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Ellis Gourdin

Apr 142019

The East Cooper Breakfast Rotary Club will meet Tuesday, April 16th, 2019 at 7:30 a.m. in The Cooper River Room at the Mount Pleasant Waterfront Park. We are pleased to have Karen Quadrio, Director of Development and Marketing at Charleston Promise Neighborhood, as our speaker. Breakfast catered by Dish and Design Catering and Events.

Karen Quadrio is New Jersey born and raised…she still loves the Garden State, but now calls Charleston her hometown.

Before joining Charleston Promise Neighborhood, Karen had had a very successful career in senior management in consumer products, specifically, toys. She grew businesses from the ground up, thinking strategically and making the big ask, eventually managing $235 million in revenue for one of the largest toy manufacturers in the U.S. Forming her own consulting business in 2007, she worked with international consumer products companies to bring their goods to the U.S. However, Karen has just very recently found her true passion.

In January of 2018, she followed her desire to serve those with far less opportunity in the world of education. In the short time since she joined CPN, she has already had significant impact. Now, as Director of Development and Marketing, Karen is lending her skills to the work of providing to the children of The Neck equitable access to education and opportunities for life success.

Karen and her husband Fred have been together for 40 years and they still make each other laugh. But their cat, Jack, also known as “the Mayor,” entertains them most. Karen’s superpower is that she can keep a secret, but she’s now making sure the great work of Charleston Promise Neighborhood is a secret no more.

Apr 102019

More details to follow!

If you have any upcoming community events or service opportunities you would like to share with the club, email

April 23rd: East Cooper Rotaract Meeting 5-6pm Grace and Grit

April 23rd: No Meeting This Week.. Social Date and Time TBD

April 26th: District Spring Training, 9-1pm, Orangeburg-Calhoun Tech College

April 26th: Ted Chestnutt Year Ahead Planning Meeting 8-10am

May 4th: Special Olympics Bocce Bash, MUSC Health Stadium DI 9:30am

June 1st: Charleston Duck Race @5pm

Apr 102019

Need A Meeting Makeup?

Visit one of our wonderful Rotary chapters around town, 

participate in a Rotary event

or click here for an e-makeup:



[Schedule of Local Rotary Chapters (updated October 2018)]


  • North Charleston Rotary- 12:30pm Hilton Garden Inn Express 5265 International Blvd North Chs


  • Rotary Club of Charleston- 12:30pm Hall’s Signature Events 5 Faber Place Downtown Charleston


  • Daniel Island Rotary Club- 7:30 am Daniel Island Club 600 Island Park Drive DI
  • Rotary Club of Mount Pleasant– 12:30 pm Harbor Breeze Restaurant at 176 Patriots Point Road MtP


  • Rotary Club of N. Charleston Breakfast– 7:15am Embassy Suites Intl Blvd by Charleston Airport
  • Rotary Club of St. Andrews- Charleston– 12:30pm Bessingers Barbecue on Savannah Highway


  • Rotary Club of Charleston- Breakfast– 7:30am Harbour Club 35 Prioleau Street Downtown Charleston


Apr 102019

The Duck Race will be June 1st. Beneficiaries are Charleston Area Charities and Rotary Club Service Projects. Follow the link below, then click Participating Clubs at the top, then scroll to find East Cooper Breakfast Rotary Club, there will be a link at the bottom to Adopt a Duck! Duck adoptions are $10 and make sure they choose East Cooper as the club and that they fill in your name as the Rotarian to get credit for the adoption.

If you have any questions please contact Caitlin Waddington or Warren Pruit

Apr 062019

The East Cooper Breakfast Rotary Club will meet Tuesday, April 9th, 2019 at 7:30 a.m. in The Cooper River Room at the Mount Pleasant Waterfront Park. We are pleased to have Luc Alexis Chasleries, President of the Alliance Francaise de Charleston, as our speaker. Breakfast catered by Dish and Design Catering and Events.

Apr 032019

What do you do with your Rotary Magazine’s after you read them..or don’t read them? If you said recycle them, that’s great! We have an even better idea than tossing them in the recycling bin! Bring your old magazines to a weekly meeting and we will black out your address and attach labels with info on the club meeting time and location as well as club contact info. We then ask that you take the newly marked magazine with you and distribute it anywhere that there is a waiting room! Yep, just plop it down on that stack of magazines that you go through when you’re waiting for the dentist, chiropractor, eye doctor… anywhere! If you don’t see any type of doctor or go to any office where there is a waiting room that’s okay, you can leave your magazine at the sign in table and another member will take it for you! This is a great way to get more use out of the Rotary Magazine as well as snag potential new members! Thanks in advance for your cooperation!

Mar 262019

Thanks to everyone who came out Saturday to support Water Missions International in providing safe drinking water!

