May 12, 2024 | Issue 45

District Assembly and Conference

Last weekend, nearly 250 Rotarians and Guests from around the District and the world of Rotary came together at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, for fellowship, fun, training and inspiration.

We were privileged to have Past RI Trustee, Past RI Vice President Kenneth Schuppert and his wife Lynn, as our President's Representative for the weekend. Ken and Lynn hail from Decatur, Alabama where both are partners in the law firm that includes Past RI President Mark Maloney. We heard from Ken and Lynn throughout the weekend and were inspired by their stories of service around the world.

We also had the honor of hosting incoming Zone 33/34 Director Patrick Eakes from Greensboro, NC. Patrick is a Past District Governor and will be our representative on the RI Board of Directors for the next two years. He shared many stories, but we were particularly interested to hear how important Rotary Youth Service programs have been to his family. His daughter Sarah, joined us on Saturday.

The weekend began with the annual College of Governors' dinner at Maggianos. Thirty-five past, current and future Governors and their guests enjoyed a fun evening and were formally introduced to DGND Bo Norton.

Friday, District Assembly was held, including the annual District business meeting and afternoon training sessions for incoming club leadership in 2024-25.

Friday evening activities were the kick off for the Annual Conference. A cocktail reception was held on the patio and thirty Rotarians were treated to an informative and hilarious take on the world of Scotch Whisky. PDG George Robertson-Burnett regaled the group with stories of his homeland and all were able to sample expressions across the whisky spectrum. The event raised over $1200 for Polio Plus.

Saturday was a full day of great food, fellowship and inspirational messages from our fantastic speakers.

Professor Yohani Kayinamura, a member of RC Daytona Beach West, shared his work in rescuing "street children" in Rwanda. And PDG (D5130) Barbara Spengler, RC Lakewood Ranch discussed the Power of the Rotary Foundation around the world and here in Florida.

A number of volunteers were recognized for service to the District. The Assistant Governors, District Training Facilitator, Bea Fore and Lieutenant Governor, Dean Scott were recognized with the Rotary District 6970 Avenue of Service Award in the area of Club Service. It was also special for me personally to award a number of them with Paul Harris Fellow recognition.

A memoriam for Rotarians who passed in the last year was conducted. And we also recognized some special Rotarians with the All Watson and Brent Williams Memorial Awards for years of consistent service to their communities, clubs, and the District.

The evening concluded with a fun presentation by George Robertson-Burnett, who then conducted an auction which raised another $2,000 for Polio Plus.

At the conclusion, a traditional pin exchange took place marking the change in leadership for the District. Even though I now have the Past District Governor pin in my possession, DGE Mickey Ulmer was quick to point out that I'm not eligible to wear it until July 1!

I'm grateful for all who attended any portion of the Assembly and Conference. I've heard from many that you'll take back something that will enhance your Rotary experience.

I hope that you will make plans to attend next year in Daytona Beach. DGE Mickey has started the planning process and particulars will be announced soon.

The planning for this event begins almost a year in advance. I'm so thankful for the time and great work of all the volunteers responsible for putting on the Assembly and Conference. In particular, PDG Ken Baker, RC West Jacksonville who was the event Chair, and AG Susan Hill, RC Orange Park Sunrise who coordinated all of the logistics and hospitality.

To all, a heartfelt Thank You!


John Tabor | District Governor 2023-2024

Rotary District 6970

John Tabor

District Governor


August 10, 2024

Rotary Learning Institute

Sante Fe College

Gainesville, FL

PDG Shawn Corrigan-Asmuth (West Jacksonville) and her husband John with President's Rep Ken Schuppert and wife Lynn at the College of Governors' dinner May 2.

Shawn served with Ken in District 6860 (AL)

At the Sat. auction for Polio, DGE Mickey models a 2024 theme scarf signed by RI Pres-Elect Stephanie Urchick

Thanks PDG Marshall Butler for a fantastic production!

District Assembly

May 3, 2024

Assembly Call to Order and

Special Thanks to District Executive Secretary Patti Chapman

The District Conference weekend began with a day of district business with club leadership preparation. Over 160 members from around the district gathered for lunch and the opportunity to renew old friendships and make new acquaintances.

The annual assembly kicked off with lively responses to the roll-call of clubs and then the reporting of past expenditures and approval of the next year's budget. With business completed, attention turned to the prescribed training of club leaders for 2024-25. 

