Russell Hampton
ClubRunner Mobile
Jul 21, 2020
Healthy Food for All People
Jul 28, 2020
Jackson Public Schools
Aug 04, 2020
Sanderson Farms Championship
Aug 11, 2020
Aug 25, 2020
Racial Reconcilation
Sep 08, 2020
Dist. 6820
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Bulletin Editor
Bill Osborne
Executives & Directors
Vice President
Director - Foundation
Director - Membership
Immediate Past President
Director - Public Relations
Director - Club Administration
Director - Club Service
Executive Secretary
At a special board meeting on July 2, the officers and directors of the Rotary Club of North Jackson reluctantly made the decision to suspend our plans to come back for in-person meetings at the Rickhouse next week. Based on the sharp rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in our area, the Board felt it would be best to revisit our timeline in the coming weeks as things continue to develop.
We know that many of our members are anxious to return to in-person meetings (as are we), but we want to do it in the safest way possible. In the meantime, we will continue our weekly meetings on Zoom and we have some outstanding programs/speakers lined up including our annual changing of the guard ceremony next Tuesday, July 7th. We have a lot to share with you about your Club’s efforts and achievements over the past Rotary year and plans for this coming year. We will also be introducing our incoming officers and board members, so please plan to tune in. We will be sending out a link to the Zoom meeting soon.
Thank you!
Lee Carney
President, Rotary Club of North Jackson
The following is a message from our past President, Greg Campbell who completed his term on June 30 and was recognized for his accomplishments at our club's July 7 meeting. Thanks for a great year, Greg!
"President's Message
Tomorrow will be my last club meeting to preside over. Six years ago, I was asked by a past president if I wanted to be nominated for the presidential process of our club (treasurer, secretary, vice-president, and president). I told them no. The next year they came back to me and asked me again. It meant a lot to me to be asked again after telling them no the year before. It meant that they respected me and thought I would be a good president. Well, I said yes with God's help and have not regretted it! Well...since the pandemic, maybe. LOL. I am so proud to be a member of Rotary and our club. I am so proud to serve as the president that guided our club to be awarded the Rotary District 6820 Governor's Award as the top club in the district! I am so thankful to our officers and directors for their guidance throughout this past year! I am thankful to Charles Lindsay for bugging me to join Rotary for many years and I finally said yes in 2007. I promise that I will not disappear like some of our past presidents. I will be here to cheer on and advise Lee, the officers, and directors for a great 20-21 Rotary year. May God Bless each of you as together, we change the world through Rotary!
Thanks & God Bless,
Zoom meeting invites with the link and password will be sent to all club members on Mondays. The Zoom meetings will continue to start at noon on Tuesdays with club member fellowship with the meeting starting at 12:15 p.m. If you have any issues connecting to the Zoom meeting or would like the link sent to you, please email me at

Here are links to recordings of the Zoom meetings

If you have difficulty getting the video to open. Just type the address into your browser's address bar and it should work. 
July 14, Scott Spivey, Executive Director, Mississippi Home Corporation.
July 7, Passing the Gavel, Installation of new Officers and Directors.
June 30, Mike Forster, Chair and CEO, Mississippi Coding Academies.
June 23, Jim Richmond, Vice President, Marketing, C Spire.
June 16, Dr. Alan Jones, Assistant Vice-Chancellor for Clinical Affairs, Chair & Professor Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC), "How UMMC Prepared for the COVID-19 Pandemic."
June 9, Dr. Scott Crawford, Livable Cities and Disabilities Advocate.
June 2, Jane Clover Alexander, President & CEO, Community Fund for Mississippi.
May 26, Keith Carter, Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics, Univesity of Mississippi (Ole Miss).
May 19, John Gibson, Director of Television, Mississippi Public Broadcasting.
May 12. Lakeysha Greer Isaac, 2019-2020 President, Junior League of Jackson
May 5, Honoring North Jackson Star Students and Teachers:
April 28, Tavia Cavett, Director of MBHS's Employee Assistance Program:
April 21, David Mars, Pilot & Adventurer
April 14 - Haley Fisackerly, Pres. & CEO, Entergy MS
April 7: Bob Miller City of Jackson Public Works director
March 31: Nelson Atehortua, MD, PhD
Prayer. Loving God, we pray for those adversely affected by the Coronavirus and for those working to manage the disease it causes.

O God most high, as we gather here today, we are grateful that we can be lifted out of ourselves and our private concerns to share with others in a fellowship of like-minded people. May the good-spirited banter between us, the fun of being together, and the awareness of a camaraderie in a common cause, enrich our lives.

We thank you for the social fellowship enjoyed here today. Mau some good ensue from this experience, for ourselves and for others. Amen.


