Current Club Leadership

 Club Officers‚Äč


Club President 2020-2021: Ethan K. Gilley, AAMS®

Financial Planner Edward Jones Investments 136 Tremont Park Dr NE Lenoir, NC

I first learned about Rotary from my father, who is a past President of Rotary Club as well as a PHF. I joined Rotary back in 2015 and was sponsored by my dear friend and our long time Club Treasurer Lee Pennell.

By trade I am a Financial Planner with Edward Jones Investments and I feel very strongly that God put me on this earth first and foremost to contribute and help as a Financial Planner. It is my calling and what I do best. I became a financial advisor because of my firm conviction in serving others to help them reach their financial goals. Coming from a family of multiple successful financial advisors, my passion has been engrained from being around the financial world and the Edward Jones culture my whole life. Open communication, trust, honesty and deep personal relationships are the foundation of my practice.

While I have a heart to serve all, my focus is working with clients who are serious long-term investors with in-depth financial needs as well as their friends and family, through multiple generations. Before starting our partnership, I sit down with you to understand your goals and what's most important to you. We then assess your current financial situation to help you fully understand. Next, we will use our established process to set reasonable expectations, then build long-term personalized financial strategies tailored specifically to help you achieve those goals. I will partner with you throughout your life, as well as with your tax and legal professionals, to monitor your financial situation on an ongoing basis to help you stay on track.

Outside my practice, I enjoy spending time with family and serving the community/world as Rotary President (2020-21), Paul Harris Fellow, Foundation Sustaining Member and Benefactor. I am an active Caldwell Senior Center board member and I serve as an usher at my church. I am a member of the Appalachian State University Alumni Association, a 10-year member of the NPC as a drug free promoter/athlete and a car/motorcycle fanatic.

I am ranked in the top 1% of Edward Jones financial advisors when it comes to documenting client goals, risk tolerance and portfolio performance to help implement tailored solutions by way of investments, insurance and appropriate services. Since joining Edward Jones, I have received over half a dozen other internal awards. I also serve on our leadership team, helping other Edward Jones financial advisors.


President Elect (Club President 2021-2022): Debbie Eller

Executive Director of Communities in Schools of Caldwell County

Member of Rotary Since 2008

Paul Harris Fellow


Past President (Club President 2019-2020): Dr. Helen Hall

Education, College Administration, Retired

Helen Phillips Hall, daughter of Verner and Margaret Phillips, shared growing up in Caldwell County with four sisters and one brother. She graduated from Freedman High School in 1962. Thereafter, she achieved the Bachelor of Arts Degree at North Carolina Central University, formerly known as North Carolina College at Durham (1966). From Appalachian State University she achieved the Master of Arts Degree in Gifted and Talented Education (1983), the Specialist in Education Degree (1987), and the Doctor of Education in Education Leadership (2001). She graduated with honors from the North Carolina Institute of Government’s Principals’ Executive Program (1991).

Helen Hall’s experiences as a teaching professional include positions in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools; Hertford County Schools; Augusta, Georgia; Ansbach, Germany; Hertzo Base, Germany; Prince William County, Virginia; Caldwell County Schools; Appalachian State University; and Lenoir-Rhyne University. She taught language arts and social studies courses primarily.

After receiving exceptional recognition as teacher of the gifted and academically talented at William Lenoir Middle School, she was chosen to serve as Caldwell County’s Instructional Resource Consultant for the Academically Gifted. As a school administrator, she served as assistant principal at Gamewell Middle School, principal at Valmead Elementary School, and principal at William Lenoir Middle school. In district-wide administration, she served as Caldwell County Schools Personnel Administrator.  Expanding her career of over 34 years, she chose the role of adjunct professor at both Appalachian State University and Lenoir-Rhyne University serving aspiring teaching professionals. She helped develop the NCTEACH Program (North Carolina teachers of Excellence for All Children) at Lenoir-Rhyne and served as the Site Coordinator. Additionally, she was an instructional consultant in North Carolina’s New Schools Project.

