Rotary District 5440 elects it's District Governors three years in advance of their service year.  This adds continuity to the District Leadership which in turn provides better support for our clubs.
District Governor Shurie Scheel (2021-2022)
Rotary Club of Thermopolis
I live in Thermopolis, WY with my husband, Phillip, and our two children, Kaden (a 10 year old boy), and Alayna (an 8 year old girl). We own a local propane retail company that services about 850 customers in about 100 mile radius. We also co-own Kirby Creek Mercantile, a bakery, deli, home decor and ice cream shop in our downtown area, which opened a few months ago as part of our downtown revitalization efforts. 

Our children are involved in sports, and we are always busy as small business owners. However, as citizens of a very small town in Wyoming, Phil and I feel strongly that community service in not optional. If we want the world to be a better place for our children and grandchildren, we must all work together. As such, I am involved in a great number of nonprofits, including Rotary. I serve on various boards and with a number of different organizations, but my favorite has always been Rotary!  I am the Treasurer and Past President of my club, Past Assistant Governor, and I serve as a facilitator, and district co-chair, for Rotary Leadership Institute. 

My husband and I  have traveled to Kenya numerous times to manage a Global Grant for clean water for rural schools. This work for Rotary is among the most fulfilling parts of my life, and I am so proud to be associated with such a great organization!          

District Governor Elect 
Lee Varra-Nelson
Rotary  Club of
Fort Collins Breakfast, CO

Lee joined Rotary as a member of the Rotary Club of Fort Collins Breakfast in 2003. 

She has served as the Director of Club Administration 2010 - 2012, President in 2013/14, The Rotary Foundation (TRF) Chair, 2015 to July 2020, and currently is serving as Membership Committee Chair.  In District 5440 Lee served as Assistant District Governor in 2015 and as the Foundation Annual Fund Chair 2016 / 2017. She is currently the District Membership Chair.  Lee is a Paul Harris Fellow since 2008, a member of the Bequest Society, a Level 1 Major Donor and a Benefactor of The Rotary Foundation. 

Lee’s career with Hewlett-Packard spanned over 35 years and crossed many business functional areas.  Lee left Hewlett-Packard to work as a Senior Technical Project Manager for Intrado, a company that supports and enhances the national 911 emergency system.  While working at Intrado, she led her project team to the first successful release of transmitting text messages to 911 dispatch centers. 

In her private consulting work, Lee has enjoyed working with major technology corporations and government agencies but her favorite work was a special project with NASA’s Director of the International Year of Astronomy. She has also donated her project management expertise to Rotary for major projects and conferences.

Lee completed her undergraduate work in education and sociology at the University of Northern Colorado and enjoyed playing collegiate Field Hockey for the Bears! She also attended Colorado State University, doing graduate work in Business Management.

District Governor Nominee
Steve Sehnert
Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs, CO

Steve Sehnert (pronounced Say-nert) joined the RC of Steamboat Springs in April of 2013 and served as Club President in 2017-2018.  He first joined Rotary in Findlay, Ohio in 1982 and then became a member of University Hills Rotary when he moved to Denver in 1985.  He became a member of Denver Mile High Rotary (District 5450) in 1993 and served as their Club President in 2003-2004.   He is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow and has regularly contributed to Club Foundations.  His family hosted a student from Japan through the Rotary Youth Exchange Program. Steve and his wife Carol attended the Rotary International Convention in Brisbane, Australia in 2003 and in Atlanta in 2017.  He served as Webmaster and Event Registrar for Zones 21b-27 for four years and attended multiple Zone Institutes.  He was trained as a facilitator for the Rotary Leadership Institute and facilitated these programs in District 5450 and District 5440.  He also served as an Assistant Governor for three years in District 5450 for six downtown Denver clubs. Steve and the RC of Steamboat Springs was selected for the District President of the Year for Large Clubs in 2017-2018.

Steve received a BA Degree in Economics from the College of Wooster, Ohio and an MBA Degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.  His employment career was in various Financial and Operations positions with Marathon Oil Co. in Ohio, Washington, D.C., and Colorado and with Total Petroleum in Denver. As the International Treasurer for Marathon Oil he travelled to 18 foreign field offices. He was an independent financial consultant and Contract CFO for several years and retired in 2010 as CFO for a 100-person privately held architecture firm in Denver. Steve and Carol moved to Steamboat Springs after their retirements to be with their daughter and her family and they have a son who lives with his family in Wisconsin.

In Steamboat Springs, Steve is currently serving as Board Chair of the Yampa Valley Medical Center Foundation and serves on a citizen’s committee of the Steamboat Springs City Council to select the next location for the downtown fire station.
Steve’s father, Harold G. Sehnert, Jr. was a Rotary Club President in Lima, Ohio and became District Governor for District 660 (NW Ohio) in 1987-1988.  Harold Sehnert passed away in 1992.


District Governor Nominee Designate Julie Johnson Haffner
Rotary Club of Loveland, CO

Julie, a professional fund raiser and a Colorado native, was one of the first women to join Rotary in northern Colorado. During her nearly 35 years as a Rotary member, she has served as an Assistant Governor in District 5440; President of the Rotary Club of Loveland (CO); an active member of several District committees; a trainer at PETS and a presenter at District assemblies and conferences. Julie is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow, a member of the Paul Harris Society and a major donor.
Julie graduated from Colorado State University with a B.S. in Consumer Sciences and a minor in business. She raised money for hospitals, a university system and a community foundation during her 40-plus year career as an executive director and certified fundraising executive.
After leaving full-time business, Julie created her consulting business, Blue Jewels LLC, to teach nonprofit organizations how to build their boards, grow their fundraising capacity and expand their leadership skills. Currently, she serves on the boards of the Children’s Museum of Northern Colorado and Sunrise Community Health. Julie is also a member of Kappa Alpha Theta and PEO.
Julie is the mother of three adult daughters and “Mimi” to five young grandchildren. She is an accomplished hand-knitter as well as a “pretty-darn-good” country cook. When she isn’t seeing her kids, Julie travels to complete her goal of visiting every National Park in the United States. She is married to Gene Haffner, a proud Rotary spouse who is a Paul Harris Fellow, a member of the Paul Harris Society and her cowboy cha-cha dance partner. They live in Windsor, Colorado.

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