Cold fronts, hurricanes, thunderstorms, and sunshine! It was all about the weather at our lunch meeting on Thursday. It was only fitting that rotarians were greeted with partial sunshine and then a strong thunderstorm came rolling through just as our presenter began.

There was an important announcement given by the Polio Plus chair Ellen Labrie to start the meeting. Ellen has had the pleasure of participating overseas in Ethopia's national immunization day. At the time, Ethopia was a country ravaged by polio. Ellen remembers the hundreds of children being immunized and also recalls the hundreds of mothers that were trusting Rotary
with their children. Polio was so close to being erraticated in the 1990's, but regional conflicts prevented the final immunizations for those countries. 

Ellen announced that the Gates Foundation has committed a two for one match on Rotary's fundraising efforts. Ellen also announced that this fundraiser was initially funded by her and her husband Jim and that the Portsmouth Rotary board has set aside funds for the Polio Plus fundraising drive. The end goal is to become a 100% participation club and rotarians have until the end of the year to fulfill their donation.

Addtional announcements include that new member boks are currently in circulation and to please make an effort to sign. The Vision committee will be meeting on September 20th.

Just as the weatherman predicted (or maybe not), the thunderstorms arrived at Portsmouth Country Club while Linda Maynard, VP of Corporate Marketing for WSI, educated rotarians on the WSI business model. Weather Service Internationl is the professional division of The Weather Company. The Weather Company is the parent company to other popular brands such as The Weather Channel and WSI has two locations, one in Andover, MA and Madison, WI. The Weather Company is the world's leading weather media company and also the most profitable weather company serving over 5500 clients in 45 countries. The company is also the world's largest aviation weather service supporting over 50,000 flights daily and working 85% of U.S. airline companies.

What else could the company be a leader in? It is also the world's leading energy forecaster and the fastest growing weather service for insurance companies supporting 7 out of the top 10 property and casualty insurers in the U.S..

Weather is the most sought after content of media company viewers. 93% of the weekly viewing population seeks out their weather using traditional television sources. 54% of the population now seeks weather forecasts on smartphones, and 28% on tablets.

Linda explained how WSI specializes in the business to business market. This allows multi-national organizations in various industries such as energy, media, and aviation to accurately see the weather forecasts that could benefit or interrupt business operations.

An example of how weather can have a negative effect on businesses is the Icelandic volcani eruption a few years ago. This suspended all air traffic in Europe and costing major airlines an estimated $200 million everday. WSI has a major role in convincing the government that is was safe to fly earlier than anticipated. If you were stuck in Europe at that time, send Linda a thank you note!

Rick Page was the lucky 50/50 winner. He did not match the bonus so that has increased to $825 next week.

Have a great week!