SC Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services to our podium.

Mr. Shenkar is the legal counsel for the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS). Aside from handling the legal needs of the agency, Mr. Shenkar is also heavily involved with addressing the opioids epidemic in South Carolina. Prior to working with DAODAS, Mr. Shenkar was the designated Drug Diversion prosecutor for the Fifth Judicial Circuit, covering Richland and Kershaw counties. His prosecution focused on criminal cases involving the diversion of pharmaceutical drugs to the illicit market. Mr. Shenkar also held a position with the United States Attorney as a Special Assistant US Attorney. In addition to prosecution, Mr. Shenkar spearheaded legislation in the field of drug diversion prosecution and opioids abuse. Mr. Shenkar has also handled various appeals for the Fifth Circuit, including both Magistrate Appeals in Circuit Court and arguments before the South Carolina Supreme Court. Prior to focusing on drug diversion prosecution, Mr. Shenkar prosecuted a variety of crimes, ranging from burglaries to assaults.

Fellow Rotarian Jonathan Milling is going to jail and he needs your help!

header-logo-lock-upWhile it’s not a real jail, it’s even more important as he’s raising bail to help children and adults with muscle disease in our community who are supported by the vital work of the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). He might not be able to rely on good behavior to get out so that’s why he needs you to post bail! Just click here to make a secure donation and together we’ll Make a Muscle and Make a Difference in the fight against muscle disease. Any amount is greatly appreciated and will help those in need.




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.