The end of one world, Ivan Alba’s reign as President of La Mesa Sunrise Rotary, was honored Friday evening June 27 at our In/Out Dinner.  Ivan’s attachment to the color blue was duly noted, with special focus on his consistent attire.  Peggy Davis and Hugo Murillo  entertained the crowd with comments regarding the photo collage prepared by Bobbi Warren. Amidst the laughter, one thing was abundantly clear: Ivan has been an inspiring president and our club has grown exponentially under his leadership.



My first encounter with Ivan was an email in which I asked if I could attend a meeting (I had checked out the club’s website and, while sparse, it was apparent LMSR had interesting projects going on).  He responded positively within minutes; as a fellow technology addict, I was impressed.  When I arrived, the meeting was about to begin. Ivan moved the meeting along, occasionally stepping up to remind speakers of time constraints, not in a puffed out chest kind of way, but in a congenial yet obvious signal that the meeting must go on.  The meeting flowed with energy and engagement of its constituents.  I was hooked.



Our membership has increased by nine this year during a time when Rotarian magazine has published articles lamenting shrinking membership. Marilyn Sanderson noted that the variety and frequency of club projects under Ivan’s leadership is known throughout the district. International and local projects have abounded, with funds being raised for the much admired Noah Homes, our esteemed Rotary scholar Jean Mendieta,  our affiliation with the Urban Street Angels, Eden Steele’s Interactions for Peace,  support of Diego Hills students as well as Interact at Helix, affiliations with Ecuador and Costa Rica, and more.  With careful attention to detail by David Ballesteros, Every Rotarian Every Year contributions were outstanding.  Garage sales, bowling tournaments, Sweet Retreat, donations to Consignments Classics and of course, our inimitable raffle ticket lady, Diane Wilson, have ensured that Ivan is handing over the reigns with a flush bank account ready to be put to good use in the coming months.


Janet Castanos wrote that Ivan has an  energizing intensity that stirs everyone's interest in the various projects and motivates us to contribute in the most creative ways. Others have commented that Ivan did not micro manage but rather led by allowing members to thrive.  Ivan’s honest and frank approach created trust among us.  We all know that participation in Rotary by Ivan’s beautiful family has added to his strength; in fact, his daughter Isabel commented, “My father couldn’t have done this without me,” which we all agree is absolutely true. 


 The La Fin du Monde beer that Ivan gave Fern was named after the European explorers’ belief that they had reached “the end of the world” when they landed at North America.  This is the end of Ivan’s presidency, yet we know that under our new president  Fern Platt Hall’s leadership, new discoveries and strengths will emerge.  In the meantime, Ivan, we thank you for your innovation and service.