Officers, Directors & Program Chairs
President Elect
Vice President
Past President
Community Service Awards
Service Projects Chair
International Service Chair
Rotary Foundation
Membership Chair
Fundraising Chair
Program Chair
Speech Contest Chair

Bulletin Subscribe

Subscribe to our eBulletin and stay up to date on the latest news and events.

Club Information

Welcome to our Club!

St. Johnsbury

Rotary Serving Humanity

We meet Mondays at 12:15 PM
Union Baptist Church
Route 5
St. Johnsbury, VT  05819
United States
District Site
Venue Map
St. Johnsbury Rotary Latest News
St. Johnsbury resident and historian, Bob Swartz described what Lambert Packard’s Main Street in St. Johnsbury looked like in 1906, during St. Johnsbury Rotary Club’s weekly meeting Jan. 6. Packard, an architect and engineer, was born in Coventry, Vt., and lived in Waterford, before learning the carpenter's trade and working for engineers and architects in Massachusetts. He and his family moved to St. Johnsbury in 1866, where he was employed as a foreman by E. & T. Fairbanks & Company (brothers Erastus and Thaddeus), building most of the historic homes and buildings still standing in St. Johnsbury today. As the Fairbanks continued to grow business in town, Packard kept adding buildings, including several residential homes, in strategic areas, most predominantly, the length of St. Johnsbury’s Main Street. Packard died in 1906, so never had the opportunity to see how his creations impacted the future of St. Johnsbury.
Laural Ruggles, vice president of Marketing and Community Health Improvement at Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital, spoke to St. Johnsbury Rotarians on Monday (Dec. 16) about NEK Prosper!, a program formed by NVRH and community partners which "has a mission and shared goal of improving the health and well-being of the people in Caledonia and southern Essex counties by integrating" efforts and services, with an emphasis on reducing poverty in the region. Ruggles spoke about Stewardship and thinking about "the community in which we live, work, play; what signs do we see of a thriving community. She asked Rotarians, "In what ways do you/we contribute or ways you can contribute to a healthy community?" From the website: NEK Prosper! operates under the framework of an accountable health community, employs the principles of collective impact, and uses Results Based Accountability™ to measure our progress. An accountable health community is an aspirational model accountable for the health and well-being of the entire population in its defined geographic area and not limited to a defined group of patients. We understand that health outcomes are the product of multiple contributors of health: medical care, public health, genetics, behaviors, social factors, economic circumstances and environmental factors. For more information, go to
Laural Ruggles, Vice President of Marketing and Community Health will be the December 16 speaker. Here is a link to the NEK Prosper site.
The St. Johnsbury Academy Hilltones, directed by Alan Rowe, delight the club with holiday music.
                                                                                               To Learn more and sign up for their monthly newsletter go to
Katherine Sims, director of the Northeast Kingdom Collaborative, was guest speaker during St. Johnsbury Rotary Club's weekly meeting Dec. 2. NKC brings together local, state and federal partners to advance economic development in communities across the Northeast Kingdom. Prior to her work at NKC, Sims was founder and executive director of Green Mountain Farm-to-School, a nonprofit working to improve childhood nutrition and support Vermont farms by connecting schools and farms through food and education. She also worked as an independent consultant to nonprofits helping to build their organizations through fundraising plans, leadership development, and succession planning. Sims spoke to Rotarians about advancing economic development around the strength of food; and about launching the NEK Leadership Institute, starting Jan. 15 with 20 chosen applicants. Sims graduated from Yale University with a bachelor’s degree in History. She serves on the board of the Vermont Land Trust and Craftsbury Saplings, and is a member of the Vermont Community Foundation. She lives in Craftsbury with her husband and two sons. St. Johnsbury Rotary honors guest speakers by donating a book to the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum with the speaker's name inside. Above, Sims is shown with the book, "Pan's Labyrinth," presented by Rotarian Martha Hill.
John Bongaarts, a Dutch American Demographer and the vice president and Distinguished Scholar at the Population Council, was guest speaker during St. Johnsbury Rotary Club's weekly meeting Nov. 18. He spoke on the history of population growth and over population. Bongaarts joined the Population "Council in 1973, following a postdoctoral fellowship in population dynamics at Johns Hopkins University. His research on critical demographic challenges — such as population momentum, the determinants of fertility, the impact of family planning programs, population – environment relationships, and the demographic effects of the AIDS epidemic — assists policymakers in addressing these issues. He has published more than 190 scientific articles and book chapters ... He is a member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences and the US National Academy of Sciences, and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science." For more information about Bongaarts, go to
Scott Wheeler, publisher of The Northland Journal out of Newport, gives a talk about the history of Prohibition in the Northeast Kingdom to St. Johnsbury Rotarians during the Club's weekly meeting November 4.
Superintendent, Brian Ricca, outlined for the club the proposed $3 million bond project for community consideration. The major projects include care for the heating system and safety upgrades. The Board plans to heat with wood chips or wood pellets to soften the impact of oil on the environment. And changes to the front entrance will provide greater security for the students and community.
There is a Bond Walkthrough planned for October 28 at 5 p.m. at the school. All are welcome.


