From President Angus:
Well, my term as president of Niles Rotary is wrapping up. It’s a bittersweet moment. Looking back over the past Rotary year, I am proud of everything we accomplished together. Thanks to Sandra Young and Manuel Franco, we are wrapping up our international project to bring fresh drinking water to Segera Mission in rural Kenya. Thanks to Audrey Kearns and Geeta Kadambi, we have a great new international project taking flight with SightNow. Thanks to Paul Andrus and the Community Service leads, we held several successful service projects in conjunction with Fremont Unified and LEAF. Thanks to our sergeant-at-arms, Dana Jones, and board secretary, Tammi Souza, club operations have run like clockwork all year long under the leadership of Sandy Stabile. Thanks to President Elect Rose and the Reverse Raffle Committee, we had one of the most enjoyable and successful Reverse Raffle evenings in memory. Thanks to Past President Lisa, we kept busy socially all year long. Thanks to the Membership Committee and the mentoring team, we have added five new members this year, and have a strong mentoring program in place to support new members going through the red-badge process. Thanks to club and foundation treasurers, Don Cole and Larry Bowen, we know exactly where the money is and where it is going. Thanks to Paul Iannaccone, we have a solid grasp of contributions to the Rotary Foundation. And thanks to Dirk Lorenz and the Youth Services Team, we continue to enjoy a strong connection with the three Interact clubs we sponsor, as well as the Rotaract Club of Greater Fremont.
Despite the pain of relinquishing the gavel to the incoming president, I am extremely excited about President Elect Rose’s presidential year. For many years, Rose’s commitment to Rotary service at our club has breathed the life into vital community programs such as Feed the Hungry and Pizza with Santa. And we all know how important her work is to the Reverse Raffle event. So it is only fitting that she will now be the formal leader of Niles Rotary, since she has for a long time been one of its informal leaders. I am keenly anticipating what your year will bring, Rose.
The bottom line is that change is good for organizations. New people step into leadership roles, and they bring new ideas and new perspectives to the work that needs to be accomplished. At every level in the club, we have strong leadership. This is especially true for the Board of Directors. With their terms coming to an end, we owe a debt of gratitude to Dirk Lorenz and Audrey Kearns for serving so ably on the Board for the last two years. Dirk managed our Youth Services portfolio of activities with aplomb and skill. It’s not easy cajoling high-school students into showing up for the speech contest or registering to attend RYLA. But Dirk transformed himself into a champion communicator with the Interact leaders, and is now a text-message ninja. Audrey has successfully seen the Segera Mission Water Project to its conclusion and has helped launch SightNow as an Area Three international project. As our club representative on the World Community Service Committee, Audrey skillfully advocated for Niles Rotary projects and priorities as the clubs of Area Three chose which projects to support. I am looking forward to seeing how incoming board members, Adam Moura (Youth Services) and Rich Godfrey (International Service) will shape their areas of responsibility as they settle into the board. Thank you, Adam and Rich, for stepping up.
As I gaze out from the podium before gaveling the meeting to order and as I watch club members having lunch together, I am often struck by the fellowship and camaraderie in the room. When a group of talented, committed people gathers weekly to break bread and plan service projects and social events, it’s amazing how much we can get done together. It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to serve as president of Niles Rotary this year. All I can say is thank you for the opportunity. As I have declared all year long, Niles Rotary is undoubtedly the best Rotary Club in the world!