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World Affairs Council Hilton Head

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  • 26 Jul 2019 12:16 PM | Anonymous

    Dear WACHH Members,

    Lee WilwerdingThe Program Committee, once again, put together a stellar Speaker series for 2018-19 capped off by a mad scramble at the last minute to find a speaker replacement for David Eisenhower.  The combination of John Gilbert and Bill Pendley covered the very timely topic of a Nuclear North Korea in a strong fashion that elicited comments from many of you about the depth of talent in the membership.  I have attached the 2019-20 Speaker’s List for your review, and I think you will agree that once again the quality is high, and the topics are timely.  You get all 14 of these and more for only $100.

    The big highlight of the year is that we Met the $50K Match challenge from our member couple who have donated $150,000 that funds our Global Speakers Program.  This ensures that we can continue to seek out international speakers at the rate of two per year for the next several years.  So, for the coming season you can plan on a visit to Costa Rica in the Fall and Down Under to Australia in the Spring.

    As you know, we are a membership driven organization and are always looking for new members.  The number one reason that new members join WACHH is their friends/neighbors, our wonderful members, told them about the organization.  So, I am asking our Marketing/ Membership Department, that would be YOU, to help us by talking to your friends and neighbors, who are not members, and solicit them to become members.  To that end we will hold a free guest day this Fall for Ambassador Peter Ammon’s presentation on 25 October.  While serving in the German Foreign Office Amb. Ammon served three “hardship” Ambassadorial tours first in Paris, then in Washington DC and finally London.  While serving in Washington DC, Amb. Ammon and his wife ventured down Interstate 95 spent some time on the Island and bought a condo here.  They now split their time between Berlin and Hilton Head so come listen to a fellow Islander and bring a friend/future member --  we will have the capability to sign them up on the spot.

    On the Education front, we have invited Dr. Francisco Rodriguez, the new Beaufort County School Superintendent, to our opening Speaker Presentation on 4 Oct.  He has accepted and I booked his calendar starting at 9:00 AM so that you and he can have informal chats in the Gathering Space at First Presbyterian before the presentation starts.  I am meeting with him in mid-August to explain who we are, what we offer our members and how we support the Beaufort County School System.

    One final item, Carlton Dallas, Margaret McManus and I will complete our second tour of duty on the Board in December.  Succession planning is critical to the ongoing success of all voluntary organizations.  With that in mind, Ivan Bennett, a retired educator, joined the Board in June and will take on the Academic World Quest portfolio so capably filled by Carlton these past four years.  John Gilbert will be the new President and will select a new VP in the near future.  Not being a fan of changing horses in the middle of the stream, we will make the leadership change at the Annual Meeting in September rather than waiting until December when terms are completed.  I invite you to come to the “Change of Command” at 10 am on 27 September in Fellowship Hall at First Presbyterian.  This will give you an opportunity to meet John and the other Board members and we will preview all the Programs for the coming year. 

    Finally, I wish to thank all of you members for your support these past four years.  Because of the size of our active membership we are a different organization today than previously.  The quality of our Speaker Programming remains high due to the dedication and hard work of the Program Committee and successive chairs.  We transitioned from an active and hard-working Joan Lemoine to an active and hard-working Maureen Korzik as Executive Director with nary a hiccup which is a tribute to the two of them and the Board’s Selection Committee.  We converted to/built a new Internet presence that allows us to better communicate with you and we now have an active Facebook presence.  We have upped our game with the Beaufort County School System with both Academic World Quest and Model UN.  All of this is possible because of you, our members, when we ask you to volunteer you do, when we ask for financial support you open your wallet but most important you come every Friday when we have a speaker.  Along with our demographic twin, Naples/Marco Island we are the envy of the WACA Network with our ability to turn out 600 informed and interested members for a presentation.  You are the compelling piece of our Speaker recruiting efforts.  You made being President interesting and rewarding and for that I thank YOU!


