Club Infomation
 
To protect the health and safety or our members and guests, Metro Rotary meetings will be held online via Zoom until further notice.
 
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Committee Reports

President Jessica Pedigo confirmed the following people are currently in the New Members Program: John RodmanKatie Balthrop, Destiny Mojica-Taylor, Meagen Burrows, and Chelsea Sawyer. She announced the end of the year party will be scheduled for late June and more information is coming. In the meantime, don’t forget to report your munch attendance. Leigh Ryan of World Trade Center Savannah will be the speaker at the June 15 meeting.
 
Service Committee Chair Jordan Chase reported that details of the June service project with Bike Walk Savannah were still being worked out and she hoped they would be announced soon. UPDATE: Our June service project will be comprised of two street audit sessions in the Edgemere-Sackville neighborhood. The two sessions will take place on Monday, June 21 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. and on Saturday, June 26 from 8:30-10:30 a.m. Prior to the session volunteers will receive information about the process and instructions on how to download the mobile application, and the group will meet at the beginning of the audit session to answer any questions and receive their assignments. The signup link is now available. See email from Jordan for more information.
 

Guests

  • Sen. Jen Jordan was the guest of Julie Wade.
  • Derek Goldfarb was the guest of Cecilia Arango.
  • Emily Salzer was the guest of Jordan Chase.
  • Hannah Simons, visiting from France, was the guest of Whitney Shephard.
  • Ed and Lois Engel are Rotarians from Holland, Michigan. They are new to Savannah and looking for a new club.
  • Chelsea Sawyer (New Members Program)

Featured Speaker: Michael Traynor

Michael said he was a little over 90 days into his role as CEO of Union Mission, but explained he has previously served as chair of the organization’s board of directors. Union Mission serves more than 700 people per year through its various departments, including individual programs that focused on women, women and children, men, special needs housing, permanent supportive housing, and mental health counseling.
 
He said he was particularly excited about the conversion of the J.C. Lewis Health Center’s former location on Fahm Street into a shelter, which will serve unaccompanied women experiencing homelessness. Michael said his research indicates it’s the only such facility on the Georgia Coast. It will include 32 rooms and onsite counseling.
 

Membership Moment: Cody Tharpe

Cody said Tharpe Engineering Group recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. The structural engineering firm works on a wide range of commercial, industrial, preservation, and multi-family residential projects. When asked about his favorite Rotarian, Cody named Patton Dugas. Cody serves as Metro’s treasurer.

 

President Jessica Pedigo reminded members of Metro’s 50% attendance minimum, which is more generous than many other clubs. Running low? You can earn attendance credits by:
  • Attending an eClub Meeting
  • Attending a meeting of another Rotary Club
  • Donate to our service partners Bike Walk Savannah or Urban Hope
  • Participate in a service project
  • Attend a Munch or social
Service Committee Jordan Chase thanked everyone who participated in bike and pedestrian counts with Bike Walk Savannah. She hopes to have more information on the June street audit project soon.
 
Program Committee Report: Michael Traynor of Union Mission will talk about the organization’s Phoenix Project at the June 1 meeting. Don’t forget to report your Munch attendance to metrosavannahrotary@gmail.com
 
A lively game of Metro Jeoparty (yes, you read that right) ensued with a fierce competition between teams quizzed on categories such as Pandemic Shift, Official-ish Rotary Things and Metro History. Winners walked away with priceless prizes of Hansen Architects mouse pads, Sterling Seacrest cups, Daniel Weiner Handyman pens and more.
 

Guests

Alyssa Harvey was the guest of Jordan Chase
Chelsea Sawyer (New Member Program)
 
The following people are currently in the New Members Program: John Rodman, Katie Balthrop, Destiny Mojica-Taylor, and Meagen Burrows.

May 4 Announcements

Committee Reports 

Membership Committee Chair Cari Clark Phelps reported that four people are in the new member process: Katie Balthrop, Destiny Mojica-Taylor, Meagen Burrows, and John Rodman. All are nearing completion, except John, who just started the process.
 