To celebrate World Polio Day, the special movie showing of "Breathe" will be held at Catamount Arts at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 27. This movie is an inspiring story about a man confined to bed and given just months to live after his polio diagnosis; only to overcome many challenges with the help of his family and the inventor, Teddy Hall.

The cost will be by donation. The event will benefit the Rotary Foundation PolioPlus Initiative, with a two-to-one match from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. For every $1 raised, you will be effectively raising $3!

Poliomyelitis, or polio, is a paralyzing and potentially fatal disease that still threatens children in some parts of the world. Poliovirus invades the nervous system and can cause total paralysis in hours. It can strike people of any age but mainly affects children under five. Polio can be prevented by vaccines, but it is not curable. Unlike most diseases, polio can be eradicated.

Rotary Readers at the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum children's library is a fun way to meet some our youngest citizens, their parents and caregivers, while exercising one's outload reading skills! The first Friday of each month at 10 a.m. a Rotary Reader arrives at the Athenaeum's children's library and reviews the books chosen for that day with children's librarian Becky Hatfield. At 10:30 a.m. kiddos arrive and for the next 30 minutes the reader has the floor. After the reading done, the Rotary Reader is invited to stay for the planned art activity. If this sounds like fun please contact Martha Hill at to sign up. 
Becky Hatfield, St. Johnsbury Athenaeum Children's Liberian pictured
St. Johnsbury Rotarian Jamie Milne is shown with other dignitaries during the Rotary Zone 24 and 32 Conference held recently in Niagara Falls, New York, following a Governor Elect Training Seminar. He is shown with: from left, Susanne Knaack, wife of Rotary International (RI) incoming president for the 2020-2021 year; Holger Knaack, RI President for 2020-2021; Milne, Governor Elect for Rotary District 7850 for 2020-2021; RI Board Director of Zone 32 and Zone 24, Jeffry Cadorette; and Incoming RI Board member Valerie Wafer. Milne's next training session will be at the International Assembly in San Diego, Calif. in January 2020. Rotary District 7850 encompasses 43 Rotary clubs in the areas of Southern Québec, Northern Vermont and Northern New Hampshire.
Internationally acclaimed author and speaker Dana Caspersen spoke to St. Johnsbury Rotarians about Conflict Resolution, during the Club’s weekly meeting Sept. 16. Caspersen is the author of “Changing the Conversation: The 17 Principles of Conflict Resolution,” a book geared toward changing lives. She described methods that can be used to turn conflicts into opportunities for growth.
Growing up, Caspersen developed a robust personality and was always curious. For 40 years, she was a dancer and performed in the theatre; then she decided to switch careers, earning a Master’s in Conflict Studies and Mediation at the Woodbury Institute of Champlain College in Vermont. She became a teacher and life coach, working with people on conflict and ways to deal with it.
Caspersen stated, “We’re all practicing conflict constantly – what do we really want to practice?” She said that “conflict can be terrible, or it can help us find out about others … We always have a choice on how we handle conflict.”
She said that in today’s society, there is a lot of polarization. She wants to get rid of conflict and encouraged Rotarians to be willing to step in and see what “we can do together … The most important thing in conflict is discovering what other people need.”
During a time of conflict with someone, the natural response is to attack and counter attack. This methodology is common – no matter where we are; at home, on the street, etc. She said that this type of behavior can be changed; “our approach to conflict is something we learn.”
Caspersen said, “We need to listen to what people are saying, even if they’re saying it really badly … We are not doomed to repeat destructive habits … Conflict can clarify what matters to us, and what matters to others.” She added, “We need to learn ‘not to hear the attack,’ but to develop a curiosity” about what is being said in a time of conflict.
As stated on her website, one of her principles is, “you can’t change how other people act in a conflict, and often you can’t change your situation. But you can change what you do. We have all been in circumstances of conflict when we failed to ‘think through’ the problem; we lashed out; we were rash; and we emerged from the experience with regret. The circumstance may have been in your work, family, or civic life. All areas of our lives can be enhanced by knowing how to ‘change the conversation.’”
Caspersen’s Changing the Conversation has been called “an invaluable handbook [to] teach you how to transform your mind-set and move beyond the destructive cycle of attack and counterattack … to create dialogue and find lasting solutions.”
Caspersen says, of the services she offers, “My clients include teachers, executives, parents, artists, small business owners, social service groups, international dance companies, arts collectives, schools, at-risk youth, municipalities and universities.
In collaboration with communities, governments and foundations in the U.S., Europe and the UK, I have designed and directed multiple large scale action dialogues on challenging topics ranging from immigration to violence. These events integrate simple physical action as an instrument to enable engaging and powerful exchange between participants.”
She concluded her presentation to the Rotarians with encouragement, stating this is “a call to strengthen our minds; how we think … Understand what is important; what does someone need … Try to do things that are positive.”
Caspersen lives part time in Kirby with her husband, William Forsythe. For more information about Dana Caspersen, go to
Richard Fox, the 2019-2020 governor for Rotary District 7850, was guest speaker during St. Johnsbury Rotary Club's weekly meeting Aug. 26. Fox asked members to consider "Why" they choose to become Rotarians, and emphasized the synergy that comes with being involved in the community. Synergy is his focus for District 7850, which encompasses 43 Rotary clubs in areas of Southern Québec, Northern Vermont and Northern New Hampshire. Fox stated that Rotary clubs need to be solid and strong, and pointed out that the St. Johnsbury's club needs be the Rotary Club for the Greater Good of St. Johnsbury. He encouraged members to consider why they are Rotarians, and to pass this knowledge on to others who may become future members. Fox highlighted four agreements concerning Rotary: 1.) Rotary is important to our local and global communities; 2.) Rotary needs to be in our communities after we are no longer here; 3.) Rotary Clubs are important for the impact and success of our District and Rotary International, both globally and locally; 4.) We need to grow our Rotary Clubs to ensure sustained community engagement and the long-term impart of Rotary Clubs. He also emphasized that Rotary is family-oriented, and fun!
St. Johnsbury Rotarian Jamie Milne, at left, is presented a gift from 2019-2020 Rotary District 7850 Governor Richard Fox, during St. Johnsbury Rotary Club's weekly meeting August 26. Jamie will be taking the helm as District 7850's governor for the 2020-2021 Rotary year. Milne is presently secretary of the St. Johnsbury Rotary Club, and has also been an Assistant District Governor for 7850, representing clubs in Littleton, Lancaster, Wells River/Woodsville and St. Johnsbury.
Amanda Cochrane, executive director of Umbrella, was guest speaker during St. Johnsbury Rotary Club's weekly meeting July 8. Amanda spoke about the programs offered by Umbrella, dealing with abused women. One of the programs discussed was "Cornucopia, a culinary arts job-training program for women with barriers to employment. The 14-week program introduces women to the culinary arts through the preparation and packaging of Meals-on-Wheels for Newport area seniors. After completing the program, women are assisted with securing employment enabling them to achieve economic self-sufficiency."
Outgoing St. Johnsbury Rotary Club 2018-2019 President Jim McFaul presents the Club’s Rotarian of the Year Award to Katheryn Laferriere, during the Club’s end-of-the-year meeting June 24 at the Rotary Pavilion in St. Johnsbury. Katheryn serves the Club in many capacities, including being vice president on the Board of Directors; chairperson for the Membership Committee; an active participant in the Basketball Committee and the Relay for Life team. Katheryn lives in St. Johnsbury with her two daughters and husband Fred, owner of Mayo’s Furniture and Flooring.

