Sept. 16, 21–Tony Sheffield / President U.S. Operations, Canfor Southern Pine

President, Canfor Southern Pine
Tony Sheffield was appointed President of Canfor Southern Pine (CSP) in January 2021. His responsibilities involve leading the company’s operations in the US South, continuing to build upon the company’s exceptional reputation as a preferred supplier of quality wood products, and focusing on HR and recruitment.
Previously, Tony held the role of Vice President of Southern Yellow Pine Sales and Marketing for CSP, overseeing sales across North America and overseas. He has nearly 30 years of experience in the wood and lumber industry in a variety of roles, including finance, wood procurement, operations and sales.
Tony graduated from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. He is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the Alabama Society of CPAs and the American Institute of CPAs. Tony has been a member of several professional boards, including the Southeastern Lumber Manufacturing Association and the Southern Forest Products Association, and has been involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Sept. 9, 21–Colonel Scott Bannon / Marine Resources Division Director, The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Biography of Scott Bannon
Scott Bannon is the Director for the Alabama Marine Resources Division (MRD) of the Alabama
Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The mission of the Marine Resources
Division is to manage the State’s marine fishery resources through research, enforcement, and
education for the maximum benefit of the resources and the citizens of Alabama. The Division
consists of enforcement, fisheries, and administrative sections.
Scott has been with the Marine Resources Division for 24 years has been the Director since 2017.
He began his career as a municipal police officer before becoming a Conservation Enforcement
Officer. He has held the positions of officer, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain and Chief of
Enforcement. In 2006, he was selected as the Alabama Wildlife Federation Officer of the Year for
actions taken during Hurricane Katrina, 2014 recipient of the Order of the Purple Heart Award for
bravery for actions taken in historic flooding in Baldwin County and is the 2020 Fisheries
Conservationist of the Year.
Scott is retired from the US Coast Guard after having 30 years in active and reserve capacities. He
achieved the rank of Master Chief Petty Officer (E9). He has served as a boarding officer, boat
coxswain, Underway Officer of the Deck and Conning Officer (ship driver), navigator and
Command Master Chief. He has been stationed in Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Connecticut and
Alabama serving on three patrol boats, 2 small boat stations, Naval Academy Prep School, Port
Security Unit and Sector Mobile. Additionally, he has deployed to operations in Cuba, South
America, Mexico, Haiti and other Caribbean Islands.
Scott was born in Louisville, KY and resides in Mobile, AL. He is a graduate of Columbia
Southern University and is active member of First Baptist Church Tillman’s Corner where he
teaches College Life Group, coaches soccer and basketball and participates in the drama ministry.
He is married to Pamela and has 2 children, Brandon a Special Tactics Captain in the US Air Force
and Bailey, a sale representative for Thompson Caterpillar, and has 3 grandchildren

Sept. 2, 21–– Terrance Smith–City of Mobile’s Innovation Team

M.A. Instructional Design and Development, University of South Alabama
B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies, University of South Alabama
A native of Prichard, Alabama, graduate of C.F. Vigor, and a University of South Alabama Alumnus; Terrance has a deep-rooted connection to Mobile County and the surrounding areas. He continuously pours himself into fostering community growth by mentoring local youth, serving as a board member to several organizations, and building relationships with city leaders to help blur the line between city officials and the residents that they serve.
As the director of the Mayor’s Innovation Team, he leads a team of professionals who are responsible for developing strategies to uniquely solve problems within the City and its communities. This is often achieved by creating a connection with those affected and gaining a deeper understanding of the impact of issues on both external and internal stakeholders.
A few of his professional accolades include Mobile Bay Magazine’s 40 under 40, Leadership Mobile Class of 2014, and’s Young Rebel of the Year Award. Most importantly he is a husband, friend, and an active community member. He lives by the motto “Make Mistakes, Make Improvements, Never Make Excuses”.
Terrance was named in the top 5 of the ELGL’s Traeger Awards in honor of those making the greatest impact in local government all across the nation.

