Posted on Feb 23, 2018
Mike Ratliff filled in today for President Paula Brahan.
Thanks to Katie Anthony who gave the invocation and to Bill MacLauchlan who led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Our door greeters today were James Mitchell and Stephen Utroska.
Mike Ratliff then introduced today’s visitors. Faye Gilbert has Stacey Hall as her guest today. Paula Brahan has Mark Killingsworth as her guest. Bob Riley has his son, Rob Riley, and Mike Darby as his guests today.
Mike reviewed our club’s speaker guidelines and asked that those in charge of programs adhere to the guidelines.
Mike noted that the Meals on Wheels sign-up sheet is on the badge table and encouraged anyone interested in helping with this Rotary project to please sign up. If you prefer, you can sign up for any volunteer slot on the club’s website.
Dr. Faye Gilbert then introduced today’s guest speaker, Dr. Lou Marciani. Lou is the Director of the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security at the University of Southern Mississippi.
Lou noted that after the 9/11 attacks, public entities across the country began identifying soft targets that might be vulnerable to attack. In 2005 a team of researchers identified sport stadiums as a soft target and began developing risk mitigation best practices to protect fans and players. In 2006 the Center was founded and has grown significantly over the years. The National Football League is a close supporter of the Center and its efforts. Mississippi Homeland Security is also a strong supporter. Recently INTERPOL vetted the Center and is asking that it establish global best practices for stadiums and sport venues.
Lou maintains that the University of Southern Mississippi is a leader in this area and has established a master’s degree program through the College of Business. Today there are 15 majors enrolled and, as of today, everyone who has gone through the program has found a job in the industry. Through the University a National Sport Security National Laboratory was established. The lab is looking into new technologies and techniques that can be used to improve sport safety management.
The Center sponsors an Annual Sport Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition at which leaders and vendors come together to seek better ways to protect fans, spectators, and athletes.
To learn more about the Center, visit their website at
With no other business or announcement, James adjourned the meeting with our motto, “Service Above Self."