Club Announcements:



  • Charlie Johnson                          July 21
  • Mark Green                                 July 25
  • Marisa Davidson                         July 27
Wedding Anniversaries:
  • None
Membership Anniversaries
  • Damon Williams               5 years, July 21
  • Pat Vivier                          4 years, July 26
"Passing of the Gavel" for Rotary Club of North Jackson
At its July 7, 2020, virtual meeting, the Rotary Club of North Jackson "passed the gavel" from 2019-2020 President Greg Campbell to 2020-2021 President Lee Carney. The following photo is of Greg physically passing the Gavel to Lee at an informal Officers and Directors meeting.
The following photo is of the 2020-2021 Officers and directors. Standing from left, Greg Campbell, Immediate Past President; Don Roberts, Executive Secretary/Treasurer; Chris Brantley, Sergeant at Arms; Neelam Goel, Foundation Chair; Bill Osborne, Public Relations Director; Jenny Price, Administration Director; and Lori Greer, Service Director. Seated from left, Uriel Pineda, Secretary; Dr. Suman Das, Vice-President; Lee Carney, President, and Larry Anderson, Treasurer. Not pictured, Matt Monsour, Membership Director.
We thank Greg for an outstanding year for which the Club received many accolades and we wish and expect to work for the same for Lee during her term as president.
Mississippi Home Corporation Executive Director speaks to Rotary Club of North Jackson

Mr. Scott Spivey, Executive Director of Mississippi Home Corporation (MHC), spoke to the Rotary Club of North Jackson at the club’s July 14, 2020, meeting. Mr. Spivey joined MHC fresh out of Belhaven College in 1998 with a BA in English. While at MHC, Spivey earned an MA in English at Mississippi College. The subjects of Spivey’s talk were MHC and affordable housing. 

Spivey said that housing is both economic development and a social stabilizer and that politically, he is neither a Democrat nor a Republican, but is a member of the Housing Party.

MHC's mission is to enhance Mississippi 's long-term economic viability by financing safe, decent, affordable housing and helping working families build wealth. In keeping with its mission, MHC has developed various programs for groups such as homebuyers, realtors, lenders, developers, property managers, and a special program for renters adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This rental assistance program is known by the acronym RAMP (Rental Assistance for Mississippians Program).

Per the MHC website, ‘There is no question that the need for affordable housing in Mississippi is tremendous. The state of Mississippi is constantly working to increase the quality and affordability of the housing stock available to low- and moderate-income Mississippians. The Mississippi Home Corporation (MHC) was created by the Mississippi Home Corporation act of 1989 to address these housing needs. MHC plays a critical role in these efforts working with the Governor, the Mississippi Legislature, the U.S. Congressional delegation, and others in the affordable housing industry to develop private and public partnerships throughout the state and nation to increase the awareness of Mississippi’s desperate need for affordable housing.”.

Looking to the immediate future, there are challenges and opportunities. The challenges are primarily due to the job losses due to COVID-19 and the pending expiration of the extended unemployment payments created by the CARES Act of 2020 at the end of July. The loss of the unemployment payments is expected to result in a massive number of evictions which will mean that landlords will lose rent payments reducing their ability to make mortgage payments and ultimately lose their properties reducing the rental stock available to low and moderate-income people.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 20 million Americans lost their jobs in March 2020 causing the employment rate to jump from about 4% in February to nearly 17% at the end of March. Spivey said that full employment is not expected to return until 2024. New spikes in the unemployment rate are expected at the end of July 2020 and later in the year if Congress can not agree on additional stimulus programs.

Spivey said that homeownership in Mississippi generally runs 7-10% above the rate in the US, but that these rates have been in steady decline due to a decline in family formation units and the difficulty in accruing down payment funds. MHC has programs to provide down payment assistance to moderate- and low-income first-time homebuyers. These assistance programs are threatened by rules by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Interestingly, Spivey said that 25% of first-time homebuyers get down payment assistance from family and friends and 15% get their assistance from government programs.

Discussing the real estate market, Spivey said that record low-interest rates of around 2.5% on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. He further said that demand is outpacing supply so there is a need for new housing units. 

We thank Spivey for his presentation and for his service to Mississippi and Mississippians. The following photo is from MHC.

Mississippi Coding Academies Chair and CEO Speaks to Rotary Club of North Jackson
Michael “Mike” Forster, Chairman of the Mississippi Coding Academies spoke to the Rotary Club of North Jackson at the club’s June 30 meeting. Mr. Forster is an electrical engineering graduate of Mississippi State University. He began his career with IBM, achieving the level of division vice president. He then moved to Munich Germany as President and GM of international operations for Prime Computer. After his return to the USA in 1993, he had two successful experiences as CEO of mid-sized software companies, taking them both to successful exits for their investors.

Mike and his wife, Bettye, came back to their hometown of Louisville, MS, in 1998.  Mike is an elder at First Presbyterian Church, teaches the adult Sunday School class, and is a member of the Louisville Rotary Club.  Mike is an avid pilot with more than 3000 hours in the cockpit, flying his Cirrus aircraft for business, pleasure, and philanthropic work.  

