Title Author Date
Due to unexpected staffing changes at the Mountain View Inn we WILL NOT be having our regularly scheduled Rotary meeting. Please make plans to join us next week at the Museum Center at 5ive Points!
NO MEETING TODAY 2015-06-16 04:00:00Z
American Heart Association & Hands Free CPR

Learning how to save a life was the recent agenda for the Rotary Club of Cleveland. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation can be the difference between survival of a heart attack and death. “Every 33 seconds, somebody dies from a heart attack,” said Kim Enoch of the American Heart Association.A person does not have to be certified in CPR to be able to save a life. Anyone who knows CPR can save a life. Enoch said as science has progressed, hands-only CPR has been developed for adults. “If you know hands-only CPR, you can increase their rate of survival by three times,” Enoch said. Unlike traditional CPR, it does not require breathing into the victim’s mouth. Hands-only CPR was developed for those who are not CPR certified, so they will not be so worried about the ratio of pushes to breaths that they do not even attempt CPR. “Typically, when someone goes down they take one last breath, so there is still some air in there, so even if we are just doing the minimum there is a little bit of air circulating,” Enoch said. Hands-only CPR also provides an option for those who want to help someone they think is in cardiac arrest, but do not want to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. “One of the most crucial things about CPR is getting started with it quickly and calling 911,” said Dr. Don Robinson.

Read the full story here!

American Heart Association & Hands Free CPR 2015-04-27 00:00:00Z
Rotary Youth Exchange Has International Impact

Fish eyeballs are good eating — at least they are considered to be so in Taiwan. Benjamin Dale knows. He’s tried them. He’s not recommending them. But he does highly recommend the rest of his experience. Dale, a senior at Cleveland High School, recently completed a year on that Asian island nation as part of the Rotary student exchange program. The CHS senior brought his experiences back to the Rotary Club of Cleveland at their luncheon this week, as a way of thanking them for helping him have the once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Check out the full story on the Cleveland Daily Banner website!

Rotary Youth Exchange Has International Impact 2015-03-10 00:00:00Z


If you haven't gotten your tickets yet you are missing out! Today is the last day to reserve your seats for this year's Auction, be sure to contact Pam Nelson to reserve your tickets now!

LAST DAY FOR TICKETS! Patrick Long 2015-02-02 00:00:00Z
Cleveland Rotary Leads the Way at the District 6780 Seminar


The Rotary Club of Cleveland had a strong showing at the Rotary District 6780 Seminar on Foundations, Membership, and Youth Services held on August 23rd at Cleveland State. The club had the largest attendance of all those represented in the District.  In addition, presentations were made to the District Attendees by club members David Carroll on Foundations and Tim Spires on Membership.

The Club was represented by: (Front Row) Bethany McCoy, Kim Casteel, Denise King, Tim Spires, Ann McCoin, and Peggy Pesterfield; and (Back Row) Bill George, Mike Griffin, Aaron Weatherford, Norm Fontana, Victor Boltniew, David Chaffin, and David Carroll.

Cleveland Rotary Leads the Way at the District 6780 Seminar Tim Spires 2014-08-25 00:00:00Z
Tom Thomas, 2014 Rotarian of the Year


Tom Thomas, 2014 Rotarian of the Year.

Photo by Brian Graves, Cleveland Daily Banner


This year’s recipient of the Honorary Paul Harris Fellowship, or “Rotarian of the Year” is originally from Lancaster, SC, and has lived in Cleveland since 1995.  He graduated from McCallie School in 1983 and received a BA in business from Furman University and an MBA from the University of South Carolina.

Tom Thomas, 2014 Rotarian of the Year Wayne Wilhelm 2014-06-24 00:00:00Z
Installation of New Officers and Directors for 2014-2015


Cameron Fisher presents new Rotary Club of Cleveland president, Tim Spires, with his president's pin while District Governor, Jerry Wear, observes.

Photo by Brian Graves, Cleveland Daily Banner


The Rotary Club of Cleveland has installed new leadership for the 2014-2015 Rotary year beginning July 1. Cleveland Rotarian and past District Governor (2000-2001), Jim Buckner, spoke of the rich tradition that the Rotary Club of Cleveland has had within District 6780 in producing outstanding leaders and noted that this year is no different. Buckner challenged new president, Tim Spires, and the new officers and directors to go beyond known boundaries (plus ultra) in seeking and executing new avenues of service for the 90 year-old, local, civic organization. PDG Bucker cited Christopher Columbus’ journey to the new world as an historical example of one who bravely ventured beyond known boundaries. "Plus ultra", Latin for "further beyond" is the national motto for Spain.

Installation of New Officers and Directors for 2014-2015 Wayne Wilhelm 2014-06-24 00:00:00Z
2014 Cleveland Rotary Foundation Grants



From left: Bartlee Norton, Bradley County Youth Basketball; Dustin Tommey, Habitat for Humanity; Ivy Lawrence, PCL; Matt Carlson, Habitat for Humanity; Johnny McDaniel, Bradley County Schools; Shenna Newman, Bradley County Schools; Chrissy Jones, BICC; Pam Nelson, Rotary Club of Cleveland President; Wayne Wilhelm, 2013 Cleveland Rotary Foundation President; Lindsey Armstrong, The Family Kitchen; Brenda Hughes, BICC; Denise Wright, Tri-State Therapeutic Riding Center; Sarah Haratine, United Way of Bradley County.

Photo by Allen Mincey


The Cleveland Rotary Foundation has awarded almost $38,000 in grants to local agencies for projects planned in 2014. The foundation’s grant awards amount for this year represents an increase of 31% over last year’s total of $29,000. According to Cleveland Rotary Foundation President, Wayne Wilhelm, the increase reflects the success of our annual Community Auction and the hard work of our auction committee, the generosity of our local Rotarians and community supporters.

Local non-profits and community agencies are invited to participate in the selection process during August with an application submission deadline of September 30. During the month of November, the foundation’s Board of Directors meets to evaluate and rank the grant applications using a weighted average scoring system. The scoring system is designed to measure the potential effectiveness of projects when measured against a set of predetermined evaluation criteria which includes how closely the project matches worldwide Rotary International areas of focus.

This year the Cleveland Rotary Foundation received a total of 23 applications for projects valued at over $675,000. The foundation was specifically asked for $108,093.76 to fund the 23 projects with the remainder to come from external sources. The individual project costs ranged from $1,300 to $250,000.

Ultimately, eight excellent grant applications were selected for approval:


  • Bradley County Youth Basketball - Outdoor basketball court at Arnold Elementary School.
    Bradley County Youth Basketball is planning to build an outdoor basketball court at Arnold Elementary School. The court will benefit 370 students at Arnold in addition to the local community. Rotarian, Jonathan Cantrell of Caldwell Paving is donating labor and equipment for the construction of the court. CRF grant amount: $4,679. Total project value: $9,179.

  • Bradley County Schools - LEADERS for Life, Voyage to Greatness Community Celebration.
    “LEADERS for Life” is a system-wide initiative focusing on building leaders in the Bradley County School System. The projects targets 4,500 students in kindergarten through the 5th grade. CRF grant amount: $5,000. Total project value: $5,000.

  • Bradley Initiative for Church and Community - BICC Transitions Program .
    The BICC Transitions Program provides skills, support and encouragement for building strong and cohesive families as students transition from elementary to middle and high school. These transition times are known to be periods when youth are most vulnerable to negative influences. CRF grant amount: $3,000. Total project value: $70,417.

  • Habitat for Humanity - Impact Cleveland.
    “Impact Cleveland” is a neighborhood revitalization initiative aimed at empowering families and giving struggling and declining neighborhoods the needed tools, assets and resources to build vibrant, healthy homes and communities. The CRF grant will fund three of the 30 home repair projects anticipated by the program which covers six city blocks. CRF grant amount: $4,500. Total project value: $180,000.

  • People for Care and Learning - Greenway Restroom Project.
    PCL is planning a second restroom for the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway. The proposed facility will be located near the greenway on property that the Church of God International has deeded to the city. The restroom is projected to be completed by May 15, 2014. CRF grant amount: $10,500. Total project value: $20,000.

  • The Family Kitchen - Serving Meals to the Homeless.
    The Family Kitchen is a new organization attempting to fill the gap between other organizations in feeding our community’s homeless population. The CRF grant will allow the organization to increase their services from one to possibly three days per week. CRF grant amount: $6,000. Total project value: $6,000.

  • Tri-State Therapeutic Riding Center - At-Risk Youth Ropes Course
    The Ropes Course project funds will be utilized by the Cleveland High School Interact Club to construct a ropes course for at-risk teenagers. The course will focus on building character and highlighting students strengths. CHS Interact will work with Tri-State Therapeutic Riding Center leadership to design and implement obstacles. Stanford University has funded a full-time intern to dedicated to the implementation of the project as well. CRF grant amount: $1,100. Total project value: $2,100.

  • United Way of Bradley County - Learning Trails.
    “Learning Trails” provides developmental resources for caregivers and children at local parks. Four parks are slated to receive the project’s resources, including: Mosby Park, Fletcher Park, the Blythe Family Support Center and the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway. The program seeks to improve academic performance by providing children with learning opportunities before they enter school and outside the classroom. CRF grant amount: $3,180. Total project value: $5,180.


The Cleveland Rotary Foundation is a Section 501(c)(3) corporation operated and controlled by members of the Rotary Club of Cleveland. The foundation has funded over $110,000 in local community projects during the past four years.


2014 Cleveland Rotary Foundation Grants Wayne Wilhelm 2013-12-01 00:00:00Z
Youth Counseling Services supporting "New Generations"


Rotarian Dr. Bill George with last week's speaker Dr. John Vining, Executive Director of Youth Counseling Services. 

Youth Counseling Services supporting "New Generations" Patrick Long 2013-08-13 00:00:00Z
Legislative Update


From left: Pam Nelson, Rotary Club of Cleveland President; Rep. Kevin Brooks; Rep. Joe Carr; Rep. Mike Carter and Nicholas Lillios, Rotary Program Chairman.

Photo by Wayne Wilhelm

Representative Kevin Brooks, Assistant Majority Leader of the Tennessee House of Representatives, was accompanied by representatives Mike Carter and Joe Carr in providing a legislative update to the Rotary Club of Cleveland during the July 30 meeting.

Legislative Update Wayne Wilhelm 2013-07-30 00:00:00Z
Outbound Exchange Student, Benjamin Dale


Pictured from left: Karen Dale (mother); Benjamin Dale; Edwin Dale (father) and Victor Boltniew, New Generations Committee Chairman.

Photo by Wayne Wilhelm

Outbound Rotary Exchange Student, Benjamin Dale, thanked Rotary District 6780 for the opportunity to participate in the 2013-2014 Rotary Youth Exchange Program. Benjamin will be traveling to Taipei, Taiwan for one year in a cultural exchange allowing him to attend school and live with a Rotary family in Taiwan.

Benjamin is a member of the Cleveland High School Interact Club and was host family brother to our former exchange student from Spain, Monika Zaldua.

Outbound Exchange Student, Benjamin Dale Wayne Wilhelm 2013-07-30 00:00:00Z
Dairy Farming In Tennessee

ROTARIAN KIM FRADY, from left, stands with Rotary Club of Cleveland president Pam Nelson and guest speaker Randy Davis.

Dairy farmer Randy Davis spoke about his business and debunked some myths about milk Tuesday when he spoke to the Rotary Club of Cleveland.

“We have in Tennessee a large presence in processing. We have the largest ice cream plant in the world in Covington, Tenn. ... We have one of the largest yogurt companies in the world in Nashville,” Davis said. 

Read more: Cleveland Daily Banner - Dairy farmer Milk most regulated product on the grocery shelf 

Dairy Farming In Tennessee Patrick Long 2013-07-30 00:00:00Z
UTC College of Business Update


Mike Owens, Assistant Dean of Graduate Programs for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's College of Business addressing the Cleveland Rotary Club

UTC College of Business Update Patrick Long 2013-07-02 00:00:00Z
Cleveland Rotary Club Installs New Officers


ROTARY CLUB OF CLEVELAND new board of directors members stand together, from left, Mike Griffin, membership; Carmen Chastain, secretary; Peggy Pesterfield, public relations; Wayne Wilhelm, Cleveland Rotary Foundation; Pam Nelson, president; Tom Thomas, Rotary Foundation; Craig Mullinax, treasurer; Art Rhodes, past president; Patrick Long, publications and Nicholas Lillios, programs. Banner photo, JOYANNA WEBER

Cleveland Rotary Club Installs New Officers Patrick Long 2013-07-01 00:00:00Z
Lt. John Harmon - Tennessee Highway Patrol

Lt. John Harmon demonstrates the distance between most vehicles passing on a two-lane highway.


Photo and story by Wayne Wilhelm

Lt. John Harmon, is exposed to some of the worst consequences of reckless driving in his job as a Tennessee Highway Patrol Safety Officer. "If you could see what the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) sees, it would change your perspective on life", says Harmon, who offered a range of "unscientific" observations along with some very meaningful driving tips during a presentation to the Rotary Club of Cleveland on Tuesday.

Asking for a show of hands, Harmon asked, "How many of you will admit to driving 30mph over the posted speed limit sometime during the past month?" Four Rotarians admitted their indiscretion with an increasing number confessing speeding by lesser amounts over the same period. 

"Everyone will drive 10mph over the speed limit because they THINK that is the tolerance level of the THP. The actual tolerance is 3mph", according to Lt. Harmon. "Speed kills. We live in a fast-paced society and we have to drive defensively because everyone else is driving offensively!" Harmon says our fast-paced lifestyles cause us to lose concentration while driving.

Harmon offered some defensive driving tips for surviving the state's highways:

  1. Wear your seat belts. "It's the law." Over 60% of fatal crashes involved people not wearing seat belts. Safety experts say that at least 50% of those victims would have survived if they had been wearing their seat belts.
  2. Drive in the right lane. Driving in the right lane gives you a 12-15 ft. buffer if someone crosses the center line. Be as far away from oncoming traffic as possible. Harmon points out, "The center line is only 12 inches wide and that's all that separates two vehicles on the roadway. Three feet is all that separates most cars while passing on two lane highways."
  3. Drive with your lights on. You need to be visible to other drivers.
  4. Lock your doors. Locked doors stay intact and closed during a crash reducing your potential to be ejected from the vehicle.
  5. Don't take chances. Don't make the attempt to beat other traffic at red lights and stop signs. Harmon humorously stated as an example, "S***! I've got stuff to do! I need to beat that school bus!"
  6. Watch out for motorcycles. Motorcycles are harder to see than most vehicles.
  7. Don't drive aggressively. Don't get caught up in an aggressive driving situation and remember, "The left lane is for passing, not driving."
  8. Don't use cell phones while driving. "In Tennessee, it's against the law to text and drive and it's very dangerous to talk on a cell phone while driving. A driver on the phone is worse than a drunk driver!" says Lt. Harmon. "Just think about how many times your eyes are off the roadway while answering a phone call."
  9. Don't drink and drive. "Not even one beer or glass of wine", says Harmon.

Lt. Harmon shared that the fatality count on Tennessee highways currently stands at 398 for 2013. That number is down by 27 fatalities when compared to the same time period in 2012. Bradley County has had four fatalities this year compared to nine during the same period last year.

In closing, Lt. Harmon encouraged drivers to be sure that they carry up-to-date vehicle registration, license and insurance cards and always have them available in their vehicles. The fine for not having a current insurance card is $100.

Lt. Harmon is the THP Safety Education Officer for District 2 which includes 12 counties in southeast Tennessee.


Lt. John Harmon - Tennessee Highway Patrol Wayne Wilhelm 2013-06-18 00:00:00Z
Victor Czernasij Presents to Rotary


Here’s a scary stat: One in five Americans will develop some form of skin cancer in their lifetime. Even scarier: Cases of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, have been rising steadily for the past 30 years, according to the American Cancer Society. It’s also the most common cancer among 25- to 29-year-olds. 

This was the primary topic of conversation on Tuesday when Victor Czernasij (chur' ka-see) presented to the Cleveland Rotary Club on the topic: Our Skin, The Facts, The Care, The Cure. Mr. Czerjasij, holds a Master of Science in Nursing from Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN) and a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts from Southern Adventist University (Collegedale, TN). He currently practices as a nurse practitioner at the Skin Cancer and Cosmetic Dermatology,  in Cleveland, TN, which opened in 2007.

According to Mr. Czerjasij, Tennessee has one of the highest concentrations of skin cancer rates in the nation; in fact, Tennessee has the 14th highest rate of melanoma occurrences (at 23 for every 100,000). There will be more than 1 million new cases of skin cancer diagnosed this year, outnumbering the total number of all other cancers combined.

It was with these facts in mind that Mr. Czerjasij reminded everyone about the importance of taking care of their skin. Unfurled, the average human adult’s skin would cover 22 square and is far and away the largest organ on our body.  While there are number of things that can negatively affect our skin’s condition, including heredity, autoimmune disorders, and infectious agents, the most influential factors are external conditions, namely exposure to UVA and UVB rays.

Improving and protecting the skin can be done by ensuring that  you always wear plenty of sunscreen, even on days when you are not expecting much exposure to the sun. As a part of his presentation, Mr. Czerjasij mentioned that a large number of melanomas are removed from the left-hand side of the body. This is primarily caused by sun coming in through the driver side window of the car. He recommended that everyone use a daily moisturizer that included at least 30 SPF.

He also offered the following advice for keeping your skin in prime condition:

·         A balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables.

·         Staying hydrated!

·         Adopting and maintaining a daily skin care regimen.

·         Regular rejuvenation procedures.

·         Eight to nine hours of sleep a night.

·         No smoking, this is the WORST thing you can do for your skin.

He closed his message by encouraging everyone to take these steps to minimize their risk of skin cancer and related conditions. For more information about the Skin Cancer and Cosmetic Dermatology Center you can visit their website. For more information skin cancer you can visit the CDC’s website here. 


Victor Czernasij Presents to Rotary Patrick Long 2013-06-16 00:00:00Z
New Member: Hassan Najjar

Hassan Najjar is the newest member of the Rotary Club of Cleveland. Najjar has recently been appointed as Executive Director of the Museum Center at 5ive Points.

Najjar and his wife, Alysia, currently reside in Chattanooga, but they hope to make Cleveland their home in the very near future. Alysia is the education assistant at WTCI television.

Hassan Najjar's Rotary classification is: Museum-Historical.

Hassan Najjar was introduced by Don Lorton and Michael Griffin.

New Member: Hassan Najjar Wayne Wilhelm 2013-06-04 00:00:00Z
Dustin's Law

Dustin Ledford - 10/15/1985 - 07/10/2010


Story by Wayne Wilhelm

It was the dreaded early morning phone call that no parent wants to receive. The police officer's solemn words: "I'm sorry. Your son has succumbed to injuries received in an automobile accident." 

On July 10, 2010, Dustin Ledford was driving home from Walmart when a car speeding down APD-40 in the wrong lane crashed into his vehicle. The popular 24-year-old died from his injuries. The vehicle in the wrong lane of traffic was driven by a young mother with two 21-month old babies who were fortunately left at home. Even more disconcerting was the police report indicating that Tiffany Isaza was intoxicated and high on methamphetamine at the time of the crash. Dispatchers at the 911 center had already broadcasted reports of a car on APD-40 traveling in the wrong lane. Reportedly, Isaza had travelled for 5 miles before making contact with Dustin Ledford's car.

Isaza was ultimately sentenced to ten years in prison; eight years for vehicular homicide and one year each for two counts of child abuse.

Under present law, a person commits the Class A felony offense of aggravated vehicular homicide if the person commits vehicular homicide AND the person:

  1. Has two or more prior convictions for DUI, vehicular assault or any combination of such offenses.
  2. Has one or more prior convictions of vehicular homicide; or
  3. Had a blood-alcohol level of at least 0.20 percent at the time of the offense and has one prior conviction for DUI or vehicular assault.

Dustin's parents, Danny and Kim Ledford, have been on a mission to strengthen state laws against drunk driving since Dustin's death. Their message makes an attempt to communicate to DUI offenders how much their choices affect other people. Kim Ledford has characterized a vehicle as deadly as a gun. "A weapon is a weapon whether it is a vehicle or a loaded gun."

Representative Eric Watson introduced the bill (H.B. 1038) known as Dustin's Law in 2011. The law would remove the current requirement of having a blood alcohol content of 0.20 percent plus one prior conviction to warrant a charge of aggravated vehicular homicide. The law, if enacted, adds vehicular homicide with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.20 or more OR vehicular homicide with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent along with ANY concentration of methamphetamine to the definition of aggravated vehicular homicide.

Kim Ledford is a frequent speaker in our area in support of the potential new legislation. Even though the recollection of the loss of her son is painful, she knows that lives may be saved through her efforts.


Dustin's Law Wayne Wilhelm 2013-06-04 00:00:00Z
Senator Bob Corker


Senator Bob Corker answers a question on Syria.

Photo and story by Wayne Wilhelm

Rotarian, Tim Spires, introduced Senator Bob Corker, ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, to our membership during the May 28 meeting of the Rotary Club of Cleveland. Corker's message was covered by local media and attended by a number of area politicians.

Corker, a former Rotarian, complimented Rotary for its many accomplishments throughout the world. "Polio is almost completely extinct. Thank you all for your contribution." Senator Corker also pointed out the successful relationship between Cleveland and Chattanooga in the area of economic development. Tennessee's lack of a state income tax is an important advantage for the businesses looking to locate in our area, said Corker.

Senator Bob Corker Wayne Wilhelm 2013-05-28 00:00:00Z
General Overseer, Dr. Mark Williams


Dr. Mark Williams, General Overseer of The Church of God.

Photo and story by Wayne Wilhelm

Mark Williams, General Overseer of the Church of God, shared his concern over the tragedy in Moore, OK during the May 21 program at the Rotary Club of Cleveland. "Our hearts go out to them.", said Williams as he detailed the efforts one of the church's relief organizations, Operation Compassion. Twenty-five semi trucks loaded with food, shelter, clothing and supplies have been deployed to the disaster area by Operation Compassion. Within 24 hours, the organization will be prepared to provide up to 3,400 meals per day to those affected by the Oklahoma tornado.

Williams transferred to Lee College from the University of Denver as a sophomore in 1983 with the desire to become a cardiovascular surgeon. He received his "call" to the ministry in 1984 and earned his Master of Divinity degree from the Pentecostal Theological Seminary in 1989. In 1995 he became the pastor of the South Cleveland Church of God before moving to Tampa, FL to lead the Riverhills Church of God in 1999. The Riverhills congregation experienced a period of rapid growth under Williams' tenure. Dr. Mark Williams was elected general overseer of the Church of God in 2012.

Williams discussed the bond that exists between our community and the church tracing the history from the initial churches established by A.J. Tomlinson and the growth of Lee University from its origins as the Bible Training School. Noting that the Church of God employs over 300 here in Bradley County, Williams said, "The light that shines the farthest shines the brightest at home."

Mark Williams expressed gratitude to the Cleveland community and the many charitable agencies working within our city including the United Way. He announced that the Church of God has donated property on the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway near the headquarters complex to be used for the construction of a restroom facility for greenway users.

Describing scenes from his favorite movie, "It's a Wonderful Life", Mark Williams compared the idyllic town of Bedford Falls with its George Bailey to Cleveland with the church. Look what might have happened if just one individual had not existed. The movie ends with the defining statement, "No man is a failure who has friends. We hope you can say that the Church of God is your friend." said Williams.

Williams closed his message with a prayer for those in Oklahoma.


General Overseer, Dr. Mark Williams Wayne Wilhelm 2013-05-21 00:00:00Z
Matthew Brown Is 2013 Rotarian of the Year


Matthew Brown receives the Rotarian of the Year Award from 2012 recipient, Lil Harting.

Story by Lil Harting
Photo by Wayne Wilhelm


This year's Rotarian of the Year, Matthew Brown, has been a loyal, dedicated and hard-working member of the Rotary Club of Cleveland for 18 years. Matthew has served the club in many major capacities including President in 2002-2003. He has served multiple terms on the club board of directors and the board of the Cleveland Rotary Foundation. Matthew has chaired several major committees including Membership, International Group Study Exchange, Rotary Golf Tournament and Greenway Initiatives.

Matthew Brown is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow, a member of the Paul Harris Society and a major donor to the Rotary International Foundation and the PolioPlus program.

The city of Cleveland has benefited the efforts of this determined and opinionated individual. Matthew has served our community through the YMCA Board of Directors, The Bradley/Cleveland Greenway board and served as a city commissioner for 8 years.

As a fourth-generation Rotarian, Matthew has followed in the footsteps of his great-grandfather, Grover Brown; his grandfather, Kenneth and his father Harrison. All four generations served as president of the Rotary Club of Cleveland. Matthew has demonstrated all the excellent qualities possessed by his predecessors and has continued the remarkable Rotary heritage of the Brown family.

Matthew holds an undergraduate degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology and an MBA from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He works in the family business, Brown Stove Works, as Executive Vice President. His father, Harrison Brown, says he was not offered his position out of special privilege, but worked hard to attain it.

Matthew is married to Tara Watson, a native of Cleveland whose father was also a Rotarian. They have 3 sons, Grover, Watson and Ash. They attend Broad Street Methodist Church.


From left: Art Rhodes, Chris and Louise Brown Harbison, Barbara Brown, Matthew Brown, Tara Watson Brown, Harrison Brown and Lil Harting.


Matthew Brown Is 2013 Rotarian of the Year Wayne Wilhelm 2013-05-21 00:00:00Z
A Great Team of Interact Faculty Advisors

The Rotary Club of Cleveland expressed our gratitude to a great group of Interact faculty advisors from our local schools. These individuals have provided expert guidance and positive leadership in building some of the strongest Interact chapters in District 6780. Special thanks to the new leadership team at Bradley High School for having an incredible first year!


From left: Victor Boltniew, Rotary New Generations Committee; Melissa Presswood, Bradley High School Interact Advisor; Don Markham, Cleveland High School Interact Advisor; Roger Fuller, Rotary New Generations Committee Chairman; Derrick Marr, Cleveland Middle School Interact Advisor; and Eric Frazier, Cleveland Middle School Interact Advisor.


Not pictured were Anthony Clukey and Rachel Metzger, faculty advisors from Bradley High School.

A Great Team of Interact Faculty Advisors Wayne Wilhelm 2013-05-14 00:00:00Z
2013 Interact Scholarship Winners



From left: Nathan Myers, Robyn Varner, Carly Morris, Olivia Hysinger, Luke Shattuck and Rotary Literacy Committee Chairman, Jay Leggett, Jr.

Photo and story by Wayne Wilhelm


Five accomplished Interact members from local high schools were awarded scholarships during the May 14 meeting of the Rotary Club of Cleveland. Each recipient submitted a detailed application including grades, community activities, honors, letters of recommendation and an essay explaining their need for the scholarship along with their plans for the future. Candidates then met with members of the Literacy Committee for an interview to help determine the winners.

The Literacy Committee's job was difficult as each of the candidates were highly qualified to receive an award. It was ultimately determined that each candidate would receive a scholarship. The awards were presented as follows:


 Name  School  Amount
Nathan Myers Bradley High School  $ 1,500
Carly Morris Cleveland High School  $ 500
Olivia Hysinger Cleveland High School  $ 2,500
Robyn Varner Cleveland High School  $ 500
Luke Shattuck Cleveland High School  $ 500









Nathan Myers plans to pursue a degree in Biology at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Carly Morris will seek a career in nursing at Belmont University. Olivia Hysinger, who also won a Jim Bomar scholarship through Interact, plans to major in engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Robyn Varner will be seeking a degree in Chemical Engineering at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville. Luke Shattuck will attend Tennessee Technological University next fall to work toward a degree in Mechanical Engineering.


Congratulations to these recent graduates and scholarship winners. The Rotary Club of Cleveland wishes you the best in all your future endeavors.


2013 Interact Scholarship Winners Wayne Wilhelm 2013-05-14 00:00:00Z
Celebrate the Graduation and Comissioning of Kaylee Radzyminski


Open House Reception- May 14th from 4:30 - 6:30 Please join us to congratulate Kaylee on her graduation from Tennessee Tech and her commissioning into the United States Army!! Our Tunes for the Troops.

Kaylee has meant so much to our community through her efforts with Tunes for the Troops.  We are excited to congratulate her on her many accomplishments as she heads off in the service.

Feel free to stop by any time between 4:30 and 6:30 pm. Light refreshments will be available. Please no gifts; there will be a place for cards or gift cards if you would like, but your presence is enough.  

If you would like to RSVP for this event or would like more information, please click here. If you have any questions please contact Emily McComb at the United Way (479-2020). 
Celebrate the Graduation and Comissioning of Kaylee Radzyminski Patrick Long 2013-05-12 00:00:00Z
District 6780 Group Study Exchange Team - Norway


From left, Lars Sandholtbraten, Jon "Wolf" Deglum, Michelle Patterson, Yngve Granerud, Jan Alfred Borgenvik and Don Ritzhaupt.

The Rotary Club of Cleveland hosted a dynamic Group Study Exchange Team from Norway during the week of April 28. The six-member team included:

  • Yngve Granerud, real estate manager from Oslo,
  • Jon "Wolf" Deglum, security officer with the Norwegian Defense Staff,
  • Lars Sandholtbraten, IT manager with Smedstuen Gard AS from Dal,
  • Ulrikke de Vibe, secondary school teacher from Feiring,
  • Rune Magnussen, investment and retirement planner from Nannestad,
  • Jan Alfred Borgenvik, police officer, from Oslo.

While in Cleveland, the group enjoyed a wide array of activities highlighted by a thrilling but cold whitewater rafting trip down the Ocoee River. Group members also participated in cycling, dining, shopping and vocational visits during their stay in our area.

District 6780 Group Study Exchange Team - Norway Wayne Wilhelm 2013-04-30 00:00:00Z
Club Assembly

The Rotary Club of Cleveland dispensed with our usual program activities on April 23 to engage in a Club Assembly. Topics covered included a discussion of the results of a club survey which solicited opinions on a variety of our club's operational characteristics. While only 27 members participated in the survey, several opportunities for improvement were noted including a need to increase membership diversity.



Norm Fontana announced that the Rotary Club of Cleveland received several awards at the District 6780 Conference held in Chattanooga last week:

  • Star Club (average $100 per member contribution to RI Foundation),
  • Eradicator Club (average $40 per member contribution to Polio Plus),
  • Globe Club (participate in an international project, participate in an international service activity and have a club program on international understanding),
  • Assistant District Governor, Don Ritzhaupt, received a Certificate of Appreciation for his service,
  • District Trainer, Cameron Fisher, received a Certificate of Appreciation,
  • Rotary Peace Forum Participation Award.

The Rotary Club of Cleveland has received the Star Club Award nine times, the Eradicator Club Award three times and the Globe Club Award eight times.



Roving Rotarian, David Chaffin, presented the club with a banner from the Rotary Club of Hot Springs, Arkansas. The Hot Springs presentation is the 649th club banner to be added to the Rotary Club of Cleveland banner collection. David Chaffin is responsible for retrieving an amazing 261 of those banners!



Steve Carroll provided a report on the completion of our water project in Xatinab, Guatemala. The project featured a 180 foot, hand-dug, well to provide clean drinking water for approximately 2,000 area residents in a newly constructed community center. A sanitary latrine and a 10,000 gallon water storage tank were also completed during the construction. The Rotary Club of Cleveland provided $15,000 plus a $2,500 district grant toward the $40,000 project.



The 180 foot deep community well in Xatinab, Guatemala was dug entirely by hand.

Club Assembly Wayne Wilhelm 2013-04-23 00:00:00Z
New Paul Harris Fellows

Five new Paul Harris Fellows were recognized by Rotary International Foundation Committee Chairman, Tom Thomas, during the April 23 club assembly.

Donations of $1,000 or more to the Annual Programs Fund, PolioPlus, or the Humanitarian Grants Program, or people who have that amount contributed in their name, can be recognized as Paul Harris Fellows. Our latest Paul Harris Fellows are:

  • Cooper Hill
  • Don Robinson
  • Lil Harting
  • Jim Williams
  • John Stanbery

All five recipients are multiple Paul Harris Fellow donors. Thank you for your support of the Rotary International Foundation.


New Paul Harris Fellows Wayne Wilhelm 2013-04-23 00:00:00Z
Common Core Standards


Dr. Martin Ringstaff explains key tenets of Common Core Standards.

Photo and story by Wayne Wilhelm

Tennessee is one of 45 states plus the District of Columbia adopting a new educational paradigm called Common Core Standards seeking to bring consistency to the measurement of skills learned by students in our public education systems. Director of Cleveland City Schools, Dr. Martin Ringstaff, was recently appointed to the 2013 Common Core Leadership Council as a Southeast representative.

"Common Core is an awesome thing for Tennessee", says Ringstaff noting that for many years states have had different standards for measuring skills in english, science and math. "Common Core Standards provide for consistent standards, school to school and country to country." Tennessee ranks 48th out of 50 states in math proficiency and 46th in english. "Those rankings are unacceptable", says Dr. Ringstaff.

Common Core Standards brings some key philosophic changes to the educational process including:

  1. Depth, not width. . . Fewer but fuller. . .
  2. Nonfiction, not fiction. . .
  3. Evidence is required. Statements must have supporting facts.
  4. Speaking and listening.
  5. Technology is part of most / all standards.
  6. Life skills are emphasized across all subject areas.
  7. An increase in rigor. . .


All future educational materials will be written to Common Core Standards. "This is a major wave of change", said Ringstaff.

Ringstaff believes that statistics showing that the U.S. is dramatically behind other countries in education is misleading. "The U.S. is generating a seat in the educational system for every 5-year-old in the country. Other countries simply don't do this. To say we are failing is ridiculous", declares Ringstaff.

However, our city schools do have challenges. Sixty-three percent of the students in the city school system are on the free or reduced lunch program pointing out the economic stress of many families in our community. The city school system has 370 english-as-a second-language (ESL) students. Additionally, there are 13 foreign languages represented by students in the system.

Eighteen-year city school board veteran, Dawn Robinson, updated Rotarians on additional issues concerning the school system. Robinson presented a breakdown of the city school's $40.5M budget stating that there's zero dollars spent on athletics. Those programs pay their own way, according to Robinson. She also noted that less than 5% of the federal budget goes to education.

Cleveland High School is set to start a new culinary arts program next fall. Also the CHS broadcasting system produces most-watched high school program in the country. Jon Souders exemplary media class has just finished the schools third "lip dub" music video.

The board has approved new safety and security measures for city schools including one SRO for each school.

An architect is now being selected to design a new elementary school for a 19.9 acre tract on Georgetown Road. The property was recently purchased for $1.125M from Hyde Properties. Ringstaff hopes to have a core design accommodating 700 students.


Cleveland City School Board member, Dawn Robinson provides updates to Cleveland Rotarians.

Common Core Standards Wayne Wilhelm 2013-04-16 00:00:00Z
HonorAir Knoxville


From left: Rotary Club of Cleveland President, Art Rhodes; HonorAir Guardian Team Leader, Jim Cundall and Program Coordinator, David Carroll.

Photo and story by Wayne Wilhelm


HonorAir Knoxville is dedicated to honoring East Tennessee World War II and Korean War veterans by making sure that they get the opportunity to visit the memorials in Washington, D.C. built to honor their service to our country. Ret. CMS, Jim Cundall of the Tennessee Air National Guard, serves as a Guardian Team Leader of the organization which has been responsible for flying over 1,500 WWII and Korean veterans to Washington for a day of recognition and celebration of their contribution to our nation.