The group was divided into an afternoon of workshops for presidents, secretaries and treasurers, and the three key committees of membership, foundation and public image. While a variety of facilitators led discussions of timely topics to help prepare the club leaders in their assigned rolls, special thanks goes to our Zone Director-Elect Pratrick Eakes for kicking off the presidents' workshop with ideas for leadership development and succession followed by a wide-ranging question-and-answer session with the presidents-elect. 

District Conference

May 4, 2024

Scotch Whiskey Tasting led by George Robertson-Burnett raises $1,200 for Polio Plus

Saturday begins with a greeting from US Representative Aaron Bean (RC Fernandina Beach)

Rahul Sharma, RC West Jacksonville served as Master of Ceremonies

Over forty attended the Major Donor Reception Saturday evening. District Foundation Chair, PDG Rich Turnbull and I were honored to recognize Rotarians who attained or elevated Major Donor status this year.

Saturday concluded with a final address from George Robertson-Burnett entitled

 "It's Rotary..You Can't Be Serious!"

An auction of donated and Rotary themed items for 2024-2025 raised $2,000 for Polio Plus.

DG John and DGE Mickey exchanged the Past District Governor pin and the District Governor pin for the next Rotary year.

Wayne McClain, RC Palatka

Al Watson "Quiet Hero" Award Recipient

The 2024 Al Watson Memorial "Quiet Hero" Award is presented to Wayne McClain. Wayne is a 23 year Rotarian and a member of RC Palatka since 2010.

Throughout his tenure as a Rotarian, Wayne has demonstrated an exceptional dedication to the values of Rotary, just as Al Watson did during his sixty-five years of service. Like Al and his beloved wife Agnes, this year’s honoree has tirelessly worked behind the scenes, giving generously and without fanfare, to uplift those around him and create a brighter future for all.

Congratulations, Wayne, and thank you for your dedication to Rotary and to making our community a better place for generations to come.

Russ Miller, RC Green Cove Springs

D. Brent Williams "Spirit of Rotary"

Award Recipient

Russ Miller, RC Green Cove Springs is the recipient of the D. Brent Williams Spirit of Rotary Award. This award, is named after the greatly revered Rotarian D. Brent Williams, which is a testament to his unwavering dedication, exemplary leadership, and profound commitment to service not only within District 6970 but across the globe.

D. Brent Williams epitomized the essence of Rotary through his remarkable journey, which began with his passionate involvement in the Rotary Club of Gainesville in 1989. Even in the face of adversity, Brent's commitment to Rotary remained steadfast. Diagnosed with ALS in 2013, he continued to serve until his health no longer permitted. His legacy of service and compassion continues to inspire us all.

We are honored to bestow the 2023-2024, D. Brent Williams Spirit of Rotary Award upon Russ Miller. In a unique twist of fate, Russ Miller is one of the original architects of this award.  Russ' dedication to Rotary and his community mirrors the exemplary qualities demonstrated by Brent.

Russ, a member of Rotary for 25 years, has been a champion of the Rotary Foundation, encouraging and showing many how to assist in the work of the Foundation through their contributions.

It is fitting that we recognize and celebrate Russ' outstanding contributions with this award.

Congratulations, Russ Miller, on receiving the D. Brent Williams Spirit of Rotary Award. Your service and leadership are a shining example to us all.

Tracy Loftus, RC Flagler County receives

Governor's Citation for Distinguished Service

The 2024 Governor's Citation for Distinguished Service is presented to Mr. Tracy Loftus on behalf of District 6970.  His work as Registrar has enabled the District and its members to better accomplish the goals of Rotary International, the Rotary Leadership Institute and Florida PETS. Tracy is recognized for his dedication, willingness to serve and devotion to Rotary purpose.

Congratulations Tracy and Thank You!

Meet your District Leadership

Kayla Ferriero-Thompson

Assistant Governor Membership - Area 10

DeLand Rotaract

Past President

Rotaractor 5 years

Kayla relocated to Florida from New Jersey in 2014 and wasted no time launching her career in health insurance as an administrative assistant. After two years of gaining valuable experience helping members with their issues, she decided to take the next step and become a licensed agent.

Driven by a passion for community involvement, Kayla started volunteering for Toys for Tots of Volusia County. She also became active in her local Chamber of Commerce, BNI, and the Rotaract Club of Deland.

Now a permanent resident of West Volusia County, Kayla enjoys spending her free time exploring the area's many beautiful parks with her husband, daughter, and their three dogs.

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