My year as your Governor is drawing to a close.  What a wonderful journey it has been.  I am so proud to be a part of this outstanding District. During this year I have visited all the clubs (some more than once!) and got to know all of the wonderful Rotarians in our district.  Thank you to all the clubs for your warm hospitality.  I sincerely enjoyed my visits.

I must give a shout out to my leadership team:  Assistant Governors, Committee Chairs, Executive Committee, and especially to my DRFC Chair Chuck Arnason and my Lt. Gov.  Stephen Beer.  I also must thank all the PDGS upon whom I called and e-mailed on numerous occasions for advice, input and ideas.  Our District is unique in that our PDGS provide counsel and support.

This year began with the “Official” Governor’s visits – and I must say this was one of the highlights of my year.  Each of the clubs in our district has a distinct personality and culture.  And they all exemplify the Four-Way test and a commitment to service.  Many of the cubs invited me back to participate in some of their special events and installation of officers.  NO matter what the occasion, I always looked forward to a club visit.

We had a lot to celebrate this year in our District – 2 clubs celebrated their 100th Anniversary – Newport News and Petersburg; 2 celebrated their 50 anniversary – Hanover and Chesapeake; 1 that celebrated their 30th anniversary – Petersburg breakfast.

My District Conference Committee was truly a “dream team.”  Working together we provided interesting breakouts, wonderful fellowship, good food, and great speakers – like Capt. Haag and service dog Axel – in a great venue.  We were privileged to have as the RI President’s Representative, RI President Nominee Mr. Sam Owari from Uganda.  The result – a very successful District Conference.

Our Youth Services committee excelled in increasing the number of Interact Clubs, executing a very successful RYLA, hosting an Interact/Rotaract Conference and strengthening our Rotaract Clubs.

Our District continues to excel in Foundation giving in all metrics.  Under the Foundation team’s leadership we have exceeded all our goals again this year.

We ended this year with positive Membership growth under the leadership of Mike Jallo. The RI Membership Leads program provided us with prospective members and Mike connected those prospects with the appropriate club.  Additionally, clubs were proactive in membership, resulting in club growth.  Two clubs decided to merge this year – Warwick and City Center.  This merger resulted in a strong club, with a strong fundraiser, increased service opportunities and foundation giving. The new club is The Rotary Club of Warwick at City Center, Newport News. Kudos to Presidents Jesse Hutcheson and Brian Dieber for their successful effort.

All of the clubs enjoyed the opportunity to celebrate the Centennial of the Founding of the Rotary Foundation in Atlanta in 1917.  Over 170 of us gathered in Atlanta in June to experience the Rotary International Convention.

Thank you for the honor of serving you as District Governor.  It has been an unforgettable experience.  Please know that I stand ready to continue to serve you, the clubs and District