Effective July 2021: Weekly club meetings are now open for in-person OR virtual participation. If you would like to join a meeting as our guest, please email Kathy Hainley, Executive Administrator, at rotarycluboflancaster@gmail.com for more information.

Ben Bamford

Immediate Past President From: 2020-2021

ben bamfordOn July 1, 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, we had our first regular Zoom meeting with 42 attendees.  During this meeting our new President, Ben Bamford, gave the following address: 

First, I would like to say thanks to all of the well-wishers.  I have been receiving lots of folk’s confidence.  Thank you to all of you who are stepping up to the plate after such a great year.  And of course, thank you to Past President Jeremy for your service to the club during these really difficult times.  I have appreciated your guidance throughout all of this.   

Your board and executive committee are second to none and I thank them for their dedication to the Rotary Club of Lancaster and the community.  Back in January I started to make some notes about some things I might like to say today.  I thought that the only major things I would have to deal with would be a goofy election and how to keep Tom Gemmill’s blood pressure down.   

Then about March I took all of this information I had written down and threw it in the trash.  I was reading Steve Henning’s history of our club and thought to myself that during our more than 100-year history we have been here before.  World wars, depression, recession, civil unrest and even the plague.   

This much I know is true.  After more than 100 years, we are still here.  We are here because of people like you and those that came before you.  We are here because you believe, as I do, in 3 words: “service above self.”  This is when we shine, and it is also when we focus.  This is when we pull together and find ways to help people in our community who need help the most.   

No words could be more true than the ones spoken in a recent district governor’s Zoom meeting:  “We were built for this.”  In the coming year, coming months really, I believe that we need to focus on our strategic plan.  The committee has identified 4 pillars for growth.   

We need to improve our identity, and address our core-value proposition, our ‘why’ if you will.  What is it that differentiates us?   

We need to enhance our recruitment and increase membership, and  we must work together to become as diverse as our community.  And to that end I have added a new committee, the Committee for Diversity and Inclusion.  I am thankful that Jim Shank is with us today and has agreed to chair this new committee and I know he has already reached out to members who will round out his committee and assist with this important work.   

We must improve engagement, whether it is our social function or our committee structures, member recognition, etc., we simply need to improve engagement with each other and with our community.   

And we need to streamline our delivery.  Let’s take a closer look at our meeting structure, our speakers, and our traditions.   

So, all of our committees are going to focus on those 4 things: identity, recruitment, engagement, and delivery.  Within each of these things we are going to leverage technology, which it appears we are starting right now.   

Kathy Hainley has been such a great help as we try to figure out our new normal, whatever it is going to be.  I am appreciative of her assistance, so thank you very much Kathy.  She is our moderator today.  I will leave you with one last item.  Years ago, I opened a fortune cookie and the fortune was this: ‘Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this planet.’  And so far, this is the best planet I’ve been on, so I am willing to pay the rent.  Thank you all for your commitment to Rotary and to our community! 


Ben is a partner in TRUE Commercial Real Estate which focuses on brokerage, leasing, management, and development.  He has more than 25 years of construction management and development experience with a main emphasis on single-family residential and multi-family projects. He has also developed commercial properties including retail, hotel, medical and industrial. Ben chairs the Lancaster Township Board of Supervisors where he has been a member since 2010. He has been the Chairman of the Lancaster Industrial Development Authority since 1996 and is also Vice Chair of the Lancaster Municipal Authority.  In addition, he serves as Vice-Chairperson of the Lancaster County Planning Commission and is a Commissioner on the Behavioral Health and Developmental Services Commission for Lancaster County.  Ben also serves on  the executive committee of Homestead Village, Inc. as immediate past chair.