South Cobb Rotary Club





Bulletin Subscribe

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



President Elect
Seargent at Arms
Immediate Past President
Rotary Foundation Chair
Club Service Chair
Vocational Service
Community Service
Club Service
Membership Chair
Executive Secretary

Club Meeting Info

Welcome to our Club!

Service Above Self

We meet Thursdays at 12:00 PM
Presbyterian Village
2000 East-West Connector
Austell, GA  30106
United States
District Site
Venue Map
Home Page Stories
Cobb County Manager David Hankerson has appointed Deputy Director Jim Wilgus as Cobb Department of Transportation interim transportation agency director, effective Dec. 6. 2015. Jim joined Cobb County DOT in January 2014 as the deputy director. Prior, Jim served as city engineer for the City of Marietta. Additionally, he held various professional engineering roles in the private sector for 25 years. The Department of Transportation (DOT) develops, manages, and  operates the county’s transportation systems. Those systems include a vast network of roadways, sidewalks, and pathways; a transit system that provides public transportation services; and a general aviation airport that serves business and recreational flying needs. More than 150 employees work in Cobb DOT’s seven divisions: administration, engineering, traffic operations, planning, airport, transit, and road maintenance. Working with partners in the community, DOT  uses innovative technology to deliver high-impact results. Transportation supports the county’s residents, businesses and visitors, and Cobb DOT is committed to keeping Cobb in motion.

Ameenah  wishes  to  take  this opportunity  to  share  with  her fellow  club  members  some knowledge  she  has  gained through  her  coaching, training  and  research  in alternative  health  products and  of  the  benefits  of  eating raw  foods. Ameenah  is  a  retired postmaster  who  moved  to Georgia  after  serving  for  28 years  in  Michigan  as  a  civil servant  in  several  different clerical,  supervisory  and managerial  positions  of  the postal  service. Divorced  with  five  children, her  hobbies  in  addition  to serving  as  a  health  coach are,  roller  skating,  being  an active  grandparent, socializing  with  family  and friends,  and  exercising  at least  five  days  a  week  at  her local  gym. Ameenah  acts  as  a  personal health  coach  to  clients  on  an as  needed  basis,  and  has facilitated  between  doctor and  patient  in  coordinating enzymes,  new  coded technological advancements, minerals,  vitamins, essential  oils,  and immune  system products. Ameenah  has  an unusual  name  so  I looked  it  up. The  name  Ameenah means  Trustworthy.  The name  Ahmad has  its  origins in  a  prophecy attributed  to Jesus,  in  the Quran. 


Ali Richard

Operation Christmas Child

Ali grew up in Jonesboro, GA, she graduated from Jonesboro High School 1992.

After high school she played college basketball for 4 years & ran cross country for 1 year at University of Alabama, Huntsville (UAH)

While at UAH she met her husband, Brian, a Canada hockey player at UAH. They Married in 1997 and moved to Birmingham.

Ali Graduated in 2001 from UAB with major in Social Services. She continued her education at UWA (University of West Alabama) and earned

a MAT (Masters of Art in teaching) in History.

Currently she works part-time for First Baptist Kindergarten as a PE teacher. She also teaches history at Jefferson State Community College.

She is also a full time mother to Harbor, 13; Saylor, 11; and River, 9.

Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, is the world’s largest Christmas outreach of its kind.

Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has delivered gift-filled shoeboxes to over 124 million children affected by war, poverty, natural disasters, and other crises in more than 150 countries and territories.

They partner with local churches to share the Good News of Jesus

Christ with those who receive shoebox gifts and offer a 12-lesson discipleship program,

The Greatest Journey, that helps boys and girls learn what it means to follow the Lord and share their faith with others. 


Jim practices a disciplined, long‑term approach to investing based upon each client’s specific financial needs and risk tolerance. He acts as a focal point for all of a client’s financial affairs by leveraging the vast number of specialists and resources available through Merrill Lynch and Bank of America.
Jim also teams with client professionals, such as CPAs and attorneys, to coordinate and tailor personal financial solutions. As an essential partner and problem solver for clients, Jim is especially focused on helping those individuals who are looking for guidance concerning asset management to achieve long‑term investment goals.
Originally from Colorado, Jim graduated from the University of Denver with Bachelor of Science in Accounting from DU’s Daniels College of Business. Jim also holds the professional designation of a Certified Financial Planner and Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor.
In his spare time,
Jim enjoys traveling, music and exercise

