Welcome to the new Rotary year!  I am truly honored to be your 2017-2018 President. Thank you for placing your confidence in me.  I will do my best to lead our club effectively through the coming year.
On behalf of the officers and board of trustees, I congratulate 2016-2017 President Julia R. Brouhard on an excellent Rotary year marked by many innovations and achievements. Thank you, Julie, for your dedication and commitment.  It has been a pleasure to work with you, and we look forward to your continued leadership in this club for many years to come.
I also want to thank executive secretary Sharon Lerch for supporting our club with such proficiency, grace, and good humor. Sharon plays a vital role in the success of our organization by managing the day-to-day activities and supporting our work as volunteers.
As we embark on this new Rotary year, I ask that you consider the value proposition of Rotary’s strategic plan:  Through fellowship, we build lifelong relationships that promote greater global understanding. With integrity, we honor our commitments and uphold ethical standards. Our diversity enables us to connect different perspectives and approach problems from many angles. We apply our vocational expertise, service, and leadership to tackle some of the world’s greatest challenges.  These four sentences eloquently describe why we are Rotarians and work in tandem with the Rotary Four Way Test to guide us in all that we say and do.  
President Ian Risley selected the 2017-2018 theme of ROTARY: MAKING A DIFFERENCE.
Throughout the year, I ask that each of you consider this theme and ask How is the Rotary Club of Cleveland making a difference in our community?  How is Rotary International making a difference in the world?   And finally, how is Rotary making a difference in YOUR life, and how are YOU making a difference in Rotary?  I look forward to exploring these answers with you and to a wonderful year of service, friendship, and fun.
With all best wishes,
Jerold R. Smith