March 14, 2019
Today was our Youth of the Year Program when six students from three schools gave their essays as a speech to the club. Joe Kelly led the prayer and Tommy Holliman led the pedge.
Representing Alabama Christian Academy were Jackson Duke and Savanah Brannen. Nathan Baxter and Sue Richardson represented Saint James. Students from LAMP were Tionna Taite and Vieka Ebadan. "How I am a Catalyst in My Community" was the topic of this year's essay. Each student had a plethora of activities on their resume and each showed how, by their participation, had been a catalyst in school, at church and in the community.
March 7, 2019
Kurt Hetler, one of our members, and his wife, Cindy, recently took a trip to Israel. The reported to us about their trip and shared pictures of many of the places they visited. They went to places such as Caesarea, Nazareth, Bethlehem and Jerusalem.
Rudy Ohme led the prayer; Gayle Atcheson led the pledge.
February 28, 2019
Investing ones assets to gain a reasonable return is important to most every one. Financial Advisor for Edward Jones, gave us some good tips today. He said there are three things to look for in an advisor. They are: someone who is a good listener, someone who is competent to match you up with good products for you, someone who will partner with you for many years. He went on to tell us that two forces occurring in financial markets today are higher interest rates and a volatile stock market.
Joe kelly led the prayer and Curt Hetler led the pledge.
February 21, 2019
Lobbyist play an important part in our legislative process. They are much more knowlegeable about bills before the legislature than many of the law makers themselves hence they are available to explain the bills. Cassandra Crosby is one of those lobbyist who spoke to us today. She explained that the three main areas of interest for this year's session are prisons, health care and the proposed gasoline tax,
Tommy Holliman led us in prayer and Suzy Dopp led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. A board meeting was held immediately after the regular meeting.
February 14, 2019
Did you ever wonder how your house tax bill is determined and who decided how much. Clay Henley , Chief Appraiser for Montgomery County told us today. Our ad valorum tax is based on the assessed valuation and taking 10% of its value. Then based on that 10% the county millage of 35.4 mill is applied to determine your bill. A house's value is influenced by the neighborhood and surrounding houses of similar square footage and building materials(wood of brick, etc.) Hence a house with a value of $10000 would result in a tax bill of $350.
Rudy Ohme led us in prayer and Suzy Dopp led the Pledge of Allegience.
February 7, 2019
Wiley Cutts led the prayer and Maureen Murphy led the Pledge of Allegiance.
A very interesting program was presented today by Donald Mims, County Adminstrator. Mr. Mims has served 32 years with the County Commission, with the past 20 years as administrator. He is a graduate of Monroe Academy and has a Bachelor Science Degree in Accounting from the University of South Alabama, Receiving his Master of Public Administration Degree from AUM in 1999, finishing with a 4.0 GPA,.
One of his primary responsibilities is working with the county commission in formulating a budget
each year. Much of his time is spent in solving problems especially in answering phone inquiries.
As he said, "those little problems can become big problems if you don't attend to them."
January 31, 2019
Tommy Holliman led our prayer and Suzy Dopp led the Pledge of Allegiance. Speaking today from the Sheriff's Department was Joshua Stewart who is in charge of the Criminal Investigative Unit for the county. His department is the one that collects DNA samples., takes fingerprints and in general collects evidence from a crime scene. He told us that it takes from a month to six weeks to get a return on DNA samples. Murder cases take precedence when DNA is involved. His department tries its best to return stolen items to their rightful owner; guns are one of the items most frequently stolen.
January 24, 2019
Our former member, Wanda Washington, just retired from the Sheriff's Department as head of the County Jail. Her assistant, Major Sonya Pritchett, is now directing the affairs of the jail on an interim basis until a replacement is made. Major Pritchett came from Mobile to go to school at Alabama State University and never went home. After working for Bill Chandler and the Montgomery YMCA, she ended up at the Sheriff's Department and worked her way upward to the position she holds today.
