Posted by Graham D. Pearson PHF
Program Recap - September 17, 2018
Bessborough Hotel
President Paul called our meeting to order, asking Claire to deliver his very thoughtful blessing, and then Mark to introduce our visitors and guests, comprised of District Governor Elaine Thompson, her spouse Past DG Ed Thompson and Assistant DG Colin Taylor. 
Paul provided a brief list of announcements:

- The Strategic planning session held last Saturday was most fruitful with 11 members from our club alone attending

- Jim W. is holding a prospective new member wine and cheese gathering, Sept 25th and 27th,  4:30 PM at the Saskatoon Club

- Regarding good news for Health of the Club, Will reported that Otto Ulrich, a long term member of our Club, celebrated his 100th birthday recently. Otto is a Veteran, serving with the Canadian Army during WW II. Graham added that Otto was the first member to quickly lasso him into Rotary when he moved to Saskatoon in 1990.
- Dave S. presented a gift of Nils' honey to Elaine

- Peter Z. will hold a World Community Service meeting Wednesday at 8 am at the Saskatoon Club

Today's Presentation

Colin introduced District Governor Elaine and in the process congratulated us on singing the corrected version of O’Canada. This will be Colin’s last official meeting as our ADG. We thank Colin for his years of dedicated service.
Elaine was born in Gilbert Plains, Manitoba and attended a one room school house. She went on to University, graduating with a PHD in Chemistry. She worked in the Asphalt industry, subsequently patenting a process for introducing shredded tires into an asphalt mix. She has now formed her own consulting firm Triad Limited. She joined Rotary in 2008 and is also an avid tennis player and community organizer. She has been married to Ed for fifty years and they have two daughters in Winnipeg with several grandkids.
Elaine began her remarks with some facts on Rotary member retention. There are 1.2 million Rotarians, and while holding steady for the last 15 years, the number of clubs is up 15 percent. Approximately 2.2 million Rotarians were inducted during this same period, so retention is clearly a problem.
Addressing this problem has raised a number of innovative concepts. One idea is to change the Rotary culture to better fit what new members want. RI President Barry Rassin proposes we work on retention before new members join.

Elaine asks “What is your club’s culture?” Then look to find those who share these values. We should also share our many activities with the local press, i.e. radio, TV, local newspapers, websites etc. Elaine has also made a video on retention, describing to new prospects the time and financial commitment expected up front.

She described the District Strategic Planning  review as an important exercise to get buy-in from all clubs. Rotary International sees the importance of Strategic Planning and has recently crafted a new mission statement based on input from many Rotarians around the World. In essence the statement envisions "People united and taking action for lasting change Worldwide and locally".

She outlined three goals:

1. Better Public Relations effectiveness in the community
2. A 10 % increase in members across the District, that translates to 140 new members
3. An increase in the online use of the “My Rotary” training resources, and also of Club Runner (that was recently voted a best website by an association!)

May 2nd, 2019 is the date for the next District Conference in Winnipeg, that will include the following speakers:
1. Sylvia Whitlock, who in 1987 became the first woman president of a Rotary Club (Duarte, California),
2. John Black, a Rotary trainer and musician on “How to make Rotary activities an event”
3. Don Evans on conflict resolution within clubs, making it a “win, win” solution

The Theme this year is "Inspired by the family of Rotary". Elaine also notes that the Learning and Development teams need volunteer help.

Our Club's thanks go to Elaine for her dedicated service and also to Ed for his support.