Upcoming Events
Sean Growney 
President 2018 - 2019 

Bulletin Subscribe

Subscribe to our eBulletin and stay up to date on the latest news and events.

Greetings from Asbury Park Rotary

Welcome to our Club! Where Service and Fellowship Flourish!

Asbury Park

We meet Wednesdays at 12:15 PM
The Renaissance
1110 Valley Rd & Hwy 35 S
(Just North of Wegman's)
Ocean, NJ  07712-3977
United States of America

(732) 292-1955
(732) 292-1992
District Site
Asbury Park Rotary Facebook
Venue Map
Member Spotlight
Sometimes it is one club’s loss and another’s gain when it comes to a Rotarian transferring from one club to another. In this case, our club was the winner when Chris Zatorski purchased a business in Asbury Park and felt it be important to be a member of our club instead of The Rotary Club of Red Bank. His ability to attend more meetings with us is the key factor. Chris was sponsored by the famous Bill Saloukas of the Red Bank club in 2015. Ironically, Chris made a “cold business call” on Bill one day. Bill liked what he saw and recruited him instantly.
Chris was born in Newark but was raised in Middletown and was graduated from Middletown North. He attended and was also graduated from Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania where he also played football and received his accounting degree. He later became a CPA. After a few interim positions in construction and the accounting area, Chris was employed by family trading firm in New York City as a Proprietary Trader for 17 years. He thoroughly enjoyed this profession but later longed to “go into business for himself” and to make a career change. After searching for the right “fit”, in August of 2017 Chris purchased Monmouth-Ocean Awning Company on Main Street in Asbury Park. This well established business came with the entire and well trained employees has worked out very well for Chris and staff.
Chris and wife Courtney who works for a Tinton Falls Rotarian continue to live in Red Bank with their two sons. Sam has just started at Drew University in Madison, N.J. and Ben is a junior at Red Bank Regional.
Chris is an avid runner having competed in a number of half marathons and Five Mile races and 1 “Tough Mudder” over the years. He is also a weight lifter.
Chris knew on his first visit to The Rotary Club of Red Bank that he wanted to be a member and had the same feeling when transferring to The Rotary Club of Asbury Park. Chris reflects, “The thing I like best and find most impressive about Rotarians is how generous they are with their time and money. This never fails to make me realize that I joined the best organization in the world”.
Stories of Asbury Park Rotary in Action
Neptune Fire Commissioner Doug Rowell spoke about Fire Prevention Month, which is observed during the month of October. He began by relating the significance of this month as the anniversaries of the Great Chicago fire and the Peshtigo fire, both of which occurred in October 1871, resulting in  thousands of fatalities and massive destruction.
He encouraged us to Look/Listen/Learn to help prevent fires in our homes and businesses:
Look – pay attention to the top 3 causes of fires; cooking, heating systems, and electrical
Listen – smoke alarms should be tested every month, the battery replaced every year, and completely replaced every 10 years
Learn – have at least 2 ways out of each room
He also shared photos of the causes and results of some local fires, which went a long way to motivate us all to take a good look around our homes with an eye towards fire prevention.
What an honor it was to welcome Sgt. Rich Ashkar of the New Jersey State Police. Sgt. Ashkar has been a Trooper for 11 years, and is currently a training instructor at the New Jersey State Police Academy located in Sea Girt. In its 97th year as an organization, the Police Academy is a stress-inducing environment that prepares men and women to respond appropriately in their protection of our citizens. The importance of discipline in everything from how laundry is folded to thoroughly investigating crimes is taught and evaluated in every student. Sgt. Ashkar is the boxing instructor. The rationale for the student to be in the boxing ring has to do with his/her response to situations during an adrenaline rush, which boxing induces. These rushes can obscure the thought process and creates tunnel vision, and instructors must know how each recruit responds. A student must complete two bouts using technique and defense, even if they don’t win the bout. His explanation of how a law enforcement officer must respond to an accelerating situation was extremely helpful and he probably had much more to share with us had time allowed. (Shouldn’t we have him back?)
New Jersey State Police
A little departure from our Rotary Member Spotlight this week.
We are pleased to welcome as our speaker this week Sgt. Richard Ashkar of the New Jersey State Police. Rich grew up in Middletown and was graduated from Middletown South where he starred as a wrestler. He wrestled in Division 1 level at West Virginia University where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree. He also received his Master of Science degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Rich was a Gold Medalist in the Pan American Games in 2012, and obtained his Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in 2013. He fought professionally in MMA (cage fighting) for over 6 years with 6 wins and 2 loses.
He is a Self-Defense instructor for one of the largest law enforcement agencies on the east coast. He joined the New Jersey State Police 11 years ago and now serves as a training instructor at the academy in Sea Girt. Prior he has worked in most of the more dangerous cities in the country and knows how “force options” work in real time. He has taught members of the FBI, NYPD and countless other police departments.
Totally, Rich has over 21 years training in various martial arts and competed at the highest level in the Mixed Martial Arts.