Posted by Mike Slovak
On Monday, July 8th Jo and I started making our “official” club visits. Since our last scheduled visit is just prior to Thanksgiving, it didn’t take me long to realize that I would be sharing my district goals in a timeframe that spanned more than 4 months and hence the reason for this article. While I won’t share my entire presentation in this article, I do want you to know a little more about them at this time.
Here’s the list that I have shared with the clubs we have visited so far:
  • Increase Member Global Perspective
  • Increase Member Foundation Giving
  • Increase Club Support
  • Increase Personal & Professional Development & Training Opportunities
  • Improve & Increase Communications
  • Increase Club Strategic Plan Development
All six of these goals became obvious to me as we attended the International Assembly in San Diego in January of this year. As Jo and I participated in separate workshops and seminars, we found time to compare notes on the things that were discussed and what we learned with many of the attendees from our Zone 29 whom we refer to as “classmates”. (By the way, a Zone is a grouping of Districts from a region or specific geographic area and while we are currently in Zone 29, we anticipate moving to Zone 32 in 2020.)
Our RIP, Rotary International President, Barry Rassin shared his vision with us more than once and combined with comments I have heard from fellow Rotarians of our District over the years, these goals led to my list of priorities. While I find all of these goals important, I did not rank or order them so let me just begin at the top of the list and share a few thoughts about each of them.
Increase Member Global Perspective
We are not an international organization by accident. As Rotary International evolved, Paul Harris and the RI Leadership knew that being an international organization not only brought with it additional responsibilities but benefits as well. Do you believe we would be living in a polio-free country right now if we remained national instead of international?
Increase Member Foundation Giving
Every year when our clubs apply for district grants, very few clubs receive the full amount of the funds they request in their grant applications. Wouldn’t it be great if the money we received back for the purpose of supporting district grants covered all the funds requested by all of our clubs? There are Rotary Districts out there that have accomplished this.  Think about it – the more we contribute, the more we get back allowing us to expand the size of our community projects over time.
Increase Club Support
One of the most common questions I have heard since becoming a Rotarian is: Why does Rotary International and our District continue to ask us to do more and more each year? Our District has been working to provide more services that we hope will be perceived as some of the benefits of being a Rotarian.
Increase Personal & Professional Development & Training Opportunities
One of those benefits is the ability to participate in seminars and workshops (webinars) that have additional benefits for Rotarians as well as our family members leading to job security and advancement, improved family dynamics and an increase in our quality of life.
Improve & Increase Communications
My biggest pet peeve is our inability to communicate effectively with all Rotarians in our district. I’ll share this in more detail when I visit your club, if I haven’t already. Suffice it to say we wouldn’t want to run a business we owned under our current communication obstacles.
Increase Club Strategic Plan Development
Last year, at the direction of District Governor Don we assembled a Strategic Planning module to be used by any of our clubs that were interested in doing so.  The Avon Club was the first club to complete this module and we now have at least 3 other clubs who are waiting to be scheduled. We anticipate significant benefits for clubs that utilize these processes and stay on top of the action plans they develop.
I look forward to sharing the details of my presentation as they relate to the 6 goals described above plus some comments/insights from RIP Barry Rassin as well.
Jo and I look forward to meeting with all of you during the remainder of our club visits over the next few months!
Yours in Rotary Service,
DG Mike
Michael J. Slovak
Governor, Rotary International District 7120