All Posts (107)

This organization of volunteers cooperating from both the north and south sides of Cyprus, and the Cyprus Friendship Program, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in the United States, share the mission to promote peace and understanding in Cyprus. By bringing together teenagers from both sides of the divide with future leadership potential, encouraging lifelong friendships among them, and extending these friendships to their friends and families they hope to build peace.

While in the U.S., each pair lives together with an American host family for four weeks. The aim of this four-week residency is to promote friendship and understanding through interaction and to further develop leadership skills. The teens begin to discover what they have in common and learn to communicate and cooperate as they move together through their time in the U.S.

"Building Peace in Cyprus: A Rotary Model for the World"

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This week we're pleased to have as our guest speaker: Martin Johnson.

"Most criminals are not considering the odds of getting caught — they live in the moment," he said. "Think about it: A fraudulent document only has to be good enough to be accepted and get the job done — nothing more."

Martin Johnson retired from the Howard County, Maryland Police Department in 2009, serving as a detective for 17 of his 25 years. He has been engaged in the intensive study of identity documents for 18 years, and is an identity document analyst and investigation advisor for police departments.  He is a member of the U.S. Attorney's Office Identity Theft Working Group in Baltimore and an intelligence partner with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Forensic Document Laboratory.

Martin is a DHS-certified instructor and an educational program developer for the Academy of Counter-Terrorist Education, a teaching arm of DHS.  He teaches the detection and investigation of fraudulent identity documents and counterfeit money to law enforcement officers, retail industry representatives, and other government agents.  He has examined thousands of identity documents involved in criminal cases and has personally investigated hundreds of other cases involving counterfeit identification. He has arrested many ID counterfeiters and shut down their manufacturing operations.

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Peter Franchot visits the Club.

We were privileged to have State Comptroller, Peter Franchot as our guest/presenter last week. You can read about his program and his special gift to our very own Alan Jefferson in our newsletter, but here's a bit about Mr. Franchot and his work.

Peter Franchot was elected Maryland's 33rd Comptroller on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2006. As Comptroller, he has been an independent voice and fiscal watchdog for the taxpayers of Maryland.  Under his leadership, the Comptroller's Office has made the tax filing process easier and more user-friendly for Maryland taxpayers, recaptured more than $3 billion in delinquent taxes, and led the effort to protect Maryland consumers from unscrupulous tax preparers. As a member of the powerful Board of Public Works, Comptroller Franchot has also worked to ensure that taxpayer dollars are being spent carefully and appropriately. Comptroller Franchot attended Amherst College (B.A., 1973) and Northeastern School of Law (J.D., 1978). He served in the United States Army, from 1968 to 1970. Peter is married to Anne Maher, a lawyer, and they have two children, Abigail and Nick. Peter and Anne live in Takoma Park, Maryland.

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The Rotary Club of Columbia/Patuxent has selected Vic Broccolino as the recipient of its second annual Community Service Above Self Award. The award recognizes a non-Rotarian who gives back to the community in a way that reflects the Club’s spirit of having fun through community service.

Vic has been the President and CEO of Howard County General Hospital for almost 24 years. During that time, he has dedicated himself to service, not only by leading the hospital to achieve top ratings for quality clinical care, but through support of numerous non-profit organizations throughout Howard County. Vic has been on the boards of United Way, Maryland State Emergency Medical Services, Superintendent’s Advisory Council for Educational Partnerships, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Maryland, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Howard County Center of African American Culture, American Heart Association, and the Howard County Economic Development Authority.  

Vic has made it a priority that the hospital financially support non-profit organizations, and he directs his management team to participate in supporting Howard County non-profits through their active involvement as board members for organizations they feel passionate about.  “It’s hard to imagine an individual with a greater impact on Howard County’s non-profits than Vic Broccolino” said Joan Athen, Chair of the Charitable Trust of the Rotary Club of Columbia Patuxent.  

The Community Service Above Self Award includes recognition at the Club’s fundraiser, Night on the Riverboat, on Friday, November 1, a Paul Harris award, and $5,000 to be donated to a local non-profit in Vic’s name.  Vic has chosen The Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center to receive the donation. The Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center is Howard County's remarkable place of hope, help and support for men, women and children living with cancer. The Center was founded in 1998 in memory of Claudia Mayer, a cancer patient who sadly lost her battle with the disease but whose memory lives on. Vic will officially be honored and awarded at the Rotary Club of Columbia/Patuxent’s major fundraiser, Night on the Riverboat.

