BBRC Reveille


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"Always drink upstream from the herd." ~ Will Rogers (regarding the subject of leadership)
View this week's slideshow.
View this week's slideshow.
In memory of John Armenia, PhD
In memory of John Armenia, PhD
Invocation and Pledge
Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club
Brad Baumann & Brian Hardy
New member Brian Hardy (Classification: Insurance—Employee Benefits) delivered a concise and upbeat invocation.

Old Irish Blessing
May the road you walk be a smooth one.
May your troubles be few if any.
May the days and years that lie ahead,
Be healthy, wealthy, and many.
May you find friends in abundance.
May the sun shine bright above you.
May the world be a beautiful place to live,
And the good Lord always love you.

There is something refreshing about that; "short and sweet" tends to get the meeting off to a very good start! New member Brad Baumann (Classification: Banking—Relationship Manager) introduced our visiting Rotarians and guests. Among our distinguished guests were District 5030 Governor John Matthews and his lovely wife Mary Ellen, and Assistant Governor Chris Boland. Chris is a member and former president of the Woodinville Club.
Blue Badge Presentation: Katherine De Stephano
Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club
President Chuck Kimbrough & Katherine
De Stephano
President Chuck presented Katherine De Stephano with her blue badge. Katherine joined our club in February of 2009, and has recently completed all of the blue badge requirements. While this might seem a little longer than usual, she has very good reasons. When she joined the club, she hit the ground running.

Besides her other committee involvement, Katherine has been extremely involved in the 5K and golf fundraisers, and she has stepped up to volunteer as the chair of the 2011 BBRC 10K event.
Final Notice for Committee Sign-Ups
Chuck became a bit serious for a moment and reminded the membership that those who have not signed up for at least two committees have until next Friday, at which time he will unleash the Sergeant At Arms and Spider Monkey against all foot-draggers.
Foreign Exchange Student: Claudia Rodriguez
Ann Norman & Claudia Rodriguez
Ann Norman provided an update on our exchange student, Claudia Rodriguez, from Santiago, Chile. Her arrival in the US was delayed, and at meeting time, she was rescheduled to arrive Sunday the 29th.

Update: Claudia has now arrived in the Seattle area, and she will be visiting the club at the next meeting, September 3.
BBRC Poker Night, September 10
Mitch Freedman has scheduled the next BBRC poker night for Friday, September 10, 7:00 pm, at his home in Bellevue, 16838 NE Place.

Food and fun! Everyone is a winner at BBRC Poker Night!

Please RSVP to Mitch (Ph 425-401-9759).
End-of-Summer Barbecue!
Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club
Wendi Fischer
Wendi Fischer announced Saturday's barbecue at the Monger's on West Lake Sammamish Parkway. As of meeting time, 52 had signed up, and Dick Brown promised to show up in his new Speedo to guarantee good weather. At that moment, approximately 30 members contracted a sudden case of the flu and decided they couldn't make it Saturday after all.

Update by Wendi Fischer:
It was a fantastic afternoon at the Monger home on Lake Sammamish! About 60 Rotarians, friends, and family gathered to eat, drink and be merry. Throw in a little badminton, a few bean bags, and frisbee, add the sunshine (compliments of Dick Brown), and it was a great day all around.

Chris and Pam did a wonderful job hosting (thank you very much!) and making some amazing ribs and pork butt. Everyone brought a side dish or dessert, and there was plenty of food!

Thank you to everyone who participated; it was a great way to kick off our fellowship events for the year. There are many more to come, so, if you missed this one, we'll catch you for the next one.

