CLUB NEWS - Archieves

City of Aiken Municipal Building

8/1/22: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Tour the new City of Aiken Municipal Building with Stuart Bedenbaugh

We will tour the new City of Aiken Municipal Building with Stuart Bedenbaugh and his staff …..



7/25/22: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Rotary Readers Update

Started in 2013, Rotary Readers is a signature program and joint literacy project between Aiken Rotary Club and East Aiken School of the Arts. Rotarians and other volunteers work with small groups of students to improve reading skills. Volunteers are assigned to groups of four, and at least one member of each group works with a small group of students (usually four) for thirty minutes each week to improve reading, reading comprehension and vocabulary. This program encourages a love of reading and provides the students with positive role models. Throughout the school year, relationships are built, and volunteers are invited to attend school programs.
At the beginning and end of the school year students are tested and annual …..


Senator Tom Young, Jr. , SC Legislative Update July 18 @ 12:30Senator Tom Young, Jr.

7/18/22: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Senator Tom Young, Jr. , SC Legislative Update

Tom Young is listed in the Best Lawyers in America and has been recognized multiple times by South Carolina Super Lawyers for excellence in litigation while the firm has the highest possible rating (AV) from the Martindale Hubbell attorney rating service. Tom has extensive experience in state and federal courts representing both individual and business clients involving business, insurance, catastrophic injury/damage, workers compensation, commercial, criminal, and probate matters. Tom frequently counsels clients on issues involving insurance coverage, risk management, workplace safety, and alternative dispute resolution.
Tom is a 1989 graduate of Aiken High School; a 1993 honors graduate of the University of South Carolina – Columbia; and a 1996 honors graduate of the USC School of Law. While at USC, Tom was the Student Body President and received the 1993 Algernon …..


6/27/22: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Retired Admiral and fellow Rotarian Chuck Munns speak of his travels to Antartica

Antarctica, the southernmost continent and site of the South Pole, is a virtually uninhabited, ice-covered landmass. Most cruises to the continent visit the Antarctic Peninsula, which stretches toward South America. It’s known for the Lemaire Channel and Paradise Harbor, striking, iceberg-flankedpassageways, and Port Lockroy, a former British research station turned museum. The …..


Dr. Forest Mahan

6/20/22: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Dr. Forrest Mahan, Aiken Technical College 50th Anniversary

Aiken Technical College kicked off a year-long celebration in September 2021 to commemorate the upcoming 50th anniversary of ATC educating minds, changing lives, and enriching communities. In almost five decades, Aiken Technical College has enrolled nearly 52,000 individuals and awarded more than 16,000 degrees, diplomas and certificates to over 13,000 alumni. ATC has grown into a multi-service, two-year comprehensive college offering numerous educational and workforce development opportunities through academic programs, noncredit courses, and corporate training solutions.
Over the past 50 years, the dedication of College administration, faculty, staff, and local officials have enabled ATC to be on the forefront of …..


Daniel Heimmermann

6/l3/22: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Dr. Dan Heimermann, USC Aiken Update

Dr. Daniel Heimmermann became the University of South Carolina Aiken’s fifth chancellor on July 1, 2021, after serving as provost and vice president for academic affairs at The University of Texas Permian Basin. As chancellor, Dr. Heimmermann is the chief executive officer for the university and oversees all aspects of university operations.
He is a recognized leader in higher education. In addition to his experience at The University of Texas Permian Basin, where he ranked as the senior-most chief academic officer in The University of Texas System, he has also served in administrative roles at Mississippi University for Women, The University of Texas at Brownsville, and University of North Alabama.

Dr. Heimmermann holds two bachelor’s degrees …..



The Rotary Club of Aiken awarded $105,000 in scholarships to 21 graduating seniors at three local high schools.

The Rotary Club of Aiken has awarded scholarships worth a total of $115,000 to 23 High School graduates from the class of 2022. Each recipient received $5,000.
The grants’ official name is the Rotary Club of Aiken Foundation Scholarships Supported by the Albrecht Family Charitable Trust, The Kisner Foundation and The Gifting Tree.
The scholarships are for students who live in Area 1 of the Aiken County Public School District …..


Paul Harris Fellows

Rotary Club of Aiken receives special recognition for its generosity

On Monday, April 19, 2021, ay, District Governor, Beth Padgett, presented our club with its 100% Paul Harris banner. Our club is one of less than 20% worldwide and the largest club in our district to ever attain it and one of the largest worldwide.


Tom Denlinger, Vice President of Augusta Green Jackets

6/6/22: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Tom Denlinger, Vice President of Augusta Green Jackets

Tom Denlinger embarks on his eighth season with the GreenJackets and his third as the Vice President after being the General Manager from 2014-2017 and after spending the previous four years as the Assistant General Manager of the Richmond Flying Squirrels. The 2020 …..


5/23/22: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Paul Newsome, Crypto Currency

The Token Alliance is an industry-led initiative of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, developed to be a key resource for the emerging industry surrounding the generation and distribution of tokens using blockchain technology. Comprised of over 350 global industry participants, the Alliance includes blockchain and token experts, technologists, economists, former regulators, and practitioners from over 20 law firms. The Token Alliance develops community-driven ….


Howard Knapp

5/9/22: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Howard Knapp, SC Election Commission

The board that runs the State Election Commission voted unanimously to make Howard Knapp the agency’s new executive director. Knapp had been the commission’s interim director and also was the Director of Voter Services, handling cybersecurity and information technology and overseeing audits for the agency.
Knapp takes over for Marci Andino, who stepped down late last year after 18 years with the State …..


