President’s Letter

Lee Wilwerding

2016-2017 Program Season

One can reasonably say that our 2016-2017 Program Season has had a challenging beginning. The opening of our Friday speaker series was blown away by Hurricane Matthew. While the opening session of the Fall Forum and our second Friday speaker were rescheduled due to a major distraction called hurricane clean-up. Our ever-resourceful Executive Director successfully rescheduled both events so that we closed out October with a delayed opening of the season and we are now back in our routine for the season, sort of. I say sort of because in January we will only have one speaker (13 Jan) thus avoiding inauguration day conflicts. February returns to normal (3 & 17 Feb) but in March we are doing three speakers (3, 17 & 31 Mar); the third presentation is the make up from October. In April, Good Friday and the Heritage are conveniently both in the second week so we are doing two speakers (7 & 21 Apr) and two in May (5 & 19 May). You may want to check your calendars to ensure that you have all your dates correctly posted.

While you are posting your calendar be sure to circle the presentation on 3 Mar. Mikhail Troitskiy, currently, visiting Professor at the European University of St. Petersburg Russia, will be speaking on the topic: “Can Putin and Trump Cool Tensions Between Russia and the US?” Professor Troitskiy’s presentation is the first in a series of speakers that we will have from off-shore funded by a gift from two of our members. Our goal is to have two speakers from off shore per season going forward. While the US-based media is providing all kinds of commentary on Russia of late, this will be your opportunity to ask questions and receive a Russian viewpoint which no doubt will be different but educational.

Changing of the Guard

This past Friday was Joan Apple Lemoine’s last official event as Executive Director of our Council. For the past seven years, she has been the Guardian Angel of the organization ensuring that all the programs we deliver to you, the members, have met your quality expectations. She has worked with multiple Presidents, Directors and Program Leads providing guidance, institutional memory and assistance over the years and I am sure that I speak for all of them when I say THANK YOU. Now, she can arrive at the church at 0930, have a leisurely cup of coffee, relax and enjoy the speaker on Fridays.

Maureen Korzik came on board as Executive Director “in training” in November and has been working with Joan to ensure a seamless transition come 1 January. At various social events of late I have heard; “You stole our Executive Director” from folks who volunteer with Second Helpings but in their very next breath they said “I am glad she is our new ED”. I think this is a testament to the quality of Maureen from folks who worked with her in her previous life at Second Helpings and are looking forward to working with her at World Affairs.

New Benny

When I attended the Annual Conference of the World Affairs Council of America 16-18Nov, Bill Clifford, WACA President introduced us to Daily Chatter the World in 2 minutes which is a daily newsletter focused on Foreign Affairs that lands in your in box at 6AM. The format of Daily Chatter is a lead story of approximately one page and three smaller features all of which are focused on World News NOT U.S. news. Bill was so impressed with Daily Chatter that he said WACA would pay for a one-year subscription for all World Affairs Council members who subscribe. I immediately signed up our Board members so that we could determine if we wanted to provide Daily Chatter to our members free for a year. The consensus of the Board was “yes”; so we will be providing the email addresses to WACA to initiate memberships come January. Should you not agree with our consensus view you can go to the black box at the bottom of the Newsletter and click “Unsubscribe”. Next week we will provide further information on Daily Chatter via a Constant Contact email to all of you.

Final thoughts

Most of us came out of October with fewer trees than we used to have and many of you acquired a colorful decorative accessory (blue tarps) on your house but we all survived in one piece maybe a little stressed but Thankful none the less.

So, to all 1084 of you, our members, (yes, that is our membership total as of last week) the Board and I extend our wishes for a Pleasant and Joyous Holiday Season.






Lee J. Wilwerding
President, World Affairs Council Hilton Head