Win Schoneman District Governor, District 5000 2018-19

Aloha Fellow Rotarians,

It feels like spring is in the air as we begin a new Rotary year. Full of promise, excitement and expectations as I travel from club to club; feeling blessed and privileged to be a participant.

Five years ago, being District Governor was the furthest thing from my mind. I was planning on building a house…dogs…grand daughter in San Diego. And then….and then I participated in our Vocational Training Team in Romania. In Iasi, Romania I observed life changing operations inside the operating room. Up close and personal. It was life changing for me…. The proverbial pebble thrown into the pond…the ripples go forth interacting with all…and almost imperceptibly the ripples come back towards me…interacting and changing me.

As District Governor Nominee Designate I thought I had so much time.

As District Governor Nominee I began dreaming about what is possible…talking about what we could do…

As District Governor Elect reality snuck in. There is a lot of planning to do…a lot of work…

As District Governor…

I do believe that I am at the right place in the right time. The Presidents are well trained, motivated, they care deeply and, by and large, are young…I am sure they will innovate their clubs. Our focus is on having an EPIC year…. Excellence, why excellence…who wants to belong to a mediocre organization. Excellence is not a destination, it is a process of improvement…of reaching and striving. Excellence will create clubs that are attractive to members…new and established alike.

Today as District Governor I am thankful. Thankful to my wife Sandy for her support….

Thankful to Past District Governor Nalani for her ways and friendship….

Thankful to Rich Zegar…

Thank you, Clint, and Del for investing your time, treasure and resources in supporting the training of my class of District Governors…

Thank you to PDG Roy King. Thankful for all the Past District Governors that have gone before, for without them we would not be here.

I am thankful for a group of club presidents who have trust in me, who are leading our clubs to a great future, who will be an inspiration to us all.

Thankful to a team of volunteer Rotarians who have stepped into positions of leadership in our district…many for the first time.

And I am thankful for every Rotarian…for it is the everyday, hardworking Rotarian that is Rotary.

Last of all and maybe most important thank you to my sponsor, Harold Estes….Harold passed away a few years ago but what he has contributed to my life is immeasurable. I would not have the friends, the feelings and the opportunities I have without his belief in Rotary.

These last few months I have had a wonderful opportunity to have some great conversations about what it means to be a Rotarian…. there are a number common themes; one of which what is Rotary? Over the years we have often talked about being a service organization, a membership organization; a leadership organization. We talk about what we do and about what service projects we do. I think perhaps the best conversation is about

what we give. What we give… certainly we give time, expertise, resources. What I think we give most is HOPE. HOPE. I believe hope is as necessary to life as water or air. Without hope the will to live perishes. Hope! As I drive across the airport overpass…past Kahuaiki, I see, on the laundry lines, clothes drying in the breeze…. hope. We see it in the eyes of the children we teach to read. Read to me. You see it in the expression of teenagers at Rotary Youth Leadership Awards camps. It is present in the families of the 2.5 billion children immunized against polio by Rotarians and national immunization teams since 1985. We hear it from our brothers and sisters in Asia, South America and Africa as we bring clean water, sanitation and hygiene to their communities. We are the largest peace building organization in the world…our Rotary Peace Fellows teach peace building skills and facilitate mediation. I hear the hope of PDG Lisa Foster’s voice with every Peace Scholar application. Hope…I see it in your eyes and feel it in my soul…. hope. hope…. for a better, more peaceful world. Four our children and the children of the world. Rotary’s Promise is our promise…Rotary’s legacy. And now for the ASK… if you are not a Rotarian…will you not join us? If you are a Rotarian I ask you pick a passion. Be impactful. Human Trafficking and slavery. Homelessness. Feed the hungry. Literacy. Water and Sanitation. Health…peace. Make a three-year commitment … excellence and impact take time and commitment. I have two friends … in the que as they say. They are amazing people, Eric Kaler and Naomi Masuno, with a style all their own but very committed to doing good in our community

and the world. They will want and need your support, your commitment, your action. … Please, go forward, take action, create a legacy of doing good. Start today. Be The Inspiration

Win Schoneman 
Rotary International 
Hawaii District Governor