Hinesville Rotary Club members voted Tuesday to approve new officers for 2015-16.
Officers for the coming year, as voted on by club members, are: President Hasit Patel, President-elect Michelle Ricketson, Secretary Shannon Hickey, Treasurer Jeff Ricketson, Directors John Baker and Carla Schreihofer and Sergeant-at-Arms Trent Long.
Current President Brigitte Shanken, whose term will end this summer, became an immediate past president.
“We have had so many things that have taken place in the last six months,” Shanken said, listing and discussing events like a fishing tournament, making storm drains and a gingerbread competition. “We’ve had lot of opportunities to do what we’re here for to serve.”
Current Sergeant-at-Arms Michelle Ricketson noted they had eight club-membership anniversaries, including Jeff Arnold, who’s now been a Rotary Club member for 35 years.
Two Rotary-sponsored events from 2014 are being repeated in 2015. Jeff Ricketson said the club has received additional funds for new markers, so members again will give up a Saturday this fall to mark the rest of the storm drains in the city.
“Together, we made a fishing tournament possible,” Shanken said, regarding the September contest to catch trout and redfish. “What do you guys think? Is this something you like and would want to keep doing? Mr. Treasurer, did the receipts from the event show it was a success?”
Ricketson responded that the event made $6,700 and the room was filled with applause. Mark Germonprez, Rotary member and director of Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield’s Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, later agreed to help with another fishing tournament, probably in September.
Shanken said members involved in last year’s tournament had met and talked about what went right and wrong, and then promised to heed members’ suggestions in this year’s tournament. She also noted that a fishing-supply business in Glennville has expressed interest in sponsoring the next tournament.
“Overall, my assessment of the tournament is that it went well,” she said. “Everybody seemed to be happy. Everybody seemed to be enjoying themselves, even though the weather was really ugly. So, my hat’s off to you guys.”
Hickey, who is a principal at First Presbyterian Christian Academy, talked to members about a Rotary-sponsored event in the near future, a high-school speech contest.
Shanken then addressed club member and Liberty County Board of Education Superintendent Dr. Valya Lee, asking for her support in getting students from Liberty County High School and Bradwell Institute to participate in the speech contest. Lee nodded in agreement and later met with Hickey to get the more details.
“So, what do you think of our first six months?” Shanken asked as she prepared to end the meeting. “I’m exhausted but in a good way … You guys are leaders in our community. I think you can do anything. Thank you.”
Also Tuesday, Shanken introduced a proposed new member, Donna Waite, director of the Hinesville YMCA.