Sonya says the jail has the capabilty of housing 1200 inmates is at about half capacity. As several of our speakers have indicated lately, she stated that dealing with prisoners with mental issues is one of there worst problems. Another big problem is keeping qualified workers for the jail because of low morale.
Today Wiley Cutts led the prayer and Kurt Hetler led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Januaru 17, 2019
Brenda Michell, born in the small town of Orrville, Alabama, made her way to Montgomery and
became the assistant to the police chief of Montgomery. After her career at the Montgomery Police Department, she became Police Chief of Auburn Montgomery responsible for the safety of students and faculty. Her staff works twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week to see that things go smoothly on campus. Chief Mitchell, received a Bachelors degree at Alabama State and later received a masters from AUM.
Joe Kelly led our prayer and Suzy Dopp led the Pledge of Allegiance.
January 10, 2019
Executive Director of Community Corrections told us today of the work they do in our community in conjunction with the criminal justice. They attempt, and are successful, in keeping people out of our court systems and jails by intervening before the enter those entities. Often people are arrested for offenses that are minor but because of the bond amount are unable to pay. Community Corrections helps those people to post bail, stay out of jail so they can keep working to support their families.
They intervene in other ways by using charitable organizations and other resources to help those who do not really need to clog up our courts or populated our jails both of which are very expensive to operate. Mr. Brown says that forty percent of the people they deal with have mental health problems; he sees the lack of mental health resources as a major problem in our society.
December 20, 2018
Presenting us with a lot of facts and information, Steven Reed our Probate Judge enumerated the duties of the probate office, Of course in addition to issuing drivers licenses, tags and other licenses, his office is responsible for elections and committing the mentally ill for hospitalization often against their will. He said that the Office of Homeland Security has been very interested in vote security since the 2016 election.
Rudy Ohme led us in the pledge and Joe Kelly led the payer. Visiting with us today was Nancy Cutts. Following the regular meeting we had a board meeting.
December 13, 2018
Four members showed up today: Rudy Ohme, Wiley Cutts, Mike Deep and Suzy Dopp. Wiley led the prayer and Suzy led the pledge of allegiance. Our speaker did not show up so we had some lively conversation after which we adjourned.
December 6, 2018
What a delightful speaker we had today when Jalea Brooks spoke to us. She is a reporter for the Alabama News Network working the morning shift. Her alarm goes off at 2:30 a.m. ; she gets to work between 3:30 and 3:45 a.m. Jalea puts in long hours to get maybe 30 or 45 seconds of air time. She shared with us the intricacies of putting a newscast together. She has been with the station about two and a half years and came to us from Atlanta where she earned a degree in Broadcast Journalism from Howard University.
The prayer was led by Rudy Ohme and the pledge was led by Joe Kelly.
November 29, 2108
There is more going in at the sheriff's department than the general public knows about. Deputy Sheriff, Gayle Atkinson, gave us some insight into what happens in her division. They are responsible for delivering all the warrants in the county and city. In addition her people have the duty of guarding the courts, four buildings, for the county. The probate vehicle is under her jurisdiction as it picks up those who are designated for involuntary confinement due to mental health issues.
Today's prayer was led by Lisa Crenshaw; the pledge led by Larry Ludwick.
November 15, 2018
Cremations was not a topic I was expecting to hear about today but our speaker gave us some very interesting information about them. CEO of Magnolia Cremations and Funeral Service, Brady McKinnon spoke to us today about the services they render. He said they cremate about fifteen bodies each day many coming from the surrounding counties. They also serve the VA hospital for indigent veterans giving them a funeral with full military honors.
Before cremating anyone he insists that someone from the family is there to identify the body before the procedure occurs. Often loved ones do want to witness the cremation. Maureen Murphy led the prayer with Joe Kelly leading the pledge.
November 8, 2018
On Highway 110 going home from work on August 22, 2017, Donnie Davis was hit head on by a speeding drunk driver. The accident almost took his life but resulted in his severed left leg being amputated. Donnie has started an organization called "Mile Marker 13" to tell his story about drunk driving to schools, churches and clubs; how it can change someone's life in an instant not to mention taking someone's life. Contact him at email@example.com if you are interested in having your group hear him speak.