Many WWII and Korean veterans have never had the opportunity to visit their respective memorials in Washington, D.C. because they were only constructed in recent years. "If you weren't on a ship that came home into New York harbor or San Diego, you probably came home to $50 and a bus ticket", said Cundall. Now these veterans are entering an advanced state of age and our window of opportunity is declining. We lose approximately 1,200 WWII veterans every day. In another five to ten years almost all our WWII veterans will be gone.

The veterans are treated as heroes on the day of their trip beginning with a special sendoff by the Knoxville city and county mayors and other dignitaries at the Knoxville airport. There are usually 130 veterans on each flight with an approximately 50-50 split between WWII and Korean veterans. The TSA gives the group special consideration while boarding their aircraft.

The veterans receive a grand welcome on arrival in Washington where they begin their special tours of the Air Force Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the World War II Memorial, the Iwo Jima Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Cundall recollected many stories of the veteran's service and sacrifice including one of a 12-year old soldier who performed valiantly during an attack on his ship. When his age was discovered, he was dishonorably discharged and sent home. Later, Congress reconsidered and reinstated the young man in order to give him an honorable discharge. "When they call I don't have to talk, I just have to listen", said Cundall.

On their return trip to Knoxville, the veterans are treated to a special "mail call" where they receive letters of gratitude from family, friends and area schoolchildren. Their arrival at the Knoxville airport is met with a huge welcome home ceremony complete with a large, flag-waving crowd and band. The entire experience is understandably emotional for many of these heroes.

Each HonorAir trip costs approximately $60,000 and is supported by the Rotary Foundation of Knoxville, Prestige Cleaners and Covenant Health Systems. A total of 40 "guardians" consisting of family, friends and volunteers accompany the veterans on each flight. In addition, two registered nurses and one doctor travel with each group. HonorAir Knoxville conducts two flights per year. Applications are available at the website:


HonorAir Knoxville Wayne Wilhelm 2013-04-09 00:00:00Z
Talk Radio Visits Rotary


The Backfire team from left: Steve Hixson, John Stanbery and Franklin Chancey.

Photo and story by Wayne Wilhelm

The Rotary Club of Cleveland was a participant in recorded taping of WOOP 99.9 FM Radio's Backfire program on Tuesday, April 2. Backfire is moderated by Steve "Doughball" Hixson and features lively political debate between conservative Rotarian, John Stanbery, and left-leaning, local attorney, Franklin Chancey.

The fast-paced exchange is unscripted and driven by questions and comments from moderator, Steve Hixson, and in today's case, our own Rotarians. "We don't know what we are going to talk about each week. We just walk in and Steve throws things out and we go to arguing", said Stanbery. Amazingly enough, Hixson is able to control and limit discussion by the ringing of a simple bell located at his right hand.

The arguing commenced around the topic of ObamaCare, characterized by Chancey as a long-overdue attempt to address the problem of medical insurance coverage that has been avoided for 20 years. The cost of indigent care is an unfunded tax that is killing our economy, according to Chancey. ObamaCare is a way to limit the spending.

Stanbery counters that the real problem with ObamaCare is with the 20 new named taxes that it creates along with an expected 20-80% increase in health care costs. The penalty for not carrying the insurance is less than the insurance coverage premiums, so many companies will choose not to participate. The free market would better address these issues according to Stanbery.

Chancey noted that Richard Nixon had endorsed the idea of a national insurance plan for our country. Stanbery applauded Chancey for being a fan of Richard Nixon.

Moderator, Steve Hixson, then added fuel to the fire with a question on whether U.S. citizens really support gay marriage. Chancey reports that a substantial majority of the population under 30 years of age support gay marriage. "The next generation will make this decision," said Chancey. "There's a church marriage and then there's a government marriage. They don't have to be the same."

John Stanbery immediately questioned whether "indoctrination" in public schools had anything to do with our younger generation's support of gay marriage. Stanbery also questioned how other unlawful unions might be prohibited if gay marriages are made legal. He also disagreed with linking the fight for gay marriages with the fight for civil rights. "Lots of people are offended by that," according to Stanbery.

Such is the ebb and flow of the Backfire debate. Chancey says he's usually outnumbered on the radio show as moderator, Hixson, often sides with the conservative position. During this Rotary meeting, Franklin concedes that his odds were probably even worse. John Stanbery noted that while they disagree on most political issues, they have become good friends and actually tend to agree on many local issues. Their debate is sharp, but it's not mean-spirited and they can leave their differences behind when they leave the show. "I would do anything to help Franklin and I'm sure he would do the same for me," said Stanbery.

The show ended with the pair fielding questions from the Rotary audience on topics such as the unionization of Volkswagen, immigration, annexation and what to do about North Korea and Iran. Franklin Chancey called for building international consensus. However, moderator, Steve Hixson, had the last word concerning international diplomacy by stating, "I know that when Ronald Reagan was president, we tore a wall down."

A bell rings. The show is over.

Talk Radio Visits Rotary Wayne Wilhelm 2013-04-02 00:00:00Z
Lee University Chamber Strings



Xiaoqing Yu directed the Lee University Chamber Strings in a spectacular musical display during the March 26 meeting of the Rotary Club of Cleveland. Known by some as the Fabulous 'LUCS' (Lee University Chamber Strings), the group performed the following selections: 

Rumanian Folk Dances by Bela Bartok
County Maros-Torda
County Bihar
County Torda-Aranyos
Viva Rossini – from the Barber of Seville, arranged by Lloyd Conley
Santana in Concert by Larry Moore
Linus and Lucy by Robert Longfield
Mambo No. 5 by Larry Moore
Plink, Plank, Plunk by Leroy Anderson
Clocks by Robert Longfield
Hungarian Dance No. 5 by Johannes Brahms 

The Lee University Chamber Strings were founded in 2005 by violin professor, Xiaoqing Yu, director of the group and concertmaster of the Greenville Symphony Orchestra. Since its inception, the group has grown from 5 to 45 members and has performed at numerous special events including state music conferences, Lee University's Classic Christmas, and a number of regional art centers, schools, concert series and country clubs.

Their innovative and entertainment oriented performances and energetic stage presence have won them many performance invitations including one to play at the 2010 Shanghai International EXPO to showcase the group's Pops approach to classical and romantic music.

The Lee University Chamber Strings have been invited annually for the past 8 years to perform at the state music educators' conferences in Nashville and Chattanooga. The group has a library of over 100 favorite Pops selections and are available to play for corporate or private events.

For additional information contact Wayne Wilhelm.

Lee University Chamber Strings Wayne Wilhelm 2013-03-26 00:00:00Z
Major Contribution to the Cleveland Rotary Foundation



Rotarian, Ish Patel, presents a $5,000 contribution to Art Rhodes for the Cleveland Rotary Foundation.

Photo by Wayne Wilhelm

Many thanks to Ish Patel and Vision Hospitality Group for their $5,000 contribution to the Cleveland Rotary Foundation commemorating the opening of the new Hampton Inn in Cleveland, TN. The Hampton Inn is Vision Hospitality Group's 20th hotel!



Major Contribution to the Cleveland Rotary Foundation Wayne Wilhelm 2013-03-26 00:00:00Z
Welcome New Member James Cogdill


James R. Cogdill has been inducted as the newest member of the Rotary Club of Cleveland. James is an agent for Athens Insurance and is married to Sloane Cogdill. James is a graduate of Cleveland High School and UTC (2008) with a B.S. in Business Administration. Mr. Cogdill's Rotary classification is Commercial Insurance.

James Cogdill was proposed by Richard Burnette.

Welcome New Member James Cogdill Wayne Wilhelm 2013-03-19 00:00:00Z
Paul Harris Fellow Presentation


Photo by Wayne Wilhelm

Polio Plus committee chairman, Norm Fontana, honors his new bride, Bonnie Holcombe-Fontana, with a Paul Harris Fellow presentation at the March 19 meeting of the Rotary Club of Cleveland. Norm also announced that the Rotary Club of Cleveland has raised more than $6,000 for the Polio Plus program during this Rotary year.

Paul Harris Fellow Presentation Wayne Wilhelm 2013-03-19 00:00:00Z
Guns & Society


Second Amendment advocate, John Stanbery

Photo and story by Wayne Wilhelm

Conservative Rotarian, John Stanbery, presented a program on March 19 entitled "Guns and Society" to clear up some misinformation in popular media about firearms and to lend some perspective on the current discussions surrounding banning some types of weapons in the U.S.

John arrived at the meeting carrying just a little more hardware than is typical for a regular Tuesday Rotary meeting. John had seven concealed handguns and 125 rounds of ammunition on his person to make a point about current calls to ban so called "assault rifles". His demonstration shows that any assault rifle ban wouldn't necessarily be effective in stopping someone who was intent on committing a mass shooting.

John also pointed out the problems and misinformation surrounding the definition of what actually constitutes an assault rifle. He pointed to politicians, including Senator Charles Schumer of New York, who incorrectly distinguish the components of assault rifles such as magazines and stocks. Senator Dianne Feinstein calls for an assault weapons ban citing the assassination of her father even though her father was killed by a pipe bomb.

Proponents of an assault rifle ban say that no one needs a gun that will shoot 100 rounds with one pull of the trigger. Stanbery counters, "Well folks, that's a machine gun. They've been illegal since 1937. Any legal rifle that is out there now shoots one bullet for each pull of the trigger."

John produced documentation showing that the worst instances of mass murder in our country did not involve firearms of any kind, e.g. the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the Oklahoma City bombing. According to Stanbery, our worst mass murderers are arsonists.

A strong case may also be made for the need for higher capacity ammunition magazines in instances of self defense. "You ask who needs a 15-round clip? A woman alone at home with her babies needs a 15-round clip," Stanbery notes while sharing a story of a home invasion involving a mother with children. Firing a shotgun into the air as suggested by Vice-president Biden will simply leave you facing an attacker with an unloaded weapon.

Stanbery stressed the fact that banning high-capacity magazines or assault rifles does not solve our society's problem with violence. Statistically speaking, states with lower gun ownership rates have the highest murder rates involving firearms. The converse also holds true. States with higher gun ownership rates have lower homicides rates involving firearms. Even a complete ban on all firearms is easily thwarted due to the low-tech requirements for manufacturing guns as demonstrated by weapons made by prisoners in a highly controlled environment including a paper mache gun and a pistol disguised as a cell phone.

Recent legislation introduced for consideration in Tennessee would allow a "highly trained teacher" to have a weapon on campus. This could be a godsend for a small town that can't afford school resource officers according to Stanbery. A tragedy such as the one that occurred in Newton, Connecticut might have been prevented by an armed teacher with proper training.

Note that none of the firearms shown during Tuesday's presentation were loaded.

Guns & Society Wayne Wilhelm 2013-03-19 00:00:00Z
Auction Financial Recap
   2012  2013 Improvement 
 Sponsorships  $ 16,300  $ 19,000 + 17% 
 Ticket Sales  3,850  6,225 + 62% 
 Donations  100  275 + 175% 
 Auction Items  28,264  41,775 + 48% 
Gross Revenue  $ 48,514 $ 67,275 + 39% 
 Expenses  7,546  9,873 + 31% 
 Net Income  $ 40,968  $ 57,402 + 40% 
Auction Financial Recap Wayne Wilhelm 2013-03-12 00:00:00Z
District 6780 Interact Speech Competition


Left: Bradley High School Interact Advisor, Rachel Metzger. Right: District 6780 Interact Speech Contestant, Wendy Armenta.

Photo by Wayne Wilhelm

New Generations committee representative, Victor Bolniew, introduced Bradley High School Interactor, Wendy Armenta, as a contestant in the 2013 District 6780 Speech Competition. Wendy presented a speech about a fireman who lost his life in the 9-11 disaster while trying to rescue people in the north Trade Center tower. She related the firefighter's selfless act of courage to the standards found in the Rotary Four-Way Test.

The final speech competition will be held at Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville on March 23, 2013. Winners will be awarded scholarships as follows: 1st place, $1,750; 2nd place, $1,300; 3rd place, $900.

Wendy was accompanied by BHS Interact advisor, Rachel Metzger.

District 6780 Interact Speech Competition Wayne Wilhelm 2013-03-12 00:00:00Z
District 6780 Rotary Peace Forum


Several Cleveland Rotarians attended the Rotary District 6780 Peace Forum in Oak Ridge, Tennessee on March 9, 2013. Pictured from left: Kim Casteel, Amy Card-Lillios, Sally Posten (Bradley Sunrise), and David Carroll.

District 6780 Rotary Peace Forum Wayne Wilhelm 2013-03-09 00:00:00Z
2013 Rotary International Foundation Dinner

Cleveland Rotarians meet Rotary International President, Sakuji Tanaka, at the 2013 Rotary District 6780 Foundation Dinner on March 8 at The Orangery in Knoxville, TN. Pictured from left: Gary Fuller, Don and Rachel Ritzhaupt, Pat Fuller, RI President Tanaka, Lil Harting, Wayne and Karen Wilhelm. Also present but not pictured: Amy Card-Lillios, Jim Buckner, Norm Fontana, Kim Casteel and David Carroll.

Don Ritzhaupt was recognized for achieving level 1 major donor status with the Rotary International Foundation. Congratulations Don and thank you for your support of the Rotary International Foundation.

2013 Rotary International Foundation Dinner Wayne Wilhelm 2013-03-08 00:00:00Z
Altered States of Consciousness


Rotarian, Dr. Bill Balzano, explains the four stages of the sleep cycle.

Photo and story by Wayne Wilhelm

Bill Balzano's interest in dreams began at an early age. He recalls that his mother recalled almost every dream and his father talked frequently of his dreams. "When one sleeps, you are not unconscious. You are in an altered state of consciousness."

Dr. Balzano's background in dream study includes training from behavioral, psychoanalytical and Gestalt models. He also acknowledges that some dreams may have spiritual origins.

To understand dreams, one must become familiar with our sleep cycles. Our sleep cycles consist of four stages lasting from 90-120 minutes each which are identifiable by distinct types and levels of brain wave activity. Our most memorable dreams tend to occur in the fourth or REM stage of the sleep cycle. Most people dream several times per night. Even though everyone dreams, some will not be able to remember their dreams.

Altered States of Consciousness Wayne Wilhelm 2013-03-05 00:00:00Z
Congratulations To Our Interactors

Congratulations to our Cleveland High School and Cleveland Middle School Interact clubs who came in second place in their respective categories at the District 6780 Interact Conference held March 1-3 in Pigeon Forge, TN.

CHS Interactor, Olivia Hysinger, won a James Bomar scholarship. Over 640 district 6780 Interact members attended the conference. Congratulations Interactors!

Congratulations To Our Interactors Wayne Wilhelm 2013-03-05 00:00:00Z
Bradley County Election Commission


Election commissioner, Steve Crump, emphasizes the importance of voting.

Photo and story by Wayne Wilhelm

Abraham Lincoln said, "Elections belong to the people." Rotarian and election commissioner, Steve Crump, explained the function of the Bradley County Election Commission during a presentation to the Rotary Club of Cleveland on February 26, 2013.

All elections are controlled by legislative statutes and are directed by a state and a local election commission. The state election commission is made up of seven representatives from the grand divisions of the state of Tennessee: four representatives are members of the majority (Republican) party and three representatives are members of the minority (Democratic) party. In a similar fashion, the Bradley County Election Commission consists of five members: three members from the majority party and two members from the minority party.

Two major issues currently face the local election commission: 1) The new voter ID law, and 2) Redistricting.

According the the new voter id law, a valid picture id is required to vote in any election in the state of Tennessee. Valid picture identification is more complicated than one might think. For example, a Memphis public library card is a valid picture id whereas a bank card, university id card or a plant id card would not qualify. Even without a picture id, a voter may place a provisional ballot which would be valid upon the subsequent presentation of a valid picture id.

In the most recent election, out of a total of approximately 100,000 votes, only 7 provisional ballots were cast. Crump recognized the importance of these provisional ballots, especially in the election of Nicholas "Landslide" Lillios to the city school board by the narrowest of margins.

"Most people are unhappy with the recent redistricting of Bradley County", according to Crump. Our House of Representative districts stayed close to the same as in the past. However, Bradley County's state senate district was split leaving Bradley County in a minority voting posture by population. A lawsuit has been filed, but it will fail because required state tolerances were met. Additional redistricting for judicial purposes is on the way led by Lt. Governor, Ron Ramsey.

One additional issue facing the election commission is the method of voting: computerized voting machine versus optical scanning of ballots. Crump says that while the optically scanned ballots may be more accurate, unclear markings are problematic and the 19 cent ballots must be provided for all voters, representing a substantial cost in executing an election. The election commission is currently operating on an annual budget which is $16,000 less than the 2008 budget of $340,000.

Rotarian, Steve Crump, was nominated for the Bradley County Election Commision by former State Representative, Dewayne Bunch, to replace Harlan White who was characterized by Crump as a consummate, non-partisan, Republican.

Bradley County Election Commission Wayne Wilhelm 2013-02-26 00:00:00Z
2013 Carnival of Giving Was a Huge Success

The numbers are in and the 2013 Rotary Club of Cleveland Carnival of Giving was a huge success. The event generated over $67,000 in revenue with just less than $10,000 in expenses yielding a net profit of $57,000 according to chairperson, Pam Nelson. Over 270 people were in attendance including what was characterized as the most populous and diverse crowd of non-Rotarians ever to participate in the fundraiser.

This year's auction proceeds were $16,000 greater than the 2012 fundraiser, an increase of 36%.

President, Art Rhodes, commended the auction committee, the club, the sponsors and the community in supporting our primary fundraising event and for making it such a resounding success. In particular, Art thanked Pam Nelson, auction committee chairman; Kim Casteel, decorations; Hazel Key, publications; David Carroll, auctioneer; Ross Tarver, Carmin Chastain, Esmerelda Lee, Michael Griffin, Mike Baker, Jeremy Henderson, Aaron Weatherford, Paul McCord, Cason Conn, Peggy Pesterfield, Julia Scoggins, Patrick Long, Sharon Marr, Sheryl Jaggers and Lil Harting for their work and contributions toward the record setting evening.

Amazingly, the auction committee is already meeting to plan for an even better 2014 event.

2013 Carnival of Giving Was a Huge Success Wayne Wilhelm 2013-02-26 00:00:00Z
The Cleveland Regional Jetport


Mark Fidler, Director of the Cleveland Regional Jetport

Photo and story by Wayne Wilhelm

The Rotary Club of Cleveland journeyed across town on February 19 for a special meeting at the new Cleveland Regional Jetport. Lynn DeVault, Chairman of the Municipal Airport Authority, opened the meeting, calling the airport "a great addition to Cleveland's infrastructure. She requested that Rotarians consider advertising sponsorships to be displayed on the video screens in the terminal building.

Mark Fidler, Director of the Cleveland Regional Jetport, said the benefits of the jetport will be felt for generations to come. Fidler's presentation concentrated of the economic impact of aviation related industry in Tennessee.

Tennessee boasts 81 public commercial and general aviation airports, serving over 12,000 pilots and over 6,600 general aviation aircraft. 19.5 out of every 1,000 workers in Tennessee work in the aerospace and aviation industry, amounting to some 51,800 jobs and $2.3 billion in payroll. General aviation contributes $2.57 billion or $431 per capita to Tennessee's economy.

Based on a statewide survey of registered aircraft owners, 42% of Tennessee aircraft are primarily utilized for business, versus the national average of 28%. The agriculture, forestry and mining sectors use general aviation most often. Tennessee is home to 46 charter flight companies, 56 repair stations and four flight schools operating 71 aircraft.

Construction of the massive 5,500' x 100' runway featured an on-site concrete plant to produce the required raw materials. Fidler estimates that over 48,000 concrete truck trips were required to complete the runway and taxiway areas. The beautiful terminal building was designed by Rardin and Carroll Architects under the supervision of Cleveland Rotarian, Stephen Carroll.

A request for a 500' runway extension has been made with the FAA to provide additional deceleration area for the larger Gulfstream corporate jets utilized by Whirlpool and Merck.

KRZR officially opened for air traffic on January 25, 2013. All operations at Hardwick Field have been transferred to the new jetport with only resident owner operator air traffic being supported at the former airport. The goal is to have Hardwick Field sold by June 30, according to Fidler.

Fuel sales are expected to generate a significant portion of the jetport's revenues. Jet fuel sales are expected to produce a 25-30% profit margin with general aviation gas adding an 8-12% margin. At the height of the summer aviation season, the jetport should be hosting approximately 26 flights per day, according to Fidler,

The $43 million Cleveland Regional Jetport was funded using 10% state funds with a 5% local match. The remainder of the project was paid with federal dollars.

The Cleveland Regional Jetport Wayne Wilhelm 2013-02-19 00:00:00Z
2013 Carnival Of Giving

Photo by Nicholas Lillios

Lil Harting -Non-bidders will be shot!

2013 Carnival Of Giving Wayne Wilhelm 2013-02-15 00:00:00Z
Once In History


From left: Lee University Festival Choir members Caitlin Groves and Cody Turner; Lee VP of Enrollment, Phil Cook; and Rotary Program Chairman, Nicholas Lillios.

Photo and story by Wayne Wilhelm

"This is the experience that trumps them all", said Cody Turner, a member of the Lee University Festival Choir, in reference to their recent performance at the 57th inauguration of the President of the United States. Phil Cook, VP of Enrollment at Lee, described the event as something exceeding "once in a lifetime" calling it a "once in history" moment. "Driving into D.C. and seeing the Capitol building. . . This wasn't about politics, it was about history."

The media exposure for Lee University and Cleveland, Tennessee was incredible with ABC News anchors, Dianne Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos, focusing attention on the choir's live performance during the televised ceremony. Cleveland, Tennessee and Lee University were also mentioned hundreds of times in social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter during and following the January 21st event.

The opportunity to perform at the inauguration was bestowed on the choir by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies following a nomination by Senator Lamar Alexander. Senator Alexander announced the invitation during a visit to Lee's campus in early November 2012.

Caitlin Groves, a 21-year-old discipleship and history major, still gets excited when thinking of the performance. "This was an opportunity to share a message with our nation. The performance of 'God Bless America' was a sincere prayer for our country."

The festival choir, directed by William R. Green, performed six songs in front of people of power, a television audience of millions, and a live crowd estimated at 800,000 in an environment where patriotism trumped partisan politics.

Lee University funded the entire trip without assistance from any governmental agency and the performance was definitely not lip-synced, according to Cook.

For more information on the inauguration trip including video of the performance, visit

Once In History Wayne Wilhelm 2013-02-12 00:00:00Z
The Caring Place Receives Cleveland Rotary Foundation Grant


From left: Bill George, VP of The Cleveland Rotary Foundation; Julie Jones, Caring Place Administrator; Reba Terry, Executive Director of The Caring Place.

Photo by Wayne Wilhelm

Executive Director, Reba Terry and Julie Jones of The Caring Place thanked the Cleveland Rotary Foundation for grants received over the past three years. These grants enabled The Caring Place to enclose a porch area, providing shelter for their clients; install an HVAC system and most recently provided $6,793 to procure a new communications/phone system for emergency contacts.

The Caring Place Receives Cleveland Rotary Foundation Grant Wayne Wilhelm 2013-02-05 00:00:00Z
Industrial Development Update


Rotarians Craig Mullinax and Doug Berry discuss industrial development in Bradley County.

Photo and story by Wayne Wilhelm

Doug Berry, VP of Economic Development for the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce, reviewed the current status of several industrial development projects in our community in addition to previewing the potential of the new Spring Branch Industrial Park to be located off Exit-20.

Berry said that although much of the focus has been on Wacker and Amazon in our county, many local businesses have grown and expanded during the four years he has been associated with the Chamber. Whirlpool, in particular, is nearing the end of its major project to complete a new, LEED-certified facility by completing a new 400,000 square foot storage building. Additionally, a new 50,000 square foot laboratory and testing facility is now under construction.

The Chamber has been actively seeking additional property suitable for industrial development to bridge the gap in time until the Spring Branch site can be made accessible. The old Honeywell industrial site contains approximately 33 acres and could host a 250,000 to 400,000 square foot facility. One 50,000 sq. ft. spec building is currently available which could be expanded to a 100,000 sq. ft. building suitable for a parts supplier for Volkswagen. Another site off Durkee Road could potentially accommodate buildings requiring up to 677,000 sq. ft. in space.

Several private sites in the Charleston community could supply up to 250 acres for industrial use and could become part of the Tennessee Certified Sites Program after some initial studies are completed.

The old Whirlpool property containing plants 1, 2 and 3 consists of 90 acres and a window of opportunity. Our most important activity should be infield redevelopment to reclaim some of this land for productive purposes, according to Berry. The Chamber has made a commitment to Whirlpool with respect to the disposition of the property leading to the redevelopment of the site. Some public access park areas may be appropriate as 50% of the area lies within the 100-year flood plain.

The Spring Branch Industrial Park located on the old Zeige farm off Exit-20 is a premier location for support businesses working within the Volkswagen supply chain. Over $125,000 has been spent evaluating the site's cultural resources, endangered species and wetland areas. The site is very stable from a seismic perspective. Relocation of some streams on the property may restrict certain buildings to 200,000 sq. ft. in size versus 600,000 sq. ft. Current grading plans require moving 2 million cubic yards of dirt to prepare the site for use.

Interestingly, TVA has approved Cleveland Utilities use of power revenues toward the purchase of the site. This is the first time this type of expenditure has been approved by TVA according to Berry. 75 acres on the Spring Branch site are being reserved for buffer area or passive recreation. Existing code allows for such a property to be 90% covered with buildings or infrastructure. We expect the Spring Branch site to have only around 20% coverage leaving plenty of buffer zones to protecting the surrounding community.

Doug Berry is a member of the Bradley Sunrise Rotary Club.

Industrial Development Update Wayne Wilhelm 2013-02-05 00:00:00Z
Battles That Shaped Our Nation's History


From left: Rotary Club of Cleveland president, Art Rhodes, historian, Jim Ogden; program coordinator, Phil Newman.

"The fate of the nation hung in the balance." Jim Ogden, staff historian with the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, is referring to the key Civil War battles that took place in Chattanooga and surrounding areas in 1863. In explaining the strategic importance of our area, Ogden highlighted a railroad map showing Chattanooga and Cleveland as important rail transportation gateways to the industrial assets of Alabama and Georgia.

The Confederacy desperately needed to hold these vital supply routes in order to push northward. The Union knew that disrupting Confederate supply chains and manufacturing capabilities would bring the war to a quick end. The natural path to achieve these goals was to control the critical rail junctions in the Chattanooga area.

Artillery and munitions were developed and manufactured in Augusta, GA; Macon, GA; Montgomery, AL and Selma, AL. In Atlanta, 3,000 women were at work producing uniforms for Confederate soldiers. Our region also produced key raw materials for the war effort including iron and coal from the Cumberland mountains. Minerals critical to the production of gunpowder, including potassium nitrate, were mined in our region. Cleveland was home to facilities for making copper sheets from copper ore mined in Copperhill. These copper sheets were used in the production of artillery shells and torpedoes.

The battles of Chickamauga and Chattanooga were decisive in the eventual outcome of the Civil War. In 1864, the Union army staged a final march through Atlanta to Savannah, GA from Chattanooga and Cleveland. 

"If we can hold Chattanooga and East Tennessee, I think the rebellion must dwindle and die." -President Abraham Lincoln to Major General Rosecrans, October 4, 1863.

This year commemorates the 150th anniversary of the battles of Chickamauga and Chattanooga. Several special programs are scheduled in 2013 to to recount the important events that shaped our nation's history 150 years ago. For additional information on the battles of Chickamauga and Chattanooga, visit

Jim Ogden is a native of St. Mary's County, Maryland. Interested in the Civil War since childhood, he obtained a degree in American History through the Civil War period and American Military History from Frostburg State College.


The Confederate states railroad system, circa 1861.

Battles That Shaped Our Nation's History Wayne Wilhelm 2013-01-29 00:00:00Z
Rotary By The Numbers
Rotary Numbers From Where
1,216,779* Rotarians Worldwide
34,416* Rotary Clubs
530 Rotary Districts
9,539 Rotaract Clubs
219,397 Rotaract Members
14,963 Interact Clubs
344,149 Interact Members
7,515 Rotary Community Corps
172,845 RCC Members

As of September 28, 2012
*As of November 30, 2012

Rotary By The Numbers Wayne Wilhelm 2013-01-24 00:00:00Z
Hiwassee Heritage Center Receives Cleveland Rotary Foundation Grant


From left: Cleveland Rotary Foundation president, Wayne Wilhelm; CCHHS treasurer, Darlene Goins; CCHHS president, Faye Callaway; CCHHS development chair, Melissa Woody.

The Cleveland Rotary Foundation presented the Charleston-Calhoun-Hiwassee Historical Society with a check for $9,579 to assist with the construction of the new Hiwassee Heritage Center located in Charleston, Tennessee. CCHHS president, Faye Callaway, explained that the project is advancing at a rapid pace with an expected May grand opening.

The Hiwassee Heritage Center received one of five grants awarded by the Cleveland Rotary Foundation to be utilized in 2013. A total of $29,000 in grant funding was awarded for 2013. A more detailed program on the Hiwassee Heritage Center and the use of the foundation grant will be available upon project completion.

Hiwassee Heritage Center Receives Cleveland Rotary Foundation Grant Wayne Wilhelm 2013-01-22 00:00:00Z
New CHS Football Coach, Ron Crawford


Cleveland High School football coach, Ron Crawford.

Photo and story by Wayne Wilhelm

New Cleveland High School football coach, Ron Crawford, enjoyed a good job, in a great school system, located in a wealthy community. What attracted the former Brentwood High School coach to our community? He had a successful program at Brentwood for 10 years. However, he missed the closeness of a small community. "In a small community, everyone is pulling in the same direction", said Crawford. Both the coach and his wife wanted to be a part of a community like Cleveland.

Crawford says Cleveland has great advantages. "According to Twitter, Cleveland is the fastest growing metro area in the state of Tennessee. Cleveland State and Lee University offer outstanding educational opportunities. We have dynamic leadership in the school system and the community. CHS principal, Autumn O'Bryan makes kids feel important."

The task of building a great football program at CHS means developing a program the kids can't live without. "Coaches focus on our young people and we love them hard." Crawford brought in a new staff to rebuild the CHS football program, two of which are former Blue Raiders. "We want an 'all in' mentality."

In developing the football program, Crawford is focusing on weight training. He says he's really a weight training coach who works part time in football. Referencing the football coaching community, Crawford says, "We all steal from each other and call it research." Crawford says that part of getting kids to play hard includes teaching them how to feel good about themselves and how to have good body language.

After a tough loss to Maryville in the first game of the season, Crawford's team had committed 34 "loafs", or plays where a team member didn't give their best effort. We want to be like Maryville is now, according to the coach. But, it was only a few years ago, that Maryville wanted to be like Cleveland High's Blue Raiders.

Crawford's plan for the upcoming season: "Try to win a game every Friday night."

New CHS Football Coach, Ron Crawford Wayne Wilhelm 2013-01-22 00:00:00Z
2013 Foundation Grants


2012 Cleveland Rotary Foundation president, Ann McCoin, announces that approximately $29,000 in grants have been awarded to five applicants for use in the 2013 calendar year. The foundation received a total of 20 applications requesting approximately $77,000 in funding. The recipients are:


Organization Project  Amount
Boys and Girls Club Zimmerman Field Renovation  $5,500
Bradley Initiative for Church and Community BICC Transitions Project  $3,000
The Caring Place Phone System  $6,793
Hiwassee Historical Society Hiwassee Heritage Center  $9,579
New Hope EWYL Fatherhood Initiative  $4,128


2013 Foundation Grants Wayne Wilhelm 2013-01-15 00:00:00Z
Can Government Efficiency Be Improved?


Government efficiency advocate, Flavis Casson, and program coordinator, Michael Callaway.

Ten years ago, Flavis Casson chaired a citizen-based group tasked by the Cleveland and Bradley County commissions to seek ways to improve the efficiency and reduce the cost of our local government. The slow movement of our local system came into play almost immediately as Mr. Casson expressed an interest in joining the group in April, but didn't hear anything until August. The group was officially sworn in so no governmental department would have reservations in disclosing their records and practices.

The group looked into three major aspects of our local governments operation: 1) Financial, 2) Services and 3) Evaluation. Some of the committee members had low expectations in the beginning. Committee member Jim Breaux said, "Nothing will come of it." The group studied all parts of our city and county government and didn't approach their study from a strict cost perspective. They found many departments with duplicated functions and inefficiencies, especially in our courthouse.

Casson refers to the courthouse as the "root of all politics." Courthouse-based employees were immediately apprehensive about losing their jobs. The study did point to the replacement of some clerk positions with computerized systems. In the final evaluation, it was estimated that $1.2-$1.4M could be saved at the courthouse alone by computerization.

While the committee made no recommendation on our school systems, significant duplication and inefficiencies were found in our two separate fire departments. The fire department viewed "consolidation" as a bad word according to Casson. Recommendations were made to combine fire, EMS and ambulance operations. As recently as two years ago, another committee again recommended to combine our fire departments. As of yet, nothing has been done in spite of these recommendations.

Some consolidation has occurred in the plumbing and building inspections and engineering departments. Parks and recreation are getting closer to some combining of functions. Information Technology was combined but a centralized system for purchasing is needed along with a reduction in the number of districts in the county.

Casson concluded his presentation with an appeal to the citizens to continue to push for consolidation in our government. "We don't need to wait for government to screw up before we fix it. At 100,000 in population, you can still be heard." On June 29, 2012 the Nashville metro government celebrated its 50th anniversary. According to Phil Bredesen, who served as the 48th governor of Tennessee, "Consolidated government is a key to the city's prosperity. Having one government instead of two is critical to our success."

Mr. Casson said, "No matter how quiet the talk, the government will hear." The recommendations from the 10-year old study projected savings of $4M over a 10-year period.

Can Government Efficiency Be Improved? Wayne Wilhelm 2013-01-15 00:00:00Z
2012 CRF Grant Recipients


Cleveland Rotary Foundation vice president Bill George and Museum Center at 5ive Points curator of collections, Lisa Chastain.

The Cleveland Rotary Foundation awarded $25,939.67 to eight organizations to be utilized in projects for the year 2012. Fourteen organizations submitted grant applications representing over $360,000 in total project value. The total requested funds submitted to the Cleveland Rotary Foundation totaled just over $69,000 for the year.

During the January 8th meeting, six grant recipients made brief statements regarding the projects where Cleveland Rotary grants were applied:

Bradley County Adult Education received a $2,000 grant used to partially offset the costs of adults taking their GED tests. During 2012, 50 people received $40 toward the $65 total cost of the test. All but one individual successfully passed the test. Zoe Renfro and Charlotte Samples made an appeal for Rotarians to consider becoming volunteer tutors in reading and math. They also expressed concern that this year's version of the test has increased in cost to $120 and the difficulty level has increased also.

Derrick Kinsey of the Boys and Girls Club expressed his thanks for the $2,843.71 grant he used for procuring a security camera system for the facility. The total cost of the security system project was $5,537.70. Derrick referenced the recent tragedy in Newton, Connecticut as one justification for employing increased security measures. The camera system is also proving valuable in oversight and preventing theft and bullying.

