Russell Hampton
ClubRunner Mobile
Jul 14, 2020
Affordable Housing
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
View entire list
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 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.

Father of all mercies, on this summer day, we gather here to enjoy social interaction and to be reinforced in our commitment to serve.  Help us to use both our affluence and our influence in corporate structures, in private enterprises, and in social interchange, to advance the principles and causes we espouse as Rotarians.

 Accept our thanks for our manifold blessings, for food, for friendship, and for the commonality of effort. Grant to each of us the personal peace derived from faith and courage drawn from the commitment to truth. Amen.


Club Announcements:



  • Seymour Pooley                         July 16
  • Cynthia till                                  July 17
  • Steven O'Neill                             July 19
Wedding Anniversaries:
  • Eric & Lori Bragg                         July 14
Membership Anniversaries
  • Dave Orlansky                    12 years, July 15
  • Rita Sun                                 1 year, July 16
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:

Chair & Professor,  Department of Emergency Medicine, UMMC Speaks to North Jackson Rotary 
Dr. Alan E. Jones Chair and Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) spoke to the Rotary Club of North Jackson at the club’s June 16, 2020, meeting. Effective July 7, Dr. Jones will become Assistant Vice Chancellor of UMMC. The topic of Dr. Jones’ presentation was how UMMC prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic.


Dr. Jones is a 1994 graduate of Millsaps College where he studied Molecular Biology. He is a 1999 graduate of UMMC. Following UMMC did his residency at the Carolinas Medical Center (CMC) which was followed by a fellowship at CMC and MS in Public Health Coursework at University of North Carolina Charlotte. He remained on staff at CMC until 2011 when he returned to UMMC. 

With respect to COVID-19, Dr. Jones said that in December 2019 & January 2020, UMMC recognized that COVID-19 was coming to Mississippi and that they needed to be prepared to deal with it. In late January, the COVID -19 team was mobilized. By early March the clinical response was set up. They recognized that the virus is highly contagious and that it needed to be contained to protect both the patients and medical staff. They established a 3 level approach to addressing the Virus:

  • Level 1 - Conventional - continue with normal operations

  • Level 2 - Contingency - not normal, but also not substandard operations

  • Level 3 - Crisis - likely substandard operations 

The team saw the crisis in New York City and Washington State and about to happen nearby in New Orleans and recognized it would soon be in Mississippi and all over the US. At that point, Mississippi was 2-4 weeks behind the rest of the US. All elective and urgent procedures were canceled. Telehealth was extended to provide care to patients.

Post spring break, any employee who had traveled to high-risk areas were considered to have been exposed and was quarantined for 14 days. The labor pool was re-deployed to contend with the virus. The team focused heavily on the supply chain. Items that were normally readily available, were suddenly in short supply. UMMC was fortunate in that based on the 2009 flu epidemic experience, it had sufficient ventilators. They had also learned that the patient rooms had to operate in a negative pressure environment to prevent spreading the virus. COVID units and COVID staff members were designated. 

UMMC developed a COVID-19 test in 2 - 2 1/2 weeks. One of those tests has a 49 minute turnaround time (TAT) and the other a 6 hr. TAT. These tests have helped make testing more available and more widespread in Mississippi. 

As time passed this spring UMMC has developed protocols for making ethical, potentially end of life decisions. The team has focused on planning for a 30-month response to the virus in the event an effective vaccine isn't developed. At this point, nearly 10 weeks into the process, no UMMC healthcare workers have been contaminated with the virus due to the procedures and processes that have been developed. The system is now considered to be reliable and reproducible. The result of the stable process is that on 28 May, UMMC resumed performing urgent procedures. Elective surgeries were resumed one week later, and now they are back to normal operations, except there are still 60 patients in the COVID Unit. The maximum was 80.

We thank Dr. Jones for his presentation and for his service to the citizens of Mississippi. The following photo is from his faculty profile. 




This week’s Rotary Thought is about 

Rotary's first Virtual Convention


Read how Rotary is responding to the impact of the global COVID-19 crisis. We are closely monitoring updates and recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure the safest and most appropriate actions are taken by and for our members and the communities they serve.

Skip to main content

Virtual breakout sessions covered topics like how to engage members online, how to plan events that are better for the environment, growing Rotary with new club types, using digital trends to engage with millennials, and others.

Entertainment included special performances from Australian pop-opera quartet, ARIA, and Hawaiian ukulele virtuoso, Jake Shimabukuro.

More than 5,000 people participated in Rotary’s Walking Challenge, with over 800 walkers reaching the 50,000 steps. The top three participants won a pair of complimentary registrations for the 2021 Rotary International Convention in Taipei, Taiwan, and tickets to the House of Friendship there. They are:

  • Tsegamlak Tsigie, of the Rotaract Club of Mella, Ethiopia
  • Mary Zongolowicz, of the Rotary Club of Sun City, Arizona, USA
  • Wendy Kissel, of the Rotary Club of Middletown, Ohio, USA

Online donations to The Rotary Foundation increased by 63 percent during the convention. The increase is also due to Rotary’s annual year-end appeal and a boost in giving that is typical in June, as we approach the end of the fiscal year.

Breakout sessions will continue into July to help members start the Rotary year strong.

You can experience the entire virtual convention online whenever you want to.


Explore all of the informative breakout sessions that have already taken place. Visit our Learning Center to download the slide presentations and handouts.

Participate in more breakout sessions still to come in July.

Learn about the latest in Rotaract and Rotary Youth Exchange by watching their postconvention events.

Visit our Virtual House of Friendship, open 24 hours a day through 31 July.

Register now and save for the 2021 Rotary International Convention in Taipei, 12-16 June.

Read the 2020 General Secretary’s report to the convention.

Read the 2020 RI Treasurer’s report to the convention.

End Polio Now