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Frank N. Hawkins, Jr., CEO of Hawk Associates, Founder of Hibiscus Marketing and former Officer for the U.S. Army Intelligence, provides a glimpse into World War II 


Everyone during the November 23rd breakfast meeting sat captivated during Frank's presentation. His personal resume is impressive. Frank is fluent in German and has lived in eight countries. Starting off as a case officer in clandestine collection operations for the Defense Intelligence Agency in Germany, he later took on the roles as foreign and war correspondent for The Associated Press. Frank is also an international businessman, serving in senior corporate executive positions and later launching several ventures in investor relations and marketing. He is a published author and is listed in the Who’s Who in the World. Frank was past president of the Upper Keys Rotary Club and is still an active member. He had two bucket list destinations he wanted to visit within his lifetime: Normandy and Iwo Jima. Both of these locations were iconic battleground locations during World War II. 


In March of this year, Frank accomplished his dream. Having visited the Normandy site in previous years, he was part of the 71st-anniversary commemoration on the island of Iwo Jima. Once a year the Japanese government allows for a special ceremony to take place that commemorates the epic struggle and the sacrifices of the Veterans for the United States and Japan. It was a poignant experience for Veterans and family as both the Japanese and Americans make the voyage together, one last time in friendship and camaraderie. Frank held the picture of his family member atop the famous hill, and there he recognized the "uncommon valor" of the men and soldiers that perished during those 36 days.

The Battle of Iwo Jima was a strategic necesity, allowing for a staging and landing area before reaching the mainland of Japan - if it came to that. Frank provided historical pictures and maps of the island that put into perspective the "uncommon valor" needed during this crucial time. The island only 8 square miles, was heavily fortified by the Japanese containing over 11 miles of concealed bunkers and tunnels. Over 21,000 Japanese soldiers awaited the U.S. Marines on that island with one goal as dictated by their military commanders - "Kill 10 Americans before you die."
It was as Frank described, "the most ferocious battle" in American History. 

The casualties for both sides were severe. Of the 21,000 Japanese, only 216 were taken as prisoners in the end. It was also the only Marine battle where American casualties exceeded those of the Japanese - over 26,000 of which 6,800 were American servicemen. The Medal of Honor was awarded posthumously to 27 American sailors and Marines for the Battle of Iwo Jima, more than any other single engagement in American military history.

The famous picture we have all come to know was taken by Joe Rosenthal. He received the Pulitzer Prize for his iconic World War II photograph of the Marines raising the Flag on that famous hill in Iwo Jima, Mount Suribachi. It is now the iconic symbol for the United States Marine Corps War Memorial in Virginia. 


Thank you for recounting such an emotional and important moment in history!




Frank Hawkins Presents at Key Largo Rotary

Pictured from left to right: Patty Sparks, Frank Hawkins and Diann Barber 



John Williamson, SPHR, GPHR, CCP, SHRM-SCP

Expert Human Resources Professional visits Rotary as Guest Speaker


John Williamson was the guest speaker at the November 9th Rotary meeting. As is customary, the Club breakfast meetings attract business, community and government leaders to discuss the critical issues affecting our community. Guest speakers like John Williamson, address the most current and important matters that have an impact at a local, national or global level.


Human Resources is a topic that affects companies and individuals alike. Aside from temporary hiring for peak season or the holidays, January and February are the best times to apply for jobs. 
Mr. Williamson is an expert in his field with generalist and global certifications such as Senior Professional in Human Resources, Global Professional of Human Resources, and Certified Compensation Professional. He is currently Manager of HR at Mariner's Hospital and serves as Chariman of the Board for Baptist Health South Florida Credit Union. During his presentation, John provided insights and guidelines for conducting proper and ethical interviews. 

What types of questions are permissible and beneficial during an interview? Think about the knowledge, skills, and abilities that are required for the job. Also, questions that probe and reveal the fit of the candidate to the company are important. Lastly, discussions that highlight related past work experiences and successes are relevant. Finding the right person for a position is not always easy, but with the right preparation and consistency when approaching the interview process, the right person, as they say, rises to the top.


If you would like to be our guest at a Rotary breakfast meeting or would like to share your insights as a Presenter, please Contact Us for more information. 



John Williamson Mariners Hospital Guest Speaker 






Coral Shores High School Student, Kaitlin White, reports on her "Experiment in International Living" leadership development course in Ireland

When Kaitlin White reached out to the Rotary Club of Key Largo for an educational scholarship for the "Experiment in International Living" program, the Rotary Club Board was unanimous in supporting this endeavor. The Monroe County Education Foundation has been recruiting high school students for the past ten years to take advantage of the summer abroad theme-based curriculum. According to Kaitlin, she is a more conscious person and infinitely grateful for the friendships and bonds that she formed during her three-week trip. 

Rotary members were impressed by Kaitlin's poise and confidence. Public speaking was a skill she was uneasy about until her Ireland trip. She discussed how her core group rallied around her during the course and encouraged her to step out of her comfort zone. Kaitlin will make an excellent steward and compassionate leader in Service. 

The Experiment program Kaitlin chose in Ireland centered around Irish culture and youth empowerment. Part of the leadership curriculum included workshops, youth service opportunities and a conference where over 300 youth come together to help enact societal and personal change through core social skills including self-awareness, collaboration, problem-solving, empathy, and relationship building. 


For more information click on the program names:

Monroe County Education Foundation

Experiment in International Living


Coral Shores High School Student Kaitlin White




Its #NoworNeverglades - Dr. Davis from the Everglades Foundation delivers a compelling presentation at the Rotary Club of Key Largo meeting


An important topic for anyone living or visiting Florida is the health and restoration of the Everglades Ecosystem. This issue is of matter to all of us. A few relevant facts from our discussions:

  • One in three Floridians relies on the Everglades for their water supply.
  • Toxic algae blooms have a troubling economic impact for current and future homeowners as well as local businesses and economies.
  • The Everglades is now home to 73 threatened or endangered species.

With the Everglades now at less than half of its original size, stopping the damaging discharges to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers and estuaries; restoring the flow of clean, fresh water to the Everglades, Florida Bay and the Florida Keys; and protecting the drinking water for 8 million Floridians and tourists are of paramount importance.


Everyone can make a difference. Please visit the Everglades Foundation site to learn more. Take part in the #NoworNeverglades campaign and join friends, neighbors, colleagues, scientists, and elected officials to Create Positive Change.


Dr. Davis Everglades Foundation

 Pictured from left to right : Mike Forster, Captain Elizabeth Jolin,

Dr. Stephen Davis and Diann Barber.




Nada Khalaf-Jones first female FAA-certified drone pilot in the Keys


Congratulations to our very own Nada Khalaf-Jones for becoming the first female FAA-certified drone pilot in Monroe County. And, in the very same week, she was elected to the Key Largo Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. The Rotary Club of Key Largo celebrates these accomplishments.


Nada Khalaf-Jones first female drone pilot in the Keys




Rotary Club of Key Largo Featured in Upper Keys Weekly


The Rotary Club of Key Largo was featured in the Upper Keys Weekly in a four-page exposé featuring Rotary International in the Upper and Lower Keys. To learn more about how each of the Rotary clubs serve their communities visit the Keys Weekly Archive. Click here to read more.


Rotary Club of Key Largo