DGE Greg O’Brien presented a tribute to our late member Don Reeves. Then he discussed his experience on our recent District humanitarian trip to Panama, including going through the Panama Canal.
As our District Gov-Elect, Greg attended the Rotary International Assembly in San Diego, completing the District Gov training program he had attended in Kauai. He was fired up about the inspirational speakers and meeting DGEs from around the world with fellowship and networking. Rotary’s new motto this year will be “Rotarians Serving Humanity”. The Theme for our President-Elect Training Seminars (PETS) next week will be “Imagine Rotary”.
At age 37, Paul Harris started the first Rotary Club of young professionals in 1906, for business networking and to provide service to the community. Young professionals are the future of Rotary. They are less drawn to structured events such as weekly meetings, and are more oriented towards networking, such as meeting for lunch and flexible schedules. They use social media such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Pins and certificates don’t motivate them, but service with personal impact does. They are not magazine readers, preferring electronic media. They’re looking for friends. The rapid pace of technological changes now mean we have more difficulty mentoring them as new members.
“Young Professionals” will be our District Theme next year. We need to focus on Club programs of interest to families with children (not geriatrics!). They are interested in educational issues, police activities, and other (non-geriatric) topics. He referred to the 1989 movie “Field of Dreams”. (An Iowa corn farmer, hearing voices, interprets them as a command to build a baseball diamond in his fields; he does, and the Chicago White Sox come.) If we rebuild Rotary, they will come (not the White Sox).