Andrea Shelton is a President and founder of HeartBound Ministries, a non-profit prison ministry that seeks to support and equip Georgia prison chaplains and minister to inmates in Georgia’s state prisons, transitional centers and youth development centers.  Andrea graduated from Oglethorpe University in Atlanta and after a brief marketing career at Lockheed Aeronautics, she obtained a law degree from the University of Tennessee.  Following law school, she served as a Special Assistant Administrative Law Judge with the Office of State Administrative Hearings. 
In recognition of its contributions to the Georgia prison system, HeartBound Ministries has been named a “Faith-Based Contributor of the Year” for three consecutive years. In 2005, Andrea received the first-ever “Spirit of Oglethorpe Award” given by Oglethorpe University for her work on behalf of Georgia’s prison chaplains and those they serve.  She is a member of the 2006 class of Leadership Georgia and was a 2007 Leadership Georgia Program Chair. In 2025, HeartBound was selected as a TrueBlue Community Award recipient by Georgia Natural Gas for its Little Readers program.
Aside from her involvement in HeartBound Ministries, Andrea leads chapel at The Cathedral Preschool and is a YoungLife leader at North Atlanta High. She is married to attorney Joe Shelton and is the mother of two wonderful children – Spencer, a freshman at University of Tennessee and Abby, a junior at North Atlanta High.

OK guys and Gals:  We have three weeks to the big game but only 2 more meetings since we do not meet on Thansksgiving.  We are approximately half-way there so we need you to dig deep to help eradicate polio.  Remember, the benefit here is not a pecuniary win but a service to the world to help rid our planet of an EXTREMELY debilitating disease (and, of course, bragging rights for the next 365 days).
As an added bonus, we draw from the participants when we cross the half-way mark and one lucky winner gets their choice of a custom turned pen or a gift card to a restaurant.  So bring your checkbooks or cash and get your entries in before the meeting starts next week and let's finish this pool strong!

Fellow Rotarians,
It is that time of year where we play the football pool for bragging rights and to help eradicate Polio!  Remember to bring your checkbooks and/or cash to help us raise $1000.00 to eradicate Polio!  As is customary, the jokes will keep coming until all slots are bought!





Larry is a long-time Presbyterian minister and Director of Annual Giving for Presbyterian Homes of Georgia, one of the top-rated retirement communities in Georgia, providing care for more than 1,000 individuals and couples. Larry grew up in the wild country of Mississippi, earning a BA at one of the state's historic Presbyterian colleges. Upon completion of the M.Div. and M.C.E. degrees, he served four churches in Mississippi and Georgia. For more than 10 years he followed a dual career, pastoring small churches while he worked in corporate America, eventually becoming president of an Atlanta-based hotel company. During that time he also pursued post-graduate studies at Columbia Theological Seminary. Before joining Presbyterian Homes, he served as Director of Development for Thornwell Children’s Home in Georgia. 




Joe is the Senior Vice President of Health Parks Administration and Development, for Wellstar Health System; based in Metro-Atlanta, GA. Joe joined WellStar in April, 2010 and brings more than 35 years of progressive strategic business development experience, including 30 years in healthcare. Much of that time has been focused on the strategic and innovative delivery of community-based ambulatory healthcare services. Joe has led the development of WellStar's Health Park ambulatory strategic plan. Under his leadership, the Acworth Health Park was planned, designed and opened in July, 2012 and the East Cobb Health Park was opened in September, 2014. Two additional Health Park facilities are in development with openings planned for 2017. Prior to joining WellStar, Joe served as President and Chief Executive Officer for Vanguard Imaging Partners, LLC, in Dayton, Ohio where he developed and managed seven outpatient medical imaging centers. Prior to this position, Joe served as Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning and Business Development for Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton, Ohio and part of one of the largest health systems in the state of Ohio. In that role, Joe led the planning and development of one of the first, largest and most successful community-based outpatient medical facilities in the country, which opened in  1995. A Certified Public Accountant, Joe earned a bachelor's degree in accounting and a master's degree in business administration from the University of Dayton. Joe resides in Acworth and is a member of the Rotary Club of East 
Cobb. Joe is a member of the Chamber of Commerce in Cobb, Cherokee, and Greater North Fulton, and serves on the board of directors for the Cobb and Greater North Fulton Chambers. Joe also serves as a board member for the
McCleskey-East Cobb/Northeast Cobb Family YMCA. Joe and his wife Sharon have two sons, and are the proud grandparents of a 5 ½ year old and 9 month old grandsons.  


