Hello Everyone!
As we enter the New Year, we continue to hope and pray for an end to the pandemic.  The distribution of the vaccine gives us hope for a happy 2021.
That being said, I have some disappointing news regarding the upcoming District Conference.  Originally, we planned for the Conference to take place at the Westchester Marriott in Tarrytown/Sleepy Hollow, NY.  But with the pandemic, we canceled and decided to move the Conference into our District, at the Corning Radisson.  Six months after planning to be in Corning, the pandemic continues, with Covid cases currently spiking.  While the distribution of a vaccine is heartening, there are too many unknowns to properly plan a conference with any in-person attendance. Therefore, we have canceled the District Conference in Corning.   We are now investigating opportunities to hold a re-imagined virtual District Conference.
During January I encourage you to work on the important Vocational Service Rotary area of focus.
As stated on the Rotary International website, Vocational Service is rooted in the 2nd Object of Rotary that calls for “High ethical standards in business and professions, the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations; and the dignifying of each Rotarian’ occupation as an opportunity to serve society.”
To foster vocational service, one can talk about professions in your club and learn about each other’s occupations.  In these times more than ever, it is important to support one another.  This is also the time to use your skills and expertise to serve the community, help young people achieve their goals, and guide and encourage others in their professional development.   
As District Governor, I now begin the second half of my year. I want to highlight several accomplishments.
First, communication in our District has been a concern of mine that I felt needed to be addressed. Our talented yet overworked Public Image Chair, Tom Brown, needed help with social media and the district website.  I am happy to report that Phil Sennett, from Roc City Rotary, is now the chair of the Public Image Social Media Committee and that Marc Kreuser of the Newark Rotary Club is now chair of the District Web Site. They each have an excellent team of volunteers assisting them and Tom Brown.  However, if you are interested in participating, please contact me and I will pass your name along.
Second, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, also known as DEI, is a high priority for Rotary. Rotary values diversity and celebrates the contributions of people of all backgrounds.  As District Governor, I reached out to Rotarians in our District to serve on a district-wide DEI Committee. Rotarians stepped forward and as the year ended, Dr. Sim Covington from the Canandaigua Rotary Club agreed to chair the District DEI Committee.  In addition, Dr. Covington will be moderating the Regional Membership Panel Discussion, “Do You See and Hear What I see and Hear” on Monday, January 18. If you have an interest in participating in the DEI Committee, please contact me.
The third initiative that I have pursued is to create an Environmental Action Committee. As you are aware, the Environment is now the 7th area of focus for Rotary.  After reaching out for volunteers, a committee was formed and recently Gary Anderson, from the Geneseo Rotary Club has agreed to chair the committee.  The committee will focus on clean air, clean water, sustainability, and environmental education to further the vision of Rotary International.  Again, if you would like to join this committee, please contact me.
Speaking of the environment, please mark your calendar for The Great Lakes Watershed Cleanup service project scheduled for Saturday, April 24. This project was created by multiple Rotary Districts along the Great Lakes.  Clubs are asked to pick up along the waterways in their area. More information to follow.
Please take care of yourselves and find ways to stay connected with your fellow Rotarians and community.  As they say, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Yours in Rotary,
District Governor 2020-2021
Rotary District 7120
585-354-5259 (cell)
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