Russell Hampton
ClubRunner Mobile
Jul 28, 2020
COVID-19 Update
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
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
If you haven't been able to attend our Zoom meetings, here's what we see when we attend.
We reserve the first 15 minutes for fellowship and give our speakers nearly 30 minutes for their

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 21, Keith Elliott, Founder & Executive Director, Sow Reap, Feed
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.

Almighty God, at the apex of this summer season, we turn from leisure and work to engage in this hour of fellowship and to reaffirm our identity as irresponsible citizens, committed to service, and to the practice of that which is true, fair, and beneficial in our relationships.

Accept our gratitude for sociability enjoyed here today, and for the joy of involvement in this special fellowship.

We pray with hearts and spirits energized to serve. Amen.


Club Announcements:



  • Edward Erlich                              July 29
  • Steve Orlansky                            July 29
  • Billy Walton                                 July 31
  • Charles Lindsay                           August 1
  • Wyatt Emmerich                          August 1
Wedding Anniversaries:
  • None
Membership Anniversaries
  • None
Rotary Club of North Jackson has Zoom Meetings
For the past 4 months (April - July) the Rotary Club of North Jackson has conducted its meetings via the Zoom system because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of the continuing spread of new COVID-19 cases, the club's board voted on July 2 to continue Zoom meetings until medical experts and governments determine that it is safe to resume in-person meetings. The following photo shows a typical Zoom meeting computer screen. The system permits attendees to communicate orally via their computer microphones and in a chat box that is part of the Zoom system. Speakers and other attendees can easily share their own presentations and screens.
If you haven't been able to attend a Zoom meeting, I encourage you to do so. You can keep up with what our club is doing, fellowship with your fellow members, and learn from our high-quality group of speakers. In your editor's opinion, Zoom will not replace in-person meetings, but until it is safe to resume those in-person meetings, it is a workable substitute. 
Sow, Reap, Feed Founder Speaks to Rotary Clubof North Jackson
Keith Elliott, Founder and Executive Director of Sow, Reap, Feed (SRF) spoke to the Rotary Club of North Jackson at the club's July 21, 2020, meeting. Elliott is a native Jacksonian and is a graduate of Middle Tennesse State University. Sow Read, Feed is a food-based nonprofit founded in 2017 that aims to counter food deserts in Jackson. SRF grows produce on formerly wasted, abandoned property in Jackson and sells that produce to citizens. According to Elliott, 81% of Jackson is a food desert. A food desert is a neighborhood that does not have access to full-serve grocery stores. It is quite common for larger cities to have food deserts that force residents to rely on fast food outlets for much of their food causing those residents to not have fresh foods to eat. A visit to South, West and part of Northwest Jackson, will validate the existence of the food desert. We sincerely thank Elliott for his presentation and for what his organization is doing and has done for Jacksonians. He is shown during his presentation in the following photo.
"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.





This week’s Rotary Thought is about 

Uncertain times calling for innovation

Posted on 
Unloading face shields

Rotary members load boxes of assembled face shields for Form5 Prosthetics. With the help of Rotary members in New Albany, Ohio, USA, the company has produced more than 5,000 face shields for health workers.

By Michelle Davis, past president of the Rotary Club of New Albany, Ohio, USA, and an assistant governor in District 6690

Wash your hands. Wear face masks. Self-quarantine. COVID-19. Pandemic. Whoever thought these phrases or words would become part of our everyday life!

As a Rotarian, I know we are “problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change.” When our District 6690 leaders communicated an opportunity to use a district grant in response to the global COVID-19 crisis, I knew we needed to jump in. But how?  What impact could we make in our community using a district grant?

The Rotary Club of New Albany, Ohio, proceeded to submit a grant proposal to purchase a 3-D printer for Form5 Prosthetics to increase their production of the re-usable face shields for first responders and medical professionals. Form5 Prosthetics is no ordinary non-profit organization.  The young CEO and innovator, Aaron Westbrook, was a newly inducted Rotarian with big ideas and a big heart. Form5 is also near and dear to the hearts of our community.

In true Rotary fashion as People of Action, our club rallied to not only respond to the pandemic but to also support one of our own. I’ll let Aaron tell the rest of the story:

Face shields

Form5 Prosthetics has a goal of making 10,000 face shields for health care workers.

Although I have only been a Rotarian for about four months, I feel like I have been a Rotarian my entire life. I have always had the heart to serve others and to give to my community. I was inducted roughly two weeks before COVID-19. I made it one of my goals for 2020 to serve my community in a new way, beyond my work at Form5 Prosthetics. I believe that Rotary is the way to connect those with voices in your community – “the do-gooders” — and together make a collective impact, especially in a time of need. And that’s exactly what Rotary has proven to be for me.

That collective impact is something that inspires me to get up in the morning and drives me late into the night working. It is what has made all the impossible things in my life possible. As following executive orders, health guidelines, and stay-at-home orders became our normal, our team at Form5 could not help but follow the innovation happening overseas by makers and engineers stepping up to provide PPE in a dire shortage. In just four days, our board and committee members designed and 3-D printed a re-usable face shield to protect the eyes and airways of those on the front lines of the pandemic.

Three months later, we have now produced 5,000 face shields with a goal of 10,000 to donate to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We pivoted our work to print our face shield design – leveraging our creativity, passion, and idle printers due to not being able to work with recipients. This expansion of our impact could not have been possible without community organizations like The Columbus Foundation and The Rotary Club of New Albany, Ohio, and others that funded our production of face shields – providing additional 3D printers, materials, supplies, etc.

The health and safety of our team, recipients, and volunteers remain at the forefront of our work going forward and we have been mindful of the service of our Rotarians in our face shield production.

We were happy to begin pick-up and drop-offs of supplies in June – allowing Rotarians to assemble shields and bring back to Form5 to sterilize and distribute to those on the front lines.

The Rotary Vision is more than just a statement – it is who we are! “Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change — across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.”