President Steve and Past President MichelleMichelle Venema, our Rotary Club president during a challenging 2020-2021 year, received a standing ovation for her amazing leadership as she presided at her first – and last – in-person meeting of her presidency. And, Steve Brown was warmly welcomed as our incoming club president.
Although he has only been a member of our club since 2017, Steve comes to our club with a long history with Rotary. He joined Rotary in 1988 in Fairfax, Virginia, where he accepted his first position as CEO of a small hospital. When the Chief of Pathology invited him to join, in Steve’s words, “I was immediately hooked on the fellowship, comradery, and service to the community that Rotary provided.” When the club sponsored a new club, the Fair Oaks Breakfast Club, Steve volunteered to become a charter member. Steve’s tenure in that club lasted for the 18 years he was with the Inova Health System, until 2001 when he was offered the CEO position with a healthcare system in Kirkland, Washington, a suburb of Seattle. One of the Kirkland Club founders invited Steve to join, and within three years, he became president of the club (2006-07).
In 2009, Steve took a CEO position at Mount Nittany Health in State College, Pennsylvania. “It was like coming home for me, since I earned my master’s degree from Penn State,” he explained. A member of the State College Downtown Club, he served on the board, co-chaired the Membership Committee, and was named Rotarian of the Year in 2015. He remained active in the club until his retirement in 2016.
When Steve and his wife, Mary, moved to Downingtown to be close to their two sons and three grandchildren, it didn’t take long for him to find a Rotary Club. After visiting the West Chester Club, he knew right away this was the club for him. “Everyone was so welcoming and friendly, and when a group of ‘folks of a certain age’ invited me to sit with them, it was like they’d known me for years,” he added.
With 35 years as a Rotarian in five clubs, on three different boards, and one presidency, the President’s Award for Meritorious service in 2013, Rotarian of the Year in 2015, and a Paul Harris Fellow plus two in annual giving, Rotary has been a major part of his life for many years. With extensive experience and loyalty he says, ”It’s truly been a part of my fabric – I simply don’t know how NOT to be a Rotarian! Being asked to be president, and lead a group of such outstanding, successful, individuals is one of the greatest honors in the world.”
We welcome you, Steve!