Club Infomation
Metro meets on Alternate Tuesdays at noon at the Jewish Educational Alliance, 5111 Abercorn St.
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Committee Reports

President Cecilia Arango reviewed recent media coverage of Metro members, including a Forbes article that spotlighted Cari Phelps’ Salacia Salts and reporting on the grand opening of Habitat for Humanity Savannah’s new executive offices, which featured photos of CEO Zerik Samples and fellow Metro members. If you spot a Metrotarian in the news, email a link to

Program Committee

The Sept. 21 lunch meeting will be held at First Presbyterian Church, 520 Washington Ave. The featured speaker is District Governor Ed Presnell of the Rotary Club of Augusta.
The September Social is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 28 at Castaways in Sandfly.

Service Committee 

A family-friendly Tybee Island Beach Clean-up will be held on Sunday Sept. 19 at 10 a.m. in observation of International Coastal Clean-up. We will meet at the Tybee Pier. Sign up here.

Georgia Rotary Student Program

Sofie Bohl, who is a student at Georgia Southern University’s Armstrong Campus, gave the club an overview of her life in Sweden.

Featured Speaker: Dr. Sametria McFall

Dr. McFall is Interim Provost and Vice President at Savannah State University. She previously served as vice president for academic affairs at the university and has held numerous other roles at SSU. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Savannah State, and an additional master’s degree and a doctorate from Northeastern University. She provided an overview of the degree programs available at SSU.

Committee Reports

President Cecilia Arango announced Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta’s Each One Bring One membership initiative. Each member is urged to invite a prospective member to a club meeting. When thinking about who you would like to invite, be intentional and consider the following: Is the prospective member service oriented? Do they have the time and level of commitment necessary to be an active Metro member? Remember, there are many local Rotary Clubs.

Membership Committee

Membership Committee Chair Katie Joyner explained the "New Member Obi Belt Process." In related news, Derek Goldfarb has now reached yellow belt status in the new member program. She also described methods Metrotarians can employ to identify prospective members including participating in community events, mentioning Rotary when you are asked about your leadership skills, identifying a missing classification and developing a plan to fill it, and making prospective members feel important. 

Rotarian Reader

Reshma Shah Johnson directed members’ attention to Frank Bures’ article, “That’s What Friends Are For,” in the August issue of the Rotarian. The author notes a Paul Harris quote from the early 1990s, “There is no place like a city park on a Sunday afternoon to feel one’s loneliness. To me one essential was lacking, the presence of friends."Reshma shared information from the article that describes how friendships are established and how important they are. Loneliness is a health problem. Friendship is the cure, she said.

Program Committee

The Sept. 7 lunch meeting will be held at Savannah State University. Featured speakers are Dr. Semetria McFall, interirm provost and vice president at SSU, and Sofie Bohl, GRSP student. The Sept. 21 meeting will be held at First Presbyterian Church. District Governor Ed Presnell is the speaker.


Sarah Smith, Interact liaison for Woodville-Tompkins High School, reported the club will not be meeting in person, but has a YouTube channel allowing speakers to interact with students. The sessions are archived so other students can view later. Contact Sarah for more details about how to get involved.

Georgia Rotary Student Program

Georgia Rotary Student Program Host Florence Slatinsky announced there are around 50 students in the program and for now they are interacting virtually instead of attending in-person events. GRSP Student Sofie Bohl will speak at our Sept. 7 meeting.

Metrotarians in the News

A Savannah Morning News article reported on Susan Kirk's work with the City of Tybee Island to investigate allegations of improprieties against a city official.


Ryan Smith was the guest of Liza Smith.
Melissa Harvey was the guest of Jordan Chase.
Kristen Baird was the guest of Cecilia Arango
Sofie Bohl was the guest of Florence Slatinsky

Featured Speaker: Tiffany Collins

Tiffany explained how teaching at a technical college helped her learn that she had a lot to learn from her students, a perspective she continues in her current role as executive director of Girls on the Run of Coastal Georgia and Lowcountry. Founded in 2006, Girls on the Run has programs in all 50 states, Mexico, and Canada — but each local council must support itself 100%, she explained.
Trained coaches lead small teams through a inclusive research based curricula, which includes dynamic discussions, problem solving, intentional decision making, and goal setting. The program serves around 1,400 girls with 50 teams each season, and two celebration runs per year. Some 70% of participants receive scholarships. GOTR is Metro's service partner for this year.

Late Breaking News: Updates from After the Meeting

Jessica Pedigo, immediate past president, shared this executive assistant job opening. Please share with people you think would be interested. 

Committee Reports

President Cecilia Arango convened the meeting.


Foundation Committee Chair Laura Lee Bocade announced Metro’s newest Paul Harris Fellows: Kelley Boyd (+1) and Denise McCoy. Jasmine Mills attended the meeting and we were able to present her with her Paul Harris Fellow certificate and pin.

