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April 10 and 17, 2009 Decatur Rotary Spoke 'n Wheel
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Special Combined Edition

You are not dreaming - there was no bulletin last week!

Today's bulletin combines the April 10 meeting featuring Danielle Donehew, executive vice-president of the WNBA's Atlanta Dream, and the April 17 meeting featuring Bruce Gunter, president and CEO of Progressive Redevelopment, Inc.

Thank you to John Bennett and Bill Funk for their excellent reports. Read on!

-- Susan Cobleigh

In this Issue
Decatur Rotary Spoke 'n Wheel
Decatur Rotary Spoke 'n Wheel
  • WNBA's The Atlanta Dream
  • Progressive Redevelopment, Inc.
  • April Birthdays
  • April 10 Photos
  • April 17 Photos
  • Upcoming Programs

  • WNBA's The Atlanta Dream
    Decatur Rotary Spoke 'n Wheel
    Decatur Rotary Spoke 'n Wheel

    Danielle Donehew, April 10 speaker

    John Bennett, Reporter

    Mark Burnette, Photographer

    Nath Briley gave the invocation, and Judy Turner introduced our speaker, Danielle Donehew, executive vice-president of the WNBA's Atlanta Dream. Danielle grew up in Decatur and has found that the secret to being happy after a hard day's work: "you need to have a dog waiting for you." Her dog Dash is always glad to see her. Danielle told the story of how she started playing soccer at a young age and moved on to basketball because there were more college scholarships available to basketball players. Her plan paid off, and she went to Georgia Tech on a full basketball scholarship.

    Danielle's advice to any college graduate is to answer two questions: 1. What is your passion? 2. Whom do you want to work for? The first question is important because the answer is a job that will not seem like work. The second is important because your peers and the people you learn from help determine who you become. Her passion was basketball, and she wanted to work for Pat Summit. After hassling Pat Summit for a while, Danielle became a graduate assistant at the University of Tennessee. When the assistantship ended, Danielle accepted the position of Director of Basketball Operations at Tennessee.

    Her only reason for leaving Tennessee was the opportunity to start a professional women's basketball team and to live in the city she loved, Atlanta. Three days after winning the National Championship at Tennessee, Danielle was working in Atlanta for the Dream. Danielle explained the process for starting an expansion team in the WNBA. The Atlanta Dream could only pick players from the bottom six players on other teams. Needless to say, they only won four games in the first year. Danielle was excited to list the new players added to the roster this year, which should greatly improve the winning percentage.

    Despite the losing record, Danielle listed the positives that happened last year. Atlanta ranked fifth out of 14 teams in attendance and averaged about 8,500 fans per game. Danielle invited everyone in the room to come to at least one Atlanta Dream game. If you don't like the experience, she won't make you come back. Their season is from June to October. This reporter has not made it to a game yet, but the several friends that have gone have had a lot of fun.

    Danielle answered questions from the audience. One question asked was whether the NBA was still supporting the WNBA. She said that about half the teams are supported by NBA franchises, but the other half is completely independent, including the Atlanta Dream. Another question concerned broadcasting. Since the WNBA streams games on-line, there are no radio contracts. Many teams have contracts with local stations and the league is carried by ESPN. Danielle said that Atlanta is scheduled to get a women's soccer team in 2010, although it is difficult to start a new franchise in a recession.

    Thirteen Women Strong: The Making of a Team by Robert K. Wallace was presented to the DeKalb Library System in honor of Ms. Donehew.


    Progressive Redevelopment, Inc.
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    Decatur Rotary Spoke 'n Wheel

    Bruce Gunter, April 17 speaker

    Bill Funk, Reporter

    Mark Burnette, Photographer

    Doug Torbush gave the invocation, and Elliott Augustine introduced our speaker, Bruce Gunter, who is president and CEO of Progressive Redevelopment, Inc. (PRI), which he co-founded in 1988. He is a member of the Emory Board of Visitors, lives in Oakhurst, and has been active in Habitat for Humanity. Gunter is a member of the Atlanta Rotary Club.

    Bruce stated he grew up in the Oakhurst community and reminded us that Decatur has been lauded by many sources as a model community of downtown and neighborhood development. He recalled when Robin Harris and Mayor Emerita Elizabeth Wilson arranged for the purchase of the old Scottish Rite Hospital and from there the revitalization of the Oakhurst community began.

    Workforce Housing is a term referring to the affordability of housing in the local community which is within reach of government employees and families of modest incomes to enable them to live in the community in which they serve. Gunter sees that in the current economic environment the "American Dream" -- part of which is that individual family ownership of its home will not be as widespread in the future as in the present. So the concept of rental affordable housing must be made attractive stimulated by government as well as by private and non-profit firms such as Gunter's PRI. Bruce gave us some data to illustrate this issue. In 2008 the Fair Market Rent index in the Atlanta area for a two-bedroom home was $950 per month. The accepted target for maximum housing cost in a family budget has been not over 30 percent of a family salary, so a family with $38,000 annual income would be at their maximum using this maxim. Families with a minimum income cannot afford more than $250 monthly. Therefore, families living in a community where general rents are higher will need assistance to afford to live there.