Presentation of Scholarships

5/16/22: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Presentation of Scholarships

The Rotary Club of Aiken has awarded scholarships worth a total of $115,000 to 23 High School graduates from the class of 2022. Each recipient received $5,000.

The grants’ official name is the Rotary Club of Aiken Foundation Scholarships Supported by the Albrecht Family Charitable Trust, The Kisner Foundation and The Gifting Tree.

The scholarships are for students who live in Area 1 of the Aiken County Public School District …..


Mark Nisbet, Eudora Farms & Wildlife Safari

5/2/22: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Mark Nisbet, Eudora Farms & Wildlife Safari

Eudora Wildlife Safari Park was founded by Mark Nisbet, and is the first drive-thru safari park in South Carolina. His history with care-taking for animals started during childhood. Mark was responsible for the care taking of the rabbits and chickens that lived on the balcony of his family’s apartment in Morganton, North Carolina. As the child of a teacher, value was heavily placed on education and conservation.
Eudora Wildlife Safari Park was built with the mindset of providing a Drive-Thru Safari experience that would address the education, preservation, conservation, and the protection of the environment for the entire community. The safari allows the public to view and feed exotic animals from around the world from the comfort of their own vehicles.
There is also an enclosed petting zoo area nearby, along with a Parakeet Adventure where over 200 parakeets make their dwelling. Eudora Wildlife Safari Park, with over 200 exotic animals, plans to acquire more animals as part of the safari expansion. There is a picnic area for the guest.
The current farm opened with phase one the Drive-Thru Safari. Eudora Wildlife Safari soon will include a gift shop with restrooms and a larger educational area, beautiful grand entrances, and a downloadable phone …..


Steve Silver to Discuss the History of Aiken’s Jewish Community

4/25/22: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Steve Silver to Discuss the History of Aiken’s Jewish Community

Steve will share the story of the Aiken Jewish community from the 1800s to today, with a particular focus on the role and contribution of Jewish Merchants & their families. He tells this story using archival photos, …..


Steven Andrejack

4/18/22: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Steven Andrejack
Senior Director Of Operations at Generac Power Systems

Steven Andrejack works as a Senior Director, Operations at Generac, which is an Electronics company with an estimated 8,955 employees; and founded in 1959. They are part of the Operations team within the Operations Department and their management level is Director. Steven graduated from Xavier University – Williams College of Business in …..


Council Chairman Gary Bunker

4/11/22: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Aiken County Council Chairman, Gary Bunker

Gary has been appointed to several committees. He served on the Mattie C. Hall Healthcare Commission (appointed by Councilman Rick Osbon) from 1997 through 2002, and served as chairman during the last year. He was on the Aiken County Board of Appeals (appointed by Osbon) in 2003 and the Aiken County Transportation Committee (appointed by Sen. Greg Ryberg) in 2004.

After his service on County Council, Gary served on the Board of the Economic Development Partnership (appointed by Councilman Scott Singer) from 2013 through 2014 and is currently serving a second stint on the Board of Appeals (appointed by Councilwoman Camille Furgiuele) from 2015 to the present.

Gary also has been active in the Aiken County Republican Party. He was president of the Aiken Republican Club in 2004, Chairman of the Aiken County Young Republicans in 1995, Executive Committeeman of the Aiken County Republican Party from 1997 to 1999, and chaired every Aiken County Republican Party Convention between 2003 and 2017. He’s held precinct level positions (variously precinct president and precinct committeeman) in Hollow Creek 53, Gem Lakes 60, and Gem Lakes 77 over the last 20 years …..


Dr. Melissa Martin

4/4/22: IN-PERSON ROTARY:Dr. Melissa Martin discuss the UofSCA Pacer LIFE Program

Dr. Melissa Martin is an assistant professor in special education at USC Aiken. Previously, she taught K-5 self-contained special education and worked with students with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities.
Dr.Martin received her Education, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN. Concentration field: Special Education. Dissertation: Examining the Writing Achievement and Motivation of At-Risk Elementary-Aged …..


Mayor Rick Osbon

3/28/22: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Mayor Rick Osbon, City of Aiken Project Update

Aiken Mayor Rick Osbon will give his City of Aiken project update, touching on several projects around the city that will have impact during this year and years to come.

Some of the projects in and around downtown Aiken were featured in the presentation, including Hotel Aiken and the city’s new municipal building, which is planned to open in March or April.
The hotel is part of Project Pascalis, the downtown revitalization project that the Aiken Municipal Development Commission has been working on.

“Private dollars will bring a full-service 100 room hotel and around 100 mixed-use residential units with shopping and dining,” Osbon ….


Rob Chadwick

3/21/22: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Rob Chadwick, The Holdfast Security Group – Protection Detail and Personal Security Tips

Rob Chadwick recently retired as the head of the Tactical Training Unit at Quantico. As such, he served as the Principal Tactical Instructor for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and was responsible for ensuring the operational readiness and proficiency of FBI Agents around the world. In this capacity, he also led the FBI’s national Active Shooter response training program.
Rob served on the Protective Details of seven United States Attorneys General and four ………


King Laurence

3/14/22: IN-PERSON ROTARY: King Laurence, Superintendent for the Aiken County Public School District

King Laurence was named Superintendent of Aiken County Public School District on February 18, 2020, after serving as interim superintendent since September 10, 2019. With an educational career spanning more than three decades, Laurence is an experienced administrator dedicated to the Aiken County community’s future success. A graduate of the University of South Carolina Aiken in 1985 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education, Laurence received his Master’s Degree in Educational Administration in 1990 from the University of South Carolina.
After twelve years as a teacher and assistant principal in Edgefield County …..