Today our prayer was led by Derrick Cunnngham and the pledge was led by Gayle Atchinson.
November 1, 2018
Speaking to us today from the City-County Personnel Department was Cami Hacker, Senior Personnel Analyst. The department was established by legislative action. Their job is to write job descriptions, decide the pay for the job, screen the applicants and send no more than five candidates to the department requesting the personnel.
Leading the prayer today was Joe Kelly and Rudy Ohme led us in the Pledge of Allegiance.
October 25, 2018
The Mayor of Pike Road, Gordon Stone, spoke to us today. After being led in prayer by Rudy Ohme and being lead in the Pledge of Allegiance by Suzy Dopp, one of our visitors, Liza DeShazo made a few remarks. As Presiden-Elect of the District, she was in town to arrange the mid-winter conference that will be held on the last weekend in January at the Drury Inn in Montgomery. She also told us that the annual convention will be held at Lake Guntersville in May, 2018.
Gordon told us of the phenomenal growth of Pike Road since its inception. They now have a population of 10,000 citizens with a school system of 1800 students. By becoming partners with the sheriff's department they have no police force hence no huge expense for protection. The fire department is manned by volunteers with a few full time personnel to keep things in shape. Mayor Stones feels that the town has prospered because of good planning. It was suggested that we might want to start an exchange club there in the near future
October 18, 2018
Johnny Williams has been a high school coach. Athletic director at Troy University, assistant athletic director ate the University of Alabama, and now he is the Executive Director of the Camellia Bowl. The Camellia Bowl is owned by ESPN and has given Montgomery national exposure by broadcasting the game each year of its existence. It has received good ratings on TV having exceeded the rating for the Yankee-Boston season opener one year with a rating of .9. (900,000)
Johnny had two door prizes consisting of bags of goodies including two tickets to the next game. Rudy won his for being the oldest and David Kelly won one for being the youngest member.
September 27, 2018
As Associate Director of the Alabama Electronic Security Board of Licensure, Janet Robinson has an interesting job. She told us today of their task of licensing and regulating security companies in Alabama. This is important because there are many scam artists who are selling home security systems and some of them are using those systems to get into homes. The board’s worst problems are unlicensed companies and door-to-door salesmen. Our own Sheriff Derrick Cunningham is on the board of directors.
September 20, 2018
Sheriff Cunningham led our prayer and David Carter led the Pledge of Allegiance. President Cutts introduced Joyce Franklin, Alabama District Exchange President, who was visiting with us today. Joyce outlined her agenda for the year: recruiting new members and starting new clubs.
Lisa Crenshaw introduced our guest speaker who was Dr. Felicia Bell, the Director of The Rosa Parks Museum. She told of the programs that are presented during the year at the museum most of which are educational programs for our youth. She said the attendance at the museum had increased since the other civil rights museums in Montgomery had opened since the first of the
year. Dr. Bell has a Ph. D in History from Howard University.
September 13, 2018
Representing the Southern Poverty Law Center was its President, Richard Cohen. He gave us a brief history of the center telling us that Morris Dees and Joe Levin were the founders. It started out small but now has 300 employees with 85 lawyers and 150 support staff. In addition to the main office in Montgomery, there are offices in Miami, Atlanta, Tallahassee and other southern cities with several other satellite offices in other cities. Some of their major areas of concern are children’s rights, criminal justice reforms, fighting hate, and teaching tolerance.
They have been heavily involved in teaching tolerance in schools. One of the ways has been producing a book on tolerance giving one to each school in America. They have also produced several videos on tolerance. The SPLC was responsible for bankrupting the Ku Klux Klan in America.
September 6, 2018
Speaking to us today about a program on Grief Counseling for School personnel, was Lisa Ann Williamson from New York Life. The program is funded by NYL is designed for K - 12 teachers and administrators who have students who have experienced deaths in their immediate families. Many students lose parents, grandparents, children of other family members and even students in their own school. This program is designed to train school personnel to help them through the grief process.
