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Calendar of Events
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September 2016 Events
September 1     Rotary Basic Education and Literacy Month
September 7     Nancy Poulson, Florida Humanities Council


Nancy Poulson

Florida Humanities Council



The Florida Humanities Council is dedicated to building strong communities and informed citizens by providing Floridians with the opportunity to explore the heritage, traditions and stories of our state and its place in the world.


Established in 1973, we are an independent, nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. We develop and fund public programs and resources around the state that explore Florida’s history and cultural heritage, literary and artistic life, environment and development, issues and ideas, communities and traditions.

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September 14     Blake James, Director of Athletics, University of Miami



Blake James 


Since taking over as the University of Miami’s Director of Athletics in 2013, Blake James has led a transformation at Miami on the field, in student-athlete support, in facilities and in student academic achievement. 

In 2015-2016, Miami was the only school in NCAA Division I athletics to have its football team play in a bowl game, men’s and women’s basketball teams reach the NCAA tournament and baseball team advance to the College World Series.  Overall, Miami had 10 sports programs advance to postseason competition to secure its highest finish in the Learfield Directors’ Cup standings in twelve years, an indication of broad-based athletic department success. 

Miami sold out its entire men’s basketball season ticket allotment in 2015-2016, marking the first time in Hurricane athletics history that a team has sold out on a season-ticket basis.  For fans who chose to watch the Canes on media platforms, the Hurricanes’ live streaming video platform took a giant leap as Miami aired more than 115 live events on ESPN3 – a figure that ranked first among all ACC schools.

In the classroom, three Miami teams were honored nationally for being among the top 10 percent in the Academic Progress Rates (APR) during the 2015-2016 academic year.  In addition, eight Hurricane teams scored 990 or better out of a possible 1,000 points - men’s cross country (1000), men’s diving (1000), men’s tennis (991), golf (1000), soccer (991), women’s swimming (996), women’s tennis (992) and women’s track and field (994).

In the department’s continuing efforts to better support student-athletes and coaches, the Miami Hurricane Club set an all-time annual fund record of $12 million raised for the Student-Athlete Excellence Fund—an increase of 21 percent over the prior year.  The Hurricane Club also announced a record 8,100 active members in May 2016, an 80-percent increase in active membership since 2010.

Under James’ leadership, Miami has completed several facility enhancements, beginning with the opening of the Schwartz Center for Athletic Excellence, the completion of the student-athlete training table, fueling station, dining hall, new artificial and natural playing surfaces and lights on the Greentree Practice Fields and a center-hung scoreboard inside the Hurricanes’ basketball arena.  Prior to the 2015 athletics season, James was instrumental in helping Miami strike one of the largest apparel deals in the country with adidas. 

Prior to being named AD, James served Miami athletics in the roles of Interim AD and Senior Associate AD for Development and Ticket Operations, where he oversaw the day-to-day operations of development, ticket sales and ticket operations.  He also was a member of the Hurricanes’ senior staff and provided sport supervision.

James came to UM after spending seven years the University of Maine, where he first served as Senior Associate Athletic Director before serving as Director of Athletics from 2005 to 2010. During his tenure at Maine, athletics experienced tremendous success, including three trips to the Frozen Four for the men’s ice hockey program and NCAA playoff berths for football, baseball (two), women’s basketball and softball. Additionally, James implemented a comprehensive $17 million facility improvement plan, which included an indoor practice facility and numerous other facility upgrades and renovations.  Academically, the program flourished, earning the conference academic cup twice and student-athletes maintaining better than a 3.0 GPA.

Prior to his stint at Maine, James worked in athletic development at Providence College, where he established the “Friars Forever” campaign and the Friar Athletic Fund.

James is no stranger to South Florida, beginning his athletic career with the University of Miami, working in ticket sales, corporate sales and athletic development.  In 1995, he was hired as Miami’s Director of Ticket Sales, serving in that capacity until 1997, when he was named an athletic development officer at the University of Nebraska.  He returned to Miami in 1998 as the Director of Major Gifts and Corporate Sales and was promoted to the Director of Athletic Development at Miami in 2000 before moving on to Providence in 2002.

James graduated from Minnesota State University - Mankato with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing in 1992 and later received his Master’s degree in Sports Administration from St. Thomas University in 1994.

He and his wife, Kelly, have two children: daughter, Haley, and son, Ryan.