Summer Barbecue Photos courtesy of Wendi Fischer

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Pakistan Relief
The BBRC Board met briefly after the regular meeting to discuss alternatives for the flood relief efforts in Pakistan. Stay tuned for an announcement from the Board this week on how the BBRC plans to pitch in and help.
Sergeant At Arms
Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club
Paul Chapman
Elena Howell teamed with Andrew Face and Paul Chapman to conduct a music trivia contest. The "stump the dummy" effort seemed to raise lots of money from every table. The task was fun, entertaining, and a very tough challenge.
Adoption Party Forms
Margie Burnett is still recruiting drivers and participants for the adoption party to be held October 2nd. Remember: If you are going to participate, you'll need to get DSHS clearance. Margie has forms, and there will also be copies at the sign-in desk at next meeting.
"Annual District Governor Visit & Presentation," District Governor John Matthews
District Governor John Matthews

Assistant District Governor Chris Boland of the Woodinville Rotary Club introduced District 5030 Governor John and his wife, Mary Ellen. Chris noted that John retired after a 20-year career in the Navy and is currently the Vice President of Human Resources at Costco.

John opened by complimenting the BBRC on our celebration of 25 years of Service Above Self in our local community and abroad. He pointed out that BBRC "gets it," and that this club is hitting well on all cylinders. Emphasizing RI President Ray Klinginsmith's motto, "Building communities and bridging continents," John stated that the BBRC has been delivering well on that theme.

He then challenged us as Rotarians to take our service to a new level. His inspirational message compared the cultures of Costco and Rotary, pointing out we have much in common. As President Ray has stated, "We are along the path, but is it enough?" Ray wants each of us to do whatever we can to become "bigger, better, bolder."

John used Costco's "salmon story" to help us set our sights higher. The salmon story occurred in reality, but it has become a metaphor for what makes Costco tick: perfection is unattainable, but the pursuit of excellence is a worthy goal.

Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club
AG Chris Boland
Costco didn't always sell salmon, and when it began, it annually sold only two million pounds. The teamwork between Costco buyers and vendors improved the quality and drove lower and lower prices. As a result, Costco now sells about 130 million pounds of salmon annually, and at about one quarter less cost. The point of John's story is that people always assume that the way it is now is the way it always was. Costco was proud of performance in 1995; they were proud of increases performance again in 1998. But, their attitude is that they can always make it better, regardless of whether the task is delivering salmon, building better employee benefits, or the myriad of other challenges of a modern business.

John's message to the BBRC is that the salmon story can be the success story for Rotary clubs.

There is a commonality between Costco and Rotary: Both bring in people because of their quality of character, not for their specific skills. Both organizations are decentralized: there is no other club exactly like the BBRC. While each Rotary club is united in "Service Above Self" and President Ray's motto, we each have a different culture. Both organizations operate on a "family" basis, which speaks volumes about why people stay with the organization. We grow our leaders from within. We teach people — we don't put new members on the fast track to president. Instead, we teach them the ropes of the organization and how to lead, and then we select them for the key positions.

He set out three challenges for Rotary presidents and their clubs: membership development, increasing Rotary Foundation participation, and teaching Rotary members more about Rotary to increase their effectiveness.

John pointed out that 4 out of 10 Rotarians have been in Rotary five years or less. For that reason, it is absolutely essential that we spend time developing the people behind us. While we do that, club presidents need to build on to those things that might be their clubs' "salmon stories."

Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club
President Chuck Kimbrough &
DG John Matthews
John emphasized the need to maintain and grow Rotary membership. When disaster strikes, Rotarians are the first to respond, and we stay to help long after the cameras and press are gone. Our only limit is that there are only 1.2 million of us. Three of the top ten natural disasters of the last 100 years occurred in the last six years. Rotarians are part of the solution. Rotarians are working for clean water solutions, as well as solutions to diseases such as polio, malaria, and AIDS.

How much more could we do if we had two or three million members instead? Rotary embraces challenges. Growing Rotary is how we get over the limitations of our current capability.

From 1905 to 1925, membership in Rotary doubled every year. From 1925 to 1995, Rotary continued to grow at a steady pace. From 1995 to 2005, membership worldwide declined every year. However, during three of our nation's most challenging economic periods – both World Wars and the Great Depression – Rotary grew. During this economically challenging time, Rotary membership is in decline.