In her role as CEO of id8, it is Kriston Sellier’s responsibility to cultivate the company culture she has envisioned since she opened the agency’s doors in 2000—one that nurtures new and innovative thinking, a relaxed approach to communicating with clients, and an understanding of the critical role design thinking plays in every business strategy. Kriston’s vision is to create a “new agency”—one that brings more tangible value to the client by going far beyond creating designs that are visually appealing. Her goal with each and every client is to work hand in hand to understand their business goals—from generating leads to improving customer service to positioning for expansion—and deliver 
design solutions that will be an integral part of meeting those goals. She also works internally to that same end, continually improving the company’s systems to improve efficiencies and maintain higher standards. She also constantly searches out ways to grow and challenge herself and her team. This tenacity has brought success time and time again to id8, including a spot in the Top 25 Best Small Businesses in Working Mother magazine and numerous awards from Graphia Design, USA and American Graphic Design & Advertising. But Kriston is more than a strategist and entrepreneur; she has been an accomplished designer in her own right since 1996. Her work with high profile and global companies like Strength of Nature, IBM, Kodak, Macy’s, and the New York Times has also won design awards from Graphis and other national publications. Kriston has a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design from Illinois State University. Born and raised on a dairy farm in Illinois, she is married and has two children. Her free time—when she has it—is spent painting, making pottery, playing sports, and coaching kids’ sports. 

James Matthew Occhiato, CFP®, CRPC®
Vice President
Senior Financial Advisor
Portfolio Manager, PIA Program
3455 PEACHTREE ROAD N.E. Suite 1000 ATLANTA, GA 30326
Phone: (404) 231-8016 Email:
Jim’s mission, first and foremost, is to establish a trustworthy and meaningful working-relationship with a client. He believes that fully understanding clients, their families, their lifestyles, and their financial aspirations is essential in keeping their best interest at heart. Jim practices a disciplined, long-term approach to investing based upon each client’s specific financial needs and risk tolerance. He acts as a focal point for all of a client’s financial affairs by leveraging the vast number of specialists and resources available through Merrill Lynch and Bank of America. Jim also teams with client professionals, such as CPAs and attorneys, to coordinate and tailor personal financial solutions. As an essential partner and problem solver for clients, Jim is especially focused on helping those individuals who are looking for guidance concerning asset management to achieve long-term investment goals.
Originally from Colorado, Jim graduated from the University of Denver with Bachelor of Science in Accounting (BSAcc) from DU’s Daniels College of Business. Jim also holds the professional designation of a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC). In his spare time, Jim enjoys traveling, music and exercise.
Client Commitment
Our most deeply held principle at Merrill Lynch is that clients come first, and I am proud to be part of that tradition. To help you meet your financial objectives and build your wealth, I first listen to your personal goals, and then offer effective approaches to achieve them. At Merrill Lynch, I have unparalleled resources that include planning expertise, investment strategies and state-of-the-art technology designed to streamline any financial picture. Let me put them to work for you.

South Cobb Rotary is proud to have been a part of the Garrett Essay Program  since its origination in 1976.
It has been one of Rotary's favorite programs  over the last 39 years. Students who are good writers find greater success in  meeting their academic and career goals
Writing has been coined as the litmus  test of thinking and problem solving. These are the skills that are important if  students are to find success in the work place.
We commend the parents,  students, teachers, administers and staff members of Garrett Middle School for  creating a culture and climate wherein students can succeed in improving their  writing skills,
This Year’s Winners
Sixth Grade :
1.  Andre Radman
2. Terrell White
3. Chantel  Yeboah
Seventh Grade:
1. Brooke Hogan
2. Kevin Bofaty
3. Deonate Jackson
Eight Grade :
1. Evelyn Lewis
2. Genevieve Ellis
3. (tied) Elliot Freeman  / Teddy Emanalo

