Jay Jones - District Governor Nominee

ImageIgnoring the time honored rule of thumb in the military – never volunteer – our own Jay Jones has chosen to serve as our District Governor for 2013-2014.

The road to filling our district’s highest position started at a young age when high school student Jay became a Junior Rotarian while growing up in Junction City, Kansas. It took many years before Rotary once again became a part of his life.


After graduating from Kansas State University with a degree in electrical engineering, Jay joined the Army and became an Army Intelligence Officer.  During a tour of duty at Fort Lewis, Washington Jay met Carol, an Army nurse, who had orders to the 121st Evac Hospital in South Korea. Jay’s predisposition to break the never volunteer rule started here; Jay flew to Washington DC, met with his detailer and convinced the Army to send him to South Korea. Big risks sometimes have big rewards; Jay and Carol were married by the Mayor of Seoul on April 13, 1966. They just celebrated their 46th wedding anniversary.

After the military, Jay’s work history started with Proctor & Gamble and ended with Abbot Labs where his plant manager was a Rotarian.  As fate would have it, that relationship started Jay’s re-introduction to Rotary.

During his sixteen years in Rotary, Jay has held the positions of Club Treasurer, Club President and Assistant District Governor. Now Jay is becoming a member of District 5510’s Team of District Governors. In the past a DG was on their own with no coordination with past or future DGs.  In District 5510 there are four members of the District Governor Team - the DG, the DG Elect, the DG Nominee and the next DG as well. The four-year Team approach makes sense. It provides – continuity, consistency and consensus. District projects, more often than not, span over several years.  How can any project succeed without the full support all four District Governors? 

Jay told us how we will be experiencing some significant changes in Rotary. New programs are being created such as Ignite to recruit new members and the Future Vision Program dealing with grants. Grant programs will have to meet new sustainability criteria in order to get funding. Other programs are being created that are oriented toward younger New Generation members. The Group Study Exchange program will be replaced by Vocational Training Teams that will afford teams the opportunity to make a direct and significant contribution to their destination country.  Another change on the horizon is a shift away from attendance and toward engagement. Active engagement in Rotary programs is the goal. 

In addition Rotary has defined six Areas of Focus.

  • Peace and conflict prevention / resolution
  • Disease prevention and treatment
  • Water and sanitation
  • Maternal and child health
  • Basic education and literacy
  • Economic and community development

We are all lucky that Jay has broken the rule to never volunteer. As Rotarians, we are all volunteers and we are all the better for it. While we wish him luck in this new endeavor - there is little doubt that we will have an outstanding District Governor.