July 15, 21

Minutes of the July 15, 2021 Meeting of The Rotary Club of Mobile
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by club president Elizabeth Stevens at 12:15 PM
Invocation: John Garrett offered the invocation.
Song and Pledge: Tommy Blankenship led the club in singing God Bless America and then reciting the Pledge.
Welcome: Tommy Blankenship welcomed guests of members.
New Member: Ryan Zarzour, CIO of the Zarzour Companies was introduced by his uncle, Alec Armbrecht. Both are descendants of Rotary Club of Mobile charter member, William H. Armbrecht, Sr.
Announcements: Elizabeth made the following announcements:
• A board meeting will take place following today’s luncheon meeting.
• Reminded members that the Tarpon Tournament is scheduled for August 7th and invited Ernest Ladd to come forward and talk about it. Ernest encouraged members to buy a sponsorship whether as an individual or business, reminding them that to date this fundraiser has raised over $250,000 for charitable causes in Mobile. A link to the site will be sent to all members. The location for the Captain’s Reception which takes the place of the 5th noon meeting will be announced shortly, he added.
• Wished happy birthdays to members with up-coming birthdays.
Program: Our District Governor’s Annual Visit
Each year the Rotary Club of Mobile is approached by the new district governor to come to our meeting and take the normally scheduled speaker’s place. Each year as a result, many members seem to have pressing business needs or vacation plans which make them unable to attend. Many of those who forgot what the program would be attend and find it a good day to “dine and dash” before the program begins. Still others use the time to check their emails, Facebook posts or send text messages. This year was no exception.
Elizabeth introduced Harry Bruce McNeal, a native and life-long resident of Dothan, AL. (our state’s Peanut Capital). Harry took the opportunity to personally wish the birthday Rotarians whom Elizabeth had just named, a very happy birthday. Neither was in attendance. He thanked Robert Greer for his leadership in the successful “Pink Pinky” fundraiser for Polio. Robert was in attendance.
Harry noted that due to covid many of the clubs in this district are struggling. One has ceased operations entirely and others have a dwindling membership where it is commonplace to have the same individual serve as president multiple times.
He said that the Rotary Club of Mobile is in a different league, terming it a very healthy one, and one he was proud of. Then he read off a list of the four members who were awarded various Rotary district awards at last week’s very well-attended meeting.
Harry then read a poem to his audience, with the adage that the dash between the dates of our birth and death on our graves is merely what we are doing on earth right now. He told the club about his tremendous pride in his wife and son who were sitting in the audience, his other children, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He listed numerous boards and activities he is or had been involved with in the Dothan community, his 29 years in the healthcare industry, the many hats he wears, how he cannot say no, and the many roles he has served during his years as a Dothan Rotarian.
Then, on a bit wider scale, he reminded his audience that there are 1.2 million Rotarians in the world, and that the international president hopes that number will rise to 1.3 million. Harry reminded the group of the many worthy projects Rotary tackles worldwide ranging from clean water to polio eradication and Rotary’s service to humanity.
Keep growing membership he said and remember the motto “Each one, bring one.” Contact missing members and make them want to return, he advised. He encouraged the Mobile club to work towards 100% participation in the numerous regional and international Rotary programs and meetings offered.
Elizabeth thanked him for his inspiring program and said that a donation in his honor has been made to the Scholarship Program at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab.
Tom McGehee

