Founded in 1914 in Virginia

A Message From President Sigur Whitaker


Club Executives & Directors

President Elect
Vice President - Programs
Secretary / Treasurer
Sergeant at Arms
Fellowship Director
Public Relations Director
Membership Director
Fundraising Director
Community Service Director
International Director
Vocational Director
Rotary Foundation Chair
Past President
Executive Secretary

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Club Meeting Information

Leaders Making a Difference at Home & Abroad


We meet Tuesdays at 12:15 PM
Scope arena meeting room
201 East Brambleton Avenue
Norfolk, VA  23510
United States
District Site
Venue Map

In the News


Save the Date for a fun party to raise funds for Norfolk Botanical Garden, Rotary Club of Norfolk and the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia. Kick off spring at Suds & Buds on Friday, March 20, with food from area restaurants, craft beer, wine, live music and an evening with friends in our region's most beautiful spot -- Norfolk Botanical Garden.

Tickets are $35. Sponsorship details are here. Click here to purchase tickets or sponsorships.

Learn more at


Carolyn McPherson (on right) assisted by President Sigur Whitaker orchestrated a vibrant, thoughtful and energetic session that flourished with ideas and questions in today's meeting. We look forward to seeing what will be sent to Rotary International as a result.

Most everyone took a moment to silence his or her cell phones.
  1. Lynne Berg and Frank Whitman led all in singing #86 Rotary's A Grand Old Name and #9 Battle Hymn of the Republic
  2. Lynne Berg followed the Pledge of Allegiance with the Invocation.
  3. Campostella Elementary was the "school of the week."
  4. Bill Gough gave the Visitation Report. 
  • Hill Strode's wife had a stroke.

  • Jack McGee is stable at Harbor's Edge.
  • Jean Owens introduced guests:
    • Mark Johnson brought Shawn Avery.
    • Ben Miles brought Lori Cummings and Rebbecca Tapping.
    • L. H. Puckett's brought his daughter Meg Puckett
                  Visiting Rotarians included:
    • Buddy Early of Princess Anne Club.
  • Matthew Shriver acknowledged his duty as scribe of the day.
  • Announcements:
  • "Suds and Buds" - Lisa Chandler.Lisa Chandler gave update on March 20th Suds and Buds Fundraiser.
    -11 sponsors and 5 food vendors so far.  Please make recommendations to Lisa or Lynne Berg.
    -Only 8 tickets sold.  Please purchase your tickets and pass on invitations via your Facebook page
  • Thirsty Thursday is at Chow restaurant on Colley Ave. at 5:30 P.M.
  • Sigur Whitaker spoke on envisioning our club in the future and on decline of Rotary membership in United States.Norfolk Club has lost 10% since 2003.The entire club will look at making changes with a facilitator at next week's Rotary meeting, followed by consensus the following week on how to become more flexible.See email to follow to all members.
  • Jim O'Brien helped Sigur give out Rotary Foundation’s Paul Harris Fellowship pins to:
    -David Brant                                 -Sharon Laderberg
    -Lorna Cochrane              NIA     -Bruce Wilcox             NIA
    -Lois Kercher                               -Bob Lockery              NIA
    -Harry Taylor (PHF+3) Not In Attendance.
  • Congratulations and Fines:
    • Mike Goldsmith for VA Pilot thumbs up on response to excessive force incident.
    • Lynwood Beckner celebrated birth of his granddaughter Riley Elizabeth Weinberg
    • John Searing gave for lady Monarchs.
    • Mark Johnson gave for his recent SunTrust performance award (gold).
    • Joe Massey gave accolades to Ed Lily's success on radio for Lake Taylor skilled nursing and rehab. care.
    • Sally Hartman gave for career day mentioned on WHRO show.
    • Marty Raiss gave for her trip to Florida.
    • Ed Lily gave for the success of Lake Taylor turning a profit and providing great service to the community.
    • Greg Bockheim thanked John Searing for being a 4th grade basketball team coach.
      9.) Vice President Bryce Burton was in charge of program.  Rotarian of the day was Ben Miles.  Ben joined our club in 2011 and is currently serving on our board of directors.  He is a branch manager with Monarch Bank.  
      10.)  Ben Miles introduced Greg Bockheim, Executive Director of Virginia Zoo since 2006.  Greg spoke on "What's New at the Zoo."
  • Greg emphasized Virginia Zoo being accredited by the national group AZA and serving the three missions of:Education, Conservation, and Recreation.
  • Zoo is a great asset to the City and adds to the diversity of the community.For example; the Zoo is partnering with Sentara Hospital to stay on the cutting edge of medical technology.
  • The 53 acre Zoo has a mile of undisturbed shore line and is helping with oyster restoration in the Lafayette River.
  • Approximately 100,000 rides per year are given on the new campus train and the campus entry features artwork.
  • Summer movies are given in evenings, and orchestras during the day.
  • New Animal Wellness Campus building, designed by Matthew Shriver (Shriver and Holland Associates), is complete and should open this summer with education programs being incorporated into landscape.Exterior cable stayed canopy and BMP garden with carnivorous plants are planned.
  • Reptile Exhibit Bldg. is about to be renovated and to open in summer of 2016.
  • Insites Landscape Architects is helping with a new Zoo "farm" to showcase farm animals in different color buildings, including unique goats and pigs.
  • Australia Exhibit will have a new visitor path to meet the emus.
  • Greg reviewed the latest activities for various animals:
     -A new porcupine is being raised by hand.
     -New bear cats are arriving from Singapore Zoo next month.
     -A new pair of orangutans have arrived.
     -Pandas are breeding and helping make the panda exhibit one of the best in the nation.
     -New feral wallabies are now doing well in their new exhibit.  Gene pool management is on going with other zoos.
  • Greg introduced some animals to the club including a skink, ball python, and a Belgian rabbit.
  • April 19th may be the Rotary social at the Virginia Zoo.Keep it on your calendar.
          11.)  Presentation of Book - Made to Campostella Elementary School in honor of Greg.
    12.)  Meeting concluded with table 18 being only table with 100% attendance.
    • Daily Pot is $15
    • Big Pot is $229
    • Raffle - Lynwood Beckner drew 5 of hearts.
  • Next week’s program:Club Assembly:Carolyn McPherson - Envisioning Our Club in the Future "Workshop".
    Ring Bell/Adjourn

