Seattle Sports Scene & Civic
Health Index Ride on High Side
By Pete DeLaunay
President Tom opened the meeting by introducing Todd Summerfeld, Trish Bostrom, and Mark Rosenberg for a rousing opening anthem, followed by Tom Mesaros for the invocation, and introductions of visiting Rotarians and other guests. Mic handlers were Danner Graves and Kathy Williams under the floor direction of Ken Grant.
Justin Arnold introduced two new members, Charles Green and Chris Baker.
President Tom asked Heather Fitzpatrick to ring the opening bell and introduce herself and her business. Heather is the founder, president and CEO of MarketFitz, developer of the “Marketing Alignment Map” methodology, and author of Marketing Management for Non-Marketing Managers. MarketFitz delivers an innovative approach for improving returns on marketing investments encompassing the following service areas: research, strategy, execution, and analytics.
Heather received her MBA from the University of Washington, her BA from Colgate University, and was a recipient of a Fulbright fellowship. She currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Washington Society of CPAs board of directors, and is on the board of Leadership Tomorrow. Heather has served as the Vice-President of Small Business and a member of the Board of Trustees for the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, and as a member of the boards of the Washington CPA Foundation, CityClub, and Girl Scouts – Totem Council (now Girl Scouts of Western Washington). She is also a Girl Scout junior troop leader, and was voted one of Seattle’s "40 Under 40" by the Puget Sound Business Journal in 2001.
She is an active Rotarian in Seattle #4 where she is currently VP of Membership; Heather worked on the Club’s strategic planning committee and served as Sergeant-at-Arms. For more information email Heather at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Veteran Seattle sports writer, columnist, and author Art Thiel, co-founder of Sports Press Northwest online, came to the podium to promote his new book Russell Wilson: Standing Tall and share his spontaneous insights about Seattle’s sports scene. Art met Rotarians following the meeting to sell and sign his book.
The day’s short program, he provided a fact-filled overview of current Seattle sports team successes including the Sounders leading their league, the Mariners in contention, and the Seahawks poised to win a second Super Bowl!
“It is a bewildering and confusing time as a sports columnist because there’s nothing to complain about,” he said.
Thiel’s Take --
The Seahawks Super Bowl win and the potential for another are the biggest news in local sports since the Sonics NBA win in 1979. The biggest challenges the Seahawks have are meeting expectations and delivering, but so far Pete Carroll has lived up to everything. Carroll relates so well to his players that even the ones who get cut like him. The Seahawks have done a great job of bonding the Seattle community, with 700K people gathering for a group hug parade to celebrate the win and everyone in a good mood.
On their end, the Mariners know they have to actually do something. The investment in Robbie Cano for $240M over ten years now looks pretty good as the Mariners made a statement and commitment to winning some games. And now the Mariners are in contention for the first time in 13 years; a cultural change is taking place.
At UW, Chris Peterson is the best coach since Don James, stepping up quickly to make the transition from ‘Sark’ (Steve Sarkiasian) who was known for “yelling and screaming”. Current Husky players say the difference is night and day as respect and consistency are already making a difference. Chris Hansen is taking a chapter from Pete Carroll’s book: respect, engagement, intensity and to embrace the opportunity to win championships.
Following the short program, President Tom then introduced City Club executive director, Diane Douglas, who reported key findings from the Greater Seattle Civic Health Index, a survey of 41 factors related to civic health. She commented on the two clubs’ shared history, noting that, “City Club was formed in 1981 when Rotary was closed to women,” and acknowledged how Seattle #4 led efforts to admit women.
Diane began with a quiz of three indexes, reporting that Seattle rated high for community involvement, volunteering, and voting in local elections, but did poorly in neighborliness. “The bad news is the Seattle ‘freeze’, or not knowing neighbors, ranked 37th,” she said.
She went on to describe several City Club programs including efforts to encourage volunteerism, a Flag Day event for new citizens and sworn again citizens, public policy debates, a youth voters’ guide, and Civic Boot Camp, among other efforts by City Club to promote quality of civic engagement.