Phillip Dutton

3/7/22: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Phillip Dutton, the Olympics, Eventing

Now a seven-time Olympian and three-time Olympic medalist, Phillip Dutton was born in 1963 in Nyngan, New South Wales, Australia, where he grew up with horses on his family’s sheep and wheat farm. Most of his childhood and teenage years were spent competing at Pony Club rallies and horse trials. Phillip continued to pursue his passion for riding while studying in Sydney at Newington College and later at Agricultural College.

Phillip moved to the United States in 1991 to train in a more internationally competitive environment and to prepare for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, where he rode on Australia’s gold medal eventing team. In total, Phillip represented Australia in three Olympics and four World Championships after his move to the U.S.

Phillip became an American citizen in 2006 and changed his competitive nationality so that he would be eligible to represen…..


Travis Sumner

2/28/22: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Travis Sumner, National Wild Turkey Federation

In 1973, the National Wild Turkey Federation was founded in Fredericksburg, Va., as a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit conservation and education organization with a mission dedicated to conservation of the wild turkey and preservation of our hunting heritage. Shortly thereafter the NWTF relocated to Edgefield, S.C., where it’s still headquartered today. At the time the NWTF was established, there were only 1.3 million wild turkeys. Today that number stands at more than seven million birds throughout North America, thanks to the efforts of state, federal and provincial wildlife agencies, the NWTF and its members and partners. Growth and progress define the NWTF as it has expanded from 1,300 members in 1973 to more than 250,000 today. With that growth has come impressive strides in wildlife management as the NWTF has forged dynamic partnerships across the country to …..


Junior Invitational at Sage Valley

2/14/22: IN-PERSON ROTARY: 2022 Junior Invitational at Sage Valley

Founded in 2011, the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley has become one of the most desired invitations in the world of competitive junior golf. Past participants are succeeding at every level of golf with many having already played in the Ryder Cup, Masters, U.S. Open and The Open Championship. Participants have also been privileged to attend special, private clinics and events with Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Jason Day, and Brooks Koepka.
Recognized by GolfWeek as the #1 junior event in golf, the Junior Invitational welcomes the very best junior golfers from around the world to Sage Valley Golf Club in Graniteville, South Carolina. Founded in 2011, it has become one of the most desired invitations in the world of competitive junior golf. Beginning in 2022, Junior Invitational at Sage Valley Golf Club will include girls for the first time. Since its founding in 2011, the event has featured 54 of …..


Dacre Stoker

2/7/22: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Dacre Stoker, Aiken Streetscapes Foundation

Lasting protection of our trees in the 174 parkways is an ongoing challenge. Illustrated here in the Introduction to “A Splendid Time” 2020 Wilkins Byrd. The Historic Aiken Foundation “When I drove to the intersection of Barnewll Ave and Chesterfield St. I found to my great relief attorney Julian Salley talking with the Forman, and three of Aiken’s most stalwart environmentalists watching in dismay as the bulldozer plowed down the pine trees. Those three were Tottie Maurice, Carol Turno and Dr Bob Lipe, in his white coat with a stethoscope dangling from his pocket. So the four of us joined hands and walked toward the bulldozer, which mercifully stopped. And all the work on the …..


Watson Dorn

1/31/22: IN-PERSON ROTARY:Watson Dorn, Hickory Hills Farms – Farming since 1764

Hickory Hill is a fourth-generation family dairy farm nestled in historic Edgefield County, South Carolina. The Dorn family was established at its current location in 1764. Little did their ancestors know that would be the start of a rich tradition of family and farming.
In the 1950s, long before anyone had heard of mega-farms or agri-corporations, Maysie (Dorn) and James Marvin started the dairy farm. It was then passed down to Jim and Marie Dorn who continued raising Holstein cows and producing milk. Jim was heavily involved in the dairy industry, serving on the South Carolina Dairy Commission and the National Dairy Board. Today, their son, Watson, and his wife, Lisa, along with ….



1/24/22: IN-PERSON ROTARY: We will hear from a panel of local experts about the Homeless in Aiken

The Aiken County Homeless Coalition is a community grass roots organization created to raise awareness of homelessness in Aiken. We provide a forum for service providers to connect and share resources, and a platform to identify and serve the unmet …..


Cathy Traver, Executive Director of Aiken Performing Arts

1/10/22: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Cathy Traver, Executive Director of Aiken Performing Arts

The Aiken Performing Arts Group (APAG) is a presenting organization that seeks out the finest nationally and internationally recognized performing artists and brings their shows to Aiken. The underlying philosophy is simple: by expanding the cultural options available to local citizens, APAG is contributing to the overall quality of life of the entire community and surrounding area.

The organization is very aware that  ….


Dr. Kenneth Rogers

12/13/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Dr. Kenneth Rogers, History of the Department of Mental Health

Kenneth M. Rogers, MD, began his tenure as state director of the South Carolina Department of Mental Health on April 2, 2020.
Born and raised in Dillon, South Carolina, Dr. Rogers is a graduate of the University of the South Carolina School of Medicine. He completed both his General Psychiatry Residency and a Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at the William S. Hall Psychiatric Institute/University of South Carolina. Dr. Rogers is Board certified in both General Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He also holds a Master of Science in Public Health from UCLA and a Masters in Medical Management from the University of ….