(left to right) East Cooper Breakfast Rotary Members: Sean O’Connor, Charles Muldrow, Michelle Whitbeck, Joe Shuster, Stephanie Bates Game, and Ellis Gourdin; East Cooper Rotaract Member Rachel Whitbeck; Youth Exchange Student Marie Chiavarino-Bret; East Cooper Rotaract Member Corrie Simmons
East Cooper Rotaract Members Rachel Whitbeck (left) and Corrie Simmons (right)
Mar 152019

The East Cooper Breakfast Rotary Club will meet Tuesday, March 19th, 2019 at 7:30 a.m. in The Cooper River Room at the Mount Pleasant Waterfront Park. We are pleased to have Anna Dassing, principal of Lucy Beckham High School, as our speaker. Breakfast catered by Dish and Design Catering and Events.

Anna Dassing is a life-long leader and educator now leading the design, programing, and construction of the new Lucy Garrett Beckham High School in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.

A teacher at heart, Anna started her career as a middle school teacher in Rock Hill, SC after graduating from Winthrop University with a degree in Biology. She loved working with students and making science come alive for them! She excelled as a master teacher and quickly rose into leadership positions earning her Master’s degree in Administration and Supervision and National Board Certification in Early Adolescence Science. She joined the SC State Department of Education in early 2000’s and worked as a teacher coach and learning specialist for struggling schools in Charleston County. She moved to the Charleston Co. School District as an instructional leader and moved into school administration and leadership and has served as a instructional coach, assistant principal, principal and executive director in a number of schools. Her passion for continuous school improvement and making learning authentic and engaging for students is her passion and mission. Her vision for Beckham High School is for it to be a premier educational institution that puts students at the center and supports teachers to reach and teach in a personalized and experiential setting. With Beckham being nestled in the heart of Mount Pleasant, she understands deeply the importance of community and business partnerships and providing students with experiences that will not just prepare them for college and careers but to be productive citizens that will lead for generations to come.

Anna and her husband, Robert, live in Park West and have a son, Troy, who is a freshman at the University of South Carolina.

Mar 082019

The East Cooper Breakfast Rotary Club will meet Tuesday, March 12th, 2019 at 7:30 a.m. in The Cooper River Room at the Mount Pleasant Waterfront Park. We are pleased to have Rear Admiral Daniel Fillion, as our speaker. Breakfast catered by Dish and Design Catering and Events.

Rear Adm. Daniel Fillion is a native of Goose Creek, South Carolina and the proud son of a Navy Chief Petty Officer.  He is a 1984 graduate  of College of Charleston with a Bachelor of Science in Business.  He also earned a Master of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University and is a graduate of Air Command, Staff College, Joint Forces Staff College, and the Navy Corporate Business Course.

At sea, Fillion served aboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68) as navigator and USS Wasp (LHD 1) as executive officer and commanding officer.  His aviation assignments in the SH-3 and SH-60B/R involved tours with Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 1, Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadrons Light (HSL) 40, 44 and 46, and Helicopter Combat Support Squadron (HC) 2.  He served as commanding officer of HSL 51 and of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 41.  Additionally, he was commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 3.

His staff assignments include duty in the Politico-Military Affairs Directorate of the Joint Staff (J5); director of the President’s Emergency Operations Center in the White House; as a Research Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) budget analyst, Air Warfare Division within the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations; a senior fellow on the Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group (SSG XXIX); executive assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Financial Management and Comptroller); director of Strategy, Policy, and Plans (J5), U.S. Southern Command; and most recently as director of Global Operations (J3), U.S. Strategic Command.

Fillion served on teams awarded the Presidential Unit Citation, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Navy Unit Commendation, and the Navy “E” Ribbon.  His awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (three awards) and various campaign and unit awards.

In June of 2018, Fillion assumed the duties as director, Manpower Account Transition Office / Bureau of Naval Personnel Comptroller (OPNAV N10/BUPERS-7).

Mar 042019

Courageous Kidz Founder/Director, Deborah “Flash” Stephenson was born and raised in East Aurora, New York. Debby moved to Charleston in 1967 and was married for over 40 years to Charles William Stephenson (Charlie). Sadly, Charlie passed away in 2018. Debby has two beautiful daughters, Stephanie and Meg, and three stepchildren, Karin, Victoria and Billy. Debby is Gramma to her “perfect” grandchildren, Blake, Katie and Ben, and she is “FLASH” to her extended families who are dealing with the devastating effects of childhood cancer.

Debby was a Realtor for 13 years; earning her Graduate Realtors designation in 1976 along with her broker’s license. She was a Million Dollar producer for eight years and at one time had her own agency with five agents. As State Chairman of the “Make America Better” Committee for the South Carolina Association of Realtors, Debby originated Camp Happy Days as the State project in October of 1982. The first camp was held the following year in 1983. From 1982 to 1984, the camp project won national recognition by the National Association of Realtors.

2005 brought about some changes to the leadership of Happy Days and Special Times. Debby’s husband Charlie was diagnosed with cancer and both she and Charlie had to stay in Boston for over three months while Charlie received life-saving Proton Radiation treatments. Upon their return to Charleston, Debby found that the Board of Happy Days and Special Times had decided to relieve her of her duties. After leaving Happy Days, Debby continued to receive phone calls and emails from families desperate for help. Believing the old adage, “the person who won’t be beat, can’t be beat,” Debby created Courageous Kidz, Inc., A Safe Haven for Kids with Cancer and their Families….giving the Magic of Hope!

