Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Northeast President Elect Training Seminar-Putting it Together

Each year Rotary clubs have a President who makes the club happen. The year before, the District Governors to be, help those Presidents to be learn what it takes to make a club vibrant,exciting and provide service to their town and the world. There are many elements to this training for the President to be, but an important element is the President Elect Training Seminar(PETS). In our area the Districts covering New England and a small part of Canada, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont get together and in three days provide a remarkable amount of information to the Presidents to be and the Area Governors for these Districts.

So the District Governor Elects from the Districts get together in July
to work out a plan for the coming years' PETS. Here's some of
them July 7 in East Hampton, Connecticut

Here are the 8 Governor Elects. Notice that the photographer has
made a classic error, they are in the shade with a bright background. Neverthess
they are there, 5 guys and three gals during the planning of 2019 PETS
The spouses and others for the Governor Elects were present and enjoyed
a great weekend. We adjourned to a restaurant Saturday night to eat and
hear live music. Here is the President of East Hampton Rotary Club, who
just happened to be at the restaurant, talking with Joan the Governor Elect
in Massachusetts. Her husband is on her left.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Middletown Rotary Club  President Eric Rodko

I recently made my first official club visit as district governor to the Rotary Club of Middletown. This is a very impressive club numbering roughly 50 members.  The club is very active in the Middletown community, collaborating with other organizations to make Middletown a better place.  Some of the projects they support include the Middletown Community Thanksgiving Project; Amber Alert; Warm the Children; The Wilfredo Nieves Dictionary for Students, Family Literacy Program; Tools of the Trade; Polio Eradication; and hosting – in partnership with the East Hampton Rotary Club – an International exchange high school student from Bolivia.  There is also a strong emphasis on supporting local youth with programs including the high school Student of the Month Awards; local Community Service Awards; “Service Above Self” scholarships to civically active high school seniors; engaging Rotary Interact clubs at Mercy High School and Independent Day School; and providing “Tools of the Trade” to high school seniors from Vinal Tech.

It was a delight to meet the members of this club; they were all very friendly and welcoming.  I'm looking forward to a return visit soon.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Woodbridge Rotary Club 47th anniversary dinner and Installation of Officers

Woodbridge Rotary Club installed new officers and celebrated the last year on June 15, 2018

Larry Gardner, about to be District Governor, installed the new President Spenser Rubin
And his team Diane Millan, Jessica Halprin, Tom Shernow, Neelima Kaushal, Tony Anastaio,

Tony Anastaio the current President, gave a wonderful talk
on what is a Rotarian. He recounted various projects and talked
about the fellowship

Bill DeRosa was the Master of Ceremonies and did a great job.
He was also given a surprise Paul Harris in honor of his
long work for the club

Monday, June 11, 2018

RYLA Alumni Attend Graduation of Current RYLA High School Seniors

Some RYLA facilitators in caps and gowns with the RYLA alumni
behind them
RYLA Creates bonds between the participants and with the Facilitators and Leaders. District 7980 has a RYLA alumni group which helps run the RYLA and preserves the alumni relationship with ongoing RYLAs. Recently some RYLA facilitators graduated from high school and RYLA alumni showed up to honor the graduates.
Jason and Kate. Jason has been a facilitator at several RYLAs
and Kate organizes the RYLA alumni and is a Rotaractor

Friday, June 8, 2018

Scholarships Awarded by Rotary District 7980

Club in District 7980 Amount
Ansonia 1500
Beacon Falls 1000
Branford 7500
Bridgeport 27500
Cheshire 5000
Clinton 3500
Colchester 4500
DeepRiver 4000
Derby-Shelton 18000
East Hampton 16000
East Haven
Fairfield 25000
Guilford 25500
Hamden 2250
Madison 5000
Middletown 7783
Milford 28000
Monroe 4000
New Canaan
New Haven
New London
Newtown 5000
North Branford 1000
North Haven 12000
Norwich Sunrise
Old Saybrook
Orange 6000
Seymour-Oxford 1000
Trumbull 23000
West Haven 8500
Westport Sunrise
Wilton 2000
Tribury 4000
Total for Scholarships 248533
Clubs in other Districts
Torrington-Winsted 22500