Robert L. Sumwalt

12/5/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Robert Sumwalt, Overview of the National Transportation Board

obert L. Sumwalt retired from NTSB on June 30, 2021. He was sworn in as the 14th chairman of the NTSB on August 10, 2017, after being nominated by President Donald J. Trump and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. He served as acting chairman for 5 months prior to his appointment as Chairman.

Mr. Sumwalt began his tenure at the NTSB in August 2006 when President George W. Bush appointed him to the Board and designated him as Vice Chairman of the Board. In November 2011, President Barack Obama reappointed him to an additional 5 year term as Board Member.
While at the Board, Member Sumwalt was a fierce advocate for improving safety in all modes of transportation, including teen driver safety, impaired driving, distractions in transportation, and several aviation and rail safety initiatives. He remains active in advocating transportation safety matters.

Sumwalt was a pilot for 32 years, including 24 years with Piedmont Airlines and US Airways. He accumulated over 14,000 flight hours. He worked on special assignment to the US Airways flight safety department and also served on the …..


Tim Behling

11/29/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY:Tim Behling, SUCCESSTEAM Youth Initiative for 2022

im Behling is a millennial leader whose passion for creation has led him to develop community outreach programs & initiatives through SUCCESSTEAM & extracurricular volunteerism.

SUCCESSTEAM is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization specializing in Educational Youth Development, which he founded in 2015, to enhance and expose community youth to the limitless opportunities life has to offer.
The South Carolina native set his on sights on developing into an asset throughout his community at the age of 19, accumulating years of professional experience within the fields of youth mentorship, event coordination, and nonprofit management. His ability to connect with young …..


r Daniel Ellzey

11/22/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Daniel Ellzey, Director of the SC Department of Employment and Workforce

The Executive Director is responsible for steering the mission and vision of the organization and managing its operations, administration, programs and strategic plan.
Dan Ellzey works as a Executive Director at South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce, which is a Government company with an estimated 2,531 employees; and founded in 1936., their management level is Director. Dan graduated from University Of Utah in 1977 and is currently based in Columbia, United States. They used to work at Japanese American …..


rotary foundation

11/15/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Mallory Holley and Candy Hamilton, Rotary Foundation

President Mallory Holley, Candy Hamilton and special guest Rita Yarborough discuss the wonderful work of how your contributions to the Rotary Foundation are making a difference around the world.
The Rotary Foundation helps Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace by improving health, providing quality education, improving the environment, and …..


Major General Lester D. Eisner.

11/8/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Lester D. Eisner, SC Military History Museum, Honoring Veterans Past and Present

Major General Lester D. Eisner is the Assistant Adjutant General – Army, South Carolina National Guard, South Carolina Joint Force Headquarters. He also serves as the Deputy Adjutant General, South Carolina National Guard.
General Eisner was commissioned in 1976 through the Reserve Officer Training Corp program at Mercer University.
First established in Sumter county as the “National Guard Museum and State Weapons Collection”, the South Carolina Military Museum relocated to the capital city of Columbia to better serve its mission of preserving the State’s military history.
This new location offered strong partnerships with the South Carolina Military Department and the opportunity to expand the collection. Through the efforts of …..


Dr. Rusty Monhollon

11/1/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Dr. Rusty Monhollon, The State of Higher Education in South Carolina

Rusty Monhollon is President and Executive Director of the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education. He began his duties there in July 2019.

Before coming to South Carolina, Monhollon was the Assistant Commissioner for Academic Affairs at the Missouri Department of Higher Education. There he oversaw the design, implementation, and monitoring of public policies related to academic programs, assessment of …..



10/25/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Ellen Weaver, Palmetto Promise, Education Update

Prior to serving as Palmetto Promise Institute’s Founding President & CEO, Greenville-native Ellen Weaver worked in a wide variety of roles in U.S. Senator Jim DeMint’s Washington and South Carolina offices. Her final assignment as State Director included management of staff, communications, and outreach strategy. Her work portfolio also includes development, speech-writing, coalition-building, and authorship of editorials published nationally and across the opinion pages of South Carolina. Ellen learned the value of initiative and hard work early in life, helping her dad on the job …..


Randolph Russell

10/18/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Randolph Russell, The Fascinating Story of America

Russell is the author of American History in No Time, a quick and easy way to learn the basics – in just a few hours. It is also the perfect refresher. The book has been used at a number of colleges but is easy for anyone to understand. His presentations are informative, entertaining, not political or sales-oriented, and have been enthusiastically received by numerous civic groups across the ……


Christopher Emmanuel

10/11/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Christopher Emmanuel, Teen After School Center (TASC)

TASC provides supervision, structured daily activities, service coordination, and resource development for youth and their families!


John Boyette

10/4/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY: John Boyette, Aiken Standard – Investigative Journalism

For more than 150 years, the Aiken Standard has been a trusted news source for Aiken County. For The Star, it’s been on the scene in North Augusta for more than 60 years. Having a healthy news-gathering organization is a vital part of the democratic process and helps make a difference in our communities.
We will still be doing all of the “little” things that you have come to expect. But these deeper dives into investigative reporting and public service journalism are also an essential part of our mission. In the end, we feel this type of work will help keep our elected ….


