Speaker Date Topic
Walter Hughes Nov 03, 2020
Rotary Foundation Project in Ghana - How clean water, sanitation and education brings hope.
Rotary Foundation Project in Ghana - How clean water, sanitation and education brings hope.


Walter Hughes 

He was recognized as a White House Champion of Change. Walter earned Rotary’s Vocational Service Leadership Award & Rotary Foundation’s Citation for Meritorious Service. Walter’s team passionately provides clean water and sanitation to over 809,000 people in Africa.  He is working to build nine schools in Ghana. He partners with two hundred seventy-four Rotary Clubs in sixty Rotary districts in fifteen countries. 


Partnering Rotarians live in Québec, Ontario and British Columbia in Canada, Mexico, Australia, Switzerland, Taiwan, India, the Caribbean islands, Ghana, South Sudan, India, Pakistan, Nigeria, South Africa, Peru and twenty-six U.S. states.  He also partners with non-profit organizations, churches and individuals. Personal items are at Smithsonian Museum collections.  His work is also highlighted at RI Conventions.


Walter championed Rotary projects over the past fourteen years to locate wells in communities with the highest incidence of Guinea worm disease in Ghana and South Sudan.  The World Health Organization certified Ghana as free of Guinea worm disease in 2014. He traveled to South Sudan in 2013 and again during the civil war in November 2015 to inspect Rotary’s clean water project. Rotary is close to eradicating both Guinea worm disease and polio. 


He worked as the Director of Strategic Technology at America Online.  Walter was the pastor at New Hope United Methodist Church.  He is now an independent missionary.  He also helped to build over ten churches in Ghana and Uganda.  He baptized over 1,000 people.  He is married to Lisa.  He has four children and a grandson.  Walter goes to Ghana where he sees clean water flowing, sanitation with new Microflush toilets, new medical equipment at hospitals and computer labs at schools.  He is empowering communities to dream and to lead.  We are transforming lives with micro-credit loans for wells, toilets, farms and businesses.





Barry Moss Nov 10, 2020
Moss Vineyard
Moss Vineyard

Barry and Ellen Moss love great wine.   In Europe, they learned everything winemaking the Old World had to offer:  how to cultivate vines, make fine wine, and match the right vines to the right soil.  

Years later - as Virginia became ranked one of the top up-and-coming wine regions in the world - Barry and Ellen decided to start a vineyard themselves.

Since 2010, Moss Vineyards pursues the creation of wine as both an art and a passion.

Mark Swingle, Chief of Research & Conservation Nov 17, 2020
Virginia Aquarium’s Conservation Mission

Mark Swingle is a local boy, growing up and residing in Virginia Beach since the age of eight.  He earned a biology degree from the College of William and Mary (1976) and Master’s degree in Biological Oceanography from Old Dominion University (1980). He is currently the Chief of Research & Conservation and has worked at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center for more than 37 years. He has experience at just about every job related to exhibits, animal care and conservation research, planning and policy. Mark also leads the Aquarium’s Green Team to foster the development of sustainable practices in facility operations and the community at large.


Mark and his colleagues founded the Aquarium’s marine mammal and sea turtle Stranding Response Program in the late 1980s. Since that time, the Stranding Team has touched the lives of more than 10,000 animals. In 2003, Mark was appointed the first Director of the Aquarium’s new Research & Conservation Division. He has been fortunate to work with research projects involving bottlenose dolphins, humpback whales, loggerhead sea turtles, and other marine mammal and sea turtle species. Mark serves as a member of many state and national research and management teams working for the conservation of marine mammals, sea turtles and their natural ocean habitats.


“I am a strong believer in the Aquarium’s core conservation mission of education, research and sustainable practices and am most proud of our significant contributions in these areas.”

Mark Swingle, Chief of Research & Conservation, Virginia Aquarium


Nikki Johnson, Research Associate, Dragas Center Dec 01, 2020
State of the Region
State of the Region

Nikki Johnson, Research Associate, Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy​, Old Dominion University

Nikki's presentation will provide an economic update for Hampton Roads, highlighting the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, and discuss prospects for future growth.

James Kitz Dec 08, 2020
Rotary Club of Norfolk Annual Meeting
Michael Benedetto, President/Owner, TFC Recycling Jan 12, 2021
TFC Recycling - Recycling and the State of Recycling

Michael “Recycle” Benedetto is the President and Owner of TFC Recycling.  He first started working for the family business in high school and continued full time after graduating from American University in 1987.  


Michael has served as a board member of the Virginia Aquarium, the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce and Virginia Beach Vision.  Michael currently serves on the Virginia Waste Management Board, the Chesapeake Alliance and is a member of the Neptune Fest. 


Perhaps most importantly, he is former member of the Virginia Beach Rotary Club and a current member of the Chesapeake Rotary Club.


TFC Recycling provides waste and recycling services to over 650,000 households and 4,000 commercial customers from Northeast NC to the Richmond region.  TFC Recycling employs over 400 people and collects, processes and sells over 12,000 tons per month of recyclables. 


Michael is married to former media personality LeAnne Rains and has 3 college age children.