Brian D. Barton  former St. Louis Cardinal and Atlanta Brave
Brian spends his time serving the communities of the metro Atlanta area. He attended the University of Miami, where he studied Aerospace Engineering. The Los Angeles native is also an author of two books, Mindset: Awareness and Action and Stats and Situations: The Game Plan to Success. Additionally, Brian formed his own foundation in East St. Louis, Illinois, called "XY to the Power of Infinity" geared towards exposing inner city youth to travel, entrepreneurship and public speaking in order to develop community and global leaders. He believes "that everyone should leave a trail of great so that others could find the way to greatness." Brian  expresses the importance of developing a healthy mentality. He takes his humble background and rewarding achievements to teach a message of empowerment. Adopting the motto “exposure eliminates mental enclosure,” he encourages people to think outside the comfort of their minds and to take control of their lives. His unwavering passion to impact the lives of others spearheaded the formation of his foundation XY to the Power of Infinity that aims to develop community and global leaders by introducing inner city youth to travel, business ownership, and public speaking. Barton’s personal mission centers on his quest to determine purpose, pursue passions and demonstrate integrity which serves as the cornerstone of his vision to change the world. His writing, philanthropy, and motivational speaking are examples of his commitment to outreach because he believes that “you should leave a trail of great, so others can follow the path to greatness.” In his free time, Brian  enjoys to pursue his passion of travel where he expects to visit every country in the world. He also enjoys reading, writing, spending time with loved ones and venturing into new ideas and adventures. As mentioned in his personal mission, he hopes to live a “fulfilled” life.

Phyllis Rich Carpenter had dreamed of writing a book about the unusual events of her childhood. But as a single, working mother, her writing and creating was limited to projects and presentations generated within the corporate world where she worked, including years spent at IBM, Sprint, and Colonial Pipeline. Now retired, she has written Rolling Waters, her first book, spending nearly three years on the account. Phyllis lives with her daughter in her native Georgia.  Two of her grown sons live nearby, along with her four granddaughters. A third son lives in California. In November 1957, two friends, both accomplished sportsmen, headed north out of the Atlanta area on Hwy. 41 towards Cartersville and the Etowah River for a perfectly innocent day of duck hunting, a ritual repeated thousands of times by hunters everywhere, every season. When they did not return, family, friends, neighbors, National Guard, and other state agencies launched a massive search—an event that became front-page news and put the members of two large, close-knit families on an indefinite hold. Read about the ensuing weeks of mystery, discovery, and trauma—as seen through the eyes of the eleven-year-old daughter of one of the men. Don’t miss her “true definition of closure,” which will resonate with survivors, victims and readers alike. The story takes place during a by-gone era following the end of World War II, when the “old South” meets the “new.”  Quaint customs, charming language, and unquestioned values of the day would soon be lost forever. Fast forward to present-day, and the mystery takes on new life when the grandsons of one of the men undertake a brand new search and uncover an unexpected treasure.

In 1978 I went to school for television production at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and in the process I learned about shot composition and lighting. I got a job shooting and editing in TV news out of my freshman year and thought I was on my way. However, as is so often the case, my dreams and God’s plans were different and He won.

I wound up in the concert and live event production world where I stayed for the bulk of my adult life primarily in the field of lighting. In 1995 I decided I wanted to get out of “the business” and become a graphic artist. But I didn’t have the money to go back to school.

I went down to the local CompUSA that had just opened and got a job under the pretext that I would figure out computers and graphic software on the fly despite the fact that the simple process of booting up a computer made me a bit nervous. I learned to find my way around the technology and grabbed time on machines whenever and wherever I could until the day came to hang a shingle as a “professional graphic artist.”

I got some good gigs and did some pretty interesting work but I never quite lost the live production itch. In 2003 I met Carolyn DeMeo, the woman I would eventually marry. In April of 2004 as we were making plans for a November wedding I dropped the bomb that I needed to get back out on the road or I was going to go crazy—knowing full well that this could be the end of our plans. To my undying surprise and gratitude her response was, “What took you so long?”

I bumped into my old friend Larry Boster who was Brooks & Dunn’s lighting designer, and we spent a day snooping around Nashville looking for a touring gig for me. We wandered into the offices of “Tour Guide Magazine” (a trade magazine in the mobile production industry) to say hi and see if they knew of anything going on.

The owner of the magazine is always trolling for salespeople regardless of their qualifications. So he and his partner sat down and sold me on the idea that selling ad space to the industry would at least get me close enough to the road to eventually get back in at some point.

After a couple of months I realized that I couldn’t sell ice water to a Bedouin nomad and even if I could, it wasn’t going to work in this environment because what little writing there was in the publication was coming from a complete lack of understanding of how production actually works.

I convinced the guys that the magazine needed a writer who had actually done the work we're supposed to be critiquing so that the content could be written from within the industry. Hey, it sounded good to me. Apparently it sounded good to them as well because they took me off the sales hook and made me their Chief Writer. I also got them to put a camera in my hand.

I had been writing for a long time but no one had ever read any of it. Additionally, I didn’t have much experience with still photography, but my college training came back pretty fast and now it was just a matter of learning the particulars of the gear. I got the company to buy a Nikon D100 upon the discontinuation of the model and off I went shooting the shows about which I wrote.