If your attendance is under 40% please contact Cari immediately. If you need attendance credit you should attend an e-club meeting, attend another local club meeting, donate $25 to one of our service partners, attend a Munch, or attend a board meeting. If you have changed careers or job descriptions, please update your classification in ClubRunner.
 
 
President Jessica Pedigo said her car was broken into and many valuable items were taken, but miraculously the perpetrator had no use for the Rotary Robe. Also, if you are interested in helping plan the end of year party, email Jessica (even if you told her at the end of the meeting as she cannot retain anything from the meetings). This is a great way to get attendance credit if you are lacking! If you want to be on the steering committee for Metro’s Legacy Project, email her as well.
 
Service Committee Chair Jordan Chase thanked everyone who has done bicycle and pedestrian counts with Bike Walk Savannah and said it was a great way to get kids involved in a service project. Volunteer opportunities have been extended through May 15. Sign up on the Bike Walk Savannah website.
 

Guests

Derek Goldfarb was the guest of Cecilia Arango.
Emily Salzer and Alyssa Harvey were the guests of Jordan Chase.
 

Featured Speaker Leslie Mattingly of the St. Simons Island Rotary Club

 
Leslie presented on the work Rotary has been doing in Puerto Rico with a Global Grant to encourage sustainable agriculture through a partnership with Para la Naturaleza, a nonprofit that focuses on conservation of natural ecosystems, and the San Juan and St. Simons Rotary Clubs. Because the majority of food consumed in Puerto Rico is imported, supplies were severely strained during natural disasters. The project trains local farmers and workers in associated industries on ways to supply restaurants and markets. Other education programs focus on teaching about nutrition and cooking with fresh ingredients. Metro was among the clubs that supported the program.

 
 

Metro Mania Challenge Update

 
President Elect Cecilia Arango announced that the Mighty Mighty Bruised Bones are the April Metro Mania Champions. To earn points in the May challenge, contribute to Brags, Finds, and Whines at a club meeting, bring a guest to a meeting, attend a social or service event. If you do all three, email Cecilia.
 

April 20 Announcements 

Committee Reports 

 
Membership Committee Chair Cari Clark Phelps reminded the group that 50% attendance is required. She explained ways for members to boost their attendance, including online opportunities and supporting nonprofit organizations. Also, if your spouse is a club member, attendance is combined for your household. Still, we have a number of people who have dropped below 40%. We are offering assistance for people who are having financial hardships as well as a leave of absence option for members who cannot be involved at the moment, but who do not want to leave the club permanently. She invited members to contact her to discuss options, but stressed that many people want to become members and we want to offer them opportunities to become involved in the club without the club growing too large. She announced that John Rodman is entering the new members program. He is sponsored by Lee Perry and Ariana Berksteiner.
 
Service Committee Chair Jordan Chase thanked everyone who helped at the Make A Wish Foundation 5K on Skidaway Island on April 17, including Jason Summers, Chelsea Sawyer, Zerik Samples, Sam Carroll and George Seaborough. The next service project is participating in Bike Walk Savannah’s bicycle and pedestrian counts at locations around town. The counts collect data on biking and walking traffic, which is used to plan for bike lanes, sidewalks, and trails. You can sign up for a date, time, and location via the BWS website. The counts continue into May, but you must register for a date in April to get service credit for this month. The May service project will also be with Bike Walk Savannah. Stay tuned for details.
 
President Jessica Pedigo asked members to respond to a survey on preferences for meeting and social event formats. The survey also invites input on potential legacy projects the club could fund over several years.

