The Villages Voice - April 2013

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Presidents Message - Thanks for the Oppertunity to Serve

by Bill Gottschalk

Presidents Message – Thanks for the Opportunity to Serve

     My wife, Margaret, and I first came to The Villages back in October of 2005, to visit my bother Bob and his wife, Cindy.  I think we were here about three days when we asked about seeing a realtor. 

     Everyone was a bit surprised because my impressions of Florida were based on my job.  That job brought me to Florida just before and right after every hurricane.  Then there was not much to see except boarded up buildings and blue tarp covered roofs, along with the very humid air. 

     On November 4th we headed back north to our home in Virginia Beach, and I don’t believe we quit talking about this place all the way back. 

     In April of 2006, we were back in The Villages and moving into our new Villa.  Like most Villagers, we felt our neighborhood was the best in the Villages.  I still think that, but I may be a bit prejudiced. Margaret quickly turned the house into our forever home. 

     Like many we hurried around taking on as many activities as possible.  Eventually we slowed down a little and took the time to see how blessed we were and decided it was time to give back. 

     Volunteering our time and talents seemed to come easy to us, and we kept meeting such great Villagers.  We both agree The Villages is truly a unique place to live. 

     It is because of the great neighbors, friends and that special feeling of belonging that I found my way to the VHA and now have the opportunity to serve as the new VHA president.  I look forward to working with you in support of our mission and vision, as well as the hopes of my predecessors, as we continue in the final build-out period of The Villages.

     What a time to start as president.  Those first few days it was exciting to get up and read The Daily Sun. It seemed every day there was a new headline about the great things happening in the Villages.  That week ended with two great headlines “Analysis of IRS Appraisal Vindicates Developer, District” followed the next day by “Villages Population tops 100,000.” Not only an impressive number, our growth spurred our community’s reclassification as a metropolitan statistical area. 

     I believe this news will open the eyes of some of the great retail outlets that we all wish would move to The Villages. 

     By the way have you been to Brownwood?  If you haven’t had the chance to get down there, let a Saturday Market Day be your first visit.  The fresh produce is well worth the trip.  And new businesses will soon be opening there.  I’ve been watching one of my favorites going up block by block.  I want to be one of the first to bite into a Five Guys Burger.

     Your VHA is committed to a simply stated mission of preserving the value of our homes and enhancing The Villages lifestyle. In this role the VHA has been influential when advocating for issues and changes with the backing of a membership totaling nearly 25,000 members.

     The VHA is recognized as a trusted and valued partner in advancing the best interests of the entirety of The Villages. The VHA takes pride in its role in contributing to The Villages becoming the premier 55+ community in the world. 

     The VHA is working for you and will work for you every day to support the efforts of our partners within The Villages community who are running businesses, providing services, and contributing to the improvement of every aspect of our lifestyle experience to make it even better.

      If you share in The VHA vision and are not yet a member, take that couple minutes to join the team.  Have a question and can’t seem to get an answer?  Give your neighborhood VHA representative a call.  Let them help direct you to the right person.   Want to be more active in the VHA?  Contact your regional director; they will be glad to work with you in becoming a representative for your community.

     In closing I would like to thank the VHA Board and you for giving me the opportunity to serve you and this great community we call The Villages.

Bill Gottschalk, VHA President