    Lee Wilwerding

  • 13 Jul 2019 11:18 PM | Anonymous

    Ivan S. Bennett, M.Ed. Ivan Bennett, M.Ed. has been elected to serve on the Board of the World Affairs Councils of Hilton Head. Mr. Bennett’s career spanned 27 years in public education in Kentucky serving as teacher, counselor, assistant principal, assistant superintendent, director of special education, director of food service, director of pupil personnel and director of federal programs. His final years were served at the Kentucky Department of Education where he was Director of Federal Programs (Title 1 and VI). He will be taking charge of the Academic WorldQuest program from outgoing Board member, Carlton Dallas.

    Academic WorldQuest (AWQ) is the World Affairs Councils of America’s flagship education program which engages more than 4,000 high school students annually across the U.S. to test their knowledge of global issues and foreign policy. The program offers young people a fun and interactive way to learn about critical challenges facing the U.S. and the world.

    Mr Bennett lives on Hilton Head Island with his wife Susan and is very active in the community. He has served on various committees and as an officer in the HH Property Owners Association, the Country Club of Hilton Head, the Van Landingham Rotary Club, the Sons of the American Revolution and the Friends of Savannah Wildlife Refuge.

    The WACHH is a nonprofit organization that offers a forum on international affairs and American interests throughout the world. For more information about the WACHH or this program, visit or contact Maureen Korzik at 843-384-6758 or

  • 10 Jul 2019 8:02 AM | Anonymous

    You can make a difference while you shop Amazon Prime Day deals on July 15 & 16. Simply shop at and AmazonSmile donates to World Affairs Council of Hilton Head.

    Prime Day is a two-day parade of epic deals and it's coming soon! Prime members can shop deals starting Monday, July 15 at 12:01am PT through Tuesday, July 16 at 11:59pm PT. When you shop Prime Day at you'll generate AmazonSmile donations for World Affairs Council of Hilton Head.

    As of May, 2019, charities have received $134,890,393.33 through Amazon Smile's charitable giving!

  • 10 Jul 2019 7:59 AM | Anonymous

    Joan LemoineCongratulations to Joan Apple Lemoine, a board member at the WACHH. She has been  elected secretary of the World Affairs Council of America’s Board.  The WACA, based in Washington, D.C., oversees the operation of 95 World Affairs Councils throughout the United States.  As a Secretary, she will be involved in the WACA national conference, Academic World Quest, Council relations and more.Joan brings a wealth of expertise to the jobhavong been the Executive Director of WACHH for over 10 years. She recently returned from a trip to Qatar where she escorted the winning Academic WorldQuest High school team along with 10 other students who won an essay contest. Way to go Joan!  

  • 05 Mar 2019 7:14 PM | Anonymous


    The 8th Annual World Affairs Council of Hilton Head (WACHH) Academic WorldQuest (AWQ) was held Saturday, February 23rd at May River High School. All Beaufort County High Schools were invited to send two teams to compete at the event. The winner of this year’s competition is Bluffton High School 1, coached by Pam Wolske.  May River High School 1 came in second place and Beaufort High School 1 came in third.

    The AWQ competition is a game testing high school students’ knowledge of international affairs like the “College Bowl” from the 60’s & 70’s. Over 3000 students across the country participate in competitions hosted by over 50 local World Affairs Councils in 26 states.

    Teams had to answer 100 questions from topics such as current events, NATO, Great Decisions, North Korea, and Qatar.  The Bluffton HS team won an all expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., sponsored by the WACHH where they will compete at the National AWQ competition held at the US Institute of Peace on April 26th and 27th. The national competition is attended by more than 225 of the nation's most promising high school students. The winners of the national competition will win prizes and an all-expense paid trip to Qatar this summer. 

    World Affairs Council of Hilton Head is proud to sponsor this great program and works in cooperation with the Beaufort County School District to bring AWQ to the six county high schools.

    For more information about the program, visit

    First Place: Bluffton High School 1, coached by Pam Wolske

    Second Place: May River High School 1

    Third Place: Beaufort High School 1

  • 20 Feb 2019 5:07 PM | Anonymous

    Help us prepare Beaufort County Students to be Future Leaders!

    Support our Student Outreach programs, Academic WorldQuest, and Model UN by making a Birdies for Charity Pledge

    The RBC Heritage is Hilton Head Island’s most significant sporting and social event – and thanks to Birdies for Charity, it’s also an easy and fun way to support our student outreach programs.

