Dear Fellow Rotarians,
Each July 1 marks the beginning of a new year for Rotary International. So, Happy New Year to the 71 clubs 6 satellites and 2473 members of our new District 5495!
Thank you to the dozens of talented Rotarians who have stepped up to serve as 2017-18 Club Presidents, Assistant Governors, Club Leaders, Committees/Program Chairs and District Officers.  Your leadership during this, our inaugural year, will be the foundation for our success!
RI President Ian Riseley’s inspiring theme of ‘Rotarians Making a Difference’ clearly reflects our common purpose and shared values. This year we’ll have double the capacity to make a difference, with our doubled numbers, doubled resources and double opportunities—whether we are focusing our energy on local projects, international projects, Youth programs, building Peace or Polio eradication.   The good, positive energy coursing through our new district is contagious! 
As we settle in and get to know each other, let’s increase our capacity by
 -Building Relationships.  Many clubs have already experienced the energy and impact that comes from working together.  They have been successfully sharing resources and working together on projects, grants and collaborative efforts.  Let’s continue to build on that and look for even more opportunities to partner. 
  -Building Member Resources. Events such as Presidents-Elect Training (PETS) and Club Leadership Academy (CLA) will continue to be held in person. These feature networking and interaction as an essential program component and provide an opportunity for developing friendships and sharing ideas. Another source of support are our Committee Chairs who can speak or provide support on a variety Rotary topics. Your Assistant Governor can help you identify potential club-delivered support.
Finally, many other resources will be delivered electronically, through webinars and conferencing technology.   When you explore our new D5495 website, you’ll find a rich, new virtual library under the Member Resources heading.
  -Building Bench Strength.  Each of us has strengths, experiences and talents to bring to the organization we love.  Share yours, please. In order to grow and stay fresh and vibrant, your club needs your energy and skills, and so does our District!  In the coming days you’ll hear about many opportunities to be a part of new and exciting initiatives in Peace, Literacy, Friendship Exchanges, Strategic Planning, Home Hosting Network, Club Representative Network and Environmental Sustainability.
I personally feel very fortunate to have already developed so many rewarding relationships with Rotarians across our new district.  What a privilege it is to spend time with like-minded people who share a passion for service and for Rotary!
Best wishes for a great year!
Nancy Van Pelt
District Governor