Greg Bockhein, Exec. Dir. VA Zoo
Today Executive Director, Greg Bockheim, of the Virginia Zoo brought 3 friends including the skink pictured.  The presentation of all the recent and new additions and renovations were exciting to see.  Our Spring social venue is planned at the zoo.  You can drink with the skink! 

Dr. Lisa Fournier, founder of Norfolk Fair Trade Company, presented the opportunities to create a new business and help people at the same time. She (pictured on the right) spoke at the Feb. 10th meeting.  Rotarian Lynne Berg of PrimePlus Norfolk Senor Center is on the left..

President Kevin O'Connor of O'Connor Brewing Company brought his story of how one pint grew to 5,000 barrels to the February 3, 2015 meeting along with samples of his first two beers. Rotarians, Shep Miller and Lisa Chandler are pictured beside Kevin (center).


Speaker 1-27-15

President Kurt Hofelich of Sentara Norfolk General Hospital (left) spoke on January 27, 2015 about growth and innovation at our region's largest hospital  Pictured on the right is Rotarian Dr. Ed Lilly.



Speaker 1-20-15

 Jesse Scaccia, editor of AltDaily (left) spoke on January 20 about the new Norfolk Arts District and opportunities to be part of creating more art in the city.  He is pictured with Rotarian Jennifer Palestrant of the D'art Center.



Speaker 12-9-14

On December 9, 2014, Susan Mercer, public services manager at Norfolk Public Library, gave an illuminating presentation on the advances and capabilities of the Slover Library due to open in January.  Rotarian Norm Maas, retired director of the Norfolk Public Library enjoyed the chance to introduce his former colleague.



Speaker 1-13-15

What are the five most important topics for Hampton Roads? At the January 3, 2015 Rotary meeting 20 small groups came up with their lists for a better region. Julia Hillegrasse (left) and Jai McBride (right) from Hampton Roads Vision guided Rotarians to propose their versions of what our region should be like. With them is Rotarian Jim Clary of the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission. This presentation generated lively conversation! 



Speker 12-2-14

ODU Women's Basketball Coach Karen Barefoot (right) had the members engaged and clapping at the December 3, 2014 meeting -- especially as she stood on a table to get us on our feet cheering for her team.  Rotarian Lois Kercher, the team's biggest fan, was trying to get a ticket to the sold out game.



Holiday Social
On December 16, 2014 the Rotary Club of Norfolk celebrated the season on the 21st floor of the SunTrust building with a spectacular view of the city lights. Rotarians attending include John McLemore (left), Chick Robison, Jean Owens and Jack Kavanaugh.



Speaker 1-6-15

Coin collector and expert Bill Hull explained fascinating details about U.S. currency and coins:  when to clean or not, what the items on the bills stand for, many people collect coins to remember dates.  Do you own all the state quarters?  Bill does plus many more coins and bills.



Speaker 11-25-14

John Davidson (center), actor/singer/TV host/songwriter, entertained Rotarians, visiting Kiwanians and guests with song, jokes, and his career highlights.  He was in town to perform as the wizard in "Wicked"  at Chrysler Hall. Rotarians Mal Branch (right) and Bryce Burton left) were among the many who enjoyed John's song and talk presentation. 



speaker 11-11-14

Past Rotary District Governor, Bill Pollard (left) and Rotarian Harry McCoy (right), who helped start our club's endowment, inspired our club members and guests on November 12, 2014 as the talked about ways Rotarians can support local, national and international endeavors.  President Sigur Whitaker (center) introduced these honored speakers at Tuesday's meeting.



speaker 11-18-14
At the November 19, 2014 meeting Norfolk SPCA Director, Rob Blizard (second from left), explained how this shelter strives to have a 90% adoption rate. Rotarian and Past District Governor, Deb Walters (far right) from Maine spoke about her mission to kayak from Maine to Guatemala to raise support for schooling for the children living in the garbage dump.  Rotarians Ann Sullivan (left) and Lois Kercher (second from right) introduced our speakers.  




