John Simpson Shrimp Feed 2024

The club's 52nd annual John Simpson Shrimp Feed and Club Assembly was July 11, 2024, at the home of Past President Patrick Harrington. 

The club's gathering started at 5 p.m. with refreshments and conversation.  The traditional dinner of shrimp, salad, and toast started at 6.   The club posed for a group photo.  After dinner, club members broke into small groups to talk about issues selected by the Board of Directors that might lead to changes in club policies and operations.

The night before the Shrimp Feed, two groups met to prepare the food.

The shrimp cook crew (Dan Emrie, Rick Gilmore, Rex Johnson, Gary Leonard and Bill White) were hard at work at Evangel University boiling shrimp.

Cindy Howell headed up the "toast and salad" preparation.  That crew consisted of the nearly 20 new Southeast members, who also set up, served and cleaned-up the dinner.

The shrimp feed and "fireside" group discussions began in 1972 and have been a decades-long Springfield Southeast Rotary Club tradition. The event was held on the tennis court of John Simpson's house for many, many years, which is why we honor the late Rotarian with his name on the event.  Harrington has hosted it for the past few years.

Photos by Dan Emrie and Lori Johnson Murawski
(click on a photo to enlarge it)

Recognition and Installation Lunch

District 6080 Past Governor John Horton installed David Compere as the new President of Springfield Southeast Rotary Club on June 27.  The swearing-in of Compere was immediately followed by the installation of other Rotarians into their leadership positions for 2024 - '25:

President-Elect: Jennifer Baker
Secretary: Steve Kirks (1st year of two-year term)
Treasurer: Kim Garrison (2nd year of two-year term)
Past President: Michael Wehrenberg
Director, International Service: Andrea Bishop
Director, Community Service: Cheryl Briggs
Director, Vocational Service: Nate Dunville
Director, New Generations: Elizabeth Brooks
Director, Club Service: Travis Shaw

After the installation, the traditional Springfield Southeast "Passing of the President's Gavel" (from most senior Past President in attendance down through the years to Compere).  This was the first year that Founding President Sam Hamra was not in attendance.

Outgoing President Michael Wehrenberg spoke about the club's many accomplishments during his tenure, complimenting many club Rotarians who made exceptional contributions. President Michael also gave the leadership and committee chairs
parting gifts in appreciation of their service.

New President David Compere, who officially assumes office on July 1, spoke about the new year and the new challenges that it will bring.  In short, Springfield Southeast continues to be in good shape and trending in a positive way since COVID.

President Compere emphasized the need for our club to take on an International Service Project and to find a local service project that would have a similar impact as Rock 'N Ribs or the Special Olympics Basketball Tournament. He also challenged every club member to donate at least $100 each year to the club's endowment fund and to the Rotary Foundation.

Our club owes a big "Thank You!" to President Michael Wehrenberg and his 2023 - '24 leadership team.  They did an amazing job and left a wonderful legacy for the new 2024 - '25 board to build upon.

The Rotary Club of Springfield Southeast chartered on June 28, 1967.  David Compere is the 57th President to preside over the club in its long and honored history.

Photos and text by Dan Emrie (you may click on each photo to enlarge it)

Welcome new member Kevin Rice

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Bill Squires introduced Kevin on June 13.  His cosponsor is Jason Brown.

Kevin is an optometrist and works with his father, Past President Steve Rice, at The Vision Clinic, which has five locations in Springfield, Nixa, Ozark, and Branson.  Kevin has worked there as a primary eye care provider for nearly eight years.

Kevin is a native of Springfield and has lived here all his life except while in college.  He graduated in 2017 from Southern College of Optometry in Memphis.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from University of Arkansas. 

Kevin was a member of Springfield Rotaract Club from 2017 – 2020.  He’s a member of the Missouri Optometric Association, the American Optometric Association, the Greater Ozarks Optometric Society, and the Network. 

Kevin enjoys attending sporting events, golfing, biking, traveling, hanging out at the lake, volunteering, networking, and spending time with friends, family, and his dog.  He and his wife, Sandy, have two children and live in southeast Springfield.

Community Grants, Spring 2024

The Community Grants Committee, headed by Andrea Bishop, selected these organizations for its second round of community grants for the 2023 - '24 program year:

  • Isabel's House: Amazon Fire tablets for kids, $1,250
  • Girls on the Run: 6 girls' memberships, $1,250
  • Lutheran Family and Children's Services: children's mental health therapy supplies, including games, books, and art supplies, $1,250
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters: funding for its Match program activities (examples from past activities include entrance to Wonders of Wildlife, arts programs/exhibits, and culinary classes), $1,250

The funds for these grants come from club members' dues.  For several years, the club's annual budgets have included $10,000 for community grants.  Starting with the 2024 - '25 program year, these funds will be supplemented by earnings from the Springfield Southeast Rotary Club Endowment, which now has about $550,000 from fundraisers and donations since the fund was established eight years ago.
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Welcome new member Bay Mourer

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Matt Madura introduced Bay on May 30.  His cosponsor is Michael Wehrenberg.

Bay has been the business development officer for Nabholz Construction’s office in southwest Springfield since 2021.   That company, which is based in Conway, Ark., has offices in seven states and does commercial construction, crane and equipment rental, environmental hazard services, machinery relocation, custom fabrication and millwork, railroad equipment installation and maintenance, and energy conservation and renewable energy projects.

Bay is a native of Carrier, Okla.  He has lived in the Springfield area for 15 years and is a graduate of Leadership Springfield.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics and Accounting  at Oklahoma State University.

Bay volunteers with James River Church, Foundation for SPS, and New Covenant Academy.  He is or has been a member of chambers of commerce in Springfield, Branson and Republic, the Taney County Partnership, Missouri Association of Manufacturers, Missouri Association of Counties, Missouri Association of School Administrators, and Missouri Sheriff’s Association.

Bay and his wife, Lynzey, live in Nixa.  He enjoys surfing, wakeboarding, golfing, and being outdoors with his sons.

Welcome new member Clay Goddard

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Brent Baldwin introduced Clay on May 16.  His cosponsor is Bob Hammerschmidt.

Clay has been President of the Southwest Region for Brightli Behavioral Health, the parent company of Burrell Behavioral Health and Preferred Family Healthcare, since 2022.  The company helps people with issues including behavioral health, substance abuse, and developmental disabilities.  He is a passionate advocate for healthier communities.  Prior to Brightli, he was Director of Health for the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, where he worked for 25 years.

Clay has been a resident of Springfield for 53 years.  He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Master’s degree in Public Administration at Southwest Missouri State University (now MSU).  He’s a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Clay has been a board member of numerous organizations at the local and state level.  Some of the local organizations include Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, Community Partnership of the Ozarks, and Leadership Springfield.

Clay is a proud husband, parent of three, grandparent, music lover and foodie.  He and his wife, Cindi, live in south Springfield.