Disaster Response 

Disaster Response Committee Chair Chelsea Sawyer invited members to join the committee after bribing everyone with freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. Contact her if you would like to get involved. As one of the tips offered to the club, she discussed her favorite (dripping in sarcasm) – the cone of uncertainty – and how misleading the cone can be.


Membership Committee Chair Katie Joyner reviewed the steps in the new member program process:
Prospective Member Responsibilities
  1. Guests interested in joining must attend one service project and two meetings.
  2. Then find two Metro Rotarians to serve as sponsors.
  3. Submit an application and pay $200 new member fee to begin the New Member Program
  4. Photo/bio are sent to communications committee to be featured twice in Rotary Repeats.
  5. Fulfill the five step new member program. Pay prorated dues. Induction.
Metro Member and Sponsor Responsibilities
  1. Identify the prospect’s two co-sponsors.
  2. Invite prospect to meetings, service events, and socials until they become an official member.
  3. Explain attendance requirements and types of meetings/schedule.
  4. Explain to the prospect that they are not automatically guaranteed membership. Current members, for whatever reason — personally or professionally — do have the right to speak up if they are uncomfortable with the prospective member. No reason must be given, but if one is offered, it will remain confidential. Members should send communication to the president and membership chair.
  5. Once a prospect’s application is approved and the $200 new member program fees have been paid, coordinate two group meetings and share the ABCs of Rotary.
Missed a meeting? Here are ways to get back on track:
  1. Visit Rotary EClub One.
  2. Attend another club’s meeting.
  3. Donate $25 to our Girls on the Run fundraising committee.
  4. Attend a munch.
  5. Attend a Metro Board Meeting, every second Thursday at 8 a.m. at Corporate Environments, 2 E. Bryan St. Suite 1500B.


Program Chair George Seaborough announced upcoming events:
Lunch Meetings
  • Aug. 17: Tiffany Collins, executive director of Girls on the Run
  • Sept. 7: Savannah State University Interim Provost and Vice President Dr. Semetria McFall. The meeting will be held on the SSU campus.
  • Sept. 21: District Governor Ed Presnell. The meeting will be held at First Presbyterian Church.
Social: Aug. 24 at 5:30 p.m. at Taste of India
Fifth Tuesday of the Month Special Social: Aug. 31, 5:30 at Starland Yard


Service Committee Chair Kristen Crawley reminded members to donate business clothing to the Interact Club at Woodville Tompkins. Donate two pieces of business wear and you’ll receive one service credit for a maximum of three credits. Contact Kristen to coordinate drop-off.
On Aug. 21 from 9 -11 a.m. Girls on the Run needs help packing snacks for the school year. The location will be announced soon. Contact Kristen for details.
It’s time to start planning the annual service fundraising party. Email Kristen and Cecilia to volunteer. And save the date for a Tybee Beach Clean-up to be held on Sept. 21.


Literary Committee Chair Julie Wade has established a partnership with Hubert Middle School, where 30 incoming 6th graders read at a pre-K level. An Amazon wish list will be created with required reading books to be sent directly to the school and volunteers will be needed to read to students. A volunteer training session will be scheduled soon, along with a writing and oratory contest in the spring, and an end of the year ice cream and pizza party to celebrate gains in literacy. To get involved, contact Julie.

Georgia Rotary Student Program

Georgia Rotary Student Program Host Florence Slatinsky announced that Sophie Bohl arrived on Aug. 2. Florence will let us know of future dates where we can meet Sophie.

Featured Speaker: Maryann Brickey, Live Oak Public Libraries

Brickey, senior library manager at Southwest Chatham Library, shared some snapshots from 2020-2021. During that time the libraries had 722,424 visitors and 117,119 account holders. She reported that 849,367 items were checked out and 107,588 e-resources were downloaded, during the same period. Community engagement activities undertaken by the library system include a community book donation program, Ready Readers at Mercer Middle School, and the Books on the Go homebound mail service.
Brickey also shared information on Live Oak’s early literacy, student success, access to technology, and economic empowerment support programs. In addition, she highlighted new innovation initiatives including Story Walk at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens, Literary Scavenger Hunts with Bike Walk Savannah, and the Seed Library with Chatham County Extension, Islands Farmers Market, and Forsyth Farmers Market.
A donation to Girls on the Run in Brickey's name will be made by Metro. 

New Members Program Spotlight: Derek Goldfarb

Goldfarb is director of partnerships for the new 9,500-seat Savannah Arena scheduled to open in 2022. As a member of the Oak View Group Facilities team, which will manage and operate the new Savannah Arena, he will be responsible for securing a naming rights partner, creating founding partners, and developing advertising and promotional relationships.
Goldfarb is a nearly 20-year veteran of selling naming rights, sponsorship sales and premium seating for arenas and stadiums across the United States. He joins Oak View Group Facilities from the South Carolina Stingrays Hockey Team, an ECHL affiliate of the Washington Capitals, where he served as chief revenue officer overseeing advertising sales and business development. A Native New Yorker, Goldfarb resides in Richmond Hill with his wife Sara, and their children, Connor and Noelle, and beagle Lemmie.