Amy Hicks with Helping Paws Healing Hearts explained her project which uses therapy dogs and published materials to help families hit by tornadoes during the past year. Helping Paws Healing Hearts received $2,745.95 to publish and distribute their book Sit, Stay, Heal. "Pet therapy is amazing" according to Hicks who is also a teacher in the Cleveland school system.

The Museum Center at 5ive Points received $3,005 toward a renovation of their collections storage systems. Tracy O'Connell and new museum curator, Lisa Chastain, explained that the project involved the procurement of storage boxes, acid-free paper and shelving to properly store the museum's valuable exhibit items. Many of the items were simply in disarray before the application of this project.

People for Care and Learning received a $2,000 grant to install their second water fountain on the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway. Jake Stum and Laura Simpson showed photos of the project which includes the capability to provide water for people and their pets. PCL's total fountain project cost was $4,000.

The Trousdale School received $850 from the foundation to partially fund the purchase of 2-way radio devices to assist with communications between their four vehicles while transporting their clients to various activities and projects. Shannon Clark explained how the safety of their program has been enhanced through the application of these devices. The total value of the Trousdale project was $6,850.

2012 Cleveland Rotary Foundation president, Ann McCoin, said, "This is a good reminder of where the funds raised from our annual Auction Gala are used." 2012 Cleveland Rotary Foundation secretary, Bill George, moderated the discussion and provided a standard set of questions for each grant recipient to answer. Grant recipients, The Caring Place and Samaritan's Place, were not present for Tuesday's presentation, but had previously made reports on their projects.

2012 CRF Grant Recipients Wayne Wilhelm 2013-01-08 00:00:00Z
Danny Murray and the Voices of Lee


Photo and story by John Thomas

Danny Murray and the Voices of Lee delivered a festive, rich vocal program at our last Rotary meeting of 2012.  After an introduction by Jim Bilbo, the Voices entered singing Carol of the Bells and continued with songs delivered as perfectly and beautifully as this group always sings them.  Also included were:

Silver Bells

The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)

Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

Danny’s Fantasy—President Obama recognizes Lee University and the Voices of Lee

Joy to the World

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Mary Did You Know?

Their performance was fresh, enthusiastic, and beautiful, as though we were their only audience.  However, the high demand for this group at this time of year means that they are booked for 21 performances this week.  They boarded a bus for Raleigh, NC after leaving our meeting.

In January, the Voices will join the Lee University Festival Choir to perform at the 57th United States Presidential Inauguration at the National Mall in Washington, D.C.  Voices of Lee has performed worldwide, and has been featured on “Good Morning America,” performed at Christmas at the White House, and competed in NBC’s “Sing-Off” competition, where they easily advanced to the final round.  Voices of Lee director Danny Murray has coached collegiate musicians for more than 25 years. He has extensive experience in the music industry, serving from church music director to promotions director for Bill Gaither.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all members of the Rotary Club of Cleveland.  See you in 2013!    

Danny Murray and the Voices of Lee Wayne Wilhelm 2012-12-18 00:00:00Z
Lee University, Five Things You May Not Know


Lee University President, Dr. Paul Conn accompanied by bobble head.

Photo and story by John Thomas

Dr. Paul Conn, President of Lee University, addressed The Rotary Club of Cleveland on Tuesday, delivering a detailed and entertaining description of facts about Lee that one might or might not have been aware of.  In the course of that presentation, he also announced a major building project for Lee that will develop the old First Baptist Church properties and connect the Lee campus to downtown Cleveland.  Included in that project, which was made possible in part by a major gift of cash and property from the Allan Jones Foundation, will be the redevelopment of the old church sanctuary into a music performance venue, and the building of a new, 43,000 square foot Communications and Media academic facility.   

Lee University, Five Things You May Not Know Wayne Wilhelm 2012-12-04 00:00:00Z
Life Bridges


From left: Pam Nelson, Rotary President Elect.; Dr. Raymond Brown, LifeBridges; Peggy Pesterfield, Program Coordinator; Dr. Luke Queen, LifeBridges.

Photo and story by John Thomas

According to Dr. Luke Queen, the staff at LifeBridges have a passion for helping the most vulnerable citizens of Bradley County, and they pursue that passion 369 days a year.  The people of Cleveland/Bradley County have also embraced these vulnerable patients and have helped them transition into living and working in the local area, instead of remaining out of sight in institutions.  This transition is a meaningful part of the history of Bradley County.  LifeBridges is researching and documenting that history, and it will be published in a book that will be available locally in the next few weeks.

Life Bridges Wayne Wilhelm 2012-11-27 00:00:00Z
The Veterans Entrepreneurship Program


Dr. Robert Dooley, Dean of the College of Business at UTC.

Photo and story by Wayne Wilhelm

Dr. Robert Dooley, Dean of the College of Business at UTC introduced his Veterans Entrepreneurship Program to Cleveland Rotarians during a presentation on November 20. 

The Veterans Entrepreneurship Program (VEP) is designed to assist disabled and service distinguished veterans in the creation of successful, profitable ventures as a means to financial independence. Dr. Dooley had worked with a similar program at Oklahoma State University and started the current program at UTC when he arrived in 2011.


The Veterans Entrepreneurship Program Wayne Wilhelm 2012-11-20 00:00:00Z
Estela Liermann, Polio Survivor


Estela Liermann Explains Her Battle With Polio

Photo and story by John Thomas

Estela Liermann returned to our club to speak to Rotarians again about the life of a polio survivor, and to sing to us.  She spoke from her heart about her life, in the way that someone can only when they have lived through the experience, and reminded us how important it is to eliminate polio forever.  Having been crippled by polio deeply affected Estela and caused much loneliness and sadness in her life, but her life also is a testament to her spirit and determination.  As she said at the end of her emotion-filled talk, “I can’t cry, because I gotta sing.”  Indeed. 

Estela Liermann, Polio Survivor Wayne Wilhelm 2012-11-13 00:00:00Z
Gary Cordell, Director of Consumer Affairs


Gary Cordell, Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs

Photo and story by John Thomas

Gary Cordell focuses much of his attention on reaching out to consumers, businesses, and law enforcement.  By making consumers aware of scams that might be perpetrated against them, showing them ways to protect against those scams, and teaching them what to do if they suspect fraudulent activities, Gary can help to reduce the damage done to citizens of Tennessee each year by these clever thieves.  If someone does become the victim of a scam, the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs can help investigate and possibly recover lost funds.  By involving the appropriate law enforcement agencies, the division can magnify their effects, both in awareness and prevention as well as in recovery and prosecution.  Gary addressed all of these points in speaking with Rotarians on Tuesday, November 6th.

Gary Cordell, Director of Consumer Affairs Wayne Wilhelm 2012-11-06 00:00:00Z
Tennessee Attorney General Robert E. Cooper, Jr.


Tennessee Attorney General, Robert E. Cooper, Jr.

Photo and story by John Thomas

As head of one of the largest law firms in the state, Tennessee Attorney General Robert E. Cooper, Jr. oversees activities that affect many facets of the lives of Tennesseans, and that produce millions of dollars in revenues for the state from fraud litigation, tobacco settlements, tax litigation, and other collections.  Direct impacts on the quality of our lives result from environmental enforcement, relief from lending abuses, and protection of consumers from excessive utility rate increases that are in his purview.  General Cooper described his job and responsibilities to Rotarians this past Tuesday.

Tennessee Attorney General Robert E. Cooper, Jr. Wayne Wilhelm 2012-10-30 00:00:00Z
STEM Innovation Hub


Tracey Carisch and Keri Randolph explain the STEM Innovation Hub

Photo and story by John Thomas

STEM disciplines, those involving science, technology, engineering, and math, are vital to the future of southeast Tennessee and the United States.  The United States has gone from a position of world leadership in the 1960’s, to the middle of the pack among industrialized countries today.  The path back to leadership involves an educational approach that is comprehensive, innovative, and involves not only educators, but also the businesses that will employ future scientists and mathematicians.  The Southeast Tennessee STEM Innovation Hub intends to be a catalyst for that approach.

Tim Spires introduced Tracey Carisch, Managing Director, and Keri Randolph, Director of Learning, for the Southeast Tennessee STEM Innovation Hub.  Tracey and Keri addressed our Rotarians regarding the Hub.

STEM Innovation Hub Wayne Wilhelm 2012-10-23 00:00:00Z
New Paul Harris Fellows
From left, Steve Crump; Esmerelda Lee; International Foundation Chairman, Tom Thomas; Doug Moore and Richard Baker.

Photo by Wayne Wilhelm

Rotary Foundation chairman, Tom Thomas, introduced our newest Paul Harris Fellows during the October 16 meeting. We thank Steve Crump, Esmerelda Lee, Doug Moore and Dr. Richard Baker for their generous support of the Rotary International Foundation and the worldwide projects of Rotary International.
New Paul Harris Fellows Wayne Wilhelm 2012-10-16 00:00:00Z
District 6780 Governor, Jack Bailey

District Governor, Jack Bailey, Models the "Official" 2012-2013 District Governor's Jacket

Photo and story by Wayne Wilhelm

District 6780 Governor, Jack Bailey, stressed the importance of coaching and mentoring new Rotarians as a key factor in building strong, successful Rotary clubs. Using an anecdote involving Casey Stengel and Mickey Mantel, Governor Bailey shared how Stengel coached Mantel on how to play rebounds off the walls in the Brooklyn Dodgers home stadium. When queried by Mantel on how he knew the stadium so well, Stengel replied, "Do you think I was born old? I used to play here!". This is an example of the type of coaching we need to do for young Rotarians, said Bailey.

District 6780 Governor, Jack Bailey Wayne Wilhelm 2012-10-16 00:00:00Z
Harry Austin - The Left Side of the Page
Chattanooga Times Free Press Editorial Writer, Harry Austin

Photo and story by John Thomas

Core issues of civic equity, social justice, tax equity, and public process are among the points that Harry Austin likes to address in editorials he writes for the Chattanooga Times Free Press.  Harry feels a sense of mission in his work, and feels fortunate to be in a position to write as he wishes.  Harry spoke to our club on Tuesday, following the visit on September 4th by Drew Johnson.  Drew represented the conservative, right-hand side of the Chattanooga Times Free Press editorial section.  Harry Austin represents the progressive left-hand side. 
Harry Austin - The Left Side of the Page Wayne Wilhelm 2012-10-09 00:00:00Z
RYLA - Rotary Youth Leadership Awards

Victor Boltniew announced that we took seven attendees to RYLA last week, and thanked the club for supporting them.  The RYLA attendees will come to a future meeting and discuss what they learned at RYLA, and will receive their certificates at that time.  Victor asked that club members, who may have books on leadership or management skills that they are no longer reading, to consider donating those books so that they can be presented as a gift to each RYLA attendee.  Seven books are needed in order to have one for each attendee.  Please give these to Victor at the next meeting.


Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is Rotary's leadership training program for young people.   RYLA emphasizes leadership, citizenship, and personal growth, and aims to

  • Demonstrate Rotary's respect and concern for youth
  • Provide an effective training experience for selected youth and potential leaders
  • Encourage leadership of youth by youth
  • Recognize publicly young people who are rendering service to their communities 

Victor also announced that Bradley High School had their first Interact meeting last week, with fifteen attendees.    

RYLA - Rotary Youth Leadership Awards Wayne Wilhelm 2012-10-02 00:00:00Z
Todd Gardenhire, 10th District Senate Candidate
10th District Senate Candidate, Todd Gardenhire, Discusses Skeletons

Photo and story by John Thomas

Events that shaped the direction of his life, and the unintended consequences that came from those events and from decisions that he made, were the substance of Todd Gardenhire’s speech to Rotary this past Tuesday.  Todd and his son Andrew attended the meeting as part of our political forum series.  His visit also served to give equal time to Todd following the presentation to our club by Andraé McGary on August 7th.   Andraé (D) and Todd (R) are opponents in the race for 10th District state senator. 
Todd Gardenhire, 10th District Senate Candidate Wayne Wilhelm 2012-10-02 00:00:00Z
Legacy of a Polio-Free World
Rotary International has made a new funding commitment of US$75 million over three years to support global polio eradication. The announcement was made as government leaders gathered to discuss polio at a special event during the UN General Assembly in New York.


Read more. . .
Legacy of a Polio-Free World Wayne Wilhelm 2012-09-27 00:00:00Z
Coleman Foss, SkyRidge Medical Center

Coleman Foss, CEO of SkyRidge Medical Center

Photo and story by John Thomas

Coleman Foss, a former Rotarian and the CEO of SkyRidge Medical Center, offered our club a fresh perspective on SkyRidge, and an encouraging description of the turnaround in service and satisfaction levels that have occurred on his watch there.  Coleman said, “I have been here five years this week, and there has been a significant amount of change at SkyRidge Hospital.  Over the past five years we have reestablished what a community hospital should be, focusing on the fundamentals of patient care.”

Coleman Foss, SkyRidge Medical Center Wayne Wilhelm 2012-09-18 00:00:00Z
Mercy's Door
Paula Malone, founder of Mercy's Door

Photo and story by John Thomas

According to Paula Malone, founder of Mercy’s Door, “Our mission is to provide a safe, stable, nurturing family environment for children who are in need of a place to live as they heal in heart, grow in character, and experience peace of mind.”   Paula and her husband Randall have drawn on their deep compassion for children in distress in order to establish that nurturing environment.
Mercy's Door Wayne Wilhelm 2012-09-11 00:00:00Z
Editorials From the Right Side of the Page
Drew Johnson, Opinions Page Editor for the Chattanooga Times Free Press

Photo and story by John Thomas 

“More transparency, open records, holding local and state officials more accountable,” are the passions that drive Drew Johnson’s efforts as editor of the Free Press opinion page of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, “to make sure that the people who control the purse strings and make those decisions that affect your life and the lives of your families are held accountable.”  He writes as he does to promote more thorough readership.  “I don’t want people to read the A section and then you are done with the paper for the day.  I want people to say, ‘I wonder what that nut on the Free Press side of the editorial page had to say today.’  I certainly hope that when you do read it, you understand that there is an underlying principle that I follow, which is What Advances Liberty.  That is my only goal.” 
Editorials From the Right Side of the Page Wayne Wilhelm 2012-09-04 00:00:00Z
Polio Plus
Norm Fontana, Chairman for Rotary Club of Cleveland Polio Plus; Ann McCoin, President of the Cleveland Rotary Foundation.

Photo and story by John Thomas

Ann McCoin, President of the Cleveland Rotary Foundation, presented to Norm Fontana, Cleveland Chair for Polio Plus, a check for $1,506.00.  This check represents dollars collected from Rotary members at weekly meetings, including raffle entry fees, Brag Dollars, fines for not knowing answers to the Question of the Week, photo fines, and other similar donations.  Norm mentioned that a dollar donated to Polio Plus represents ten doses of vaccine to a child, so this check will provide polio vaccinations to more than fifteen thousand children. 
Polio Plus Wayne Wilhelm 2012-09-04 00:00:00Z
Oak Ridge Tennessee, The Secret City with a Rotary Connection

Rotarian, Tim Spires, discusses the history of Oak Ridge, Tennessee and the Manhattan Project.

Photo and story by Wayne Wilhelm

Fellow Rotarian and president of the Chattanooga Regional Manufacturers Association, Tim Spires, capably filled in for our scheduled speaker, UPF Project Director, John Eschenberg, who had been summoned to special meetings in Washington, D.C. Tim discussed the past and future of the Manhattan Project and Oak Ridge, Tennessee, The Secret City.

The Manhatten Project was the major research and development program that produced the first atomic bomb during World War II. The project was launched out of an office in Manhattan, NY and was prompted by a letter from Albert Einstein to President Roosevelt in 1939 expressing concern over the potential use of atomic energy as a weapon. The Manhattan Project was directed by Major General Leslie Groves of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and featured lead scientists, Robert Oppenheimer, Enrico Fermi and E.O. Lawrence.

Oak Ridge Tennessee, The Secret City with a Rotary Connection Wayne Wilhelm 2012-08-28 00:00:00Z
College Football Pick 'Em 2012
Join the Rotary Club of Cleveland's savvy group of college football prognosticators by joining our group on the Yahoo Fantasy Sports page.  Log in using the instructions emailed to all Cleveland Rotarians on August 28. Tim Spires is coordinating the competition. Who will be this year's winner?
College Football Pick 'Em 2012 Wayne Wilhelm 2012-08-28 00:00:00Z
New Interact Club For Bradley High School


From left: Victor Boltniew, Melissa Presswood, Madison Dube, Nathan Myers, and Anthony Clukey    

Photo and story by John Thomas

Victor Boltniew announced that an Interact Club is being formed at Bradley High, and a core group has been assembled, with two students present as guests.  Victor’s guests, both sponsors and students,  introduced themselves.  The sponsors for the group include Melissa Presswood, Guidance Counselor, Rachel Metzger, History Teacher (not present), and Anthony Clukey, Guidance Counselor.  The two students attending were Madison Dube and Nathan Myers.

Roger Fuller announced that he is seeking drivers to bring Interact students to meetings.  Last year, he had sufficient volunteers that each drove about every six weeks.  Please contact Roger if you can provide transportation for Interact students.

New Interact Club For Bradley High School Wayne Wilhelm 2012-08-21 00:00:00Z
Phenom Penh, Cambodia - Sister City to Cleveland, Tennessee
His Excellency, the Governor of Phnom Penh province in Cambodia, Kep Chuk Tema.

Photo and story by John Thomas

At Tuesday’s Rotary meeting, His Excellency the Governor of Phnom Penh province in Cambodia, Kep Chuk Tema, addressed our group and celebrated the announcement of Cleveland, Tennessee being named as a sister city to Phnom Penh.  The seeds of this honor were planted through the efforts of People for Care and Learning, and their work to build a city for the displaced and poverty-stricken people of Andong, Kondong Kaw, Cambodia.  Their efforts resulted in a close working relationship with Phnom Penh officials, because the objectives of both groups are the same—to solve the problems that anchor these people in poverty by taking a broad approach that can become self sustaining.  That approach includes improved housing, jobs, water and sewage treatment, education, and economic infrastructure improvements, among others.
Phenom Penh, Cambodia - Sister City to Cleveland, Tennessee Wayne Wilhelm 2012-08-21 00:00:00Z
2012 United Way Campaign Kickoff
Rotarian, Aaron Weatherford, presents keynote speaker John Smoltz with a gift basket at the conclusion of the United Way Kickoff Luncheon.

Photo and story by John Thomas

The United Way of Bradley County held their 2012 Kickoff Meeting on Wednesday, delivering inspiration and motivation to the many volunteers and organizations that work to accomplish so much for our community.  John Smoltz, famous Atlanta Brave and sportscaster, gave an inspirational account of his involvement in sports and community activities throughout his life, and the blessings that involvement returns to him.
2012 United Way Campaign Kickoff Wayne Wilhelm 2012-08-14 00:00:00Z
Iva Ritzhaupt Is a Paul Harris Fellow
Don Ritzhaupt honored his mother by making her a Paul Harris Fellow on August 8, 2012 at the Rotary Club of Galion, Ohio. Congratulation to Mrs. Ritzhaupt!


Don Ritzhaupt with his mom, Iva Ritzhaupt

Iva Ritzhaupt Is a Paul Harris Fellow Wayne Wilhelm 2012-08-08 00:00:00Z
10th District Senate Candidate Andraé McGary
Democratic 10th District State Senate Candidate Andraé McGary

Photo and story by John Thomas

According to Chattanooga City Councilman Andraé McGary, many believe that government in America is so broken that nothing is getting done, and the average citizen throws up his or her hands when asked what can be done to get it back on track.  It is not a hopeless situation, he says, because “We are Americans and we can solve these problems.  And we don’t have to point fingers when we do.  We don’t have to make this a zero-sum game where my party wins at the expense of your party.  I think we should make decisions that are in the best interests of everybody.  It’s not fundamentally Republican or Democrat—it is American.”  His faith in our ability to do this is the basis of his involvement in government, and in his current political race.
10th District Senate Candidate Andraé McGary Wayne Wilhelm 2012-08-07 00:00:00Z
Tennessee Small Business Development Center

From left:  Nicholas Lillios, Program Chairman; Art Rhodes, Rotary Club of Cleveland President; Dave Hudson, Director, TSBDC; Robert Hotchkiss, Small Business Specialist, TSBDC; Lisa Janes, Small Business Specialist, TSBDC; Alisha Rice, Information Processing Specialist, TSBDC; Jerry Bird, Program Sponsor; Lynn Chesnutt, Small Business Specialist, TSBDC 

Photo and story by John Thomas 

A wealth of experience in business, offered confidentially and at no charge, is helping to boost employment and business investment by substantial amounts in our five-county area.  David Hudson, Director of the Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC) at Cleveland State Community College, the head of one of the most successful centers in the state, cites the experience of his team and Cleveland’s local spirit for this success.  

Tennessee Small Business Development Center Wayne Wilhelm 2012-07-31 00:00:00Z
Bradley County Fire Department

Bradley County Fire Chief, Dewey Woody

Photo and story by Wayne Wilhelm

Bradley County Fire Chief, Dewey Woody, reviewed some history behind the local fire department and his own experience leading up to his current position during the July 24 meeting of the Rotary Club of Cleveland. 

Chief Woody served in the Army as a member of the military police before joining the Cleveland Police Department and becoming a leader of the local S.W.A.T. team. He served for seven years with the Bradley County Rescue Service and has attained a certification level of Fire Officer 3. He serves on the board of the Tennessee Fire Chief Association and also coordinates Cleveland's annual Christmas Parade. Chief Woody served as a volunteer for 17 years before becoming chief of the department in 2000.

Bradley County Fire Department Wayne Wilhelm 2012-07-24 00:00:00Z
Michael Griffin Secures Blue Badge
Veteran Rotarian, Michael Griffin, received his Blue Badge from Amy Card-Lillios.  Congratulations to Michael.  Michael has been a member of the Hamilton Place Rotary Club, where he served as President.  His ten-year record of perfect attendance followed him to Rotary Club of Cleveland.

From left: Michael Griffin, Amy Card-Lillios 
Michael Griffin Secures Blue Badge Wayne Wilhelm 2012-07-17 00:00:00Z
Wheel Tax -Or Not
From left: Nicholas Lillios, Program Chairman; John Stanbery,Wheel Tax Opponent; Charlie Rose, Wheel Tax Advocate; Art Rhodes, Rotary Club of Cleveland President.

Photo and story by John Thomas

The Rotary Political Subcommittee presented a forum on each side of the proposed wheel tax issue on the current ballot.  Each side was given ten minutes to present their case, followed by a period of questions and answers.  Nicholas Lillios, Programs Chair, introduced the speakers, thanking them both for taking the time to participate in the Forum. 
Wheel Tax -Or Not Wayne Wilhelm 2012-07-17 00:00:00Z
German Culture In the Tennessee Valley

Christian Höferle Contrasts Peaches and Coconuts

Photo and Story by John Thomas

Clad in quintessentially Bavarian lederhosen, Christian Höferle addressed the Rotary Club of Cleveland on Tuesday, invoking peaches and coconuts, football and soccer, and nuances of region and dialect to illustrate and contrast German and American culture.  Christian’s prescription for bridging the divide included having fun together with music and food, along with modest servings of tolerance and patience on both sides.

German Culture In the Tennessee Valley Wayne Wilhelm 2012-07-10 00:00:00Z
Mayor Tom Rowland Is Proud Of Cleveland, Tennessee
The Five Term Mayor of Cleveland, Tom Rowland

Photo and Story by John Thomas

Cleveland’s popular and long-serving Mayor, Tom Rowland, addressed Rotary Club of Cleveland this past Tuesday with “a ramble about the city and recent events that make us proud.”  Mayor Rowland spoke of many events locally that inspire pride, and ended with an admonition that, on the Fourth of July, we should think about the words in the Pledge of Allegiance and the Star Spangled Banner, and never take them for granted.    
Mayor Tom Rowland Is Proud Of Cleveland, Tennessee Wayne Wilhelm 2012-07-03 00:00:00Z
Art Rhodes Takes the Helm As Rotary Club of Cleveland President

Art Rhodes Unveils the Rotary Theme Banner for 2012-2013

Photo and Story by John Thomas

In introducing Art Rhodes, Kim Casteel said, “We are fortunate as a club to have Art Rhodes as our new Club President.  This man’s character and ethics are impeccable.  Just as important, he possesses great leadership skills.”  Present with Art on the day of his inauguration as Club President were his wife, Angie, his daughter Caitlin, and his son Taylor.

Art Rhodes Takes the Helm As Rotary Club of Cleveland President Wayne Wilhelm 2012-06-26 00:00:00Z
Kim Casteel Reviews a Successful Rotary Year
2011-2012 President, Kim Casteel, Reviews a Outstanding Rotary Year

Photo and Story by John Thomas

Kim Casteel, the accomplished and well-regarded President of the Rotary Club of Cleveland, addressed the Club Assembly Tuesday for the final time in her current role.  Kim’s mother, Barbara Wooden, her sister Debbie, her son Jarrod, and her new daughter-in-law, the former Amanda Elliott, were present to hear her final remarks.  Kim recapped the accomplishments of the year, and thanked her board of directors, club officers, and other Rotarians who contributed to the record-setting results.  Below are Kim’s remarks:  
Kim Casteel Reviews a Successful Rotary Year Wayne Wilhelm 2012-06-26 00:00:00Z
A Letter From Our New President, Art Rhodes

What does Rotary mean to you? Is it simply an opportunity for you to get together each week with your friends over lunch and listen to (hopefully) an inspiring program? I am afraid that for too many that is all Rotary represents. Those members have not caught the vision that through Rotary you can join with more than a million other Rotarians to truly make a difference, not just in Cleveland, Bradley County, or even East Tennessee, but literally you can make a difference in the world as a whole.

But to truly make a difference will require you to get out of your comfort zone – and maybe even sacrifice a little. While you may not be able to go around the world to administer the polio vaccine to millions of children that are susceptible to the disease, you can give so that enough vaccine is available and so that others can go. Simply committing to give $40 a year to the END POLIO NOW campaign is your first step. Next consider giving $25 per quarter to become a “sustaining member” of the International Rotary Foundation. The sustaining member program, also called “Every Rotarian, Every Year,” allows Rotarians to contribute to the Foundation which funds a variety of projects. From those funds, our club and other clubs around the globe receive matching grants to carry out our humanitarian projects.

Beyond catching the vision of giving of your time and resources, we must actively work for Peace Through Service – the theme that Rotary International President Sakuji Tanaka has set for 2012–2013. The concept of peace is one that differs among people and cultures. While most would agree that peace is a lack of conflict or war, it also is the contentment that comes to a mother in India who knows that because a Rotarian provided a vaccine for her infant son that he will never suffer the ravages of the devastating polio virus.

To me, Peace Through Service was never more evident than when I attended the Rotary International Convention in Bangkok, Thailand with 35,000 other Rotarians from almost 200 countries of the world. As we as Rotarians in that massive convention hall concentrated on the goals we had in common, rather than on all our political, social, cultural, and religious differences, I truly realized that Rotary was much more than a weekly lunch meeting at the Mountain View Inn.

As the President of the Cleveland Rotary Club, I simply have two goals:

First, I want us, as a club, to do as much good as we possibly can for our community, our nation, and our world; and

Secondly, I want us to have as much fun as possible doing it.

I look forward to joining with you to put “Service above Self.” Let’s have a great, FUN year.


Arthur D. (Art) Rhodes

President 2012-2013

A Letter From Our New President, Art Rhodes Wayne Wilhelm 2012-06-26 00:00:00Z
A Lesson In International Understanding

From left: Kim Casteel, Rotary Club of Cleveland President; Frank Yin, CPA; Harrison Brown, CEO of Brown Stove; Nicholas Lillios, Program Chairman.

Photo by Wayne Wilhelm

Frank Yin, Assistant Controller and Senior Cost Accountant at Brown Stove Works, made a strong case during the June 19 meeting for the importance of one of Rotary International's most sought after goals, International Understanding. Yin's presentation stressed the significance of having a firm command of the societal and cultural differences between China and the United States when attempting to establish a business relationship between these two world superpowers.
A Lesson In International Understanding Wayne Wilhelm 2012-06-19 00:00:00Z
Banner Number 645
Roving Rotarian, David Chaffin, presented a banner from the Sparta Rotary Club in Sparta, Tennessee. David Chaffin is responsible for adding 260 club banners to the Rotary Club of Cleveland banner collection. The total banner collection count now stands at 645.
Banner Number 645 Wayne Wilhelm 2012-06-12 00:00:00Z
New Member, David Parris

From left: Rotary Sponsor, Dan Chord; New Member, David Parris

Photo and story by John Thomas

Dan Chord introduced David R. Parris II as a new member of Rotary Club of Cleveland.  David is Sales Manager of Parris Roofing, which was established by his grandfather, Preston Parris, in 1955.  David and his wife Jenny have two sons, “Trey” and Brad. David is a member of First Baptist Church in Cleveland.  He believes strongly in the Rotary mission and ideals, and looks forward to being part of the group.

New Member, David Parris Wayne Wilhelm 2012-06-12 00:00:00Z
Congressman Chuck Fleischmann
From left: Rotary Club of Cleveland President, Kim Casteel; Program Coordinator, Tim Spires; Congressman Chuck Fleischmann; Program Chairman, Nicholas Lillios.

Photo and story by John Thomas

When Chuck Fleischmann is asked by his colleagues, “Why is the 3rd District doing so well?”  the answer is simple and direct:  “Business.  Free Enterprise is so important to the success of our nation, and it is alive and well in Southeast Tennessee.”   Chuck addressed Rotary Club of Cleveland on successes we have had, and also on problems faced by the nation and some of the solutions he is working on in Congress.    
Congressman Chuck Fleischmann Wayne Wilhelm 2012-06-12 00:00:00Z
You Are Invited












12:00 NOON

RSVP TO FRED HEITMAN BY JUNE 21    or   865-548-3474


You Are Invited Wayne Wilhelm 2012-06-10 00:00:00Z
Don Robinson Honored
It was announced that Rotarian Don Robinson was recently awarded the National Eagle Scout Association Outstanding Eagle Scout Award, by the Cherokee Area Council.   This high honor had not previously been awarded in this area.    
Don Robinson Honored Wayne Wilhelm 2012-06-05 00:00:00Z
Goodbye Monika!
Rotary Exchange Student, Monika Zaldua Bids Farewell to the Rotary Club of Cleveland

Monika Zaldua, our Rotary Exchange student from Barcelona, Spain who has been attending Cleveland High School, is nearing the end of her year-long stay in the United States and will be leaving in July.  Monika came to Rotary to say goodbye and thank you for the time she spent with us.  Kim Casteel mentioned that Monika was recently voted Most Outgoing exchange student at the District Convention, after initially seeming quiet and reserved.  She will be travelling in the United States before returning home to Barcelona.
Goodbye Monika! Wayne Wilhelm 2012-06-05 00:00:00Z
New Member Dennis Burtnett
From left: New member, Dennis Burtnett and Sponsor, Pam Nelson

Pam Nelson announced Dennis Burtnett as a new member of Rotary Club of Cleveland.   Dennis Burtnett became the Facility Administrator of Bradley Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center in April, 2012, with more than twenty years experience as a Nursing Home Administrator.  Dennis replaced Joe Newcomb after Joe’s retirement.  Dennis grew up in the Nashville area, and has lived in Cleveland for the past four years.  He has been a member of two other Rotary clubs in the past.  He and his wife Cindy have two daughters: Courtney, who is attending Collegedale Academy, and Brittney, who is in a master’s program at Loma Linda University in California.  Dennis has a degree in Business Administration from Southern Adventist University in Collegedale.    
New Member Dennis Burtnett Wayne Wilhelm 2012-06-05 00:00:00Z
The 21st Century Education
Carl Hite Explains the Difference Between Frogs and Humans

Carl Hite addressed Rotary Club of Cleveland about how the needs of students and employers are changing in the twenty-first century, and how community colleges must change to meet those needs.  Kim Casteel introduced Carl, the President of Cleveland State Community College and  “one of our members most frequently appearing in the newspaper.”  Carl has been a member of Rotary Club of Cleveland since 1997.

Carl began by reading an ominous paragraph: “The American Dream is imperiled. Upward mobility, the contract between one generation of Americans and the rest, is under siege.  Once unchallenged, this nation’s primacy in college graduation rates has already been overtaken by committed competitors from abroad.  The nation can take great pride in what America’s community colleges have accomplished, but if community colleges are to contribute powerfully to meeting the needs of 21st century students and a 21st century economy, education leaders must reimagine what these institutions are, and are capable of becoming."
The 21st Century Education Wayne Wilhelm 2012-06-05 00:00:00Z
New Member, Brian Collins
Matthew Brown introduces new Rotarian, Brian Collins

Matthew Brown presented Brian Collins of Collins Oil Company as a new member of our Rotary club.  Brian, a native of Cleveland, is married to Kellye.  Brian and Kellye have three children: Brad, age 27, Pierce, age 13, and Pete, age 9.  Brian has served on the boards of Habitat for Humanity and the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce. He is active in the Sertoma Club and youth sports.   Brian attended Middle Tennessee State University and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.  He and his family attend Broad Street United Methodist Church.    
New Member, Brian Collins Wayne Wilhelm 2012-05-29 00:00:00Z
Representative Kevin Brooks, Legislative Update


24th District State Representative Kevin Brooks

Story and Photo by John Thomas

Rotary Club of Cleveland’s Kevin Brooks, State Representative for the 24th District, which is part of Bradley County, reported Tuesday on the accomplishments and difficult decisions of the 107th General Assembly, and the work that still needs to be done in Nashville.  Kevin also answered questions from several Rotarians.

Kevin, who is Assistant Majority Leader of the Tennessee House of Representatives, has been a member of Rotary since 2000, and is a Paul Harris Fellow.  He is the husband of Kim Brooks, who works at Lee University.  He is father to Zach, who is a student at Lee, and to Elizabeth, who is at Cleveland High School.

Representative Kevin Brooks, Legislative Update Wayne Wilhelm 2012-05-29 00:00:00Z
Rotarians Night Out
The Rotary Club of Cleveland took a day off from our regular noon meeting and enjoyed an evening of fellowship at the Bald Headed Bistro. Thanks to Rotarian-of-the-Year, Lil Harting for coordinating this special event and to Tim Poteet for providing entertainment.

Tim Poteet entertains. The guitar is brand new!

David Carroll and Michael Griffin

Front row: Art Rhodes and Kim Casteel
Back row: Bobbie and Ken Jones; David Carroll
Rotarians Night Out Wayne Wilhelm 2012-05-22 00:00:00Z
CHS Interact 2011-2012

Faculty advisor, Don Markham, reviewed a successful year for the Cleveland High Interact Club during our May 15 meeting. The organization now consists of over 60 members. CHS Interact contributed over 800 hours to projects such as Walk for Life, Operation Christmas Child, providing assistance to the Rotary Dictionary Project, working at elementary school fall festivals and Reinbow Riders. The Interactors raised hundreds of dollars in support of their successful service endeavors.

Several Interactors excelled with individual accomplishments including Aimee Murray, Becky Han and Briana Cooper, winners of the Rotary Club of Cleveland academic scholarship.

Congratulations also to Aimee Murray, Sandy Ha, and Briana Cooper for winning the Fred Brown Scholarship, James Bomar Scholarship, and James Lacy Essay Scholarships at the 47th Annual Interact Conference held in Pigeon Forge. $6,500 total for the girls. There were four scholarships given at conference, Cleveland High School Interact won 3 of the 4!

CHS Interact also won 3rd place Community Service Project for their work with Sandy Ha's project, Toboggans for Toddlers.

