Posted on Feb 11, 2019
The Rotary Club of Hattiesburg welcomed its newest member today, Stew Deen. Stew is pictured with Club President, Steven Utroska (left), and his sponsor, Mallory Donald. In addition, the club program was provided by our very own Michael McPhail.
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  • President Steven Utroska presided over today’s meeting.
  • Denny Bubrig gave today’s invocation. Joe Bost led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Thanks to Cole Gressett and Mike McPhail who served as our greeters today.
  • Brandon Hodges thanked those who helped with today’s meeting and then introduced today’s guests.
  • Scott Hummel had Ladevin Abram as his guest. He is a William Carey University business major.
  • Mike McPhail had Armon Abedikichi, Cory Ferrarez, and Leigh Ann Underwood as his guests today. Brandon Hodges’ guest was Evan Nickolson.
  • Steven announced that board elections will take place during today’s meeting. Ballots were distributed and collected at the conclusion of the meeting.
  • Steven then introduced Stewart Deen and his sponsor Mallory Donald. Stewart was then inducted as our club’s newest member. He is a native of Hattiesburg. He is married to Laura, a first-grade teacher in Oak Grove. He works for The Nowell Agency, Inc.
  • Erin Granberry reminded everyone that we are in need of speakers for March.
Mike Ratcliff introduced today’s guest speaker, our own, Michael McPhail. He is the co-founder of Brains and Brawn and a graduate of Mississippi State University. Michael is an officer and lender for Community Bank.
Michael says it takes strength, speed, and endurance for running long distance races.  He has run in the Laurel 5K, the 10K for the Children’s Center Classic at USM, a one-half Tough Mudder marathon in New Orleans, a full marathon, a 25K in Meridian, a 50K in Clinton and the 1,000-mile challenge.  The 1,000-mile challenges you to run 1000 miles in one year.  He competitively raced and completed the 1,000-mile challenge. He is currently training for an ultra-marathon which he plans to complete this year. He is fortunate that his parents get to attend each of his races.
His favorite race was the Tough Mudder.  It is 10 miles consisting of 25 obstacles.
Mike says some things to remember when you run races are to control your breathing and to pace yourself. Sometimes when you give it all you’ve got, it’s not good enough.  But that just makes you try harder the next time.
Michael also has a website and a podcast called Brains and Brawn.  It’s a site dedicated to the lost art of reading, self-reflection and seeking to become a better man physically, spiritually and intellectually. It is a place where young men can go to find knowledge that pushes them to be a better man while encouraging them to invest in reading. You can view and listen at
Steven thanked today’s speaker and then adjourned the meeting with our motto, “Service Above Self.”