I can’t say that enough to all of you that have made this year the most successful one we’ve ever had. Three new clubs, membership growth both in numbers and diversity, and record giving to the Rotary Foundation’s Annual Fund are just a few of the things that we can be proud of this year.
A few key numbers:
Rotary Foundation Total: $490,612 (second all time)
Membership: 3406 (we should finish 1st or 2nd in Zone 30 for growth)
This journey as District Governor will be with me forever. The hospitality and kindness shown to me and my family from the clubs when we made official visits or just came to an event was top notch.
We had a Multi-District Conference that attracted over 750 attendees from at least 7 states. Our Rotary Leadership Institutes were well attended and organized. Thanks to Gib Backlund and Ginny Williams for their effort to make our RLI successful.
I had some great Assistant Governors out there that helped keep Rotary clubs up to date on what was happening in the Rotary world. Thank you to all of our AGs and AG Coordinators for all of the work you have done this year.
As you heard me in my official visits, my theme for the year was “Be A Rotarian”. I think we turned several Rotary Club members into Rotarians this year.
As we move on into our next Rotary year of “Rotary: Making A Difference”, let us all remember that membership begins with “me”. Each one of us are in Rotary because someone asked you to come to a club meeting or other Rotary function. We need to share this special gift of Rotary with others. We are doing a decent job of attracting new members, but we are having a hard time keeping them. “M.E.” also can stand for “Member Engagement”. Once we have that person in our club, help them find their calling in our organization. We lose members when they are not engaged.
The 2017 Rotary International Convention was extraordinary. Bill Gates and his foundation pledged an additional $300 over the next three years to help end polio. Now that means that we Rotarians need to raise $50 million a year to receive that match. That’s just $50 per member per year to Polio Plus.
I hope you make plans now to attend the 2018 Rotary International Convention in Toronto.
So what’s next for me? Well, there no rest for me; the family and I will head to St. Louis next weekend for a “train the trainer” event for our upcoming Governor Elect Training Seminar that will be held in Springfield, IL this September. Then the weekend after that I’m headed to lead a membership seminar for District 6820 in Mississippi. We have a Rotary Success seminar in Gardendale, Alabama the last weekend of July. August has me traveling to Chattanooga and Montgomery. My official position with Rotary is Assistant Rotary Public Image Coordinator (ARPIC) for Zone 30.
I look forward to Jerome Bannister’s year as District Governor. He will build on our successes this year and take us even higher. We have two great leaders in the pipeline to follow Jerome, Laquita Stribling and Bob Huffman will be fantastic District Governors. I will be there to help them reach their goals and I hope each of you will as well.
From baseball games, pool parties with ice cream trucks, to fairs, I hope each of you enjoyed this year as much as I have. I tried to have fun, and I think we accomplished that.
Last, but no where near the least, thank you to Amy, Abigail, Chet, and Amelia for supporting me and being there during this three and a half year journey. I love you so much.
Yours in Rotary Service,