CHS Interact is a shining example of what young people can accomplish with a little assistance from Rotary and guidance from great faculty advisors like Don Markham and Holly Gobble. Congratulations on a great year!

CHS Interact 2011-2012 Wayne Wilhelm 2012-05-15 00:00:00Z
Restavek Freedom Foundation

A restavek (from the French rest aver, "one who stays with") is a child who is sent by their parents to work for a host household as a domestic servant because the parents lack the resources required to support the child. Restavek may refer to a child staying with a host family, but usually refers specifically to those who are abused.

Raymond Conn explains the practice of child slavery in Haiti.

Raymond Conn has taken action to rescue restavek children in Haiti through the Restavek Freedom Foundation. Conn says people are driven by causes that contain "adventure, risk management and purpose". For him, the opportunity to help the estimated 300,000 children living in slavery in Haiti, fulfilled the requirements he had listed.

Conn says "Haiti is a failed state" with no effective government, no economy and no services available to its people. This failure has led to  a scarcity mentality which has led to a climate of modern day slavery, even though Haiti is the country known to have had the first successful slave revolt.

Raymond Conn first discovered the practice of child slavery during a trip to the country about 10-years ago. Even though Haiti is in the center of the U.S. Caribbean playground, he discovered a "stunning, shocking, thing" when he arrived in Port au Prince. "Haiti is a splinter in my mind." Conn contrasted the characteristics of "old slavery" versus "new slavery" below:

 Legal ownership asserted  Legal ownership avoided
 High purchase cost  Very low purchase cost
 Low profits  Very high profits
 Shortage of potential slaves  Surplus of potential slaves
 Long-term relationship  Short-term relationship
 Slaves are maintained  Slaves are disposable

The Restavek Freedom Foundation currently works with 700 Haitian children.

Restavek Freedom Foundation Wayne Wilhelm 2012-05-15 00:00:00Z
Rotary Club of Cleveland Interact Scholarships

Literacy Committee co-chairman, Jay Leggett, announced this year's winners of the Rotary Club of Cleveland Interact Scholarship.

Jay explained that the selection committee had great difficulty in determining a single winner due to the outstanding quality of our applicants. Seven applicants were narrowed to three through a review of their individual application packages. The final three were personally interviewed by the selection committee on May 2. With the assistance of the respective boards of both the club and the Cleveland Rotary Foundation, it was decided that the club would support three winners this year.

Each winner served for at least three years in the Cleveland High Interact Club and presented exemplary records of service and academics.

Scholarship recipients from left, Aimee Murray, Becky Han and Briana Cooper.

Rotary Club of Cleveland Interact Scholarships Wayne Wilhelm 2012-05-15 00:00:00Z
Cleveland Rotary Foundation Funds Van Purchase in Philippines
The Cleveland Rotary Foundation recently assisted with the purchase of a new van for the Samaritan's Place Children's Home located in a suburb of Manila, Philippines.

The total cost of the van was $30,000, of which Cleveland Rotary provided $5,000. Marc Morris, founder and director of the orphanage said, "We could not have been able to make this much-needed purchase without Rotary's help." Marc is the son of Cleveland Rotarian, Max Morris.

Samaritan's Place Children's Home Celebrates a New Transportation Resource
Cleveland Rotary Foundation Funds Van Purchase in Philippines Wayne Wilhelm 2012-05-15 00:00:00Z
Art Rhodes' Adventures in Thailand
Any time one receives an email from a fellow Rotarian with the word "elephant" in the subject line, you know that you're in for a special treat. Such was the case with this photo from our President-elect, Art Rhodes, enjoying an elephant ride with daughter Katelyn in Thailand following the Rotary International Convention held in Bangkok.

Art's message:

Just trying to get back to Cleveland from the Rotary International Convention in Thailand. May take a while!!

Rotary International Travel Services -Express Transport to Cleveland, Tennessee, USA.
Art Rhodes' Adventures in Thailand Wayne Wilhelm 2012-05-10 00:00:00Z
Coming Soon: Downtown Apartment Living at Lillios Lofts

Nicholas Lillios shares the history of the building known as "Ford One".

Photo by Wayne Wilhelm

Fellow Rotarian, Nicholas Lillios, shared some automotive history and provided a glimpse into the future as he revealed his plans for renovating two historical downtown buildings into loft apartments with ground-level retail space.

Nicholas' great-grandfather, C.C. Card built two buildings on Inman Street in the early 1900s to house the area's first Ford dealership. The first building, known as Ford One, was a two-story structure with a brick facade where 455 Ford Model T automobiles were sold by 1919. C.C. Card believed that his tenure selling automobiles had ended around this time because everyone that had the means to purchase an automobile had already done so. However, this was not the case as Ford introduced the new Model A automobile and people began trading in their original vehicles for the new model. Thus, the auto industry became a permanent part of the Cleveland community and the second building, Ford Two, was built in 1930 to provide additional space for bodywork, repairs and storage.

Coming Soon: Downtown Apartment Living at Lillios Lofts Wayne Wilhelm 2012-05-08 00:00:00Z
Donut Holes, HMOs and Other Scary Things About Health Insurance

Pam Nelson, Owner and Chief Broker of Ocoee Insurance Services

Pam Nelson has been providing insurance services in our community for over 20 years. Pam shared some insights into her career choice by reflecting on some of her previous employment history.

At Brown Stove Works, Pam closely observed the sales staff as they went about their daily activities and thought she might enjoy a career in sales. Pam humorously recalled that her co-worker, Bill Melton told her, "Pam, forget it. Harrison Brown will never give you a job selling stoves." He did offer a word of encouragement in suggesting that she pick something to sell and see what she can do.

Through subsequent work assignments with Pat Fuller at Aloette Cosmetics and First American Bank, Pam's desire to secure a career in sales was nurtured and reinforced. Finally, with the help of local insurance veteran, Harlan White, Pam made her debut in the field of insurance, with her first sale to one of George Johnson's affiliated companies.

Since then, Pam has amassed a wealth of experience and knowledge related to the complicated intricacies of the insurance industry. "Health insurance is scary." Many changes are happening as a result of governmental regulation and other factors related to the health-care industry.

Donut Holes, HMOs and Other Scary Things About Health Insurance Wayne Wilhelm 2012-05-01 00:00:00Z
President Elect, Art Rhodes, Goals for 2012-2013
Art Rhodes announced that his goal as incoming president is to have Rotary Club of Cleveland become a club that is recognized for service locally, nationally, and internationally, and for all club members to be involved and have fun doing it.

He requested that all members complete a Survey Monkey survey to help identify where each member would like to serve, as well as other suggestions for improving the club.  Members were contacted by email with a link to the survey; if you haven’t yet completed it, you also may find it at  Please have the survey completed by no later than Friday, May 11, 2012.

Art also announced the Rotary International theme for 2012-2013, which is Peace Through Service, and the incoming President of Rotary International, Sukuji Tanaka.

President Elect, Art Rhodes, Goals for 2012-2013 Wayne Wilhelm 2012-04-24 00:00:00Z
Matt Ryerson, Live United - United Way

From left: Lee McChesney, Matt Ryerson, Kim Casteel

Photo and story by John Thomas

“ ‘Live United’ is the theme for United Way’s Fall campaign,” explained Matt Ryerson, President and CEO of United Way of Bradley County.  “More than a slogan, this is a philosophy of how we see this community operating most efficiently.”  More than most, Bradley County has been an example of that philosophy, catalyzed into action by a powerful event.  More than most, Matt Ryerson has been in a position to see and tell about the action and the spirit that drives it.

“Friday is the one-year anniversary of the devastating storms that hit our community,” said Matt.  “The Ryerson household had a front-row seat—we suffered damage, our neighborhood was devastated, and more importantly, we got to see what happened after those storms, which was an amazing community spirit that rallied around the survivors.  There was a real spirit of community that followed the storm, a real spirit of collaboration. The United Way was honored to play a role in that, and we are a part of the long-term recovery organization.”  
Matt Ryerson, Live United - United Way Wayne Wilhelm 2012-04-24 00:00:00Z
Rotary Club of Cleveland Gains District Awards

The Rotary Club of Cleveland received multiple awards at the recent Rotary District 6780 Conference held in Knoxville on April 20 and 21, 2012.

From left:

Cleveland Sergeant-at-Arms, Aaron Weatherford, holds the Globe Club Award, that recognizes clubs actively involved in international service.

Cleveland Club President, Kim Casteel, holds the Rotary International Presidential Citation, an award designed to motivate clubs to actively participate in service.

Cameron Fisher, General Chair of the District 6780 Leadership Development & Education Committee and District Trainer, holds the Reach for Rotary Award, presented for achievement of 2 percent growth or greater in membership.

James Buckner, Chairman of the District 6780 James Bomar Interact Scholarships & Fred Brown Interact Award Committee, holds the Star Award, recognizing Cleveland as a club whose annual contributions exceeded an average of $100 per member.

Wayne Wilhelm, Chairman of the Publications committee, holds the Club Bulletin Award, recognizing Cleveland for excellence in Electronic Club Bulletins.

Photo and story by John Thomas

Rotary Club of Cleveland Gains District Awards Wayne Wilhelm 2012-04-24 00:00:00Z
2011-2012 Rotarian of the Year
From left: Husband, Dr. Don Harting; Rotarian of the Year, Elizabeth Harting and 2010-2011 recipient, Ann McCoin.

Photo and story by John Thomas

Elizabeth H. Harting has been named the 2011-2012 Rotarian of the Year by the Rotary Club of Cleveland.  Ann McCoin, the 2010-2011 honoree, made the presentation during the April 24th noon meeting.

Elizabeth Harting has been a dedicated member of the Rotary Club since joining in 1991. She has served in many capacities with grace and good humor, intelligence and care. Her service has included being on the Board of Directors, Director of Club Service, the Rotary Foundation Board of Directors, the Group Study Exchange Chairman, the Rotarian’s Night Out Chairman, and many committees, most of these committees multiple times. Secretary’s Day, Vocational Service Week, Spouse’s Night, Four-Way Test, Membership Development, Adopt A Highway, Fitzgerald Golf Tournament and Fund Raiser, and many others. She is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow, and a member of the Bequest Society.

A citizen of Cleveland since 1979, she has served in many organizations including the Symphony Guild, United Way, and Civitan Club. A member of Broad Street United Methodist Church and First Presbyterian Church in Highlands, NC, she is one of five children born to an intrepid English mother and a father whose word was his bond, characteristics they obviously passed on to their daughter. 

She earned a batchelor’s degree from the historic Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC, a master’s degree in special education from Memphis State, and her accounting degree from UTC. Married to Dr. Don Harting, she is a partner in the firm of Harting, Bishop & Arrendale, PLLC.  She holds the official club classification of Accounting, Tax, but we know her as the Lovely and Lively Lil.

The Rotary Club of Cleveland has named Elizabeth an honorary Paul Harris Fellow as part of the presentation.

2011-2012 Rotarian of the Year Wayne Wilhelm 2012-04-24 00:00:00Z
Immunization Day in the Warm Heart of Africa
Past District 6780 Governor, Karen Wentz

Story and photo by John Thomas

Karen Wentz came to Cleveland to speak about love, the commitment and dedication of one Rotarian, and good works of Rotary that go on all the time that some may not know about.  According to Karen, “There are many different ways to fall in love.  Some people fall in love like a thunderclap; others fall in love over time, through a gradual sharing of experiences and a developing friendship.  I fell in love with Rotary the second way.” 
Immunization Day in the Warm Heart of Africa Wayne Wilhelm 2012-04-17 00:00:00Z
Polio Update

Wild Poliovirus Weekly Update

11 April 2012, World Health Organization

New polio cases reported in the past week for 2012: 1

Total number of cases in 2011: 650

Total number of cases in 2012: 41

Polio Update Wayne Wilhelm 2012-04-11 00:00:00Z
Red Badge Graduate, Kendra Bailey

Kendra Bailey was presented her blue badge by Amy Card-Lillios.

Photo by John Thomas
Red Badge Graduate, Kendra Bailey Wayne Wilhelm 2012-04-10 00:00:00Z
New Member, Dustin Guyton


Tim Spires and new member, Dustin Guyton

Sponsor, Tim Spires introduced new member Dustin Guyton and presented him a package of information and a Red Badge.  Dustin is a principal with All-Timate Exteriors, formerly All-Timate Roofing.  Dustin's Rotary classification is Roofing - Construction. Dustin is looking forward to meeting more Rotarians in our club.

Photo by John Thomas
New Member, Dustin Guyton Wayne Wilhelm 2012-04-10 00:00:00Z
The SimCenter at UTC


Dr. David L. Whitfield, Director of the SimCenter and Associate Dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science.

Story and photo by John Thomas

Using colorful slides and stories, Dr. David L. Whitfield described the work done by the National Center for Computational Engineering, the SimCenter, at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

“What we do at the SimCenter is application-driven research.   Our business is numerical simulation of fluid mechanics, electromagnetics, kinetic theory, structures, anything where there are conservation laws that describe physical phenomena.  There are three things involved in the computational engineering we do:  applied mathematics, advanced computing, and some form of engineering.”

The SimCenter at UTC Wayne Wilhelm 2012-04-10 00:00:00Z
County Commissioner, Adam Lowe

Adam Lowe counts the number of Kentucky basketball fans living in Tennessee.

Photo and story by John Thomas.

With his wife’s encouragement, Adam Lowe spoke to Cleveland Rotary about his professional and life challenges, and the background that prepared him to meet those challenges.  Adam, who is Commissioner from the 4th District in Bradley County, the youngest commissioner ever elected in that district, and the first “transplant” to be elected, found his life full of those challenges in his first two years in office.
County Commissioner, Adam Lowe Wayne Wilhelm 2012-04-03 00:00:00Z
CHS Lip Dub 2012
You may ask, what's a lip dub?  Be enlightened and check out this video from the Cleveland High School media class: CHS Lip Dub 2012.
CHS Lip Dub 2012 Wayne Wilhelm 2012-03-31 00:00:00Z
President Elect Training Seminar
Incoming Rotary presidents for the 2012-2013 Rotary year recently attended the Multi-District PETS (President Elect Training Seminar) in Nashville.

From left: Art Rhodes, Cleveland; Drew Holbrook, Etowah and Pat Fuller, Cleveland Sunrise.
President Elect Training Seminar Wayne Wilhelm 2012-03-31 00:00:00Z
Guatemala Water Project Update

This update from Xatinab, Guatemala:


The underground tank is in. The pump and electrical connections have been purchased. The next phase is digging the hundred foot hole to the aquifer for the artesian well, then building the latrines and water basins. Because of the isolated area the wells are hand dug. "I would not want to be at the bottom when it reaches the aquifer." -Steve Carroll


Guatemala Water Project Update Wayne Wilhelm 2012-03-27 00:00:00Z
Paul Harris Fellow
Cameron Fisher honored his father in law, Reginald McCarn, with a Paul Harris award.  Reginald was a Rotarian and a Rotary President in Weatherford, TX in the 1960’s.  He has lived in and pastored churches in Texas, Michigan, and Indiana during his career.  He has lived in Macon, GA for the past twenty years, and now has retired there.


Paul Harris Fellows, Reginald McCarn and Cameron Fisher.

Photo by John Thomas
Paul Harris Fellow Wayne Wilhelm 2012-03-27 00:00:00Z
Paul Harris Fellow

Tom Thomas presented Paul Harris awards to Norm Fontana, honoring his mother, Rita Trabucco Fontana, and to Norm’s daughter, Brandi Nicole Fontana.  Norm is now a Paul Harris Fellow for the seventh time, an unusual accomplishment.


Paul Harris Fellows, Norm and Brandi Fontana.

Photo by Jon Thomas

Paul Harris Fellow Wayne Wilhelm 2012-03-27 00:00:00Z
Build a City

Andong, Cambodia; location of the Build a City project.

Unimaginable problems, and the crushing poverty from which they stem, are the stuff of daily life for the displaced people of Andong, Kondong Kaw, Cambodia.   Living in makeshift homes of cardboard, plywood, sheet metal, and other temporary materials, they lack access to clean water and plumbing.  In monsoon season, water floods their sleeping area shin-deep, bringing with it the sewage that flows down the street outside their door.  The infected water is used for everything, including drinking and cooking. Parasites and bacteria flourish in the water, and mosquitos that carry dengue fever breed.

Story by John Thomas

Build a City Wayne Wilhelm 2012-03-27 00:00:00Z
Traditional Chinese Culture

The rich, exquisite Chinese culture, developed over 5000 years of history, was subjected to widespread, methodical attempts to eradicate it by the Chinese Communist Party over the past sixty years, reaching its height with the Cultural Revolution.  In an attempt to erase traditional Chinese values and replace them with Communist ideology, antiques and works of art were destroyed, morals were denigrated, traditional practices were banned, and many aspects of Chinese culture were infused with new, state-dictated meanings.

Hai Dong, who came to the United States as an international student fifteen years ago, related the story of Chinese cultural development, destruction, and the beginnings of its renaissance.  Hai Dong was born and raised in Zhejiang Province, near Shanghai. He studied polymer engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and has multiple engineering degrees; he currently is a computer software engineer.


Hai Dong from Zhejiang Province, China

Photo and story by John Thomas

Traditional Chinese Culture Wayne Wilhelm 2012-03-20 00:00:00Z
Vocal Rhapsody

Photo and story by John Thomas

Vocal Rhapsody, a diverse, enthusiastic ensemble of fifteen singers from Cleveland State Community College directed by Karen Dale, presented a lively musical program to Rotary this past Tuesday.  Combining intense and moving choral numbers with 50’s doo-wop and Adele’s recent bluesy hit Rolling in the Deep (complete with surprise choreo by Keenan Lattimore), these performers aimed to please an audience having a range of tastes, and they hit the mark.
Vocal Rhapsody Wayne Wilhelm 2012-03-13 00:00:00Z
CHS Interact Scholarship Winners

Congratulations to Aimee Murray, Sandy Ha, and Briana Cooper for winning the Fred Brown Interview, James Bomar Interview, and James Lacy Essay Scholarships at the 47th Annual Interact Conference held in Pigeon Forge. $6,500 total for the girls. There are four scholarships given at conference, Cleveland High School Interact wins 3 of the 4!

CHS Interact also won 3rd place Community Service Project for their work in Toboggans for Toddlers.


CHS Interactors, from left: Sandy Ha, Aimee Murray and Briana Cooper.

CHS Interact Scholarship Winners Wayne Wilhelm 2012-03-08 00:00:00Z
Dr. Konrad Bachhuber

Dr. Konrad Bachhuber, "We produce gray chunks".

Story and photo by John Thomas

According to Dr. Konrad Bachhuber, Vice President and Site Manager for Wacker Chemie’s Polysilicon plant in Charleston, Tennessee, “Some of you may ask, ‘What is the business of this company that is investing $1.8 billion in Bradley County?’  Our business is to produce gray chunks.  We start with gray chunks.  This is a great business, and we are a very strong player in this industry.  We start with a silicon raw material that is 98 or 99 percent pure, and produce a silicon that is pure enough to use in solar panels, with purities expressed in parts per trillion, which is like a piece of sugar in a very big lake.”

Dr. Bachhuber joined Wacker after receiving a doctorate in Physical Chemistry.  As he has progressed through a 22-year career with Wacker, he has taken on projects of increasing complexity and cost.  Before coming to Tennessee, he most recently headed up Wacker’s operation in Greater China.  He and his family moved to China in 2009, where he was in charge of three production sites.  “China was an extremely interesting experience.  When I heard about this project, it didn’t take me a second to know that I would take on the Cleveland project; it is the most important project in the nearly 100 year history of Wacker.”

Wacker is a leading producer of polysilicon.  Overall, Wacker has $6.3 billion in revenues and $1.6 billion in profits, employing 16,000 people worldwide. Polysilicon is 25 percent of Wacker’s revenue, and is the fastest growing part of Wacker. The United States is gaining more and more importance as a customer for polysilicon, so it made sense for Wacker to base here to be near its customers.

Dr. Konrad Bachhuber Wayne Wilhelm 2012-03-06 00:00:00Z
More Storm Losses
Our community has once again experienced the devastation that sometimes comes with our ever-changing weather patterns. On Friday, March 2, Rotarian Ross Tarver lost his home due to a tornado in our community. Our hearts and prayers are with the Tarvers and others in our community who have suffered loss in this calamity.
More Storm Losses Wayne Wilhelm 2012-03-02 00:00:00Z
The Caring Place Receives Cleveland Rotary Foundation Grant

Ann McCoin presented Reba Terry with a $7,495 grant from the Cleveland Rotary Foundation to fund a heating and air conditioning renovation project at The Caring Place.  A plaque, held by Reba Terry, will be displayed in the area acknowledging the gift.

The Caring Place grant was one of eight awards totaling $26,000 made in 2011 by the Cleveland Rotary Foundation to community organizations.


Reba Terry, Executive Director of The Caring Place; Ann McCoin, President of the Cleveland Rotary Foundation

Story and photo by John Thomas

The Caring Place Receives Cleveland Rotary Foundation Grant Wayne Wilhelm 2012-02-28 00:00:00Z
Jeff Burden, Architect / Shoemaker


Jeff Burden, Architect

Story and photo by John Thomas

According to Jeff Burden, Cleveland and the surrounding area has unique qualities that should be preserved.  “What I really love about this area, and what I suspect that Germans and others coming here now love, is that it is unique.  I love the landscape, the traditions, and the places.”   That love is revealed in his work, which includes projects at Blackberry Farm and Alders Glen subdivision in this area.  He also has a loft project on the drawing board, in downtown Cleveland.

Jeff, an architect with studios in Charleston, SC, Cashiers, NC, and Cleveland, specializing in the design of fine residences and retreats, is about hand-tailoring and personal service to clients.  Like a shoemaker, he starts the old-fashioned way, by listening to the client.  According to Jeff, “I do everything myself. Everything is hand drawn.  I think the best part of my practice is working with the client.  I like to find out what they think authenticity is.” 

Jeff Burden, Architect / Shoemaker Wayne Wilhelm 2012-02-28 00:00:00Z
Absolutely American
Robert E. Sembower, Pennsylvania coordinator of admissions for West Point Military Academy, noted a significant similarity between Rotary and the military. The same common thread which may also be found in a hero is Service Above Self. Sembower described a hero as "a man who does what he can. Courage dwells in the heart and soul of every man, and someday it will be summoned."

Sembower's heroes include Col. Hal Moore, whose book was adapted into the 2002 film "We Were Soldiers"; King Leonidas, who led a vastly outnumbered force against the Persian Army in the battle of Thermopylae; baseball great, Mickey Mantel and the firemen and first responders of 9/11.

"Leadership is accomplishing the mission." Sembower also stated that leadership is not a popularity contest; it cannot please everyone, and it is all about giving away power. A leader should strive to be visible in the field and to trust their instincts. The group goal is always more important than the individual goal. "Strike hard and seize the high ground."

Robert Sembower lives six miles from the 9/11 crash site of Flight 93 in Pennsylvania. Three days after the crash, four caskets were buried at the crash site. Three containing human remains and one containing personal effects. Sembower's National Guard unit was immediately activated during the 9/11 crises.

Sembower characterizes the attributes of courage and leadership described in his presentation as "Absolutely American".


Robert Sembower presents Rotary Club of Cleveland President, Kim Casteel with a Commander's Coin.

Photo by Wayne Wilhelm
Absolutely American Wayne Wilhelm 2012-02-21 00:00:00Z
Interact Speech Competition
Three talented Interactors from Cleveland High School participated in this year's Interact 4-Way Test Speech competition during the February 14 meeting. Alex Klibisz, Westin Laing and Aimee Murray delivered outstanding talks based on Rotary's 4-Way Test.

Alex Klibisz challenged listeners to "step out of your comfort zone" as he referenced his time in Germany as an exchange student. Alex was definitely outside his comfort zone in moving to a country with a new language, a new family and a new school.

Westin Laing spoke against the abusive home and described his scouting project to assist children at The H.O.P.E. Center Children's Shelter. Westin contrasted the unfair truth of abusive homes where in 2005 five children per day were killed in acts of child abuse to the principles espoused in the 4-Way Test.

Aimee Murray encouraged everyone to make every day count by living the 4-Way Test. She spoke of turning a bad day around by looking for good in each day, trusting God and encouraging others. Aimee said, "serving others is the best way to have a great day".

Alex Klibisz placed first in the competition. He will now advance to the District 6780 competition where he will have the opportunity to win an Interact scholarship. Klibisz was awarded $100 for placing first with Westin Laing and Aimee Murray receiving $60 and $30 respectively.


Interactors from left: Westin Laing, Alex Klibisz and Aimee Murray

Photo by Wayne Wilhelm
Interact Speech Competition Wayne Wilhelm 2012-02-14 00:00:00Z
Ralph Buckner, Jr.

Slow down, consider what is important to you, and take time to enjoy life and the people you love.  Show them appreciation, love, and respect, and make the changes in your life that you need to make.  Stack one good day upon another, and you will make a great “dash.”

These, and other meaningful reflections on life, were presented in a heartfelt address by former Rotarian Ralph Buckner, Jr..  The dash refers to the mark usually shown on a headstone between the dates of birth and death.  The dash represents all that went on between those dates, and thus sums up the entire time on Earth of that person.  How we spend our dash is the subject of a book, The Dash, presented to all Rotarians by Mr. Buckner.

Mr. Buckner discovered the book several years ago, and has turned to it, and to the Bible, many times while coming to terms with the passing of his father and mother, and with the tragic loss of his daughter, Shipley.  The simple narrative upon which the book is based, and the wisdom it represents, gave comfort to him, and brought him to the realization that although we cannot choose the time of our birth or of our passing, we can decide how to spend the time we have between those dates.  He has slowed down and enjoyed life more in the last two years, and believes that each of us should realize how lucky we are to have the time to do a better job at life.

Mr. Buckner presented a check for $5,000.00 to the Cleveland Rotary Foundation as a memorial to his parents Ralph and Stella Buckner, his daughter Shipley Rose Buckner, and his great friend Max Carroll.


From left: Rotary Club of Cleveland President, Kim Casteel; Ralph Buckner, Jr.; Rotary Program Chairman, Nicholas Lillios

Photo and story by John Thomas

Ralph Buckner, Jr. Wayne Wilhelm 2012-02-07 00:00:00Z
Monika Zaldua, Rotary Exchange Student


Monika Zaldua, a 15-year-old Rotary Exchange student from Barcelona, Spain, is gaining a deep appreciation for our different culture and our different educational system during her year-long stay in the United States, through July 6, 2012.  In Barcelona, a beautiful city of 1.6 million people on Spain’s northeast Mediterranean coast, Monika lives with her two younger brothers, her airport services manager mother and her chemist father.  Monica has many interests, including dance, in which she has participated since age 6, skiing, soccer, swim team, and field hockey. 

In Cleveland, Monika is living with Catherine Rice and her daughter, Olivia Highsinger, while attending Cleveland High School.   She notes that school here is not as demanding as it was for her at home.  In Spain, education is mandatory and difficult.  There are no classifications such as junior or senior, just the subjects you must study.  School there is from 8 am to 5 pm each day, and consists of 13 subjects each trimester.  If you fail two classes, you must repeat the year.

Some of Monika’s friends from Barcelona are also exchange students in the United States, in cities like Boston and Miami, but Monica feels fortunate to be here because she loves Cleveland, Tennessee.  When asked what she would change about Cleveland, she mentioned the lack of public transportation, which restricts her mobility when no one is present to drive her.

Steve Carroll also spoke of his experience as an exchange student, and how he grew through exposure to a different culture in a way that could only have happened through his living in that culture day in and day out.  Steve studied stained glass in gothic cathedrals at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris, which altered his course as an architect.  The disciplines he experienced, for example of making sketches in the morning and being required to have finished drawings prepared by the end of the day, were invaluable to him in his architectural career.  He also enjoyed the experience each day of seeing the rooftops of Paris from the fifth floor room he shared with a Buddhist houseboy for the family with whom he lived.

Ann McCoin shared memories of the many exchange students she met while growing up, through her father’s active involvement in Rotary, and in particular of the senior exchange student from Norway that lived with her family while Ann was in high school.  As a result, Ann has had a lifelong interest in Norway, and attended college there.  Her parents attended the student’s wedding in Norway.  Now, fifty years later, Ann is still friends with the student, who has become a respected doctor and lecturer in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Oslo.



From left: Host family members Catherine Rice and Olivia Hysinger; Rotary Exchange Student, Monika Zaldua and New Generations committee chairman, Roger Fuller  

Photo and story by John Thomas 

Monika Zaldua, Rotary Exchange Student Wayne Wilhelm 2012-01-31 00:00:00Z
Rotary International General Secretary, John Hewko

RI General Secretary John Hewko talks about how these five priorities can help strengthen Rotary: eradicating polio, the Foundation’s new grant making model, placing a value on the service projects of clubs, making Rotary more relevant to younger members, and positioning Rotary more fully as a major player in global humanitarian assistance and development.

Click here to view John Hewko's address at the Rotary International Assembly. . .


Jim Buckner, David Carroll and Amy Card-Lillios pictured with Rotary International General Secretary, John Hewko at the District 6780 Rotary Foundation Dinner - January 6, 2012. 

Rotary International General Secretary, John Hewko Wayne Wilhelm 2012-01-29 00:00:00Z
Chief Meteorologist Patrick Core

Patrick Core had aspirations of becoming a professional athlete. He was particularly interested in a career as a major league baseball player. However, a severe injury to his foot when he was only 17 years old changed all that. After a period of reflection, he decided to become a meteorologist. Four years after graduating from Florida State University, Patrick landed a position with The Weather Channel. Shortly thereafter, David Neal with WDEF in Chattanooga made a referral resulting in Patrick Core working as a meteorologist on the 11PM edition of the Channel 12 nightly news. Patrick Core has now called Chattanooga home for 22 years as chief meteorologist at WDEF Channel 12. 

In discussing recent weather patterns in our area, Core noted that last year was the coldest winter in 10 years followed by a particularly active weather pattern in the spring that resulted in devastating tornadoes. Now the weather pattern has changed due to cold air which has stayed in Alaska. Unfortunately, weather patterns indicate that spring may bring more severe weather to our area. The tendency for great tornado outbreaks has traditionally run in a 25-30 year cycle. During the tornado outbreaks of 1974, one tornado in Ohio was on the ground for 300 miles.

Advances in area radar systems have given local forecasters a much needed tool in warning the local population about approaching severe weather. New doppler radar systems coming online in 2012 have the ability to show debris within a tornadic system which increases the ability to identify a dangerous event.

When asked about his predictions for the remainder of our winter, Core said he is more concerned about an ice storm this winter than a major snow storm.


From left: Rotary Club of Cleveland President, Kim Casteel; program coordinator, Don Fenton; WDEF chief meteorologist, Patrick Core; program chairman, Nicholas Lillios.

Photo by Wayne Wilhelm 

Chief Meteorologist Patrick Core Wayne Wilhelm 2012-01-24 00:00:00Z
District Foundation Committee Honors Max Carroll

The Rotary District 6780 Foundation Committee has made a contribution of $360 to the Cleveland Rotary Foundation in honor of the late Max Carroll. Rotary Club of Cleveland President, Kim Casteel made the presentation to David Carroll.


From left: David Carroll, Kim Casteel

Photo by Wayne Wilhelm 

District Foundation Committee Honors Max Carroll Wayne Wilhelm 2012-01-17 00:00:00Z
Bomar Rotary Interact Scholarship

Past District Governor, Jim Buckner, accepts a contribution of $500 on behalf of the James L. Bomar Rotary Interact Scholarship Foundation from Cleveland Rotary Foundation President, Ann McCoin and Rotary Club of Cleveland President, Kim Casteel.

The purpose of the Bomar Interact Scholarship Foundation is to annually recognize outstanding and worthy Interact members in District 6780 with a scholarship award of a minimum of $1,000 each. To date, the foundation is awarding three $1,250 scholarships annually.


From left: Rotary Club of Cleveland President, Kim Casteel; Past District Governor, Jim Buckner; Cleveland Rotary Foundation President, Ann McCoin 

Photo by Wayne Wilhelm


Bomar Rotary Interact Scholarship Wayne Wilhelm 2012-01-17 00:00:00Z
Matthew Brown Presents: The History of Polk County

In title alone, Matthew Brown's presentation on Polk County provides substantial insight into the history of our neighboring county to the east. Gorged on Dam Obsession: A Story of Princes and Frogs, Mountains and Moonshine, Women and Wine and How They Shaped Polk County covers multiple chapters in a presentation that has been thoroughly researched and documented by Matthew with assistance from Polk County Historian, Marion Presswood.

Matthew gave an insightful compilation that tied together the importance of Polk County's rich geography and the early settlers that gave the region a Wild West feeling during the 1700s. The Cherokee Indian nation played a big role in the county's history, arriving in the 1600s, displacing the Creek Indians and assimilating into American culture before ultimately being removed as a result of the Treaty of New Echota in 1835.

The rich geography of the region has created multiple economic development opportunities including the production of hydropower, copper, whitewater activities, wine, and, to a lesser extent, moonshine and human capital.

Polk County remains one of the most beautiful and geographically diverse areas in our region with impressive mountains like Chilhowee, Bean and Big Frog Mountain along with the beauty of the Ocoee River and Benton Falls. Big Frog Mountain is the highest point between Polk County and Texas.

Polk County was established in 1839 and named for James K. Polk. Bradley County had been established only three years earlier in 1836. Matthew was encouraged to make his unique research available to the local school systems.


Rotarian, Matthew Brown presents:  Gorged on Dam Obsession: A Story of Princes and Frogs, Mountains and Moonshine, Women and Wine and How They Shaped Polk County

Photo by Wayne Wilhelm 


Matthew Brown Presents: The History of Polk County Wayne Wilhelm 2012-01-10 00:00:00Z
Cleveland Rotary Foundation Grant

Cleveland Rotary Foundation president, Ann McCoin, presented Lisa Simpson-Lutts with a $3,005 check to fund a storage renovation project at The Museum Center at Five Points. The funds will be used to procure shelving, acid-free boxes and tissue paper to properly store a variety of three dimensional objects related to the history of Cleveland and Bradley County.

The Museum Center grant is one of eight awards totaling over $25,000 to be presented by the Cleveland Rotary Foundation in 2012.

Cleveland Rotary Foundation Grant Wayne Wilhelm 2012-01-03 00:00:00Z
LTRO Prepares for 2012

Bradley County's response to the devastation caused by last year's tornadoes has been recognized as a "best practice" effort by FEMA. The scope of the disaster was massive with 285 homes destroyed and over 1,500 with damage. The Long Term Recovery Organization (LTRO) was established to address those situations where families had no alternatives to recover from their storm-related losses.

Jim Polier, LTRO director, outlined some goals for the organization as we enter the new year. The organization hopes to complete seven homes currently under way and add another five to seven homes during the second half of 2012. The LTRO has partnered with other local organizations to accomplish their goals, including Habitat for Humanity, the Bradley Baptist Association and Men and Women of Action. The organization achieved Section 501(c)(3) status in December providing for tax deductible donations to the recovery effort.

The LTRO operates through the following committees: unmet needs, communications, volunteers, construction/rehabilitation, resource development, anonymous stakeholders, and the legal advisory panel. The organization is seeking additional funding for 2012.

