Club Infomation
Lunch meetings are every 1st and 3rd Tuesday at 11:45 a.m. at the JEA, 5111 Abercorn St. Please contact the Club to purchase your lunch at least 48 hours prior to the meeting.
Upcoming Events
Upcoming Speakers
District Governor Mike Muldowney
Sep 17, 2019 11:45 AM
Stan Deaton
Oct 15, 2019 11:43 AM
Georgia History
Past Speakers
Mayor Jason Buelterman, Tybee
Jul 16, 2019 11:45 AM
Happy New Year Metro!
Jul 09, 2019 11:45 AM
Our Stories
Harold Tessendorf, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity, talked to the club about its mission and how we will help their organization. The Coastal Empire Habitat for Humanity subscribes to a vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live.  The organization brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope. Harold talked about the "American Dream" of being able to own a home and discussed Savannah and its surrounding areas' lack of affordable housing. Habitat for Humanity is an affordable homeownership ministry committed to partnering with low-income, working families to realize their dreams of owning quality, affordable, and energy-efficient homes in safe and revitalizing neighborhoods in Chatham County. As one of 1,600 affiliates in the US and part of Habitat for Humanity International, which is active in 70 countries around the world, Coastal Empire Habitat for Humanity addresses the need for safe and affordable shelter both locally and around the world.
As part of our Annual Service Partnership, we will help prepare the existing office located on E. 70th Street to have it ready to sell on the market. The organization has outgrown this facility and needs a professional presence. The office will be relocated to the Restore property on MLK.  The goal is to consolidate the office space and Restore to be in one facility. Please sign up for our first Service opportunity on Aug 24th!
Check out our new 2019-2020 board!  Can you believe this photo shoot was organized in 2 days and everyone showed up?!  On top of that - in 100-degree weather?!  I secretly gave myself the Sally Field's "They Really Like Me" speech as I walked to my car drenched in sweat. Thanks for your cooperation, you beautiful people, you!
Metro's Board of Directors include:
  • President - Bret Bell
  • President Elect - Jessica Pedigo
  • Immediate Past President - Whitney Shephard
  • Treasurer - Cody Tharpe
  • Secretary - Will Gruver
  • Sergeant at Arms - Sara Holton
  • Service Chair: Sam Carroll
  • Foundation Chair: Patrick Phelps
  • Membership Chair: Cari Phelps
  • Communications Chair: Cecilia Arango
  • Directors at Large: Jason Nielubowicz, Liza Smith, Jordan Chase
With Bret now at the helm, he would like to enrich Metro with the following:
  • Tacos
  • Top 10 Lists for everything
  • The 4-Way Test is now the 5-Way Test.  Repeat after me -  Of the things we think, say, or do,
    1. Is it the TRUTH?
    2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
    3. Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
    4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
    5. **NEW** Will it be AWESOME?
  • Metro in the News Spotlights
  • Prezi please, let's make PPTs great again!
  • Your Facebook photos will need to be set to private and hidden unless you want them shared via PPT 
  • But seriously, Bret's goals include:
    • Increase the club size by 6 members
    • Add more networking opportunities
    • Every member does a service project
    • Enhance Metro's stature in Savannah
    • Make Metro More Awesome
Rotary Area 1 clubs, including Metro, Sunrise, Savannah (Downtown),and Skidaway Island, will participate in early childhood literacy with Loop It Up as a sustained partnership with underserved schools.  This will be an extension of the book box project we did a few years ago. We'll be doing book drives, reading to classes, etc. and the program will be focused on Pre-K and Kindergarten.  If you're interested in helping, please contact Whitney Shephard!
Next Service Opportunity - Annual Service Partnership:
  • August 24 - Habitat for Humanity.  Two shifts available:  8:30 - 11:30 and 11:30 - 2:30 at 1106 E. 70th Street
    • Some of the work that needs to be done include repairs to the fence and stairs, tree trimming, pressure washing, and painting.  Please go online and sign waivers.  We are looking for tools, trucks, and chop saws.
