R. I. President and Trustee Message - January

RI President 2022-23 Jennifer Jones
Rotary Club of Windsor-Roseland
Ontario, Canada

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Dear Fellow Rotarians, Rotaractors, and friends,
January 2023

Rotary recently surveyed our members and found something that should be unsurprising but still caused many of us in Rotary leadership to sit up and pay attention: The single most important factor in member satisfaction is the club experience. How at home you feel in your club, how rewarding club meetings are, and how engaged you feel in service projects.

I have seen this firsthand across the Rotary world this year. When members feel an emotional connection to their club, they cannot imagine leaving. And that connection is often forged in “Rotary moments,” when people feel that special connection to the people around them and the impact of their service. Our Imagine Impact Tour is all about shining a light on those Rotary moments and encouraging our members to tell their stories.

But there’s something else that makes an enormous difference in building and sustaining that connection. It’s the comfort and care of our members — both Rotarians and Rotaractors. As my Rotary friend Todd Jenkins says, “People can’t see how you think, but they sure can see your actions.”

We are in the relationship business, and if we take care of each other — genuinely show concern for each other — then we will make friends for life, and we will do anything to widen that circle of friendship.

The question is: How do we live with our eyes wide open and do the things that really matter? We do this by taking time for each other, actively listening to one another, and treating every Rotary member as equally valuable — no matter how long we have been a member or what position we hold. 

People like me in Rotary leadership can offer all kinds of advice about how to make your club experience more valuable. But what’s most important is for everyone in every Rotary club to speak up and listen to one another. We should never be afraid to share with our fellow Rotary member what we expect to get out of our membership and have an open discussion about how to make that happen.

To lead a Rotary club is to invite such dialogue and to be willing to try new approaches. Good leadership is giving it away. Propping others up. Allowing others to feel the victory.

I have one last request for club leaders. We still need to do more worldwide to increase our female membership. It’s up a bit this year, but I know we can and must do better. Rotary is growing again. As I write this, we’re just a handful of members away from surpassing 1.2 million Rotarians again. So let’s redouble our efforts to bolster our clubs with great new members, then keep them for life by providing comfort and care. 

Jennifer Jones
President 2022-23

Trustee Chair's Message - December 2022

Ian H.S. Riseley
Trustee Chair 2022-23
Sandringham, Victoria, Australia,

Trustee chair's message

January 2023

A new year is upon us. As we look forward to new beginnings and experiences, let’s think outside the box and find new opportunities to serve through Rotary.

Consider taking up a community economic development project this year. In this Rotary area of focus, we apply our professional experience by promoting the entrepreneurial spirit as we help communities help themselves in a sustainable way. Community economic development projects, to paraphrase the universal adage, don’t just give someone a fish today but teach them to fish so they can eat for a lifetime.

These projects can be microloans to start up a livestock breeding business, or they might take the adopt-a-village approach in which Rotary works with communities on multipronged efforts to boost local economies sustainably. 
In 2000, during its transition to independence, Timor-Leste was reeling from political violence and destruction. Communities not only needed shelter and improved living conditions but also a new economy. 

This is where Australian Rotary clubs stepped up with the East Timor Roofing project to produce and install corrugated roofing, and later, water tanks and grain silos. As the project grew, other organizations joined, including The Rotary Foundation, which delivered a grant that set the project on its path to success. 

Before long, East Timor Roofing became a financially viable enterprise, raising enough money to build roofs for homes, schools, orphanages, and commercial buildings. Subsistence farmers got silos for their crops. Hundreds of Timorese received professional training in basic building and administrative skills. Thousands of new water tanks ensured that young girls could attend school rather than fetching water.

What began as a roofing project is today a commercial enterprise employing local people and making a huge impact. And your Foundation paved the way. 

What experiences lie ahead for you in 2023? A district or global grant? Or possibly a visit to Melbourne, Australia, just up the road from my home, to make new friends, reunite with old ones, and find partners for projects during the 2023 Rotary International Convention?

Let’s make a New Year’s resolution to take advantage of opportunities to learn, grow, and serve. And let’s have some fun in the process. This is Rotary, after all.

So, my friends, let us go forth and carpe annum — seize the year. 

http://www.endpolio.org/donate.

Ian H.S. Riseley
Trustee Chair 2022-23

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