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Dear Fellow Rotarians and Friends,
I wanted to take this opportunity to express a few thoughts and observations from my year as President of your Club for 2017/2018.
 
I'm not sure about you, but this year has gone by very quickly – much faster than I had ever expected, and I am thinking most of you feel the same way. Of course, none of us knew how differently this year would turn out from the way it started. President Scott took over for Past President Ben in July, held his first board meeting with his new board and presided over a few weekly meetings before things changed in rapid fashion. We sincerely hope Scott and his family are doing well and have adjusted to their new lives in New Mexico.
 
When I first heard about the Board forming a search committee to find someone who could take over for Scott, truth be told, I almost raised my hand at that very meeting when the announcement was made. However, being the cautious (retired) banker as you know me to be, I decided to think about it privately, and also to discuss it with my husband and confident, George. Frankly, I had toyed with the idea of some day being President again, but I didn't envision such an event happening until many years into retirement, not 7 months into it (!) Thankfully, George was fully on board with the idea.
 
Shortly thereafter, an email appeared in my inbox from Secretary Bill Ettlich. I read it with great interest, but also with some consternation, and perhaps with a bit of self-effacement; I couldn't help but wonder how many others had been asked to consider the position, and how many of those had said 'no' to this extraordinary opportunity. (I never did find out the answer to that question, perhaps some things best remain unsaid).
 
As Scott's board members soon learned, I had a series of questions, requested a bunch of documents and asked for some time to consider the opportunity. I then met face to face with each board member individually, as I wanted to learn about their goals regarding their particular area of service, our Club, etc. I also wanted to know how I could help each of them in their respective role. I gained a unique perspective as a result, which helped to lay the foundation for our year going forward together.
 
After concluding the meetings, I was satisfied that this could work! I agreed to step in to serve out President Scott's remaining term, officially taking office in time for the September board meeting. I guess, as they say, the rest is history.
 
What have I learned/gained from this experience?
 
– Just because you've served as Club President once, it still doesn't fully prepare you for the various curve balls thrown your way the second time around. But it does help.
 
– It's always wise to save your old Club President pin, you never know when you might need it (again).
 
– Our Club has some of the finest Board members, Committee Chairs and Rotarians around, and it has been my sincere pleasure to serve with each of them.
 
– We are financially healthy, which gives us the opportunity to assist with scholarships and grants on an ongoing basis, not to mention the opportunity to help those less fortunate both locally, and globally.
 
– Thanks to your efforts, our Club has been blessed with a series of new members who have brought new energy and vitality to our Club. I am grateful for everyone who brought in these new members, we are stronger because of you.
 
– We have a common bond, “Service Above Self” which keeps us committed to keeping our Rotary Club active, alive, relevant and vibrant.
 
In closing, I would never trade this experience for anything! I hope those of you who haven't had the pleasure of serving, would consider taking on a leadership role, perhaps first as a committee chair, and then as board member, with the goal of becoming President of the Club in your own right, some day. I guarantee, you won't regret a moment of it.
 
Thank you for allowing me to serve as your President, it has been an honor, a privilege and a humbling experience, one that I will cherish always.
 
I look forward to seeing you at the Club Celebration on June 21.
 
Yours in Rotary Service
President Anne
2010/2011 & 2017/2018
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