Guests

Chelsea Sawyer (New Members Program)
Katie Balthrop (New Members Program)
Destiny Mojica-Taylor (New Members Program)
Mary Francis was the guest of Erica Morrow
 

Featured Speakers: Jessica Savage of WTOC-TV

Jessica moved to Savannah when she was in middle school and she graduated from Jenkins High School, but has worked in Texas for most of her career. She called working at WTOC, a station she grew up watching, an amazing opportunity. Jessica praised the station for investing in investigative journalism as it requires a lot of time and resources. She said investigative reporting can also help solve problems in the community.
 
As an example, she mentioned the recent sale of the Chatham Apartments building, which required residents to find new places to live. She was able to track down a resident who was having financial difficulties. After the story aired, someone called the newsroom offering to pay for her expenses. Later, Jessica did a follow-up story on the woman, who was able to find a place to call home at Live Oak Landing. She shared another story about how her reporting helped a resident find a long-term solution after trash and other debris was illegally dumped on his property. Jessica explained that this kind of reporting can have lasting, positive impacts in the community
 
 

Metro Mania Challenge UpdateU

 

Upcoming Meetings

Report any munch attendance to MetroSavannahRotary@gmail.com!

April 6 Announcements 

Committee Reports

 
Service Committee Chair Jordan Chase announced a service project with the Make A Wish Foundation 5K on Skidaway Island State Park on April 17. We will also be helping with Bike Walk Savannah’s annual bike and pedestrian counts.
 
Program Committee Chair Daniel Weiner announced Jessica Savage, an investigative reporter at WTOC-TV, would be the speaker at the April 20 meeting.
 
President Elect Cecilia Arango announced that Danny Chase is now a Paul Harris fellow.
 

Guests

Amy Johnson, of the Washington-Wilkes Rotary Club, was the guest of Jamie Smith Arkins.
Rick Battinger was the guest of Laura Lee Bocade.
John Rodman was the guest of Lee Perry.
Zerik Samples was the guest of Jessica Pedigo
Emily Salzer was the guest of Jordan Chase.
Chelsea Sawyer was a guest via Zoom.
Ann Shealy was the guest of Jamie Arkins.
Meagen Burrows and Katie Balthrop, who are in the new members program, attended the meeting
 

Classification Talk: Meagen Burrows

 
Meagen lived in Tulsa and attended Oklahoma State University. She moved to Seattle for Law school and started working for a firm that dissolved and eventually became GableGotwals, a full service firm where she became an associate in 2014 and a partner in 2018. She’s worked mainly in healthcare issues including day-to-day hospital legal issues and HIPAA. She is now focused on the provider side of the equation working with physicians, labs, and radiology groups. She also does corporate and human resources work, and thinks of herself as a utility player in the transactional world. She has a fantastic husband named Andrew and the best dog in the world, Zoey.
 

Featured Speaker: Bret Bell

Bret presented an update on the City of Savannah’s arena project. He explained it’s a multipurpose facility designed for concerts and sporting events. Construction began on Sept. 19, 2020 and is expected to be completed in February 2022. He explained the technology and configuration of arenas has changed dramatically since the current civic center was built in 1972, and now the trend is providing different kinds of spaces for people to use, and it’s no longer just about “sitting in your seat and watching what’s in front of you.”
 
Bret is particularly excited about the hockey team that will be playing in the arena. He said they have been meeting with the Savannah Bananas and talking about how to make the games entertaining. Bret expects about 150 nights of entertainment to be offered when the arena opens with about 25 concerts, 50 hockey games, and 75 other events.
 
The arena is located 1,200 feet away from the National Historic Landmark District, but there are wooded areas, former industrial properties, and canals in between. A lot of the master plan process looks at ways to bridge these divides and there has been a lot of interaction with stakeholders. However, the plan to connect the arena and westside neighborhoods with downtown is not fully funded and will have to be done in phases. The city remains fully committed to creating these connections so residents and visitors can safely move back and forth from the arena and surrounding neighborhoods to the historic district. The project also includes other stormwater and roadway improvements, and rehabilitation of the 19th Century waterworks property.
 
 
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.    
 
Cheers,
 
Jessica Pedigo
president@metrosavannahrotary.org
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