by Max Marbut
The first time health care services executive Vicki-lynne Gloger noticed there was such a thing as the Rotary Club was when she was a teenager attending summer camp.
“The camp across the lake was for what was called back then ‘handicapped’ children and it was sponsored by the Rotary Club,” she said.
A few years later during her senior year of high school, Gloger was a Rotary Youth Exchange Student and traveled to South America where she lived with a Bolivian family while going to school.
“That’s when I decided I wanted to be a Rotarian,” she recalled, then added, “Of course that was in 1973 and I didn’t realize they didn’t allow women in the club.”
The world has changed a lot since then and so has Rotary. When Gloger rings the bell to begin the July 1 meeting of the Rotary Club of South Jacksonville, she will make history as the club’s first woman president.
The Chicago native came to Jacksonville for a job at St. Vincent’s Hospital and met Sister Mary Claire Hughes, who along with Frances B. Kinne were the first women invited to join a Rotary Club in Jacksonville.
Gloger was presented to the Rotary Club of South Jacksonville 18 years ago and said it has been one of the best experiences of her life.
“The impact of Rotary in Jacksonville and around the world is unbelievable. There is not any place or any cause in our community that has not been touched at some time in some way by Rotary,” she said.
Having served on just about every committee and worked on dozens of projects, Gloger says editing the club’s newsletter — “The Gear” — has been her favorite.
“It forced me to get to know all of our members and gain an understanding of all the things the club does,” she said.
She’s already set some goals for her year as president, including having the club work with Jacksonville Community Council, Inc. to reduce infant mortality and increase involvement with the Interact and Rotaract programs for students.
“We’re also going to involve the families of our members in activities this year,” she said. “Generation X and Generation Y are different than we were. They insist on having family time so we’re going to find ways to include the whole family in our projects. I think it’s an opportunity to get more done while imbuing the children with a sense of service.”
When asked if she felt any pressure as the first woman president of the club that was founded in 1955, Gloger said, “Because we are an older, more traditional club, I think at first people will look carefully at how things are done.
“In preparation for the year, I met with the truly amazing past presidents of the club and they have all been so supportive and have given such good guidance. At the same time, I know anything less than excellence is not an option. I have surrounded myself with a first-class board, superb officers, great committee chairs and Patti Chapman, who I think is the best club executive assistant in the state, so it will be a great year.”
Rotary Club of South Jacksonville
|Vice president||R. Dean Scott|
|Sgt. at Arms||Dan Appelo|