Jim Polier

Jim Polier, Long Term Recovery Organization Director 

Photo by Wayne Wilhelm 

LTRO Prepares for 2012 Wayne Wilhelm 2012-01-03 00:00:00Z
Happy New Year!
Happy New Year! Wayne Wilhelm 2012-01-01 00:00:00Z
New Officers and Directors for 2012-2013

The Rotary Club of Cleveland elected officers and directors for the 2012-2013 Rotary year during the December 20 meeting. These individuals bring significant talent and Rotary experience to lead our organization in the new Rotary year which begins on July 1, 2012. Our new officers and directors are:


 President  Art Rhodes
 President Elect  Pam Nelson
 Vice President  Tim Spires
 Secretary  Kendra Bailey
 Treasurer  Craig Mullinax
 Past President  Kim Casteel


 Board of Directors  
 Cleveland Rotary Foundation  Ann McCoin
 Membership  Matthew Brown
 Publications  Wayne Wilhelm
 Public Relations  Sharon Marr
 Rotary International Foundation  Tom Thomas
 Service Projects  Steve Carroll and Bill George
 Programs  Nicholas Lillios
 Chaplain  Bill Balzano and Dan Chord
 Sergeant at Arms  Aaron Weatherford
New Officers and Directors for 2012-2013 Wayne Wilhelm 2011-12-20 00:00:00Z
A Rotary Tribute to Max Carroll



The Rotary Club of Cleveland celebrated the life of Max Carroll during the December 20 meeting by reminiscing on a few of the ways that Max touched our lives and contributed to our community. Six Rotarians spoke to specific areas where Max's influence will always be remembered: business, education, government, church, family, Rotary and friendship.

Larry McDaniel thankfully remembered that it was Max Carroll that gave him the opportunity to own his business, The Town Squire, back in 1977. Larry eventually shared Rotary with Max by proposing him for membership in the Rotary Club of Cleveland.

Peggy Pesterfield spoke of the thoughtful and mentoring attitude with which Max Carroll served on the City School Board since 1982. Education was an important area of service for Max. He stressed education in his community and in his family.

Bill Brown recalled that Max had served his community for over 38 years in positions such as Finance Commissioner, Interim Police Chief and on the City School Board. Max's real estate background made him an invaluable asset in many property transactions. "Max negotiated for millions of dollars in real estate for our city with no regard for any compensation for himself. Max represented goodwill in everything he did."

Bill George fondly recalled Max's participation in his Wednesday Bible study class. Max was active in a long-standing Sunday School class at the North Cleveland Church of God and served as class president. Max Carroll invited Bill to his very first Rotary meeting. As Bill remembers it, there was no option to not attend.

Steve Carroll shared Max's commitment to education in his own family. "Max always pushed his family to make themselves better. That was his legacy." Max Carroll was a strong believer in education as reflected in his service to the community and his influence on his own family.

Art Rhodes looked back on Max Carroll's love for Rotary and how Max wanted to be sure that all of our community leaders were members of the Rotary Club of Cleveland. "You really didn't have a choice if Max wanted you to join Rotary." As our Membership Committee Chairman, Max shared Rotary with many individuals who are now Rotarians. Art also recalled the "assistance" Max provided in finding a home for the Rhodes family when they first moved to Cleveland. Max provided a complete, "no options required" relocation service.

The recurring theme of our Max Carroll tribute meeting seemed to focus on a central idea, Service Above Self. Max was a great example of the application of our Rotary motto, Service Above Self; and our statement of action, the Four-Way Test.

A Rotary Tribute to Max Carroll Wayne Wilhelm 2011-12-20 00:00:00Z
Max Carroll
Max Carroll 2011-12-14 00:00:00Z
Max Carroll

Max Carroll had a great time during his last Rotary meeting on earth. And, just like so many times before, we enjoyed Max's company.

Surrounded by our scheduled program, The Voices of Lee, Max displayed his always good-natured disposition in playing the surprise role of a dancing Santa, while being serenaded in an incredible, a cappella, Christmas melody.

Somehow, I believe that even if Max had known that this was to be the last Tuesday of his 30-year Rotary experience, he wouldn't have changed a thing. And I wouldn't have either. Because, we couldn't have planned a better tribute to the life of Max Carroll than what actually unfolded during the December 13 meeting. It was the perfect performance from the quintessential Max Carroll.

Thank you, Max, for your many contributions to the Rotary Club of Cleveland, and, for sharing Rotary with so many friends through the years. You are missed. 

Max Carroll - Enjoying Rotary

Max Robert Carroll - February 10, 1931 - December 14, 2011

Photo by Peggy Pesterfield 

Max Carroll Wayne Wilhelm 2011-12-13 00:00:00Z
William Killian, U.S. Attorney

U.S. Attorney, William Killian, is the chief federal law enforcement official tasked to represent the people of the Eastern District of Tennessee. U.S. Attorney Killian's territory includes over 2.5 million people living in the 41 county district. Killian was appointed to the position of U.S. Attorney by President Barack Obama in May 2010.

The U.S. Attorney's office represents the interests of the United States, both civil and criminal, in federal court. The office works closely with many federal departments to accomplish the mission to ensure fair and efficient administration of justice. Federal agents assigned to U.S. Attorney's office include: 80 FBI agents, 10 Secret Service, 4 Postal Service inspectors, 30 U.S. Marshals and numerous others including dedicated security personnel with the Tennessee Valley Authority. Killian's office includes a staff of 43 assistant U.S. Attorneys and over 60 support personnel.

The office of the U.S. Attorney has established several priorities for the district:


  • Counterterrorism
  • Project Safe Neighborhoods
  • Civil Rights Enforcement
  • Financial Fraud
  • Environmental Enforcement
  • Project Safe Childhood
  • Drug Enforcement Initiation
A special emphasis is Project VALOR, which was established to reduce the level of violence against law enforcement representatives in Tennessee. As of June 2011, 86 law enforcement officers have been killed in the line of duty during the year. Unfortunately, this number represents an 18% increase over 2010. Tennessee ranks 6th in the nation in the number of officers killed on duty. East Tennessee accounts for two-thirds of the total.


The Eastern Tennessee U.S. Attorney's office maintains a 96% conviction rate and has recovered over $44 million in civil and criminal actions in 2011. Killian noted that the office recovers about three times more revenue than is required to run the office.

"We have a diverse country and one of the reasons people come here is to seek the justice that they may not have in their country," Killian said.

Rotarian, Michael Callaway, invited Killian to speak upon noting that many Rotarians had little knowledge about the functions of the U.S. Attorney's office. For additional information on the Eastern Tennessee District U.S. Attorney's Office, visit the website at

U.S. Attorney, William Killian

U.S. Attorney for the Eastern Tennessee District, William Killian

Photo by Wayne Wilhelm 

William Killian, U.S. Attorney Wayne Wilhelm 2011-12-06 00:00:00Z
Bell Ringers

Rotarians, Art Rhodes and Norm Fontana, "Doing the Most Good" for the Salvation Army at Walmart on December 3, 2011. 

Art Rhodes and Norm Fontana

Bell Ringers Wayne Wilhelm 2011-12-03 00:00:00Z
Historic Moments: How Rotary's Efforts to Eradicate Polio Began

Click here to view video. . . 

About this video:
"James L. Bomar, Jr., 1979-80 RI President from Shelbyville, Tennessee, administers the polio vaccine in the Philippines in 1979 in this silent video."

Historic Moments: How Rotary's Efforts to Eradicate Polio Began Wayne Wilhelm 2011-12-03 00:00:00Z
Cleveland State Community College Scholarship

Rotarian, Amy Card-Lillios, presented Cleveland State Community College President, Carl Hite, with an annual check to fund an endowed scholarship at the institution during the November 29 meeting. The Rotary Club of Cleveland has funded scholarship opportunities at CSCC since the 1980s. 

Rotary Scholarship to CSCC

L to R: Carl Hite, CSCC President; Amy Card-Lillios, Rotary Club of Cleveland

Photo by Wayne Wilhelm 

Cleveland State Community College Scholarship Wayne Wilhelm 2011-11-29 00:00:00Z
Family Promise of Bradley County

Shady Hernandez - Family Promise

Shady Hernandez, Program Director of Family Promise of Bradley County 

"I didn't know we had homeless families in Bradley County." This viewpoint, formerly held by Shady Hernandez, is common in our community. Shady Hernandez is the network director of Family Promise of Bradley County. Family Promise provides assistance including housing, meals and comprehensive support services for homeless families in Bradley County.

A poor economy accompanied by record real estate foreclosures has caused a significant increase in homelessness in recent years. According to statistics from Cleveland City Schools, there were 34 homeless children enrolled in the system during the 2009-2010 school year. Nationwide, it is estimated that children under five years old make up 50% of the total homeless population.

Family Promise works with local churches to provide shelter for homeless families. A homeless family will be housed at a local church facility for seven days, then rotate to another participating church for another seven day period. Hernandez shared the story of a family's gratitude over being allowed to stay at a classroom converted to look like a bedroom at North Cleveland Baptist Church. Thirteen area churches participate in the Family Promise program. Hernandez said, "I could tell the program was working because the children felt safe."

When asked about the primary needs of the organization, Rotarian Hal Taylor responded that while financial assistance is always necessary, the biggest need is for some people to invest their time into helping of these families. There's a big need for someone to step in and mentor these families and provide some opportunities for them to get back on their feet.

Family Promise of Bradley County is organized as a 503(c) non-profit corporation.

Photo by Wayne Wilhelm 

Family Promise of Bradley County Wayne Wilhelm 2011-11-29 00:00:00Z
Happy Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving - 2011
Happy Thanksgiving Wayne Wilhelm 2011-11-24 00:00:00Z
Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice, Cornelia Clark

Chief Justice Cornelia Clark

Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice, Cornelia Clark. 

"The SEC official clearly blew the call" according to Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice and Vanderbilt alumnus, Cornelia Clark, referencing the final play in the recent Vanderbilt vs. UT football game. Sometimes judges make mistakes too, acknowledged Clark. One has to try to make the best decision and always strive for justice given the time and resources available for consideration.

The Tennessee Supreme Court has the luxury of being able to take adequate time to rule on the cases brought forth. Approximately 75-80 cases are selected from 925 proceedings each year with sufficient time applied to interpret statutes, laws, or even the constitution. The supreme court cannot just grab "interesting" cases to act upon says Clark. Matters before the Tennessee Supreme Court must pass through at least two lower courts before being passed into the supreme court's jurisdiction. Each case begins as a lawsuit in some court.

A fair and competent judicial system keeps our state strong and our businesses sound. Yet, to most people, the courts system remains a mystery. When judges are doing a good job, there is little attention drawn to their actions. The courts system must provide the following attributes:


  1. Ensure that the government and governmental officials are accountable and responsible,
  2. Ensure that the laws are understandable and fair,
  3. Ensure that the laws protect fundamental rights,
  4. Ensure that the adjudication of rules is done in an impartial, ethical and intelligent manner.
Chief Justice Clark applauded our local trial and sessions court judges for the excellent work they do under severe time restraints and minimal resources. Judges usually get to see people at their highest levels of stress. There are, however, some good and happy courtroom actions such as when adoptions are finalized. Chief Justice Clark recently had a chance meeting with a family whose adoption case she had officiated some 15 years ago.
Clark recognizes Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman to be appointed to the United States Supreme Court, as one of her heroes. Click here for more information on Chief Justice, Cornelia A. Clark.
Chief Justice Cornelia Clark, November 22, 2011
From left: programs chairperson, Nicholas Lillios; Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice, Cornelia Clark; program coordinator, Michael Callaway and his wife, Phyllis Callaway.
Photos by Wayne Wilhelm 


Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice, Cornelia Clark Wayne Wilhelm 2011-11-22 00:00:00Z
Oversight and Assistance With Tennessee Brownfields

Andy Shivas defines a "brownfield" as any property that is contaminated with some type of pollutant. Typically these properties may have been occupied by industries or businesses such as dry cleaners, gas stations, factories, junk yards or mining sites. In some cases, even residential properties may have legacy contamination from the long time use of coal or oil-fueled furnaces.

Many potential issues exist when brownfield properties are redeveloped. The unsafe chemicals or pollutants must be removed or mitigated in such a way to render the property safe for future use.  Shivas recommends that a purchaser of property where brownfield issues may exist conduct due diligence studies to protect themselves from future liabilities and costs associated with environmental issues and remediation.

Redevelopment of brownfield property can be a winning investment. In may cases, a seller will reduce a property's price if contaminants are thought to exist. Redevelopment can return idle properties to a taxable status and can reduce urban sprawl. Lenders may also require state concurrence on the safety of a property before loans may be approved.

State and federal funding sources such as the EPA's 104(K) grant program are available to assist with brownfield remediation projects. In many cases, government funding may offset the costs of returning a contaminated site to a usable status. Shivas cited both the EPB Building and Finley Stadium properties in Chattanooga as examples of successful brownfield projects where grant funding was employed to return neglected properties to constructive use.

Andy Shivas is the Tennessee Brownfields Coordinator and VOAP Manager for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. For more information on brownfield redevelopment, visit the Tennessee Division of Remediation webpage at

Oversight and Assistance With Tennessee Brownfields Wayne Wilhelm 2011-11-15 00:00:00Z
2011 Dictionary Project Update

Rotary teams are now distributing dictionaries to every third grader in the Bradley County and Cleveland City School systems.

The Rotary Club of Cleveland will distribute between 1,200 and 1,300 dictionaries to 17 schools this year. This project is our signature contribution to literacy and has become a favorite activity for members. We hope to finish this year's distribution by Thanksgiving.

Dictionary Project - 2011

Aaron Weatherford instructs third graders at Park View Elementary School on the proper operation of the Rotary Student Dictionary.

Photo by Wayne Wilhelm 

2011 Dictionary Project Update Wayne Wilhelm 2011-11-11 00:00:00Z
Cleveland Rotary Foundation Awards Grants

Cleveland Rotary Foundation president, Ann McCoin, announces that approximately $26,000 in grants have been awarded to eight applicants for use in the 2012 calendar year. The foundation received a total of 14 applications requesting approximately $70,000 in funding. The recipients are:


 Organization Grant
 Bradley County Adult Education GED Testing Scholarships
 Boys and Girls Club Kids Safety Project, Video Security System
 The Caring Place HVAC Project
 Helping Paws Caring Hearts Therapy Book Publishing and Distribution
 Museum Center Collections Storage Renovation
 People For Care and Learning Greenway Water Fountains
 Samaritan's Place Van Purchase
 Trousdale School Communications Equipment


Cleveland Rotary Foundation Awards Grants Wayne Wilhelm 2011-11-08 00:00:00Z
Lisa King, National Immunization Day Veteran

Knoxville Rotarian, Lisa King is a veteran National Immunization Day (NID) participant. Both Elisa King and our very own David Carroll have worked to administer polio vaccine during India's massive NID campaigns. How massive is the effort? Over 174 million children under the age of 5 were vaccinated in a span of just a few days.

In Chandigarh, the capital of Punjab, a team of approximately 40 Rotarians took a 7-hour bus ride to assist with staffing information booths and administering the life-saving vaccine. Children receiving the vaccine have their fingers marked with purple ink to prevent duplication. The vaccine must be kept cold and teams must travel on foot from house-to-house in an effort to deliver the vaccine to households not attending the NID event.

How effective have the NID events been in the effort to eradicate polio in India? During 1985, 1,000 new cases of polio were reported in India -PER DAY! By 2008, there were 559 new cases of polio reported in India during the entire year. In a disappointing turn, the 2009 report indicated an increase in new polio cases to 732. The effort showed positive results in 2010 with only 49 new cases reported. This year (2011), only one new case of polio has been reported in India. A polio-free India is within our grasp. Three consecutive years with no new polio cases is the requirement to be certified polio-free. The United States was declared polio-free in 1994.

Polio and man have a long and tragic history together. Stones carvings from ancient Egypt depict polio victims. Many of us can remember iron lungs and the crippling effects of the disease. Rotarians from all over the world have contributed to the effort to eradicate polio. Now is the time to finish the task. We are this close.

Lisa King was born in South Africa and lived in Greece during high school. She is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire and attended her first NID in 2009. Lisa is a member of the Paul Harris Society.


Lisa King NID - 2011

Lisa King, National Immunization Day Veteran. 

Photo by Wayne Wilhelm 

Lisa King, National Immunization Day Veteran Wayne Wilhelm 2011-11-08 00:00:00Z
Meet Rotary Club of Cleveland Ambassadorial Scholar, Amanda Elliott

Amanda Elliott credits a childhood trip to York, England to research her family tree as a major factor in her decision to attend the University of York to pursue a Masters Degree in International Public Health. Amanda's parents encouraged learning and thinking "outside the box" while she was growing up. Now, as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, she has gained an opportunity to maximize her talents in the field of public health by engaging in research on communicable diseases.

Amanda is a graduate of Bradley High School and Lee University where she majored in biochemistry. After taking some time off to evaluate her next educational steps, she was recruited by Kim Casteel and David Carroll to apply for a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship. Amanda completed her paperwork and breezed through the one-hour district interview process at Tennessee Tech in Cookeville. Ambassadorial Scholarship committee chairperson, Ann McCoin announced that Amanda had won the scholarship this past September. 

Amanda Elliott, Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar

Amanda Elliott, Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar

Photo by Wayne Wilhelm 

Meet Rotary Club of Cleveland Ambassadorial Scholar, Amanda Elliott Wayne Wilhelm 2011-11-01 00:00:00Z
Estela Liermann, Polio Survivor

To hear Estela Liermann singing Patsy Cline's, "Crazy", you would never know that she's fought a daunting battle for most of her life. You see, Estela contracted polio when she was only one year old while living in Brazil in the 1960s. Her fever had suddenly spiked to 104 degrees and the traditional shot of penicillin did not resolve her illness. One leg became unresponsive to stimuli and she could no longer move it. The doctors in her town hadn't seen a case like this one before, so they sent Estela to a hospital in Sao Paulo. Later they would learn that Estela Liermann was to be diagnosed as the very first case of polio in her town.

Thus began a long series of treatments and operations to minimize the crippling effects of the insidious disease. Estela spent a difficult month in the Sao Paulo hospital as her mother had to travel back to her hometown to care for Estela's seven brothers and sisters. When she was 7 years old, Estela had the first of many surgeries to correct the twisting of the affected leg. Estela considered herself blessed to gain the care she received from Brazil's socialized medical system. She also noted that most of the other children with polio were in much worse shape than herself. It was there, in the hospital, that Estela started singing for the doctors and staff who had become her caretakers.

Today, the effects of the disease still are still manifested in Estela as post-polio syndrome which effects the nervous system. The symptoms seem to come and go and can hamper one's ability to walk. Estela continues to fight the effects of the disease and flatly states that she never gave up before and she's not giving up now. She is especially thankful for Rotary's efforts to eradicate the disease that has caused her so much pain during her life.

As Rotarians, we are inspired by Estela Liermann's attitude and resolve as she continues her fight against polio. Likewise, we are emboldened to finish our own fight to rid the world of the curse that is polio. We are this close.

Estela Liermann, Polio Survivor - 2011

Estela Liermann, Inspirational Polio Survivor. 

Photo by Wayne Wilhelm 

Estela Liermann, Polio Survivor Wayne Wilhelm 2011-11-01 00:00:00Z
Stop the Halloween Fright
Operation Christmas Child 2011
Once upon a Rotary year-y, while I pondered, growing a bit leery,
Over whether every Rotarian, would give $100 or more.
My mind raced, now more wary, suddenly what I saw was terribly scary.
More so than ghosts or monsters or something rapping at my chamber door.
It was the image of a child, paralyzed, crawling on a dirt floor.
 Only this and nothing more.
Ah, but this child I did not know, as she pained and suffered so.
Would not someone else see she was not left upon that dirty floor?
Rapidly my fear turned to sorrow for this child may have no tomorrow.
She was just another crawler, helpless and always to be poor.
Leaving it to someone else, leaves her on that dirty floor.
Nameless and alone for evermore.
More images now, my fear grew stronger; hesitating then no longer.
Poverty, illness, hunger and so many victims of conflict and war.
So many living a nightmare, with whom our good fortune we can share.
No water or food or one to care; no education, for millions no open door.
No opportunity; no bright future, neither nor.
Darkness there and nothing more.
Who will help those in need; this desperate call who will heed?
“Sir," said I, "or Madam”, truly your support I implore;
Every Rotarian, everywhere, help end this chilling tale if you dare,
help those in great despair, in our backyard and on another shore.
‘O the ways you can help are so many, please do explore.
 And change the life of a child--forevermore! 
And every Rotarian, with no hesitation, responded without consternation,
giving every year $100 and even more.
And the children’s eyes have all the seeming, filled of hope; and dreaming;
their smiles now beaming, as Rotarians’ generosity there was an outpour;
And the lives of millions with so little to live for, 
 shall be lifted--forever and evermore! 
Stop the Halloween Fright Wayne Wilhelm 2011-10-31 00:00:00Z
India Is "This Close"
India Is This Close - Archie Panjabi

India has "never been closer" to wiping out polio, India's health minister has declared as he marked World Polio Day. There have been no new cases for more than nine months, making it the longest polio-free period since the global eradication campaign was launched. The only case reported this year was in the state of West Bengal in January. There were 39 cases reported over a similar period in 2010.

India is one of only four countries in the world where polio is still endemic. The virus is also prevalent in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria.
"We are close to our goal but are not taking any chances," Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said on Monday. "Efforts will be further intensified in the country to stop any residual polio virus circulation and also to prevent any polio cases following an international importation," he said.
Officials now say that any new case of polio would be dealt with as a public health emergency. For decades health officials and non-governmental organisations have administered large-scale immunisation programmes as India battled the debilitating disease. But the health ministry reported that no cases were reported from the northern state of Uttar Pradesh for 18 months and no cases have been reported from Bihar over the last 13 months. Analysts say that these are encouraging signs.
Uttar Pradesh has been one of the worst-affected regions in the world's fight against polio with hundreds of cases reported until a few years ago. Of the 549 polio cases in India in 2008, 297 were in Uttar Pradesh.
India's efforts to reduce polio cases have been praised by international health organizations. Every year, India holds two national immunisation days in January and February and on each of these days, nearly 170.2 million children are given polio drops.
A highly infectious disease, polio tends to strike children aged under five. It invades the nervous system, leading to irreversible paralysis. There is no cure, but a vaccine of mouth droplets can give good protection.

India Is "This Close" Wayne Wilhelm 2011-10-29 00:00:00Z
Business Valuation 101

Randall Hebert of Henderson Hutcherson & McCullough presented the basics for evaluating and preparing a business for sale during the September 27 meeting of the Rotary Club of Cleveland. A prudent business owner will begin to prepare for a potential sale well in advance of the event, as at least three to five years of business history will be considered during the valuation process.

The three most common forms of business valuation are:

  1. ASSET - The tangible assets of the business are used as the basis for valuation.
  2. MARKET - A multiple of the business earnings common for the industry is used as the basis for valuation.
  3. INCOME - The discounted value of cash flows from the business are used as the basis for valuation.
The most common types of business valuations are based on the income method. Other important valuation considerations include: business forecasts, management, diversification, geographic location and the barriers to entry for a particular line of business.

Randall Hebert is a CPA and is recognized by the National Association of Certified Business Valuation Analysts as a Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA). 

Business Valuation 101 Wayne Wilhelm 2011-10-27 00:00:00Z
History-Based Tourism

Tourism is big business in the state of Tennessee. A recent report points to an increase in tourism revenue for every county in the state during 2010. According to Melissa Woody, vice president of the Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), this is a rare occurrence given the current state of the economy. "We are considered an affordable natural destination for visitors from all our bordering states and Ohio."

Funding for the Convention and Visitors Bureau's marketing efforts is provided through a portion of the five percent lodging tax. Twenty-seven percent of the total lodging tax revenues go to the Convention and Visitors Bureau to fund tourism development activities. The lodging tax comes from approximately 24 hotels accounting for 1,200 to 1,300 rooms in Bradley County. The CVB's marketing campaign includes advertising in magazines such as Better Homes and Gardens and brochures targeting more specific tourism segments.

In addition to their marketing campaign, the CVB conducts a wide range of product development activities to package potential tourist activities for the marketplace. One example of a destination product with great potential is the Fort Cass site in Charleston, Tennessee. Fort Cass was the governmental headquarters for the entire Trail of Tears operation. Plans are under way for a Heritage Center to be developed in the Charleston community along with a complimentary park and greenway focused on the area's rich historical significance.

The 150th anniversary of the Civil War is also generating major interest in our area from a tourism perspective. To further quantify the the interest prompted by the area's rich history, the CVB has received over 50,000 inquiries this year related to area tourist destinations and activities. Seventy-five thousand visitor guides were printed last year to satisfy requests for information. For more information on our area's attractions, explore

History-Based Tourism Wayne Wilhelm 2011-10-25 00:00:00Z
WACKER and Bradley County

Amanda Plecas, Site Communication Manager for Wacker Chemie AG, disclosed that the new polycrystalline silicon facility under construction in Charleston, Tennessee is the largest investment in the company's history.

Wacker expects to produce 67,000 metric tons of the raw material used in the production of solar panels in 2014. The Bradley County plant will be responsible for 15,000 metric tons of Wacker's total polycrystalline silicon production by 2014. Raw materials for the solar industry make up 25% of Wacker's total worldwide sales.

Wacker emphasizes environmental responsibility and production efficiency with their "Responsible Care" program. Production by-products are recycled in a highly efficient, closed-loop manufacturing process that has minimal environment impact.

Rapid growth in the solar industry is fueling Wacker's expansion. Photovoltaic use is forecast to grow by 42% during the period between 2007 and 2014. Rising energy costs have reduced the payback period for using solar cells from four years to two years in California and from six years to two years in Germany. Wacker's polycrystalline silicon production capacity is sold out through 2014.

Amanda noted that Wacker is very optimistic about their decision to locate in our community. Major factors playing a role in the decision to locate in Bradley County included the availability of cost-effective, TVA electricity; over-the-fence chlorine from Olin Chemical; transportation infrastructure; intellectual property protection laws; a skilled labor pool and a strong government incentives package.

The economic impact of the Wacker development is substantial with the creation of 650 direct jobs in addition to as many as 1,000 construction positions and an equal number of jobs within their supplier stream. The Wacker plant is expected to be commissioned in 2013. Click here for additional information about Wacker Tennessee.

Amanda Plecas is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and has worked as Creative Director for Waterhouse Public Relations and as Director of Public Relations for WTCI. Amanda has also participated in a Rotary Group Study Exchange as a team member traveling to India.  

Wacker - Amanda Plecas - 2011

Amanda Plecas, Site Communication Manager for Wacker Chemie AG. 

WACKER and Bradley County Wayne Wilhelm 2011-10-18 00:00:00Z
Leadership Lessons For Our Time

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

-Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

According to Marj Flemming of LaunchPoint Leadership, the Dickens quote from A Tale of Two Cities and its implications for leadership are still applicable today. Fleming described the characteristics of a good leader after noting that "We don't have many good leaders today." The elements of good leadership include:

  • The ability to set others up for success. This ability fills the pipeline with future leaders.
  • The ability to create a pathway for their followers.
  • The ability to make their followers stay focused.
  • The ability to provide inspiration. Leaders use igniter phrases, e.g. "That's a great idea!" 
  • The ability to leverage their influence by learning to listen and making impactful comments.
  • The ability to show initiative with passion, energy and enthusiasm.
Fleming used Apple's former CEO, Steve Jobs, as an excellent example of a leader with a clearly defined vision and many followers.
Marj Flemming is a teacher, mentor and personal coach for women and men who are looking for an edge in the fine art of leadership development. Fleming is a member of the Chattanooga Rotary Club and published her first book entitled "Leadership Wisdom in a Nutshell" this past spring. 

Leadership Lessons For Our Time Wayne Wilhelm 2011-10-11 00:00:00Z
Doug Berry Unveils Preliminary Industrial Site Plan

Doug Berry, VP of Economic Development for the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce, presented a set of preliminary site plans for the proposed industrial park off Exit 20 in southern Bradley County during the October 4 meeting of the Rotary Club of Cleveland. The strategically located property consists of 343 acres from the former Bob Zeige farm, fronting Interstate 75 and located approximately 13 miles from both Volkswagen and Wacker. The location and accessibility of this site make it an excellent location for suppliers to these new industrial operations.

The preliminary site layout features nine buildings ranging from 30,000 to 600,000 square feet. Berry noted that the site plan adapts to the topography of the land and includes 75 acres of buffer zones to minimize any environmental intrusions into the surrounding community. The redesign of the Exit 20 interchange provides access to the new site and opens an additional 200 acres to commercial development along I-75. The new commercial area will probably have a 20 to 30 year buildout period according to Berry.

Additional information on the progress of Whirlpool's migration to their new facility was provided during the presentation emphasizing potential future uses of the old property and buildings in three distinct sites in the downtown Cleveland area. Some of the existing buildings spread over 90 acres include multiple floor configurations that most manufacturers would view as unsuitable for production purposes. Some parts were moved over seven miles before becoming a completed stove due to the layout of the old facility. The old Hardwick Stove building seems to be the most usable structure based on initial inspections. Whirlpool is expected to fully vacate the downtown buildings by 2015. 

Doug Berry has been named the recipient of the Fred Harris Professional of the Year Award at the annual meeting of the Tennessee Economic Development Council in Memphis. Berry's contributions in the Whirlpool, Amazon, and Olin projects were cited as factors in the award.

Operation Christmas Child 2011

Doug Berry, VP of Economic Development for the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce

Photo by Wayne Wilhelm 

Doug Berry Unveils Preliminary Industrial Site Plan Wayne Wilhelm 2011-10-04 00:00:00Z
Health Savings Account Or Health Disaster Account?

The tax-sheltered account for designated health care expenses should be called a "Health Disaster Account", according to Dr. James Marcum. When we use the money from a so-called Health Savings Account, the funds are utilized to cover a health emergency or problem. Health is your most valuable asset. The actions one takes to maintain good health are the true deposits to your real Health Savings Account (HSA). Drinking plenty of water, eating healthy foods and getting plenty of rest are all investments that should be made to your HSA.

Poor investments in health are causing 1 in every 5 dollars in this country to be spent on health care. Specific problem areas include poor diet and negative input through our senses causing increased production of adrenaline and cortisol which lead to the inability to get proper rest. Anxiety induces "stress chemistry" causing poor diet habits and other health problems.

It is estimated that three out of four people do not drink enough water. The average person should take their weight divided by two to determine the proper amount of water to drink (in ounces) on a daily basis. For example, a 200 lb. person needs 100 ounces of water per day. An additional problem area is the overuse of prescription medications. According to Dr. Marcum, prescription drugs may be the third or fourth cause of death in the U.S.

Dr. Marcum is a practicing cardiologist with the Chattanooga Heart Institute and a director of HeartWise Ministries. HeartWise Ministries is dedicated to helping God's children find the Biblical truth in an over-marketed society. Watch for Dr. Marcum's new book, "The Ultimate Prescription" now available for pre-order at


Health Savings Account Or Health Disaster Account? Wayne Wilhelm 2011-09-20 00:00:00Z
Operation Christmas Child

Life Care Centers of America president, Beecher Hunter, initiated the September 13 meeting of the Rotary Club of Cleveland with "high fives" and the story behind his company's support of the Operation Christmas Child program.

Life Care (LCCA) started assembling shoeboxes filled with gifts for children in 1995. They fell slightly short of their initial goal to provide 22,000 boxes to the Samaritan's Purse effort. The project has rapidly grown throughout recent history with last year's campaign netting over 189,000 shoeboxes from the 28 states where LCCA operates. The residents of LCCA's care centers view the activity as a source of inspiration in helping the children of the world.

LCCA sponsors five company associates to travel with the Samaritan's Purse organization to assist with the distribution of the shoeboxes each year. "God directs every shoebox", stated Hunter. LCCA has collected 2.25 million shoeboxes for the children of the world since the effort began in 1995.

According to Randy Riddle, who directs domestic activities for Operation Christmas Child, the 2011 goal is to provide gift boxes for 8.5 million children in over 100 countries. The beleaguered country of Haiti was the recipient of 250,000 boxes last year.

Samaritan's Purse staffs 7 processing centers in the U.S. with over 40,000 volunteers to inspect and prepare the packages for final distribution. Over 500,000 volunteer hours are utilized in fulfilling the annual mission. 

The Rotary Club of Cleveland is participating in this year's Operation Christmas Child campaign. 

Operation Christmas Child 2011

Randy Riddle (left) of Samaritan's Purse and Beecher Hunter of Life Care Centers of America answer questions about the Operation Christmas Child project. 

Photo by Wayne Wilhelm 

Operation Christmas Child Wayne Wilhelm 2011-09-13 00:00:00Z
Amanda Elliott Wins Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship

Ambassadorial Scholarship Committee Chairperson, Ann McCoin, has announced that one of the Rotary Club of Cleveland's candidates for an Ambassadorial Scholarship has won the award.

Amanda Elliott is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James E. Elliott of Cleveland. She is a 2006 graduate of Bradley High School and a 2010 graduate of Lee University with a B.S. in Biochemistry. In 2011, she has worked as a substitute chemistry teacher at Bradley High School. Amanda intends to use her Ambassadorial Scholarship to continue her studies by pursuing a Masters Degree in Public Health (International) at the University of York in England.

Ambassadorial Scholarships, the Rotary Foundation's oldest and best-known program, was founded in 1947. Since then, more than 40,000 men and women from about 100 nations have studied abroad under its auspices. Today it is one of the world's largest privately funded international scholarship programs. Nearly 700 scholarships were awarded for study in 2009-10. Through grants totaling approximately $16.2 million, recipients from about 70 countries studied in more than 80 nations.

Congratulations Amanda! 

Amanda Elliott Wins Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship Wayne Wilhelm 2011-09-12 00:00:00Z
The End of Polio
The End of Polio Wayne Wilhelm 2011-09-07 00:00:00Z
Lee University Update

Lee University President, Dr. Paul Conn, shared some interesting facts and statistics on the local institution during the Rotary Club of Cleveland's September 6 meeting. Dr. Conn is celebrating his 25th year as president of Lee and noted that the student enrollment was 960 when he took the helm in 1986.

Back then the goal was to eventually grow to 1,500 students. When asked, at his first Cleveland Rotary presentation, if 2,000 students was even a possibility, Dr. Conn replied that he didn't feel like that number was attainable. This year, Lee University has enrolled over 4,400 students representing 48 states and 58 countries. Idaho and Wyoming are the only two states without at least one student enrolled at Lee. Student enrollment has increased for 26 straight years. 

Lee University Update

From left: program coordinator, Bill Balzano; Dr. Paul Conn; Rotary Club of Cleveland President, Kim Casteel

Photo by Wayne Wilhelm 

Lee University Update Wayne Wilhelm 2011-09-06 00:00:00Z
Cameron Fisher Recognized for New Generations Service

Past District 6780 Governor, Bobby Davis, has recognized Cameron Fisher for his role in establishing the prototype Rotary youth organization, Youthact, in our district. Cleveland Middle School hosted our local Youthact organization until earlier this year when Rotary International decided to lower the age requirement for Interact to 12 years old. As part of Rotary's 'New Generations' avenue of service, Youthact has now become part of Interact by the age extension. The Rotary Club of Cleveland now sponsors active Interact clubs at both Cleveland Middle School and Cleveland High School.

Cameron Fisher, New Generations 

From left: Cameron Fisher and former Rotary District 6780 Governor, Bobby Davis.