July 8, 21

Minutes of the July 8, 2021 meeting of the Rotary Club of Mobile
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by club president Claire McCarron at 12:15 PM.
Invocation: Sandy Stimpson offered the invocation.
Pledge: Tommy Blankenship led us in the Pledge of Allegiance and welcomed guests of members.
A Moment of Silence was observed for the death of Honorary Member Sonny Callahan.
Announcements: Claire made the following announcements:
• The annual Tarpon Tournament is scheduled for August 7th and the Captain’s Reception will be held on the 5th, with the location to be announced shortly.
• The board will meet next week following the luncheon meeting.
• The Rotary Club of Metairie and Mid City New Orleans is having a “Big Game Raffle.” Please contact Peg for a link for further information and ticket purchases.
New Members:
• Kate Carver introduced Justine Bixler, Director of the United Way of SWAL.
• Elizabeth Stevens introduced Chris Gibson, Director of Mobile United.
• John Peebles introduced John Hoyle, PhD, President of the Alabama School of Math and Science.
Awards Presented:
Claire presented the following members with awards announced at the recent regional meeting:
1. Tommy Blankenship received the Jerry Brunson Unsung Hero Award.
2. Ann Bedsole Holmes received the J. Barton Greer 4 Way Test Award.
3. Ernest Ladd IV received the Wayne Sims Rotarian of the Year Award.
4. Robert Greer received the Polio Plus Star Award.
The board of directors of our club approved the following recognitions which were presented by Bob Chappelle:
• Past president Win Hallett was made an Honorary Member of the club.
• Claire McCarron was then presented with a pin as the club’s newest Paul Harris Fellow.
Program: Annual Passing of the Gavel
The annual Passing of the Gavel was observed with past president Russell Ladd (1970-71) passing the gavel on to the next past president until out-going president Claire handed the gavel to incoming president Elizabeth Stevens. More than 20 past presidents participated.
Claire then discussed the year just past which she said conjured up “a myriad of emotions.” The challenges of the pandemic were overcome by the successes of our club which followed through with safe in-person meetings and continued our work with student guests, scholarships and the awarding of grants – including new ones that were covid related. She noted that our membership is holding steady and that remarkably we are at about the same number of members as before covid. After thanking her board of directors and Peg, she turned the podium over to Elizabeth Stevens.
Incoming president Stevens thanked many of our members who made the past year so successful and extended a welcome to incoming board member Suntrease Williams Maynard. She said her goal is to ultimately grow the club to 300 members and said that Helene Hassell and Robby McClure have taken on the task to hold a new members’ orientation to be held at the Mobile Infirmary. She also noted the classroom which our club sponsored at Barton Academy will be ready for the August 11th opening of the new school.
After the upcoming birthdays of members were announced the meeting adjourned at 1:05 PM.
Tom McGehee

June 24, 21

June 24, 2021
By Dr. Leona Onderdonk Rowan
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by Claire McCarron, President of the Rotary Club of Mobile, at 12:15 p.m.
Invocation: Douglas Kearley offered the invocation.
Pledge and Welcome: Tommy Blankenship led the members in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and welcomed members’ guests.
Student Guests: Julie Otts introduced the 2021 scholarship winners: Daisy Ferrell from Blount High School and Willoughby Hardesty from Saraland High School.
New Member: Bob Chappelle introduced new member Eliska Morgan.
Announcements: Claire reminded everyone there will be no meeting next week in observance of the Fourth of July holiday. Also, she announced that the passing of the gavel ceremony will be held on July 8th and lunch buffet service will resume on that date. Finally, Claire announced the Tarpon Tournament is set for August 7th. .
Program: Matt Head introduced the guest speaker, Dr. Sean P. Powers, Senior Marine Scientist III at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and Professor and Chair of the Department of Marine Sciences at the University of South Alabama. Dr. Powers earned his bachelor’s degree at Loyola and his master’s degree from the University of New Orleans. He later moved to Texas where he earned his Ph.D. in biology and oceanography from Texas A&M University. In 2003, he began his work at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and joined the faculty at the University of South Alabama.
Sean’s presentation was entitled “The Great Snapper Count”. He began his remarks by explaining that there are currently seven faculty conducting research at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. Their research is global in nature and has a broad impact on marine science. The Sea Lab is awarded $4 to $5 million in grants each year. They have researched the local economic impact of red snapper and determined that approximately 1/3 of America’s recreational fishing occurs in Alabama.
Red snapper spend their lives off shore in coastal oceans and they reproduce rapidly and can live for many years. They are greatly dependent on reefs for protection and food. There are about 6.8 million pounds of red snapper living on artificial reefs. Roughly 1.2 million pounds of red snapper are harvested by recreational fishermen each year.
The federal and state governments disagree with regard to the number of red snapper as well as the number harvested. Whereas Alabama scientists maintain 110 million red snapper are in the Gulf of Mexico (based on observation), the federal government reports there are only 33 million. In either case, there is a healthy population of red snapper in the Gulf. Most are caught when they are five years old and about 16 inches. The red snapper season and quotas are set by the federal government based on historical data on harvesting.
The public can assist the effort by building artificial reefs and urging community leaders to get involved. Above all, Dr. Powers encouraged everyone to “support your local scientists”.
After questions from the floor were answered, Claire thanked Sean for speaking to our club and presented him a certificate noting that a donation has been made in his honor to the “Reach Out and Read” literacy initiative.
Closing Remarks and Adjournment: Claire announced member birthdays and reminded everyone that there is no meeting next week, but that the passing of the gavel ceremony will take place on July 8th. Claire adjourned the meeting at approximately 12:50 p.m.