He is currently president of a family-owned company in the helicopter aerial application business. In addition, he serves as president of Louisville’s airport board, and as director and executive committee member of InnovateMS.  He also serves as the Board Chair of a Mississippi-based healthcare-company.

The purpose of his presentation to the Rotary Club of North Jackson was to tell us about an exciting venture that he and fellow Rotarian Rich Sun co-founded, the MS Coding Academies.  

He began his speech by stating the fact that the state of Mississippi graduates fewer than300 Computer Science graduates annually to fill 1,000 open jobs, and half of those graduates leave the state for other opportunities. The purpose of the coding academies is to have high school graduates spend a year becoming coders to address this gap of supply and demand in our state.

Program graduates become what are called “Full Stack” coders. The term “Full Stack” means that students will be working with every layer in the “stack” of a typical web application: user interface, front end (browser), middle tier, and back end (server and database). In addition to coding, the program focuses on teaching the students to become disciplined team players. The program runs 40 hr. per week and takes a full 11-month academic year. There is no homework.

Typical new students are high school graduates working minimum wage jobs, typically in the fast food industry. When they successfully complete the program their base salaries average around $40,000 annually. The program is highly intensive. Potential employers attend the classes and play a vital role in making the educational experience relevant. The Coding Academy Instructors are required to have a “real world” coding experience in addition to their academic credentials. 

Currently, there are three coding academies in the State of Mississippi: Water Valley, Starkville, and Jackson. The program expects to expand into the Gulf Coast region in the next year and will ultimately graduate 80 - 100 new coders annually. The Academies in Jackson and Starkville have graduated 82 coders in the 2017-2020 period. Those graduates have seen cumulative salary increases of $850,000 per year from their pre-academy levels. Most of the enrollees are from a diverse population with females and African-Americans making up the majority of the enrollees. 

Comcast has funded a special program for Veterans that is showing great promise. There is no cost to the attendee to participate in the program, but the full cost is about $17K per year for civilian attendees and about $8k for the veterans’ program.

The academies have created a for-profit subsidiary,  MS CodeW Works, to provide coding resources as an alternative to work that is now outsourced outside the USA The founders envision Mississippi becoming a key outsourcing location competing very favorably with Asia when Code Works is up and running. 

The expectation of the founders is to increase the level of diversity in technical jobs, and to reduce the gap between jobs and talent. Both Starkville and Jackson are recruiting for their next cohort of students with classes to start in August. Currently, there are 60 prospective students in the screening process. 

We thank Mike for his presentation and for his work with the coding academies.




C Spire Vice President Speaks to Rotary Club of North Jackson

Jim Richmond, Vice President, Marketing of C Spire spoke to the Rotary Club of North Jackson at the Club’s June 23, 2020, meeting. Mr. Richmond joined what was then Cellular South in South West Mississippi in 1991. He is a graduate of Mississipi State University. He serves on the Mississippi State University Foundation board and the boards of several Banks and financial institutions. He and his wife Jennifer have two daughters, one of whom is in Medical Schools at UMMC and the other is affiliated with Clinton Public Schools.

Richmond commented that C Spire is a heavy user of Online systems that permit many of its employees to work remotely even in “normal” times. He said that C Spire has multiple lines of business:

  • Wireless Division which was started in 1988 as Cellular South. Prior to entering the mobile communications business, the company had a landline business that was formed in 1950. The wireless division has footprints in Mississippi, Memphis, and Mobile. The company is convenience focused and is offering appointments, curbside service, and self serve web options available to clients. The wireless business unit is working on 5G service which is in progress. C Spire currently has some 5G sites in operation The company is the largest privately held wireless company in the US. 

  • Business Division with offices in Hattiesburg, Mobile, Birmingham, and several Tennessee cities.  It focuses on Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. The business division has customers in 38 states. It has a large variety of offerings, including VOIP, cloud data storage, premier hardware offerings, and acts as a consultant to its customers. The business division is highly ranked nationally as a premier service provider to its IT customers.

  • Home Division which was created in 2013,  provides service to 23 Mississippi cities and will expand to Alabama in July. It offers gigabit fiber, Mesh wifi, and has a dedicated blue shoe crew.

  • Other areas in which C Spire is involver are:

    • Health where the company launched a telehealth application for physicians to use in2019. This was expanded in 2020 to permit consumers to contact  UMMC to schedule a COVID-19 test. The best example of this application was when it was launched to use to schedule tests at the Mississippi State Fairgrounds in the Spring of 2020.

