1999-2000 District 5490 Governor George Wheeler     George C. Wheeler has served Rotary International in numerous Leadership and Committee roles at the Club, District, Zone and International levels for over 31 years.  He was President of the Rotary Club of Moriarty (NM) in 1990-91 and District Governor of D5490 in 1999-2000.  He helped start the Rotary Clubs of Northwest Valley (Glendale/Peoria, AZ), Anthem, Peoria North, and Korsakov (Sakhalin, Russia).  He has hosted various visiting Rotary Officers, Youth Exchange students and Group Study Exchange team members.
George served as the GSE team leader to the Middle East countries of Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Bahrain in the months following the 9/11 attack on NYC.  He served on the Arizona Tri-District PETS committee for 12 years, twice as the Chair.  Three times George was the district’s delegate to the tri-annual Council on Legislation and served on the 2013 COL Review Committee.  He has been a facilitator/instructor for district training events, Rotary Leadership Institutes, the Arizona Leadership Academy, and Rotary Foundation training.  He also served on and led the district Youth Services, Finance, and Nominating Committees, and the District Rotary Foundation Committee.  For nine years, he was the administrator/coordinator of Rotary Grants and the accompanying District Designated Funds.
In his year as Governor, the district hosted GSE teams from India and the Philippines; Two Open World teams from Russia; a Russian Center for Citizens Initiative team; and a Russian youth group who performed at the District Conference; built the Rotary House as part of a new West Valley Child Crisis Center campus.  During this year, George joined the Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona and Arizona Gift of Life Boards.
George has served on a variety of Zone Committees and Task Groups, on thirteen Zone Institute Committees and as the General Chair for the 2008 Institute in Boise, Idaho.  He was a member of one and then convener of another Zone Nominating Committee.  George had the honor of being the President’s Representative for RI Presidents Bill Boyd and D. K. Lee.
He and his wife, Willi have traveled in support of a variety of Rotary programs and projects.  They participated in Polio NIDs and Wheelchair Distributions in Ghana and Mexico.  They have represented the district at celebrations and dedications of Rotary grant projects and programs, and joined in the fun of Friendship Exchanges.  In 2003, in their retirement and after raising four children, they adopted a seven-year old girl, their Rotary child, from an orphanage in Korsakov, Russia.
Beyond Rotary, George is twice retired. He enjoyed a twenty-one-year career as Naval Aviator with assignments which included a tour as an operational advisor and flight instructor with the Chinese Air force (Taiwan), command of an aircraft squadron, and duty on the Chief of Naval Operations staff.  After obtaining his Master Degree in Healthcare Administration, he worked for the Presbyterian Healthcare Services in New Mexico, initially as a hospital administrator, then as the Vice-President for Human Resources.  Together with Willi, he has long been an advocate for voluntary community service which is his case includes PTAs, Chambers of Commerce, Property Owners Associations, Health Policy Board, Little League and Boy Scout Committees. the West Valley Child Crisis Center and fourteen years on the Sun Health Board.  He has consistently been involved with the administration of his church and is a Stephen Ministry Leader and grief counselor.
His most recent Rotary work was that of co-leader of the Merger Steering Committee that oversaw the merger of Rotary Districts 5490 and 5510 into the new District 5495.  He will continue to serve Rotary as a mentor and fellow worker.  George has received Rotary’s Service Above Self award, the Rotary Foundation’s Distinguished Service Award and its Citation for Meritorious Service.  He and partner Willi are members of the Arch Klumph Society, charter member of the Bequest Society and PHS fellows.