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The Rotary Club of Space Center (Houston), Texas, and U.S.A.
 Rotary International District 5890
Club 2010


"The Rotary spirit of international cooperation has motivated development of this seminar to share free enterprise ideas, experience, and practical advice with the newly emerging free economies of the 1990's. This seminar presents the principles of a free market and follows with a practical step by step road map for developing your own business enterprise." ...

Purpose and Goals from Project Free Enterprise 1991 Manual

Rotary Year 1990-1991
Dr. David Taylor was the originator of the program and described its origin in his own words in 2009.
"International Youth Exchange started about 1985, and was headed in the district by Harold Jones.  I served on that first district committee, and my son was on the first exchange we arranged and was sent to England as part of a group of four.  I chaired Youth Exchange at our club for some time, served as the District chairman, and then in 1987 or 1988 managed to arrange exchanges with Hungary and East Germany using non-Rotarian contacts (they were still communist and did not have Rotary).  We also sent two students to Moscow the next year.  The Youth Exchange objective is to foster world peace through understanding.  The many countries we had exchanged with did not have peace issues with us so an effort was made to exchange behind the Iron Curtain.  My contacts for this were Gert and Marta Bahlo.  Marta’s sister still lived in Hungary and she contacted her and got the pastor of her church to make the arrangements, and Gert was a native of East Germany and still had family there.  Marta was the mother of one of my patients and her accent tipped me off.  Moscow university became the source in the Soviet Union as a result of my letter writing. When the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, I used some of these same contacts to start an international project to go to the Eastern bloc and give seminars on small business and free enterprise.  This was called Project Free Enterprise.  This was a Rotary project funded by a matching grant, and some of the speakers on these trips came from our own club – such as Gonzalo Montoya.  These were 2-day free seminars to hundreds of people arranged by Rotary clubs in Hungary and Poland.  We spoke in 16 cities in four years, and gave talks covering the business plan, management, marketing, finance, quality assurance, business ethics, management information systems, ISO standards, etc.  A typical team was 8 people.  After NAFTA was passed by Bill Clinton, there seemed to be a similar need for finding common ground in our business practices with Mexico business men, so I took a Project Amigo seminar team to Mexico City in 1995 and gave five seminars at various places around the city, arranged by our sister club there, Aeropuerto, and one of its past presidents, Umberto Orozco." 

letter from Dr. Taylor dated October 17, 1991 to "Those Listed " and  the referenced letter from Alexander Tarnavsky, Rotary Club of Moscow, also describes the ideas behind the project (Tarnavsky's letter follows Dr. Taylor's).

The earlist record of the program was Rotary year 1990-91.   There were several documents in the file relating the startup issues involved with the project. These documents were the following: an article in the  
April 1, 1991 Blastoff   and a picture of a banner in the  April 15, 1991 Blastoff .   Also the   September 4, 1990 minutes , under unfinished business, noted that Dr. David Taylor was concerned about the program.  The   September 18, 1990 minutes noted that Project Free Enterprise System was placed under Owen Morris and the Avenue of Service, International Service.  Also there was a letter dated October 31, 1990   from Dr. David Taylor to District 589's  55 clubs regarding a meeting on Project Free Enterprise  and an article to be placed in the Blastoff.   Dr. Taylor shared  his vision for the project free enterprise program in a letter dated May 7, 1990 to District 589 Governor Sonny Nichols and in a letter dated June 6, 1990 to Moscow Rotarian Alexander Tarnavski.    Also in the file were two documents asssociated with the first seminar, an 
Agenda and  Introductory Remarks .   

The first project free 
enterprise was very successful and noted in Rotary International April/May 1992 newsletter:  "Out of Dr. Taylor's concern and sub-sequent organizational efforts, an ambitious program evolved: It is called Project Free Enterprise. Supported by clubs throughout District 5890, the program allows Rotarians to bring a comprehensive two-day seminar on basic U.S.A. business practices to audiences in Eastern Europe and Russia.  A team of eight speakers conducted three seminars in Poland and Hungary last year.  In May (1992) Dr. Taylor and nine others, mostly Rotarians, will return to Poland for seminars in Warsaw, Wroclaw and Katowice."  Read  all of the article.  Also a summary of the first project is contained in a  letter and the attachments (view colored photos of Rotary International Convention where Project Free Enterprise program was displayed) from Dr. David Taylor to Will White, Editor of the Rotary Magazine.  View the trips in photos from the seminars in   Budapest,  Warsaw, and  Torun.   View the Charter Cermony Program  for the Torun Rotary Club of Poland.  The  speech  that Kevin Price, a member of the Project Free Enterprise I Team, delivered in Poland appeared in an issue of the national publication, Vital Speeches, which is well respected in academic, political, and business circles.  Less than 250 speeches a year appear in this magazine. 