Heidi Hoffmann

9/27/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Heidi Hoffmann, Executive Director of First Tee- Aiken

First Tee – Aiken was established in August 2009 and is a locally owned and operated nonprofit organization. First Tee – Aiken is located at Houndslake Country Club and features a 9-hole course, practice range, putting green, and clubhouse/teaching facility. Students enrolled in the First Tee – Aiken receive quality life skills and golf instruction, free use of golf equipment, supervised practice privileges, tournament opportunities and more. Special emphasis is placed on recruiting low to moderate-income youth, minorities, girls, at-risk youth, students with disabilities and ….


Paul Sauerborn

9/20/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Paul Sauerborn and Jessica Miller, Aiken Steeplechase Project Update

The Aiken Steeplechase has a new home. After several years of searching, the Aiken Steeplechase Association finally found the right property: a 140-acre parcel that sits just at the edge of the city limits. With the help of the City of Aiken, the association was able to put together a deal to purchase the property late last year and is now in the process of creating a state-of-the-art steeplechase facility. In addition to the track itself, the new grounds will have an announcer’s tower and ample room for various tents – for stabling, viewing and the like – as well as a spacious infield, acres of parking, and ….


Stan Byrdy

9/13/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Stan Byrdy, History of Golf in Aiken

The game of golf got its start in the Southeastern United States in 1892 on four holes with sand greens at Palmetto Golf Club in Aiken, South Carolina. Within five years, Palmetto had expanded to eighteen holes and the first nine-hole course in neighboring Augusta, Georgia was designed at the Hotel Bon Air. For half a century, the Augusta-Aiken area flourished as the winter destination of choice for the rich, famous, and powerful in America. Presidents Taft, Harding, and Eisenhower vacationed here. Baseball great Ty Cobb bought a home in Augusta’s quaint Summerville neighborhood.
It was here that Bobby Jones began the improbable journey towards a Grand Slam, then built his dream golf course. By the turn of the ….


Tara Bostwick

8/30/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Tara Bostwick, Aiken Horse Park Foundation

The MISSION of the Aiken Horse Park Foundation is to promote Aiken’s equestrian way of life and to encourage the community’s civic, educational, and charitable endeavors.
Tara grew up in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and benefitted from the provincially mandated bilingual education system. She and her family are all avid equestrians, having discovered Aiken as a perfect winter training base in 1977. Married for 25 years to polo player Charlie Bostwick, Tara, Charlie, and their family have made Aiken their full-time home since 1994.
The MISSION of the Aiken Horse Park Foundation is to promote Aiken’s equestrian way of life and to encourage the community’s ….


Kathy Cunningham

8/23/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Kathy Cunningham, 150th Anniversary of Aiken County

On March 10, 1871, a South Carolina legislative act to form a new county was signed by Governor Robert K. Scott. This new county was cut from portions of Barnwell, Edgefield, Lexington, and Orangeburg counties. Its name would be Aiken County.
This year, we celebrate Aiken County’s 150th anniversary (1871-2021). While celebratory plans have been modified due to pandemic concerns, there are several virtual and in-person events that will take place throughout the year. First up is a series of videos that will take viewers across several historic sites, called “Exploring Aiken County.” These videos will be posted to the 150th anniversary’s social media and YouTube channel across the month of March. In an effort to educate residents and visitors about the history of Aiken County, a small, traveling exhibit will be displayed at museums, interpretive centers, and ….


Rep. Joe Wilson

8/16/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Rep. Joe Wilson, 2nd Congressional District

Addison “Joe” Graves Wilson was born on July 31, 1947, in Charleston, South Carolina. After graduating from the High School of Charleston in 1965, he received his undergraduate degree from Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, and completed his law degree at the University of South Carolina. A real estate attorney by trade, Joe was a founding partner of the West Columbia law firm Kirkland, Wilson, Moore, Taylor & Thomas.

His career in public service officially began when he served on the staffs of South Carolina legends Senator Strom Thurmond and Congressman Floyd Spence. As part of the visionary Ronald Reagan administration, Joe was Deputy General Counsel to the United States Department of Energy Secretary and former South Carolina Governor, Jim Edwards.

Throughout his life, Joe has had a tremendous passion to serve his country, serving as a member of the United States Armed Forces. After serving in the United States Army Reserves from 1972-1975, he also served in the South Carolina Army National Guard. In the summer of 2003, Joe retired as a Colonel, having served as a Staff Judge Advocate assigned to the 218th Mechanized Infantry Brigade. At the time, he was the only active Guard member serving in Congress.

Before being elected to the United States Congress in 2001, Joe served 17 years, with perfect attendance, in the South Carolina State Senate where he was elected Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, the first Republican Chairman since the ….


Frank Cox

8/9/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Frank Cox, Rotary District 7750 Governor Address

Frank joined the Rotary Club of Clemson-Calhoun in 2012. In 2015, he became club president. From 2016 – 2019, Frank served as an Assistant Governor for Area 2. He was responsible for the Silent Auction at our All Club Conferences in 2017 and 2018 and is co-chair for the 2019 All Club Conference. He is a graduate of Rotary Leadership Institute.

Frank supports the Rotary Foundation and is a proud member of the Bequest Society, a Major Donor, and a member of the Paul Harris Society. He is serving on the District Finance Committee and is a member of the Governor’s Leadership Society.

He graduated in Chemical Engineering from Clemson University in 1968, served 26 years in the US Army, and had a fascinating second career in research and development with the Battelle Memorial Institute and the South Carolina Research Authority. He has ….