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HC DrugFree

Committed to Helping Youth Avoid Alcohol and Drugs

HC DrugFree is a nonprofit organization that aims to empower the community to eliminate the abuse and illegal use of alcohol and other drugs among youth. In collaboration with other organizations and through outreach, HC DrugFree provides educational programs and resources to parents, youth, educators and the community

Our speaker this week, Joan Webb Scornaienchi has served as HC DrugFree's Executive Director since August 2009. With more than 20 years in higher education, her background includes extensive experience as a grants and education program specialist with the Maryland State Department of Education. Early in her career, she served as a drug and alcohol prevention specialist for a county-funded hospital program. Among her many recognitions, in 2012 the Daily Record named Joan as One of Maryland’s Top 100 Women as well as One of Maryland's Most Admired CEO’s. Also in 2012, she received Howard County’s Celebrating Successes for Children Award in the High School Category for her work on behalf of high school students and their parents. Joan is passionate about keeping Howard County youth safe.

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20 Reasons to Become A Rotarian

1. Friendship: In an increasingly complex world, Rotary provides one of the most basic human needs: the need for friendship and fellowship. It is one of two reasons why Rotary began in 1905.

2. The Opportunity to Serve: Rotary is a service club. It's business is mankind. Its Product is service. Rotary provide community service to both local and international communities. This is the perhaps the best reason for becoming a Rotarian: the chance to do something for somebody else and to sence the self-fulfillment that comes in the process and return of that satisfaction to one's own life. It is richly rewarding.

3. Business Development: The second original reason for Rotary's beginning is business development. Everyone needs to network. Rotary consists of a cross section of every business community. Its members come from all walks of life. Rotarians help each other and collectively help others.

4. Personal Growth and Development: Membership in Rotary continues one’s growth and education in human relations and personal development.

5. Leadership Development: Rotary is an organization of leaders and successful people. Serving in Rotary positions is like a college education. Leadership: - learning how to motivate, influence, and lead leaders.

6. Citizenship in the Community: Membership in a Rotary club makes one a better community citizen. The average Rotary club consists of the most active citizens of any community.

7. Continuing Education: Each week at Rotary there is a program designed to keep one informed about what is going on in the community, nation, and world. Each meeting provides an opportunity to listen to different speakers and a variety of timely topics.

8. Fun: Rotary is fun, a lot of fun. Each meeting is fun. The club projects are fun. Social activities are fun. The service is fun.

9. Public Speaking Skills: Many individuals who joined Rotary were afraid to speak in public. Rotary develops confidence and skill in public communication and the opportunity to practice and perfect these skills.

10. Citizenship in the World: Every Rotarian wears a pin that says “Rotary International.” There are few places on the globe that do not have a Rotary club.

Every Rotarian is welcome – even encouraged – to attend any of the over 34,000 clubs in over 200 nations and geographical regions. This means instant friends in both one’s own community and in the world community.

11. Assistance when Traveling: Because there are Rotary clubs everywhere, many a Rotarian in need of a doctor, lawyer, hotel, dentist, advice, etc., while traveling has found assistance through Rotary.

12. Entertainment: Every Rotary club and district has parties and activities that provide diversion in one’s business life. Rotary holds conferences, conventions, assemblies, and institutes that provide entertainment in addition to Rotary information, education, and service.

13. The Development of Social Skills: Every week and at various events and functions, Rotary develops one’s personality, social skills and people skills. Rotary is for people who like people.

14. Family Programs: Rotary provides one of the world’s largest youth exchange programs; high school and college clubs for future Rotarians; opportunities for spouse involvement; and a host of activities designed to help family members in growth and the development of family values.

15. Vocational Skills: Every Rotarian is expected to take part in the growth and development of his or her own profession or vocation; to serve on committees and to teach youth about one’s job or vocation. Rotary helps to make one a better doctor, lawyer, teacher, etc.

16. The Development of Ethics: Rotarians practice a 4-Way Test that governs one’s ethical standards. Rotarians are expected to be ethical in business and personal relationships.