Rotary Year 1991-1992
The following information was in the February 24, 1992 Blastoff regarding Project Free Enterprise.  "Dr. David Taylor and his Project Free Enterprise Team II are making plans for their seminars in Poland beginning May 6 through the 18. The seminars will be free and open to Polish citizens who wish to learn business principles of the United States. The topics include-role of government in business, management, marketing, bookkeeping, accounting, finance, business plans, global marketing, manufacturing, law and business resources. The attendees will also participate in a half-day workshop and communicate directly with the speakers on their topics.  David and his team are looking for professionals from various avenues of American business to travel to Warsaw, Wroclaw and Katowice, Poland in May at the cost of $1,500 each. Members of the team are currently accepting donations and are selling advertising space in the seminar program to finance the trip. Businesses who want exposure in Eastern Europe as well as the many international organizations the program will reach, are encouraged to place an ad early as the deadline is February 1992." 

The second free enterprise
project consisted of  a series of seminars by an eigth member team  held in Warsaw, Wroclaw, and Katowice Poland  May 12 -16, 1992.   A notebook titled "Documentation" contained much information about the first, but primarily, the second project.  It contained preparations, agendas, the team, correspondence from persons in Poland and Hungary and the United States, and a District 5890 newsletter on Project Free Enterprise II.  In the Notebook was a letter of appreciation from Aleksander Szwarc to Dr. David Taylor  summarizing the results of the seminars.  A portion of the letter stated " We appreciate the effort of Rotarians from Houston who spent much time and work on preparation of the Free Enterprise Project. It is not only a vocational service, but the most of "Look Beyound Yourself"  in helping people of Poland to go through extremely difficult time of transtion from centrally planned to free maket economy."  The entire letter is very intersting along with others in the notebook. Also read a newspaper article in The Citizen dated February 16, 1992 about the second project.

After the first two projects a "how to" manual titled,  
Project Free Enterprise Manual ,   was compiled  as a reference for forming further projects.  It consisted of  relative information such as pictures, procedures, examples, and references.  
Rotary Year 1992-1993
There was little material regarding the Project Free Enterprise program.   A  
letter from Dr. David Taylor, Director Project Free Enterprise, summarized the program as of September 2, 1992 alluding to a third team and trip.  View the Project Free Enterprise III manual.  The  project consisted of a 8 member team to Lodz, Poznan, and Bydgoszcz Poland from September 23, to October 7, 1993.  View  travel schedule and team members.

Rotary Year 1993-1994
Project Free Enterprise IV   was seminars by a 6 member team held  in Warsaw, Bydgoszcz, and Wroclaw Poland from October 8 to October 15, 1994. View the material as noted below in tabs  presented at the seminars and photos of the project.

Tab 1   Introduction by Dr. David Taylor
Tab 2   Management Considerations by Dr. David Taylor
Tab 3    Case Study by Tad Pilinski
Tab 4    The Business Plan by Marla Burns
Tab 5   Marketing by Wojciech Kic
Tab 6   Financial Analysis by Michael K. Bourke
Tab 6    (Financial Analysis) Introduction to Afternoon Session by Tad Pilinski
Tab 6    (Financial Analysis) Start-Up Considerations by Wojciech Kic
Tab 6    (Financial Analysis) Financial Operating Records by Maria Burns
Tab 6    (Financial Analysis) Sales by Wojciech Kic
Tab 7    Formal Business Presentations by Maria Burns
Tab 7    (Formal Business Presentations) The Steps In Computer Implementation by Michael Bourke, PHD
Tab 7    (Formal Business Presentations) The Costs And Benefits Of Computers by Micheal Bourke, PHD
Tab 8   International Trade and Finance by Michael Bourke, PHD
Tab 9   ISO 9000, A Road to Total Quality Managment (TQM) by Tadeusz K. Pilinski

Rotary Year 1994-1995
There were no project free enterprise seminars during the Rotary year as Dr. Taylor was President of Rotary Club of Space Center.

Rotary Year 1995-1996
The Rotary Seminar Team district committee sent its fifth team to share information from one Rotary district to another, this time to Mexico City.  This team was known as
Project Amigo  (the manual was in Spanish except what is shown).   Four previous seminar teams from Houston to Eastern Europe were known as Project Free Enterprise.  The idea for this new form of Rotary service was spawned when the Berlin wall came down.  The team of eight Houston business people gave five seminars in one week at various locations in Mexico City.  Three were all-day seminars on the basics of operating a business.  One half-day seminar was for individuals thinking of starting a business.  And another all-day seminar was for advanced topics of interest to certain established businesses.  The continuation of this  write-up,  a  write-up  in the District 5890 "The Gov's Views and News" newsletter dated December 1995, and the   Purpose and Goals of Project Amigo provide more insight into the project. View business card on Project Amigo.

An excerpt from an interesting letter dated April 3, 1996  regarding benefits of  project free entrprise noted" I told Alex that I had gotten a Christmas card from Zygmunt Mackiewicz, now the current president of the Bydgoszcz Rotary Club, in which he told me how much their cardiology program there had been upgraded as a result of his stay at the Texas Heart Institute.  Zygmunt was one of the first two doctors we hosted here for two weeks at THI.  I suggested he speak to Zygmunt first before we try to deal with THI.  Bydgoszcz is about 200 KM away and Alex went there to see him before submitting for surgery."  Read entire  letter.  Also some interesting  information about possible spin-offs of the project free enterprise program was in the January 8, 1996 Blastoff.

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