Club Information
Come visit the Rotary Club of Fernandina Beach, doing good things since 1926!
Fernandina Beach
Service Above Self
We meet Wednesdays at 12:00 PM
Story and Song Bookstore Bistro
(self-serve lunch begins 11:30)
1430 Park Avenue - Second Floor
Fernandina Beach, FL  32034
United States
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Executives & Directors
Community Service
immediate past president
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Coach Benson
August 1
Rick Campana
August 1
John McClane
August 6
Dorothy Lord
August 15
Foy Maloy
August 28
Spouse Birthdays
Dick Connelly
August 7
Darrell Holcomb
August 12
Aaron Bean
August 22
C. Buck
Dolly Buck
August 24
Join Date
John McClane
August 1, 1981
38 years
Mary Ruark
August 2, 2017
2 years
Dorothy Lord
August 4, 2010
9 years
Rick Campana
August 8, 2018
1 year
Rick Keffer
August 8, 2007
12 years
Timothy Flanagan
August 15, 2018
1 year
Laureen Pagel
August 19, 2009
10 years
Russell Hampton
ClubRunner Mobile
This Weeks Speakers
W. Henry “Hank” Hurst, Jr., CPA
Partner, President, & Chief Executive Officer
Indeed, Hank comes from a family of accountants. He grew up sitting in his father’s lap, playing with the adding machine on the desk at his dad’s CPA firm.
Though he admits a brief flirtation with the idea of becoming a prison guard after seeing Paul Newman’s iconic 1967 film Cool Hand Luke, his father’s death when he was 19 years old ultimately inspired him to return to the family business. Soon after, he enrolled at the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business, earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration and accounting. Upon graduation, he worked for an Atlanta-based regional CPA firm, but it didn’t take long to realize his dream of reviving his father’s firm.
“Three years out of college was way too early to do what I did,” Hank recalls. Nevertheless, “On November 24th  of 1996, I struck out on my own.”
The timing of the switch proved serendipitous. Looking through his father’s business correspondences, Hank found a press release announcing his dad’s 1966 opening of Hurst & Hurst CPAs – 30 years to the day before Hank opened his own firm, The Hurst Company, in Amelia Island, Florida. Though things were tough in the early days as he worked to build the business, his dad’s motto, “A Hurst never quits,” kept him focused, determined, and ultimately highly successful.

Hank’s soft side sees him regularly extending volunteer services both personally and via his firm to non-profits working to right a range of wrongs, including Micah’s Place, a domestic violence center; the Barnabas Center, Inc.; the Boys & Girls Clubs of Nassau County Foundation, Inc.; and multiple organizations dedicated to assisting families of children with autism.


Hank is a proud father of Liza and Trip.

Jaret P. Rice, CPA
Partner, Vice President, & Chief Financial Officer

Jaret didn’t always know he’d enter the accounting and finance industry, but looking back, the signs were there all along.


A Nassau County native, Jaret realized his calling and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Jacksonville University’s Davis College of Business. He graduated magna cum laude and earned the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ Educational Foundation Scholarship for scholastic excellence. Upon graduation, he worked as a senior accountant for several Northeast Florida CPA firms, providing comprehensive tax, audit, and trust and estate services for individual and industry clients in the not-for-profit, construction, real estate, and professional services sectors throughout the United States and abroad. In 2003, he joined The Hurst Company, rising quickly to partner in 2007.


Today, Jaret leads the firm’s tax preparation and compliance services department and oversees quality controls. In some ways, he likens his work to that of a physician’s. “When clients come in with tax or accounting concerns, they’re typically focused on one issue and experiencing it something like a pain in the body,” he says. “Rather than treating that singular symptom, however, we look at the whole to figure out what’s wrong, because there may be something going on in the business or finances that they don’t even know they need to address. What I enjoy most about my work is helping people through that process.”


