Member Spotlight
Member Spotlights
Member Spotlight
Welcome to our Member Spotlight Page where you
can get to know some of our many members
from clubs all over District 5910. 
Charley Gilliland
Charlie has been a member of Rotary, twice. Initially, he was invited to lunch by Bryan Rotarian, Frank Shannon, and stayed in the Bryan club for 10 years serving in various capacities inclusive of serving on the board of directors. But when his professional duties began to demand more time and prevented him from attending every week, he resigned, but maintained a relationship helping with the Club’s business performance awards. Every year, Reba Ragsdale urged him to come back to the Club and finally in 2019 he was able to join and participate once more. He enjoyed fellowship with other members, but he really became a Rotarian when he engaged with service projects and began to participate in District activities.  He says that, “Rotary is been a rewarding experience for him personally. Service in our local projects has produced real satisfaction in contributing to the betterment of our community. In addition, service at the District level has given me a role in the international mission of Rotary and expanded my Rotary friendships beyond my home club. I literally have Rotary friends around the world.”
Charlie is the first in his family to be a Rotarian. To date, he has served as Club Director, Club President, and Assistant Governor. In the Bryan Club, he served on the Bryan Rotary 10 Business Performance Awards Committee and the Youth Exchange Committee where he was a Rotary Counselor. He also served on the District Rotary Youth Exchange Committee as the Outbound Coordinator. In addition, he has chaired the Blood Drive Committee for several years. He has also supported the work of other service projects such as the Field of Valor and Flags across Bryan. In the coming Rotary year, he will become the District Governor Nominee. 
He remains in Rotary because he believes that he has a part to play by contributing the mission of Rotary. His “Rotary Moment,” would be a visit with his Club’s Youth Exchange daughter, Vittoria de Georgi, at her home in Rome. He enjoyed a wonderful visit with her family and a personal exploration of the sites in Rome where a local guide wondered how the daughter of an obviously American couple spoke Italian like a native. It brought home how rewarding the Rotary experience can be having an impact at home and half-way around the world in Italy. “It just doesn’t get any better than that.” 
A corporate businessman speaking on ethics to my class told them, “Don’t do anything that you would not want for your mother to know about.” Charlie feels that the four way test is an operational formula for living up to that standard. 
Charlie participated in RYLA last year and found it inspiring on two levels. The sessions brought a huge crowd of participants together for a series of exercises that promoted personal introspection and the opportunity to grow. The invitees gained personally by building teams and interacting with people who had been strangers just hours before RYLA began. In addition, the adult volunteers also had the opportunity to grow as they facilitated the activities. “…it would be impossible to foresee the good that will come in communities across east Texas from lessons learned from that action packed weekend.”
Charlie momentarily hesitated when he was asked to become an Assistant Governor but he could not think of a good reason to say “No.” Then District Governor Nominee, Jerry Springfield told him, “a Rotarian never says no.” As we forge ahead in making the mission of Rotary a reality, he hopes that Rotarians everywhere will remember that “no” is not in their vocabulary. It isn’t in his.