Rotary Day picture
Rotarians Ann Sullivan, Dean Thomasson, Will King (and several Norfolk Collegiate Interact students),  Sigur Whitaker, Joey Rothgery and others not pictured, spent a beautiful day in front of the Ward's Corner Farm Fresh on September 27, 2014 encouraging donations of food or money for the FoodBank of Southeastern Virginia.  We delivered 580 pounds of food and $816.81 in cash and checks.  We give a special shout-out to one of the students who went above and beyond to secure donations and was named the "closer."



Ross Wood of Norfolk, a Rotary Peace Fellow sponsored by the Rotary Club of Norfolk, talked with Cathy Lewis on September 11, 2014 on HearSay on WHRV radio.  Ross is in England studying for a master's degree in conflict resolution. He spoke in September 2014 to our club about his past work running a refugee camp in South Sudan.  Here is the link to listen to Ross' interview.


In the 2014 Rotary year, the Rotary Club of Norfolk committed its charitable funds for its centennial year to:
*Rotary Smiles, a new program that provides dentures to low-income citizens in our region
*The Life Enrichment Center, which is installing computer labs in Norfolk Public Schools' Title I elementary schools
*The Boys and Girls Club of Hampton Roads Calvert Square club in Norfolk.



Mar 03, 2015
Carolyn McPherson -
Round Table Discussion of the Future of the Norfolk Rotary Club
Mar 10, 2015
Career Day - Bob Heely
Career Day High School Students
Mar 17, 2015
Mayor Paul Fraim - City of Norfolk
The State of the City 2015
Mar 24, 2015
Pat Richardson, Publisher, Virginian-Pilot
What's a 21st Century Newspaper Look Like?

Upcoming Events


Rotary Video

What would it take to change the world? Rotary International is the world's first service club organization, with more than 1.2 million members in 32,000 clubs worldwide.
Below is a short, wonderful video that captures the essence of Rotary:
Rotarians answer the question, "Why join Rotary?"
A brief introduction to Rotary and a synopsis of Rotary's guiding principles.
Rotary International offers four programs for young people (ages 12-30) that promote leadership, professional development, and service.
Watch as Microsoft founder Bill Gates announces at the International Assembly an increase in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundations challenge grant for polio eradication to Rotary International.
See Rotary Club of Norfolk volunteers in action in October 2010. They are planting 1,500 plants to stop erosion along a pond at the Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Virginia Beach.
For Statistics


Rotary member takes fundraising to new heights -- the summit of Mount Everest
Despite his longstanding interest in polio eradication, polio was not on Joe Pratt's mind as he prepared for a mid-April 2012 climb of Mount Everest, the highest mountain on earth. But that changed in late 2011, when the resident of Nottingham, New Hampshire, USA, participated in a polio immunization project in Pakistan with fellow Rotary member Steve Puderbaugh. Moved by the efforts of the Pakistanis to battle the crippling disease, and by the vulnerability of the young victims, Pratt reset the focus of his climbing adventure. Pakistan is one of three countries where polio has never been...
San Francisco club reveals formula for growth and retention of members
Members of the Rotary Club of San Francisco Evening meet three times a month at a wine bar after work, share a social outing once a month, and promote all their activities on social media like Meetup and Facebook. As the first evening club in the city, it has attracted many young professionals from Silicon Valley tech firms whose work schedules keep them from joining a more traditional club that meets for breakfast or lunch. But more than that, the evening format has helped the club grow by 30 percent since it received its charter in mid-2013. Danielle Lallement, who was its charter president...
Colorado joins Kosovo club to restore sanitation in blighted local schools
Blighted schools in the mountain city of Peja in western Kosovo are a reminder of the ethnic strife and war that ravaged this area in the 1990s. To restore ruined sanitation facilities in some of those schools, local Rotary members recently partnered with their counterparts from Colorado, USA. Though residents have been slowly rebuilding the city's infrastructure after years of neglect under earlier governments, most resources are going to improve roads, rebuild homes, and create new businesses. Little money remains to restore the schools. As a result, students have fallen ill, stayed home...
Rotary releases $34.8 million for polio immunization activities worldwide
Rotary International released an additional $34.8 million in grants to support polio immunization activities in 10 countries, including Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan, the three countries where the disease has never been stopped. The funds, whose release was announced 20 January, will be used by the World Health Organization and UNICEF for polio immunization and surveillance activities in the 10 countries, as well as to provide technical assistance in several other countries in Africa. The grants include $8.1 million for Nigeria to support its final push to eradicate the disease. Nigeria...
President-elect urges Rotary members to ‘Be a Gift to the World’
Using their talents, expertise, and leadership, Rotary members worldwide are asked to be gifts to the world this upcoming 2015-16 Rotary year. Rotary International President-elect K.R. "Ravi" Ravindran called Sunday's address to incoming district governors the "most significant moment of my life." "All of you have been given so many gifts. And you have now been given this great gift: one year to take all your talents, all your gifts, everything that you are and can become -- and Be a Gift to the World," said Ravindran, revealing his presidential theme at the annual five-day training meeting...
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