Club Blog

April 3, 2017
April 3, 2017 - ALIA EL-SAWI - Victim Assistance Specialist for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations

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On Monday, March 6, 2016, ALIA EL-SAWI - Victim Assistance Specialist for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations, will speak to the Rotary Club of Sandy Springs.

Her area of responsibility includes all of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. In this capacity, she designs and provides educational trainings and outreach to law enforcement, attorneys, mainstream service providers, and community-based organizations on human trafficking and child exploitation. Additionally, she is involved in conducting victim interviews and completing a portion of the immigration documents and relief available to human trafficking and child exploitation survivors. She works to establish collaborative relationships locally, statewide, and nationally. Prior to her work with Homeland Security, Alia worked for a non-profit, Tapestri, and served as the Anti-Human Trafficking Program Coordinator. In her past position, she provided trainings, outreach, and direct services/case management to foreign-born survivors of human trafficking. Alia also worked on cases that involved immigrant and refugee survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and rape. She also served as the Chair of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Rescue & Restore Board for 3 years and served as the Freedom Network’s Social Service Committee Chair for 3 years. Additionally, she is a recipient of Georgia Trend’s “Top 40 Under 40” Georgians for her career accomplishments. Alia is experienced in public speaking and has made many presentations for the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of Labor, and Department of Health and Human Services. She has also presented in other local, state, national, and international events and conferences. She has traveled overseas to train foreign governments on human trafficking in Chile, Peru, Brazil, Hong Kong, Macau, and Vietnam. Alia speaks Arabic, French, Spanish, and conversational Portuguese; she has Bachelors degrees from Mercer University in International Affairs and another in French. Additionally, Alia has her Masters degree from Boston University in Criminal Justice with a focus in Victimology.

Sally Wyeth Mclaughlin Posted by Sally Wyeth Mclaughlin
April 3, 2017

March 26, 2017
March 20, 2017 - Dr. Mark Newton Educator

Dr. Mark Newton spoke to the Rotary Club of Sandy Springs on education and the workforce. He is a retired educator from Gwinnett Tech and currently teaches digital classes at Georgia State and classroom classes at Piedmont College. Mark is pictured (c) with Phil Farias (L) and Billy Lovett (r) For ore photos, go to http://rotaryclubofsandysprings.zenfolio.com/p1031...


Sally Wyeth Mclaughlin Posted by Sally Wyeth Mclaughlin
March 26, 2017

March 26, 2017
Congratulations, Jim Squire, For Receiving Recommendation for District Governor 2019-20!

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Past District Governors, the current District Governor, and future District Governors of Rotary International's District 6900 met together at the Rotary Club of Sandy Springs on 2-6-2017 to make an important announcement that the District 6900 selection committee has recommended Jim Squire, a member of the Rotary Club of Sandy Springs, to be the District Governor for 2019-20. Congratulations, Jim. Present were PDGs Claudia Mertl, Margie Kersey, Ralph Thurmond, Bob Hagan (Skyping from India), Blake McBurney, DG Raymond Ray, and DG-Elect Alec Smythe, DG-Nominee Court Dowis, Jr. For more photos, go to http://www.zenfolio.com/rotaryclubofsandysprings/p1029290527

Sally Wyeth Mclaughlin Posted by Sally Wyeth Mclaughlin
March 26, 2017

March 26, 2017
March 27, 2017 - District 6900 India Team Members Fran and Phil Farias

Fran and Phil Farias (5th and 6th to the right), both members of the Rotary Club of Sandy Springs, were members of the District 6900 Team India and have returned home. They will give a program on Monday, March 27th at the Rotary Club of Sandy Springs on their experiences.

March 26, 2017
2016 Sandy Springs Rotary Foundation Dan Keels Scholarship and Technical School Scholarship Winners

The Sandy Springs Rotary Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation that provides scholarships to deserving students. Congratulations to the 2016 winners of the Dan Keels Scholarship and the technical school scholarship listed below.

Dan Keels Scholarship Winners for 2016

Georgia Tech - Anjana Anandkumar for $2,000.00

Alabama A&M - Jordan Mason for $2,000.00

FAMU (Tallahassee) - Auriel Durr for $2,000.00

2016 Technical School Scholarship

Gwinnett Technical - Cassandra Lloyd Douglas for $500

Applications are now being accepted for the 2017 year. For more information and a link to the application, go to https://sandyspringsrotary.org/v2/page/293


Sally Wyeth Mclaughlin Posted by Sally Wyeth Mclaughlin
March 26, 2017

March 26, 2017
Rotary Club of Sandy Springs' Rotary Youth Exchange Scholarship Winner Elise Flanagan Visits Club on 3-20-2017

On March 20, 2017, Elise Flanagan, along with her parents, visited the Rotary Club of Sandy Springs for lunch. Elise has been awarded one of the coveted Rotary Youth Exchange Scholarships and will spend her upcoming 2017-2018 senior year in high school studying in Japan. The scholarships have a $24,000 value and cover room, board, tuition, and a monthly stipend Between now and her departure, Elise will take part in extensive language and cultural training. Only about 9,000 high school students participate in this program. Georgia is participating for the first time this upcoming year, and Elise represents one of three from Georgia selected for the program.

