Two Hudson residents have been recognized this year for their work to help senior citizens find fulfillment during their later years.

Jimmy Suthpin Award

In 2015, the Rotary Club of Hudson established the Jimmy Sutphin Award to recognize a deserving Rotarian or Hudson Community leader who most closely reflects dedication to the “Service Above Self” Rotary standard. The initial recipient was Jimmy “Inky” Sutphin, a friend and colleague of both the Rotary Club of Hudson and the Hudson Community. Jimmy was universally loved by local citizens who benefited by his communication skills and his empathy for all he encountered. The Sutphin Award once again recognizes a local leader who has made a difference in so many lives in our community. The criteria for consideration of an individual for the award include:

  • Is actively involved in the Hudson community (not necessarily a resident).
  • Exhibits the general objectives of Rotary in his or her personal and business life.
  • Exhibits the ideals of the 4-way test in his or her personal and business life.
  • Demonstrates leadership qualities.
  • Makes a significant impact on the overall community.
  • Demonstrates creativity and initiative.
  • Demonstrates responsibility and dependability.
  • Doesn’t have to be well known, but could be an “unsung hero” doing good deeds throughout the community.

The 2020 recipient of the Jimmy Sutphin award is Iris Whittington Gold, founder of Hudson’s SAGE Community a senior outreach program dedicated to lifelong learning. SAGE stands for stimulation, adventure, growth and education for like minded intellectual seniors. It is built on the premise that seniors “need more as we stay older longer.” The program grew out of an initiative by Cuyahoga Community College where Iris started its first Senior Adult Education program employing college students, advisers and educators. 

After a period of 12 years living in Savannah, Georgia, Whittington Gold returned to Ohio settling in Hudson and reuniting with Tri-C to develop an Encore Campus Hudson Lifelong Learning Program. Three years later, the program became a non-profit organization changing its name to SAGE Community. Iris led this evolving program for 13 years and loved being involved with Hudson seniors. Her SAGE friends describe her as an inspirational shepherd with the “disposition of a warm puppy”. Announcing the award, the club said the city is fortunate to have such a qualified and dedicated leader in our community.


Rotarian of the Year

The Rotary Club of Hudson was additionally pleased to bestow its annual Rotarian of the Year award on Club member Donna Kastner, who has also dedicated her recent years to local seniors by launching the Retirepreneur, offering guidance to forward thinking executives for establishing new income generating professions in retirement. See for networking and upcoming conferences.

Kastner was recognized by Rotary for leading the Club’s transition into the stay-at-home COVID-19 period by establishing Zoom meetings and educating its 55 members in the subtleties of on-line protocols. With Donna’s hands-on assistance, the club continues to feature weekly community speakers and to conduct the club’s community service projects. Kastner leads the Rotary flock with kindness, patience and and a determination to bring all into the cyber communication age. It has been a great success.

To view replays of the weekly Rotary meetings, see YouTube Rotary Hudson.