World Affairs Council of Hilton Head

News and updates

  • 17 Sep 2018 7:59 AM | Anonymous

    Lee Wilwerding, President of the World Affairs Council of Hilton Head is pleased to announce that Joan Apple Lemoine, a Hilton Head Island resident and Board member of the World Affairs Council of Hilton Head has been elected to the World Affairs Council of America’s Board, effective July 1.  

    This organization, based in Washington, D.C., oversees the operation of 95 Councils throughout the United States.  As a board member, she will be involved in the WACA national conference in November, Academic World Quest, Council relations and more.

    "We are delighted to welcome Joan Lemoine to the WACA Board of Directors and look forward to her leadership, passion, and can-do ethic," said Bill Clifford, WACA President and CEO. "The World Affairs Council network got its start 100 years ago, at the end of World War I, and today our mission is more vital than ever. Joan's success in expanding WAC Hilton Head's membership and programs over several years at the helm is highly regarded among Council peers nationwide. She understands the value of our Council network in promoting public understanding of global affairs and U.S. foreign policy, and in enhancing the ability of citizens and our future leaders to shape international relations."


  • 04 Jul 2018 10:06 PM | Anonymous

    In the Fall of every year, the Program Committee meets to begin planning for the following season’s Friday Speaker Series and the first item to be determined is the theme for the following year which provides the context for Topics and Speakers to be recruited.  There are 14 members on the Committee and they started with at least 20 different themes being considered/discussed (this is an interesting process to watch, which is what I do quietly). 

    From this two-hour discussion threats to the liberal World Order emerged as the leading theme but with concerns expressed over that word “liberal.”  The meeting adjourned with plans to finalize the theme the following month.  At the next month’s meeting the discussion resumed with concerns being voiced over that word, yet again.  What I found interesting, as I watched, it was the Liberals who were questioning the word and the Conservatives (yes, we have some of each on the committee with the majority being Centrists) defending the word “liberal” in the context of liberal World Order. 

    When Maureen put the biennial survey together, she included the theme for the coming year as a discussion item and elicited comments from you.  The survey garnered a 28% response rate overall which translate to 327 of you, which is very good.  Of those of you whom commented on the theme most of the comments were positive, but there was a significant minority who feared we had fallen off the left side of the aisle and that next year’s ID Name Tags would be PINK. 

    Such is not the case and let me provide some context:

      • First off there is a significant difference between liberal with a lower case “l” and Liberal with a capital “L,” as at least two of our speakers this past year commented on
      • As most of you know, I am a historian by training, so let me provide some historical perspective:
      • In 1648 the Peace of Westphalia brought an end to the 30 Years War and established World Order (granted only in Europe) with the recognition of nation states
      • 100 years later the Enlightenment came about, challenging the rule of kings and providing the underpinnings of our constitution and the rule of law, thus creating on a small scale a liberal world order that was designed and built mainly by conservatives
      • With 18 Brumaire (1799) Napoleon hijacked the French Revolution but the Congress of Vienna put that genie back in the bottle and world order was reestablished
      • In 1848 the Liberals revolted by attempting to overthrow the various crowned heads in Europe and establishing constitutional order.  Many of those Liberals emigrated to the US and the arch-conservative Bismarck created the initial German scheme of pensions, healthcare and welfare (all Liberal constructs in today’s world) in the 1870-80’s
      • The 20th Century brought two devastating World Wars before ushering in a US established liberal World Order.
      • In December every year, The Economist publishes an edition that looks forward rather than a backward-looking reportage of events.  This edition is more opinion pieces written by statesmen, futurists and The Economists staffers.  In the 2018 Edition Senator John S. McCain (AZ) eloquently made the case for a liberal World Order.  I do not always agree with John, in fact, there are days that I swear that when he bailed out over Viet Nam, he landed on his head.  BUT, in this case I think he nailed it.  I commend it to you – download a PDF of the article and see for yourself.

    Looking back on 2017-2018

    On this 4 July 2018, it seems an appropriate time to take a look back at the year the World Affairs Council of Hilton Head just completed and a glance forward to the new year we will formally kick-off with the Annual Meeting of the Council on 21 September.

