Paula Alston, a Christiansburg resident, and a member of the Rotary Club of Blacksburg, has been installed as District Governor for Rotary District 7570.
Alston’s installation ceremony was held Monday evening at the Blacksburg Country Club, with members of her club and Rotarians from around the district present. Alston is the first District Governor (DG) from the Blacksburg club, the eighth woman to serve in the position and the 108th District Governor in District 7570, which boasts three Rotary International Presidents among its ranks.
Currently, District 7570 consists of 77 clubs with more than 2,900 Rotarians. As district governor, Alston will serve Rotary clubs from Winchester, Va. to Greenville, Tenn. The district is composed of 15 areas made up of local Rotary clubs that primarily run along the western side of Virginia. Rotary International is a service organization made up of more than 46,000 clubs grouped in 529 districts around the world.
Alston, the retired Library Director of the Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library, has been a member of the Blacksburg Rotary Club since 2007. Her husband, Tom, is also a Rotarian in the Radford Noon Rotary Club.
Before she could become district governor, Alston had to go through extensive training to become well-versed in how to apply for grants, how to take on initiatives, and how to choose service projects. Alston’s responsibilities as district governor are to train the area governors, incoming club officers and presidents on how to take on leadership duties for Rotary, lead 25 district committees, and encourage clubs to grow.
The qualifications important to be elected a district governor in Rotary include serving as an area governor for three years and leading a district committee. Alston served as an area governor for the New Year Valley from 2014-2016, headed the district Membership committee for four years and led an effort to fight hunger in the district by supporting the local food pantries and food banks.
After meeting certain criteria and serving specific positions, the Rotarian must then be nominated by their club for the position of district governor. All nominations are interviewed by a committee before being selected.
“I am excited and ready for this leadership position,” Alston said. “It’s a big job but I have a superb team of Area Governors, committee chairs and members surrounding me, all ready to promote and grow Rotary. We are a service organization and service is central to our mission, whether it is locally or worldwide. We all want to make a difference in our world.”
In addition to serving in Rotary, Alston is a board member and former secretary for the Community Foundation of the New River Valley, on the Board of the Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library, serves as an election chief for the Montgomery County Office of Elections and assists on the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Citizens Support Group.
As district governor, Alston will help clubs continue to adjust after the pandemic. She hopes to bring attention to basic education and literacy needs in the district and around the globe, as well as Rotary’s continued efforts to eradicate Polio and create a completely Polio-free world.
Alston ‘s one-year term as district governor will end June 30, 2024.
Submitted by the Rotary Club of Blacksburg