The Del Mar-Solana Beach (DMSB) Rotary club celebrated the end of President Venky Venkatesh’s term with a lively virtual demotion party held via Zoom on June 28, 2020. The proceedings, orchestrated by Social Chair Patricia Case, began with a spirited 2-minute Bollywood dance led by Rotarian Susheela Narayanan and accompanied by other members. In his opening speech Charter President Kevin Cahill characterized Venky as “a quintessential statesman” who deftly steered the club through the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic via virtual Zoom meetings. He sent out timely reminders before every meeting and exhorted members to “attend in force and contribute generously” to the club’s coffers. In his response Venky mentioned that during his tenure the “award winning” DMSB Rotary was one of 26 clubs out of a total of 62 clubs to win the Presidential Distinction and Rotary Citation Award. He thanked all the members for their support in accomplishing the club’s goals of having a positive impact in the community by helping people in need. Following a fun quiz of “How well do you know your outgoing president?” which elicited a lot of laughs, Patricia then presented Venky with a $100 gift certificate to Viewpoint Brewery on behalf of the entire club.
Rotarian Charles Foster pointed out that Venky had initially taken on the president-ship of the club with a good deal of trepidation but did a great job during his year of service. Similar positive and complimentary comments were made by incoming president Herb Liberman and Rotarian Lew Williamson.
Ken Barrett, who preceded Venky as club president, then came on to describe Venky as the “Den Master of International Affairs” for his seeming ability to multiply funds for several global grants every year by working with other clubs to make this happen. Some of the projects he was able to fund were in El Salvador, Uganda, and India, among others. Both Ken and Charles commended Venky for being an enormous force for good, considering the small size of the club.  
Upcoming District Governor Steve Weitzen humorously recalled how it had taken him six years to convince Venky to be president of the club. He described how Venky had risen to the challenges of Covid and Zoom very well. He praised Venky for exemplifying the principle of how Rotary connects the world by successfully building connections between people. Venky also started Tuesday eve meetings to introduce more possible members to the club. Steve also thanked Venky for working with him on a significant global grant of approx. $200K for anti Human Trafficking, a theme he would focus on during his governorship to take to Rotary International.
At this point Jan Parsons appeared at Steve’s door to present him with a mystery package of a Hawaiian themed bag containing a mango (in lieu of the cancelled trip to Hawaii for the International Convention), two glasses and a growler, along with a gift certificate from Viewpoint Brewery in honor of his becoming the new Rotary District Governor for San Diego and Imperial County.
President-elect Vicky Mallett congratulated Steve as a superstar who had juggled many hats to get to the position of District Governor. She emphasized how proud DMSB Rotary club was that Steve was one of their members who had pursued his dreams single-mindedly to get to this ultimate goal while juggling a family and a busy career. Club members then raised their glasses in a virtual toast to Steve Weitzen, the new District Governor of Rotary 5340.
Steve then welcomed incoming president Herb Liberman as someone who would bring a lot of energy to the club with his fresh ideas. He called on club members to embrace Herb who has been preparing for this job for the past year. He formally inducted Herb as the new DMSB Rotary President for the year 2020 -2021. Following a virtual toast by all the members, the golden gavel was ceremoniously (but virtually) handed over to the new incoming president Herb Liberman.