    The Friday Speaker Series was a resounding success.  We have heard from many of you via email, conversations and survey responses that it was the best Program Year you had experienced.  For that kudos and thanks go out to Jeff Stokes and the members of his Program Committee.  From personal observation, I know the time and labor that these folks put into determining the right topics to present and then finding the right speakers to discuss these topics.  

    Back in January, Bill Clifford, President of World Affairs Council of America, visited with us and as I took him back to his hotel he asked is this how you treat all your speakers and was the Q&A typical for a session?  It was a simple answer, Yes.  He was highly impressed with our processes and the quality of the questions asked and the quantity of members in attendance.  

    His last point speaks to you our audience and you are a major factor in our ability to attract the speakers we do.  The Speakers Marketplace is small and select and for the most part they all know one another, and they talk to one another.  When I have breakfast with the speaker on Friday mornings I preview the session for them and except for our Global Speakers the response I get is; “I talked with so-and-so and they said I am going to love the audience and I will be challenged with solid questions”.  

    Ben Kinnas now takes the reins of Program Committee Chair for the next two years with this coming year’s theme being "Threats to Liberal Democracy" (more about that in Part II of my summer letter).

    Comings and goings:

    • Claudia Kennedy completed her second term as a Director and rolled off the Board in June.  She coordinated our In-Reach Programs (Summer Forum, Fall Forum, Great Decisions and the Evening Speaker Series).
    • John Gilbert was elected to the Board in March; John and his wife Lesley led the Program Cmte for the Evening Speaker series for the past two years.
    • David Borghesi was elected to the Board in June.
    • Linda Fiore has taken on the coordination of the Evening Speaker Series Program.
    • Michel Jover completed three years of coordinating the Great Decisions Program
    • Brian Turrisi has taken on the coordination role for Great Decisions
    • Margaret McManus has taken on Summer Forum for the next two years in addition to her VP responsibilities.
    • Joan Lemoine was elected to the World Affairs Council of America Board of Directors for a 3 year term.

    When you are a membership organization having people willing to step up and take on leadership roles is key to being successful.  My thanks to all of them and to our volunteers who make this all work.


    Lee J. Wilwerding President, 
     
    World Affairs Council Hilton Head 


  • 01 Jul 2018 9:15 AM | Anonymous

    Margaret McManus discussed this year's Summer Forum with Bob Stevens of WHHI TV.

  • 27 Feb 2018 12:39 AM | Anonymous
    If you'd like to listen to recordings of previous speaker meetings, we have posted the 2016-2017 season and are in the process of posting 2017-2018. 

    2016-2017 Audio Recordings Page
    2017-2018 Audio Recordings Page

  • 21 Feb 2018 9:48 PM | Anonymous

    Calendar year 2018 has started with a resounding crescendo. Attendance has ranged from 600 to 780 at the Friday Speaker Series.  For the Richardson presentation, when I pulled into First Pres at 0930 and had to park in the South 40 I knew we were in for a good crowd.  Shortly before the presentation I could see that we would be over 700 and I said to Bill Richardson, “We will be over 700 folks, I will let you decide if it is the speaker or the topic.”  Bill looked up at me, smiled and without hesitation said, “It’s the topic.”  With the various ambassadors we have had this year, each presentation has built on its predecessors in building out a coherent view of US Foreign Policy – its strengths and weaknesses.

    School Engagement

    February is our month for engagement with the students of Beaufort County High Schools, starting with the Model UN Programs at Bluffton, Beaufort, and Hilton Head HS which are the three schools currently participating in the program.  This year we tried something different by offering mentors to the schools and 20 of you stepped up to provide your experience and knowledge of various countries for the students’ benefit.  Jeanie Silletti, our Board member overseeing this program, is currently working up an After-Action Review of what worked, what needs work, and what new opportunities are there to better support these schools/students.