17. Cultural Awareness: Around the world, practically every religion, country, culture, race, creed, political persuasion, language, color, and ethnic identity is found in Rotary. It is a cross section of the world’s most prominent citizens from every background. Rotarians become aware of their cultures and learn to love and work with people everywhere. They become better citizens of their countries in the process.

18. Prestige: Rotary members are prominent people: leaders of business, the professions, art, government, sports, military, religion, and all disciplines. Rotary is the oldest and most prestigious service club in the world. Its ranks include executives, managers, professionals – people who make decisions and influence policy.

19. Nice People: Rotarians above all are nice people - the nicest people on the face of the earth. They are important people who follow the policy of it is nice to be important but it is important to be nice.

20. The Absence of an “Official Creed”: Rotary has no secret handshake, no secret policy, no official creed, no secret meeting or rituals. It is an open society of men and women who simply believe in helping others.

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Member Spotlight: August

Yet another installment of our ever-popular feature: Member Spotlight. Please meet RCCP's very own Mr. Water Project: Lon Chesnutt.

Lon B. Chesnutt

Lon is a retired pastor with a life filled with volunteer activities. As a Rotarian, he’s been active in the International Lane for ten years and worked on the HIV/AIDS project in Ethiopia and now the Water Project to drill wells in Gondar, Ethiopia.

Lon is still a United Methodist Minister, though retired. He now gets to choose requests for his services. For forty years, he served churches in Atlanta and the Baltimore-Washington area dealing with people intimately in all aspects of their lives: Joy over a new birth, celebrating in their personal and work achievements, weddings and to be present with them in the sorrowful times of disappointment, death and grief.  

One of Lon’s proudest moments came in his final year (1986) as pastor of St. John United in Columbia, Lon wrote four dramas on the characters of the four gospel writers: Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John. They were then presented with live actors and casts from within the congregation for the Sundays in Lent. “It was exciting to see most of the congregation involved in some aspect of the dramatization.”

Lon and Evelyn have been married 51 years and have traveled much of our country and the world. Their son is a computer-programmer who lives in Northern Virginia and works in Washington at the Labor Department. They have two grandchildren -- a ten-year old boy and a fourteen year old girl.

Since retiring, Lon has taken up videoing. He films, edits and creates audio on films for family, travel, and events in Charlestown. He still enjoys golf and plays regularly with a senior group from the Charlestown Retirement Community.

Lon admits he loves a good joke that takes you by surprise without slamming someone else. “Observing the foibles which we humans can produce keeps challenging my thinking and keeping it in perspective keeps me young in spirit.”

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Ten Things To Do To Be A Good Rotarian

1. Attend Rotary meetings regularly.

2. Keep your financial obligations to Rotary up-to-date.

3. Get better acquainted with your fellow members.

4. Widen your friendship by visiting other Rotary Clubs and by attending District Conferences and International Conventions.

5. Help your Clubs advancement in the realm of International understanding, good will and peace.

6. Spread the idea of Service which is the spirit of Rotary.

7. Practice in your daily living Rotary's Four Way Test and base your decision on this philosophy which states -
    • Is it the TRUTH?
    • Is it FAIR to all concerned?
    • Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER and FRIENDSHIPS?
    • Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

8. Support Rotary projects with your TALENT, your TIME, and your TREASURES.

9. Help your Club grow in membership by proposing people in the Community whom you think would become good Rotarians, and are eligible within the concept of the Classification principle.

10. Never say NO to a task assigned to you in Rotary.
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Committee Showcase:

International Committee

As the international committee successfully wraps up our multi-year project in Ethiopia, constructing five new freshwater wells to provide clean, safe drinking water to thousands of people in the region, we are excited to explore new opportunities to leverage the international network of Rotarians worldwide. The committee is working with Dr. Wayne Koch, E.N.T. surgeon at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, MD, to identify specific needs in Cameroon, Africa, where our funds can help train and equip local surgeons.

Cameroon suffers from an overwhelming shortage of qualified surgeons. Conditions considered routine here, such as appendicitis, are often deadly there, simply because of the lack of access to care. Our goal is to leverage the funds our club raises, using matching funds from our Rotary district and Rotary International, to help create sustainable, life saving medical systems in Cameroon. As Rotarians, we're proud to be able to make a difference, here in Howard County and around the world.

