BY LINDA HULL
Rotary Club of Los Alamos
Rotary District Governor Sunny Kellerman, the new governor for District 5520, visited the Rotary Club of Los Alamos via Zoom from Silver City on September 15. District 5520 is the largest Rotary district in the continental United States, incorporating all 67 clubs in New Mexico and west Texas.
Kellerman took office on July 1. Ordinarily her duties would include visiting each District club in person, a travel commitment of up to six months, but Covid-19 restrictions have necessitated virtual meetings. Although Zoom meetings do not provide the personal interaction that nurtures most service organizations, this has not dampened Kellerman’s enthusiasm for her Rotary leadership role. In fact, Kellerman has created a theme for this challenging pandemic year: Now More Than Ever. “Rotary is relevant and one of the world’s greatest hopes,” she reminded Rotarians.
As a three-part outlook for the year, Kellerman encouraged Rotarians to develop a “culture of kindness and respect,” with extra care given to our own members who may be feeling isolated and without the deep sense of community they once felt; to create a “culture of collaboration” as we celebrate Rotary successes and reach out to others to initiate projects; and to embrace a “culture of innovation, adaptation, and creativity.” In that regard, District 5520 administrators have been inspired to develop a virtual cultural exchange for students because this year’s foreign exchange program has been curtailed by Covid-19.
Kellerman also encouraged Rotarians to continue to support The Rotary Foundation, whose grants help fund projects, such as the Club’s recent Meals of Hope food-packing event, and to explore Rotary International’s new alliance with Toastmasters as a way to enhance public speaking skills and confident leadership.
In addition to Rotary’s six areas of focus, categories of service activities supported by global grants, Kellerman announced that supporting the environment has become Rotary’s seventh area of focus. It joins peacebuilding and conflict prevention; disease prevention and treatment; water, sanitation, and hygiene; maternal and child health; basic education and literacy; and community economic development.
Kellerman, who joined Rotary in 1997, served in California clubs before moving to New Mexico in 2005. She grew up in Maryland and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Bucknell University and received a Juris Doctor from The George Washington University National Law Center. Kellerman practiced corporate and consumer law and taught commercial law. She was also a senior manager for the U.S. office of The Global Hunger Project. Kellerman has held many offices as an active Rotarian in District 5520.