June 17, 21

Rotary Minutes
June 17, 2021
President Claire McCarron called the meeting to order at 12:15 p.m. Garrett Powe the invocation. Tommy Blankenship led us in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Mr. Blankenship also asked Rotarians to introduce their guests.
President McCarron advised a Rotary Board meeting would take place immediately following the meeting.
Garrett Williamson introduced the speaker, Dr. Alinda Guynes McGowin, a board-certified ophthalmologist with Vision Partners. Dr. McGowin is the spouse of club member and Rotary Director, Sumpter McGowin.
Dr. McGowin’s presentation was entitled, “Cataracts: Everyone Gets Them.” She began with a general overview of the anatomy of the human eye, saying it works “much like a camera.” A discussion of what causes nearsightedness and farsightedness followed, along with a description of the eye diagnosed with “astigmatism.” Dr. McGowin then provided a detailed explanation of what brings about a condition known as “presbyopia,” i.e., aging. Presbyopia is the gradual loss of the ability to focus on near objects, which begins for many in their mid-40s and beyond.
McGowin said cataracts result when the natural eye “lense” becomes cloudy with age. All people get them, at differing levels, usually by their mid-60s. Early development risk factors include diabetes, chronic steroid uses, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and genetics. Symptoms include changing night vision, blurred or double vision, and needing more light to see. According to Dr. McGowin, surgery is often suggested when changes in vision begin to impact daily living, which is different for each individual depending on their occupation and age. The surgical procedure is pain-free and takes only 15 minutes, according to Dr. McGowin.
President McCarron thanked Dr. McGowin for speaking and presented a certificate of appreciation that included a contribution to “Reach Out and Read Alabama.”. President McCarron then recognized upcoming member birthdays: June 21: Claire McCarron, Beth Stafford and Jeff Zoghby; and June 22 – Rob Diehl and Saty Putcha.
The June 24 speaker will be Sean Powers, Ph.D. / Senior Marine Scientist, III at Dauphin Island Sea Lab and Chair of the Department of Marine Sciences at the University of South Alabama, who will speak on “The Great Snapper Count.”
With no further business, President McCarron adjourned the meeting at 12:54 p.m.

