Two years ago, then RERC President Bill Walker, discussed at length with me the reasons why I should accept the President Nominee position on his Board. I have to honestly say that I was not at first willing to accept, for all the reasons I’m sure each of you can come up with. However, Bill’s desire, patience and continued efforts to help me see the “bigger picture” won me over and I accepted. Well, effective July 1st, I will begin my year as the President of RERC. I am thankful to Bill for convincing me to take this path and I am looking forward to a wonderful year of “engagement” with every member of our club.
As I said in my acceptance speech at the Installation Banquet, I will restate that the 2015-16 year for our club will be all about engagement. A club filled with active members engaged with the many programs that we all know so well and in what I hope will be a number of new programs and services we collectively choose to take on. Attending weekly meetings is still something we all should endeavor to do, but attendance is not the only definition of being an active member. Simply put, we need all members to look ahead and make time to assist with the many hands on service projects we have; to help with planning by serving on at least one committee; most importantly, to determine for yourselves how best you can serve your club in the spirit of Rotary.
It is now up to the Board and to the members of our club to implement the Strategic Plan that was developed under President Kathy’s leadership this last year. It is a three-year plan to 1) Grow our club through membership retention, participation and recruitment; 2) Engage a younger, more diverse demographic as we recruit new members. This doesn’t necessarily mean young people, but people who are young at heart, early in their retirement, new to our community; and 3) Identify a Signature Service Project that will be beneficial to our community, involves sweat equity, partnering with others outside our club and is sustainable for years to come. To some degree a legacy project of RERC.
The Board and I will work hard on communication so that everyone in our club is fully aware of the opportunities to serve. There will be many ways to be involved and we encourage you to offer up ideas as well. It is a two way street of sharing and learning…all ideas welcome.
This year’s theme for Rotary International as announced by President K.R. “Ravi” Ravindran, is “Be a gift to the world.” This may not seem as simple as it sounds, but I feel it is. Let’s start by every member of RERC being a gift to our club. Doing so I believe will germinate into services and projects we never thought could be undertaken, happening right here in our own backyard. My goal for this next year is to maintain and nurture what we, RERC, have been doing well for the past thirty years, but in doing so, to institute…New initiatives that lead to New opportunities and New discoveries, resulting in New blood (members) joining our ranks. New horizons await us, let’s find them together.
Bruce C. MacPherson
President RERC 2015-16