June 6, 2018
Dear Rotarians:
This next week I will be passing the District Governor baton to my friend Neil Fell who is looking
forward to assuming his responsibilities as your District Governor beginning on July 1. You will
enjoy Neil’s leadership during this next year and I am confident that our District will continue to
develop as an organization that effectively supports our local clubs.
We had a wonderful District Conference in Charles City with some inspiring presentations and
some very special guest speakers. Jessica Rucker, president of the Cedar Valley Club, spoke to us
of her club’s pursuit of a clubfoot project in the country of Mexico. Our exchange students
presented a hilarious film that highlighted their view of American life. Ambassador Kenneth
Quinn, president of The World Food Prize, opened our eyes to the importance of Norman Borlaug
and the organization in Des Moines that has carried on his legacy of feeding the world. Dr. Jerry
Nelson provided stunning insights to life in North Korea with spectacular photos from both the
city and countryside in North Korea.
Unfortunately, and despite our considerable promotional efforts, the attendance at our District
Conference was not commensurate with the quality of the program and efforts made to provide
a quality experience for our membership. As with other District Conferences, the attendees tend
to be the District Officers with a smattering of incoming Club Officers. We continue to have
difficulty in attracting our regular members or perhaps in competing with the activities that
engage our members on a weekly basis. Our District Board will need to reexamine this as we go
forward so that we can commit our resources effectively and provide a meaningful experience to
our membership.
It’s been an honor being your District Governor during this past year and I now look forward to
returning to my local club and becoming more involved in its activities. 
Yours in Rotary,
Ralph Smith, your District Governor