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.


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.


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.