100th President’s Year in Review

Fellow Rotarians – a year ago I delivered my “throne speech” to the club and outlined what I planned to accomplish during my year as president of this great club.  Twelve short months later it is time to review our progress as we move into our exciting centennial year.  I had outlined three areas of focus; the core operations of the club including the office, its infrastructure processes, the board and executive committees i.e. our internal activities.  Membership – especially retention, training and new members, and Marketing and communications i.e. the way in which we promote and publicize ther club and its activities

I am pleased to report that we have made great progress in all three areas; the following are the highlights only. Our revamp of core operations is essentially complete with greatly improved financial results and controls and more efficient office processes through better use of technology.  The process of developing a strategic plan for the club proved to be more than could be achieved in one year but I am pleased to report that soon to be President Elect Richard White has the strategic planning exercise well in hand ably assisted by Ric Williams and John Whincup.  Their committee is working through this complex process and I am looking forward to hearing what they recommend as the plan develops. 

Club membership remains a top focus for all clubs and we have made some significant strides over the past year.  The membership by-law, categories and fees have all been reviewed and improved as necessary.  Our new structure will, among other things allow us to attract Rotaractors who have previously found the transition to our fee structure a significant barrier.  We have also developed the “emeritus” category which we believe will keep senior club members active whilst allowing them more flexibility than before.

Two new subcommittees of the membership committee, Retention and New Members have been busy and we can expect to see the impact of their work.  We are now able to track attendance easily using Club Runner and we plan to make good use of this information, including keeping the membership informed of how they are doing.  The new members committee has initiated a number of new and revamped initiatives that we believe will continue to improve our ability to connect with this important constituency.  There is still more work to be done but we have made a good start and the 100 for 100 goal will be the focus throughout the centennial year. 

Probably the biggest and most noticeable change has been in our new marketing and communications program.  Thanks to the team of Sylvia Geist, Greg Vermeulen, Craig Rennick and Dina Rashid, our communications have been completely revamped.  The new website, Facebook page and other social media elements are just one part of the new machine.  Strategic and tactical plans for every element of the centennial, special web pages for projects and events and professional press releases and information packages are greatly improving our ability to deliver our message and grab attention for the club.    


Our centennial preparations, especially the projects and the new communications plan have already changed the way our club works and thinks and I am sure that as we enter the year we have never been in better shape to celebrate our achievements, raise our profile in the community and grow the club.  As for me?  I have had a demanding but rewarding year and thank you all for your support and encouragement.  My highlights were probably the Power of Rotary lunch and the scholarship launch with Pinball Clemons but there have been many more memorable moments which I will always treasure.  So good luck to President Neil and remember to think big and make a difference.