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Two New Interact Clubs and the Osterman Award at Stratford Rotary Club

The Stratford Rotary Club installed two new Interact clubs, one at Stratford High School and the other at Bunnel High School. The students are very enthusiastic and the principals and the superintendent were present to support the Interact Clubs. Also Governor Trish presented the Osterman Award to Stratford. The Osterman Award is given to the best small club in District 7980.
Here's Jeffrey Krause, the President of Stratford getting
everything started

Governor Trish discussing the role of an Interact Club
Governor Trish installing three officers from Stratford High and the President of Bunnel High
Here's some of the Interactors from Stratford High, they brought 15 students
to the lunch meeting

The Stratford Club was awarded the Osterman Cup for being the
Best Small Club in District 7980

Sunday, May 20, 2018

A Membership Plan

Why do people stay in Rotary Clubs? Something in the club experience meets their needs, satisfies a desire they have.  In many clubs the members are friends with each other and stay in, just to keep up their friendships and enjoyable associations. The weekly meeting is a convenient way to do this. Providing service and creating value for their town is also an important need satisfied by the current membership model.

An essential element of the current member experience is the periodic meeting. And this meeting is an essential element of the value which members see.

Why would people join a Rotary Club. They might be looking to create new friendships and provide value to their town. The reputation of the club might be attractive to the potential new member. They might expect to enjoy the activities of the club. They might want to establish contact with the "movers and shakers" who are in the club. In any case finding the people in a town/area who are interested in a club is not a simple nor easy task. Most clubs find that a very small number of members bring in the vast majority of new members. That is not changed by cajoling and programs etc.

Once the person who is interested in joining the club is found, the membership experience s/he is looking for, must be provided quickly so that the person will remain in the club. Currently many clubs leave the assimilation of a new member to chance. It should be planned and organized.

There may be people who are not interested in the currently structured member experience. In particular it has been said that younger people do not have the time nor interest for a weekly meal meeting. The existing range of club experiences is very broad and there is the ability to make it even broader.

There may be nothing special about the meeting location. It's the conversations
and enjoyment of others company as well as service to your community
Here's a Rotary member with 62 years of service. He has valued the
friendship of club members and they have valued him.

Here are two new members of the New Haven Rotary Club. It is crucial that
we involve them in task and activities with other members on day 1
Here's a Rotary club program with the local Emergency Response team.
What a great opportunity to have a public meeting. The ERT reaches
out to the community and your Rotary club gets some visibility

So here are three elements of a membership plan(you may have additional ideas)
1. Finding New Members
 Hold public events, meetings, service projects(maybe one per month) and give these happenings lots of publicity. Make it clear at these events that membership in the Rotary Club is a possibility and to talk with a member. One club had a public event every month for 6 months and signed up 11 new members. Rotary Means Business is an excellent example of a Rotary Event that could be a public event and could be an attraction for new members.
2.Keeping New Members
 As soon as a person is inducted into the club assign an existing member to do a task with him/her for a month. Assign different people to do tasks with him/her in the next two months. These tasks can be small things like being the greeter at the meeting or doing the card game or ??  The idea is to have at least three different people work with the new member and hopefully establish friendships. Assign the new member to a specific service or fundraising committee right when they are installed.
3.Attracting Different People to Rotary

 To attract people who are not interested in the current member experience, find a few people, particularly younger people, and ask them to create a new member experience. It is very important that the new people design the new situation and that it is not done for them. Our goal is to have these people's creativity and knowledge create a whole new paradigm. You don't like a weekly meeting with a meal, well what would you like? Make this a satellite club. The members of the satellite club don't have to attend the existing meetings(but they can) and they establish the rules and duties for this new organization. The satellite club has its own service projects and fundraisers but it can also work on the main clubs' activities. If club members want to work on the satellite clubs activities, that's great. At some clubs where I have mentioned this, the club members are only focused on their existing clubs' meetings and projects and are not at all interested in this type of approach. The idea here is to create a new entity which gives a new and different set of people a Rotary experience. There will be synergy between the two entities but they need to be independent. By making it a satellite club we avoid a lot of red tape and it will work with a lower number of people.