The training is not very long and would serve as a good professional development program for a school. New York Life gives $500 to any school that hosts the program. Ms. Williamson is well qualified to lead the program as she has been a journalist and a college professor. She is originally from Chicago.
August 30, 2018
Housed just off the Northern Bypass on Forbes Road is facility that most Montgomerians do not know exits. Montgomery Children’s Specialty Center cares for children who have been abused and neglected to the point of being disabled. Some have been born disabled but many are there because they have been abused. Our speaker, Shajuana Wayne, said that they provide provide pediatric long care for children 18 and under.
Most of the children attend the Children’s Center in the Montgomery School System during the day. Field trips other activities are planned for the children to make their lives as normal as possible. Ms. Wayne said the condition most often diagnosed for the children is Multiple Sclerosis.
Our prayer was led by Wiley Cutts and the Pledge of Allegiance was led by Tommy Holliman. Those in attendance were: Suzy Dopp, Joe Kelly, Rudy Ohme and Wiley Cutts.
August 23, 2018
President Cutts called the meeting to order. Tommy Holliman led the prayer and Dr. Maureen Murphy led the Pledge of Allegiance. A board meeting was held at the end of the regular meeting. Minutes of the last board meeting was approved. Rudy presented the budget for fiscal year 1918-19 along with the financial report for the month of July. Both were approved unanimously. Board members in attendance were: Joe Kelly, Rudy Ohme, Tommy Holliman, Wiley Cutts, Lisa Crenshaw, and Maureen Murphy. Dr. Mureen Murphy was presented with a plaque designating her as the Outstanding District Director for the Alabama District.
Radio Talk Show Host Kevin Elkins was our guest speaker today. Kevin was a paratrooper in the 82nd Air Born Division and has lived in Montgomery since 1996. He gave a very informative and entertaining speech about his work as a talk show host. If you want to interest people in Montgomery, he says bring up one of three topics-sex, religion or education. Being a black man from South Bend, Indiana, he said he never had a conversation about race until he moved to Montgomery.
Kevin is an avowed conservative and believes that people prefer to stand on their own two feet without help from others, and he, like many, does not want the government taking all his money knowing that at times some need help. He attends the Vaughn Park Church of Christ with his wife and daughter.
August 16, 2018
Dina Pregno from the Driver’s License Division or the Alabama State Troopers was our speaker today.
August 9, 2018
Lisa Harris lead the prayer and David Kelly lead the Pledge of Allegiance
Our speaker today was Kelly Emerson, Executive Director of the local NAMA, National Alliance for Mental Illness .
The mission statement/purpose of NAMI Alabama is to provide support, education, and advocacy for persons with mental illnesses, their families, and others whose lives are affected by these brain disorders. This is accomplished by:
• Educating the people of Alabama about mental illness thereby reducing stigma
• Providing support for individuals with mental illness to grow and contribute to their community
• Developing, nurturing and coordinating a statewide network of local affiliates
• Promoting public policies which expand services and improve treatment for all persons living with a mental illness
THE EXCHANGE CLUB OF MONTGOMERY,
October 11, 2018
Today was our Fire Fighter of the Year Program when we honor fire fighters from The Montgomery Fire Department and Maxwell/Gunter Fire Department. Joe Kelly lead us in prayer and Larry Ludwick led the Pledge of Allegiance. After President Wiley Cutts introduced our guests, Tommy Holliman, Chairman of the event presented a program where members of each fire department intr.oduced their honorees.
Javakiel Brighman for Maxwell/Gunter and Woody Bozeman from The Montgomery Fire Department were the recepients of the awards.
October 4, 2018
Speaking to us today was Janet Buskey, County Tax Collector.
she informed us of the classifications of properties and how much each was taxed. Explaining what happens with property owners who are delinquent. She gave the process for eventually selling the property on the court house steps after all other procedures have been followed. :homestead exemption and tax breaks for those beyond a certain age were explained. Ms. Buskey is a consummate professional and is to be commended for doing an exemplary job.