Meet Your District Governor

Hello everyone! My name is Maria Wheeler and I cannot be more honoured to be serving as your District Governor for the 2022-2023 service year! This opportunity means the world to me and I look forward to accomplishing all the goals that the Eastern Canada Board and I have set out together! I am from a small town called Perth, but now spend the majority of my week in Ottawa, where I attend St. Mother Teresa High School and practice as a competitive swimmer. Throughout my life, I have had the good fortune of being able to grow up surrounded by warmth and kindness, which has undoubtedly contributed to my growing passion for service and bettering the world. This year, I plan to bring the same passion to my position as Governor and to show Key Club International – and our beautiful Eastern Canada district – the altruism, and many talents you all have. 

As for the goals that I have for the year, I hope to rejuvenate, support and charter more clubs that may have been discouraged or deactivated due to the pandemic and the many hardships that we all had been faced with. I also plan on making the task of paying dues more accessible for  everyone by looking at it from a more team-oriented perspective. Lastly, a more broad goal that I aim to accomplish this year is to make our district more collaborative and considerate, by taking the voices of each individual Key Clubber into account and showcasing their passion along with this year’s board. 

To start, in order to rejuvenate and support more start-up clubs and current ones, I’ve already spoken with the Executive Officers and Lieutenant Governors about the prospect of holding a district-wide conference to teach the editors of each club the value of building and managing a social media presence and how to encourage your school community to engage in fundraisers and Key Club initiatives. Run by our amazing Lieutenant Governors with my assistance, this conference will be spectacular to gain collaboration and networking skills with the valuable guidance from executive members of Eastern Canada. Along with this goal, I would like to have 3-5 newly chartered schools from each of the current four Lieutenant Governors by the end of the service year, increasing involvement and widely spreading Key Club International’s global initiatives and opportunities. Additionally, from moving schools many times in the past, I have witnessed the gross lack of school clubs in more rural areas as opposed to more metropolitan locations such as Ottawa and Toronto, because of this, I also hope to provide equal opportunities to youth in under-looked parts of Eastern Canada. 

Next, I hope to make the payment of dues less challenging by looking at the task from a group perspective. Playing to the strengths of Key Club, holding fundraisers, I will be sending out a booklet to each club outlining the amount of money each club should raise as their first fundraiser to first go to each member’s dues fees and the rest to the charity of choice. With district and international dues adding up to $13.50 CAD, if a club had 20 members and raised $300 in their initiative, $270 would go towards the club members’ dues and the remaining to the charity of their choice. Not only does this increase collaboration (which I will get into later in this newsletter) within the clubs, but it also helps Key Club International’s program support and to bettering our district events!

As I mentioned, collaboration within the clubs and district is the main focus of my governance. I wish to create an environment that values all perspectives and thoughts regarding events and initiatives happening within our board in order to bring out the truest values of our organization – leadership and empathy. In fact, I’ve just finished writing a recommendation form that will be sent out to the Presidents of each club. Within this form, I ask each club to recommend one organization/charity that they wish to be discussed at our board meeting when we vote upon this year’s Governor’s Service Project. With the help of my extremely helpful Executive Assistant, Emily Havel, I hope to see this published this Monday and responded to by April 8th. I cannot wait to see what each club wishes to have the ECD board support this year! 

Speaking of the ECD board, it is with great pleasure, that I also include a small introduction to this year’s Eastern Canada District Board including:

The Executive Officers 
Maria Wheeler – District Governor 
Emily Havel – District Executive Assistant 
Helena Hamzo – Secretary-Treasurer 
Alina Siwy – Bulletin Editor 
Xue Feng Shi – Webmaster

The Lieutenant Governors 
Stephie Lee Varghese – Division 2/3 
Arielle Longo – Division 4 
Manuela Dcunha – Division 5 
Ashiq Gazi – Division 8/9/10

Make sure to check out each division’s Instagram page for future updates as well as the ECD (@ecdkeyclub) page run by Alina! Each division’s DM’s are welcome and feedback is always gratified, or you could reach out to me (@maria.wheelerrrr), for any questions or concerns regarding the ECD!

Here is a photo taken from DELC, featuring this year’s new board and the past board that held the convention:

If you attended the past month’s District Education and Leadership Conference, you may recognize some of these goals. As I’ve promised to uphold the goals I made at DELC, staying dedicated to these main three will just be the start of my term in office. Future goals I plan to make include increasing Canadian involvement within Key Club International and providing more opportunities to Key Clubbers looking to run for higher office and as another recreational role that the board and I’ve been discussing. Make sure to stay tuned for future newsletters and correspondences which I hope will be very common occurrences!