Dawson County’s Mike Berg was recently elected the 2021-22 District Governor for Rotary District 6910, a role which oversees 70 rotary clubs including the Rotary Club of Dawson County.
“I’ve been involved in government for a long time, especially in Dawson, so this is just another way to give back to the community,” Berg said. “That’s been a lot of my career is just giving back; people have helped me and it’s my turn to help them.”
Berg will serve in the position from July 2021 through June 2022. He will spend his time helping and visiting the 70 clubs in his district. A rotarian for 38 years, he previously served as a Dawson County Commissioner.
“In our district, there are 70 clubs all over North Georgia from Rome to Augusta and from Forsyth up, and the role of the governor is to help facilitate those clubs to be the best that they can be,” Berg said. “One of the charges is to visit all of those clubs during my governor year so I’m in the process of that, I’ve visited 20 and I’ve got 50 more to go.”
Rotary International has 1.2 million members in 200 countries and is an organization devoted to service projects and bettering the community, according to Berg.
“Rotary is a service organization and they do service projects,” Berg said. “Our club, for example, put interactive televisions in schools. We built the waterfalls for the kids at Rock Creek Park and this year we’re going to be putting in an area next to the canoe put-in at Rock Creek.”
Berg said he is presenting a challenge to each of the clubs he oversees: to do an environmental project. This theme of protecting the environment is one that is close to Berg’s heart.
“I’ve been involved with the environment for quite awhile through Georgia Power,” Berg said. “I’m on the North Georgia Water Council and then my wife and I started Dawson Clean and Beautiful and Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful. I’ve been involved in a lot of environmental projects, so I’m asking all the clubs to do an environmental project, whether it’s Shore Sweep or cleaning a road — those types of things.”
The road to becoming District Governor is more than just being chosen to fill the position, Berg said. Rather, it is the product of several years of training and elections.
“We go through about three years worth of training as a governor nominee and a governor-elect and a governor,” Berg said. “Usually, you go off-site to train with other governors throughout the world, but unfortunately this year it’s been mostly virtual because of Covid.”
Not only is Berg honored to be elected to the role, but he said having a Dawson County club member elected to the governor seat is a huge honor for the entire Dawson County Rotary Club.
“This is the first time Dawson has had a governor,” Berg said. “We haven’t had one in this part of Georgia for awhile, so it’s an honor. It is prestigious to have a governor in your club. Certainly some of the perks of that are district conference seating and front row seating, some of the awards and things that go to clubs...it’s just an honor for our club to have a district governor.”