SAINT AUGUSTINE – Lynne Stephenson, immediate past president of the Pilot Club of St. Augustine, was installed as governor of the more than 700-member Florida District of Pilot April 21, during the group’s district meeting in Kissimmee.
More than a dozen members of the club and spouses attended the event, with several members of the local club performing key duties at the three-day gathering. Rene Naughton, a past governor of the Florida District, offered the invocation for the Saturday night installation banquet; Vicki Sellner, a member of the St. Augustine board, recited the Code of Ethics; and Tadzia Alexander, president-elect of the St. Augustine Club, presided over the passing of the gavel and offered the benediction as the chaplain for the district for 2018-19.
Naughton also served as conference and planning chair; and Sara Hetherington, current local president, coordinated the reception for Stephenson. That followed the Saturday night banquet.
Stephenson joined the St. Augustine Pilot Club in fall of 1994 after attending a meeting where her husband, Joe, was a guest speaker. She said she was attracted by the club’s brain injury awareness mission and found everyone in the club friendly and community oriented.
Since becoming a Pilot Stephenson has held offices of director, secretary and president of the local club. While serving as St. Augustine Pilot Club President, she represented the local Club on the Florida District Pilot Club’s Board of Directors. In 2004 she was elected Northeast Florida Lt. Governor, a position she held for two years. Following her service as Lt. Governor, Stephenson was elected to the board of Florida’s Pilot Scholarship House Foundation. The Foundation and its mission, providing housing to deserving young adults who are pursuing higher education at Florida colleges, soon became her passion. The Foundation has built or purchased four houses on Florida college campuses. Each house serves 23-30 young women or men, giving them the chance to live, learn and grow in a safe and cost free residential environment. The four Foundation houses are: One in Tallahassee for women, two in Gainesville (one for women and one for men) and one in Ft. Myers for Women. The Ft. Myers house was built from the ground up and, during Lynne’s two year tenure as Foundation Board President, its $450,000.00 mortgage was retired. That was quite an exciting achievement for Lynne and the Foundation Board!
In 2017 Stephenson was approached by a former Florida District Pilot Governor and recruited to run for the District Governor. After thinking long and hard, and confirming the support of her family and local Pilot Club, she said she decided to accept this leadership challenge. Following her election as Governor Elect in April, 2017, she chose the theme, “We Are the Champions” to convey her perception of the Florida District Pilots. No matter what has been thrown at our State and its Pilot clubs, (hurricanes, trauma and drama) we always champion on, says the new district governor.