My writing was rough as was my photography. But as time went by I was able to scrape the barnacles off my hull and before long I was able to acquire the respect of my peers in the business for my writing and my photography. More importantly, the people in the industry came to trust that I would execute the requisite discretion needed for such a position. Since then I have switched over to Canon and purchased my own gear.

I’m not one who believes in false modesty as long as you always bear in mind that talent and true success is nothing more than a gift on loan from God. The success I have achieved has come from the grace of God, the support of the best wife a man could ever have and access to the subjects of my writing and photography provided by an industry that is normally quite skittish about letting writers and photographers into its inner sanctum. With that kind of wind at your back you have to really try to avoid getting good at your work.

I have since left the magazine and struck out on my own as a photographer. I will always cherish the time spent, friendships made & rekindled, and lessons learned during my time as a writer. While I will always write as a hobby, writing for and about the live entertainment industry was a season of my life and as all seasons do, it has passed. I anxiously look forward to the countless photographic opportunities that lay out ahead of me now that I can spend all of my attention on shooting.

From time to time I am asked what advice I would offer to people who want to become a writer or photographer and my initial impulse is to warn them to find another star to follow, as there are probably only two or three professions on earth that are more difficult to get into. And of the people who are allowed through that door, only about one percent of one percent can actually make a living at it.

However, I was once told to keep my creativity as a hobby and get a real job. To date I can't recall a greater or more disheartening insult. Had I followed that advice I would have missed the incredibly rich (albeit moderately profitable) life that I have had. Indeed, I would have missed my wife who, apart from Jesus Christ, is the most important part of who I am.

So I have three pieces of advice: A) Know that a creative career is a jealous mistress and make absolutely sure that you and anyone else in your life are prepared for that kind of myopic focus. B) Charge at it with all you have. Don't let anything or anyone get in your way (within ethical bounds of course). If you hit the wall make sure that you hit it with enough force to plow through it leaving nothing but a hole the size of your desire to make it. C) Know that you are the only true competition you will ever have. If you pay attention to what others around you are doing, you will fail dismally.

First and foremost, our ministry is centered on the Bible. We start each morning and end each evening with devotions and Bible study. Our ministry is non-denominational – all are welcome to join in our Bible studies and worship.
We find that many have referred to our ministry as a “shelter”. Unlike a “Shelter” that addresses short-term needs, our “Recovery Program” strives for long-term solutions centered on a faith-based foundation. We typically have 
approximately 110 women & children and 24 men actively involved in our recovery program. Men entering the program make a 1 year commitment while women make a 30 day commitment. Many residents choose to grow in this faith-based community and stay well beyond their commitment requirements. Pastor 7 is the founder of 7 Bridges. As a homeless runaway since age 10, he had built his life around crime, centered on drugs, firearms, money laundering and the organized crime. Eventually captured by the FBI, he was placed in federal prison, While in solitary, God came to 7 and whispered in his ear that He would never leave him or forsake him. At that moment,  7 surrendered his life, but he didn’t know who this God was that he was surrendering to. He went on a quest to find the truth, studying  all the religions he could. Not knowing how to read or write, he was given a Bible and God instantly taught him how to read. He came to know who Christ was and was transformed by His love. With no preacher, no evangelist, no literature and never being raised in the church, God Himself came down and forever changed his heart. He was released from prison in 2000 and God told him to go into the streets and under the bridges and love those with this new love he had been given. Eventually, he was given a home and began rescuing men  off the streets and bringing them into his house. Then, women and children started showing up wanting help and God eventually provided the Garden, a home for women and children. We have a home for 105 women and children and a program for 25 men that have all been rescued from the streets. These men and women continue to go to the streets multiple times a week reaching out to the lost.


Amy Barrow Project Manager United Way Homelessness department at of Greater Atlanta. Prior to joining United Way, Amy worked as a community social worker at The Agape Community Center. While at Agape she was responsible for planning and executing community events and fundraisers such as, The Great Thanksgiving Basket Giveaway which provided Thanksgiving dinner to more than 500 members of the community. 
Amy began her work in social services in 2010 as a Big Sister Mentor in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program of Greater Atlanta. Amy received her BSW from Georgia State University and her Master of Social Work degree from Georgia State University. The United Way Worldwide, based in Alexandria, Virginia, is a nonprofit organization that works with more than 1,200 local United Way offices throughout the country in a coalition of charitable organizations to pool efforts in fundraising and support. United Way's focus is to identify and resolve pressing community issues, and to make measurable changes in communities through partnerships with schools, government agencies, businesses, organized labor, financial institutions, community development corporations, voluntary and neighborhood associations, the faith community, and others. The issues United Way offices focus on are determined locally because communities differ. The main areas include education, income, and health. The organization has roots in Denver, Colorado, where in 1887 church leaders began the Charity Organization Society, which coordinated services and fund raising for 22 agencies. Many Community Chest organizations, which were founded in the first half of the twentieth century to jointly collect and allocate money, joined the American Association for Community Organizations in 1918. The first Community Chest was founded in 1913 in Cleveland, Ohio In 1928, a Community Chest organization was established in Cape Town, South Africa — the first United Way outside North America. 