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Member Spotlight: May

Yet another installment of our ever-popular feature: Member Spotlight. Ladies and gents, here's RCCP faithful Mr. Darrell Nevin.

Darrell Nevin

Darrell has been in the Commercial Real Estate business since 1984. He has been an independent tenant rep agent and consultant since 1996. He locates office, retail and warehouse properties for commercial tenants and negotiates their lease or purchase transaction from start to finish.

Darrell is licensed in Maryland and serves mostly the markets between the Baltimore and DC Beltways. Through his recent affiliation with Keller Williams Realty, Darrell is now connected to a network of other commercial real estate professionals who can effectively handle deals anywhere in the United States and Canada. Any time he can leverage a negotiation that results in the Landlord caving in is a huge win and proud moment for Darrell. 


Darrell has been married to Kathy since 1985. His son Andrew, a graduate of Towson U with a Business degree and now lives in San Diego with his girlfriend, Morgan. Daughter Hanna is finishing her criminal justice degree at Stevenson U. Both played soccer at WLHS and HCC, and continue to do so in adult mixed leagues.

In Darrell’s very limited spare time between Rotary commitments, charitable boards and committees -- he serves on (9), he finds some time to enjoy a round of golf once in a while and beating up the uninitiated on Words With Friends!  From 2006-2010 he coached JV boys soccer at Wilde Lake High School.

Darrell believes that laughter truly is the best medicine!  Friday morning Rotary meetings, Steven Wright and Jon Stewart makes him laugh the most.

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Committee Showcase:

New Generations Committee

Members – Kellie Lego, Brad Myers, Phil K, Cheryl Lund

The New Generations Committee of Columbia-Patuxent works hands-on with high school Interact Club members at Hammond High School in Columbia, MD to promote the ideals of Rotary International - service to others, integrity, advancing world understanding, goodwill, and peace. The Interact Students at Hammond High School have been very active this 2012-2013 school year. Please see a list below with accompanying pictures of the various activities that Hammond Interact club members have been involved with:

  • 9/11 Cards for Members of our Military

  • Fall Food Drive to benefit local food Bank in Savage, MD – over 2,000 pounds of food collected in November 2012

  • Kenya Connect Pen-Pal Program

  • December Drive for Members of our Military 

  • Valentine’s Day Cards for the Elderly at Brighton Gardens Assisted Living Center

  • RYLA Conference 

  • Four Way Speech Contest – Three applicants competing this year!

  • Student Attendance at the District Interact Conference  in conjunction with the Rotary District Conference -- April 2013

  • Adopt – A-Road Clean Up

The New Generations committee is currently working on a project for this upcoming Fall. Two years ago in 2011, the Interact Students and committee members put together a “Walk 4 Water” to raise money for fresh water well drilling in Ethiopia. Through the “Walk 4 Water,” they were able to raise the capital needed in order to pursue the drilling of four (4) fresh water drinking wells in Ethiopia. The current Interact Students at Hammond High school came up with the Idea of having a “Dance 4 Water,” where students from the surrounding schools in Columbia, MD are invited to get moving for an International Cause! The Dance 4 Water will be similar to a Dance-A-Thon requiring students to obtain sponsors/donations for the amount of time they can last on the dance floor. The committee is hoping that the students will attend to network with friends, increase Interact membership at Hammond and other high schools, engage in discussion with Rotary members, and hopefully have a good time dancing while raising money for the next International Water Project. 

The New Generations Committee recognizes the positive change implemented by youth and young adults through leadership development activities, involvement in community and international service projects, and exchange programs that enrich and foster world peace and cultural understanding.

The New Generations Committee is always looking for new members and projects. Please feel free to reach out to Chair Kellie Lego or any of the committee members for ideas and participation.

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Young Audiences of Maryland visits Rotary

This Friday, our speaker from YAMD will be Lauren Webb Tolstoi who has managed all government, corporate and foundation giving for Young Audiences of Maryland (YA) since July of 2010. Prior to joining YA, she completed a Master of Arts Management degree at Carnegie Mellon University’s H. John Heinz School of Public Policy, where she led the development of a 5-year master plan for the Pittsburgh International Airport’s $5.5 million public art collection. Ms. Tolstoi has previous experience working in the development offices of the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, MD, and the Mattress Factory Museum of Contemporary Installation Art in Pittsburgh, PA.

