Greeneville provided a unique gathering place for Rotarians from East Tennessee, Southwest Virginia and Western North Carolina when numerous clubs convened jointly in Bernard’s Tobacco Warehouse #2 on South Main Street in 1926.
The warehouse, which no longer exists, was outfitted and decorated for the occasion, becoming on that September evening a makeshift dining hall. A photograph of the unusual gathering has kept the memory of it alive in the annals of Rotary in Tennessee.
The current president of the Greeneville Noon Rotary during 2020 has deep roots in the town that brought all those scattered Rotarians together in 1926. Daniel Hawk, whose family is strongly associated with leadership in Greeneville, the region and the state, said that being chosen to serve the club makes him “humbled that they chose me, and proud that Rotary does so much good in the world.”
Hawk’s father, Buddy Hawk, has made his mark in local life and history as a Greeneville alderman. Daniel’s brother, David Hawk, is well-known as a state representative and rising political figure in Tennessee.
Professionally, Daniel Hawk works in the banking industry as a senior vice president of Consumer Credit Union.
He describes Rotary leadership as challenging, sometimes time-consuming and tiring, but declares his belief in the service organization remains as strong as ever. He expresses a particular pride in Rotary for its leadership in the international battle against polio, a disease that was largely defeated in the developed world years ago, but lingered in less developed areas around the world.
Why, in Hawk’s opinion, should a Greene Countian consider Rotary as his or her avenue for civic involvement? Hawk has made Rotary his own choice for about a dozen years now.
Rotary is a good involvement for a civic-minded person to embrace, he said, simply because Rotary “does a lot of good in the community.” Added to that is the personal benefit of the fellowship Rotary offers. That fellowship aspect is one Hawk emphasizes in advocating for Rotary.
Rotary welcomes men and women, and has had both in the presidential post locally. Female presidents have included Maria Grimm, Wendy Peay, Heather Patchett, Anita Ricker, Carole LaMarca, Sue Ritter, Wendy Warner, Pam Benko, Pauline Adams, Glenda Gray, Luanne Kilday and Gladys Duran.
The first local Rotary president was George W. Doughty, whose term began in 1920.
When Hawk’s term ends next year, Paul Mauney, publisher of The Greeneville Sun, will step into the position.
Current Noon Rotarians are Amy Armstrong, Brant Fitzpatrick, Brian Broyles, Brian Cutshall, Brandon Farmer, Daniel Hawk, Danny Gaby, Dave Effler, Donna Carter-Odum, George Scott, Lucia Fillers, John Botts, John Jones, Kenneth Clark Hood, Carole LaMarca, Larry Jenkins, Margo Ward, Michael Reneau, Mike Burns, Paul Mauney, Pauline Adams, Phil Bachman, Roy Mecke, Sharon Susong, Scott Hummel, Steve Harbison, Sue Ritter, T. Brooke Sadler, Tommy Love, Tony LaMarca, Vicki Culbertson, Wendy Peay, and William (Bill) Dabbs.