Flood Relief Update

To date the District 7550 Foundation has received in excess of $200,000 for flood Relief. Our Disaster Relief Committee has approved a contributions of $25,000 each toward partnerships to build homes for flood victims in White Sulphur Springs, and Rainelle ( both of which are under construction), and also in Richwood, Clay County, and Clendenin.

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We are also partnering to build a community park in White Sulphur Springs on property where seven homes were washed from their foundations during the flood.

Finally, we are partnering to renovate a community baseball field at Herbert Hoover High School.

We’ll have pictures and details as these projects progress, so check back here to see the good we’re doing in our part of the world!  More plans are in the works, so there will be more to come later.

Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI)

Many of you are probably familiar with Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI), but if you are relatively new to Rotary, attending RLI will be most beneficial to you in learning more about Rotary. Our District 7550 will hold an RLI on Saturday, March 4, at BridgeValley Community and Technical College in South Charleston. The cost of attending RLI is $95. Many Clubs pay the fee for their members to attend. Registration begins at 8:30 am and sessions start at 9:00 am. And conclude by 4:30 pm. Lunch is provided.

To register for RLI go to http://rlinews.blogspot.com/p/events-calendar-registration.html and click on “Click here to Register or for Event Information,”  Then scroll down to South Charleston and select Part I if this is your first RLI. All registrations must be completed by February 27 to adequately plan for lunch and materials.

Part I focuses on what being a ‘Rotarian’ really means and includes Insights into Leadership, My Rotary, Engaging Members, Our Foundation, Ethics – Vocational Service, and Service Projects.

If you have any questions about RLI, your Club President has additional information and a brochure they can share with you. Should you need assistance in registering for RLI, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

I hope you will take advantage to learn more about Rotary and attend our RLI. You won’t be disappointed.

Yours in Rotary Service
Harry Faulk, PDG
304 894-4636 

Get Registered Now for PETS

Governor-elect Terry is working diligently to plan this year’s Presidents-elect Training Seminar (PETS), which will be held March 31 – April 1, 2017 at the Days Inn in Flatwoods. Again this year, we’ll be holding joint PETS with district 7530 in the northern part of WV.

PETS is the opportunity for incoming club presidents to learn what’s expected, not only by the district, but also by Rotary International, for the coming year.  Presidents-elect will get the tools needed to lead their clubs in the coming Rotary year.

PETS is mandatory for all incoming presidents, even if they’ve served as president before.  According to the Rotary Manual of Procedure, Club Constitution, Article 13, Section 5(c):

Qualifications. Each officer and director shall be a member in good standing of this club. A candidate for the office of president shall have served as a member of this club for at least one year prior to being nominated for such office, except where service for less than a full year may be determined by the district governor to satisfy the intent of this requirement. The president-elect shall attend the district presidents-elect training seminar and the district training assembly unless excused by the governor-elect. If so excused, the president-elect shall send a designated club representative who shall report back to the president-elect. If the president-elect does not attend the presidents-elect training seminar and the district training assembly and has not been excused by the governor-elect or, if so excused, does not send a designated club representative to such meetings, the president-elect shall not be able to serve as club president. In such event, the current president shall continue to serve until a successor who has attended a presidents-elect training seminar and district training assembly or training deemed sufficient by the governor-elect has been duly elected.

Registration is available on DaCdb; just go to the district calendar.  If an incoming president has a conflic with the dates for our joint PETS, we may be able to make arrangements for that president-elect to attend PETS in another district.

We look forward to seeing all incoming presidents on March 31 as we get fired up for anther successful Rotary year!

Membership Focus: 

Ten Tips for Retaining and Growing Membership

Engaging your members and growing your club are important to your club’s future.  Since most clubs can expect to see 10-15% membership attrition each year  (people retire, have health issues that keep them from continuing to be active, get transferred or move away for a new job, etc.), you have to keep bringing in new members to avoid club collapse.  To keep enough hands on deck to continue your service projects and your service to your community, here are some tips to help you grow your club:

  1. Fire them up! Extend a warm and welcoming attitude

A warm and welcoming President can translate into a warm and welcoming club. Leaders need to take a pro-active approach in meeting and greeting potential members. The president, Board members, past presidents, should stand at the door, and shake the hand of members and guests as they come in for your meeting. It can be hard for people to walk into a roomful of people they don’t know. Introduce yourself, take an interest in them, and introduce them to other members.