Photo by Wayne Wilhelm 

Cameron Fisher Recognized for New Generations Service Wayne Wilhelm 2011-09-06 00:00:00Z
Ann McCoin Honors Parents

2011 Rotarian of the Year, Ann McCoin, memorialized her parents Francis Hansbrough Yarbro and George Lawson Yarbro by naming them Paul Harris Fellows. Rotary Foundation Committee co-chairman, Norm Fontana, made the presentation and thanked Ann for her ongoing support of the Rotary International Foundation. In addition to being named Rotarian of the Year, Ann is the president of the Cleveland Rotary Foundation and is chairperson of the Ambassadorial Scholarships Committee

Ann McCoin Honors Parents

From left: Rotary Club of Cleveland President, Kim Casteel; Ann McCoin; Rotary Foundation Committee Co-Chairman, Norm Fontana.

Photo by Wayne Wilhelm 

Ann McCoin Honors Parents Wayne Wilhelm 2011-09-06 00:00:00Z
Representative Kevin Brooks, Legislative Update

Fellow Rotarian and State Representative, Kevin Brooks, shared his personal insights on the first legislative session of the 107th General Assembly during an address to the Rotary Club of Cleveland on August 30.

Representative Brooks emphasized the focus on job growth by stating that he "believes that small business is the key to improving our economic situation". The federal government now accounts for 27% of the country's GDP. Upon adding the impact of state and local government, the percentage of GDP generated through government spending increases to an "unsustainable" 42 percent. Departments in state government have been asked to prepare for an expected 30-40% decrease in federal funding as the federal government begins to address its massive debt crisis.

The legislature passed a balanced budget for Tennessee that reduced spending by an impressive $1.2 billion. Brooks noted that the passage of a budget is the only constitutionally required action of the legislature. Therefore, of the 4,000 bills passed in the most recent legislative session, 3,999 were unnecessary.

Brooks praised our state and community as being tops for economic growth and a great place to raise a family. Representative Brooks also introduced Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner, John Schroer, who was preparing to present a Transportation Enhancement Grant of $261,541 to Meigs County for a pedestrian/bicycle project in Decatur. 

Representative Kevin Brooks

Representative Kevin Brooks and Rotary Club of Cleveland President, Kim Casteel 

Photo by Wayne Wilhelm 

Representative Kevin Brooks, Legislative Update Wayne Wilhelm 2011-08-30 00:00:00Z
United Way Kickoff Luncheon

The Rotary Club of Cleveland co-hosted the 2011 United Way Kickoff Luncheon on Tuesday, August 23 at the Peerless Road Church. Brenda Lawson and Tanya Mazzolini are co-chairs for this year's campaign which has a goal of $2.3 million. Tennessee's First Lady, Chrissy Haslam, delivered the keynote address which focused on the importance of early childhood education.

Year 2010 statistics show that 42% of third graders in the state of Tennessee were unable to read at their grade level. Further examination shows that many of these children were not properly prepared when they began kindergarten. According to Haslam, as many as 34% of children entering kindergarten don't have the required language skills required to learn. First Lady Haslam is using her position to resolve these issues by promoting programs to increase parental involvement in early childhood development. She is also assisting with a program to utilize faith-based communities in Memphis to improve child preparedness levels. "I think the entire country is watching Tennessee as an example for education reform," Haslam said.

Haslam said she wanted to attend the United Way of Bradley County kickoff when she heard about the community's response to the disastrous April tornadoes. "It just really touched my heart."

Pacesetter and Challenger firms announced pledges totaling $902,280 to get the campaign off to a strong start. Many of the pledge reports are yet incomplete and will be updated at upcoming report luncheons according to United Way board chairman, Terry Henry. The next report luncheon is scheduled for noon on Monday, September 12  at the Mountain View Inn.

United Way Kickoff Luncheon Wayne Wilhelm 2011-08-23 00:00:00Z
Rotary District 6780 Governor, Frank Rothermel

"This is the best time to be alive in history", says Frank Rothermel, our District 6780 Governor. The intertwined objectives of prosperity and health have never been higher as shown by Hans Rosling's statistical video; 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes. Rotary wants to continue to play a prominent role in the march toward a better life for all people. Bill Gates, who has given over $355 million to Rotary International's fight against polio, notes that in 1960, 20 million children died of various disease worldwide. Last year, the number has dropped to 8.1 million, a 60% decrease in 50 years.

Rotary's battle against polio continues toward a successful conclusion with our own District 6780 having contributed over $2 million since 1985. The technology for tracing the disease in India is now so advanced that a single polio case may now be traced back to its carrier. Rotary International has raised over $1 billion to eradicate polio as our signature project for the last 25 years. Success is now within our grasp.

DG Rothermel echoed RI president, Kalyan Banerjee's theme for the 2011-2012 Rotary year, "Reach Within to Embrace Humanity". Given the inward and individual focus of this year's Rotary theme, we are reminded of Mahatma Gandhi's saying, "Be the change you want to see in the world."

Frank Rothermel joined the Knoxville, Tennessee Rotary club in 1996 and served as its president in 2006. In 1998, he was selected as the Four-Way Test Rotarian of the Year. Frank and his wife, Judy, are Paul Harris Fellows, Benefactors of the Rotary Foundation, Major Donors, Members of the Paul Harris Society and the Arch Klumph Society. He is president of Denark Construction and is a partner in Fielden and Rothermel Properties where he oversees the management of over 350 apartments and several commercial buildings. DG Rothermel also has an exhaustive list of community service activities and achievements outside of Rotary. Our district governor certainly personifies the Rotary motto, Service Above Self.

The Rotary Club of Cleveland has made a $250 contribution to Rotary International in memory of Frank's son, John Thomas Rothermel. 

Rotary District 6780 Governor, Frank Rothermel Wayne Wilhelm 2011-08-16 00:00:00Z
200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes
200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes Wayne Wilhelm 2011-08-16 00:00:00Z
MAJOR Donors

Matthew Brown was recognized by District 6780 Governor, Frank Rothermel, as a major donor to the Rotary Foundation during the Rotary Club of Cleveland's August 16 meeting.

Achieving major donor status is representative of a very substantial commitment to the programs and work of Rotary International. Matthew joined the Rotary Club of Cleveland in July 1995 and served as our president during the 2002-2003 Rotary year.

Pictured with Matthew are his father, K. Harrison Brown, a level 4 major donor, and DG Frank Rothermel, a member of the Arch C. Klumph Society. We thank these individuals for their MAJOR support of the Rotary Foundation and their contribution to the worldwide eradication of polio.

For more information on Rotary Foundation giving and individual recognition levels, click here.

Matthew Brown, Major Donor 

From left: K. Harrison Brown; District Governor, Frank Rothermel and Matthew Brown. 

Photo by Wayne Wilhelm 

MAJOR Donors Wayne Wilhelm 2011-08-16 00:00:00Z
Welcome Britney Cooke

Britney Cooke has been inducted as a new member of the Rotary Club of Cleveland. Britney is the director of marketing for Cooke's Food and Super Saver and was proposed for membership by Tim Spires. Britney is a former member of the Bradley Sunrise Rotary Club and her Rotary classification is Groceries, Retail.

Britney Cooke Induction 

From left: Britney Cooke; Rotary Club of Cleveland secretary, Tim Spires

Photo by Wayne Wilhelm 

Welcome Britney Cooke Wayne Wilhelm 2011-08-16 00:00:00Z
Fine Feathered Friends of the Cleveland Greenway
birder |ˈbərdər|

noun informal

a bird-watcher, i.e. David Chaffin


Our "roving" Rotarian, Dr. David Chaffin, introduced the Rotary Club of Cleveland to a new world of competitive observation -birding. For the uninitiated, this probably means bird-watching in the backyard or while relaxing on vacation. For David Chaffin, birding is a slightly more involved activity. His documentation of bird species sightings has him ranked 22nd in the United States and 9th in the state of Tennessee. With 11,242 sightings, David Chaffin is the world's 229th most prolific birder.


He has recently turned the focus of his birding activities toward the Cleveland Greenway, with the intent of documenting as many of the "Fine Feathered Friends of the Cleveland Greenway" as possible. To date, he has recorded 82 species of birds in the greenway area, including a first time in Bradley County sighting of the Willow Flycatcher. David's greenway sightings include Sand Hill Cranes, Canadian Geese, Red-Tailed and Red-Shouldered Hawks, and the ever-numerous European Starling, also known in some circles as the "air rat". Our highly-ranked birder expects to document 100 avian species in the greenway area by the end of this year. Fellow Rotarian, Don Ritzhaupt, is also hooked on the hobby after an introduction to bird-watching by Chaffin several years ago.

David Chaffin, our 2010 Rotarian of the Year, also holds the Rotary Club of Cleveland's number one ranking in collecting Rotary club banners while traveling the country in his work and as our "roving" Rotarian. David has collected over 240 banners for our local archives during his travels.



David Chaffin, Fine Feathered Friends Program

From left: Tennessee's 9th Ranked Birder, Dr. David Chaffin; Rotary Club of Cleveland President, Kim Casteel 

Photo by Wayne Wilhelm 

Fine Feathered Friends of the Cleveland Greenway Wayne Wilhelm 2011-08-09 00:00:00Z
Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway Update

Fellow Rotarian and greenway board chairman, Cameron Fisher, provided an update on the status of the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway during the August 2 meeting of the Rotary Club of Cleveland. The Phase 5 portion of the greenway linking Raider Drive and Tinsley Park is now underway with an expected completion date in October 2011. The Phase 5 addition will sport highly efficient LED lighting which will save thousands of dollars in energy costs during their operating lifespan. New signage relating greenway rules and etiquette have been posted along the pathway. Several historical markers are planned for the route with one already installed describing the origin of the name Cleveland.

Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway Update Wayne Wilhelm 2011-08-02 00:00:00Z
Welcome Dr. Martin Ringstaff and Michael Baker

The Rotary Club of Cleveland welcomes new members, Dr. Martin Ringstaff and Michael Baker. Dr. Ringstaff is the newly appointed director of the Cleveland City Schools System and Michael Baker is the new city executive for BB&T. Dr. Ringstaff was proposed for membership by Dr. Don Robinson and Michael Baker was proposed by Max Carroll. Welcome to Rotary and the Cleveland community!

 Martin Ringstaff and Michael Baker

Pictured from left: Dr. Don Robinson, Dr. Martin Ringstaff, Max Carroll and Michael Baker.

Photo by Wayne Wilhelm 

Welcome Dr. Martin Ringstaff and Michael Baker Wayne Wilhelm 2011-08-02 00:00:00Z
Men & Women of Action

Teddie Bennett was not exactly a world traveler when she became executive assistant to the president of Men & Women of Action. Since then, she has visited 37 countries in the past 18 years. Men & Women of Action is a local and international missions and disaster relief organization. The organization now makes 100 trips per year in fulfilling its missions and relief objectives. Men & Women of Action spent several years working in New Orleans in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. More recently the organization has provided assistance to tornado victims in Joplin, Missouri and to those displaced by flooding in Minot, North Dakota.

As of April 27, the organization has 947 volunteers among its ranks and can count 1,156 completed projects. 

For additional information, visit their website at

Men & Women of Action Wayne Wilhelm 2011-07-26 00:00:00Z
Katye Brock, Distinguished Young Woman of America

The tagline of the Distinguished Young Women program is: Scholarship - Leadership - Talent. The Distinguished Young Woman of America for 2011, Katye Brock, from Tullahoma, Tennessee is a perfect example of the great potential found within the program's participants. "This is not a beauty pageant", says Brock. These young women have an average ACT score of 32 and 11 high school valedictorians may be found in this year's group of 23 candidates competing for the title of Distinguished Young Woman of Tennessee.

Katye Brock credits the program for boosting her confidence, self-esteem, poise, fitness, time management skills, maturity and building lifetime connections and relationships. She enjoys the opportunities provided for volunteerism and giving back to the community. The "Be Your Best Self" component of th program allows Distinguished Young Women participants to reach out and encourage young people nationwide to make a commitment to being their best selves in areas such as: academics, physical fitness, morality, character and social and civic participation.

Twenty three girls are in the Cleveland community competing for the state title at Lee University's Dixon Center on the evening of July 22 and July 23. Cleveland Rotarian, Sheryl Jaggers and husband Dr. John Jaggers have served as a host family for the group during this week's activities. 

Katye Brock, Distinguished Young Woman of America

From left: Nicholas Lillios, program chairman; Katye Brock, 2011 Distinguished Young Woman of America; Kim Casteel, Rotary Club of Cleveland President, and Sheryl Jaggers, program coordinator.

Photo by Wayne Wilhelm  

Katye Brock, Distinguished Young Woman of America Wayne Wilhelm 2011-07-19 00:00:00Z
Ambassadorial Scholarship Candidates

The Rotary Club of Cleveland has sponsored two excellent candidates for an opportunity to secure a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship. The Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship program was founded in 1947 and is now one of the world's largest privately funded international scholarship programs. Nearly 700 scholarships were awarded for study in 2009-2010. Through grants totaling approximately $16.2 million, recipients from about 70 countries studied in more than 80 nations.

Our candidates are Amanda Joy Elliott and Alyssa Jillian Watkins.

Amanda Elliott is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James E. Elliott of Cleveland. She is a 2006 graduate of Bradley High School and a 2010 graduate of Lee University with a B.S. in Biochemistry. In 2011, she has worked as a substitute chemistry teacher at Bradley High School. Should she win the Ambassadorial Scholarship, Amanda would like to continue her studies by pursuing a Masters Degree in Public Health (International) at the University of York in England.

Jillian Watkins is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Watkins of Cleveland. She is a 2007 graduate of Cleveland High School and a December 2011 graduate of MTSU with a B.A. in Political Science. Jillian is currently an Administrative Assistant in the law firm of Bouldin & Bouldin, PLC in Murfreesboro, TN. If awarded the Ambassadorial Scholarship, Jillian will pursue a Masters Degree in Mass Communication at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. 

Ambassadorial Scholarship Candidates

From left, Amanda Elliott; Ann McCoin, Ambassadorial Scholarship Committee Chairperson and Jillian Watkins. Not pictured are committee members Will Reynolds and Phil Jacobs.

Photo by Wayne Wilhelm 

Ambassadorial Scholarship Candidates Wayne Wilhelm 2011-07-19 00:00:00Z
Greenway Fountain Dedicated

Members of the Rotary Club of Cleveland gathered at the Cleveland Greenway on July 19 to officially dedicate the drinking fountain installed by the club this past April. Club vice-president, Pam Nelson, thanked those involved in the installation including, Lloyd Rogers, Wholesale Supply Group; Ben Nelson, Tennessee Craftsman; Wayne Wallace, WW Concrete and Allan Colloms who performed the plumbing for the project. Fred Garmon with People for Care and Learning provided the landscaping around the perimeter of the fountain area and Kim Randolph of Ralph Buckner Funeral Home provided the granite marker.

Rotary International has a worldwide emphasis on clean drinking water while the Rotary Club of Cleveland is an enthusiastic supporter of the Cleveland Greenway. The drinking fountain is a complementary project to the Willow Street Entry Portal and picnic area that was installed to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Rotary.

The fountain is located just off the Harris Circle trailhead and parking area near the newly installed restroom facilities. 

Greenway Fountain Dedication

From left: Wayne Wilhelm, David Chaffin, Cameron Fisher, Gary Sears, Allan Colloms, Tom Thomas, Ben Nelson, Pam Nelson, Norm Fontana, Amy Card-Lillios, Jerry Bird, Julia Scoggins, Art Rhodes, Kendra Bailey, Kim Casteel, Nicholas Lillios, Harrison Brown, David Carroll, Victor Boltniew, guest, Aaron Weatherford, Ryan Marshall. 

Greenway Fountain Dedicated Wayne Wilhelm 2011-07-19 00:00:00Z
DG Frank & Judy Rothermel's Son Dies In Boston, MA (Updated)
DG Frank & Judy Rothermel's Son Dies In Boston, MA (Updated) 2011-07-16 00:00:00Z
Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial

Tourism is a $13.3 billion business in the state of Tennessee. Tennessee's rich Civil War history plays an important part in the tourism economy according to Lee Curtis, Director of Program Development for Heritage Tourism. Tourism in Tennessee related to the Civil War is so popular that an additional phone line had to be installed to handle requests for a new Civil War Trails brochure developed by the Department of Tourist Development.

The state of Tennessee is a Civil War heritage area as designated by Congress. Tennessee is the only state whose entire area has this congressional designation. More than 1,400 battles were fought in Tennessee with a least one occurring in each of the state's 95 counties. The Henegar House in Charleston, TN was briefly used as a headquarters for General William T. Sherman, where he made the following statement to Margaret Henegar, "When I am through with the South, not even a bird will fly here." Margaret Henegar was a secessionist while her husband Henry was a Union sympathizer.

An interesting film entitled "The Civil War in Four Minutes" showed the ebb and flow of the constantly changing battle lines and the mounting casualty numbers in the conflict. 

Civil War In Four Minutes 

The Civil War in Four Minutes 

The state of Tennessee and the city of Cleveland are marking the 150th anniversary of the Civil War with a series of events focusing on the history of our "border state". Over 215 markers have currently been installed as part of the Civil War Trails program with over three hundred scheduled by the end of this year. For more information on Tennessee's sequicentennial programs, visit

Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Wayne Wilhelm 2011-07-12 00:00:00Z
Dr. Martin Ringstaff, Director of Cleveland City Schools

Dr. Martin Ringstaff is looking to improve the Cleveland City School System by creating successful relationships between students and teachers. In his first address to the Rotary Club of Cleveland since taking over for retiring director, Rick Denning, Dr. Ringstaff explained his philosophy on successful learning. “We are looking for that perfect relationship for our kids to be successful ... we want the teachers that are going to get to those kids the best,” Ringstaff explained. “Providing these students with the best opportunities possible in the best learning environment possible is what we are here to do.”

Progressive education reform recognizes that students learn in different ways. New teaching methods such as Quadrant D Critical Thinking skills are favored over rote memorization in modern educational settings. Newly graduated teachers already have these teaching skills. Some existing, long-time teachers need additional training to utilize these new teaching methods.

Funding remains a challenge for school systems as "No Child Left Behind" is outdated and unfunded. Dr. Ringstaff also favors recent changes in the teacher tenure system. Tenure has tended to protect some mediocre teachers. Increasing the time required to attain tenure from three to five years is a positive. Ringstaff's motto for education is "Every Child, Every Day.

Dr. Martin Ringstaff was previously principal of a high school listed in the U.S. News top 100 high schools in the nation.

Dr. Martin Ringstaff - July 2011

Pictured from left: Nicholas Lillios, program chairman; Kim Casteel, Rotary Club of Cleveland president; Dr. Martin Ringstaff and David Norton, program coordinator.

Photo by Norm Fontana

Dr. Martin Ringstaff, Director of Cleveland City Schools Wayne Wilhelm 2011-07-05 00:00:00Z
Michael Callaway Honors Daughters

Rotarian, Michael Callaway, honored his three daughters during the July 5 meeting by naming them Paul Harris Fellows. Marie Callaway Kellner is recently married and is an attorney and trial judge clerk in Boise, Idaho. Libby Callaway is a writer involved in a Nashville fashion and lifestyles business called Imogene & Willie. Her recent book about "American Pickers" star, Mike Wolfe, is being published by Hyperion Press. "American Pickers" is a popular show on the History Channel. Millie Callaway lives in Nashville, Tennessee and is a Community Development Consultant for TVA. Millie manages TVA's community development activities in northern Alabama, northern Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky and eastern Tennessee.

Michael Callaway, who joined the Rotary Club of Cleveland in 1967, is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow and former recipient of the Rotarian of the Year award. He's also a very proud father for good reason. Thank you, Mike, for your support of the Rotary Foundation!

Michael Callaway Honors Daughters

Pictured from left: Marie Callaway Kellner, Libby Callaway, Michael Callaway and Millie Callaway. 

Photo by Norm Fontana 

Michael Callaway Honors Daughters Wayne Wilhelm 2011-07-05 00:00:00Z
2011 Rotarian of the Year, Ann McCoin

Ann Yarbro McCoin has been named the 2011 Rotarian of the Year by the Rotary Club of Cleveland. David Chaffin, the 2010 honoree, made the presentation during the July 5 noon meeting. Ann has served in many capacities since becoming one of the Rotary Club of Cleveland's first female members in 1989, including heading up the Ambassadorial Scholarship committee. Ann has perfect attendance for 21 years and currently serves as president of the Cleveland Rotary Foundation. The Rotary Club of Cleveland has named Ann an honorary Paul Harris Fellow as part of the presentation.

2011 Rotarian of the Year, Ann McCoin

Pictured from left: Joseph Y. "Mac" McCoin Jr.; Ann Yarbro McCoin; Kim Casteel, Rotary Club of Cleveland president; David Chaffin, 2010 Rotarian of the Year. 

Photo by Norm Fontana 

2011 Rotarian of the Year, Ann McCoin Wayne Wilhelm 2011-07-05 00:00:00Z
A Message From Our New President, Kim Casteel

When I attended the recent Rotary International Convention in New Orleans with a group of fellow Cleveland Rotarians, I heard incoming president Kalyan Banerjee, of India, challenge us with our theme for 2011-2012, “Reach Within to Embrace Humanity.” He urged Rotarians to harness their inner resolve and strength to attain service success, explaining that to achieve anything in the world, a person has to use all the resources he or she can draw on, starting with what is within.

The theme resounded with me. Before we will have the energy or will to reach out in service to others, it must start with the heart. We acknowledge that everyone has the same hopes, dreams, and desire to be happy and fulfilled. Only when we achieve that can we help others do the same.

This year Rotary will concentrate on three areas around the world: family, continuity, and change. Family is the core of our existence, so service must begin there. Continuity signals that we will keep doing what we’ve dedicated ourselves to for the last several years; literacy, clean water, reaching young people, and working to eradicate polio. Change reminds us that we must focus on our strategic plan and future vision, including an emphasis on developing our own social network and seeking new young members and diversity so vital for our club success.

Cleveland Rotary has a rich heritage of community and international projects, such as the Dairy Show, Dictionary Project, Greenway, Ambassadorial Scholarship, Group Study Exchange, Rotary Auction, and our focal cause—Polio Eradication. We will continue these vital emphases.

In Cleveland Rotary, help me this year lead our club to greater diversity in ethnicity, gender, and age. Help me spread the word to our community who Rotary is and what we stand for.  Help our club coalesce around our visionary strategic plan enacted by this year’s board. 

I am honored and humbled to serve as president of the Cleveland Rotary Club. Thank you for the confidence in me that your election implies. Together, we will “Reach Within to Embrace Humanity.”



Kim Casteel

President, Rotary Club of Cleveland

A Message From Our New President, Kim Casteel Wayne Wilhelm 2011-06-30 00:00:00Z

All members received a special email on Wednesday, June 1, requesting that you update your membership profile information. The membership profile information from the club database will be used in the production of the printed 2011-2012 Club Directory. This information is being finalized for publication in the printed club directory NOW. This will be your last opportunity to get changes included in the printed directory. 

Dress Code Controversy

Controversy is brewing in our midst as the hot weather has brought out some attire which some (Harrison Brown) say pushes the boundaries of the "Rotary Dress Code". What do you think? Dress code or progressive heat beaters?

Dress Code Controversy

Cameron Fisher polls the crowd for opinions on Rotary attire while Ted Moss mounts an impassioned plea for others to join in the revolt.

From left: Michael Callaway, progressive dresser; Jerry Bird, radical shorts advocate; Cameron Fisher, moderator; Ted Moss, co-instigator and rebel spokesperson.

Not pictured: Bill Creech, co-instigator and cautious observer. 

Dress Code Controversy Wayne Wilhelm 2011-06-28 00:00:00Z
2011-2012 Officers and Directors

Past District Governor, Jim Buckner, officially installed the new officers and directors for the 2011-2012 Rotary year during the June 28 noon meeting. PDG Buckner commented on the rich heritage of leadership and the good reputation that the Rotary Club of Cleveland enjoys in District 6780. He also reminded the new leaders that incoming RI president, Kalyan Banerjee, has encouraged us to harness inner strength to build stronger families and better communities.

2011-2012 Officers and Directors

Front row from left: Fred Garmon, director-service projects; Steve Carroll, past president; Kim Casteel, president; Pam Nelson, vice president-public relations; Craig Mullinax, treasurer.

Back row from left: Tom Thomas, director-Rotary Foundation; Wayne Wilhelm, director-publications; Tim Spires, secretary; Matthew Brown, director-membership; Nicholas Lillios, director-programs, Bill Balzano, chaplain.

Not pictured: Art Rhodes, president-elect; Norm Fontana, director-Rotary Foundation; Ted Moss, sergeant-at-arms.

Photo by Ken Jones 

2011-2012 Officers and Directors Wayne Wilhelm 2011-06-28 00:00:00Z
The Caring Place - Meeting Need With Love

The Caring Place is a Christian, ecumenical, non-profit organization whose mission is to model the love of Christ by addressing basic physical, spiritual, and social needs of the disadvantaged in Bradley County. In 2010 The Caring Place distributed over 166 tons of food while serving 3,316 needy families. In addition to providing food and basic necessities, the organization provided professional social work and counseling services to 511 people. In order to qualify for assistance, the household income level must be below the poverty level.

Executive Director, Reba Terry, who is a licensed clinical social worker, shared the results of a recent community survey which polled the need for various services in our community. Dental care ranked highest followed by assistance with rent and/or utilities, health care and employment assistance. The survey results may be used in developing new service areas for The Caring Place or other organizations in the area.

In May 2011, The Caring Place kicked off a new program called diaperLove. The diaperLove program provided 84 children from 65 different households over 7,500 diapers during the first month of operations. According to Ms. Terry, the program is on target to double in June. It was noted that severe diaper rash is grounds for removal of children by the Department of Children's Services.

The Caring Place was the recipient of a Cleveland Rotary Foundation grant in 2010. The $8,700 grant was used to enclose an entry/waiting area in order to protect clients from harsh weather conditions. 

The Caring Place - Meeting Need With Love Wayne Wilhelm 2011-06-21 00:00:00Z
Gary Farlow, Economic Update

"We have a long way to go to be out of recession", according to Gary Farlow, president and CEO of the Cleveland Bradley Chamber of Commerce. Improvement in the local unemployment rate is encouraging with the March 2011 rate falling to 9% from 9.7% one year earlier. The 9% rate translates to approximately 4,500 people registered as unemployed. Building construction remains flat with retail sales and sales tax revenue numbers climbing only slightly.

There's plenty of good news for the local economy on the horizon with major investments from totaling over $2 billion from Wacker, Whirlpool, Amazon and Olin Chemical beginning to filter into Cleveland and Bradley County. Farlow estimates that between 80 and 100 expatriates from Germany will begin to arrive in the area during the next four months in connection with Wacker Chemie AG. The recent approval of an "international baccalaureate" program by the Bradley County school system will help in attracting these international workers to our local community. 

Gary Farlow, Economic Update

From left: Steve Carroll, Rotary Club of Cleveland President; Gary Farlow, Cleveland Bradley County Chamber of Commerce President.

Photo by Wayne Wilhelm 

Gary Farlow, Economic Update Wayne Wilhelm 2011-06-14 00:00:00Z
New Member, Kendra Bailey

We welcome Kendra Bailey as the newest member of the Rotary Club of Cleveland. Kendra is the owner of Ever After Bridal and Formal Wear. Kendra's Rotary classification is Bridal Apparel and she was proposed for membership by our president-elect, Kim Casteel. Welcome to Rotary Kendra!

New Member, Kendra Bailey

From left: President-elect, Kim Casteel; Kendra Bailey; president, Steve Carroll.

Photo by Wayne Wilhelm 

New Member, Kendra Bailey Wayne Wilhelm 2011-06-14 00:00:00Z
2011 RI Convention Speeches

To bring a bit of the convention to those who were not able to attend the International Convention in New Orleans, we are providing links to copies of the speeches made by RIPE Kalyan Banerjee and Bill Gates during the convention.


My fondest wish for you, he said, is that at the end of the day, each day, you can look back and think: ― "I wrote a little line today in the history of good."
---statement by a speaker, New Orleans Convention 1976, quoted by RIPE Kaylan Banerjee

We are “this close.” Rotary has written so many chapters in the history of the fight against polio. Your work. Your voices. Your continuing commitment. These are the things that will allow us to end the story — and close the book. 

---Bill Gates

Click here for full text of Kaylan Banerjee speech. . . 

Click here for full text of Bill Gates speech. . .


2011 RI Convention Speeches Wayne Wilhelm 2011-06-12 00:00:00Z
New Member, John Thomas

Rotarian Jerry Bird, introduced John Thomas as the newest member of the Rotary Club of Cleveland during the June 7 club assembly. John has recently retired from the payroll and human resources firm, Ceridian. John is married to Susan Lackey and his Rotary classification is Human Resource Services

New Member, John Thomas Wayne Wilhelm 2011-06-07 00:00:00Z
CHS Interact 2010-2011

Faculty advisor, Don Markham, reviewed a successful year for the Cleveland High Interact Club during our June 7 club assembly. The rapidly growing organization now consists of over 80 members who participated in 22 service projects during this past school year. CHS Interact contributed over 1,100 hours to projects such as Mercy Ships, Muscular Dystrophy Association fundraising, providing assistance to The Caring Place, working at elementary school fall festivals and Operation Christmas Child. The Interactors raised hundreds of dollars in support of their successful service endeavors.

Several Interactors excelled with individual accomplishments including Justin Cousineau, winner of the Rotary Club of Cleveland academic scholarship; Aimee Murray, winner of the District 6780 speech contest; and Sandy Ha who served as a district Interact officer. Six Interact members attended the Rotary Youth Leadership Academy this year.

CHS Interact is a shining example of what young people can accomplish with a little assistance from Rotary and guidance from great faculty advisors like Don Markham and Holly Gobble. Congratulations on a great year!

CHS Interact 2010-2011 Wayne Wilhelm 2011-06-07 00:00:00Z
David Chaffin Graduates From District Leadership Academy

David Chaffin became the ninth Rotary Club of Cleveland member to graduate from the District 6780 Leadership Academy on June 4, 2011. The District Leadership Academy provides intensive training for Rotarians who have high potential for future leadership positions beyond the club level.

The lessons are designed to develop knowledge and ideas beyond those one would ordinarily encounter at the club level, and to develop knowledge of resources so that participants will know where to go to research and develop additional Rotary knowledge and skills.

The District Leadership Academy was founded during the 1992-1993 Rotary year. From 1992 through 2011, there have been 182 graduates from 56 clubs. David has served the Rotary Club of Cleveland in many capacities since his induction in 1984, including acting as club president in 1991-1992. David is also our 2010 Rotarian of the Year.

David Chaffin Graduates From District Leadership Academy Wayne Wilhelm 2011-06-04 00:00:00Z
Roy Exum, Master Storyteller

Roy Exum started his career as a copy boy for the Chattanooga News-Free Press some 36 years ago in the era before internet news and Skype-based reporting. During his career as a columnist and sportswriter, Exum was known for his "southern-style" commentaries focusing on people and personalities.

Mr. Exum shared some personal stories related to college athletics with the Rotary Club of Cleveland during the May 31 noon meeting. A coaching comparison was made between Lou Holtz, head football coach at Arkansas during the sixties, and some of today's college coaches who were characterized as having to act more like "prison wardens" than athletic specialists. The story focused on how Holtz was able to motivate his handicapped Arkansas team to a 32 to 7 victory over Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl, despite being a 20-point underdog due to the suspension and injury of several key players.

Exum characterized some high profile coaches facing NCAA violations such as Bruce Pearl, Jim Tressel and Lane Kiffin as having gone 90 miles per hour while everyone else was doing 65 in a 55 mile per hour zone. In the case of Lane Kiffin, Exum noted that Kiffen has been mentioned "personally" in NCAA investigations where most other coaches were named along with their respective universities. These individuals were high on the radar of NCAA officials due to the scope of their violations.

"Successful sports figures care about people," and Alabama's Bear Bryant was one of the best at getting inside his player's heads to bring motivation and success. Exum shared that two percent of collegiate athletes are going to be problems while 98% are winners. In an interesting exchange with former NFL player, Deion Sanders, Exum asked, "How many gold chains do you own Deion?" Sanders replied, "All of them."

Roy Exum, Master Storyteller Wayne Wilhelm 2011-05-31 00:00:00Z
Happy Memorial Day From The Rotary Club of Cleveland
Happy Memorial Day
Happy Memorial Day From The Rotary Club of Cleveland Wayne Wilhelm 2011-05-30 00:00:00Z
Ruthie Forgey, Some Walls Needed To Be Destroyed

"Some of the walls that the storms destroyed were not tragic. Walls of isolation, excluison, economics and judgement tumbled as we reached out to care for our neighbors. The truest tragedy would be to rebuild those walls as we rebuild our community."

-Ruthie Forgey, Administrator, Salvation Army, Cleveland, TN

Fellow Rotarian and Salvation Army Administrator, Ruthie Forgey, shared her experiences surrounding the disastrous tornadoes of April 27, 2011 during our May 24 program, including a harrowing near miss in the Villa Drive area. The community's response was overwhelming and social media played an important role in getting the word out on needed food and supplies. The Salvation Army mobile canteen served over 5,000 peanut butter sandwiches in the 24-hour period immediately following the disaster.

Through May 20, the Salvation Army's Cleveland, Tennessee chapter has served over 16,000 meals; 32,000 drinks; 4,000 snacks and 2,000 food boxes. Volunteer assistance is still needed, especially in the receiving warehouse at White Wing Publishing. For additional information call (423) 308-3467 or visit the Salvation Army of Cleveland Facebook page at: To donate to the Salvation Army's relief effort, visit Designate "Bradley County Tennessee" on your donation to be sure your dollars are utilized in our community.


Ruthie Forgey, Some Walls Needed To Be Destroyed Wayne Wilhelm 2011-05-24 00:00:00Z
May 17 Program, YMCA Assists With Disaster Relief

Cleveland YMCA Director, Lee McChesney, outlined recent steps the organization has taken to provide disaster relief following the devastating tornadoes of April 27. Michigan Avenue Elementary School has been using the YMCA gymnasium for PE classes due to damage sustained at the school. The YMCA has also made its facilities available to displaced families needing shelter and a place to shower. Additional scholarships have been provided for impacted students utilizing the After School Program.

The YMCA is also sharing its location with Farmland Community Church and First Baptist Church.

Upcoming YMCA programs include the Summer Day Camp providing weekly themes such as science and recycling. Field trips are planned to the Ocoee and Chattanooga Lookouts games. The annual back-to-school Middle School Party is scheduled for August 20. Between 700 and 800 students are expected to attend. The Harlan White Memorial Volleyball Tournament to fund YMCA scholarships will be held on August 27. The tournament will be played on outdoor courts and will consist of four-on-four, coed teams. 

Lee McChesney - Cleveland YMCA

Pictured from left: Rotary Club of Cleveland President-Elect, Kim Casteel; Cleveland YMCA Director, Lee McChesney.

Photo by Wayne Wilhelm 

May 17 Program, YMCA Assists With Disaster Relief Wayne Wilhelm 2011-05-17 00:00:00Z
Justin Cousineau Wins Rotary Scholarship

Cleveland High School Interactor, Justin Cousineau, has been awarded an academic scholarship by the Rotary Club of Cleveland. Justin is an outstanding candidate with an excellent academic record and made a great impression during the interview process. Justin will continue his education at Middle Tennessee State University where he plans to secure a degree in mathematics. Justin aspires to become a math teacher after completing his education.

