Why telling Rotary’s story is so important

Rotary Director-elect Jennifer E. Jones talks about the importance of Rotary's brand.

Rotary Director-elect Jennifer E. Jones talks about the importance of Rotary’s brand. Photo by Alyce Henson/Rotary International

By Ryan Hyland, Rotary editorial staff

More than a year ago, Rotary leaders launched the Strengthening Rotary initiative to enhance and simplify the organization’s story, visual identity, and digital experience. While Rotary’s recognition on the global scale is strong, our image can still use strengthening in local communities.

Speakers at Rotary’s annual training event for leaders in San Diego, California, USA, this week challenged incoming district governors to champion Rotary’s brand in their districts and make sure that their clubs support the effort to tell Rotary’s story in a clear and compelling way. Here’s what a few incoming governors had to say about the initiative: Continue reading

Sesame Street health crusader visits Rotary leaders

Past RI President Bill Boyd and Raya

Past RI President Bill Boyd and Raya. Photo by Alyce Henson/Rotary International

By Ryan Hyland, Rotary editorial staff

Rotary leaders received a surprise visit Monday from Raya, one of Sesame Street’s newest puppets, during their annual training exercise in San Diego.

Raya joined past RI President Bill Boyd on stage during the third general session of the 2015 International Assembly, joking about how cool Rotary’s emblem looked and chatting with Boyd about toilets.

Sesame Workshop introduced Raya last year with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to teach the TV show’s millions of young viewers in Bangladesh, India, and Nigeria about sanitation and hygiene.

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Incoming district governors excited to ‘be a gift’

150119_themeBy Ryan Hyland, Rotary editorial staff

Incoming district governors enthusiastically greeted the presidential theme for 2015-16, Be a Gift to the World, during a dinner 18 January at the International Assembly, Rotary’s annual training event for future district leaders. RI President-elect K.R. “Ravi” Ravindran is asking Rotary members to use their talents, expertise, and leadership in the coming year to transform the lives of others.

We caught up with incoming district governors after the theme was announced to get their thoughts. Continue reading

What was your favorite convention moment?

K.R. Raja Govindasamy

K.R. Raja Govindasamy, a former Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar, shares his favorite convention moment.

By Ryan Hyland, RI Editorial staff, reporting from Bangkok, Thailand

I caught up with a few Rotarians as they were getting ready to leave the 2012 RI Convention in Bangkok, Thailand, and asked what their favorite moments were.

Glen MacGillivray, a member of the Rotary Club of Petawawa, Ontario, Canada, said:

“The House of Friendship has been amazing. I’ve met an awful lot of people with shared interests and different interests. People who could help us with what we’re trying to do and us help them with what they want to do. We’re a small club. It was nice to be a part of something bigger. And hearing Muhammad Yunus was a great thrill. It’s a big reason why we came.” Continue reading

Sights and sounds from the House of Friendship

Elvis impersonator

An Elvis impersonator performs center stage in the House of Friendship.

By Ryan Hyland, RI Editorial staff, reporting from Bangkok, Thailand

The House of Friendship is the heartbeat of the RI Convention. Having covered four conventions, I can safely say this is where you feel the pulse of the event.

Entertainment, food, arts and crafts, camaraderie, and service all combine in the House of Friendship, which each year is designed to capture the flavor of the host city while creating an environment that welcomes and embraces all cultures.

In Bangkok, the massive hall is lush with thousands of colorful flowers and ferns. Continue reading

Service loves company

Marc LeBlanc and Eva Gorny

Rotaractors Marc LeBlanc and Eva Gorny take part in an icebreaker during the Rotaract Preconvention Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand.

By Ryan Hyland, RI Editorial staff, reporting from Bangkok, Thailand

Rotaract preconventions are a time to meet new friends, get reacquainted with old ones, share projects and experiences. Most of all have fun.

But a time to fall in love? That part didn’t quite make it in the Rotaract handbook. However, Rotaractors Marc LeBlanc and Eva Gorny did just that during the 2008 preconvention in Birmingham, England.

Both are members of the Rotaract Club of the University of Lethbridge, Canada. They went to Birmingham, as friends I might add, to represent their club as it was the recipient of the North American Rotaract Outstanding Project award for raising US$25,000 for a microcredit project in Costa Rica. Continue reading

Medical care, solar panels, water pumps, and Superglue

By Ryan Hyland, RI Editorial staff

The very last item I bought at the pharmacy the night before my trip to Haiti last February was Superglue. I doubt synthetic liquid adhesives land on many packing lists, but it was a must-have for me in case my old, brittle eyeglasses broke.

My glasses survived the trip without incident. The glue served a far more important purpose.

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