  1. Make everything you do a “media event”

Take pictures at all your events – your keynote speaker at the weekly meeting, your new member inductions, when you meet with your politician – and send it to your local newspapers. Newspapers, especially weeklies, are always looking for items of local interest.

  1. Want to get the media more interested in what you’re doing?

Invite a local journalist to speak at your meeting. When the club invited a managing editor of a newspaper a few years ago, he not only spoke about his life in the media but also gave tips for ways to get better media coverage. He also took the business cards of everyone there, and wrote profiles of several businessowning members.

  1. Get to know your members

Make sure your president, as well as the Membership Chair and committee, make a special effort to get to know each member by name. This can be a challenge as your group grows, but it is essential. A member needs to feel that he or she is a valued part of the club, regardless of how much service or volunteer hours are contributed.

  1. Get new members involved on committees and projects

Ensure that members are aware of what your committees are, and encourage them to get involved. A wide variety of skills and talents are needed to run a successful club, and everyone’s contribution is needed. Use your club website to feature all the committees and what they do.

  1. Have a membership incentive!

Any member who brings in a new member during the year has their name put into a hat. The draw is held in June, and the winner gets their membership for the coming year reduced by half! There can be various takes on this – maybe the member who brings in the most members during the year gets a free membership the following year. The key issue is that your membership grows as a result of a collaborative effort.

  1. Send postcards or emails to local businesses

Use these as promotional tools. If you see an article in your local newspaper about a new business or about a person who has a special appointment or achievement, send them a postcard or email with congratulations and invite them to come to a meeting. Better yet, invite them to join the club.

  1. Challenge every member to bring a friend to at least one meeting per quarter

Ask one guest to provide a short comment toward the end of the meeting about what they thought about the meeting. This will give you a good indication whether they are a potential member. Sometimes they’ll convince themselves to join right in the middle of their comments! Just make sure to tell the guest at the beginning of the meeting that these comments will be requested at the end so the guest is not caught off-guard.

  1. Make use of other organizations in your community to “spread the word” about your club

Networking organizations and professional associations are always looking for speakers. Economic development organizations often organize conferences and one-day seminars where you might have an opportunity to speak to others about your organization. Don’t forget the Chamber of Commerce!

  1. Actively promote fellowship

Encourage members to sit with people they don’t know. This is an important part of fellowship and to some extent networking that members look forward to. There are also a variety of games that you might play to get people talking to people they don’t already know. Some clubs draw numbers out of a hat to indicate which table they will sit at for that meeting.

And a bonus idea:

  1. Survey your members regularly

While the President is elected to provide leadership, an important element of leadership is receiving and listening to feedback. Talk to your members on a regular basis about what they like in the club and what they would like to change. Then act on it!

Remember – Membership is not a committee – it’s everyone!

Thanks to the Rotary Club of Concord, California for these ideas!

District 7550 All Clubs Conference

Your All Clubs Conference training committee has been hard at work putting together an event to remember!  The conference is May 19-21 at Glade Springs.  We have several club challenges planned, and will be crowning the First Annual District 7550 Club Challenge Champion at the banquet Saturday night.

We have a great group of speakers lined up to entertain and inspire you!  Governor Jim Justice will be with us for dinner Saturday evening.  District 7500  Governor David Forward will be with us to share his District’s experiences in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.  Tiffany Ervin will join us to motivate us with her unique, entertaining insights,  and Rotary International President John Germ is sending his representative, PDG Firoz Peera, to take part in our weekend of celebrating our accomplishments this Rotary year.

We’ve got a great weekend planned!  More information will be coming soon!

Rotary International Convention in Atlanta

Speaking of RI President John Germ, why not plan to join him in Atlanta June 10-14, 2017, for the Rotary International Convention?  District 7550 is making it easy for you!  We still have some spaces available on our Motor Coach Adventure!  The bus will depart from Huntington on June 9, making stops in Charleston, Beckley and Princeton before heading south to Atlanta.  We’ll arrive in time to be ready to take in all the fun at the Convention starting June 10.  The bus trip is $100 round-trip.  You can’t park a car in Atlanta for that!  Get on the bus!  Go to DaCdb for details and to register!

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