Lauren will be bringing a special guest performer from YAMD... Sue Trainor!!!

Sue Trainor has a gift for stirring up other folks’ creativity. Her energy and enthusiasm capture students’ attention, and her sense of humor and down-to-earth approach keep it. She has received consistently excellent reviews for her assemblies, residencies and professional development training programs offered through Young Audiences, Wolf Trap, the Teaching Artist Institute (TAI), Quest, Very Special Arts, and the Maryland Artist/Teacher Institute (MATI). Sue tours with the vocal trio Hot Soup, and records cds as a solo artist. Her most recent CD for children, “In Our Own Words,” won the 2010 WAMMIE Award for “Best Children’s Music Recording” from the Washington Area Music Association.

We hope to see you there:

Friday April 5th, 7:30 a.m.

Vantage House


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Back with another installment of our ever-popular feature: Member Spotlight. Hold on to your hats, here's Mr. Tom Gregorini.

Tom Gregorini

Tom is a remodeling contractor – kitchens/baths, home maintenance and additions. His client base is 100% referral and is proud to say he doesn’t do any formal advertising (sorry Darren). His company does all forms of remodeling from maintenance (roofs, doors, painting, new flooring, etc) to additions and whole house remodels. About 50% of Tom’s clients are remodels that involve the use of his designer. 

Tom’s industry is regulated by MHIC (Maryland Home Improvement Commission) which requires all contractors to have a MHIC license. Of course, many do not. If they remodel in Maryland it is not only illegal but a criminal offense that can include jail time. The role of MHIC is to protect the homeowner from unscrupulous contractors.

Tom gets the most satisfaction helping a client in a situation where they have received bad advice or poor work either from a misinformed or intentionally misleading contractor. It's amazing how often this occurs according to Tom. 

Tom is married to Mary (27 years strong). Mary is a school teacher at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Ellicott City. According to Tom, she's the kind of teacher that thinks it's cheating if she uses a lesson from a previous year. They have four children: Tom- 26, The Culinary Institute of America graduate currently working in Charleston. Sarah- 24, Anthropology degree and currently looking for full-time employment in her field (probably overseas). Domenica -14, the actress in the family. She can remember songs, movies, books (has read all of Shakespeare) word-for-word even only after hearing, seeing or reading it ONCE, brags Tom. Frankie- 11, plays hockey.

Tom spends his extra time with his kids, at church activities, exercising, planning trips -- Italia in June with the family and climbing Kilimanjaro in August with his youngest daughter. 

Tom is a tough audience when it comes to humor. Rarely jokes make him laugh; however, he does love sarcasm (dishing it out is his specialty).

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Committee Showcase:

International Committee

The International Committee has been busy since the fall of 2012 planning existing projects and exploring new opportunities for the club across the world. Lon, Leon, Cliff, San, Tom, Duyshant, and Helena have been diligently planning and organizing the water well project we are working on in Gondar, Ethopia. One of their biggest tasks was to obtain grant money from Rotary International for the additional funding needed for the drilling. Due to their hard work and efforts, they were able to procure over $40,000 in matching grants from local clubs, our district, as well as RI. They are now in the planning and bidding stage of the project and hope to start drilling in the next sixty to ninety days. They should be applauded for their hard work over the past 4 years getting the project to this point.  

In other International news, the group has been actively researching and assisting the district with the International Youth exchange project. Our main goal is to fully understand the process and then approach our Interact Students, as well as youth in and around the club to participate in the coming years. It is a great opportunity for our young people, as well as the club itself to have exposure to this program. We are also researching a Friendship Exchange with another club in Europe with more details to come in the coming months.  

The International Committee is always looking for new members and projects. Please feel free to reach out to Chair Chris DeLuca or any of the committee members for ideas and participation.

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What do the Committees in Rotary do?

In Rotary, each club has committees. We do understand that most outsiders don’t understand the purpose of these committees. But as Rotarians, we often forget that we get so caught up in the weekly meeting agenda that we don’t always know what is going on in the committees in our own club. So, we’re going to begin showcasing some of these committees over the coming months. Our first Committee blog post is for everyone -- for outsiders to understand the purpose and a refresher and reminder for Rotarians.

