District 6920
Southeast Georgia, USA










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John Neely
District Governor
Rotary Club of Savannah East

John and his wife Carolyn both grew up in Atlanta, and both graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where they met. John then served in the US Peace Corps in Brazil, and later attended graduate school at the University of Georgia. John and Carolyn then moved to Milledgeville, GA, where John worked in city and regional planning. Carolyn became a social worker with the Dept. of Family and Children Services.

In 1979, the Neelys moved to Savannah, where John became Economic Development Director with the City of Savannah, working on downtown revitalization and historic preservation.  For the past 30+ years, John has worked as a broker in commercial real estate in Savannah, specializing in port-related, downtown and historic properties. He is currently principal with Colliers International – Savannah, a diversified commercial/industrial real estate firm.

John’s civic activities have included leadership roles with: Leadership Savannah, the Georgia Downtown Development Association, the Savannah Development and Renewal Authority, the Historic District Board of Architectural Review, the Savannah Council on World Affairs, and Step-Up Savannah, a unique poverty reduction organization. 

John joined the Savannah East Rotary Club in 1988, and after serving on several club committees, became President in 1998. At the Rotary District 6920 level, John has served in the following capacities:

·         Rotary Polio National Immunization Day (NID), Calcutta, India – 2010

·         District Grants Subcommittee Chair, 2011-2013 (DG Gordon Matthews and DG Bob Griggers)

·         As DGSC, did 14 international humanitarian matching grants – Bolivia(2), India(4), Haiti(2), Malawi, Sri Lanka(2), Brazil (2), St. Lucia; leveraged $300,000 in DDF into $1.3 million in project funding

·         Led two Group Study Exchange (GSE) teams to Brazil-2002 and 2009 (speaks Portuguese)

·         Host family for numerous Rotary exchange groups, including India, Chile, France, Italy, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Brazil, Turkey, India

·         GRSP student host family-Tamara Tavares of Brazil, 2001-2

·         Rotary Zone 34 Foundation Seminars, Evanston, Boca Raton and Asheville, NC

·         Attended June, 2015 Rotarian International Convention in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Long time active supporters of The Rotary Foundation, John and Carolyn are multiple Paul Harris Fellows, Benefactors, Major Donors, and members of The Rotary Foundation Bequest Society and the Paul Harris Society.

The Neelys have two children, son Thomas, who is an oil company geologist currently stationed in Alaska, and daughter Jordan, who works in organizational development with a hospital in Savannah. Jordan served as the first full year President of the Metropolitan Savannah Rotary Club, and has three children.

John and Carolyn live in an 1853 historic house in downtown Savannah. Carolyn enjoys painting and playing the piano, and John enjoys boating, tennis and Tybee Island.


District Mailing

5730 Sweetbriar Circle
Savannah, GA 31406



District Governor

John Neely

Chief of Staff

Paula Goodnow


Dist. Treasurer

 Bruce Montgomery

District Map



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Club Fundraiser Information
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Makeup Meetings
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2015 GRSP
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August 15, 2015
Training Assembly
Dublin, GA

(click here)


Webmaster - Jim Bruce -
St. Simons Rotary Club

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This page has been visited 4415 times. Last Modified: 07/18/15 12:46 Counters Update 2015-08-3