St. Johnsbury Rotary Club Visioning: Strategic Planning for the Future

Our Club recently conducted a visioning session.  Information related to the session and the results are outlined in a paper contained in the Download area.
Brian Ricca
Jan 27, 2020
St. Johnsbury School District Budget
Joy Ely from NECKA
Feb 03, 2020
Update on NEK Community Action
Governor Phil Scott
Feb 10, 2020
No Meeting - Holiday
Feb 17, 2020
Evan Carlson
Feb 24, 2020
Do North Coworking - Lyndon
Holger Knaack sees opportunities for Rotary to change, thrive

Incoming RI president announces 2020-21 presidential theme.

Rotary and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation extending fundraising partnership to eradicate polio

Rotary and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation extending fundraising partnership to eradicate polio Partnership will infuse an additional US$450 million into global polio eradication

Rotary and the Gates Foundation extend funding match for polio eradication

Rotary and the Gates Foundation extend funding match for polio

Rotary establishes peace center at Makerere University

Rotary establishes peace center at Makerere UniversityInaugural 2021 class will focus on shaping peace and development in

Toastmasters and Rotary partner to help members grow professionally and make a difference in their communities

Toastmasters and Rotary partner to help members grow professionally and make a difference in their communitiesENGLEWOOD, Colo., Jan. 7, 2020 — Members of Toastmasters and Rotary will enhance their skills, broaden their