Inspector General Named Rotary Club's Person of the Year

Mar. 19, 2008 — With a slowly widening smile, V.I. Inspector General Steven van Beverhoudt stepped before the Rotary Club of St. Thomas II Wednesday to accept the Lladro statuette of Don Quixote as the club's Person of the Year.
"I haven't done anything anyone who loves his home wouldn't do," van Beverhoudt said.
Rotarians honored van Beverhoudt for his work over the past two decades raising the level of integrity and honesty in the local government, weeding out corruption, investigating complaints and providing advice on, essentially, a shoestring budget.
Elliot McIver Davis, a Rotarian and the territory's solicitor general, described the winner before announcing his name.
"Like Don Quixote, this man has always searched for truth," Davis said. "He has always valued fairness. With a quiet nature and a comprehensive knowledge about how to do his job, he has protected the people he serves."
But van Beverhoudt gave credit to others for his success.
"The real heroes today are the people that come forward and talk, tell us about it, so we can do our job," he said. "We can't do it without the people out there, the government workers dealing with the frustration they go through."
Van Beverhoudt also credited his small staff.
"The award goes to the people who work with me," he said. "I can't do it all alone."
Before he left the podium, van Beverhoudt gave tongue-in-cheek credit to one more group.
"Maybe I need to thank all the crooks and robbers, too," he said. "If it weren't for them, I wouldn't be standing before you."
The honoree was the second van Beverhoudt to stand before the Rotarians Wednesday. Steven's son, Mark van Beverhoudt, a senior at Sts. Peter and Paul School, gave a speech in which he praised the club's ideals of service as "freeing one from the bondage of self."
Davis used Mark's speech as an excuse to get his father to Wednesday's luncheon without giving away his status as an award winner. Federal agents threw a wrench into the plan when they scheduled a meeting with van Beverhoudt at the same time.
"I called Mike Ware, the U.S. Inspector General, and told him he had to get Steven here no matter what, and he agreed," Davis said. The solicitor general also got the honoree's wife, Myrna van Beverhoudt, to make an appearance on purposely short notice.
Davis praised the inspector general's service to the community.
"As Steven van Beverhoudt nears the end of his second term in office, he can look back on a career that has earned the respect of virtually everyone in this territory," Davis said.
The solicitor general also noted van Beverhoudt's "carefully crafted audits."
"I am always struck by the clear theme of each one, not to condemn individuals for doing things the wrong way, but to point out the best practices, and then to give advice," Davis said.
Van Beverhoudt is also a Sts. Peter and Paul graduate, with a degree cum laude from the University of the Virgin Islands.
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