On July 1st the Rotary calendar turns to a fresh page
and the new Rotary year begins. As I reflect on the year
about to end at Rotary Club of Milwaukee, I am filled
with gratitude for all that you, my fellow members,
did over the course of the past twelve months to
keep our Club vibrant and make Milwaukee a better
place. Please allow me to use my final remarks as Club
President to express my thanks for a wonderful 2018-
2019 Rotary year.
First, thank you for gathering on each Tuesday to share
a meal, visit with each other, and enjoy our weekly
programs. Our Tuesday meetings are the heartbeat of
our Club. Our weekly programs invite us to learn, and
challenge us to create the lasting change in ourselves
that is a first step in creating lasting change in our
community. Each week you enthusiastically embraced
the invitation and took up the challenge. What we
learned together helped us to be not just people of
action, but people of informed and well-planned action.
Thank you for connecting with each other over coffee
or a beer, or during a bike ride or a hike, and for the
serious and not so serious conversations over cocktails
at our networking hours, during a hearty meal at a
Rotary organized dinner, or during the swirl of a barn
party. That time enjoyed together nurtured the spirit of
fellowship and friendship that forms the foundation for
Thank you for remembering with me those who did not
complete the journey with us this year. We lost friends
and mentors who were strong leaders for our Club and
our community. Now it falls to us to take up their work,
and I am comforted by the knowledge that we will.
Thank you to our Committee Chairs – you guide and
drive the work that makes our Club a force for positive,
lasting change. And thank you to our Committee
members – you make that positive, lasting change
You planted trees, enlivened the lakefront with music,
packed food for those in need, awarded college scholarships
and mentored the scholarship students, distributed
books, tutored children, honored service members
and gold star families, kept our Club finances in order,
recruited and welcomed new members, worked to keep
all of us engaged in the life of our Club, focused our
efforts in the Johnson’s Park neighborhood, worked to
promote investment in Milwaukee, took us behind the
scenes around Milwaukee, supported the work to end
polio, and led infrastructure projects in Guatemala.
You even coaxed Winston Churchill from the grave and
brought him to Milwaukee to offer us a history lesson.
Thank you to our Club officers and Board members for
their attention to the strategic direction of our Club, their
commitment to keep our Club strong into the future, and
their aspiration to reach goals for growing and diversifying
our membership, for encouraging the next cohort of
Club leaders, and for connecting our work as a Club to a
common strategic framework.
Thank you to Mary McCormick for her steady guidance
through the year. Her determination to obtain our bold
new meeting bell was emblematic of her passionate pursuit
of the call to fellowship and service that first energized
the Rotary Club of Milwaukee on January 29, 1913.
And thank you to Michelle Hawkins, Ann Keenan, and
Rita Fadness for helping Mary keep our office humming.
Thank you Past President JoAnne for inviting me to sign
on for a year as Club President. Thank you to all of the
Past Presidents who advised and encouraged me along
the way. And thank you President Elect Steve Chevalier
for stepping forward to serve as Club President for the
upcoming Rotary year.
It is with deep gratitude for all that each of you have done
this past year, and with abiding confidence in what this
great Rotary Club will accomplish in the year and years
ahead, that I pass the gavel to Steve Chevalier.