Jaret’s unmatched dedication to his clients and his field has earned him multiple prestigious honors, including the Jacksonville Business Journal’s 2015 “Money Masters” Award and its 2016 “40 Under 40” Award, recognizing rising stars of business who are under 40 years old.

Outside the office, Jaret serves on the Nassau County Economic Development Board’s Workforce Development and Business Development Advisory Council, working with local employers and the public school system to ensure a qualified workforce and plentiful career opportunities. He also serves on the Amelia Island Professional Advisory Council, an initiative of the Community Foundation for Northeast Florida designed to encourage philanthropy.  He is also a member of the Small Business Resource Network of Jacksonville, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants. 


Jaret is a devoted husband and father of two as well as a loyal Jacksonville Jaguars fan.

Last Weeks Speaker

Professor Eric Johnson, UNF


"Threats to Sea Life from Invasive Species"


The Lionfish - "A beautiful fish causing all kinds of havoc!"
Florida Fisheries is a big business, about 29.7 Billion Dollars worth.  And that can be threatened by one little fish; the Lionfish.  The Lionfish are veracious predators! They eat over 100 different species and can consume prey half their size. 
The research at UNF is helping to better understand the biology and impact of the Lionfish such as its population structure (age & growth), reproduction (gonadosomatic index & history), diet (through DNA barcoding) and its toxicology (quantity of mercury). 
Initially favoring reefs, Lionfish are invading many other habitats such as Hardbottom's, Mangroves, Sea Grass and Coral Reefs playing havoc with their normal environment and changing the landscape of them.
On the reproductive level, Lionfish have enormous potential.  Lionfish reach their maturity before their first birthday.  In tropical waters, Lionfish can produce broods of 15,000 to 20,000 eggs every 4 days!
There are several colored types of Lionfish:
Red Lionfish, Blue Lionfish, Black Lionfish, Zebra Lionfish, etc. and of course fresh water & sea water species. So they are able to adapt rather quickly to their habitat and blend in.
Salt Water Lionfish
Fresh Water Lionfish
Yup...there is even a Lionfish Mermaid!
Truth is, Lionfish are killing our Atlantic Reefs.  They do not normally swim in schools.  They go it alone most of the time so it's labor intensive to find them and remove them.  They are native only to Indo-Pacific Seas and have worked their way around the world.  Their diet is carnivores, eating many of the other species of fish slowly eliminating their population.  Their life span is up to 15 years. The average size is 11.8 to 15 inches weighing up to 2.6 pounds.
The venom of the Lionfish is delivered via an array of up to 18 needle-like fins, is purely defensive.  It relies on camouflage and lightning fast reflexes to capture its prey which is mainly fish and shrimp. A sting from a lionfish is extremely painful to humans and can cause nausea and breathing difficulties, but rarely fatal!
Lionfish can spread their fins and herd small fishes into a confined space so its easier to eat them playing havoc with other species population.
Now you can do your part to fight the invasive lionfish—by ordering a delectable dish from a dinner menu. Divers and chefs are promoting a gastronomical way to control the venomous lionfish population in Florida's coastal waters by introducing the invasive species to the American palate.  Well, not for me anyways wink
President Ron Heymann with Professor Eric Johnson, UNF
Last Weeks Meeting Highlights

President Ron Heymann called the meeting to order.  


Dr. Page lead the club singing a patriotic song.

Wally Messer on bass and Bonnie Ridley on piano


Recited our "Pledge of Allegiance"


Followed with an excellent invocation by Rotarian Joe Hastey


Secretary, John McAfee Report:

As a reminder, we still have more Rotary Shirts for sale for those of you who still haven't got one yet.  See John McAfee.

In attendance were 31 Club Members.  34 total attended the meeting.


Honorary Rotarian Members in attendance - Larry Myers


Visiting Rotarians:  Bob Ward from Ada, Ohio  and Joe Gullo from Gatlinburg, TN


Visiting Guests: Guest of Club President Ron Heymann was Jason Foot


50/50 Jack Pot:  @$114  - Rotarian Kris Meyer  had the drawn ticket and drew the 5 of diamonds ! 45 cards remaining.


