New Rotarians give classification speeches _lowres

Advocate staff photo by STACY GILL -- Five of the nine newest Zachary Rotarians gave their classification speeches during the service organization's Jan. 14 meeting. From left are Rotarians Carla Corkern, Aaron Durand, Karl Harborth, Mary Landry and Will Peay and Rotary President Mindy Head.

The Rotary Club of Zachary welcomes new members regularly, and on Jan. 14, the service organization heard classification speeches from five of the nine newest.

Carla Corkern, a single mother of two girls, is vice president of online banking for La Capitol Federal Credit Union.

Corkern grew up in Baker but recently bought a house in Zachary, where she lives with her daughters, ages 14 and 11. Both attend Zachary schools.

Though she works in banking, Corkern graduated from LSU with a teaching degree and is qualified to teach kindergarten through eighth grade.

Aaron Durand, a native and resident of Zachary, graduated from LSU with a degree in construction management but works in insurance for Farm Bureau. He is married and has a 7-year-old son, Carter, and 3-year-old twins, Anna Kate and Parker.

Durand and his wife attend Grace Church, of Central, where they are active in the youth group and choir.

Will Peay grew up in Clinton, graduated from Silliman Institute and played baseball at Southeastern University.

He works as a chiropractor in Baton Rouge and got married in May. Peay and his wife want to move to Zachary to be closer to home in East Feliciana Parish.

“I really enjoy Rotary,” Peay said.

Karl Harborth, a native of San Antonio, Texas, works for MedComp Sciences in Zachary, consulting for doctors who have their own labs.

Harborth, who has a degree in beef cattle nutrition, moved to Louisiana about six years ago to work for the LSU Agricultural Center.

He and his wife of 12 years have two children: Connor, 12, and Ava, 10.

Harborth said the family loves living in Zachary.

Mary Landry is the third of nine children and has lived in Zachary for 28 years with her husband, David Landry, who she calls her BFF.

The two met in seventh grade and have two children and three grandchildren.

Though she has a master’s degree in theology, Landry opened her own business in 2003, Banners and Signs By Design, which is flourishing. “Doing community-oriented things for Zachary gives me great pride,” Landry said. “I love this community and love being involved.”

Classification speeches are a cornerstone of Rotary and one of the service organization’s founding principles. When Paul Harris met with a coal dealer, mining engineer and merchant tailor in 1905 in Chicago, the four men gave birth to Rotary, and by the nature of their diverse occupations, to the association’s most distinctive feature: the classification principle.

Today, the classification speech remains a cornerstone of Rotary. Because of members’ professional backgrounds, clubs become a cross-section of the business and professional life of the communities they serve, according to rotary.org.