Owen Clary

8/2/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Owen Clary, Rotarying Around the World

Owen Clary is the Past-Chair, Aiken County Historical Commission of ….


7/26/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Michael Stern, National Food Critic

When longtime food reviewer Michael Stern relocated to Aiken, the move wasn’t initially for the area’s plethora of local restaurants; it was for Hitchcock Woods. “There is no place that I personally enjoy as much as Hitchcock Woods. I’m a horse person, but, even I wasn’t and if I was just somebody who liked to walk with my dog, I would love Hitchcock Woods,” Stern said. “In my experiences, there is no place like it.” For decades, Michael and his previous wife, Jane Stern, have trekked around the country to sample different cuisine for their “Roadfood” book and website. Over the last few years, Michael has immersed himself into the …..


7/19/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY: UofSC Aiken Enactus Club

Enactus is a global non-profit and community of student, academic and business leaders committed to using the power of entrepreneurial ….


Stuart MacVean

7/12/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY: : Stuart MacVean, President and Chief Executive Officer of Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC (SRNS)

Stuart MacVean is responsible to the Department of Energy (DOE) for safe, effective and efficient management and operations of the Savannah River Site (SRS). SRS is one of DOE’s largest production sites, performing activities ranging from environmental cleanup and protection, to nuclear materials storage and disposition, including operation of the only U.S. tritium plant and the Savannah River National Laboratory.
His responsibilities include providing vision, leadership, mission growth, technological advancement, and a performance-based culture of safety, security and …


Daniel Heimmermann

6/28/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Dr. Sandra Jordan & Incoming USC Aiken Chancellor Daniel Heimmermann

Originally from Wisconsin, Dr. Dan Heimmermann received undergraduate degrees in History and Spanish before earning Master of Arts and Ph.D. degrees in early-modern French history from Marquette University. Before coming to UT Permian Basin to become the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs in 2014, Dr. Heimmermann served in the same capacity at Mississippi University for Women (2012-2014), and prior to that was the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Texas at Brownsville (2008-12).

Dr. Heimmermann began his academic career at the University of North Alabama (1994-2008) where he served as a Professor of History and Chair of the Department of History and Political Science (2001- 2008). As a faculty member Dr. Heimmermann was a recipient of a number research fellowships and was recognized for excellence in teaching. A historian of early-modern France, Dr. Heimmermann has taught  ….


Ellen Priest

6/21/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY: President Ellen Priest & Incoming President Mallory Holley

President Ellen Priest will give my outgoing remarks and President-Elect Mallory Holley will give her incoming remarks as your new President. We will also give out some awards ….


SC Lieutenant Governor, Pamela Evette

6/14/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY: South Carolina Lieutenant Governor, Pamela Evette

Pamela Sue Evette of Travelers Rest was elected as the 93rd Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina on November 6, 2018.
Prior to her election as the first female republican lieutenant governor of South Carolina, Evette founded Quality Business Solutions, Inc. (QBS), a payroll, human resources, and benefits services firm headquartered in Travelers Rest. Under her leadership as President and CEO, QBS has grown exponentially, going from start-up to earning a spot on the Inc. 5000 listing of the nation’s fastest growing small businesses. Her company has also …


Dr. Marjorie Jenkiins

6/7/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Dr. Marjorie Jenkins of Greenville Medical School

Dr. Jenkins serves as the Dean of UofSC School of Medicine Greenville and as Chief Academic Officer for Prisma Health-Upstate.
In 2015, Dr. Jenkins was invited to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Women’s Health (FDA OWH) in 2015 via an Interprofessional Agreement with Texas Tech University Health Science Center. Within FDA OWH, Dr. Jenkins led, and disseminated research, education and health policy initiatives across the agency, and other …


Dwight Bradham

5/24/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Dwight Bradham, Director Aiken County Veterans Service

“I served 32 years, rising from an E-1 Private to a Major. During that time, through multiple conflicts, the service members I served with did incredible things! I became a recruiter, then as an officer. I developed, created and led a unit of non-commissioned officers, and new recruits to ….


2021 scholarships

5/17/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Rotary Club of Aiken Scholarships 2021

The Rotary Club of Aiken has awarded scholarships worth a total of $105,000 to 21 high school graduates from the class of 2021. Each recipient received $5,000. The grants’ official name is the Rotary ..,.


Aimee Hanna

5/10/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Aimee Hanna, Executive Director at Aiken Senior Life Services

A veteran of the luxury hospitality industry, Aimee Hanna is an experienced leader with a passion for delighting the customer, improving work processes, leading teams to success – all with an eye to generating revenue and building on profitability. Having traveled the globe extensively, Aimee has a …..


Dave Tavernier

5/3/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Dave Tavernier, Author of Stories of the Rich and Famous

Citizen and author, David will discuss Aiken’s Winter Colony…..


Dr. Forest Mahan

4/26/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Dr. Forest Mahan, President of Aiken Technical College

Dr. Mahan will speak about the new welding lab at ATC & returning to the workforce.

Dr. Forest Mahan became President of Aiken Technical College in 2016, becoming the College’s fifth president since it opened in fall of 1972.