Committee Role and Responsibilities 

Service Above Self is Rotary’s principal motto, which means that every Rotarian is responsible for finding ways to improve the quality of life in his or her community and in those around the world through service.

The role of the committee is to lead the club’s service initiatives and to help develop and implement educational, humanitarian, and vocational service projects that benefit the local community and communities in other countries.

Develop committee goals to achieve club service project goals for the coming year. 

  • Conduct service projects that include needs assessments, planning, and evaluation. 
  • Identify opportunities for signature projects that will increase your club’s recognition in the community. 
  • Work with other organizations, volunteers, and committee members to maximize the impact of your projects. 
  • Lead efforts to raise funds for projects. 
  • Understand liability issues that affect your club projects and activities. 
  • Work with the club public relations committee to promote service projects. 
  • Reach out to clubs locally and internationally for partnership, fellowship, service, and volunteer activities.

Service provides an opportunity for networking and fellowship among club members. Involving all members in service projects helps keep members engaged and doing good in our communities and abroad.

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Back with another popular feature: our Member Spotlight. Ladies and Gentleman... may I present Mr. Chris DeLuca.

Chris DeLuca

Chris recently opened a Construction Management Firm focusing on banking and retail development in the Mid-Atlantic: McHenry Project Consultants. A goal of his since graduating college, Chris was most proud to have had the means and ability to start his own company and is excited that he’s off to a great start. He has also worked in Commercial Real Estate, again focusing on financial, retail, and corporate site selection and leasing.

Having been the VP of Construction for a regional bank, his primary industry served is the banking industry. However, he does enjoy working with small businesses and national retailers with their construction and site selection activities.

Chris has been married to his “amazing wife” Keri Lyn for 3 1/2 years. They have an energetic 17 month old son, Christian, who has completely taken over their home and hearts. They recently rescued a dog, Bo, from the Howard County Animal Shelter. The DeLucas spend most of their free time with family, going to local events and dinners. Chris does enjoy attending numerous sporting events, as well as playing squash, tennis, and biking.

Although his son is now the funniest guy he knows, he is a fan of stand-up comedy and attends shows at the DC Improv “more than I should.”

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Our first spotlight was a big hit so we're excited to bring you our second installment. Ladies and Gentleman... may I present Mr. Alan Jefferson.


Alan Jefferson

Alan works with entrepreneurs by helping them achieve their goals in business. He presents innovative financing solutions coupled with a complete banking relationship. He prides himself in being a “trusted advisor”, by always putting his clients first. A traditional “small business banker”, while comfortable with larger transactions, in the $1.5mm range, he is at his best in lower ranges. He has the advantage of being able to provide financing solutions for very small needs as well – as low as $10,000, which sets him apart from many bankers.


Alan started his banking career in 1974 -- becoming a lender in 1984. His proudest moment(s) over the years have been anytime he was compared to his father. His Dad was a banker for 37 years and did wonderful things in the community.

In his personal life, Alan is very proud of his family. His wife Mary, put her career as a Horticulturist on hold 20 years ago to stay at home and raise their children. A job Alan very much admires. “I often tell people that I have 2 kids, but Mary has 3. If you know me, you’ll understand.”

Alan’s daughter Amanda, is a Jr at UNC-Wilmington where she is a top student in Marine Biology. She is active with the campus Catholic Ministry and is a first string violinist for the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra. She volunteered at the National Aquarium for 2 years, and was a camp counselor for Camp Possibilities (diabetes) and worked at the Conservancy.


Son David is a Freshman at Stony Brook University on Long Island, NY. He is considering History and Political Science. David is a computer whiz who started his own company at age 16. An avid cyclist, he typically would ride up to 150 miles a week. David was in scouting from age 6 to 18, and at 16 he went to Philmont Reservation for 2 weeks of high adventure backpacking.

In Alan’s extra time, he enjoys music (loves to go to shows – classic rock), the beach and LOVES the Terps. He is very active with the Terrapin Club and has season tix for Men’s and Women’s hoops, football, Men’s LAX. He served 2 terms on the board in College Park.


