December 19, 2017
President Paula Brahan presided over the meeting. Thanks to Lynn Walton who gave the invocation and to Mary Arial who led us in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Thanks to Phillip Carter for serving as our greeter today. 
Mike Ratliff welcomed our visitor. He has former club president Garland Sullivan as his guest today.
Paula noted that the person scheduled to speak to our club came down with the flu. Efforts were made last evening to find a replacement but without success.
Prior to the club meeting Paul had distributed one half of a playing card. The other halves were placed into a bowl and drawn one at a time. As the cards were matched the Rotarian had a couple of minutes to discuss whatever he or she felt like sharing with other members.
We learned that Mike Ratliff loves to see live concerts and will see the Eagles in the coming year. Mary Ariail had a traumatic traveling experience recently but did manage to spend a wonder birthday celebration with her grandchild. Lamar reports that his son announced in May of this year that he wanted to learn how to play guitar. He had his first live performance last week. Phillip Carter participated in the St. Jude Marathon this year. Although he may not run in the event next year he plans to be at a very touching and memorable event. Holt McMullan encouraged everyone to see the newly opened Civil Rights Museum in Jackson. HE attended the grand opening and was very impressed with the facility and those who participated in the dedication ceremony. Steve Ramp sits on the personnel committee for the Pine Belt Community Foundation. He announced that Michael _____ was recently hired to take over the Foundation in early January. The entity distributes more than 2 million dollars back into the local community each year.
Many of us know Erin Granberry’s husband. He is retiring this month. We are sure they will have a very enjoyable retirement experience.
Chrissy Cullinane-Yelverton announced that one of her New Year’s Resolutions is to be a more regular Rotarian in 2018. Her work requires a great deal of travel and her work ethic keeps her at her desk through many lunch hours. We hope to see more of you in 2018.
Colby Sappington had a wonderful experience working this past weekend at Christian Services’ Birthday Party for Jesus. Paula thanked all club members who either volunteered for the event or provided toys for the children. Mary Cromartie reported that her husband Dean worked the event in her place and had an excellent experience. Mary and Dean leave soon for a two week trip to England.
Bill McLeod followed Mary, as he did in his presidency, and thanked each and every one for the experiences and friendships he has had through his local club and district involvement.
Newest member Michael McPhail reported that he had the pleasure of meeting Judge Mike McPhail. They plan to spend much more time together in the coming years.
Lynn Walton’s work is keeping her busy. Mortgage interest rates are still good. Her family celebrated the holidays last weekend. She will spend time with her siblings and their families over the Christmas holidays.
Steven Utroska reports that he will be keeping a close eye on the state legislature’s work over the coming three months. He believes education will be a big topic of discussion this year and also believes that several legislative changes regarding education can be expected. He is happy to discuss what he knows with any club member who is interested. Ryan Kelly will be keeping his eye on state and federal changes regarding health care and insurance. We can expect a program from Ryan within the next few weeks. Exciting new research using gene therapy are showing progress on a limited basis.
On the education front, Scott Hummel reports William Carey’s enrollment continues to climb. All of the buildings damaged in the January tornado have been repaired. There are currently several new construction projects underway to replace several of the building that could not be repaired. Faye Gilbert reported on a number of recent successes through the University of Southern Mississippi’s College of Business, including the introduction of a new international program, a name change and other progresses that are making the College world renown.
Johnny Stevens is happy to be retired but warns others that they should never go to work for a relative. We understand he is his daughter’s “go to guy” now that he has some free time.
Thank you to Bill Hughes for that poetic rendition. Who would have thought that you were a shy 22 year old? That will teach the girls !!!
Thanks to all of you for sharing. Congratulations to Larry LeBlanc who won the final drawing which was for a $25 gift card to T-Bones.
With  no other business or announcement Paula adjourned the meeting with our motto, “Service Above Self.”