By Kamlesh Chandan, assistant governor for District 7680 and past president of the Rotary Club of Lake Norman/Huntersville, North Carolina, USA
It was an honor to serve as the 19th president of my Rotary club this past year. It broadened my horizons and deepened my insights into our great organization of People of Action. Before the year began, I had a bold vision. I wanted to engage members, do service projects, have fun, incorporate technology, and leave members more educated about Rotary and our club. Every meeting, we took a usie (selfie with others) and shared what we were doing on social media. What did I learn from all this activity?
Leading a service club is so different from leading a business. If you have a passion for and dedication to making a difference, your club members will stand by you, help you, and support you.
During the year, my family hosted a Youth Exchange student from Brazil. We now have a life-long friendship we did not have before. I also had the opportunity to lead our club’s first Friendship Exchange to India, and was thrilled with the hospitality we received everywhere from Rotary families.
Our club launched a Young Professionals Under 35 initiative, YP35, to encourage younger members to join. We experienced a 37 percent increase in membership. We took part in 14 service projects, logged 752 volunteer hours, recognized 11 new Paul Harris Fellows and five multiple Paul Harris Fellows, and presented 14 Rotarian of the Month awards. Our club achieved Every Rotarian Every Year status and 100 percent of our members are Sustaining Members. At our district conference, we were rewarded with the best Small Club Award of Excellence among the 59 clubs in our district.
On a personal note, my entire family attended our first Rotary Convention in Atlanta, experiencing the global reach of Rotary.
I encourage every Rotary member to consider stepping up to serve your club as its president. It’s only one year, and you will experience Rotary in a whole new way as you get involved, lead, and have fun.
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