Meeting Recap – November 9, 2021

Minutes Compiled by Diane Eckberg

Zak Ammar presents to the club.

The November 9, 2021 meeting was called to order at the Boone Courtyard Marriott by President Jim Street at 7:45 a.m.  There were 4 Zoom and 25 in person attendees, including speaker Zak Ammar and Matt Rupp, guest of John Eckman.

After the Pledge of Allegiance, Sergeant at Arms Nick Friedman facilitated the 50/50 drawing and collected Happy Dollars.  


There were many announcements attached to the Happy Dollars!

Mike Roberts shared that he and Club Member Andy LeBeau were among the 10 bicyclists who rode the Natchez Trace raising $36,000 for NC Special Olympics.

Chuck Mantooth announced the ribbon cutting for a 36 bed in- and out-patient mental health care facility in Avery County.

Ben Henderson wished Nick Friedman a Happy Birthday on November 13.

Jim Street recognized John Eckman, who filled in as President last week, and Russell Kirsch for his “Protecting the Environment” presentation last week.

Reggie Hassler is again happy to be with the group!

Bob Gates has sent out invoices.  Send checks to the P. O. Box on the invoices, as he will be absent the next two weeks, visiting his daughter in San Francisco.

John Eckman introduced his attorney and guest, District Court Judge candidate Matt Rupp.

Ben Covington shared a joke.

Brian Crutchfield celebrated his return to the movie theater, which included $5 senior tickets.

Caroline Poteat celebrated her brother-in-law’s return from a 7 month deployment in northern Africa!

Elisha Childers announced that the Watauga Children’s Council “Bid With a Purpose” online auction begins Friday, November 12 at 7 p.m.  Full details were emailed to Club members on November 9 after the meeting.

Nick Friedman recognized Ben Covington for his military service in advance of Veteran’s Day.  Nick will celebrate his birthday playing bad golf at Kiawah Island.

Diane Ekberg announced the remaining two Habitat for Humanity work days (11/10 and 11/17.)  Details were emailed to Club Members on November 9 after the meeting.

Diane also started a sign up sheet for ordering Rotary Works t-shirts.  She will check into a long-sleeved option.  For anyone who wants a vest like those ordered in 2020, please contact John Eckman.

Caroline Poteat provided a Fruit Sale update.  Sales need a boost, as only $6,000 in fruit has been sold to date.  The deadline for delivery to Boone has been extended to Monday, November 15, 2021.

New Member Introduction

Membership Chair Nick Katers formally introduced Reggie Hassler as a Boone Sunrise Rotarian.  Reggie was a long time member of the Boone Noon Club.  Welcome, Reggie!


President Elect Brian Irving introduced Zak Ammar, entrepreneur and founder of Vixster, a waste and recycling collection company founded in February, 2016, to service rural residential customers in the High Country and elsewhere (  For those who might want to reach out to Zak, he shared his contact information:; cell 832-797-7318

Started as a business competition concept and graduate internship project at ASU, Vixster’s first trash collections were accomplished using Zak’s Subaru Outback, with its 29 full bag capacity.  Inspired by angel investor Bobby Martin, who spoke at one of Zak’s graduate courses, Vixster grew from $75,000 in first year revenue to $1 million in revenue today.  The company now has 30-40 pick up contractors, 4 virtual assistants in the Philippines, and a partner in Charlotte.

Operating in 30 counties broken into 7 regions, Vixster delivers recyclable materials according to each jurisdiction’s requirements.  

“Vixster” is a nickname his father had for his mother Vicky.

Zak also teaches two “Entrepreneur” classes at ASU, reaching 60 juniors and seniors. 

After a robust Q & A, Jim Street adjourned the meeting at 8:30 a.m. after the recitation of the 4 Way Test.

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