By Daniela Garcia, RI editorial staff, reporting from the International Assembly in San Diego, California, USA
Incoming district governors broke into applause as RI President-elect Ron Burton announced the 2013-14 RI theme, Engage Rotary, Change Lives, during the first plenary of the International Assembly, Rotary’s annual training event for future leaders.
I asked several of the future leaders their thoughts about the theme, moments after it had been announced here in San Diego, California, USA. Here is what they said:
Bonnie-Leight Anne Black, governor-elect of District 7040 (Canada): “Engage Rotary, Change Lives is something that each one of us can definitely bring home and send the message to each of our incoming presidents, district councils… It’s something that really gets us motivated and that we can hang on to whether it be in our community, internationally, giving to The Rotary Foundation or PolioPlus, or working for them also. Sometimes we forget that serving is the best way we can be Rotarians.”
Robert Bryden Callahan Jr., governor-elect of District 6880 (Alabama, USA): “I have absolutely great excitement about Ron Burton’s leadership, his ideas, his concise expression of what our goals should be. It left me inspired to go back out there. I sat in my chair and thought, if our first class could be the first ones to do a contribution, tomorrow my presidents-elect will have an email from me: We’re going to be the first class in our districts where all our presidents-elect make a contribution. We’re going to follow his leadership and go by his example. It was inspiring and I’m excited.”
Helaine Campbell, governor-elect of District 5130 (California, USA): “I thought it was very inspiring. I’m not too surprised that we’re going to engage, because I’ve heard that term all along in my training. I think we are turning a new leaf. I think we’re going to see new things happen in Rotary, there’s so much coming on in this new year. It’s going to be exciting and we owe it to intiate that with our presidents and pass it on.”
Roberto Fung Kuan, governor-elect of District 3830 (Philippines): “All Rotarians need to be engaged, rather than just be a Rotarian in name. To me, getting a Rotarian engaged is most important. And then of course, when Rotarians are engaged in projects, then the beneficiaries of those projects can change lives in their communities. To me, it’s quite a meaningful theme and I like it.”