President Update – 27th August 2017

Posted By Kaj Pedersen

I wanted to send out a quick update with respect to the progress we are making our “Back to Basics” Strategy (also known as the M³ Vision).  Our goal is to reach a level of sustainability in our club by refocusing on our Mission, growing our Membership and securing the Money that will help support our work in the community and beyond.  We will accomplish this by aligning with Rotary’s brand changes and tell our BBRC story.  This will allow us to share our lessons and, with demonstrated gains, we can inspire our club and others to be a part of the success – Together we can make a difference.

My update will be broken into four areas: Tell our Rotary Story, Engage our Community, Grow Membership, and Improve our Brand.  Please refer to the Back to Basics action plan to refresh yourself on the details behind each of these areas.  I hope to send out regular updates, so the club can see how we are doing in our pursuit of M³.

Tell Our Rotary Story:

We have made good progress in this area.  Our PR Committee is executing on their plan to create more outreach through our social media.  Paul Osborn is working hard to help make sure the club has the tools in telling our story through the website, Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.  The PR Committee is also working on tools to help us measure our effectiveness in communicating our stories to the wider community.  Here are some great examples of this work:

The call to action for everyone in the club is to use participate in these mediums and help tell our story.  Many of us our on social media and own mobile phones.  Take advantage of these channels by taking pictures, so we can share them with the wider community.  We will also be looking to all committee members to post updates on their activities to the website, so that interested parties can see what a dynamic club we have at the BBRC.  Remember, if not you, then who will tell our story?

Engage our Community:

We have an opportunity to connect with others in our community.  We need to do this to capture the opportunity presented by the changes in our area.  We have made some encouraging progress in this regard:

  • New Generations: Alex has been reaching out the Bellevue Boys & Girls club to see how we can better partner with them for the future.  This group has also been effective in staying close with Interact (thanks Laura), Rotaract (Alex and Chris), DECA (Paul) and RYLA (Madeline), which is a great way to make sure the next generation see the value of Rotary.
  • Thanks to Jenny Andrews, a connection was made with the Speerha Community ( who are aligned in many ways with what we do at Rotary.  I am in contact with the chapter President and hope to find ways we can work together as part of our outreach to a wider audience in the community.
  • I met with Cascade Design and entered into a conversation with them to see how we can align with their good work in Global Health – with a particular emphasis on local education in the community around clean water for emergencies.  I know that Steve Roberts has also engaged with them for his Haiti project and I am sure there is more to come.
  • Naturally, we still have great connections with other partners and will continue to find ways to engage with them: Kindering, RFH, SOW and others

Grow Membership:

We have started with great gusto in terms of membership this Rotary year.  Since July we have inducted four new members and our plan is to try and bring in one new member each month.  There is no reason why we should not all be actively seeking opportunities to bring other guests into our club and show them the opportunity of membership.

However, it is not just about bring in new members.  It is about making sure we continually challenge ourselves to demonstrate the value of membership in Rotary.  We do this through our activities and initiatives, where we work hard to enjoy our involvement to the fullest, by expressing love for the mission, calling people we care about and checking on how they are, being more forthright and strategic in our club’s activities, while learning from our mistakes and growing from these experiences.

This will make it much easier to tell our story to others, enjoy each other’s company in fellowship and develop the trust that will allow us to build strong, lasting relationships both personally and in business.

Improve our Brand:

By now you will have heard about our own effort to secure a sustainable future for our club.  Morris Kremen, Chris Boland and I have committed to supporting our Back to Basics plan for the next three years.  We recognize that it is critical for us to engage in the opportunity to make lasting change for the benefit of the club for many more generations that will follow us in the future.

We will achieve this by being more effective in directing the strategy and policy of our club through the board of directors (we have made a lot of changes in terms of organizing and optimizing the efforts of our board), where Ann Norman has led the charge to gather all of our club documents over the last 15 years and make sure we can access them through Dropbox (thanks to Paul Osborn for helping us with the technical transition).  We are building discipline into the governance of the club and making sure this supports our plans for sustainability.

We have also launched the M³ Vision Committee (M³VC) to review all of our by-laws, club organization and activities to see how we can best optimize our organization for the future.  This committee reports to me and will make recommendations to the board that will help us shape the club to the benefit of its membership.  This group is headed up by Wendi Fischer and its members are: Dick Brown, Steve Lingenbrink, Desiree Yuzawa and Girish Bahtia.  Please lend them your support as they work through the challenging portfolio of tasks ahead of them.

In closing, I want to thank all of you who have come to me with ideas, suggestions and thoughts about the future of the club.  We all have an opportunity to make a difference in our club and, by doing so, I guarantee that you will very quickly see the value in your membership realized.  Be the difference and embrace that opportunity.