Elise is shown above with her parents.

The Rotary Club of Sandy Springs selected Elise as its nominee for this prestigious program and Elise learned that she had been accepted at the end of 2016. Japan was one of her preferred countries in which to study and she received that designation. For more photos, see http://rotaryclubofsandysprings.zenfolio.com/p1046...

Sally Wyeth Mclaughlin Posted by Sally Wyeth Mclaughlin
March 26, 2017

March 19, 2017
March 20, 2017 - Dr. Mark Newton Educator

Dr. Mark Newton will speak to the Rotary Club of Sandy Springs on education. He is a retired educator from Gwinnett Tech and currently teaches digital classes at Georgia State and classroom classes at Piedmont College.

Sally Wyeth Mclaughlin Posted by Sally Wyeth Mclaughlin
March 19, 2017

March 19, 2017
Casino Royale On March 11th

Rotary Club of Sandy Springs members and guest rolled the dice and played cards during the annual Casino Royale Gala on March 11, 2017 at the Dunwoody Country Club. Food tastings, drinks, casino games, a silent auction, music and the raffle were all part of the evening that took a special time to recognize the Public Service employees of the City of Sandy Springs Fire, EMC and Police Departments. Enjoy more photos at http://rotaryclubofsandysprings.zenfolio.com/p4870...





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Sally Wyeth Mclaughlin Posted by Sally Wyeth Mclaughlin
March 19, 2017

March 19, 2017
March 6, 2017 - Jeffrey Stepakoff - Executive Director, Georgia Film Academy

On Monday, March 6, 2017, Jeffrey Stepakoff spoke to the Rotary Club of Sandy Springs about the Georgia Film Industry and the amazing Georgia Film Academy.

Jeffrey Stepakoff was raised in Atlanta, Georgia. He is an accomplished writer-producer and an experienced academic, with a twenty-eight year entertainment industry career that includes sweeping internationally-recognized credits, leadership roles in content creation and production management, and a track record of collaboration, innovation, and success in virtually all forms of commercial media.

After earning a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and then completing his Master of Fine Arts in Playwriting at Carnegie Mellon University, School of Drama, Stepakoff moved to Hollywood and began writing and producing film, television and digital entertainment.

He has “written by” or “story by” credits on thirty-seven television episodes, has written for fifteen different series, and has been a writer and/or writer-producer on eight primetime or first-run cable staffs, credited on more than two hundred episodes of popular television. The TV credits for which he is most known include the Emmy-winning The Wonder Years, Sisters, Wild Card, Hyperion Bay, The Magic School, C16:FBI, Robin's Hoods, Land's End, Flipper, Sons & Daughters, Major Dad, The Yakov Smirnoff Show, Beauty & the Beast, Have Faith, Simon & Simon, and break-out hit Dawson's Creek, where he was Co-Executive Producer. Until July 2015, he worked as the Co-Executive Producer of Chasing Life for ABC Family.

Stepakoff has also created and developed pilots for many of the major studios and networks, including 20th Century, Paramount, MTM, Fox and ABC, and a variety of production companies and producers, such as Alloy Entertainment (Gossip Girl, The Vampire Diaries), Michael Pillar (Star Trek: Voyager, Deep Space Nine), and David Milch (Deadwood, NYPD Blue).

He has also developed and written major motion pictures, including Disney’s Brother Bear, Tarzan, for which Phil Collin’s won an Academy Award, and EM Entertainment’s Lapitch, Croatia’s selection for the 1998 Academy Awards.

Stepakoff has worked for numerous entertainment companies in the research and digital arts space, such as SimEx-Iwerks Entertainment, HarperCollins Interactive, Citicorp Transactional Technology, Digital Pictures, Inscape (HBO/Time Warner), and Universal Studios. He wrote the popular videogames Quarterback Attack with Mike Ditka. Creating a new storytelling model as one of the first “webisodic” shows, and the initial original content project for the digital media division of Paramount Studios, he developed and wrote Perspectives, an interactive drama series for the internet.

There are over a million copies of Stepakoff’s novels in print in twenty languages, as well.

Learn More About the Georgia Film Academy at Georgia Film Academy

Sally Wyeth Mclaughlin Posted by Sally Wyeth Mclaughlin
March 19, 2017

March 19, 2017
Congratulations, Jim Squire, For Receiving Recommendation for District Governor 2019-20!

Image may contain: 8 people, people smiling, people standing

Past District Governors, the current District Governor, and future District Governors of Rotary International's District 6900 met together at the Rotary Club of Sandy Springs on 2-6-2017 to make an important announcement that the District 6900 selection committee has recommended Jim Squire, a member of the Rotary Club of Sandy Springs, to be the District Governor for 2019-20. Congratulations, Jim. Present were PDGs Claudia Mertl, Margie Kersey, Ralph Thurmond, Bob Hagan (Skyping from India), Blake McBurney, DG Raymond Ray, and DG-Elect Alec Smythe, DG-Nominee Court Dowis, Jr. For more photos, go to http://www.zenfolio.com/rotaryclubofsandysprings/p1029290527

Sally Wyeth Mclaughlin Posted by Sally Wyeth Mclaughlin
March 19, 2017