Founded in 1972, Aiken Technical College is a public, two-year comprehensive college with a campus spanning 104 acres, and nearly five decades of educational service to its community in Graniteville, South Carolina. ATC provides college credit programs in health, public service, business, industrial engineering and computer technology to more than 3,200 enrolled students annually. In addition, ATC serves another 10,000 participants in non-credit and continuing education programs each year.Dr. Forest E. Mahan stepped into his new role as fifth president of Aiken Technical College on July 1, 2016, after serving 8 years at Northeastern Technical College in Cheraw as Vice President for Academic Affairs and  ….


Michael Smith

4/19/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Michael Smith, Executive Editor at Aiken Standard

Smith will talk about his recently released book about the history of the town of Hamburg, SC.

The Coastal Carolina alumnus, who once had dreams of playing professionally on the PGA Tour, has carved out a strong niche in the newspaper industry since moving south from New York in 1993. In addition to being editor of the Chronicle, Smith was …..


Matthew Dupee

4/12/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Retired Vice-Admiral Chuck Munns, and Matthew Dupee, a former Rotary International Fellow

Retired Vice-Admiral Chuck Munns, as well as Matthew Dupee, a former Rotary International Fellow. Matt spoke about the experiences he had while in Scotland and how it changed his life, enabling him ..


Gary Stooksbury

4/5/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Gary Stooksbury, CEO of Aiken Electric Cooperative

Gary will speak on a topic that has been more relevant during the pandemic than ever, rural ….


Dr. Vahid Majidi

3/29/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Dr. Vahid Majidi, Executive Vice President and Director, Savannah River National Laboratory

Vahid is a decorated former member of the senior executive service and senior intelligence service with direct reporting responsibilities to the Secretary of Defense, Director of National Intelligence and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Most recently, Vahid served as a Senior Vice President for Strategic Initiatives at Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies, Inc., providing solutions in highly complex scientific, engineering, technical, and research and development ….


Mayor Rick Osbon

3/22/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Mayor Rick Osbon

Mayor Rick Osbon to discuss the State of the City.

An Aiken resident since the day he was born in the old Aiken County Hospital on Richland Avenue, Aiken Mayor Rick Osbon knew early on that he wanted …..


Larry Byers, Joint-Master of the Aiken Hounds

3/15/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Lt. Col. Larry Byers, Joint-Master of the Aiken Hounds

Larry Byers will speak on the economic impact of the equestrian community.
Larry Byers has done everything from showing and eventing to his great passion – hunting. He spent 32 years in California where he was a career Marine, then worked as nance director of a water district. His sporting life as a whipper-in with Santa Fe Hunt in Temecula (CA) included three seasons as huntsman and four years as master. About six years ago Larry and his wife Pat moved to Aiken, SC. At the start of the 2011-12 season, he became joint-master of the Aiken Hounds. He stil ….


3/8/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Carol Burdette, District 7750 Membership Chair

Carol currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the United Way of Anderson County where she has held that position since 2002. She served as a member of Pendleton’s town council for ten years before being elected Mayor from 1997-2009. Ms. Burdette has been honored with the Point the Way Award, the Athena Award, the Leadership Anderson ….


dr. daren timmons

3/1/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Dr. Daren Timmons, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at UofSC Aiken

Dr. Daren Timmons will address the club on Cyber Security at UofSCA
Before coming to USCA in 2016, Timmons was the John C. Allen ’62 Institute Professor of Chemistry and head of the chemistry department at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia, where he developed new liquid crystal materials and metal-organic ….


Will Grimsley

2/22/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY: W.F. Grimsley, SC Veterans Affairs

Will Grimsley graduated from Davidson College in North Carolina in May 1980 with a B.A. in History and was commissioned in the U.S. Army as an Infantry officer. Throughout the next 33 years he served in assignments throughout the United States, Germany, Korea, Kuwait, multiple combat tours in Iraq, and deployments to several other nations. Grimsley held command and leadership positions at every level from platoon through corps and served on staffs from small unit levels up to both the Joint Staff and ….


Dr. Tim Hardee

2/8/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Dr. Tim Hardee, President of the South Carolina Technical College System

Dr. Tim Hardee is president of the South Carolina Technical College System, the largest higher education sector in the state. South Carolina’s Technical colleges have 160,000 students enrolled in degree, diploma, certificate and continuing education programs at 16 campuses and 64 satellite……


Charles L. Munns

2/1/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Chuck Munns, Nuclear Defense Strategy

Charles L. Munns, retired as a Vice Admiral in the United States Navy. Munns held several posts including Commander, United States Submarine Forces (COMNAVSUBFOR) and Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic (COMSUBLANT). Munns served as commander of thE ….


aiken rotary scholarships

1/25/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Rotary Scholarship Donor Recognition

We will hear from the scholarship committee, along with a short presentation Sanela Porca is bringing to us regarding a community service project two students are doing…..


Nature Conservancy of South Carolina

1/11/21: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Lownders Macdonald of the Nature Conservancy of South Carolina

Founded in the U.S. through grassroots action in 1951, The Nature Conservancy has grown to become one of the most effective and wide-reaching environmental organizations in the world. Thanks to more than a million members and the …..



12/21/20: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Rotary Christmas Program/Brittany Kisner of the Kisner Foundation

The Kevin & Brittany Kisner Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to creating a positive environment for children to grow into …..


12/14/20: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Rotary Service Grant Awards and Dr. Salena Porca in regards to the USCA Business Symposium.

The Aiken Business Leadership Symposium (ABLS) is an opportunity for UofSC Aiken students, local businesses, and community members to gain new insights into the world of business and the role of leadership. This one-day symposium is intended to bring prominent ……



11/30/20: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Paul Matthews, Director of the Aiken County Emergency Management Division

Mr. Matthews will be talking about COVID-19 among other emergencies and how the whole community works together on these issues.
The Aiken County Emergency Management Division coordinates the….