June 10, 21

Minutes of the June 10, 2021 meeting of the Rotary Club of Mobile
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by club president Claire McCarron at 12:15 PM.
Invocation: Tom McGehee offered the invocation.
Pledge: Tommy Blankenship led us in the Pledge of Allegiance and welcomed guests of members.
Student Guest: There was no student guest this week.
Announcements: Claire made the following announcements:
• The new Roster is about to go to press. Please let Peg know of any corrections or additions to your contact information.
• The board will meet next week following the luncheon meeting.
New Member:
• Tom McGehee introduced Todd Lasseigne, Executive director for Bellingrath Gardens and Home as our newest Rotarian.
Program: Jill Chenoweth: How Money fuels Mission
Kate Carver introduced Jill Chenoweth, President and CEO of the United Way of SW Alabama. Ms. Chenoweth discussed the idea of each of us being our brother’s keeper and what the United Way is doing to help local citizens.
The United Way currently encompasses 46 agencies which serve Mobile, Clarke and Choctaw counties. She added that the need is particularly grave in Choctaw County which she described as Alabama’s “fastest shrinking county.”
A new national telephone number has been established for Americans seeking assistance from the United Way. By dialing 211 anyone can receive guidance as to which agency might best help him. Another new service is free tax preparation assistance to anyone earning under$56,000 a year, she said.
Ms. Chenoweth reminded her audience that the United Way is very involved in disaster relief and raised $328,000 for covid relief and distributed sanitizer, water, and hygiene kits. She thanked our club for our donation of masks.
After answering a number of questions our speaker was presented a certificate noting that a donation to Reach Out and Read Alabama has been made in her honor.
Claire announced just the upcoming birthdays of members before adjourning the meeting at 1:50 PM.
Tom McGehee

Aug. 26, 21–Judy Haner/Director of Marine Programs, The Nature Conservancy "Restoration…It’s Happening in Your Backyard!"

Judy Haner
Marine Programs Director – Alabama
Contact Information
Brief Biography
Judy Haner has been the Marine Program Director for The Nature Conservancy in Alabama for the last 11 years, where she oversees marine restoration, coastal ecology, regional conservation efforts, and linking communities with resources.
Judy completed her Bachelor of Science degree at Lynchburg College in VA with a biology/chemistry dual major. Her master’s degree in Marine Science was completed at the College of William and Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science.
Judy has worked for almost 28 years with several state agencies from Puerto Rico to Florida to Alaska in partnership with NOAA’s National Estuarine Research Reserve Program, linking watershed activities with estuarine health to promote long-term and targeted coastal restoration. Judy has secured more than $51M in competitive grants to implement coastal planning and restoration projects that link science and management with on-the-ground actions and communities. Her strong focus on partnerships has engaged agencies, organizations, and citizens in collaborative restoration.
When not at work, Judy can be found in her garden or on her boat with her husband and 2 dogs, fishing and enjoying the Gulf coast.

Aug. 19, 21–Michael Ledger–CEO, Feeding the Gulf Coast – "Feeding The Gulf Coast and its Impact in our Community"

Michael Ledger joined Feeding the Gulf Coast in June 2019 as the Florida Branch Manager. Under Michael’s leadership, the Florida Facility distributed nearly 15 million pounds of food throughout the Florida Panhandle, equating to over half of the food bank’s distribution. Michael consistently implemented strategies to serve those in need while overcoming challenges presented by limited facility space and ongoing Hurricane Michael and Covid-19 response efforts. While serving as the Florida Branch Manager, Michael was responsible for setting the stage for expanding the Milton, Florida warehouse.
Michael was appointed to replace Cathy Pope as President & CEO in July 2020. Prior to working with the food bank, Michael served four years in the United States Navy as an electronics technician and then earned his Bachelor’s degree in Management from the University of Illinois. He has previously worked as Director of Sales and Marketing and Director of Operations for Design Ideas, Ltd. in Springfield, Illinois, and Owner and Chief Operations Officer at Vine in Navarre, Florida. Michael has over 30 years of experience with business development and operational strategy and has brought food bank experience and diverse management leadership to Feeding The Gulf Coast. He enjoys music, athletics, travel, and spending time with his two adopted dogs Floyd and Dolly.