Well, it is Spring and moving ever closer to Summer and with the change of seasons and weather comes other changes.

This will be my last article for The VHA Voice. I am stepping down as the VP for the Central Area after about three years. Increasing responsibilities in Honor Flight and other organizations have resulted in scheduling conflicts and increasing time demands that I simply find myself being stretched too thin. Also, I am finding that I have less time at home and really being “retired” and unable to do much travel.

It is time for someone else to get the opportunity to bring in ideas and take a turn at serving their community, and The VHA leadership has found a great replacement for me. Ellen “Ellie” Decker has been named the new VP for the Central Area. Ellie has an impressive background in business ownership and management; professional accounting and consulting; organizational board membership; and community improvement board service that ranges from Scouting leadership to library board, and medical associations.

While I am stepping down from my position, I am not stepping down or away from my commitment to the ideals and goals of The Villages Homeowners Advocates, The VHA. “Keeping the Dream Alive” may mean different things to different people but to me it means making sure that the reasons that drew us to live here in the first place continue. Not that everything is frozen in time, because change is certain, but we want to guarantee that the beauty, the opportunities available, and the neighborhood “villages” feeling continues.

As the name implies, The VHA provides advocacy services to all members. And they do that in ways that do not involve headline splashes, threats of lawsuits, and courtroom drama. Rather, The VHA seeks to quietly resolve issues by working with our “Circle of Partners.”  These partners include local government, law enforcement, public safety, district government, the developer, the recreation and parks department, UF Health Central Florida, the Daily Sun, and the counties. The VHA also contributes to the betterment of our community through The VHA Helping Hands program and The VHA Foundation.

I have the highest regard for the leadership of The VHA, both past and current. In fact, that is the original reason I agreed to serve.  I may be stepping aside, but I am not stepping out.

Stay safe and healthy,
John Dean, Vice President