The Rotary Club of Royal Palm Beach installed its new officers and leaders in a gala ceremony held on Friday, June 8, at Royal Palm Beach Commons Park.
The club begins its 29th year of service under the leadership of new President Jeff Hmara. Leadership is nothing new for Hmara. He is a graduate of the Citadel and served in the United States Army. He retired as a colonel after a 26-year career that included stints in Vietnam, Korea and Germany. He has also held leadership positions with the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration and the Transportation Security Administration. He is currently a member of the Royal Palm Beach Village Council.
Hmara has established key goals for his term in office that include expanding the scope, impact and visibility of Rotary by continuing and expanding current club projects. One such example is trying to expand the Interact Club at Royal Palm Beach High School and augmenting that with the establishment of a Rotoract Club at the Loxahatchee Groves campus of Palm Beach State College.
He also wants to improve Rotary’s focus on education and literacy improvement projects through a number of efforts in Royal Palm Beach schools, like the scholarship program, Teachers Choice Books, the Crystal Apple Award for local teachers and a new Little Free Libraries initiative.
Hmara also hopes to grow the membership with the addition of new members interested in community service through involvement in Rotary. Rotarian Lorna Kernizan, chief operating officer at Palms West Hospital, is heading the new member recruitment effort with the assistance of other club members.
Other officers and committee chairmen installed on June 11 are: President-Elect Daniel Morales, Vice President Scott Snyder, Secretary Joan Scherer, Treasurer John Spillane and Sergeant at Arms Steve Epstein. Outgoing President Evelyn Flores will serve as the immediate past president.
Longtime Rotarian Lynn Balch chairs the Club Services Committee. Dwayne St. Hill will lead the Youth Services Committee and Dr. Sarda Bhandary will lead the Foundation Committee. Dan Splain will chair the club’s public image effort.
The Rotary Club of Royal Palm Beach meets every Thursday morning at 7:30 a.m. at the Pirate’s Well, located at the corner of Crestwood and Southern boulevards.