Decatur Rotary Spoke 'n Wheel graphic

In This Issue
Book Of The Week
Guests & Visitors
Speakers At-a-Glance
Officers of the Club
President's Corner
Speaker's Corner
'Round the Room
The Four-Way Test:
In everything that we think, say or do:  
Is it the TRUTH?
Is it FAIR to all concerned?

Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?



Rotary Networking Resources
District 6900 has created this resource to help Rotarians in our district find employment. To find out more visit the district web site and look for Career Networking.

Decatur Rotary is now on Facebook.  Check out the page for updates and become a fan. View the Decatur Rotary Facebook Page here.

Decatur Rotary is now onl LinkedIn. Check our page for updates and to join our group. View the Decatur Rotary LinkedIn Group here. 
Link to the most recent District 6900 Newsletter:
District Newsletter

Book Of
The Week
There was no book of the week.




Doug Torbush



Visiting Rotarians


Mac Willett

Stone Mountain Club





J. Candler Vinson,

guest of Art Vinson


Boniface Thomas,

guest of Jason Conn


Lisa Jackson,

guest of Brock Peyer


Mary Smith,

guest of Houston Smith


Daron Wang,

former member and

guest of Judy Turner


Bill Stephens,

guest of Curtis Branscome





At A Glance
June 17, 2011:
Dr. James W. Wagner, President, Emory University.
June 24, 2011:
Changing of the Guard


Officers of the Decatur Rotary Club:


C.J. Becker

Jason Conn

Past President:
Bryan Downs
Betty Spiker

John Bennett

Sergeant-at-Arms: Doug Torbush

District Governor:
Casey Farmer


June Birthdays!

June 2
Jon Manns

June 4
Bill Breen

June 10
Greg Adams

June 10
Richard Puckett

June 13
Bobby Atwater

June 13
Ray Willoch

June 14
Melissa Forgey

June 14
Jack Gerlach

June 14
Gue Hudson

June 16
Dan Coursey

June 17
Bob McMahan

June 17
B.J. Sumner

June 21
Bob Bachman

June 22
Candler Broom

June 22
Don Hooten

June 24
David Ewing

June 26
Todd Speed
Addendum for meeting held June 10, 2011

Due to unavoidable circumstances, we are running late with the Spoke N' Wheel Newsletters.  The following are notes from the June 10, 2011 meeting (photos were sent on June 16th).  Notes and photos from the June 17th and June 24th meetings will follow in the next few days.


John Drake

Pattillo Industrial Real Estate

 President's Corner
CJ 06-10-11
President C.J. made announcements
and called the meeting to order.


Board meeting Friday, June 17 at 11:15am.

Special thanks to Kathy Johnson for hosting our Rotary Social at the Emory Conference Center Bowling Alley and kudos to David Ewing and Mark Burnett for multiple strikes and high scores.


Bennett Brown, III


speaker 06-10-11

Bennett Brown, III,  

founder of Low Country BBQ, was our speaker.


Atlanta native Bennett A. Brown III was 11 years old when he first helped his father barbecue a whole pig for a family reunion. While staying up all night, taking turns putting wood on the fire, stoking the pit, and basting the pig with a secret family South Carolina lowcountry-style sauce, Brown began to appreciate the tradition of preparing true southern pulled pork barbecue.


After five years of helping cook pigs in their backyard for his father's various social and business functions, guests started hiring young Bennett to do the same for their parties.  He soon realized there was an opportunity to expand his endeavors from just roasting pigs to providing the full meal when he escorted a debutante to a barbecue hoedown catered by a well-known and respected Atlanta restaurant. After the caterer arrived an hour and a half late and then proceeded to run out of food that was marginally edible, several guests asked Bennett why he hadn't catered the party.


The next day he phoned around to a couple barbecue restaurants to get catering prices and then went to the grocery store to check on the cost of baked beans, slaw, chips, bread, tea and eating utensils. After crunching some numbers, he realized there was a lot more money to be earned by catering the entire meal while at the same time raising the standard for barbecue served in the South.  So Bennett ventured into catering. His catering clientele continued to increase over the next five years while he earned a bachelor's degree in business management from Georgia State University. He formally founded LowCountry Barbecue Inc., a full-service catering and event planning company based in Smyrna, in 1986.


Both of Bennett's parents were from South Carolina and liked to debate whether vinegar-based sauce, from his father's hometown, was best, or tomato-based, more popular in his mother's hometown.  Bennett's father grew up on a 1000-acre farm near Kingstree and faced the struggle of having his father die when he was only 9 years old.  They nearly lost everything, but northern bankers would come hunt on their property and Bennett's father would serve as one of their hosts.  One particular banker, Mr. Percy Johnson, took an interest in the boy and promised him that if he graduated from high school, he would grant him a college scholarship.  Mr. Johnson was true to his promise and provided a scholarship to Presbyterian College for Bennett's father.  After graduation, Mr. Johnson gave him a job at Chemical Bank in New York City.
Bennett's father gained important experience with the Chemical Bank and when he later began with C&S Bank in Atlanta, he rose through the ranks to become CEO.  Given the prominence of his position, he was not thrilled with Bennett III opening a catering business. It was not until the young Bennett gained notoriety and success that his father came around and reconciled himself to the idea.


While catering has been his mainstay, Bennett has tried and failed several times in the restaurant business, most recently affected by the lagging economy.  His Johns Creek restaurant was on the way up and even had potential for franchising when the economy turned.  Bennett once was struggling in business in the 1990's, but found relief through tremendous contracts related to the hosting of the Olympic games in Atlanta.  Bennett has catered events from Switzerland to Oregon and has become well-known as the go-to person for an exceptional barbecue event. Through the years, Bennett Brown has enjoyed times of great success, as well as times when he faced downturns, employee embezzlement, and utter disappointments.  Through it all, he claims, "By the grace of God, I am still in business."


Bennett enjoys meeting new people and making friends.  He appreciates the opportunity to help others, especially children when he is able.  Bennett serves on the board of Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA., is a member of the Board of Visitors of Thornwell Home for Children in Clinton, S.C. and is also an Honorary Board member of Special Olympics of Georgia. He is an elder in the Carrollton Presbyterian church.   He is a former board member of the Georgia State University Foundation, Oak Mountain Academy in Carrollton, GA. and the Atlanta chapter of the American Institute of Wine and Food (AIWF).  Bennett is a member of the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, the Cobb Chamber of Commerce and the Off Premise Caterers Coalition.  He and his company support events that directly benefit children.


Bennett and his wife Sheri have three children Jessica, Bennett IV and Alden. In his leisure time Bennett enjoys cooking, eating, entertaining and spending time outdoors fishing and hunting with his family.






The Rotary Bulletin Committee
Decatur Rotary Club
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