In District 5030, membership has leveled off — we have remained at 3300 members for about six years. This year, our challenge is to break out of the current mold and embrace a multi-year approach.

John pointed out that in a study of successful corporations, those that had five consecutive years with sustained increases in profitability in every fiscal quarter were those most likely to remain profitable in the next quarter. In District 5030, there are no clubs with five years of successive growth. Out of 55 clubs, only 10 have four years of continuous growth. The challenge for this year is how can clubs transition to membership strategies that will provide sustained multi-year success?

John's second of three challenges is to increase support of the Rotary Foundation. Again, John was quick to point out that the BBRC is a club that "gets it." We have excellent performance, both on a percentage of membership metric, as well as per capita foundation contributions. However, like the "salmon story," we can challenge ourselves to do even better.

Last year Rotary distributed $115 million on things other than Polio Plus. What could we do if we had $200-$300 million available?

The District participation is in Rotary Foundation currently 55% — we need to continuously strive to work closer to 100%.

Governor John's third challenge is to have all Rotarians learn more about how Rotary works so we can all be more effective in our service. He then plugged District 5030's Rotary Academy. He complimented BBRC – we have nine graduates and eight more already signed up for the coming year. This is a relatively painless way to learn – there are seven online modules and more coming after next year. Rotarians have total flexibility on how to complete the course – they can either do it individually online or in small group study for those who prefer more fellowship.

DG John & Mary Ellen Matthews, AG Chris Boland & BBRC President Chuck Kimbrough

To recognize graduates and emphasize the importance of the Rotary Academy, graduate pins are now available and will be presented to the BBRC graduates soon.

As another avenue for learning, John put in a plug for the District Conference. Not only is it an excellent forum for fellowship, it represents an outstanding place to learn more about Rotary. As an incentive for more to attend, Costco is awarding cash cards – there will be drawings — and there will be one $250 cash card awarded for every 25 people who sign up to attend.

In closing, John said he is inspired by the work of the BBRC, and we indeed inspire others around the world.

District Governor Q&A:

Question: How do we get Rotary better known?
: We are taking baby steps in PR. PR needs to be taught in a way where membership, foundation, and PR are tied together. To pursue this goal, the District is publishing a new trifold PR pamphlet that ties these elements together. Another method is through service projects: clubs that are growing membership the most are inviting non-Rotarian guests to Rotary projects. It's an easy sell: those who are already motivated to volunteer for projects are looking for an outlet: let's show that that outlet is Rotary.

Question: What can we do about getting smaller clubs up to a viable level?
: Thirty is the magic number. We are working very hard to get each of our clubs above the 30-member numbers. Rainier Valley Club got down to three people and almost closed. When a club gets to that level, it cannot build from the inside; it needs outside help. In response, Rotarians from other clubs have been contributing leadership functions and regularly attending RVC. They are now at 14 and growing.

Question: What about Rotaract?
: It's not very active here. It's more prevalent in countries like India and Indonesia. We haven't done it as well here. We currently have two clubs in the district and a third moving in that direction. Having Rotaract in the university environment works against you because of the turnover as students graduate. Instead, we need community-based clubs. The District is hosting an event to develop prospects September 19th, 2 pm, at the Crossroads Spray Park. More info will be published on that shortly.

Question: Pushing membership and fundraising can take a toll, too. How do we do it?
: Imbed it in your behavior. Make it second nature.

Question: What is the biggest factor in decline in membership?
: Age. That is where the BBRC has a strength: BBRC is diverse in all aspects of its membership.
Poker Night, September 10
Poker Night, September 10
Summer Celebration Barbecue, August 28
Rotary First Harvest Work Party, September 11
Rotary Academy Applications Due September 24
Rotary Academy Applications Due September 24
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