President Update – 14th May 2018

Posted By Kaj Pedersen

Introduction – The Home Straight:

During the Retreat at the Icicle Resort in Leavenworth, there was a moment when it dawned on me that we have some truly passionate past presidents in our club.  More importantly, many of them were present at the Retreat to play their role in helping to shape the future of our club for Rotary Year 2018-19, when Chris Boland steps up to take the mantel of President for the BBRC.  We are indeed a lucky club to have such loyalty from this cohort of esteemed Rotarians.  A group that I will be thrilled to join in the not too distant future.  My hope is that I can also hold the same passion and commitment to Rotary as these past presidents demonstrate regularly.

We have also completed our major fund raiser for the club.  An effort that the majority of our members were involved with in helping to deliver a success on the day.  My thanks to Chris Boland and his team for coordinating the many areas that are involved with meeting the promise of the All in for Autism 5K/10K event this year.  The final numbers are still being tallied, but I think it is safe to say that we will have improved on last year’s race and this allows us to plan for another year in support of our community service projects.  Just marvelous!

As a club, we have accomplished a lot this year in the areas that matter: supporting our communities locally and internationally through service; making our commitment to the RI Foundation; told our story to others; changing the governance of our club; and delivered on our commitments to increasing membership.  It should come as no surprise that our club has been successful in meeting the goals set by RI President, Ian Riseley, to secure the Presidential Citation for this year.  My congratulations to each of you, through your service above self, in helping secure this recognition for the club.

Tell Our Rotary Story:

We have met our goal for postings on the website and social media channels for this Rotary year with 673 postings against a goal of 500.  We have seen six stories published about our club in the local press, which allowed us to meet our goals.  Our followers have increased across Facebook (336), Twitter (750) and Linkedin (97), which continues to help us increase our reach across the community – I hope that each of you will also follow our club across these services.

We picked up four press articles, predominantly on the race, but one from Antigua as well:

The great thing about the race articles is that we only submitted one release and the other outlets picked up our event through the buzz.  This is something we can continue to build on for next year.

Grow Membership:

We are on track for adding ten new members to our club’s membership this year.  We set a goal of securing one new member for each month of the Rotary year.  It is an ambitious goal and we are only two new members shy of reaching it!  That is amazing.

Our club is currently at 90 members.  Our two most recent inductees are Caitlin Devaney and Kevin Klustner.  I hope that you have all taken the opportunity to welcome them into the fold and get them engaged in some of our projects.  I know that they are both ready for the challenge.

This being said, we have seen some members depart from the club as their circumstances and needs have changed.  I am sorry to say that we have had say good-bye to the following members: Joellen Monson, Lenny Lutes, Paul Osborn, Dan Sullivan and Chris LeRoux.  They were all wonderful Rotarians and we wish them well in their journeys outside of our club.

We also completed our work with approving the new membership categories: Family, Young Leader and Corporate.  This will allow us to pursue other avenues for expanding our reach and engaging our community in a manner that supports our mission.  I am excited for our future possibilities as a result of these changes to our membership categories.

Our membership committee continues to find ways to improve our onboarding processes and make sure we have our new members quickly engaged with our club’s activities.  It is this willingness to not stay still and to find new ways in which we can make our new member experience second to none.  Please thank Tim Leahy and his team for the wonderful work that they have accomplished in our membership recruiting and onboarding this year.


Dennis Newell, Chuck Kimbrough and John Schwager took up the challenge to lead the effort in organizing our Retreat at the Icicle Resort in Leavenworth this month.  It was by all measures a success.  We had wonderful opportunities for fellowship (wine tasting, golfing, dinner and gaming), while still finding time to participate in a planning session for Chris Boland’s Presidential year.  The ideas, passion and desire to keep our club’s ethos alive was apparent to all who participated in the Retreat.  My gratitude to all members of the Retreat planning committee is beyond measure.

We have received the majority of surveys back from the participants and they were overwhelming positive about the experience.  We will be using the feedback from this survey to help us plan for next year’s Retreat, which is now a requirement of the club’s bylaws.  Our President-Elect Nominee Designate (to be chosen) will own this responsibility each year going forward.  This is good news for the club and its membership.  It is my hope that we will see our Retreat become the key component for engagement of our members in the planning of our clubs future activities.  I hope that more of you will be a part of this amazing event next year and beyond.


A suggestion was made at the Retreat that the Annual President Report provided to the District Governor should be shared with the club membership.  To this end, I have attached it with this note, so each of you can reflect on the work accomplished over 2017-18.  I think you will agree that we have been a busy club, in many areas, and it is thank to you and other members for helping to translate ideas into action – more importantly, this is our story at the BBRC.  Please share it with others!