Water washes across the beach, where 2017 2018 are written in sand.
 
June 30, 2018 marks the official end of the Rotary year 2017-18. At the stroke of midnight, 63 clubs will have new leadership in place, ready to "Be the Inspiration," the 2018-19 Rotary theme. Mel Gallegos becomes District Governor of Rotary International District 5340, with Marta Knight rising to the role of District Governor Elect. New leadership will also take over in Rotary International, as Barry Rassin officially becomes President of the organization. 
 
"As we close the books on 2017-18, this is our last chance to pause and reflect on the good works we achieved," said outgoing District Governor Scott Carr. "This was one for the record books, and the members of our District should be very proud of all they achieved." 
 
Some of this year's notable achievements include:
 
  • Over $1 million in giving to PolioPlus, ranking Rotary District 5340 in the Top 10 districts in the world.
  • 6,212 new trees planted by our clubs, surpassing our District's goal of 5,000 new trees by Earth Day 2018.
  • One-third of all our clubs qualifying for the Rotary Citation, including each of the five largest clubs in the district.     
  • The formal launch of Surfers Unite Rotarian Fellowship (SURF), which ended 2017-18 with over 500 members from 27 countries.
 
From a District perspective, we also made significant gains including:
 
  • Explosive growth in the District’s Facebook Page from 300 followers to over 50,000.
  • An overhaul of our Youth Certification to include stronger background checks.
  • Improved accountability and better financial controls.
  • Rollout of a People of Action campaign at San Diego International Airport that gained national attention.
  • The use of new online platforms for telling the Rotary story, including Instagram and Waze.
  • Becoming the first ClubRunner customer to incorporate SSL for enhanced security and greater visibility in search engines.
  • Enhanced NewsBits, as well as increased number of online news stories (thank you, Sandy Pugliese).
  • Awarded the Platinum Seal of Transparency, the highest recognition given by independent rating service Guidestar.
  • Increased integration with our wonderful Rotaract members.
  • Expanded alliances with outside organizations, including ShelterBox, California ReLeaf, American Red Cross, University of San Diego, and more.
 
District 5340 hosted numerous successful events, including:
 
  • A Western-themed Membership Seminar featuring clubs that were part of RI Director John Matthews' Sustainable Club initiative.
  • The People of Action Foundation Seminar at Poway Center for Performing Arts.
  • International Assembly, welcoming over 500 District Governors-elect from across the globe for training.
  • Youth programs, including RYLA, LEAD, Model United Nations, MusiCamp, Four-Way Test Speech Contest, and the Instrumental Music Competition.
  • A family-friendly District Conference at Knott’s Berry Farm with our friends in District 5320.
  • The 7th Annual Peace Forum at University of San Diego.
  • A Governors Dinner that filled the San Diego Marriott La Jolla to capacity.
 
 
Each of these programs is made possible by the tireless dedication of hundreds of volunteers. "Our District is truly filled with individuals making a difference, each and every day" added Carr. "This past year as District Governor has been the journey of a lifetime, and I wish to give humble thanks to the Rotarians of this great district who continue giving to other Rotarians, to the communities where they live and works nd to tomorrow's future generations. I wish nothing but the very best to Governor Mel Gallegos and his leadership team, as I know they will do great things in the year ahead."