May 26, 2024 | Issue 47

Greetings from Singapore

When you receive this newsletter, Ann and I, along with 40 other D6970 Rotarians will be in Singapore for the 2024 International Convention. Locally, it is 5am on Monday and the Opening Ceremonies took place yesterday.

Many of you have had the experience of attending an International Convention, but for those that have not, I can only describe it as the "Super Bowl" of the Rotary year.

In recent years an average of 15,000 Rotarians gather from around the world to celebrate, gather new ideas and information, become inspired by world-renowned speakers and make new friends from around the globe. (Past Conventions have had as many as 40,000 attendees).

I've spoken with many of you that shared my experience of being awestruck by the displays in the House of Friendship, in essence, an expo of Rotary programs, fellowships, action groups and of course Rotary merch and swag. One can't help but be impressed by the size, scope and diversity of the displays and what they represent.

At every Convention I've attended, (this makes 5), I've run into friends and acquaintances from around the world, unplanned and by happy accident.

Like every Convention, the Opening Session began with the traditional Parade of Flags, always an inspiring spectacle and a reminder of the truly global nature of our organization.

The headline address from the first session was given by Graca Machel, Mozambican politician and humanitarian. The widow of former President of Mozambique Samora Machel and former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela, Machel advocates for women’s and children’s rights worldwide.

She was a freedom fighter in Mozambique’s FRELIMO movement and the country’s first Minister of Education. Machel is a member of the United Nations’ Secretary-General’s High Level Sustainable Development Goals Advocacy Group.

RI President R. Gordon McInally gave the Welcome Address, and we witnessed some great entertainment.

We are all looking forward to an exciting week ahead and in particular, the District dinner social at Jumbo Seafood, Tuesday evening, arranged by DGN Dale Moe.

You can follow the events on and will soon be able to make plans for attending the 2025 Convention in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

It is my sincere hope that each of you will be able to experience an International Convention at some point. It will be unforgettable.


John Tabor | District Governor 2023-2024

Rotary District 6970

John Tabor

District Governor


August 10, 2024

Rotary Learning Institute

Sante Fe College

Gainesville, FL

Upcoming Rotary International Conventions

2025 June 21-25

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

2026 June 12-17

Taipei, Taiwan

2027 June 5-9

Honolulu, Hawai'i, USA

2028 June 3-7

Manila, Philippines

2029 May 26-30

Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

2030 May 25-29

Chicago, Illinois, USA

125th Anniversary

Interactors Interact to change the future!

Sunday, May 5th, 2024 Interact Student D6970 Leadership hosted their inaugural End of The Year Celebration. Several District Interact clubs were able to attend the event at the River City Science Academy in Jacksonville, FL where over 60 Interactors and Rotarians came together and celebrated the achievements from 2023-2024. 

We were privileged to have D6970 Governor-Elect Mickey Ulmer and his wife Gail. In addition, West Jax Past President Ed Lombard, Past D6880 Governor Shawn Corrigan Asmuth, Palatka Sunrise Rotarians Brenda Bridges and Linda Bazar. Moreover we were extremely grateful for the attendance of East Arlington’s Interact Club, Terry Parker High School, our newest Interact Club in the District.

We were honored to host Patric Young, ESPN studio host, former professional and history making Gator basketball player who delivered an impactful story of resilience and triumph after facing unimaginable adversity. Every pre-registered student and Rotarian in attendance received a copy of Patric Young’s book, “Sit to Rise: Turning Your Darkest Pain into Your Brightest Victory”, which included a unique personal message from Young himself. Young stayed afterwards for photographs and conversed with Interactors and Rotarians. 

Interact Student Leadership: left to right

Rachel Moore, District Governor, Bella Cinnotti, NE Lt. Governor, Reagan Blackmer SW Lt. Governor, GiGi Carroll, District Interact Chair, Emma Pham, SE Sr. Lt. Governor, Fae Jabberi, Lt. NW Lt. Governor 

The event began with a warm welcome from D6970 Interact Chair, GiGi Carroll, and her Student Leadership Team including: Governor Rachel Moore and Lt. Governors Reagan Blackmer, Bella Cinotti, Emma Pham and Fae Jaberri. Ed Lombard introduced Patric Young, who shared his story and challenged everyone with insights and lessons learned. During the Q&A session, students asked Patric Young thought-provoking questions, he wrote down to add to his future speaking engagements. Afterwards, Interactors and Rotarians enjoyed cake provided by Cinotti's Bakery while each Student Lt. Governor shared a presentation of their Interact D6970 region's (SW, SE, NW, NE) accomplishments. Over 40 Interact Clubs and their sponsoring Rotary Clubs were recognized. Inspired by our District 6970 Interactors accomplishments and partnerships with their sponsoring Rotary Clubs, DG Elect Mickey Ulmer, immediately asked for the presentation and expressed his gratitude for Interact’s service in action.

