DGN Greg O’Brien, who will be District Governor in 2016-17, was introduced by PDG Lew Bertrand, our incoming Pres. Lew remembers when he was District Governor and speaking to the Palos Verdes Peninsula Rotary Club while Greg O’Brien was its President, when suddenly the entire audience ran over to the window to look out. Lew went over to see what the commotion was, in time to see the Space Shuttle flying over Torrance on its way to its final landing at LAX. This interruption was considered a great salute to the meeting!
DGN Greg is a retired judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court and is our District Membership Chair this year. He spoke of the important features of Rotarian membership. Among these are issues like what is special about our Club, such as having a quality location, and what size we should be for doing quality projects. Rotarians say that among the attractive features of their Club are liking the people they meet there regularly, a major reason for attending. They also have commitment and values shared and expressed through our service projects. Interesting club programs with good variety are also an attractive feature for successful Clubs.
Rapid social changes induced by social media are causing people to focus less on public service and more on superficial relationships with people that they seldom see. All nonprofit service organizations are competing for the attention of these people, and must remain up-to-date in their approaches to current and future members.
We encourage young business and professional people to become members, although many have family commitments in the evenings. These people value business and professional mentorship relationships with more experienced members. Although Rotary has always been oriented towards improving inter-professional relations, this is becoming an increasingly important attraction for service organizations like ours.
This year our District 5280 has grown by 124 more members, and some Clubs have been very successful in attracting new members interested in participating in our service projects. Our Clubs offer new members the opportunity to make an impact on their local communities, form new business and professional friendships, be respected and have their vocations valued by other community leaders. Providing variety in the form of occasional off-site meetings and helping every member and guest feel a welcome part of our Club community also make our Club attractive to prospective members.