Judge Reuben Green presides over the Veterans Accountability and Treatment Court in Cobb Superior Court. Judge Green is a former enlisted United States Marine. While serving as a Marine, Judge Green received the Good  Conduct and National Defense Medals, was meritoriously promoted twice, and was Honorably Discharged in 1993 after four years of active duty. After serving in the Marines, Judge Green received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. He then graduated with Honors from Emory University School of Law. Judge Green began his legal career at King & Spalding where his practice focused on employment discrimination, product liability, and general civil litigation. After September 11, 2001, he felt called to return to public service and became a prosecutor. Judge Green has served at all levels of prosecution including as an Assistant Solicitor, an Assistant District Attorney, and finally as a Special Assistant United States Attorney. In 2010, Judge Green was appointed to the Cobb Superior Court bench by Governor Sonny  Perdue and then was elected to a full term in 2012. Drug court helps drug addicts. Mental health court helps people with mental health challenges. We’re very confident that veterans court will help veterans who have some type  of issue based on their military service,” Cobb District Attorney Vic Reynolds told the MDJ. “We kept noticing we were running into a number of individuals who had a prior military background who were getting in trouble, so we began to look into the possibility of having a court specifically for veterans.” The bulk of the funding for the Veterans Court will come from the Veterans Administration. Those under the auspices of the Veterans Court will be  required to find a job, find housing and support their children, if any. They’ll also have to  undergo frequent drug screenings. The conditions  associated with the two wars of the past decade have put those involved at risk, even after they are home, Green said. Most of the people in our military now are doing multiple deployments, and doing them more  rapidly. And I think that’s having a profound impact. I think we’re going to see in the future a lot more PTSD, a lot more physical injuries.



Out of Darkness is the anti-trafficking ministry of Atlanta Dream Center, Inc Their vision is a world where the ruins are rebuilt, the breach is repaired and the streets are restored. (Isaiah 58:12) They believe that God is love, and we love because He first loved us.  We will be known by love because without it, all is in vain. Their core values are: Abiding: Live in God’s Presence Wisdom: Seek  divine direction in every decision Compassion: Cultivate a deep commitment to show Christ’s love Honesty: Be truthful, transparent, and trustworthy Unity: Be one in spirit and purpose Stewardship: Faithfully steward all God has entrusted to us Humility: Regard others above self Holiness: Relentlessly pursue holiness Honor: Bestow honor equally to everyone.


If you judge people, you have no time to love them. -Mother Teresa



The Elsbree family moved to Marietta 23 years ago, and have really enjoyed living in the Atlanta area over the years.  Ruth graduated as an English major in 1981 and spent her first years out of college in technical writing. She and her husband Jim have raised five children, three of whom are now active duty officers in the military. For several years, all five children were on soccer teams at Tramore Park. During the children's growing up years, Ruth attended Berry College to finish the education courses she needed to teach high school English. She taught English and journalism at Mount Paran Christian School for six years. Ruth has been an active member of Transfiguration Catholic Church for 22 years. She also is a member of Toast of Cobb Toastmasters, and has served as an officer many times for her club. In the past few years, Ruth has been working as a voice talent with her business, Ruth Elsbree Voice Over. Among other projects, she created two audio tours for the Marietta Cobb Museum of Art and currently has 10 audiobooks available on with more in the pipelines. Ruth narrated and produced the Seeds of Christianity Series by E. G. Lewis. This historical fiction series spans the years from the birth of Christ through the destruction of Rome under Nero in 64 A.D. A reviewer had this to say about Ruth: Each character was uniquely presented. Her verbal expression was outstanding and the singing of the prayers was wonderful.