Late Breaking News: Updates from After the Meeting

Beginning with the Aug. 17 meeting, face coverings will be required inside the J.E.A. except when members, guests, and speakers are eating. 

Committee Reports

Immediate Past President Jessica Pedigo presided over the meeting on behalf of President Cecilia Arango and announced that Metro has received three District Governor 6920 Awards: The Governor’s Gold Award, The Governor’s Best of the Best Award, and The Governor’s Superior Leadership Award to Jessica.
She reminded members that they could earn meeting credits by attending Rotary EClub One meetings. Don’t forget to send your make-up info to 
Foundation Committee Chair Laura Lee Bocade announced Metro’s newest Paul Harris Fellows: Ellen Harris, Elizabeth Summerell, Jamie Smith Arkins (+1), Spencer Burch, Jordan Chase (+1), Jasmine Mills, Cari Phelps (+1) and Patrick Phelps (+1).
Contact Program Chair George Seaborough for more information on these upcoming events: 
  • July 27 — Social at 5:30 p.m. at Taca
  • Aug. 3 — Lunch meeting with Maryann Brickey, children’s librarian and branch manager with Live Oak Public Libraries.
  • Aug. 3 — Program Committee meeting, 5 p.m. at Taca
  • Aug. 17 — Lunch meeting with Tiffany Collins, executive director of Girls on the Run
  • Aug. 24  — Social at 5:30 p.m. at Taste of India
Looking for Service Committee opportunities? 1. Donate two pieces of business attire to the Interact Business Clothing Drive. Receive one service credits for every two items donated for a maximum of three credits. 2. A beautification project will be held at the Savannah Center for Blind and Low Vision on Aug. 7. There will be one shift, held indoors, for 8-10 volunteers. Contact Service Committee Chair Kristen Crawley for more information.
Sarah Bockel Smith, Interact liaison for Woodville-Tompkins High School, invited members to present to the club. You are not limited to talking about your career. You can also speak to the students about your involvement in the community and other topics. Contact Sarah for more details.
Sophie Bohl of Sweden, the area’s Georgia Rotary Student Program participant, will be arriving in Savannah Aug. 2. Contact Florence Slatinsky if you would like to help welcome her to Savannah.
Reshma Shah Johnson, The Rotarian Reader, directed the club's attention to Friends in Need from the July issue of The Rotarian. The article describes how an international relationship came full circle when clubs in India provided aid to Detroit in the early days of the pandemic.

Metrotarians in the Spotlight

Bret Bell presented at the Savannah Rotary Club's recent meeting and Julie Wade’s was included in the University of Georgia Alumni Association Bulldog 100 for Park Place Outreach Youth Emergency Services. The list recognizes the fastest growing businesses and organizations owned or operated by UGA alumni in 2021.

Membership Moment: Jamie Smith Arkins

Jamie works in human resources, but talked about what she likes to do outside of work, including her love for live music. She’s looking forward to seeing Hamilton, one of her bucket list items. Jamie grew up in Valdosta and will be visiting this weekend for the first time since 2014. She said her favorite thing about being a Metro member is, “I get to be me!”


Nate Wayne, a loan officer with the Small Business Assistance Corporation, was the guest of Katie Joyner.
Brad Trower, vice president of development for St. Joseph's/Candler, attended along with Chase Cowart, manager of strategic planning at the hospital. Brad is a member of the Statesboro Rotary Club.

Featured Speaker: Georgia House District 163 Rep. Derek Mallow

Rep. Mallow — a native of Savannah who earned a bachelor's and a master's degree from Savannah State University — outlined the contours of his district, which includes both affluent areas of the city of Savannah, along with every public housing property.
He reviewed legislation he considers victories from the last session, including the overhaul of Georgia’s citizens arrest law; Senate Bill 85, which expands the definition of hazing; and a pair of bills which help victims of human trafficking, among others. He explained his main passions as a lawmaker are mental health, education, and criminal justice.

Late Breaking News: Updates from After the Meeting

Whitney Shephard directs our attention to this from Bill Gates: "Thanks to the commitment of Rotary and other partners, as well as the dedicated political leadership of polio-affected countries, I’m confident that we can create a world where no child will ever be paralyzed by polio again." Read more.
The Gates Foundation is matching our donations to Polio Plus two to one. 

From the President
Metro Savannah may not look like your grandfather'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.    
Cecilia Arango
Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Immediate Past President
Programs Chair
Rotary Foundation
Membership Chair
Communications Chair
Service Chair
At Large
At Large
Family of Rotary
GRSP Liaison
Interact Liaison
Disaster Response