The Rotary Club of Charlottesville

Event Types

Our Club theme for the month of February is GENERATIVITY - a human pursuit to contribute something, often through communities, to the next generation. Our speaker today has contributed something valuable to the Charlottesville community in the form of a foundation and a unique annual festival focused on innovation and entrepreneurship. Don't miss our talk with Paul Beyer at the Rotary Club of Charlottesville on Feb 28th. 

Paul is the Founder and Director of the Tom Tom Foundation and the Tom Tom Founders Festival. Tom Tom is a Festival of music, art, and innovation held each April over Jefferson’s birthday week in Charlottesville, VA. Since its inception in 2012, Tom Tom has hosted over 127,000 attendees, 300 bands, and dozens of public artists at wide-ranging creative events throughout the historic downtown. Tom Tom’s innovation programming has featured 350 speakers, including founders of Reddit, the Container Store, Chromat, Crutchfield, Gizmodo, and the Maker Movement, and its competitions have seeded nearly $2.9M in grants and funding to entrepreneurs and nonprofits. As Director of the Festival, Beyer oversees the visioning, programming, and marketing of the event that both builds the Charlottesville community and increasingly draws national entrepreneurs and creatives to explore the art of founding.


Beyer grew up in Charlottesville, and graduated New York University’s Gallatin School with concentrations in screenwriting and history in 2003. Paul returned to Charlottesville in 2006 to work for R.L. Beyer Custom Homes, a family run homebuilding business established in 1972.


Paul has spent his professional career in Charlottesville invested in a number of civic and entrepreneurial pursuits in the region. Paul sits on the Board of the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce (2014 – ), the Charlottesville Economic Development Authority (2016 – ), and the Mayor’s Advisory Council on Innovation and Technology (2016). Prior to that he chaired Albemarle County’s Housing Committee (2007-2010), and participated on the steering committee of the Charlottesville Cultural Plan (2012 – 2013).


Paul Beyer, Founder & Director of Tom Tom Festival
 Feb 28, 2017

In 2011, Iñaki Alday was appointed as the Quesada Professor and Chair of the Department of Architecture of the University of Virginia, where he is participating in the on-going evolution of the architecture program at the university of Thomas Jefferson, the one of the first public universities of the United States. Since 2016, he is the Director of the Yamuna River Project, the first pan-university grand challenge project at the University of Virginia. The Yamuna River Project ( is a long-term, inter-disciplinary research program whose objective is to revitalize the ecology of the Yamuna River in the Delhi area. Iñaki Alday and Pankaj Vir Gupta -Professor of Architecture and Principal, Vir Mueller Architects/Delhi - initiated the project in 2013. 

The Yamuna River Project involves an interdisciplinary team from the UVa and from India with expertise in architecture, land planning, civil engineering, environmental science, public-private partnerships, anthropology, political science, history, and cultural studies. The team’s objective is to engage the efforts of government agencies, experts and activists in an ongoing program to address the multidimensional challenges of Delhi and the relation with its river. Both in the academic appointment and in the design practice of aldayjover architecture and landscape, Iñaki Alday promotes a new attitude in front of the professional and academic challenges on the transformation of our environment. 

Prof. IƱaki Alday
 Mar 14, 2017

Today’s meeting will include a special recognition of two graduating college students who will be receiving Rotary Global Grant Scholarships totaling $120,000 USD for advanced study outside of the United States.  We are pleased to welcome these two exceptional students preparing for rigorous graduate programs in the UK, studying science (cancer research) and public health (HIV/AIDS policy and prevention).  Members and guests are especially encouraged to invite their school-aged children to this special meeting so that the girls and boys can hear from this inspirational pair of graduating UVA students. 


Name: Ashley Ferguson

Hometown:                 Ashburn, Virginia

Degree pursuing:         Master of Philosophy in Medical Science at the Medical Research Council Cancer Unit at the University of Cambridge in the lab of Christian Frezza, Ph.D.

Coming into high school, my parents encouraged me to ditch my plans to try and be cool for a position at the Loudoun Academy of Science.  During my high school cancer research project, I stumbled onto Otto Warburg’s theory of cancer metabolism and have been hooked on the way a cancer cell takes up and uses energy ever since.  After building up my ability to deal with experimental failure in my independent research at UVa, I am ready to ask in my master’s next year:  “How can we target different cancers using the metabolic features that make them all the same?”



Name: Sasheenie Moodley

Hometown: Johannesburg, South Africa / Atlanta, GA

Born and raised in Johannesburg (South Africa), Sasheenie Mooodley moved to the USA in 2011. Enthusiastic and dedicated, she is currently studying at the University of Virginia (Virginia, USA) as a Jefferson Scholar and Echols Scholar. Sasheenie graduated in May 2016 from the University of Virginia with a BA in Global Development Studies. This year, she will finish her Masters in Public Health with a focus on Health Policy, Ethics and Law from the University of Virginia. At the University, she is the Editor-In-Chief of the Conflux Journal, sits on the student board at the Center for Global Health, and is an active peer mentor in the Jefferson Scholars and Echols Scholars programs. Sasheenie’s hobby is roasting marshmallows by the fire with friends in her lawn room.

Sasheenie will go on to complete an accelerated 3-year PhD in the UK in Global Health Policy and African Studies.

Her research focuses on facilitating peer support in urban townships in South Africa where there exists high HIV/AIDS prevalence. Knowledge is power, but shared knowledge is powerful and can combat health challenges in developing and developed communities. She seeks to explore knowledge sharing as a tool to maintain individuals in the continuum of HIV care, thus promoting HIV testing and prevention. Current HIV researchers and advocates have successfully slowed the progression of HIV/AIDS since its peak in 2005. Now there is a need to improve access to HIV/AIDS treatments through effective development and implementation of policy.

Ashley Ferguson & Sasheenie Moodley
 Mar 28, 2017