The Rotary Club of Centerville recently had a very special guest attend their meeting — Hamsa Thota, who is serving as No. 6920 district governor. The district contains 64 Rotary Clubs encompassing the southeastern part of the state.
Thota was welcomed to the Rotary Club of Centerville by the club’s newly elected president, Erin Kitchens. Kitchens is retired from the Houston County Board of Education where she worked as an interpreter for the deaf.
Thota will be celebrating 40 years as a Rotarian next year. Originally from a small coastal town in southeast India, Thota attended college in India before coming to the United States to earn his Ph.D in food science and dairy manufacturing from the University of Georgia. He holds 10 U.S. patents in food processing and packaging and currently resides in St. Simons.
“I have been a Southerner all my life,” Thota said to the crowd gathered at the club’s meeting. “South India and now the south United States.”
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Thota told the club that his favorite book is “Doing Good in the World,” which is the story of Rotary Foundation’s first 100 years.
“I have been part of that history for 40 years,” said Thota.
His remarks to the club included setting his goal for the 2017-2018 year, such as a net gain in Rotary Club membership and an increase in diversity. He would the clubs in the district to qualify for the District’s “All Clubs Celebration Citation” recognition.
Thota recognized the charter members of the Centerville club in attendance and commended them on their guidance. Thota remarked that he had helped to charter clubs himself in the past and knew the unique challenges that came with starting a club.
“Without their leadership in chartering this club, the rest would not be here,” Thota said. “They created this opportunity to engage in Rotary service and friendship.”
Thota encouraged the club to remain committed to the goals of Rotary and reminded them that although they belong to an international organization, each member has the power to impact lives.
“Small acts of kindness touch lives. There is a joy that comes from giving and I want each of you to experience that joy,” he said.
In Thota’s honor, the Rotary Club of Centerville established two GED scholarships in his name.
Alline Kent can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.