  • Fundraiser - come on out for Hops for Habitat at Coastal Empire Beer on Aug 24 from 7:00-9:00 PM to benefit Habitat for Humanity.  There'll be live music from SOAP and food from Big Bon Pizza! Tickets are $35.
Our Membership Committee will present our new streamlined New Member Process at our next meeting on Aug 20th! It's now a 5-step process.
  • Almost (New) Members include Elizabeth Summerell and Reshma Johnson
  • (Retired) Members include Jennifer Huskey (she is pursuing her endeavors in jewelry making), Josh Brooks (building an empire with Brooks Construction, but we'll see more of Josh as he chairs our ASP, Habitat for Humanity), and Jake Crawley (who is now working at Byrd Cookie Company)
Patrick?  It is me you're looking for? Log into My Rotary and see how much you've given.  Hint:  It should be $100. Metro has already committed to giving $50 on your behalf, now it's your turn to give your part (hint: $50).
Other creative ways to give is via social media.  Facebook created 2 new non-profits - Rotary International and End Polio.  Pick one of those and ask your friends and family to give! 
Thank you everyone who donated school supplies to help kids in need. Weslyn Mahogany Bowers, with Blessings in a Bookbag, Inc., was grateful for the supplies and will be distributing them to families she serves in the public school system.
At first glance, it does look like a snippet from the Fyre Festival, but these are shelter boxes designed for actual real disaster relief for people who need it the most. Frank Spears spoke to us about ShelterBox - a global disaster relief charity (4-star on Charity Navigator) that provides immediate emergency shelter and other lifesaving aid to survivors of a disaster or humanitarian crisis. 83 million people around the world have been displaced by some sort of force. It's estimated to rise in staggering numbers over the next 20 years due to political instability around the world, in addition to natural disasters. These ShelterBoxes contain the tools to transform lives and rebuild communities. Each ShelterBox aid is tailored to each disaster and typically includes tented shelter, blankets and groundsheets, solar lights, cooking utensils, water purification equipment, a tool kit, mosquito nets, and children's activity packs. The work of ShelterBox is made possible through ongoing contributions from individuals, foundations, and corporations. 
We presented Frank our big check donation of $1,000 to ShelterBox!
And then took a selfie because pics or it didn't happen (ask them Fyre Fest suckers)!
SARA HOLTON!  Congratulations to Sara who stepped up as Sgt at Arms and Program Committee Chair mid year LIKE A BOSS! She helped coordinate our location search in 2018 and has managed caterers, speakers, and members.  In addition, she has handled all of our last minute texts, emails, and calls with such grace!  On behalf of Metro, we made a donation to Rotary Foundation in Sara's name.
From the President
Metro Savannah may not look like your father's Rotary Club, but we're not all that different. We're proud to be members of Rotary International, believe strongly in its mission and traditions, and partner frequently with other clubs in the area.
We're just a bit different, and do things a bit differently. We're younger than the average club, and our meetings are twice monthly instead of every week. We fill in the free weeks with monthly service projects and socials. We throw larger events that have become legend.  
Want to join us? Visiting Rotarians are welcome to join any of our lunch meetings or events. Others should come as a guest of a friend, colleague or acquaintance who is already a member of Metro. If you're interested in becoming a member after that visit, reach out to your host and they'll explain the membership process to you. 
Thanks for checking out Metro.    
Bret Bell
Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Service Chair
Foundation Chair
Membership Chair
Sergeant at Arms
Communications Chair
Immediate Past President
Member Birthdays:
  • Lee Beckmann
    August 24
  • Ben Barksdale
    August 30
Spouse/Partner Birthdays:
  • Brandi Mills
    August 28
  • Emmy Burch
    Spencer Burch
    August 2
  • Spencer Burch
    Emily Burch
    August 2
  • Emily Salzer
    Jason Salzer
    August 13
Join Date:
  • Ben Barksdale
    August 21, 2012
    7 years
  • Denise Grabowski
    August 21, 2012
    7 years
  • Jessica Thomas
    August 21, 2012
    7 years