My first column –

Since my landslide victory as President, I have heard numerous accusations of Russian hacking and voter fraud. I can assure you that these charges are unfounded and most likely perpetrated by the fake Kiwanian Media.

Now that those questions have been put to rest let me say that we will have a very exciting and busy year. We will celebrate 100 years of service, fellowship and leadership. Our meetings and social events will again be LIVE and in-person!

We have outstanding speakers arranged by our Vice-President of Programs, Bill Chillingworth. Our Vice-President of Committees Andrea Gressinger has organized our Avenue of Service Directors into committees that will help us address Rotary’s goal of making lasting change in the world.

We will again have LIVE! meetings beginning with our first meeting of the year on July 9th. We have an agreement with the new Hilton (old DoubleTree). With the upgraded hotel and food service there has been a price increase, which we expected. Previously, both at LeMerigot and at DoubleTree we were charged $55 per person. Members were billed $47 per lunch and your dues covered $8.

The new price is $68 per person. This is more than we like and was negotiated down from a much higher proposal. With rising food and labor costs, this is the best option we could find. The other venues who would host us were priced similarly but were not as nice an option overall. We will only increase member lunch fees from $47 to a new fee of $57. The remaining $11 will come from your dues. Guests will be charged $68. Fortunately, as we will have eleven or twelve zoom meetings during the year, your total lunch fees will actually be lower than in the past.

Recently we’ve had a “President’s Monday Morning Message”. This year that information will instead be part of RotaMonica as it was in years past. This helps us inform not just Rotarians but more of the community of club activities and accomplishments. We have links in RotaMonica that will quickly and easily take you to our website for detailed information on activities, events, programs, membership and service opportunities thanks to our new format organized by Webmaster Chris Lee.

As I write this first column the responsibilities of filling the role of President with which you have entrusted me become real. Since being named President-Elect Nominee in December of 2019 the challenges and opportunities of leading our club during our Centennial Year have been both incredibly motivating and incredibly terrifying. My first thought is that today I take the role that some of the outstanding leaders of our community have held over the past 100 years. Serving as President of RCSM is an honor in any year but for me even more so as we celebrate our centennial. We have a tremendous opportunity this year to enhance the recognition and reputation of our club.

I look forward to a year of fun, fellowship and service and thank you all in advance for the great year we have ahead.

Yours in Rotary

Bill Powell

President, Rotary Club of Santa Monica