by Sam Sentelle
Posted on May 29, 2018
Numbers grow when membership is ‘beneficial’
Eric J. Tarr
May 29, 2018
He is a candidate to represent the state’s 4th senatorial district in November, but he is also an entrepreneurial genius. Eric J. Tarr has had a hand in the creation of 20 sites in ten business operations in West Virginia.
At 24 years of age, he opened a 2,000 sq. ft. business on Great Teays Boulevard in the present Penn Station location. Within six months, he set up a second business in Milton. By the end of the year, this year, his family expects to manage 28 businesses in the area.
In addition, Tarr and his family are involved in a real estate company, a marketing agency, entertainment and commercial construction. These interests opened the door to opportunities for community service, he told Putnam Rotarians today.
He earned a doctorate in physical therapy at the University of Kentucky. “When I entered practice,” he said, “I was providing oout-patient therapy services.
“I was 24 — as green as green gets. I had no idea there was a difference in law when we crossed the state line. I was just treating patients.
“Several months into it, an official called and told me that we couldn’t see patients in a clinic.
“That got me involved very quickly with the West Virginia Physical Therapy Association.
“I had patients in several counties — Parkinson’s patients, drug patients, fresh amputees — that, suddenly, I couldn’t treat any more. I had no service near their homes, in the schools, and in some of the nursing homes.
“I found then what it meant to work as a community.
“I had a critical need. My patients had a critical need. It took about seven years to get that practice act changed so I could go back and fix the problem that essentially had shut down half of my business within the first year that I opened.
“It left a lot of people desolate. And some of that stuff is life-threatening. You had a fresh amputee in Lincoln county that was hours away from help. You have to have somebody there frequently to realize there’s an infection going on.”
As he moved through the offices of the state association, soon serving as president and then as an officer for federal liaison, he moved to serve its membership by offering professional training services.
“Since most of our members are interested in education,” he said, “let us expand on education. How can we make this the place to be for education?
“Now, every year, we sell out Stonewall. We have meetings with other associations in joint conferences.”
Participation grows and the association gains strength as its members recognize the value in membership, said, Tarr. The same is true for a civic club.
All these things are good, he said. But on invitations to join Rotary, the personal value of membership needs to be a part of the message. The Physical Therapy Association grew in numbers and influence with a program that was valuable to its members.
Part of the Rotary Four-Way Test asks, “Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?”
Rotary numbers grow when members see programs that represent personal benefit and professional improvement value. In addition to service projects, Rotarians have opportunities for fellowship and networking with community professionals and business leaders.
Formerly a member of Milton Rotary, Dr. Tarr has transferred his membership to the Putnam club. Although he has businesses in Barboursville and in Kentucky, he makes his home in Scott Depot.