As this year comes to an end for the 2023-2024 Student Leadership team, Interact Chair GiGi Carroll is accepting applications for the upcoming year as she welcomes the third group of student leaders. Rotarian Interact Liaisons have access to the application and are encouraged to share with your Interact Clubs. Thank you to our current Student leadership Team: Rachel Moore, Reagan Blackmer, Bella Cinotti, Emma Pham and Fae Jaberri for their dedication and commitment to ‘Service above Self’. We thank you wholeheartedly and appreciate the difference you have made in D6970! #patricyoungfoundation

Congratulations Fletcher HS Interact!

Meet your District Leadership

M800041826 image

Jodi Kotrady-Hatin

Assistant Governor Membership - Area 12

RC St. Augustine

Past President / Past Assistant Governor

Rotarian 26 years

Jodi Kotrady-Hatin is originally from Kingston, NY, but has called St. Augustine home since 1978. After graduating from the University of North Florida with a B.A. in Communications/Public Relations, Jodi worked in product marketing and sales support with EDS (Electronic Data Systems) in Plano, Texas, before transitioning to a 16-year tenure in financial services with Merrill Lynch. There, she started as a liability specialist and went on to become a financial advisor in downtown Jacksonville, Florida.

Jodi is the Director of Advancement at St. Joseph Academy High School (Florida's Oldest Catholic High School). She also manages the social media/marketing team and community relations. She joined St. Joseph Academy after she and her husband sold their real estate brokerage business in downtown St. Augustine. Her husband, Joe Hatin, continues to work in real estate and is currently the Vice President of the Commercial Division for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty.

This will be her second time serving as Assistant Governor for Rotary District 6970. She also serves on the finance council for Cathedral Parish School, St. Joseph Academy, and The Cathedral Basilica in downtown St. Augustine, where she and her family are parishioners. 

Jodi advocates for the PKU (Phenylketonuria) and metabolic Community on a local, state, and federal level. Jodi is one of the consumer representatives for Florida with SERC, the Southeast Newborn Screening & Genetics Regional Collaborative.

During the NFL football season, Jodi enjoys working freelance as a stage manager with CBS Sports. She has been working the NFL games since the Jacksonville Jaguars were founded.

Jodi's past affiliations include a 9-year board membership with the ARC of the St. Johns, a finance council membership with St. Anastasia Catholic Church, and a board membership with the St. Augustine Humane Society.

Jodi resides in St. Augustine Beach with her husband Joe of 24 years and enjoys spending time with her two daughters, Harlow Anne (21 years old) and Hailey Elizabeth (18 years old). Harlow is going into her senior year at the University of South Florida, and Hailey will be starting at the University of Florida in the Summer.

In their free time, the Hatin Family loves spending time together outdoors at the beach or boating and hiking in the N.C. mountains at their home away from home.

Mobility Worldwide / PET & Rotary D6970

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony 

The new Mobility Worldwide / PET Penney Farms (MW/PET PF) Metal Coating Facility was officially opened on Saturday, May 18.  Presiding over the ceremony were District Governor John Tabor; Foundation Grants Chair, Carolyn Mudgette; representatives of the participating Rotary clubs, the MW/PET PF Board Chair, Mr. Neil Petty, and the Director of the Penney Farms Retirement Community (PRC), Ms. Teresa Scott, both of whom are Rotarians.

PET® (Personal Energy Transportation) The Gift of Mobility is a volunteer-run program that builds and distributes 3-wheeled hand-powered wheelchairs. They are distributed to men, women and children around the world who can no longer walk due to loss of limb from an illness, birth defect, land mine or war. The rugged terrain and lack of roads in many areas means the typical wheelchair would be unsuited for these individuals. But the PET is the perfect answer. With its hard rubber wheels, a PET can go virtually anywhere.

At PET Penney Farms, volunteers construct about 20 of the PET units each week at a cost of about $300 each – hundreds of dollars less than a wheelchair or prosthetic limb would cost. Penney volunteers raise funds to cover the cost of the materials. To learn more: P.E.T

The purpose of the project is to prolong the life of the most critical parts (the metal) of the hand-built carts by converting from a spray paint system (aerosol cans and or air compressor) to a state-of-the art Metal Powder Coating System.  In so doing, this project will dramatically reduce exposure to potentially dangerous fumes, increase the current longevity of the metal parts by 2 – 3 times and significantly raise production efficiency.  Currently, MW / PET PF produces over 800 carts per year, at no cost to the recipients. Since its inception in 2004, over 14,000 carts have been built.

With funds supplied through the generous donations by the RC Fleming Island, Green Cove Springs, Interact Club of Green Cove Springs Junior HS, Orange Park (lead club), Orange Park Sunrise, Orange Park Sunset, St Augustine Sunset, MW / PET PF, private individuals, and a matching Rotary Foundation Grant, $50,000 was raised for the project. 

MW / PET PF is located at 2566 Lewis Avenue, Green Cove Springs 32079.  If your club or Interact is interested in donating funds or setting up a work day, please contact the office at: (904) 284.5495 /

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