Chilean Students Study Abroad Spoke on September 22 – Bienvenidos estudiantes!

Students from Chile spoke on September 22 about their school, the University of Chile, and about their country. Thanks, Louis, for bringing the students to SC.

Chile is a long, narrow country stretching along South America’s western edge, with more than 3,628 miles of Pacific Ocean coastline. Santiago, its capital, sits in a valley surrounded by the Andes and Chilean Coast Range mountains.

Chile is one of the most economically advanced countries in South America.  Worth a visit.

Rokey Suleman to speak about Election Monitoring on September 15

Photo by Sarah Ellis, The State

Rokey Suleman is the newly appointed Executive Director of the Richland County Elections & Voter Registration Office, to speak on that date.  He will be speaking on “Election Monitoring Around the World and Election Management in Richland County.”  Suleman was recently featured in The State newspaper article.

Casey Pash Speaks September 8, 2017 on Junior Achievement

Casey Pash is President and CEO of Junior Achievement of South Carolina. JA currently sees over 11,000 students each school year in 34 counties in the state.

JA inspires and prepares young people to succeed in a global economy, rather than a focus on just America, through classroom programs focusing on financial literacy, work readiness, and international entrepreneurship.  Global First!

Casey oversees the daily operations of JA, works with the board of directors and makes sure programs are completed to the satisfactory of the National JA standards.

SC State President James Clark speaks on August 25, 2017

South Carolina State University’s 12th President, Mr. James E. Clark is a native of Quincy, Florida.

Along with his passion for education, Clark has a passion for building and flying aircraft.  He is an active member of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Board of Directors, and has performed as an Air Show Performer. As an engineer and a pilot, he brings the intricacy of “attention to detail” and the critical aspect of its effect on success.

Clark holds a Master of Science Degree in Management (Marketing) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management (M.I.T.); a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from M.I.T.; and further studies in Global Leadership and Senior Management Development programs at the University of Michigan and Indiana University.

Goodbye Nick & Eclipse

Rotarian Nick

Columbia Total Eclipse, August 21, 2017 at            SC State Museum (by Emerson Smith)




Nick Foong and Janice are moving to Florence SC where Nick will be working with Pepsi.  Nick, a Paul Harris Fellow, has been an active member of the Five Points club since September 2012. Jimmy Chao was his sponsor.  Nick has promised that he will come back to visit us.  Thanks Nick for your service to the community, to Rotary International, and to the Rotary Club of Five Points. Terima kasih!


The eclipse arrived in full view on August 21.  It was a special event for all viewers, especially the total eclipse.  Next U.S. eclipse is in April 2024, but not a totality in South Carolina. It will be a totality in Dallas, Texas and toward the northeastern US.  Plan for it!

Can you see the star created by the corona?

Representative James Emerson Smith Jr. speaks on August 18

In November 1966, James was first elected to the South Carolina state house as the representative from District 72, which covers an area from I-77 at Bluff Road through Shandon and north through the intersection of I-20 and I-26.

He has served in a number of leadership roles in the state house, and currently serves as 1st Vice-Chairman of the Judiciary Committee and Subcommittee Chairman House Oversight Committee.  He is also the current chair of the Richland County legislative delegation.

In addition, James is an attorney and a small business man.

Since 1996, he has maintained his own law firm.  And, he has gained admission to the bars in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and New York.

James is also President and CEO of The Congaree Group, LLC (TCG) and TCG Congaree Analytics, which provide services that benefit military veterans.

If that was not enough, James also serves in our Armed Forces.  In the immediate aftermath of the 911 terrorist attack and after serving for eight years as a JAG officer in South Carolina Army National Guard, James resigned as a JAG officer and then re-enlisted to pursue a commission as an Infantry Officer.  James is currently a Major and Chief of Plans for the 218th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade. James served in support of Operation Enduring Freedom Afghanistan with the 218th Infantry Brigade where he was awarded the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, The Bronze Star and The Purple Heart.

James has earned numerous awards including the Outstanding Young Alumni Award from the University of South Carolina (USC), the Distinguished Service Award from USC’s College of Arts and Sciences, and the South Carolina Bar’s Young Lawyer of the Year.  In 2016, James also received the Compleat Lawyer Award Gold Medallion.

James obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from USC in 1990, and earned his Juris Doctor from USC in 1995.

James, who is a Columbia native, is married to Kirkland T. Smith, an accomplished artist. They have three sons.


Reporter John Monk of The State newspaper will speak August 11, 2017 at Main St Methodist (1830 Main Street, 29201)

John Monk, a “reality based” reporter on crime, legal, and justice issues for The State newspaper will tell us what it means to be a journalist today, when “the media” often seems to be under attack as providing “fake news”.

He is a former Washington correspondent for the Charlotte Observer. He is a U.S. Army veteran, plays the violin and enjoys off-trail hiking.

Monk, a 21-year veteran reporter at The State, was honored by the SC Press Association in March 2017 with the 2016 Jay Bender assertive journalism award.

In the past year, Monk was responsible for breaking a major story on S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson’s attempts to clamp down on an independent prosecutor’s investigation of public corruption in the General Assembly.

Read more here.

Meet Ameya, our newest member

Ameya Pethe

On July 28, Ameya (uh-may-uh) Pethe (peh-tay) was inducted as our newest Rotarian. His father, Mrunalini Pethe and mother, Vinayak Pethe, were present.  Nancy Moody led the induction.

Ameya was born in Puney, India in the state of Maharashtra.  At six years of age, his family moved to Dubai, UAE where Ameya was in school through high school.  He returned to India for his college degree from Puney University.

Then he came to the USA to study at SUNY Utica in 2011 and graduated with a Master’s Degree in 2013.

He is an IT Solutions Architect at  Enterprise IT Solutions based in Charlotte.

Let’s welcome Ameya to Five Points.