Anyone who knows Alan understands he has a bit of a warped sense of humor. “I see funny things that others might not. I guess, for the most part, Alan Jefferson likes to laugh at… Alan Jefferson.”

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A Foundation Moment Wake Up.

Often at our 7:30 breakfast meetings, it takes a while to wake up. We have announcements, welcome guests and listen to a vocational moment. At this point, most of us are still on our first cup of coffee and won't be wide awake until our morning presenter delivers another fantastic program. But then there are those special moments some mornings that wake you up more than any amount of coffee ever could. On this particular morning, one of our members stood up and delivered a well done, to the point foundation moment that really opened eyes and hearts and reminded us why we do what we do. Enjoy.

"This week’s Rotary Foundation Thought is about PolioPlus.

In 1985, Rotarians made a promise to the children of the world to eradicate polio. Since PolioPlus began, the number of polio cases worldwide has declined by 99 percent, thanks largely to the efforts of Rotarians around the world. Rotarians have committed nearly US$650 million toward global polio eradication efforts. Already, five million children are walking who would have been paralyzed, and more than 1.5 million lives have been saved. None of this would be possible if it weren’t for Rotary’s leadership and vision.

What a wonderful legacy we are leaving to the children of the world. Goodbye Polio. Thank you, Rotary."

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The Rotary Club of Columbia/Patuxent has selected Abby Glassberg as the recipient of its inaugural Community Service Above Self Award. Each year, the award will recognize a non-Rotarian who gives back to the community in a way that promotes the Club’s spirit of having fun through community service.


Abby, who works with a wide array of community organizations including Leadership Howard County, the ARC, Columbia Triathlon Association, Special Olympics, and Ronald McDonald House, was among 19 individuals nominated to be the first recipient of this award. Her work with these organizations made her a clear choice - As one of her two nominators said, “If Abby is involved, it is always engaging, meaningful, and FUN!”


“Our Club introduced this award to help promote the benefits of serving our community, doing it in a fun way and leading others to join in improving the lives of those in need.” Club President Dave Lerer said. “Service Above Self is the core mission of the Rotary Club of Columbia/Patuxent and we congratulate Abby on being the first recipient of this award and on leading a life of service to her community."


In honor of Abby's service to the community, a donation of $5,000 will be made by the Club on her behalf to Grassroots, a local non-profit that provides emergency and transitional shelter to individuals and families in need of a place to sleep, advice or other help and was selected by Abby to receive this gift.


Joan Athen, Chairman of the Charitable Trust, said, “We are proud to present this award to such a true example of our ideals and Abby has selected a non-profit that touches many lives in Howard County to receive the Club’s donation.”


Abby will be recognized on November 1st at the Club's Annual Fundraiser, a Night on the Riverboat, which will be held at the Doubletree Hotel in Columbia. Anyone wishing to attend this event and join in honoring Abby may do so by registering at


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We're excited about our new blog series: Member Spotlight

Yes, we're all great Rotarians but we'd like you to know a little bit more about us as professionals and members of the community. We hope you enjoy our first spotlight. Ladies and Gentleman... may I present Ms. Sherri Brogan.

Sherri Brogan

Sherri sells commercial office furniture for Columbia Commercial Interiors. She also does space planning and offers design assistance. She works with all commercial elements: Office, Healthcare, Hospitality, Restaurants and Home office – any place that could use a chair, desk or file cabinet!


Her proudest proudest career moment? 

“Since we are such a small business, every time I win a contract over a large company is a proud moment for me. I guess the best moment, was landing a 1.2 million dollar project that I specified and worked on for over a year.”

In her personal life, she has been married for 20 1/2 years to a man she met in High School! Jim and Sherri dated their sophomore year, broke up and started dating again after graduation. She has two great rescue dogs, Pudge and Miami and she’s “Aunt Sherri” or “Aunt She She” to 8 great nieces and nephews!

Sherri is very family oriented and spends a lot of time with her family. She’s also a big sports fan and loves to sport the Orioles and Ravens as often as she can. “I also love to bake!”, says Sherri. 

Anyone who knows Sherri, knows she’s full of fun: “I laugh pretty easily! So when I'm with friends and family, I'm generally laughing!”

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