    Trends as Gunter sees them: The percentage of homeowners is going to decline in the coming years from the current 69 percent of the US population who are homeowners. The largest population in this country's history will come of age in a few years while the population of aging baby boomers will also arrive in the next decade. Currently one-third of metro households earn less than $40,000. Therefore, the house broker market will be restructured (including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) with more families moving back to the urban area, multi-family housing increasing, and renting becoming more widespread. The figure to watch is job growth. One-third of householders now rent but the supply of affordable housing is diminishing. Single-family housing is coming back on the rental market. Population density helps create more interesting communities. Green cities will be required with efficient public transportation, recycling water, etc.

    Gunter's company is non-profit and owns three properties in DeKalb. Progressive development encourages work force housing as does the City of Decatur. This form of housing development will be a good future investment. An example of a PRI project is Hope House near Atlanta City Hall.

    The book presented to the DeKalb Library System in honor of Mr. Gunter's presentation is After The Fall, Opportunities and Strategies for Real Estate Investing in the Coming Decade by Steve Bergsman.


    April Birthdays
    Decatur Rotary Spoke 'n Wheel
    candles
     
    • April 1: Bill Harrison
    • April 2: Elliott Augustine
    • April 3: Jim Philips
    • April 3: Gary Sams
    • April 4: Brian Cayce
    • April 5: Bedros Sharian III
    • April 7: Ed Turner
    • April 8: Susan Cobleigh
    • April 14: David Hughes
    • April 17: Bob Buckner
    • April 19: Jim Crabb
    • April 27: Jim Miller
    • April 28: Bob Biebel

     

    April 10 Photos
    Decatur Rotary Spoke 'n Wheel
    Decatur Rotary Spoke 'n Wheel

    Judy Turner introduced Danielle Donehew


    Decatur Rotary Spoke 'n Wheel

    Danielle Donehew with President Mark


    April 17 Photos
    Decatur Rotary Spoke 'n Wheel
    Decatur Rotary Spoke 'n Wheel

    Elliott Augustine introduced Bruce Gunter




    Decatur Rotary Spoke 'n Wheel

    Walt Drake presents book to Bruce Gunter


    Upcoming Programs
    Decatur Rotary Spoke 'n Wheel

    • April 24: Carol Crumby, United Way
    • May 1: Dr. Dick Martin, Global Peace Containers
    • May 8: Darron Collins, World Wildlife Fund

    Rotary logo

    Club Announcements

    Rotary District Conference is April 24-26 at Jekyll Island. Past President Walt Drake presided at the April 17 meeting, and Past President Curtis Branscome will preside at the April 24 meeting.

    Eric Lucas and Barbara Tedrow were acknowledged for their work towards earning our club an award for the Rotary literacy project.

    The Rotary Council of DeKalb is looking for a project in DeKalb County, possibly in the field of literacy, for our council clubs. If you have a suggestion, let C.J. Becker or Bryan Downs know.

    The next board meeting will be May 1.

    Welcoming Guests

    On April 10, Doug Torbush introduced visiting Rotarian Pete Pfeiffer, Cordele Club. Melissa Forgey introduced her guests David Pane and Kelly Gray, and James Brewer-Calvert introduced his son and guest Henry Brewer-Calvert.

    On April 17, Linda Morris introduced visiting Rotarians Linda Muir, an attorney from St. Simons Island, and Wes Dodd, who is in banking and from Habersham County. B.J. Sumner introduced his wife and guest Beth, and Mark Burnette introduced his guest Neil Dobbs. Barbara Aiken was introduced as a guest of the club.

    A Note from a Fellow Rotarian

    As a Rotarian, I am proud that the Rotary Foundation and Rotary International have been prime movers in the effort to eradicate polio from the face of the earth since 1988. Nearly 50 years after a vaccine for polio was developed in the United States, the polio virus still finds refuge in some of the world's most vulnerable places. The Final Inch is a documentary that was nominated for a 2008 Academy Award. The film examines how a group of dedicated workers goes door-to-door to reach unprotected children in poor enclaves in India. To watch The Final Inch, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWVkefEwOZM.

    ~Bill Vinson, Rotary Club of Tarpon Springs, FL

    Officers for Decatur Rotary:

    President - Mark Hastings

    President-Elect - Bryan Downs

    Past President - David Ewing

    Secretary - Vee Nelson

    Treasurer - Jason Conn

    Sergeant-at-Arms - Doug Torbush

    District Governor - Ted Propes

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Join us! Decatur Rotary Club meets each Friday at noon at the Old Courthouse on the Square in downtown Decatur.

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    The four-way test of the things we think, say or do:

    Is it the TRUTH?

    Is it FAIR to all concerned?

    Will it build GOOD WILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?

    Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Directions: Old Courthouse on the Square


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    phone: 404-371-4444
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