The Scholarship Committee was challenged in selecting a winner given the exceptional quality of this year's applicants. Nine applicants with superb credentials were evaluated by the committee to select the top three candidates who would participate in a live interview to determine the winner. Congratulations to all the applicants for their remarkable achievements.

 Justin Cousineau Wins Rotary Scholarship

Pictured from left: Rotary Club of Cleveland President-Elect, Kim Casteel; Justin's Mother, Debbie Cousineau; Justin Cousineau; and Scholarship Committee Chairman, Bill Creech.

Photo by Wayne Wilhelm 

Justin Cousineau Wins Rotary Scholarship Wayne Wilhelm 2011-05-17 00:00:00Z
2011 District 6780 Assembly

The Rotary Club of Cleveland was well represented at the 2011 District 6780 Assembly held on May 14 at Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville. Incoming officers and board members had the opportunity to learn about Rotary operations and share ideas with other District 6780 clubs. District Rotary Foundation committee chairman, David Carroll, moderated the breakout sessions on the Rotary Foundation. More than 200 District 6780 Rotarians attended the event.

2011 District 6780 Assembly

Pictured from left: Don Ritzhaupt, Jan Wilms, David Carroll, Wayne Wilhelm, Tim Spires, Bill George, Cameron Fisher, Kim Casteel, Art Rhodes, Craig Mullinax and Norm Fontana. 

2011 District 6780 Assembly Wayne Wilhelm 2011-05-14 00:00:00Z
April 10 Program, Mayor Gary Davis

Bradley County Mayor, Gary Davis, described the struggle to manage the emergency created on April 27 when multiple tornadoes hit Bradley County, destroying hundreds of homes and killing nine people. It was the first time during the mayor's tenure that the emergency 911 operations center had to be activated due to a disaster in our community. "We already had reports of over 40 entrapments by the fourth wave of tornadoes. We didn't know that two more waves of tornadoes were yet to come." Some roads were blocked by literally hundreds of downed trees. Emergency personnel had no way to access some areas where help was needed. The situation threatened to descend into chaos.

Despite the extreme circumstances, TEMA reported that Bradley County had a near textbook response to the emergency conditions. Mayor Davis reports that initial damage assessments have been completed and thousands of meals have been served to displaced families and volunteer workers. Over 500 families have been displaced and will need short and long-term housing. The recovery is well under way in Bradley County. FEMA debris removal and monitoring contracts have been signed and volunteer efforts are continuing.

In spite of the devastating situation, Bradley County and Cleveland still look forward to continued economic growth through the investments of Wacker, Amazon, Whirlpool and Olin Corporation. Mayor Davis says we will face another challenging budget this year due revenues that are flat or down from last year. The potential loss of over 500 homes from the tax roles due to the tornadoes is another area of significant concern.

Mayor Davis blasted the pending legislation to tax Amazon customer purchases fulfilled through the new distribution centers in Bradley County and Chattanooga. Our industrial recruiting efforts will be ruined if we get the reputation of not following up on our commitments to existing industry. Mayor Davis noted that "It's scary when the legislature is in session in Nashville." He praised our local state legislators for pressing the state government to honor its commitment to Amazon.

April 10 Program, Mayor Gary Davis Wayne Wilhelm 2011-05-10 00:00:00Z
Multi-District Conference Awards

The Rotary Club of Cleveland was recognized for several important achievements during the recent Multi-District Conference held in Nashville, Tennessee. Our club was awarded Star, Eradicator and Globe club status for goals attained during the 2010-2011 Rotary year. Pictured below are delegates from the Rotary Club of Cleveland who attended the event over the April 29 - May 1 weekend. Congratulations to president, Steve Carroll and the entire membership of the Rotary Club of Cleveland for a very successful year. 

2011 Multi-District Conference

From left, Steve Carroll, Kim Casteel, David Carroll and Norm Fontana. 

Multi-District Conference Awards Wayne Wilhelm 2011-04-30 00:00:00Z
Suzanne Burrell Achieves Blue Badge Status In Record Time

Suzanne Burrell was awarded her official "blue badge" during the April 26 meeting by Orientation Committee chairperson, Amy Card-Lillios. Suzanne completed the 17-step process in record time since her induction this past November.

Rotary Club of Cleveland members are issued a "red badge" to indicate that they are new to the organization until they have completed a rigorous set of tasks intended to educate and inform new members about Rotary. Congratulations Suzanne on a job well done.

Suzanne Burrell - Blue Badge

From left, Steve Carroll,  Suzanne Burrell and Amy Card-Lillios. 

Photo by Pam Nelson 

Suzanne Burrell Achieves Blue Badge Status In Record Time Wayne Wilhelm 2011-04-26 00:00:00Z
Don Ritzhaupt Honors Father with Paul Harris Fellow Award

Rotary Club of Cleveland member, Don Ritzhaupt, recently honored his father, Delbert Ritzhaupt with a Paul Harris Fellow award at the Rotary Club of Galion, Ohio. The Galion club is a 100% Paul Harris Fellow club! 

Delbert Ritzhaupt - PHF

From left, Delbert Ritzhaupt,  Don Ritzhaupt.

Don Ritzhaupt Honors Father with Paul Harris Fellow Award Wayne Wilhelm 2011-04-21 00:00:00Z
Park View Elementary School Receives Rotary Four-Way Test Banner

Literacy Committee Chairman, Bill Creech, and Park View Dictionary Project Team Leader, Wayne Wilhelm, present Park View Elementary School with a Rotary Four-Way Test banner. Park View principal, Deb Bailey, wants her students to be exposed to these important ethical standards as part of the development of their leadership skills. Also pictured are student leaders from the fifth-grade classes at Park View Elementary. 

Park View Elementary

Park View Elementary School's third grade classes received student dictionaries as part of a Rotary Club of Cleveland literacy project during December.

Park View Elementary School Receives Rotary Four-Way Test Banner Wayne Wilhelm 2011-04-20 00:00:00Z
New Member, Ryan Marshall

Rotarian Roger Fuller,  introduced Ryan Marshall as the newest member of the Rotary Club of Cleveland during the April 19 meeting. Ryan is from Marietta, Georgia and runs the family business, High Country Adventures, with his father. Ryan is the Vice-President of Commercial Lending with First Bank.

New Member, Ryan Marshall Wayne Wilhelm 2011-04-19 00:00:00Z
Craig Oetting, Biodiesel Advocate

Craig Oetting enjoys debating the merits of biodiesel versus ethanol-based fuels distilled from crops such as switchgrass and corn. Craig currently manufactures his own supply of biodiesel fuel by collecting and processing used vegetable oil from local restaurants. By collecting about 150 gallons of waste vegetable oil per month and utilizing his own equipment, Oetting is able to produce fuel for his Dodge diesel pickup for about 80 cents per gallon. He estimates that he saved enough in fuel costs to offset the $1,600 cost of equipment within six months.

Oetting adds methanol and sodium hydroxide to neutralize the acidity of the waste vegetable oil. Additional processing steps remove glycerol and moisture from the non-toxic final product. Current "gas station" diesel is comprised of 80% petroleum and 20% bio-based fuel. Bio-fuels currently account for about 20% of total U.S. consumption. Craig is allowed to make up to 399 gallons of biodiesel per year for personal use without paying fuel taxes on the product.

While biodiesel creates about 67% less emissions than fossil fuels, one might notice the aroma of french fries or tacos emanating from the truck's exhaust, depending on the source restaurant. As gas prices continue to skyrocket, interest in alternative fuels is rising. Craig is the third student to enroll in the new bio-energy degree program at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Craig Oetting is a graduate of Cleveland State Community College.

Craig Oetting, Biodiesel Advocate Wayne Wilhelm 2011-04-19 00:00:00Z
2011 Rotary Run 10K
The second annual Rotary Run 10K was a success! Despite some heavy rain which detoured the race course off the greenway, the participants enjoyed a beautiful morning for a race. Thanks to all the Rotarians who helped with registration, photography, or served as sentries: Victor Boltniew, Mike Callaway, David Carroll, Steve Carroll, Dan Chord, Paul Dellinger, Cameron Fisher, Fred Garmon, Bill George, Ken Jones, Jack Milne, Max Morris, Don Ritzhaupt, Tim Spires, Aaron Weatherford, Wayne Wilhelm, Joe V. Williams and Byron Winters. Also thanks to several Interact members who served water along the course.
The race would not have been successful without our sponsors. People for Care and Learning served as the primary sponsor, followed by Cooke's Food Store who supplied water and food. Our t-shirt sponsors were mostly Rotarian businesses and included Hardee's (Julia Scoggins), Hardwick Clothes (Carmin Chastain), Ocoee Insurance (Pam Nelson), Garden Plaza (Esmerelda Lee), Kevin Brooks and Scott's Bike Shop.
See additional photos in the 2011 Rotary Run 10K Photo Album.

 2011 Rotary Run 10K

Cameron Fisher and 2011-2012 District Governor Frank Rothermel set the pace.

Photo by Don Ritzhaupt 

2011 Rotary Run 10K Wayne Wilhelm 2011-04-16 00:00:00Z
Rotary Run 10K Rotary Run 10K Wayne Wilhelm 2011-04-16 00:00:00Z
This Is Who We Are . . .
This Is Who We Are . . . 2011-04-12 09:48:22Z
Wishes for the new Rotary year from Paul Harris
In 1916, Rotary founder Paul Harris shared his thoughts about the organization in an article titled "The Future of Rotary," published in The Rotarian.

Addressing the Rotary world, Harris concluded the short piece with wishes for the new year. As the 2010-11 Rotary year begins, consider his words:

Wishes for the new Rotary year from Paul Harris 2011-04-12 09:47:27Z
2009-2010 Rotarian of the Year
Congratulations to David Chaffin, our 2009-2010 Rotarian of the Year. David is a 26-year member and past-president of the Cleveland Rotary Club and holds the distinction of "Roving Rotarian". As a "Roving Rotarian", David has visited nearly 300 Rotary Clubs and returned countless club banners to our local collection. David is also a multiple Paul Harris Fellow and great example of our Rotary motto, "Service Above Self".

David is pictured with his daughter Virginia Breneman, wife Rebekah, daughter Rachel Scott and son Dr. D. Curt Chaffin.
Photo by Dwight Richardson
2009-2010 Rotarian of the Year Wayne Wilhelm 2011-04-12 09:46:57Z
Nicole Hayes Wins Cleveland Rotary Scholarship
2010 Cleveland High School graduate Nicole Hayes is the recipient of a $3,000 academic scholarship from the Cleveland Rotary Club.
Nicole Hayes Wins Cleveland Rotary Scholarship Wayne Wilhelm 2011-04-12 09:46:27Z
CHS Interact Has Successful Year
Cleveland High School Interact sponsor, Don Markham, updated Cleveland Rotarians on the activities of the Interact Club during the past year.
CHS Interact Has Successful Year Wayne Wilhelm 2011-04-12 09:46:00Z
The Caring Place receives CRF grant
The Caring Place is the recipient of an $8,774 grant from the Cleveland Rotary Foundation for the 2010-2011 Rotary year. The grant was used to enclose a porch area at The Caring Place, protecting clients from sometimes harsh weather conditions.
The Caring Place receives CRF grant Wayne Wilhelm 2011-04-12 09:44:28Z
A Rotary Run THANK YOU!
A big thank you to all of the volunteers who came out for the inaugural 10K ROTARY RUN. We had a great turn out and lots of fun. Be sure to check out the pictures in the photo journal.
A Rotary Run THANK YOU! 2011-04-12 09:44:01Z
The Greenway Table receives Cleveland Rotary Foundation grant.
The Cleveland Rotary Foundation awarded a $3,000 grant to The Greenway Table during the April 20, 2010 meeting. Greenway Table founder, Jennifer Norton, accepted the grant and explained how it will be used.
The Greenway Table receives Cleveland Rotary Foundation grant. Wayne Wilhelm 2011-04-12 09:43:26Z
Lee Chamber Strings Provide Amazing Program

The Lee University Chamber Strings performed for the Cleveland Rotary Club during the April 27th meeting.
Lee Chamber Strings Provide Amazing Program Wayne Wilhelm 2011-04-12 09:42:49Z
New Member, Tim Poteet

Membership Committee Chairman, Brad Emendorfer,  introduced Tim Poteet as the newest member of the Rotary Club of Cleveland during the April 12 meeting. Tim is a transferring Rotarian from the Etowah, Tennessee Rotary club where he was a past president. Tim has two children, Summer and Ethan, both Interactors at McMinn Central High School. Tim is a Senior Vice-President at Southern Heritage Bank and his Rotary classification is Commercial Banking.

New Member, Tim Poteet Wayne Wilhelm 2011-04-12 00:00:00Z
Beth Staton, Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar

Lee University theological studies graduate, Beth Staton,  was the recipient of a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship in 2007. The RI Ambassadorial Scholarship program is the world's largest privately funded international scholarship program. The competition for the scholarship is extremely competitive and Beth was nervous as she prepared for a critical District 6780 interview in Knoxville. Her diligent preparation had prepared her for all but one possible interview question. She was asked for six words describing herself instead of the customary and expected five words. The pressure was diffused when she answered "silly" as the sixth word describing herself.

Beth won the scholarship and entered what she has described as "Rotary Bootcamp" in Nashville while being seven months pregnant. Her scholarship ultimately allowed her to travel to Edinburgh, Scotland for an opportunity to pursue her PhD at a prestigious divinity school. Her experience with Rotarians in Scotland led her to change her program focus from the United States to herself. A hearty "Hi, y'all" quickly became her tagline in Scotland as she adopted a Rotary inspired theme of "promoting world peace through mutual understanding."

Ambassadorial Scholarships, The Rotary Foundation's oldest and best-known program, was founded in 1947. Since then, more than 40,000 men and women from about 100 nations have studied abroad under its auspices. Nearly 700 scholarships were awarded for study in 2009-2010. Through grants totaling approximately $16.2 million, recipients from about 70 countries studied in more than 80 nations. Beth was sponsored in the RI Ambassadorial Scholarship program by the Rotary Club of Cleveland. Ann McCoin is the chairperson of the Rotary Club of Cleveland Ambassadorial Scholarship Committee.

Beth Staton, Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar Wayne Wilhelm 2011-04-12 00:00:00Z
April 5 Program - Mayor Tom Rowland

Tom Rowland is Cleveland's longest serving mayor having held the position for 19 years. During an address to the Rotary Club of Cleveland on April 5, mayor Rowland updated the membership on the status of several projects in our community.

The Southeast Tennessee Veteran's Home is now listed as a top ten construction project by the State of Tennessee. Steady progress on the facility has been made since 2003, when an anonymous $3 million donation was made to support the project. Mayor Rowland also noted that the 2010 census for Cleveland and Bradley County, which placed our population at slightly below 100,000 will be appealed. The 100,000 person milestone would make our community eligible for addition federal and state funding.

One current critical issue facing Cleveland and Bradley County is a lack of suitable land for future industrial development. Rowland noted that as many as 20 industrial prospects are currently considering our community for development. These potential development opportunities would support the economy and tax base of our area. In a tax related statement, mayor Rowland noted that the new Amazon distribution center will not generate any sales tax revenue for Tennessee as the Amazon sales transaction is deemed to have occurred in Delaware. Amazon is a Delaware-based corporation.

Mayor Rowland is a leading advocate for the city of Cleveland and notes that President Obama has mentioned our community on two different occasions during the past year and publications such as the Wall Street Journal and USA Today agree that Cleveland is a great place to live. 

April 5 Program - Mayor Tom Rowland Wayne Wilhelm 2011-04-05 00:00:00Z
Site Preparation Completed For Greenway Water Project

As a supporter of Rotary's worldwide clean water initiatives and the Cleveland Greenway, the Rotary Club of Cleveland is currently working on the installation of a water fountain to be located on the Greenway near the Harris Circle parking area. The project should be completed in the next two weeks! 

Greenway Water Fountain

Photo by Pam Nelson.  

Special thanks to Ben Nelson, Tennessee Craftsman, Inc. and Allan Colloms for contributing the trenching and plumbing work. Wayne Wallace of WW Concrete provided the concrete pad and Rotarian Lloyd Rogers of Wholesale Supply Group helped procure the fountain at a greatly discounted price. Rotarian Kim Randolph of Buckner Funeral Home donated the marble marker for the site. Click here for more photos.

We're encouraging everyone to get out to the Greenway and see what we're up to. It's good for you! 

Site Preparation Completed For Greenway Water Project Wayne Wilhelm 2011-04-04 00:00:00Z
District 6780 Four-Way Test Speech Competition WINNER!


We've just received word that one of our CHS Interactors has won the 2011 Four-Way Test Speech Competition held on March 26 at Tennessee Tech in Cookeville, Tennessee. On February 11, Aimee Murray, along with fellow Interactors Grace Gardner and Sandy Ha, gave us a preview of their speeches. They were all excellent presentations of the values contained in Rotary's Four-Way Test, the ethical benchmark of our words and actions.

As winner of the competition, Aimee Murray will receive a $2,000 scholarship. Congratulations Aimee!

Thanks and congratulations also to Don Markham, faculty sponsor of the Cleveland High School Interact Club.

District 6780 Four-Way Test Speech Competition WINNER! Wayne Wilhelm 2011-03-31 00:00:00Z
Cleveland Rotarians Meet RI President-Elect, Kalyan Banerjee
Rotary Club of Cleveland and Bradley Sunrise Rotarians get to meet Rotary International President-Elect, Kalyan Banerjee, in Nashville at the Multi-district President Elects Training Seminar (PETS). There were over 400 president-elects in attendance to hear speakers and get the training they will need for their coming year as club presidents. 

2011 Multi-District PETS, Nashville, TN

From left: Cameron Fisher, Rotary Club of Cleveland; Mark Rogers, Bradley Sunrise Rotary Club president-elect; Kalyan Banerjee, Rotary International president-elect; Don Ritzhaupt, Rotary Club of Cleveland; Kim Casteel, Rotary Club of Cleveland president-elect.

Cleveland Rotarians Meet RI President-Elect, Kalyan Banerjee Wayne Wilhelm 2011-03-30 00:00:00Z
Robert L. George, Bradley County's 175th Anniversary

In December 1835, the Treaty of New Echota was signed by the U.S. government and the Cherokee Indians. The treaty ceded the Cherokee land known as the Ocoee District in Tennessee for land in Oklahoma, starting the exodus of the Cherokee from our area and marking the beginning of Bradley County. The treaty included a payment of $5 million to allow the Cherokee to start a new culture in Oklahoma.

Bradley County was named for Col. Edward Bradley of Shelby County who served in the War of 1812. Other considerations for the naming of the county included Edward Rutledge who signed the Declaration of Independence and Ephraim H. Foster, speaker of the House of Representatives.

In 1836, William Carter was named the first sheriff of Bradley County. The 1840 census documented a county population of 7,441 which included 470 slaves. According to George, the Cherokee were in fact the first slave owners in Bradley County.

Robert L. George is the official historian for the City of Cleveland and the author of Cleveland (Images of America)

Robert L. George, Bradley County's 175th Anniversary Wayne Wilhelm 2011-03-22 00:00:00Z
ShelterBox Provides Assistance To Japan
ShelterBox Provides Assistance To Japan Wayne Wilhelm 2011-03-18 00:00:00Z
New Member, Aaron Weatherford
We welcome our newest member, Aaron Weatherford. Aaron is the Membership Director with the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce.  Aaron's Rotary classification is Chamber of Commerce. Aaron is a former member of the CHS Interact club and is also a graduate of Lee University with a BA of Communications & Arts. Aaron was proposed by Cameron Fisher. Aaron is getting married on May 21. Congratulations Aaron!
New Member, Aaron Weatherford Wayne Wilhelm 2011-03-15 00:00:00Z
The Mary Diana Samuel Home For Children

The Rotary Club of Cleveland is accustomed to hearing Jennifer Norton reporting on the status of her favorite project, The Greenway Table. However, on March 15, Jennifer shared information about her December 2010 trip to India and a visit to the Mary Diana Samuel Home for Children.

Jennifer visited India to document conditions and operations at the orphanage which was started in memory of Dr. Aaron Samuel's second daughter who was tragically killed in an automobile accident in 1995. Dr. Samuel is a member of the Cleveland Sunrise Rotary Club. Jennifer was accompanied by three additional Cleveland residents on the trip. The team spent a month at the orphanage.

The home currently houses 37 children on 5.5 acres of land in Tiruvallur near Chennai, India. The 35 girls and 2 boys range from 5 to 12 years old and are raised in a Christian environment while attending a local school. First United Methodist Church supports the orphanage which requires approximately $50 per month per child to operate. Jennifer indicated that the primary needs of the home are financial support, prayer and transportation. The transportation need would be best filled by the acquisition of a bus dedicated to the facility.

In a brief update on the progress of The Greenway Table, Jennifer reported that a water line to the project site is almost completed and the program will be offering shares in a Community Supported Agriculture program this year. For an investment of $500, a member of the CSA program can receive 21 weeks worth of fresh vegetables from the garden. The Cleveland Rotary Foundation provided a $3,000 grant to The Greenway Table in 2010.


The Mary Diana Samuel Home For Children Wayne Wilhelm 2011-03-15 00:00:00Z
Play March Madness Bracket Pick'em For Polio Plus

Compete with other Cleveland Rotarians in our March Madness Bracket Pick'em competition. Go to the TOURNEY PICK'EM page at Yahoo Sports to join our Rotary group. Log in using the group id and password you received in your emailed invitation. We're asking each participant to donate $10 to the Polio Plus campaign as an entry fee. Contact Tim Spires with any questions.

A perfect bracket wins $1 million. Good luck! 

Play March Madness Bracket Pick'em For Polio Plus Wayne Wilhelm 2011-03-14 00:00:00Z
The 2011 Rotary Mardi Gras Auction and Dinner
The 2011 Rotary Mardi Gras Auction and Dinner was held on the evening of February 11, 2011 at the Museum Center at Five Points. The sold-out event raised approximately $30,000 for Rotary Club of Cleveland humanitarian projects.

2011 Rotary Mardi Gras Auction and Dinner

Be sure to browse the photos from the 2011 Rotary Mardi Gras Auction and Dinner in our website photo album area and on our Facebook page. This may be the only documented evidence of your fellow Rotarians celebrating a successful fundraiser in full Mardi Gras regalia.

Thanks to Julia Scoggins and Pam Nelson for photographically capturing the festivities. Additional thanks to Julia Scoggins, Paul McCord, Ross Tarver, Sharon Marr, Lisa Simpson-Lutts, Jordia Waller, Hazel Key and the entire auction team for their great work in putting together an incredible evening. And a very special thanks to the sponsors and participants for their contributions toward a successful event!
The 2011 Rotary Mardi Gras Auction and Dinner Wayne Wilhelm 2011-03-09 00:00:00Z
Engineers Without Borders USA

Engineers Without Borders USA (EWB-USA) is committed to the design and implementation of logical, technical, and ethical solutions to improve the quality of life in local communities and developing countries. The organization has assisted Rotary International with several water projects in developing countries.


Mark C. Harrison, P.E., P.G. is the chief engineer for the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority. In a presentation to the Rotary Club of Cleveland on March 8, Mr. Harrison reported that the Chattanooga Professional and Student Chapters of Engineers Without Borders have secured their very first project, a water distribution system for the cities of Las Penitas and El Chingo in Honduras. The organization will collaborate with the senior design class, the student chapter and the professional chapter of EWB-USA to create a design that addresses culture, terrain, pipe selection, pump selection, energy selection and sustainability. The subgroups within the EWB-USA chapter facilitate membership, fundraising and professional review of the final project design.


The completed water distribution system design will provide a minimum of 50 liters of water per person per day in the target region. The system design will include 2km of pipe, a 5,000 gallon storage tank, two clothes washing stations, two sanitation facilities and plumbing to each household.


EWB-USA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. 


Engineers Without Borders USA Wayne Wilhelm 2011-03-08 00:00:00Z
Join our Facebook Group
Rotary Club of Cleveland   

The Rotary Club of Cleveland's new Facebook page is up and running! Please join our group and recommend it to your friends. Also, check out Rotary International's Facebook page!
Join our Facebook Group Wayne Wilhelm 2011-03-06 17:46:10Z
March 1, Exit 20 Update

Scott Medlin, TDOT Region II Project Manager, provided Cleveland Rotarians with the latest news on several local road construction projects, including the greatly needed renovation of I-75 Exit 20 in southern Bradley County. According to Medlin, the existing service level score for Exit 20, which was constructed in 1970, is an "F", the lowest possible service level assigned by TDOT.

The new Exit 20 interchange design will feature a new bridge with two eastbound and two westbound lanes plus two westbound and one eastbound turn lane for a total of six lanes. Both exit ramps will also be upgraded to two turn lanes. The project phase enters right-of-way acquisition during 2011-2012 and construction should begin in 2012-2013. The project still depends on the approval of $10M in funding required to complete the renovation.

Additional Bradley County projects include the new interchange at SR311 (US-74 and APD 40) which supports growth and economic development in the Exit 20 area. This interchange is still in the environmental phase with construction not expected until 2013.

Several new access roads are also currently under development supporting Wacker, Whirlpool and Amazon. 

March 1, Exit 20 Update Wayne Wilhelm 2011-03-01 00:00:00Z
Happy Birthday Rotary International
Happy 106th Birthday
Happy Birthday Rotary International Wayne Wilhelm 2011-02-23 00:00:00Z
What Will Rotarians Be Doing In 2060?

PDG, Robin Textor, posed the question, "What will Rotarians be doing in 2060?" during a presentation to the Rotary Club of Cleveland on February 22. Our actions will likely be determined by the needs of our future world. Will there be peace? Will there be clean water? Will there be a need for micro-loans? Will there be a need for medical care? Will literacy be a problem? Will there be natural disasters?

Rotarians can respond to future needs today by becoming Benefactors of the Rotary Foundation or by enrolling in the Rotary Foundation Bequest Society. These programs allow Rotarians to include the programs of the Rotary Foundation in their estate plans.

Cleveland Rotarian, Dr. Jerome Taylor, was recognized for his recent enrollment in the Rotary Foundation Bequest Society.


Norm Fontana, RI Benefactor

Pictured from left: Robin Textor, Steve Carroll, Dr. Jerome Taylor, David Carroll.
What Will Rotarians Be Doing In 2060? Wayne Wilhelm 2011-02-22 00:00:00Z
District 6780 Four-Way Test Speech Competition

Three Interactors from Cleveland High School will be competing for top honors in the 2011 Four-Way Test Speech Competition to be held on March 26, 2011 at Tennessee Tech in Cookeville, Tennessee. Grace Gardner, Sandy Ha and Aimee Murray provided a preview of their speeches during the February 15 noon meeting. Each speaker gave an excellent presentation on the values contained in Rotary's Four-Way Test, the ethical benchmark of our words and actions.

The winner of the district competition will receive a $2,000 scholarship with second and third places gaining $1,500 and $1,000 respectively. CHS Interact sponsor, Don Markham, observed the competitors during our preview.

District 6780 Four-Way Test Speech Competition Wayne Wilhelm 2011-02-15 00:00:00Z
The Passing of a Great Rotarian, Bill Sergeant
PRIVP, Bill Sergeant, passed away on Sunday, February 13, 2011. 
The Passing of a Great Rotarian, Bill Sergeant 2011-02-14 00:00:00Z
Social Media and the Future of Rotary
Social Media and the Future of Rotary Wayne Wilhelm 2011-02-08 00:00:00Z
College Football Pick'em 2010

Congratulations to Harrison Brown on his second consecutive victory in our College Football Pick'em 2010 competition. Harrison used the occasion to formally announce his retirement from the competition while still reserving the right to "un-retire" at any time he deems appropriate. Our College Football Pick'em coordinator, Tim Spires, made the presentation.

College Football Pick'em 2010 Wayne Wilhelm 2011-02-08 00:00:00Z
February 1, The Fry Street Quartet with Ning An

Approximately 25 Rotarians and guests attended an evening reception and concert at Lee University on February 1. Rotarian Adam Lewis arranged the event to include our group in Lee University's 2011 Presidential Concert Series. Our evening began with a reception with hors d'oeuvres in the Lee University School of Religion building. We then braved the elements to walk to the Dixon Center for the impressive music of the Fry Street Quartet with Ning An. 

The Fry Street Quartet began its international career in 2002 as cultural ambassadors to the Balkan States, sponsored by Carnegie Hall and the U.S. Department of State. Subsequent international appearances have included the ProQuartet Academy at Pont-Royal, France, the Prague Chamber Festival and Trutnov Autumn Festival in the Czech Republic and Kulturvereinigung Oberschatzen in Austria.

Ning An was the first prize winner of the 2003 William Kapell Piano Competition and the 2006 Tivoli International Piano Competition in Copenhagen and numerous other piano competitions. A graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, and currently Assistant Professor of Piano at Lee University, Mr. An is working toward completion of doctoral studies at the University of Cincinnati. For additional biographical information please visit

The musical program included the following selections:

Beethoven's String Quartet in F Major, Op. 18, No. 1;

Barber's String Quartet, Op. 11;

Schumann's Quintet in E-flat Major, Op. 44.

The performers were:

William Fedkenheuer, Violin;
Rebecca McFaul, Violin;
Bradley Ottesen, Viola;
Anne Francis, Cello;

with Ning An, Piano.


February 1, The Fry Street Quartet with Ning An Wayne Wilhelm 2011-02-01 00:00:00Z
January 25 Program, Great Strides

Over 30,000 children and adults in the United States are afflicted with cystic fibrosis (CF). An additional 70,000 people are victims of CF worldwide. While there is no cure, new treatments have raised life expectancies to 37 years, a dramatic increase over the past 20 years.

According to Vanessa Hammond, co-chairman of Cleveland's Great Strides event, a promising new drug from Vertex Pharmaceuticals called VX-770 is the first treatment to address the root cause of cystic fibrosis. While effective in only 4% of patients, the Hammonds are especially optimistic because their son, Will, is among the group that will benefit from the new drug.

Leigh Ellington and Brian Jenkins of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation complimented our community as having one of the most successful fund raising campaigns in Tennessee. Over $425,000 has been raised in the past 10 years in Cleveland. The foundation raised $35.5 million toward a cure for CF in 2010.

This year's Great Strides event will be held on Saturday, April 9. Activities will include a 3-mile walk with refreshments, door prizes, kids' activities and the 65 Roses 5K Road Race directed by Rotarian, Bill Estes.

Click here for more information and to register for Great Strides. 

January 25 Program, Great Strides Wayne Wilhelm 2011-01-25 00:00:00Z
New Member, Jay Elliott

We welcome our newest member, John Elliott III. John is a former member of the North River Rotary Club in Chattanooga and is a member at Miller & Martin PLLC. John's Rotary classification is Attorney, Labor Law. John was proposed by Joseph McCoin. 

New Member, Jay Elliott Wayne Wilhelm 2011-01-25 00:00:00Z
Historical Documents Section Now Available

Check out our new historical documents section located in the "members only" area of the Rotary Club of Cleveland website. View interesting administrative notes, programs, brochures and directories dating all the way back to the first year of our club's existence. See the original program from the 1927 Ladies' Night event held at the Centenary College Chapel. Did you know that J.M. Dunlap held the classification of Ice Cream Manufacturing according to the 1937 directory? On January 11, 1928, Cleveland Rotarians were treated to a selection of harmonica music by M. Cloyde Sullivan also known as "Harmonica Mike" radio's harmonica king.

We hope to continue to digitally preserve the history of our organization for future generations of Rotarians. If you have Rotary documents or photographs with historical interest, please pass them along to our Director of Publications, Wayne Wilhelm. 

To access the historical documents, use your user id and password to access the "My ClubRunner" section of the website. Find the historical documents under the "Club Documents" link. Note that some historical photographs are listed in the "Photo Albums" section of the main page of the website under the heading, "Memorabilia".

Historical Documents Section Now Available Wayne Wilhelm 2011-01-19 00:00:00Z
January 18 Program, The Fair Tax

Imagine a world with no Internal Revenue Service, no income tax, no capital gains tax, no payroll taxes and no inheritance tax. That's exactly what is envisioned by proponents of a major reformation to the U.S. tax code called H.R. 25, the Fair Tax Act of 2011. Todd Watson, loan officer for Regions Bank, explained how a 23 percent national sales tax would result in massive economic growth and radically simplify our current system of applying and accounting for income-based taxation. Watson claims that every item we purchase in today's economy may have as much as a 22 percent tax built in due to tax law compliance costs which are passed on to the consumer by corporations.

In a survey by Princeton University of 500 multinational companies, 400 indicated they would move their next plant to the United States under a Fair Tax scenario. The remaining 100 said they would move their entire operation to the U.S. A Harvard University study estimated a 10.6 percent increase in the nation's GDP during the first year of a Fair Tax implementation followed by an 8.5 percent increase for the next 15 years!

Of course, a Fair Tax brings some eye-opening price increases to some purchases. For example, a new home costing $150,000 today would cost $195,000 under the new plan, plus the added tax on mortgage interest. "Used" homes would not be subject to the tax. Rent would be taxable along with interest on credit cards, mortgages and car loans.

The 131-page Fair Tax Act of 2011 should provide some interesting debate in the coming year. For more information on the Fair Tax proposal, review the information provided by Wikipedia. 

Comments? Let us know what you think on our Facebook page.

January 18 Program, The Fair Tax Wayne Wilhelm 2011-01-18 00:00:00Z
January 4th Program - New Year's Resolutions and the YMCA

This is the time of year when many people resolve to lose weight or make physical fitness a higher priority in their lives. According to Rotarian, Lee McChesney, director of the Cleveland YMCA, "It's important to set reasonable goals and establish the steps required to achieve the desired results." One must also make a serious commitment of time to be successful. A good starting point would be setting a block of time at least three days a week for exercise.

"Walking is one of the best ways to get started in an exercise program." The YMCA offers many programs to improve physical fitness including the YSTART Program which includes a fitness assessment and meeting with a trainer to develop a program well suited to an individual.

The Cleveland YMCA has 11,000 members which places Cleveland's population at a participation rate of about 12%. The national average is only 6%. Lee McChesney has been the director of the Cleveland YMCA for 14 years. 

January 4th Program - New Year's Resolutions and the YMCA Wayne Wilhelm 2011-01-04 00:00:00Z
Our Rotary History. . . Christmas Greetings from 1950
Christmas letter from 1951 Rotary Club of Cleveland president, Bob Bryan

The above letter was written by Bob Bryan, our club president, in 1950. President Bryan's message about Rotary and Christmas still rings true, 60 years later. Click 'More...' below for the text of this historical document.
Our Rotary History. . . Christmas Greetings from 1950 Wayne Wilhelm 2010-12-30 00:00:00Z
Jerome Taylor, New Rotary Benefactor

Dr. Jerome Taylor has become a Benefactor to the Rotary International Permanent Fund. Jerome's contribution to the Annual Programs Fund will provide immediate funding for a designated RI program. Dr. Taylor is an honorary Paul Harris Fellow, a member of the Paul Harris Society and has served the club in many capacities since joining Rotary in 1982. Jerome served as our president during the 1988-1989 Rotary year. Thank you Jerome!

Click here for more information on becoming a Benefactor. 

