The regular noon meeting of the Rotary Club of Sierra Vista was a special event this week. Our new Club President, Mr. Joe Puett, was installed in office along with the new Officers and Directors of his team. Prior to the Installation ceremony, the Club President for 2015-16, Ms. Emily Scherrer, provided an excellent recap of the accomplishments by the club during her tenure.
Emily began her Rotary year a little earlier than most, as she stepped in to be the Club President when the serving President 2014-15 transferred to Utah. Emily was up to the task and with support from her Board of Directors and the club members, she blazed a path for us to follow the entire year.
With her energy and leadership, the club completed dictionary and thesaurus deliveries to 3rd grade and 7th grade students in Cochise County. Club members supported the Douglas Fly-In and the Sierra Vista Fly-In; participated in the Alzheimer’s Walk and the Relay for Life; participated in a record breaking manner in the Ride to End Polio conducted in conjunction with the El Tour de Tucson; sent an exchange student to Taiwan and sponsored a young French high school student here in Sierra Vista. We also sent two of our club members to Mexico to immunize children from polio. The club started having regular “Happy Hour” gatherings open to all Rotarians and prospective Rotarians, intended to strengthen our social ties in the club and within the community, which they did. These gatherings were a big hit and will continue into the next Rotary Year.
Continuing her year in review comments, President Emily said, “The Rotary Club of Sierra Vista has had another successful and hectic year. We participated in project graduation. We were part of a grant that built a playground for schoolchildren with disabilities. Our weekly bulletins went electronic; our website and social media are now (somewhat) updated, and over a glass of wine and cheese we became friends in addition to Rotary partners and business friends.”
Another significant accomplishment of the club under the Presidency of Ms. Scherrer, was being at the very top level of contributions per/capita for the Rotary Foundation, thereby helping to provide aid and assistance around the world in international humanitarian and peace-making efforts.
In concluding her remarks, Emily said she would “like to say a big THANK YOU to all the Board Members, Rotarians, and all of you who have helped make this year a productive one, including the Pueblo del Sol Country Club (the location for our weekly meetings) and its excellent staff.”
“It is now my pleasant duty to pass on the baton of leadership of this prestigious club to our incoming president, Joe Puett. He is energetic, full of ideas, and ready to lead.  I know his year will be a success and I'm already looking forward to serving him (and handing over my duties) as our leader. I wish Joe and his incoming board every success.  
As a former youth librarian, and a current library administrator, I thought it prudent to end on the infamous words of the highly sought-after poet, Dr. Seuss. So, to Joe and the Board, here's my advice for the next year:
                        ‘You're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So... get on your way!’
Thank you for a wonderful year. It's been an honor serving as your president.”
Ms. Scherrer then recognized her 2015-16 Board of Directors with presents: Rotary wine glasses went to Vice President - Frank Gonzalez; Secretary - Mike Strange; Treasurer - Jack Lintner; Sgt-at-Arms - Les Orchekowsky; Community Service Director - Brian Barkdull; Vocational Service Director - Joe Britton; Public Relations Director - Al Chariton; International Director - Jim Evans; New Generations/Youth Services Director - Anne Gibson; and Rotary Foundation Director - Les Orchekowsky.  Emily then announced attendance awards, and gave special thank you presents to Rotarians who provided exceptional support to Rotary projects. Emily ending up by presenting her two highest annual awards; The “Rotarian of the Year Award” was given to Rotarian Jack Lintner, and the “Service Above Self Award” was given to Rotarian John Spengler.
Past President and Rotary District 5500 Assistant Governor, Ms. KJ Wigton, then conducted the Installation ‘Swearing- In’ ceremony for new Club President Joe Puett. After taking the President’s gavel, President Joe took charge of the rest of the meeting starting with the official ‘swearing-in’ of his new Board of Directors.
Rotary Club of Sierra Vista—Officers and Directors—2016-17
                                President: Joe Puett
                                Vice President: Emily Scherrer
                                President Elect: Nancy Fusco
                                Secretary: Mike Strange
                                Treasurer: Jack Lintner
                                Admin Services: KJ Wigton
                                Community Service: Frank Gonzalez
                                Vocational Service: Joe Britton
                                International Service (Co-Chairs): Jim Evans, Dan Crews
                                New Generations: Anne Gibson
                                Public Relations: John Spengler
                                Rotary Foundation: Les Orchekowsky
Afterwards, President Joe took a few moments to briefly outline his objectives for the club for Rotary Year 2016-17. He emphasized that service projects and the club activities were going to be focused on areas that Rotary International supported and would reflect the areas that Sierra Vista Rotary Club members wanted to pursue for our local community and for international projects. He pledged to work hard and to help ‘grow’ projects that would meet the theme for Rotary Year 2016-17, which is “Rotary Serving Humanity.”