    Birdies for Charity is like a walk-a-thon, but instead of donating per mile, participants pledge every birdie made at the RBC Heritage Golf Tournament. Donors have the flexibility to pay in advance or to be billed after the tournament, or they may make a one-time donation.


    • 1 cent pledge = $14.00 total pledge
    • 3 cent pledge = $42.00 total pledge
    • 10 cent pledge = $140.00 total pledge
    • $1.00 pledge = $1,400 total pledge

    100% of the funds you pledge will go directly to the Model UN and Academic WorldQuest programs, and also, the Heritage Classic Foundation will contribute an extra 15% to each pledge. It’s the one golf tournament where everybody wins!

    All pledges must be made online before April 15 so pledge NOW!

    Click here to pledge!

  • 31 Jan 2019 9:18 AM | Anonymous

    You’re an educated adult. You have a degree, a job, and have settled down in life. But are you smarter than an Academic World Quest student? This is not a trick question: Kids are much smarter than we give them credit for!

    We’ve compiled some questions and want to put your knowledge to the test. Can you hang with the 16 and 17-year-olds? Give it a shot, and make sure to SHARE this with your friends and family and compare scores. Remember Google searches while taking this quiz are strictly prohibited!

    1.The population of Qatar is approximately ____________?

    a)     2 Million   

    b)    4 Million

    c)     6 Million

    d)    8 Million

    2. North Korea’s first underground nuclear test took place in

    a)     2000

    b)    2006

    c)     2010

    d)    1950

    3. What country has the largest number of persons living abroad?

                a. Mexico

                b. India  

                c. Syria

                d.  China

    4) How many countries are in NATO?

    • a)     12
    • b)    20
    • c)     29
    • d)    35

    1. Iran is backing rebels in which Middle East country?

    A. Lebanon
    B. Yemen
    C. Syria
    D. Kuwait

    6) Japan and the US belong to numerous international organizations including

    a)     The G-20 & the World Bank

    b)    The World Bank and TPP

    c)     The Trans Pacific Liquid Natural Gas Alliance & G-20

    d)     NATO & ASEAN

    7. What is the purpose of the Asgardia-1 satellite?

    • a)     Promote future space tourism
    • b)    Advance asteroid mining efforts
    • c)     Form the first “space nation”
    • d)    Lead to mars colonization

    8. How many countries belong to the WTO?

    • a)     196
    • b)    164
    • c)     149
    • d)    125

    9. What percentage of children age 1 – 14 in developing countries were regularly subjected to psychological aggression and/or physical violence?

    • a)     80
    • b)    70
    • c)     60
    • d)    50

    10. What person was recently elected President of Brazil?

    A. Lula da Silva

    B. Sergio Moro

    C. Jair Bolsonaro

    D. Carmen Miranda

    Answers:1) A, 2) A, 3) B, 4) C, 5) B, 6) A, 7) C, 8) B, 9) A, 10) C

  • 28 Dec 2018 11:32 AM | Anonymous

    We have just completed a fundraising campaign to support the Global Speakers Program. We are excited to announce that we met and even exceeded our fundraising goal of $50,000 by December 15, 2018. 

    Because of this, an anonymous donor will give us another $50,000! Plus, donations of $1,000 or more made through The Heritage Classic Foundation will add an additional 15% to gifts received. 

    About the Global Speakers Program

    For over 25 years, the World Affairs Council of Hilton Head has sponsored a highly successful speaker series as a primary benefit to our members. Our newest addition to this program is our Global Speakers Program. International dignitaries are invited to speak here twice a year. The program provides:

    • A fresh, current international perspective on key issues of great interest to our members.
    • Speakers who can relate their unique vantage point as residents of another country.
    • The opportunity for members to broaden their own perspective.

    Thank you to all who contributed to MEET THE MATCH!

  • 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 

World Affairs Council of Hilton Head

Office: 200 Main St. #201 M, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926

Mail: PO Box 22523, Hilton Head Island, SC 29925

843-384-6758  |

Member, World Affairs Council of America

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