    •  The Tech Movement with

      • Basecamp Coding Academy

      • C3 Coding Challenge

      • Software Development Pathway

These are aimed at creating more people with coding and programming skills

  • C Spire is part of a Rural Broadband Consortium that is working to expand the availability of internet technology to rural areas

  • The Mission Network (Mississippi Optical Network)  is a network that connects research institutions in Mississippi with other similar institutions throughout the country. It offers 100-gigabit connectivity to participants.

  • C Spire Foundation

    • Founded to focus on STEM initiatives, education, digital literacy, and workforce development

    • Provided scholarship funding to the 8 Mississippi Universities

    • Supports numerous STEM activities in Mississippi to help increase the pursuit of computer science in the state. These include, for example,  the basecamp coding academy, the Mississippi Children’s Musem Science Fest, and The C Spire Coding Challenges

When COVID-19 struck, C Spire was prepared. The company already had plans in place to deal with hurricanes, tornadoes, etc. Many of their representatives were already working remotely. Richmond said that his marketing personnel were already dispersed throughout their service area. The management team conducted daily update calls to check on personnel, network status, COVID trends, and other issues. C Spire has some 1705 employees so they had to make preparations for those not already doing so to work remotely. These update calls have now decreased in frequency to 3 days per week compared with the all-day calls on Saturdays at the beginning.

C Spire Cares is the initiative that the company has developed to help its costumers during the pandemic. The saying is that “our network has you covered.” People working from home, increased demand for video streaming service, etc had tested the network., but the network has performed. The company increased its access to streaming services by 50% to help its customers. 

CSpire developed Pop-up hot spots to allow students in underserved areas to continue schooling with the libraries and other access points shut down. The objective was to Keep America Connected. This program gave customers more time to pay bills and waived overage charges. During this time the business division representatives increased their consultant roles to their customers.

The company achieved sales records daily during the first part of the COVID shutdowns. It focused on increasing safety measures for employees and customers. At some locations, the installation representatives had to FaceTime the new customers and guide them through the installation of their new hardware.

CSpire also became internally focused during this period. They were concerned about the health of the employees. They initiate an internal Morning Show three or four days a week and also used direct emails to the employees and workplace posts. They also formed a safe return to the office team to plan for getting people back to their offices.

What’s Next?

  • Things are different now than they were before the pandemic struck.

  • C Spire will look for new opportunities. 

  • They will have a press conference on July 16 announcing the expansion of their home service into Alabama with service to begin in the fall.

  • The company will look for new initiatives in:

    • Health

    • Universities

    • Expanding its service area

We thank Richmond for his presentation and for the very good work that C Spire does. The following photo is from his Linked In profile:


This week’s Rotary Thought is about 

Discovering the power of Rotary during a pandemic

Posted on 
Sorting food for the food drive

Members of the Rotary Club of San Antonio, Texas, sort items for a food drive in a school parking lot.

By Nathan Rizzo, Rotary Club of San Antonio, Texas, USA

I have been a member of my club for two years, but it was in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic that I learned what it truly means to be a Rotarian. When my state of Texas went into quarantine, our club president, Brandon Logan, set up a ‘virtual happy hour’ on Thursday evenings. It was amazing to see all of the friendly, smiling faces of my fellow Rotarians. We spent an hour catching up; and then our conversation turned to service, and what we could do to help during the pandemic.

Our club had adopted a local elementary school, the Martin Luther King Academy, for the 2019-20 Rotary year. We had already created a Rotary Reading Room at the school to provide a quiet place for the students to read and do homework. We also made improvements to the campus through a program we call Kingdom for Kids. We knew we could not abandon the school during this time of need. When we reached out to the school principal to ask how we could help, her answer was succinct. They needed:

  1. Food
  2. Access to food drives
  3. School supplies.

It was in organizing an event to meet those needs that I learned about the power of Rotary. Our club had a connection with the San Antonio Food Bank and the United Way. Within a week, we had a project confirmed and scheduled. We had offers of trucks, boxes, and anything else we needed to run the food drive, and it all came from our members.

Three weeks later, we had 60 Rotarians, 10 other volunteers, and staff at the school ready for our first Saturday delivery. The plan included sorting food pallets dropped off by the San Antonio Food Bank in the parking lot of the school, creating separate stations for individual food items. Volunteers would then drive by each station while other volunteers loaded the items into vehicles.

We had a well-thought-out plan. But then 250 cars showed up, more than double the number we anticipated. Fortunately, our club has so many outstanding leaders that we were able to pivot in a short period of time and rearrange the drop off site, repacking food to feed as many families as possible.

Each family received meat, vegetables, fruit, non-dairy milk, bread, flour, and other staples. Through our third distribution, we have delivered over 100,000 pounds of food to serve approximately 5,000 people.

I knew our club was more than just a “lunch” club but I was amazed at how quickly we were able to come together to serve our community in such a meaningful way. I truly believe that when Rotarians unite in a mission, we can do anything.

Read what other clubs are doing during the COVID-19 pandemic