    On 24 February we will be holding our competition for Academic World Quest.  All six County schools are participating with 2 teams each and the winner will go on to the National Competition in Washington DC.  Carlton Dallas, our Board member overseeing this program, has worked long and hard with coaches and students to up their game and be more competitive.  He held two mock sessions with a format identical to our competition, so students could get adjusted to the pace and question variety and for the students to develop their processes for answering questions.  In an email discussion with Jim Foster, Public Affairs Director for the school district, he said they will be video taping the competition and we will post the tape on our website.

    New Website

    And, speaking of websites, if you are reading this letter you successfully navigated onto our new website.  This has been a work in process since mid-summer and a very dedicated team has put in a lot of hours to make this launch successful.  We partnered with our current hosting service’s consulting group to build the new website using a new software package called Wild Apricot which many other Councils are also using.  Having worked at a software company for 10 years, I know launches are never bug free no matter how hard you try.  So, if you find something, send us an email with a screen shot or copy the offending text into the email so that we can react quickly.


    Lee J. Wilwerding President, 
    World Affairs Council Hilton Head

  • 12 Feb 2018 12:02 AM | Anonymous

    In the news: Margaret McManus spoke to WHHI TV on behalf of the World Affairs Council of Hilton Head in this February interview.

  • 04 Feb 2018 11:33 PM | Anonymous

    For the second straight year, a team from May River High School took the top spot in Beaufort County’s annual Academic WorldQuest Competition.

    May River Team No. 1 finished first among nine competing teams from district high schools.  Teams from Beaufort High and Bluffton High came in second and third.

    The winning May River team consisted of:  Amanda Angeles, Courtney Clavel, Blake Maynard, Annalise Sisco and alternate Joy Scheicher, who participated in four of the competition’s 10 rounds.  The team was coached by Nathan Campbell.

    From left (front row), team members Courtney Clavel, Amanda Angeles, Joy Schleicher and Blake Maynard (not pictured, Annalise Sisco).  Back row, team coach Nathan Campbell.


    Beaufort High Team No. 1 finished in second place.  Its members were May Harrelson, Chris Hoogenboom, Alex Mazzeo and Ben Kelley.  The coach was Debbie Kidd.

    Bluffton High Team No. 2 finished in third place.  Its members were Hanna Giblin, Elaine Guo, Rebecca Keating and Caleb Kelly.  The coach was Pam Wolske.

    The World Affairs Council of Hilton Head presented its seventh annual Academic WorldQuest Competition in partnership with the Beaufort County School District.  During Saturday’s competition at May River High, the teams faced a screen where multiple-choice questions were projected.  Teams had 60 seconds to answer each question.  Audience members sat behind the competing teams and were able to see the questions as they were projected on the screen.

    Questions came from categories such as Current Events, Great Decisions, NAFTA, ASEAN at 50, Saudi Arabia, Cybersecurity, and India’s Bid for Global Leadership.

    This year’s winning team from Beaufort County will travel to Washington for the national competition, said Carlton Dallas, a Hilton Head businessman who serves as the project director for WorldQuest in Beaufort County.

    “This is a very talented group of scholars,” Dallas said.  “Extraordinarily so.  And we believe that with the support of their teachers and principal, their coach, their teammates and their parents, that they can represent Beaufort County extremely well in Washington and finish in the top three nationally.”

    May River High’s winning team will receive a traveling trophy that will be displayed at their school for one year. The top three teams also received plaques.

    The competition’s moderator was James Edward Alexander, a former broadcaster and attorney and a WACHH member. 

    Academic WorldQuest is the flagship educational program of the national network of World Affairs Councils and is held annually in more than 40 U.S. cities.

    Thanks to Jim Foster, Director of Communications, Beaufort County School District for the press release, photos, and video.


  • 16 Nov 2017 10:31 PM | Anonymous

    In November, high school students from across the district practiced together for an upcoming Academic World Quest competition. 

    This video of the event was released by Beaufort County School District.

      

World Affairs Council of Hilton Head

PO Box 22523, Hilton Head Island, SC 29925
843-384-6758  |  wachhi@gmail.com
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