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September 19     Board of Directors

Rotary Board of Director’s Meeting 


Art Serve

1350 E Sunrise Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304


  5:30 PM
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September 21     David Samson, President of the Miami Marlins

David P. Samson – President

•             David Samson enters his 17th season in Major League Baseball and 15th as President of the Miami Marlins. He is one of only nine current Presidents in Major League Baseball who has presided over a World Series champion.   He is a member of Major League Baseball’s Competition Committee (Including Pace of Game) and the Diversity Committee.       


•             As Club President, Samson oversees all aspects of the team’s day-to-day business operations, including sales, marketing, operations and personnel matters.  He also oversaw the successful completion of Marlins Park in Miami. Construction of the baseball-only, retractable roof, air-conditioned facility exceeded all stated goals from local worker participation to local firm involvement.  Under Samson’s leadership Marlins Park was completed on time and under budget while also earning Gold LEED certification, officially making it the greenest ballpark in America and the world’s first-ever retractable roof facility to earn such distinction. 


•             Samson works closely with Owner and CEO, Jeffrey Loria, on all baseball matters and general corporate strategy.  Samson also presides over the Marlins Foundation, which focuses its efforts on baseball, arts and educational needs of the South Florida community. The Foundation has distributed over $6.0 million to worthy charities in South Florida since the ballpark gained approval in 2008 and Marlins’ Ayudan, a Corporate Social Responsibility Program, has now surpassed over 38,000 hours of volunteer service. 


•             Samson, 47, was born in Milwaukee, WI, and was raised in New York City.  He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a bachelor’s in Economics in 1990. He received a Juris Doctor from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City in 1993. He is a member of the New York State Bar.  Following law school, Samson became President and Founder of News Travels Fast, the first company to deliver the New York Times to Europe on a same-day basis.  In 1996, Samson joined Morgan Stanley, an investment bank in New York City, a position he resigned in 1999 when he joined the Montreal Expos as Executive Vice President.


•             Among his accomplishments, Samson was named one of Sports Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40” for two years running, 2003-04.  Other highlights, in addition to the 2003 World Series Championship, included the Florida Marlins being named South Florida’s No. 1 Film and Entertainment Company of the Year and Baseball America’s Organization of the Year.     


•             On October 21, 2006, Samson became the first active team President to complete the Ford Ironman World Championship Triathlon in Kona, Hawaii.  In addition to swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles, and then running a full marathon, all in 15 hours, 36 minutes, Samson personally raised over $250,000 for the Marlins Foundation, the Challenged Athletes Foundation (“CAF”) and other local Hawaiian charities. 


•             Samson concentrates his charitable efforts on helping underprivileged and sick children experience summer camp and improved education and health care.  In addition, he is a member of CAF‘s Board of Directors.  His vision is to help increase its visibility, thus enabling more physically challenged athletes to compete in triathlons as well as other sports. 


•             In 2016, Samson received The Hope Award, which is the National MS Society’s highest volunteer award at a gala that raised over $600,000.


•             In 2010, Samson was named to Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law’s Board of Overseers and in 2014 he was named Chairman of the Board. As a member of this board he works to continue Cardozo’s renowned clinical programs, as well as the continued growth of its public interest scholarship programs.  He is also on the board and executive council of Yeshiva University. Samson also serves on the Miami Children’s Museum Board of Directors. 


•             On April 27, 2012, Samson ran 52.5 miles from Pompano Beach to Marlins Park to raise funds for 10 “Charities of Choice” to honor the construction workers who made Marlins Park a reality. The run raised over $600,000 through sponsor and individual donations. 


•             In 2014, Samson was one of 18 contestants on the 28th season of Survivor ™.  He is the only active team executive to appear on the show, and one of fewer than 425 people in the United States to be selected to participate.  Samson also starred as Lorne Michaels in the 2014 production entitled “Not Ready for Primetime.” This full-length feature play detailed the beginnings of “Saturday Night Live.”


•             In 2015, Samson along with owner Jeffrey Loria, worked with Miami-Dade County, City of Miami and City of Miami Beach officials, as well as civic and business leaders to bid for the 2017 All-Star Game. On February 13, 2015, the 10th Commissioner of Baseball, Robert D. Manfred, awarded the 2017 Midsummer Classic to Miami.


•             He and his wife, Cindi, a former school director, have been married for 25 years and have two daughters, Hannah and Kyra, and a son, Caleb.

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September 27     Evening R2R Social


The Evening  R2R Social ?will be on

TUESDAY, September 27, 2016

and Sponsored by District 6990

Meet the District Governor,

Debbie Maymon,

 Coral Ridge Yacht Club 


  6:00 PM8:00 PM
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