The Hinesville Rotary Club installed new officers Tuesday night at its weekly meeting. New club President Brigitte Shanken and fellow officers were sworn in by Rotary District 6920 Gov. Ted Thompson.
Also attending Tuesday’s supper meeting were District Foundation Chairman Ron May and former District Gov. Bob Griggers. In addition to Shanken, new officers include Hasit Patel, president-elect; David Morris, member at large; Michelle Ricketson, sergeant at arms; Jeff Ricketson, treasurer; Shannon Hickey, secretary; and Lisette Villa, public relations.
Former Hinesville Rotary President Marcus Sack thanked members and special guests for coming and for their support throughout his year as club president.
“It’s been a good year,” Sack said as he waved a stack of certificates ready to be awarded to members for faithful hard work and service. “I really enjoyed it.”
Before the awards were presented, George Holtzman, who would receive an award for being the membership committee chairman, said he thought the night’s meeting was a great opportunity to recognize one of its members on her new job.
“I think it’s a good idea to recognize Michelle Ricketson, the new director of the Hinesville Downtown Development Authority.”
Ricketson, who later was honored for her service to Rotary and the local community, will take over management and development of downtown Hinesville, including special events held at Bradwell Park and Bryant Commons.
Before officiating the installation of new officers, Thompson and May talked about Rotary and serving Georgia’s communities.
Thompson said he has lived in Sandersville for seven years, but he’s originally from Florida. The retired plant nursery owner said Tuesday’s event was his first visit to Hinesville.
“I’ve been a Rotarian for 40 years,” May said, referring to himself as a retired country banker who’s live in Sandersville all his life. “I’m starting my third year as district foundation chair.”
Thompson joked that many of the things he was going to talk about already had been discussed or mentioned by Shanken. He said, however, he is very impressed with her enthusiasm for service. He challenged the local Rotary club to increase its membership by at least one new member each year while continuing to support Rotary programs.
Shanken said she is both honored and humbled by her new role as club president. She thanked everyone for the privilege of serving them.
“We have great leaders, great members in our club,” Shanken said, reviewing some of the many projects the Hinesville Rotary completed in the last year, from fundraisers for scholarships to marking storm drains throughout the city. “I want to continue with the momentum we have. .. We have support from the community, our friends and family. We’re a very active Rotary Club.”
Shanken introduced a new challenge for local Rotarians, that of Alzheimer’s awareness. She invited members to participate in a community event at Coastal Manor Nursing Home in Ludowici as a way of supporting those with the disease and their caretakers.
Another big event on the Hinesville Rotary Club’s calendar is a fishing tournament scheduled for Sept. 20. It will be Rotary’s first time hosting a fishing event, Shanken said.