By Shekhar Mehta, 2021-22 Rotary International President
To grow is a natural phenomenon for everything. Growth is the only evidence of life. As Harvey Firestone, the American businessman who founded the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, said, “The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.”
It is just as true for Rotary. For the last 20 years we had been at 1.2 million members and I think it is time that we add members and grow more. This growth to 1.3 million in 12 months may sound audacious but it is absolutely possible if we work on Each One, Bring One.
Editor’s note: Membership is the life blood of Rotary. Surveys have confirmed that members join because they want to connect with other people and take action to create lasting change. For Membership Month in August we have asked several experts to talk about how they reach out to prospective members, keep existing members engaged, and create an environment that allows new clubs to form and thrive. This is the first in that series.
By Elizabeth Usovicz, Rotary International Director, Zones 30 and 31
Rotary connections are powerful, for both current and future members. After 16 months of lockdown, online business and virtual Rotary meetings, I recently met a longtime client for lunch. The restaurant we chose was quiet that day, and the dining area was empty except for one table.
Our fellow diners were two young men of different races. They seemed to be talking about business as my client and I were seated at a nearby table. We didn’t focus on their conversation until our ears perked up like hyper-alert terriers when we heard one of them say, “Rotary.”
For many years in Rotary, we have talked about the importance of Rotaract and how young people have the potential to reshape our organization. Thankfully, in the last few years we have gone beyond talk and have moved into a time of action. Continue reading →
RI President Barry Rassin, middle, with Rotaractors in Mozambique.
By Barry Rassin, 2018-19 RI president
Time has really flown by. As the Rotary year draws to a close, I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on all that we’ve accomplished together.
When I started my year as president of Rotary, I set a number of goals that I hoped Rotary clubs all over the world would strive to achieve. One significant goal was important, but simple: double Rotaract. Continue reading →
Alison Frye at the District 6600 conference in May
By Alison Frye, president of the Rotary Club of Perrysburg, Ohio, USA Back in July, the cover of The Rotarian featured a picture of RI President Barry Rassin and his wife, Esther, with a flock of flamingos. The cover received a lot of love on social media, and people began to attend Rotary events wearing flamingo swag and tagging Barry in the pictures. A few weeks ago, a couple of Rotarians were in a party store and filled their arms with tacky flamingo items and tagged Barry in the picture.
District governors-elect got their first look at the 2018-19 presidential theme Be the Inspiration Sunday at the International Assembly, an annual training event for incoming district leaders. RI President-elect Barry Rassin urged the audience to build a stronger organization by inspiring a younger generation and by getting the word out to the community at large about the work Rotary does. “I will ask you to inspire with your words and with your deeds: doing what we need to do today, to build a Rotary that will be stronger tomorrow; stronger when we leave it, than it was when we came.”
We caught up with incoming district governors after the theme was announced to get their thoughts on being the inspiration. Continue reading →
RI President-elect Ian H.S. Riseley urged incoming district leaders to seek gender and age parity and protect the environment in announcing the 2017-18 presidential theme Rotary: Making a Difference. “We know that we can do more together than we could ever do alone. I ask you to keep that spirit of teamwork and cooperation always in your minds and to take it back with you to your districts.”
We caught up with incoming district governors after the theme was announced to get their thoughts, and see how they planned to make a difference in their leadership year. Continue reading →
RI President Gary C.K. Huang and his wife, Corinna, at the International Assembly, Rotary’s annual training event, in January.
By RI President Gary C.K. Huang
As we begin a new Rotary year, I would like to tell you that I’m honored to be your Rotary International president and to stand with you as Rotary members.
Being a Rotarian is about a way of approaching the world and its challenges. There are many people in this world who need help and many changes that need to be made. It can be overwhelming.
Confucius and Rotary share similar ideas, and one idea from Confucius is that “It is better to light one single candle than to sit and curse the dark.” To me, this means that we shouldn’t lose hope and do nothing. Continue reading →