Joel McDaniel

Home state

  • Arkansas



  • 20 years as a pastor
  • Created and launched two not for profit organizations
  • Currently the Executive Director of Operation Resolute™
    • Serves military chaplains
    • Sustains military families
    • Strengthens warriors



  • Bachelor of Arts degree, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, 1990
  • Master of Arts, Marriage and Family Counseling, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, TX, 1993
  • Master of Arts, Religious Education, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, TX 1993


Personal Information

  • Family                                 Married to Kimberly Ann Goldsmith, July 29, 1989

Two daughters, Kinsey and Kayla, born June 18, 1996



  • Anything with a gun or fishing pole







Dave Pearce has been the pastor at Austell Presbyterian since 2007. Under his leadership the church has continued dynamic ministries like The Living Nativity and begun new ministries like the Backpack Blessing ministry at  Hendricks Elementary. The church currently provides ninety backpacks filled with food to help hungry children make it through the weekends. He was on the board at Sweetwater Mission for several years and the chairman for several more. Currently he is on the leadership team for the pastor's group Unite and is helping to build a community collaborative that will bring churches, government, schools, businesses, and civic groups together to deeply impact the Austell community. Dave has been a certified soccer referee for ten years. Most of that time he was a part of GSOA, which handles the soccer officiating for all the schools in the greater Atlanta area. He continues to "ref" mostly handling children and youth games. He is now a soccer "grandpa" with a grandson playing academy soccer. He will be sharing some of his experiences "between the lines" and talk about the soccer boom in the US. 
I’m a rock star because I couldn’t be a soccer star. -Roderick David “Rod” Stewart
Life is like a game of soccer. You need goals. If there are no goals in your life then you can’t win. 



Eric is the Planning Division Manager for Cobb County Department of Transportation. He is new with the County, having started in July 2013. His division  oversees the development of the Comprehensive Transportation Plan, Connect Cobb Environmental Assessment, the Cumberland / Galleria Circulator  Implementation Plan, and other planning efforts. Prior to joining Cobb County, Eric spent seven years on the Mississippi coast after Hurricane Katrina. He  served as the Director of Planning and Economic Development with the City of Ocean Springs and City of Gautier. Eric Meyer has twenty years of policy, legislative, planning and design work experience including work at the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority and the Regional Business Coalition. Eric Meyer grew up in Atlanta and earned his B.S. Industrial Systems Engineering and M.S. Public Policy from the Georgia Institute of Technology (“Georgia Tech”). Most of his weekends are spent watching his son and daughter play soccer. Transportation Planning tracks development and population patterns to project future transportation needs and develop strategies  to address those needs. These activities include modeling efforts, sidewalk and pathway system (Trails) development as well as transit planning. The division works closely with the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA), Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), Cobb’s municipalities and adjacent counties in the planning and programming of projects.



Howard was born in Washington, North Carolina in 1944, he is married to Edie F. Cox. They have two children and three grandchildren. He is a graduate of  Atlantic Christian College in Wilson, N.C. Since his retirement in 2009 he has volunteered and worked with MUST Ministries. He is currently Interim VP of Development. For more than 40 years, MUST has established itself as a servant leader caring for those in need in the Marietta, Smyrna and Canton/Cherokee county communities. Founded in 1971 by the Rev. Wayne Williams, MUST Ministries’ initial programs included a grocery bus ministries for the elderly, a youth tutoring program and outreach ministries to "alienated" young people. Since it’s inception, MUST has fulfilled Wayne's vision of connecting people who have a desire to help with those who need help the most. Today, MUST encompasses more than 6,000 volunteers who are continually helping MUST Ministries achieve its goal of being Georgia’s most respected servant-leader.


"Musician, Song-writer and more"

