Pinch Hit Speaker Hits Home Run
By Rohan Paul
Laszlo M. Balassay became our speaker with literally 20 minutes notice when our scheduled speaker was unable to be at the meeting. Laszlo was a first time visitor and my guest..
Laszlo was born in Cleveland, but as an international banker spent most of his banking career in London and Budapest.
He has recently relocated with his family to Charlotte as he has two brothers in the area.
In Laszlo’s presentation, which he gave impromptu as a guest speaker, he asserted the importance of acknowledging and being mindful of the different perspectives we each have. Mao Tse-tung when asked what effect Napoleon had on Europe, he replied, “It is too early to tell.”
Laszlo believes that bringing different perspectives to bear in a synergistic way is an excellent tool in being good stewards of the world and helping the less fortunate. However, Laszlo noted that it is especially important in the world of NGOs (Non Government Organizations) to not allow these differing perspectives to distort basic facts about the problems for which we seek solutions. Effective and sustainable solutions to problems can only be accomplished through a frank assessment of the needs, and their dynamics, with as many objective metrics to define the problem as is possible.
In Laszlo’s experience, there is significant bias generated by political orientation (both left and right) and emotions, which distort and censor the frank assessment of the root causes of certain problems. This is especially true in cases where the efforts are related to helping alleviate the problems faced by minorities (Hungarian gypsies, for example).
Laszlo believes that if we are smart about setting metrics and collecting data in our humanitarian and NGO efforts, there is a significant opportunity in using analytical and statistical techniques in order to greatly increase the effectiveness of time and financial resources deployed in solving some of our greatest humanitarian and societal challenges.
Dilworthian Editor Recalls Unusual Incidents Related to Club Program Presenters
In his 36 years in Dilworth Rotary, your editor has seen some interesting incidents involving our program presenters, but the Sept. 23rd meeting resulted in a first. With the planned speaker a no-show, Rohan Paul’s guest was asked if he would like to speak. Even though it was his first time visiting our club, he said yes and did an excellent job.
On at least two occasions, we have had two speakers show up on the same day. On one of those occasions, one of the speakers was your editor’s boss, Joe Epley. He graciously yielded to the other speaker and came back at another time to present his planned program.
On several occasions we have had speakers we didn’t expect present the program. Usually they represented the organization that had agreed to provide the program, but were not the persons we had been told would speak. All is well that ends well.
Five Dilworthians and a Spouse Sorted Donations Five Dilworthians and a spouse processed donations at Crisis Assistance
Ministry this past Saturday morning. Left to right in rear, are: Ret Turner, Pete Heuberger, Gus Psomadakis, Dave Miller. In front Kay May and Karen Miller.
Butterfly Helper Ret Turner Receives Club Gift
Ret Turner received a surprise gift at the Sept. 23rd meeting in recognition of his work planting milkweed to provide food for butterfly caterpillars. Ret explained, “I have a patch 5×10 feet at Rama Road Elementary School and a much larger patch Joe Morris and I planted on a power line right of way at Lake Wiley. Hope to harvest seeds this Fall off of mature plants, vernalize this winter and plant in Spring for further plantings. Next year I should have better results as I will have made and learned from many mistakes.”