Pictured L-R:  Aaron Ladner, Brad Smith, and Clifton Addison
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Immediate Past-President Sean Priebe presided over the meeting. Thanks to Freddy Walter who gave the invocation and to Brian Moore who led us in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Paula Brahan served as our greeters today.
Wes Brooks filled in for Tracie Flower and introduced today’s guests. Mary Ariail is a former Rotarian and a guest of Mary Cromartie. Brad Stevens is a guest of Chris Dunkley. Dr. Ronald Schwarz is a guest of Jonathan Shemper. Scott Hummel has as his guests today Katie Sims, Malcom Bounds and Ty Medling.
Aaron Ladner reminded members that we only have until next week’s meeting to bring toys for the children who will attend the Birthday Party for Jesus that will be held on December 17 at Christian Services.
Sean asked that members pray for Hayden Mitchell’s speedy recovery after his recent surgery. We are also asked to keep Lynn Walton’s mother-in-law’s family in our prayers. She died on Thanksgiving Day.
Jonathan Shemper then presented Dr. Ronald Schwartz a check for the 2016 Bike-a-Thon proceeds. Our contribution to the non-profit disentangleAD is $13,662.50. The sponsorship money for this year’s event was deposited with the Greater Pine Belt Community Foundation. The Foundation transferred the funds to the organization yesterday. Dr. Schwartz thanked our club for supporting the organization he founded to help ease the financial burden for Pine Belt families impacted by Alzheimer’s disease. To find out more or to make a direct contribution, call them at 601-579-5016 or email them at info@disentangleAD.com.
Ryan Moore than introduced today’s guest speaker, Dr. Brad Smith. Brad works for the Open Technology Center located in Hattiesburg. The OTC’s mission is to enhance operational capabilities of federal, state and local agencies through innovation, collaboration and implementation of open technology solutions.
Brad notes that every event involving human tragedy is always a local event. His non-profit organization was formed to help coordinate the use of federal funded resources down to the local governmental agencies who will almost always be the first responders. The OTC focus is specifically the Fourth Congressional District in Mississippi, which he says is just like every other rural area of the country.
The OTC is working to build a team. He notes that south Mississippi has more and a more diverse military presences than another other place in the United States. Each of these installations generally has the best that the federal government can buy. The issue is often the inability of these installations to share their resources. This is the primary mission of OTC.
To learn more about the Open Technology Center and the resources that may be available for your community, call 601-427-0152 or email Brad at Brad.Smith@OpenTechnologyCenter.org.