Tom Long, with over thirty years experience as a music business professional, has been referred to as one of the cornerstones of Music Row. This Georgia native co-founded the Atlanta Songwriters Association (now GMIA) and served as Vice-President of the Atlanta NARAS chapter. While employed by the Lowery Music Group in Atlanta, he worked the catalogues of Joe South, Jerry Reed, Mac Davis, Ray Stevens and the Atlanta Rhythm Section. Tom spent 1981 to 1983 with Tree Publishing as a Professional Manager and was responsible for several number one songs including: “Somebody’s Gonna Love You,” Lee Greenwood, “You’re Gonna Ruin My Bad Reputation,” Ronnie McDowell, “Common Man”, John Conlee and “Ring On Her Finger, Time On Her Hands”, Lee Greenwood. From 1984 – 1994 Tom spent a decade as Nashville’s director of membership for ASCAP, during which ASCAP added over 800 new song writers to their roster. 1994 - 2000 Tom held an Executive position with Anne Murray’s company, Balmur Entertainment, as Vice President of Publishing. Under Tom’s direction, Balmur enjoyed ten number one songs in various charts and over 300 recordings by Major artists, including “Guys Do It All The Time”, Mindy McCready, “Chain Of Love”, Clay Walker and “I Can Still Feel You”, Collin Raye. Tom has served as President and Board Member of the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) and the Gospel Music Association (GMA). He currently serves on the Gospel Hall of Fame committee and was an original member of the Georgia Music Hall of Fame committee started by Gov. Zell Miller. He is also a member of the Country Music Association (CMA). Tom is a graduate of Leadership Music, holds a BBA degree from Georgia State University in Business Management, and Commercial Music for Recording/Publishing, as well as an Associate Degree in Science from Kennesaw University. He has received the Cotton Carrier Award for his contribution to the history of Georgia music, the Georgia State University Distinguished Alumni Award, and was inducted into the Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame in November of 2000. From 2001 – 2006, Tom served as a Catalog Manager for SONY/ATV Music Publishing. During this time, Tom was also instrumental in the production of special project albums for Brenda Lee, The Kentucky Head Hunters and Pat Boone. Tom Long has been a cornerstone in the careers of the Kentucky Headhunters, Mark Collie, Doug Supernaw, Sammy Johns, John Berry, Terri Clark, Brad Paisley and many successful songwriters such as: Kim Tribble, Kim Williams and Kerry Kurt Phillips. Additionally, Tom is a Vietnam Veteran. Tom recently released a Gospel album.


Currently: Owner of That-A-Fly Music Publishing and Chairman of the Gospel Hall of Fame Committee in Nashville. Tom resides in Kennesaw, Ga. 




Advancing peace brings Rotary, U.S. Olympic athletes together
On an evening in April, more than 50 representatives from the Rotary Peace Centers and members of the U.S. Olympic Committee who had gathered for an event in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA, were treated to a surprise: a pre-dinner performance by the U.S. men's Olympic gymnastics team. "They showcased their prowess in tumbling, the high bar, and the pommel horse. It was stunning!" says Rotary International Director Jennifer Jones, who served as the emcee for the April event at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. Sponsored by The Rotary Foundation, 1972 Olympic decathlon competitor Barry King,...
Follow our full convention coverage
Korea is playing host to Rotary's largest event of the year, its annual convention. More than 42,000 Rotary members from over 100 countries will come together this month to celebrate service, exchange ideas, and relax among friends at unforgettable concerts and social events. The convention runs from 28 May to 1 June. Attendees will hear from renowned experts in areas of peace, global health, and human rights. Our full coverage will include photos, videos, a live blog, and social media pages World Water Summit Immediately before the convention, the Water and Sanitation Rotarian Action Group...
Rotaract Outstanding Project Award recognizes innovative programs
Though they were a long way from home, members of the Rotaract Club of Bugolobi, Uganda, felt confident they could tackle problems in rural Kanabulemu during their annual 1000 Smiles project. Their original plan focused on curtailing the spread of HIV/AIDS. It's in the Rakai District, where the first case of AIDS in Uganda was uncovered in 1982 and about 12 percent of the population has been infected with HIV in recent years. But the Rotaractors discovered that problems in the village extended far beyond the disease. "The community lacked water, the school was in a sorry state, and the...
Pope welcomes Rotary to Jubilee audience
Thousands of Rotary members, motivated by a special invitation from Pope Francis, gathered at the Vatican in Rome on Saturday to celebrate a message of compassion, inclusiveness, and service to humanity. At midmorning, the group -- numbering some 9,000 members from 80 countries -- made its way through the congested streets of Rome, past the tight security surrounding St. Peter's Square, and settled into the area reserved for Rotary in front of St. Peter's Basilica for the Jubilee audience. Francis, a 79-year-old Argentine, urged the crowd of more than 100,000, which included members of the...
What millennials love about Rotary
From the May 2016 issue of The Rotarian If there is one absolute truth about millennials, it is this: Anyone who says there is an absolute truth about millennials risks being subjected to their collective eye roll. Millennials are individuals, and fiercely so. According to the Pew Research Center, most of them don’t even like being called “millennials,” let alone hearing generalizations about their shared attitudes and behaviors. Case in point: Christa Papavasiliou, 31, recoils at the notion that older folks see her generation as a bunch of selfie-snapping smartphone addicts. “I’m the...
Jun 02, 2016
Jun 09, 2016
Jun 16, 2016
Jun 23, 2016