Boy Scouts: $26

Shelter Box: $37




Sergeant at Arms, Larry Melnick:

No Report


President-Elect, Antoinette Richter:       

No report


John Howard, Community Services Report:

Spoken by President Ron Heymann:

WE SET AN ALL TIME RECORD!   OneBlood asked us to try to source 10 units of bloodWe delivered 18


One unit of whole blood is broken down into three separate and useful secondary products:  red blood cells, platelets, and plasma.  John's efforts helped save 54 lives yesterday.  Putting that in perspective - there were 34 people in the room with us yesterday.  Squeeze in 20 more , and you can get a mental picture of how many critically ill people were impacted by one selfless act.


John Boylan, Director of Youth Services Report:

Our Exchange Student, Simon, is with his new local foster family now....more info forthcoming!

Upcoming home games of Simon at FBHS (Exchange Student)…

Tuesday, Jan 29th at home against Hilliard 7pm

Friday, Feb 1st at home against Yulee 7pm

Monday, Feb 4th at home against University Christian 7pm


Kris Meyer, Public Relations Report:

1    Majority of publicity for Scholarship Luncheon is complete.

2    CALL TO ACTION:  Each member to contact two (non-restaurant) businesses and endorse the fund drive on social media.  Contact Kris or Bradley Bean if you need help with social media.

3    Scholarship applications available at local public high schools.  Pamela Brenner to provide deadlines, which will then be submitted to NL and other media and social media.


Barbara Gingher, Fundraising Report:

Everyone should be involved with the Luncheon whether or not you're on the committee or not!

Scholarship committee meeting before our regular meeting

Our next meeting will be Wednesday January 30th at 10:45am at the Story & Song Book Store just before our regular meeting to continue our focus on the February Scholarship Luncheon Event.  We are in full swing to the Luncheon!!!


Pam Crouser, Club Membership Report:

No Report


Nick Klein, Club Social Events Report:

No Report


President Ron Heymann, Club Report:

Tickets to our 2nd Annual Scholarship Lunch are limited and selling fast.  The Cost is $300 per individual or $500 per couple.  Corporate sponsorship opportunities are available at $1000, $2500 and $5000 levels. See Ray Whitehead for the information Sheet.

Even if you cannot attend the lunch, please consider donating what you are comfortable with.  We are a 501(c) organization so your contribution is tax deductible (consult you tax advisor).  100% of your contribution will be used to send a local kid to college and help them achieve their dreams.

Checks can be made payable to:

The Rotary Club of Fernandina Beach (Please write Scholarship on the Memo Line)

PO Box 16046

Fernandina Beach, FL 32035  

Ladies and gentlemen - we all support our community in different ways through Rotary.  Unquestionably, we are some of the busiest humanitarians around - and we do that work humbly and tirelessly.  A sincere thanks to each and every one of you for the support that you provide to the Club, the community and world around us, and for bearing the torch of  "Service above Self".



Debra Connelly, Club Foundation Report:

Nothing new to report at this time



Dear 2018-19 club presidents, secretaries, treasurers, membership chairs, and Rotary Foundation chairs:

We have launched Rotary’s redesigned Learning Center, and your new club officer courses are now ready.

First steps
If you don’t have a My Rotary account, learn how to create one. If you do have an account, sign in and:

  1. Go to
  2. Take the Getting Started With the Learning Center course to see all the ways you can use the new Learning Center.
  3. Search for the learning plan for your role:
  4. Club Administration Committee Basics 
  5. Club Service Projects Committee Basics
  6. Club Public Image Committee Basics
  7. Club Rotary Foundation Committee Basics
  8. Club Membership Committee Basics
  9. Club Treasurer Basics
  10. Club Secretary Basics
Club President Basics