Helen Hall was selected as Caldwell County’s Principal of the Year and was further selected as the Northwest Educational Region’s Principal of the Year (1991-92). She served eight years on the Board of Education of Caldwell County Schools and also served on the Board of Directors of Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute, Board of Governors of the Governor’s Schools of North Carolina, Caldwell County’s Hospice Board, and the Board of Directors of the Robin’s Nest Children’s Advocacy Council. She received Distinguished Woman of the Year Award presented by former Governor Jim Hunt; represented Caldwell County Schools as Gifted Teacher of the Year; served on task forces on Gifted Education for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

Helen's Hobbies include writing and gardening. Dr. Hall has written a book titled "My Story" which is about her life.  


Secretary: Jackie Heim

Building Materials, Concrete Business Owner, Retired

Jackie has been a member of Rotary Club of Lenoir since 2001

Jackie's hobbies include going to the Beach, Grandchildren, LHS Class 66 Girls trips, gardening and cooking and Service


Treasurer: Lee Pennell

Real Estate Agent

Lee has been a long time member of Rotary Club of Lenoir since 2009

Both Lee and his Wife Debra were  born in Caldwell County. After graduating from Appalachian State University, they decided to stay in Caldwell County because of its beauty and the warmth of the people. They both believed this was the best place to raise a family and have the quality of life we both desired.

He is currently a member of First United Methodist Church of Lenoir,  and a board member of the Caldwell Memorial Hospital Foundation, where he served as Treasurer for 2 years. 

Recently he was recognized as The Property Shop's Top Producer for the year 2019.   



Past President, District Govenor  (DG 2020-2021): David Waechter

Owner of Hibriten Construction

David Waechter is a native of the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. He grew up south of Asheville in Fletcher, NC. His parents and grandparents raised him to appreciate and honor hard work with respect and dignity. David’s core values are loyalty, integrity, reliability, honesty, and service.

David has been leading from an early age. He was President of the West Henderson High School Class of 1991. He attended Appalachian State University and graduated with bachelors degrees in Biology and Anthropology with Honors. He has been a student of the diverse wildlife of the Southern Appalachians since childhood carrying his love for nature into a graduate program in Botany at Western Carolina University. David earned his Masters in Public Administration magna cum laude demonstrating his passion for the public interest and fair governance. He has worked in corporate strategy, education, business development, agriculture, and renewable energy. He is a certified Corporate Social Responsibility Practitioner and also a Professional Energy Manager having earned his Energy Management Diploma from North Carolina State University. He studied building science with the Building Performance Institute (BPI).

David is a service-oriented person having served upon many local boards including the School for Young Children, Caldwell Adolescent Health, Western Piedmont Workforce Development, Caldwell Chamber of Commerce, Caldwell Habitat for Humanity, and also his parish council. David is a proud Rotarian who embraces the motto, “Service above Self” and also insists his corporate culture adhere to the 4-way test of ethics. He has served as a president, an assistant governor, and most recently, a district governor for Rotary District 7670.

Waechter is known for being demanding and precise. He has an ever-expanding network of friends and business associates which he draws upon to execute high levels of service to his clients. He is a natural for the honorable work of building. He loves to use his vision and problem-solving skills to create beautiful work for his customers. David has worked in the muddy ditches and in the c-suite, so he has an appreciation of his humble roots yet knows how to meet high expectations from well-healed clients.“Our team at Hibriten Construction is dedicated to constructing beautiful homes and commercial properties that compliment the natural surroundings of our communities. We strive to exceed buyer expectations with each new project we build and we take pride in our growing base of satisfied customers.”





Rotary Foundation Chair: Rahn Chase



Club Directors

Patrick Longano - Impact by The Rotary Club of Lenoir 

Susan Strawn - Service Director

Stephen Starnes - Administration Director

Adam Sterken - Benevolence Director

Michael Dineen -Public Image Director

Jim Engelman - Hudson Satellite Club by The Rotary Club of Lenoir 


Leslie Grey- Engagement Director