Jerome Taylor, New Rotary Benefactor Wayne Wilhelm 2010-12-21 00:00:00Z
Cleveland Rotary Foundation Officers and Directors for 2011
The Rotary Club of Cleveland elected new officers and directors for the 2011 Cleveland Rotary Foundation year during the December 21 meeting. Directors are elected for three-year terms. For clarity, newly elected and continuing directors are listed below:

 Ann McCoin President
 Wayne Wilhelm Vice President
 Bill George Secretary
 Tommy Arrendale Treasurer
 Don Ritzhaupt Past President
 Jerome Taylor Bill George
 Wayne Wilhelm Ann McCoin
 Bill Creech Tommy Arrendale
 Andy Figlestahler Julia Scoggins
 Mike Jenne Nicholas Lillios
 Matthew Brown Cooper Hill
 Tom Thomas Kim Casteel
 Doug Moore 

Cleveland Rotary Foundation Officers and Directors for 2011 Wayne Wilhelm 2010-12-21 00:00:00Z
Rotary Club of Cleveland Elects New Officers for 2011-2012
The Rotary Club of Cleveland elected new officers for the 2011-2012 Rotary year during the December 21, 2010 meeting. These individuals bring significant talent and Rotary experience to lead our organization in the new Rotary year which begins on July 1, 2011. Our new officers are:

 Kim Casteel President
 Art Rhodes President Elect
 Pam Nelson Vice President
 Tim Spires Secretary
 Craig Mullinax Treasurer
 Steve Carroll Past President
Rotary Club of Cleveland Elects New Officers for 2011-2012 Wayne Wilhelm 2010-12-21 00:00:00Z
Kevin Brooks, Legislative Update
State Representative and newly elected Assistant Majority Leader, Kevin Brooks, provided Cleveland Rotarians with an end-of-year legislative update before his upcoming mid-January return to Nashville. Representative Brooks thanked the many individuals who have contributed to the recent economic success stories in Cleveland and Bradley County which include Whirlpool, Wacker Chemie AG, Olin and Amazon. According to Forbes, southeast Tennessee is now listed as the number one area for industrial development in the nation. Our region has employed an impressive team effort between local and government entities in landing major development opportunities like Volkswagen. Tennessee spends one cent of every budget dollar on economic development which represents an incredible return on investment. Education receives 42% and health care gets 24% of the current Tennessee budget expenditures.

The major challenge for the upcoming legislative session will be the resolution of the current budget crises in Tennessee. The federal stimulus money has been rapidly exhausted and although the economy is improving, budget cutbacks will be required to balance the budget. Incoming governor, Bill Haslam, has expressed that he wants "smooth-sailing" during his first year with a minimum amount of time spent on divisive or controversial measures such as gun control and abortion.

Representative Brooks also updated the membership on the infrastructure improvements at the Cleveland Interstate 75 exits 20 and 33 which will provide for additional economic development in Bradley County.
Kevin Brooks, Legislative Update Wayne Wilhelm 2010-12-21 00:00:00Z
December 14 Program - Pine Ridge Center
The Pine Ridge Center is located on the Westside Campus of the SkyRidge Medical Center and provides solutions for adults with psychiatric or substance abuse difficulties. According to Stephanie Austin, assistant administrator at SkyRidge, 1 in 5 adults suffer from a diagnosable mental illness, yet only 1 in 3 get treatment. The productivity costs to businesses are huge and suicide remains the third leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 15 and 24. Pine Ridge offers two inpatient programs with high levels of direct patient care: Adult Mental Health and the Addictive Disorders Program. Two outpatient programs are also offered: Mental Health Intensive Outpatient Program the and Chemical Dependency Intensive Outpatient Program.

For more information on the Pine Ridge Center, visit
December 14 Program - Pine Ridge Center Wayne Wilhelm 2010-12-14 00:00:00Z
Red Cross - "Disaster Relief Is Our Mission"
The American Red Cross has been providing relief services for those in need for 125 years according to Hiwassee Chapter Executive Director, Julia Wright. There are over 600 Red Cross regional and community chapters in the United States. The Hiwassee Chapter provides three "core services" in our local area including assistance to military families, health and safety services, and providing help for victims of house fires. Some national catastrophes the American Red Cross has responded to in recent memory include the September 11 terrorist attacks and the hurricanes of 2004 and 2005.

The Red Cross is also known for for its training programs in nursing, first aid and CPR. Some traditional training programs are being moved online as the Red Cross incorporates new technology in its programs.

Julia Wright addressed the Rotary Club of Cleveland during the December 7 program. Carmin Chastain coordinated the program. Click here for additional information.
Red Cross - "Disaster Relief Is Our Mission" Wayne Wilhelm 2010-12-12 00:00:00Z
Future Vision International Water Project
Rotary. Humanity in Motion.

The Rotary Club of Cleveland has decided to move forward with an international water project to be established in Guatemala. Rotary's Future Vision initiative is an effort to streamline Rotary Foundation programs and focus efforts where they will have the greatest impact by addressing priority world needs that are relevant to Rotarians. The Guatemala project will qualify for matching international grants from Rotary International. The initial project cost is expected to be approximately $32,000.

Future Vision International Water Project Wayne Wilhelm 2010-11-23 00:00:00Z
District 6780 Foundation Celebration Dinner
District 6780 Rotary Foundation Committee Chairman, David Carroll, directed an outstanding celebration of our District's Rotary Foundation achievements on Friday, November 19 at the Chattanooga Golf and Country Club.

The keynote speaker was Peter Kyle, a former Ambassadorial Scholar from New Zealand. Mr. Kyle pursued a law degree at the University of Virginia and and ultimately gained the position of lead counsel for the World Bank in Washington, DC. An ardent supporter of Rotary, Mr. Kyle serves as an Area Governor for District 7620 and chairs the District Alumni Committee and the World Peace Fellowship Committee. Earlier this year he was awarded the Rotary Foundation's Global Alumni Service to Humanity Award.

Congratulations to our own Amy Card-Lillios and David Carroll for achieving Level 1 Major Donor status and Norm Fontana for becoming a member of the Paul Harris Society.

Norm Fontana, RI Benefactor

Pictured from left: Norman Fontana, Jim Buckner, Amy Card-Lillios, Patsy Carroll, David Carroll, Rachel Savage, Max Carroll, Wayne Wilhelm and Don Ritzhaupt.

District 6780 Foundation Celebration Dinner Wayne Wilhelm 2010-11-19 00:00:00Z
Robert Green, Ocoee Region FCA Director
Bob Tebow, father of former University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, issued a challenge for the Ocoee Region Fellowship of Christian Athletes to create a full time director's position. Robert Green has embraced this challenge and is actively carrying the FCA message to students and coaches in our area schools. Since 1954, the FCA has been challenging coaches and athletes on the professional, college, high school, junior high and youth levels to use the powerful medium of athletics to impact the world for Jesus Christ. The FCA carries out it's mission by working through four ministries: coaches, campus, camps and community. Robert is also the acting chaplain for the Cleveland High School Blue Raider football team.

November 16 program coordinated by Cameron Fisher.
Robert Green, Ocoee Region FCA Director Wayne Wilhelm 2010-11-16 00:00:00Z
The Rotary Club of Cleveland 2010 Dictionary Project
As part of Rotary's worldwide literacy initiative, the Rotary Club of Cleveland provides student dictionaries for every third grader in the Cleveland City and Bradley County school systems. This project is led by Literacy Committee chairman, Bill Creech, and provides students with a valuable learning tool that may be used for many years. Distribution of dictionaries is now under way. This year's effort will provide 1,200 dictionaries for third graders in 18 schools and 60 classes.

Norm Fontana, RI Benefactor

Park View Elementary School: Rotarians Kim Randolph and Wayne Wilhelm with third grade teacher, Kristin Stansell and her class.

Special note from New Member Orientation Committee Chairperson, Amy Card-Lillios:

Attention Red Badge Rotarians! This is your opportunity to get involved in an important local project. Sign up to participate now!

The Rotary Club of Cleveland 2010 Dictionary Project Wayne Wilhelm 2010-11-14 00:00:00Z
UTC Athletics Director, Rick Hart
The mission of UTC Athletics is to prepare student athletes for meaningful and productive lives. "Very few student athletes go on to a professional career in sports, so we must prepare them for that," according to Hart speaking to Cleveland Rotarians on November 9. The athletics department stresses important core values, e.g. integrity, respect, accountability and continual improvement. Some priorities of the athletics director include development of a sustainable financial model, support broad-based sport options and improvement of infrastructure and facilities.

UTC has 317 student athletes participating in 17 competitive sporting programs. Click here for more information on Rick Hart.

Bill Estes was program coordinator for the November 9 program.
UTC Athletics Director, Rick Hart Wayne Wilhelm 2010-11-09 00:00:00Z
Jan Wilms, Rotary Youth Exchange Student

For more than 75 years, students and host families have broadened their horizons through Rotary Youth Exchange. More than 80 countries and over 8,000 students participate in the program every year. This year, District 6780 is hosting eight inbound students.

Our club is hosting Jan Wilms from Oberhausen, Germany for the 2010-2011 Rotary year. Jan shared a presentation covering Germany's history, geography, industry, economy and culture during the November 2 meeting. While Jan is living with his host family here in Cleveland, a Rotary Exchange Student from Chile is living in his room and hosted by his family back in Oberhausen.

Jan is a junior at Cleveland High School, a member of Interact and plans to study architecture in college.

Norm Fontana, RI Benefactor

2010-2011 District 6780 Exchange Students: Seated L-R Jasmine Bruttin, Switzerland; Bruna Reis Gott, Brazil; Meerim Talipova, Kyrgyzstan; Nela Brancikova, Czech Republic; Standing L-R Alvaro Sanchez, Spain; Marco Caixeta, Brazil; Matheus Ferreira, Brazil; Jan Wilms, Germany.

Jan Wilms, Rotary Youth Exchange Student Wayne Wilhelm 2010-11-02 00:00:00Z
Picnic at the Museum
Undaunted by waves of severe thunderstorms and tornado warnings, the Rotary Club of Cleveland had an impressive turnout at the annual Family Picnic held on October 26. The event was moved indoors due to the weather and thanks to some last minute adaptations by Lisa Simpson Lutts and The Museum Center at Five Points. The BBQ from Fat Mike's BBQ and More was excellent and the fellowship was outstanding. We needed the rain too!

Thanks to Ginger Buchanan and the entire Family Picnic Committee for pulling this event off under adverse conditions!
Picnic at the Museum Wayne Wilhelm 2010-10-26 00:00:00Z
World Polio Day Update World Polio Day Update Wayne Wilhelm 2010-10-24 00:00:00Z
The Tennessee Small Business Development Center provides assistance to business owners in developing thriving and successful business endeavors. TSBDC Director, Brenda Sheehy, addressed Rotarians during the October 19 program, offering no-charge assistance on topics such as accounting, advertising, operations, finance, sales and human resources. The TSBDC office at Cleveland State Community College has counseled 250 individuals, 28 business startups and assisted 16 businesses in securing over $1M in financing. Funding for the TSBDC is provided by the SBA (40%), CSCC (40%) and community resources (20%).

TSBDC at CSCC Wayne Wilhelm 2010-10-19 00:00:00Z
Norm Fontana, New RI Permanent Fund Benefactor
Norm Fontana, our International Foundation Committee co-chairman and Polio Plus evangelist, has become a Benefactor to the Rotary International Permanent Fund. Norm's contribution to the Annual Programs Fund provides immediate funding for a designated RI program. One hundred percent of the gift will be spent during the current Rotary year. Click here for more information on becoming a Benefactor. Thank you Norm!

Norm Fontana, RI Benefactor

Pictured from left: Steve Carroll, Norman Fontana and David Carroll.

Norm Fontana, New RI Permanent Fund Benefactor Wayne Wilhelm 2010-10-12 00:00:00Z
Dr. Tim Cross - UT Dean of Extension
Rotarian Kim Frady introduced University of Tennessee Dean of Extension, Dr. Tim Cross, as our speaker for the October 12 program. Dr. Cross reviewed the history of the agricultural extension program in Tennessee from its inception in 1910. The Tennessee program was incorporated into a national effort to improve the country's food supply and quality in 1914. Over the past 100 years, the agricultural extension office has expanded into complimentary areas, including poultry, 4H and youth programs, home and consumer education, farm business management, computer applications, health and nutrition, forestry and leadership development.

Dr. Cross responded to questions regarding international trade and free markets during the followup question and answer time.

Pictured from left: Steve Carroll, Dr. Tim Cross and Kim Frady.
Dr. Tim Cross - UT Dean of Extension Wayne Wilhelm 2010-10-12 00:00:00Z
October 5 Program - Bradley County Schools
Bradley County Director of Schools, Johnny McDaniel, and Data Analyst, Sharon Harper, provided an update on the Bradley County School system during the October 5 meeting. Director McDaniel reported that funds from a $2 million technology grant had been used to provide internet-based services for the county system including a new Parent Portal, Online Applications, School Stream and Online Teacher Resources. The "Race to the Top" program will provide $365,000 per year over a four-year period for teacher professional development.
October 5 Program - Bradley County Schools Wayne Wilhelm 2010-10-05 00:00:00Z
Rotary "After Hours" Meeting at The Spot
Our first Rotary "After Hours" meeting was held at The Spot on Tuesday, September 28 at 5:30PM. The Spot provided bottles of Orange Crush, root beer, iced tea, burgers with all the fixings, hotdogs with chili, as well as french fries. 

District 6780 Polio Plus Committee Chairman, Fred Heitman from Oak Ridge, updated us on the worldwide effort to eradicate polio and the special contribution incentives for World Polio Day.

Norm Fontana and Fred Heitman recognized several new Paul Harris fellows and honorees.

Paul Harris Fellows at The Spot

Left to right: Norm Fontana, Will Reynolds, Don Ritzhaupt, Missy Reynolds, Fred Heitman, Amy Card-Lillios, Steve Carroll, Dawn Robinson, David Carroll, Don Robinson, Tim Spires, Nicholas Lillios, Tom Thomas
Rotary "After Hours" Meeting at The Spot Wayne Wilhelm 2010-09-28 00:00:00Z
Make an Online Contribution to Polio Plus
October 24 is World Polio Day! Get 2 for 1 recognition credit for online contributions to Polio Plus from October 18 through October 24.

This is a great way for club members to not only support polio eradication but also to get extra recognition points too.  These points could be used to name Paul Harris Fellows.  An online contribution of $500 from a member would gain 1000 recognition points, enough to be able to name a Paul Harris Fellow. Fantastic!

Make an Online Contribution to Polio Plus Wayne Wilhelm 2010-09-25 00:00:00Z
TAEP - Jonathan Frady
Jonathan Frady, son of Rotarian Kim Frady, reviewed the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program with Cleveland Rotarians during the September 21 meeting. Jonathan is a marketing specialist with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.

The Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program provides cost share funds for long term investments in livestock and farming operations. Participation allows producers to maximize farm profits, adapt to changing market situations, improve operation safety, increase farm efficiency and make a positive economic impact in their communities.

TAEP - Jonathan Frady Wayne Wilhelm 2010-09-21 00:00:00Z
Ocoee Street, Paul Conn's Great Divide
In September of 1951, a five-year-old Paul Conn, along with his sister, crossed Ocoee Street to attend Arnold School. Ocoee Street was a cultural and economic divide in Cleveland at the time and the Conn family wanted to be sure that their children were going to attend the best school in town. It was at Arnold School that Paul Conn fell in love with education thanks to Ms. McReynolds, his first grade teacher. He's been involved in some facet of education ever since.

During our September 14 meeting, Dr. Conn shared some of his history along with the 125-year history of Lee University. Broad Street Methodist Church started Centenary College for Women in 1884 on the current Lee campus in celebration of the centennial of the Methodist church. In 1918, Lee College was founded as Bible Training School on Gaut Avenue in Cleveland. The Bible Training School relocated to Sevierville in 1938 and returned to Cleveland in 1947, when Bob Jones sold Bob Jones College to the Church of God. Billy Graham briefly attended Bob Jones College in Cleveland. Dr Conn shared the fact that he works in the same office where Bob Jones told a young Billy Graham that "he would never amount to anything" if he transferred out of the school. As we know, Bob Jones was incorrect on this matter.

Lee University is named after Flavius Lee, a former music minister at First Baptist Church and an early president of Lee College.
Ocoee Street, Paul Conn's Great Divide Wayne Wilhelm 2010-09-18 00:00:00Z
September 7 Program - Joe Smith's Magic Toolbox
Former Olympic boxing team manager, Joe Smith, carries a small toolbox containing tokens that represent significant lessons of life. Joe shared moving anecdotes about important values such as honesty, perseverance and compassion gained during challenging lifetime situations.

Joe Smith works as the Director of the YCAP program of the Chattanooga Metro YMCA.  Joe has helped troubled youth turn their lives around through this program and gain national acclaim in the Golden Gloves Boxing Program. Joe was selected to manage the U.S. Olympic Boxing Team at the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing. When asked about the success of the team, Joe related that their performance was one of the worst ever for a U.S. Olympic boxing team. The U.S. team strength versus the other competitors was compared as "boys" against "men". The U.S. boxers ranged from 16 to 22 years of age and were competing against Russians, Cubans and other Europeans in their early thirties.
September 7 Program - Joe Smith's Magic Toolbox Wayne Wilhelm 2010-09-12 00:00:00Z
September is New Generations Month
September is New Generations Month. In his latest message, Foundation Trustee Chair Carl-Wilhelm Stenhammar says that Rotary youth programs foster positive contact between its participants and Rotary. Read more in the September message from the trustee chair at
September is New Generations Month 2010-09-07 00:00:00Z
An Update from Calah Hanson
Calah Hanson received a Rotary Club of Cleveland academic scholarship in 2008. On September 7, Calah provided us with an update on her busy summer working in Ghana with an organization called KaeMe that attempts to break down the barriers for orphans seeking family-based care. Calah explained her work assisting with documenting the past for children who have no knowledge of their history, or sometimes, even their own birthdate. With KaeMe's assistance, many of these undocumented orphans now have a chance to be placed with potential adoptive families.

Calah's next academic excursion will be to Hawaii, where she will be studying the environment.

Calah Hanson is a former Cleveland High Interactor and is now enrolled at Stanford University where she hopes to pursue a career in the field of medicine. Calah is a wonderful example of our investment in Rotary "New Generations".
An Update from Calah Hanson Wayne Wilhelm 2010-09-07 00:00:00Z
Cleveland Rotarian Fred Garmon and PCL, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Cleveland Rotarian Fred Garmon and PCL, Siem Reap, Cambodia 2010-08-30 00:00:00Z
The Fundamental Things Apply, As Time Goes By
David Oreck stressed the importance of marketing and branding to an enthusiastic crowd of United Way supporters at this year's campaign kickoff luncheon held at the Peerless Road Church of God of Prophecy. Oreck is a natural salesman and interjected his company's products and marketing philosophies into the keynote speech at regular intervals. He stressed fundamentals and simplicity as applicable to our community's United Way campaign. "You are asking someone to give to help others, what better and simpler message can you make?"
The Fundamental Things Apply, As Time Goes By Wayne Wilhelm 2010-08-24 00:00:00Z
Michael Estes on the Move
Our immediate past-president, Michael Estes, has announced that he is leaving Cleveland to take a new position with BB&T. Michael joined the Rotary Club of Cleveland in 2006 and served in many leadership positions within our club including as our 2009-2010 president. We wish Michael, Kristi and the kids the very best as they embrace their new opportunity. Thank you, Michael, for your service to the Rotary Club of Cleveland.
Michael Estes on the Move Wayne Wilhelm 2010-08-17 00:00:00Z
Meth Is Not the Real Problem
Although Tennessee is one the leading states in the nation in methamphetamine addiction, with over 9,000 busts occurring in the past year, the real problem is the abuse of prescription drugs. Mike Hall, director of the 10th Judicial District Drug Task Force, told Cleveland Rotarians that prescription drug abuse is a multi-billion dollar industry with some doctors in south Florida writing as many as 200 prescriptions per hour. Many to out-of-state clients.
Meth Is Not the Real Problem Wayne Wilhelm 2010-08-17 00:00:00Z
2008-2009 District Governor, Carol LaRue, Passes Away
2008-2009 District Governor, Carol LaRue, Passes Away 2010-08-14 00:00:00Z
Our Most Senior Member, Cecil Stanbery, Passes Away
Cecil Stanbery, D.D.S., the holder of Rotary Club of Cleveland badge number one, passed away on Saturday, August 14 after an extended illness. Dr. Stanbery is the father of fellow Rotarians, Dr. John Stanbery and Dr. William Cecil Stanbery II. Cecil joined the Rotary Club of Cleveland in 1961 and practiced dentistry in Cleveland for 50 years. Dr. Stanbery was an active political figure holding many local and statewide positions in the Republican Party.

Our thoughts and prayers are with John, William and the entire Stanbery family.
Our Most Senior Member, Cecil Stanbery, Passes Away Wayne Wilhelm 2010-08-14 00:00:00Z
There's a New Sheriff In Town
Sheriff-elect, Jim Ruth, committed to run a tight ship even though his department will face a $600,000 budget cut in the coming year. Ruth addressed the Rotary Club of Cleveland in his first public speaking engagement since winning the election from challenger, Steve Lawson.

Photo by Dwight Richardson
There's a New Sheriff In Town Wayne Wilhelm 2010-08-10 00:00:00Z
It's a Great Time To Be a Rotarian!
Bobby Davis has three major goals for his term as District 6780 Governor:

- Strengthen Clubs
- Increase Humanitarian Services
- Enhance the Image of Rotary

Photo by Dwight Richardson

It's a Great Time To Be a Rotarian! Wayne Wilhelm 2010-08-03 00:00:00Z
Best Wishes To Michael Cole
We're simultaneously saddened and gratified to hear that past president, Michael Cole, has taken an executive position with the United Way of Bartlesville, Oklahoma and will be leaving Cleveland.

Michael has been an active member of the Rotary Club of Cleveland for eight years and served as our president during the 2008-2009 Rotary year.

Thank you, Michael, for your faithful service to Rotary and our community. We will miss you.
Best Wishes To Michael Cole Wayne Wilhelm 2010-08-03 00:00:00Z
It's a Great Time To Be a Rotarian
Bobby Davis has three major goals for his term as District 6780 Governor:
  1. Strengthen Clubs
  2. Increase Humanitarian Services
  3. Enhance the Image of Rotary
District Governor Davis and his wife Deborah met with our officers and directors before the regular noonday meeting on August 3 to review our strategic plan and the goals and objectives of our committees. DG Davis graciously offered his assistance in helping the Rotary Club of Cleveland meet our objectives for the 2010-2011 Rotary year.

During the regular meeting hour, District Governor Davis presented new Rotary initiatives including the Heart to Heart project and new fifth avenue of service, New Generations. A progress report on the Polio Plus effort shows major progress in the endemic countries of Nigeria, Pakistan, Afghanistan and India along with an unfortunate outbreak in Tajikistan. We are near to meeting our goal of interrupting the transmission of polio in the world by the end of 2012.

District Governor Davis said "The sun never sets on Rotary. Rotarians somewhere in the world are doing good, 24 hours a day, seven days a week." It is indeed a great time to be a Rotarian.

DG Davis presented gifts to Harrison Brown and Jerry Bird representing our most senior member and our newest member. Bobby Davis is from the Kingston Rotary Club.
It's a Great Time To Be a Rotarian Wayne Wilhelm 2010-08-02 00:00:00Z
July 20 Program: Political Forum
Our second political forum of 2010 was held during the July 20 regular meeting of the Rotary Club of Cleveland. The forum featured Tennessee District 9 Senate candidates Lou Patten and Rep. Mike Bell. Each candidate stated their positions on major issues and offered their qualifications for our consideration.

The candidates fielded questions from the audience after the presentation. Rotarian Joseph McCoin coordinated our 2010 political forums.
Photo by Dwight Richardson
July 20 Program: Political Forum Wayne Wilhelm 2010-07-20 00:00:00Z
Our President's Vision for 2010-2011
2010-2011 Rotary Club of Cleveland President, Steve Carroll has published the annual president's address to the membership. Learn more about Steve's vision for the new Rotary year.
Our President's Vision for 2010-2011 Wayne Wilhelm 2010-07-12 00:00:00Z


Haven't gotten your tickets yet? No need to fear, there's still time! Click here for information about reserving your seats today!

Cleveland Rotary College Football Pick 'Em


The Rotary College Pick'em contest is back again this college football season - an off season of Bragging Rights is the reward.

Sign up at Yahoo College Pick'em by clicking here and entering group # 6389 and using the password: paulharris.

This is a fun way to compete with your fellow Rotarians and test your prognostication skills. 
If you have any questions, please see Matthew Brown
Cleveland Rotary College Football Pick 'Em Tim Spires
Help the Cleveland Rotary Foundation win $5,000!

Doing the right thing has never been easier! All you have to do is CLICK the picture, SEARCH for the Cleveland Rotary Foundation, and VOTE for us to have a chance at $5,000! You can vote 10 times each day from any device you have that can access the internet. Thank you for your support!

150 Years of Shared Moments With Our Communities.
Help the Cleveland Rotary Foundation win $5,000! Patrick Long
Cleveland's Own Indiana Jones


Dr. Murl Dirksen spent Tuesday afternoon taking members of the Rotary Club of Cleveland on an archeological dig through words and pictures. Rotary Past President Kim Casteel introduced Dirksen and spoke about how as a professor at Lee University he and his wife, Carolyn, were always welcoming to students. “They fed us. They let us hang out at their house, play their piano and sing,” Casteel recalled. “So, they have always been special friends of mine.” Dirksen grew up on the Hopi Reservation in Arizona until the age of 14. He began teaching at Lee in 1972 and did his postdoctorate at Duke University. “Most of his research is in cultural anthropology, but in 1998 he joined archeology projects in Jordan as their cultural specialist,” Casteel said. Dirksen said archeological records are like a library. “You pull out a book and you open it. That’s what a hole is. You get your shovel, dig a hole and you try to find out what’s there,” Dirksen said. He spoke about a dig at Eagle Rock Shelter located in southwest Colorado that he called “extremely interesting and exciting.”

Read more: Cleveland Daily Banner - Dirksens talks about archeological projects 

Cleveland's Own Indiana Jones Patrick Long
Interact Speech Contest

Three local students walked to the front of the large room and individually spoke in front of a crowd of people without notes about the values and meanings of “The Four-Way Test.” For many people, just having to stand in front of a crowd would be enough. These three pulled it off brilliantly, just like a leader has to know how to do. It happened Tuesday afternoon as the Rotary Club of Cleveland hosted the Interact Speech competition. Interact is the Rotarian-sponsored club for young people ages 12 to 18 who want to help tackle issues in their community.

Read more: Cleveland Daily Banner - Gonclaves to represent local Rotary Interact in district speech contest 

Interact Speech Contest Patrick Long
Preserving History and Natural Beauty

Preserving natural beauty and history are at the heart of Foothills Land Conservancy’s mission. Elise Eustace presented information about the organization to the Rotary Club of Cleveland on Tuesday. The organization helps homeowners who want to preserve their land in an undeveloped state. The most popular way to do this is to set land aside as a conservation easement. “It has to have in its essence natural beauty. It has to be part of a view shed. It has to have some kind of historic relevancy. It has to have some kind of intrinsic natural value,” Eustace said.  While many landowners pass their property on to the next generation, some bequeath their land to the nonprofit conservancy organization. Eustace said the land has to meet additional requirements for the organization accept it.

Read more: Cleveland Daily Banner - Rotary Club of Cleveland Conservancy protects state s natural beauty 

Preserving History and Natural Beauty Patrick Long
Giving Kids the Right Start: An In-Depth Look at Head Start Programming

Our speaker for the October 12th meeting was Dr. David Kelly who currently serves as the Director of Tennessee Head Start for the Family Resource Agency in Cleveland, Tennessee. He will be sharing a look into the positive role early childhood plays in the lives of underprivileged children. Highlighting the partnership between TN Head Start, Cleveland City and Bradley County Schools, and Lee and CSCC. A model program which saves local taxpayers $1.5M annually.

Giving Kids the Right Start: An In-Depth Look at Head Start Programming Patrick Long
College Athletes: Amateurs or Professionals? A History of the SEC

Speaker, Dr. Eric Moyen, with President Pam Nelson and Rotarian Derrick Kinsey.

Should college athletes be kept in the role of amateurs or be paid for their contributions?

Eric Moyen, Lee University’s chair of the Department of Health, Exercise Science and Secondary Education, presented a history of the Southeastern Conference to explore this question while speaking to the Rotary Club of Cleveland. 

Read more: Cleveland Daily Banner - Moyen shares history of SEC with Rotary Club 

College Athletes: Amateurs or Professionals? A History of the SEC Patrick Long
Focus on Membership


Rotary President Pam Nelson with speaker David Sergent. David's presentation kicked-off our August membership drive!

Rotary is arguably one of the most influential service organizations in the world, with more than 34,000 clubs in 200 countries. What began as one man's humble vision to give professionals a place to fellowship and collaborate has grown to become a formidable force both internationally and in local communities. Rotary's impact is clear when you examine the information from just a few of our programs:  

  • Rotary International's service club for young people ages 12-18, Interact, has more than 340,000 international members.  
  • Through PolioPlus, Rotary's signature international project dedicated to the eradication of Polio, Rotarians have contributed more than $850 million and thousands of volunteer hours to this effort. Due to these efforts, since 1985 more than 2 billion children have been vaccinated against the virus
  • Rotary's Ambassadorial Scholarships have provided more than 38,000 men and women from 100 nations with the opportunity to study abroad and is currently the world's largest privately funded international scholarship program. 

None of that takes into account the thousands of dollars and volunteer hours that invested by our local club. What makes all of this possible? Put simply: members. It’s our membership that makes any of this a reality. Internationally Rotary boasts membership numbering more than 1.2 million individuals, while locally the Cleveland Rotary Club has 114 active members.

During the month of August our goal is bring on new members, to identify local leaders who believe in this community and the power we have together.

So, how can you help? There are two things you can do, 1) think of influential people you know who might be good Rotarians and 2) invite them to a meeting. It really is that easy. For more information about Rotary’s requirements, click here or contact Membership Chair, Mike Griffin


Focus on Membership Patrick Long
Is the War on Terror Over?


Past-President Kim Casteel, LTC (ret) Joseph Myers, and Current President Pam Nelson

Is the War on Terror Over? Patrick Long
Stanfield Speaks to Local Gang Issue


Nancy Stanfield shared with the Rotary Club regarding Cleveland's growing gang problem. 

Stanfield Speaks to Local Gang Issue Patrick Long
Museum Director Address Rotary Club



Museum Center at 5 Points Executive Director, Hassan Najjir, speaking to the Cleveland Rotary Club about the changes that have taken place during his first 100 days in leadership. 


Museum Director Address Rotary Club Patrick Long
Guatemala Clean Water Project

Water Project

The most populous country in Central America, Guatemala is home to more than 14 million people, proud of their shared Mayan heritage but also broadly diverse, with over 24 linguistic groups. Most of the people live in rural areas, although more and more are migrating to urban centers for work. Approximately 51% of Guatemalans live below the national poverty line. An estimated 25,000 people die every day from the lack of clean water and proper sanitation, that is one person every 3.45 seconds. 

The Cleveland Rotary Club is working with several other organizations to help correct this by providing approximately 800 people in a rural, Guatemalan village with access to wells and latrines. The total cost of the project is more than $45,000, with our club providing $17,500 in funds. For more information about this exciting project, please contact Steve Carroll. 

Guatemala Clean Water Project Patrick Long
Advertise Your Business On Our Website

Reach a group of Cleveland's most influential business and civic leaders by purchasing a banner advertisement on the Rotary Club of Cleveland website. The advertisements appear in the "Website Sponsors" section in the right hand column on every page of the site and are included in our weekly e-Bulletin distributed to over 120 Rotarians and newsletter subscribers. Clicking on a banner ad may direct the user to your business website or open a pre-addressed email to request information.

Click here for more information.

Advertise Your Business On Our Website
The 1945 Rotary Junior Dairy Show
The 1945 Rotary Junior Dairy Show
August is Membership and Extension Month
August is Membership and Extension Month, the perfect time to share your passion for Rotary.
August is Membership and Extension Month
Rotarian Bobby Taylor Will be Missed
Rotarian and community leader, George Robert Taylor, died Friday, July 16, at SkyRidge Medical Center after a short illness. "Bobby" Taylor had been a faithful member of the Rotary Club of Cleveland for 30 years.

Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Nancy Parks Taylor; daughter, Linda Burns and husband, Gerald; son, Scott Taylor and wife, Sharon; grandchildren: Ashley Burns Meagher and husband, Jim; Brandon Taylor Burns; Clint Taylor and Clarke Taylor; great grandchildren: Burns Meagher and Reece Meagher all of Cleveland; and several nieces and nephews.

Visit the Fike Funeral Home memorial for Bobby Taylor here:
Rotarian Bobby Taylor Will be Missed Wayne Wilhelm
CHS Interactor and Junior Miss, Devon Vaughn
CHS Interactor and Cleveland's Junior Miss, Devon Vaughn, was a guest at the July 13 meeting of the Rotary Club of Cleveland. Miss. Vaughn will be representing the city during the Tennessee Junior Miss competition at the Dixon Center on July 16-18.
Photo by Dwight Richardson
CHS Interactor and Junior Miss, Devon Vaughn Wayne Wilhelm
July 13 Program: Legislative Update
Rotarian and State Representative, Kevin Brooks, shared news from his annual legislative update during the July 13 meeting. This session included passing an especially challenging budget in our underperforming economy. Meeting notes are available from the "Downloads" section of our website (Rep. Kevin Brooks Legislative Update). Thanks to Programs Director, Adam Lewis, for coordinating this event.
Photo by Dwight Richardson
July 13 Program: Legislative Update Wayne Wilhelm
Follow Cleveland Rotary on Twitter
Follow Cleveland Rotary activities and news on Twitter. You can receive updates on your mobile phone.
Follow @clevelandrotary on Twitter!
Follow Cleveland Rotary on Twitter Wayne Wilhelm
Happy New Year!
HAPPY ROTARY NEW YEAR! Rotary starts a new year this month and the Rotary Club of Cleveland has installed a new slate of officers and directors. The 2010-2011 officers and directors are: President, Steve Carroll; President-Elect, Kim Casteel; Vice President, Joseph McCoin; Secretary, Jay Leggett; Treasurer, Craig Mullinax; Past President, Michael Estes; Cleveland Foundation President, Don Ritzhaupt; Director of Membership, Brad Emendorfer; Director of Publications, Wayne Wilhelm, Public Relations, Pamela Nelson; Service Projects, Fred Garmon; Program Director, Adam Lewis; and International Foundation Co-Chairs, Norm Fontana and Tom Thomas.
Photo by Dwight Richardson
Happy New Year! Wayne Wilhelm
Dr. Eddie Roberson speaks to Cleveland Rotarians
Tennessee Regulatory Authority director, Eddie Roberson, was the speaker at the May 11, 2010 meeting of the Cleveland Rotary Club.
Dr. Eddie Roberson speaks to Cleveland Rotarians Wayne Wilhelm
Rotary International 2010-2011 Theme Announced
After taking the stage to the tune of "California, Here I Come," RI President-elect Ray Klinginsmith announced the 2010-11 RI theme, Building Communities -- Bridging Continents, during the opening plenary session of the 2010 International Assembly.
Rotary International 2010-2011 Theme Announced Wayne Wilhelm
Don't forget the eBulletin!
ClubRunner makes it easy to publish your eBulletin, and send to all your members and friends.
Don't forget the eBulletin!
Welcome to our new website!
We are all excited to see how ClubRunner will revolutionize the way we manage our day to day club activities, as well as communicate more effectively.
Welcome to our new website!
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