Presidents Corner

Message from our President

Welcome to the web site of the Sarasota - Manatee Council of the Navy League of the United States. Our Council’s 100+ members appreciate your interest in our Nation’s sea services. 

First, a belated “Happy New Year” to all. With the New Year comes a new board of directors for our council, and that board was voted into office at our annual members’ meeting on December 12th at the Sara Bay Country Club. But before I go further into that, I need to thank Dennis Turner, our president for the past two years, for all he has done for our council. Dennis and his wife Linda are very busy people: Dennis owns and runs two Venice Olive Oil stores which keep him very busy, and Linda is an executive who travels extensively. Yet they both found time to support our council over the past two years, including Dennis’ efforts in commanding and growing our Maritime Eagles Sea Cadet Unit. Please: Next time you see either of them, thank them for their selfless support on behalf of our council, and the good things we do. 

Getting back to our board: In the December 12th  Membership meeting, the member voted unanimously to select the 5 following “core” officers to comprise our board for 2020:

            - President:                          Tim Rocklein

            - Vice President:                  Dennis Turner

            - Treasurer:                          Jerry St. Germain

            - Secretary:                          Nel Rocklein

            - Judge Advocate General:  Steve Horton

Since that election, the new board has invited other members join the board, with specific duties to support our council. They are:

    - John Osterweil:     Fundraising and VIP Speakers

    - George Hofmann: Young Marines and Venice MCJROTC

    - Jeannine Rusch:   Membership

    - Bo Hamrick:           Publicity

    - Al Burda:                Youth and Scholarships, and Anchor Line

    - Roger Betts:            Legislative Affairs and Facebook

    - Steve Bartek:          NJROTC

    - Dr. John Hanna:      Golf/Fundraising 

We’re looking forward to another active year. We’ll continue with our luncheons and dinners; with our support of youth groups and the active duty Coast Guard units (Cutters Resolute and Brandt, and Station Cortez); and with support for the local scholars who have “made the cut” and been selected for Sea Service academies and ROTC scholarships. Al Burda and Jerry St. Germain have volunteered to author our Anchor Line newsletter and Roger Betts will continue to manage our Facebook, so we’ll be doing our best to keep our members informed regarding council activities and important sea service issues.

As always, any volunteer organization relies on its members to offer their time and efforts (and sometimes their funds) to make the organization succeed, and our council is no different. If you have time and/or talents to offer, please let me know-Tim and we'll be sure to put you to work.

Finally: Each year our council spends about $22,000 in support of our charitable giving. To raise those funds this year we plan to participate in the Giving Challenge being conducted by the Community Foundation of Sarasota on April 28 & 29. And later in the year we’re looking to conduct another charity golf tournament to help raise funds, as well. Any help you might give to those efforts, and others, will be greatly appreciated, and will go to good causes.

I hope you can help. Thanks in advance.

Tim Rocklein

2020 President 

 If you are not yet a member of the Navy League, we hope the information you find here will encourage you to join us. You do not need to have a sea-service affiliation to join. In fact, anyone who is not on active duty is eligible. If you are already a member and looking for a local Council, we’d like you to join ours: We do fun, interesting and educational things, and, more importantly, we are proud of the support we give to the active duty personnel and the youth in our area.