Issue 36, September 4th

So usually you’re reading this message about the time you think “darn, I have to work tomorrow;” but not today, happy Labor Day weekend!  Talk about some surprising upsets last week.  I had a feeling the sales tax referendum would pass along with some other races culminating the way they did, but not with the margins we saw.  Those who attended our election night watch party at Blackfinn had a great time keeping up with TV result streams, and refreshing our smartphones on commercials as the precincts continued to report in.  The program at our meeting was a great balance with Roger Austin speaking from the consultant side.  A.G. Gancarski spoke very intelligently about all the races and probably dominated the discussion.  Finally along with spirited commentary and analysis, Ron Littlepage declared with pride that as of 9:30am that morning he was a registered democrat once again.  The discussion ranged from the individual races, to the concept of closed primaries and the whether fair or not.

I want to congratulate all our members who had the courage to seek out elected office regardless of their outcomes.  This is not a light undertaking; they opened themselves up to microscopic scrutiny which takes courage and conviction.  Specifically I hope everyone will join me in congratulating our own Melissa Nelson on a HUGE win in the primary, and before our meeting Wednesday ended, her opponent dropped out making her our State Attorney-elect for the 4th Circuit!  Another big Congratulations goes out to long-time member John Rutherford on his victory in the Republican Primary for Congress.  He has opposition come November, but with any luck we’ll send another SBMC member to Washington come January following Congressman Crenshaw’s retirement.

Now that we have a break from electing our leaders in government, let’s take time to recognize those who have led our club over the past 84 years.  This Wednesday we’ll honor our Presidents of years past who will all tell you that’s the best title to have in the club….PAST President HAHA!  Later in the week I’m personally looking forward to our 3rd and final civic project where we’ll volunteer with our member Angelwood at their Phillips Hwy warehouse.  All of the projects this year and last have been great for fellowship amongst our members.  While we give back to the community year-round, this is one of the few times we’ll roll up our sleeves to help a different organization in addition to our own good will.  Over my 8 years as a member, I’ve built some of the best relationships in volunteering with SBMC.  I remember back in 2008 working with Crump Kirby and John Hamel late one evening on the Veterans Day float.  That turned into several days of involvement and new relationships with some really great people.  Early this year we knocked out a day’s worth of vinyl siding at Habijax with the help of about 30 volunteers before lunch.  Hopefully we’ll have a strong crowd this weekend and you’ll enjoy the chance to make or build upon new relationships.

Finally beginning next week we’ll begin our Jacksonville Entrepreneur speaker series featuring John Valentino, Earl Benton, Preston Haskell, and many more!  Also on the schedule is TopGolf Director of Operations for Jacksonville who will give us a preview a few weeks ahead of their grand opening.  Fall at SBMC is always a fun and active time, especially with Howard Caplan and Jeanne Maron’s Meet-a-member coming up later this month.

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