Debby “Flash” is unlike anyone you’ll ever meet.  Her unorthodox approach to helping families in crisis and her uncanny ability to problem solve by thinking outside of the box endears her to all of the Courageous Kidz families.  Debby’s infectious enthusiasm mixed with uncanny business savvy keeps the Courageous Kidz Board of Directors motivated to grow and expand their current programs.  It’s this powerful blend of her heart and soul that has enabled Courageous Kidz to thrive even in economic adversity.

Courageous Kidz, Inc. is a non-medical organization that focuses on families devastated by childhood cancer. “The child has the disease, the family has the cancer.” The challenges that present themselves to these families is never-ending with long-term side effects, financial havoc, insurance conflicts, marriage conflicts; the list is endless. The goal of Courageous Kidz, Inc. is to “pick up the pieces”, when life goes awry, restore normality and give the Magic of Hope! Courageous Kidz is a Safe Haven for Kids with Cancer.  We are exceptionally proud that 95.3% of all donations we raise go directly to funding our programs.  Since its inception, and with Debby’s guidance, Courageous Kidz has grown dramatically and serves over 150 children. 

Feb 202019

The East Cooper Breakfast Rotary Club will host our February Happy Hour Social at Ghost Monkey Brewery on Wednesday the 27th from 5-7pm. Ghost Monkey Brewery is located off Long Point at 522 Wando Ln, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464. My Big Fat Greek Trailer food truck will be at the brewery starting at 5; below is a menu. Trivia starts at 6:30!

No photo description available.
Feb 202019

In support of the District 7770 Rotary Service Day concept the East Cooper Rotary Breakfast Club will have our yearly Service Day on Monday, March 2nd at St. James Santee elementary school (located between Awendaw and McClellanville). The school principal, LaCarma McMillan, is excited to have us for a day and is looking forward to see how many projects we can get done for the day.

We will have a number of projects going on (painting accent walls in the library, constructing garden boxes for the kids, painting games like hop scotch on sidewalks, landscaping around outdoor class rooms, building / replacing bird boxes on school grounds, resurfacing picnic tables, other projects pending) which will require the full participation of the club.  Please bring your spouse or family member(s) so they all can share in the spirit of Rotary Service Day.   This is our main service project of the year so the expectation is that we have full club participation.  A light lunch will be provided.

Afterwards, we will have an appreciation cookout hosted by the family of Tripp Hoover at 1464 Lieben Road in Mount Pleasant.  This should be on the way home for most people.

Signup sheets will be at the Rotary meeting February 19th and after that you will need to email Mike Bloser.

Feb 122019

The East Cooper Breakfast Rotary Club will meet Tuesday, February 19th, 2019 at 7:30 a.m. in The Cooper River Room at the Mount Pleasant Waterfront Park. We are pleased to have Dr. Postlewait, CCSD Superintendent, as our speaker. Breakfast catered by Dish and Design Catering and Events.

Gerrita Postlewait became Charleston County’s Superintendent of Schools on July 9, 2015. She brings with her a wealth of experiences as an education practitioner and leader at the district, state, and national levels, and as an executive in the private sector.

She served as Chair of the State Board of Education, as a member of the national governing board of the American Association of School Administrators, and as a consultant for several districts, states, and national organizations. As Chief K-12 Officer for a foundation, she helped establish the national Innovation Lab Network and co-founded Transform SC, a state-wide business-education partnership that fosters systemic educational change.

In districts where she has previously served as superintendent, student achievement increased dramatically during her tenure.

Dr. Postlewait’s goal is to work with educators, students, parents, and community partners to dramatically increase the percentage of students who are ready to step successfully and productively in careers, college, and life.

Feb 102019

The East Cooper Breakfast Rotary Club will meet Tuesday, February 12th, 2019 at 7:30 a.m. in The Cooper River Room at the Mount Pleasant Waterfront Park. We are pleased to have Matt Sloan, President, DI Development Co. on Cainhoy Plantation, as our speaker. Breakfast catered by Dish and Design Catering and Events.

In 1992, Matt Sloan was part of the team that created the visionary master plan for Daniel Island in Charleston, SC. Formerly a project manager representing the Guggenheim family who previously owned the island, he went on to maintain overall responsibility for development, marketing and sales activities within the community as it developed. In addition to Daniel Island, he is responsible for management and operations of the newly developing community of Carnes Crossroads in Summerville, SC and the 9,000 acre Cainhoy development, the last developable major greenfield site within the city of Charleston. A member of the Urban Land Institute, he earned a Master’s degree at Columbia University School of Architecture and a B.S. in science and engineering at State University of New York at Buffalo. Extremely active in community service, Sloan’s past and current non-profit board service includes the YMCA of Greater Charleston, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, Berkeley County Chamber of Commerce, Lowcountry Housing Trust, Porter Gaud School, Junior Achievement, Daniel Island Community Fund, Charleston Regional Development Alliance, Roper Saint Francis Foundation and Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative.

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