August 28, 2017
Dear Registered Rotary Institute 2017 Participants:
As you know many of the cities along the Gulf Coast has been devastated by Hurricane Harvey. Pam and I would first of all like to extend our very sincere thoughts and prayers to all of the individuals and families in the impacted area.
It is predicted that the Houston area will receive over 50 inches of rain by the time the storm ends. The Omni Hotel at the present time has over 3 inches of water in their lobby. Last night I received a call from the management of the hotel stating that they must cancel the hosting of our event.
We had several options to consider:
1. Locate to another hotel in the Houston area. The management of the Omni Hotel has gone out of there way in finding us a replacement hotel. As you can imagine many other suitable hotels in the Houston area have also sustained substantial damage. Many of the roadways in Houston have over 13 feet of water, making transportation and traffic in the coming weeks very difficult. This simply is not a workable option.
2. Move the venue to another location in Texas. With 3 weeks before the beginning of our DGE and DGN training sessions, finding another hotel with the space we need and over 900 room nights available is a real challenge. Asking many of our participants to change their air transportation would also create a real burden. This unfortunately is not a workable option either.
3. Cancel the event. After many lengthy conversations this morning with Rotary International President Ian Riseley, Rotary International President – Elect Barry Rassin, Senior staff members of Rotary International, and all of the factors noted above we have made the very difficult decision to cancel the the Rotary Institute 2017.
We truly hope you understand how difficult of a decision this was to make and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you.
Pam and I would like to express our deep appreciation to the outstanding leadership of our Rotary Institute Chair PDG Rhonda L. Kennedy, Administration Committee Coordinator Chair PDG Maxie Lynn Houser, District Host Committee Coordinator Chair PDG Lisa Faith Massey, Program Committee Coordinator Chair PDG Glenda L. Thomas, Service Committee Coordinator Chair, PDG D’Lisa R. Simmons, Training Committee Coordinator Chair PDG Kenneth “Ken” Howell and Rotaract Summit Coordinator Chair David Postic. I must say it has been a true honor and privilege to serve with this marvelous group of over 100 Rotary Institute 2017 volunteers who came together to be of service to the finest service organization in the world!
Please be aware that complete refunds of your registration fees will be made to your credit cards this week.
There is no need to cancel your reservations at the Omni Hotel (that has been taken care of) and you will not incur any charges.
For the DGN and the DGEs, I am currently working with Rotary International President – Elect Barry Rassin and Senior staff members of Rotary International on selecting a new location and date for your two day training. I will communicate this to you as soon as this is determined.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please contact me by phone at 602-400-5470 or by email at Greg@pfscpa.com. Please refrain from contacting our Rotary Institute Chair Rhonda Kennedy, as she and her husband Eric have had to evacuate their home.
In closing, we wish all of you the very best in the future. Words cannot express Pam’s and my sincere gratitude and appreciation to all you for your tremendous support, encouragement over the years.
With Best Regards,
Greg E. Podd
Greg E. Podd, C.P.A.(Retired), P.F.S.
Rotary International Vice President 2015 – 2016
Rotary International Director 2014 – 2016