Gary Farina

11/23/20: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Gary Farina of Recovery Road Ministries

Recovery Road Ministries is dedicated to improving the physical, spiritual, and psychological health of individuals recovering from drug and/or alcohol addiction. Providing life-changing outreach and Christian-based recovery, the organization is Aiken County’s only non-profit drug and alcohol rehabilitation program.
Located in the Graniteville Historic District….

Bill Reynolds

11/16/20: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Bill Reynolds, Status of the Aiken County Library Project

Bill Reynolds, President of the Friends of the Aiken County Public Library, spearheaded the creation of a public-private sector partnership with the county to ….

Robert Murphy

11/9/20: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Robert Murphy, UofSC Aiken Veterans Program

Mr. Robert A. Murphy is a graduate of the Darla Moore School of Business at University of South Carolina, with a Master of Business Administration, Bachelor of Science Business Administration, and a Minor in Professional Writing.
Mr. Murphy served over 30 years in a myriad of international, national, and community-based positions. He is a military veteran with ….

phil wahl

11/2/20: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Phil Wahl, History of the MASTERS Golf Tournament

Phil Wahl, President of Security Federal Bank, will give the club the history of the ….


10/26/20: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Teresa Haas & Corey Burns on the Rotary Club of Aiken’s Mentoring Program

Rotarians Teresa Haas and Corey Burns will provide an update on our club’s Mentoring Committee…

Jessica Coach

10/19/20: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Jessica Coach Executive Director of the Cumbee Center to Assist Abused Persons

The work provided by the staff of the Cumbee Center is vital since South Carolina ranks fifth in the nation for women who are murdered by an intimate partneR…

10/12/20: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Susan Meehan, Executive Director of the Child Advocacy Center of Aiken County

The Child Advocacy Center of Aiken County coordinates investigations, treatment and prosecution of the most serious cases of child abuse in Aiken and its…

Ellen Priest

10/5/20: IN-PERSON ROTARY: Club President Ellen Priest, Rotary 2020 – 2021

Club President, Ellen Priest, discusses plans for the Rotary year 2020 – 2021…

henry mcmaster

9/28/20: Virtual Rotary - The Honorable Henry McMaster, Governor of South Carolina

Henry Dargan McMaster of Columbia became the 117th Governor of South Carolina on January 24, 2017 and was elected to his first full term as governor on November 6, 2018….

robert caslen

9/21/20: Virtual Rotary - U of SC President, Robert Caslen

Bob Caslen, the University of South Caro­lina’s 29th president, is a retired Army lieutenant general and former superintendent and president of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point…


The Rotary Club of Aiken provides meals to the Salvation Army

The Rotary Club of Aiken continues to give back during this crisis by providing 90 meals every Monday to the Salvation Army for their clients in need.

stuart bedenbaugh

9/14/20: Virtual Rotary - Stuart Bedenbaugh, City Manager, City of Aiken

The Clearwater, S.C., native, who graduated from Midland Valley High School and the University of South Carolina, is Aiken’s eighth city manager. Bedenbaugh served as Aiken’s assistant city manager from…

margaret key

8/31/20: Virtual Rotary - Margaret Key, Executive Director of Aiken Center for Alcohol and Drug Abuse

Margaret Key will be joined with Dr. Charlie Dees from Aiken Regional Medical Centers speaking about substance abuse in Aiken County..


8/24/20: Virtual Rotary - Various religious leaders discussing challenges during the pandemic

A few prominent Aiken ministers will speak about the challenges religious leaders have faced in trying to conduct services and serve their parishioners during the pandemic.

stephanie franklin

8/17/20: Virtual Rotary - Stephanie Franklin, President of USC Aiken’s Inclusion Advisory Council

Stephanie Franklin currently serves as vice president of the sorority’s Kappa Upsilon Omega Chapter and went on to become chairperson of the USC Aiken’s Inclusion Advisory Council and MLK Jr. Community Committee.

beth padgett

8/10/20: VIRTUAL ROTARY: Beth Padgett, the District Governor of District 7750

Beth Padgett is the District Governor for our District 7750, overseeing 51 Clubs in our District. READ MORE

molly spearman

8/3/20: VIRTUAL ROTARY: Molly Spearman, Superintendent of Schools for the State of South Carolina

Molly Mitchell Spearman is a teacher and politician serving as the South Carolina Superintendent of Education. She took office in 2015 and her current term is scheduled to end in 2023. READ MORE


7/27/20: Virtual Rotary, Jim Newsome, CEO and President of the South Carolina Ports Authority

Mr. Newsome became President & CEO of the South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) on September 1, 2009 and is only the fifth leader in the history of the organization. READ MORE

Bianca Otterbein

7/20/20: Virtual Rotary, Bianca Otterbein, Clinical Director for Aiken Barnwell Mental Health

Dr. Belle Wheelan

7/13/20: Virtual Rotary, Dr. Belle Wheelan

Bill Rogers

7/6/20: Virtual Rotary, Executive Director, South Carolina Press Association

aiken rotary scholarships

Rotary Club of Aiken awards $105,000 in scholarships

Rotary Club of Aiken has awarded scholarships worth a total of $105,000 to 21 high school graduates from the class of 2020. Each recipient READ MORE