Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company backs community improvement outreach efforts in education, arts and culture, and health and wellness. The Columbia-based firm and its employees had a positive local impact topping $2.4 million in 2016, including over $700,000 in employee giving and more than 11,000 hours of volunteer time for charitable organizations. That’s according to president and CEO Tim Arnold – flanked by Capital Rotary members Matthew Pollard (left) and Frank Rutkowski (right) – the club’s Sept. 20 guest speaker. Arnold said Colonial Life is especially proactive in school programs such as Junior Achievement, literacy and mentoring, and educator leadership training. These demonstrate the company is a corporate good neighbor committed to student achievement and preparation of a future workforce. Arnold earned a bachelor’s degree in management and a master’s in business administration degree in finance from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga. He joined Colonial Life in July 2011.
Capital Rotary president Blake DuBose recognizes at-large director and service chair Neda Beal for continuing Rotary Foundation donations that support world understanding and peace programs. Beal is now a Paul Harris Fellow plus-three giver (signifying an initial $1,000 donation with three additional gifts at the same amount). The club previously honored Beal as 2016 Rotarian of the Year for guiding local community service, literacy and volunteer projects.
Eight of the state’s central region counties are enjoying the fruits of economic development efforts seeking new business and employment – to the tune of investments totaling over $12 billion and creation of more than 68,000 jobs. That’s what Capital Rotary Club members heard from Sept. 13 guest speaker Mike Briggs, shown talking with Rotarian Andy Markl (back to camera). Since 1997, Briggs has been president and CEO of the Central SC Alliance, a regional public-private partnership dedicated to stimulating economies in Calhoun, Clarendon, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg and Richland counties as well as the City of Columbia. The alliance has been especially successful in boosting global investment. Briggs said more than 22,000 workers in the area are employed by foreign affiliates, and there are businesses from over two dozen countries represented region wide. He said the most important keys to continuing economic expansion are (1) a workforce dedicated to becoming more highly skilled and (2) an abundance of suitable buildings and site locations to quickly accommodate business needs.
Matthew Pollard (center), a member of Capital Rotary’s programs committee, welcomes South Carolina Education Lottery chief operating officer Tony Cooper (left) and assistant controller Brian Ford to the club’s Sept. 6 meeting. Cooper told Rotarians the lottery is not gambling but rather “public gaming for the public good” because proceeds fund higher education scholarships, K-12 school programs, and community resources including libraries and ETV. Since the lottery started selling tickets in January 2002 it has resulted in education appropriations of more than $4.6 billion to counties all across the state. Cooper has overseen day-to-day lottery operations since start-up. Previously he was executive director of the District of Columbia Lottery & Charitable Games Board and was president of the Powerball Game Group.
Capital Rotarian Abby Naas has been named Female Executive of the Year for the South Atlantic League. Naas joined the staff of the Columbia Fireflies minor league baseball team in January 2015 as marketing and public relations vice president. She became a Capital club member later that same year. Naas now will be the South Atlantic League’s nominee for the Rawlings Woman Executive of the Year Award, an industry-wide honor presented annually by Rawlings and minor league baseball. Prior to joining the Fireflies, Nass was twice named Midwest League Female Executive of the Year while working for the Fort Wayne TinCaps in Indiana. (Photo courtesy of Columbia Fireflies)
Capital Rotary president Blake DuBose presents a $1,000 check supporting child feeding to Denise Holland, CEO of Harvest Hope Food Bank. The funds will go for (1) a BackPack Program providing child-friendly, nutritious, easy-to-open food to last the weekend for needy children and (2) the Kids Café Program serving an average of 300 children over 3,100 nutritious, warm meals monthly at 13 after-school sites including churches, community centers and Boys & Girls Clubs. DuBose said Harvest Hope has worked since 1981 to alleviate childhood hunger, a concern embraced by Rotary International worldwide.
The Summerville Rotary Oktoberfest is jointly hosted by the Summerville Evening and the Summerville Oakbrook Rotary clubs. This is our sixth year hosting the event which have been very successful in the past, the most successful were hosted in Hutchinson Square, Historic Summerville where we will be again this year. The funds raised are jointly shared by both clubs and placed into charitable giving accounts. No funds raised during the event are used for operating club expenses.
Capital Rotary program committee members Philip Flynn (left) and Mike Montgomery welcome
guest speaker Elisa Strickler to the club’s Aug. 2 breakfast meeting. Strickler, who holds a
Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of South Carolina, is the Hospice
and Palliative Care Foundation’s grants and programs specialist. She explained how the
foundation provides finance, education, technology and bereavement support to patients and
families facing terminal illness. Since its founding in Spartanburg in 2000, the foundation has
grown to serve and enhance the quality of life for hundreds of families in every county of South
Today the Florence Breakfast Rotary Club welcomed two new members to our club. Johnny Rishmawi and Jerry Poston were inducted into the club. Johnny was sponsored by Gerry Braun (Past President) and Jerry was sponsored by Jay Lavrinc (Current President). Welcome Johnny and Jerry to Rotary. We are looking forward to your involvement in Rotary and the community.
Rotary Club of Hilton Head Youth Exchange coordinators, Lindsay Bunting and Bob DeValentinoorganized a lunch with the club’s SEVEN RYE (Rotary Youth Exchange) students. Our 3 students that went on exchange last year (Dylan Brown, Lily Gallagher,Caitlyn Campbell) all recently returned home. Our three outbound students for 2017-18 (Arianna Serpe, Virginia Lloyd, Gracie Pietz) are soon leaving for their year abroad. And our inbound student, FedericaMarongiu, is on an extended exchange and returns home to Italy the end of July!!! Countries represented by these students are Italy, Spain, Peru, Slovakia, Czech Republic. All agreed it was a delightful lunch at Hudsons on the Docks and enjoyed sharing experiences and expectations.. Also attending were Peter Cooper and President Karen Cully!!