As many of you long time Rotarians know, the Rotary year is from July 1 – June 30.  However, the Presidency (and other officers' work) starts long before the actual date of the new year.   Often, the road to the Board position begins years’ prior.   In this final program of my Rotary year as President, I’d like to talk in general about the E-Club of One World and in detail about my experiences and the Club's progress.
 
 
When I was asked by Dick Strayer, Past President and Chartering member of the E-Club if I’d be interested in the President position, I somewhat timidly and reluctantly thought, I don’t really know enough to be in this role.   However, I was reassured that with a year or two to prepare, I could indeed fulfill the obligations.
I truly believe that Rotary service must start with service to the Club.
 
In 2013-2014, I was the Club’s secretary and had so many wonderful, talented people assisting me with the duties.  I have to thank Sherrie Wight, Honorary member and Amanda Richards, Past President.  They led me through the year as I continued to learn about the next Board position I was to fill;   that of President.
 
There were many opportunities prior to July 1st attending the District Conference, PETS (President Elect training) and the PETS retreat.
 
See the photos below of  PETS.  
 
 
This is a photo of the "Group 8" Presidents.   We called ourselves the princesses and all sported Rotary tiaras.  Of the Group 8 Presidents - 8 out 9 were females!   We met monthly throughout the year and discussed challenges and supported each other's projects.
 
 
 
 
Some of you might recognize this speaker at PETS.  She was the keynote speaker, Dr. Sylvia Whitlock. 
The first woman Club President in the history of Rotary.
 
There were also fun times, at the PETS Retreat.   District Governor, Loretta Butts organized a real great time for us at a ranch in Santa Margarita, California, USA.  It was complete with an adventure on the Zip Line, Archery and many other team building events.
 
 
Then I attended the Rotary International Convention in Sydney in early June and met some of the E-Club members from around the world in person.
Here's the photo of Catherine Bonifant, Lisa Dittmar and myself.  But I also met Carolyn Metzker.
 
 
Now onto the year that officially started July 1st. 2014.    Here are some more highlights including what was accomplished by our Club this Rotary year.
 
One of my goals ( with the Board's support) was to establish a strong foundation for the E-Club of One World moving forward. 
We put together a Survey and a large percentage of our membership participated in what they wanted to see as the club's strategic vision and plan moving into the future.  
 
One of the first priorities was to move the Club to a web platform that would handle a large club with members from all over the world.   This was a Board approved decision and without the assistance and leadership of Catherine Bonifant, Michael Henstra and Wendy Campenella and George Firican, we could not have done it.   The new website www.oneworldrotary.org  went live on November 1st.
 
MEMBERSHIP
 
We started the year on July 1, 2014 with 68 members and ended this year with 63 members and two more ready to join.   Many of you may know that the District allowed another E-Club to be formed and so we lost five members at the end of May to this new E-Club.   Catherine Bonifant referred six new members and once again this year is the leader in referrals to our Club.   Catherine continues, tirelessly, to try to bring in more Rotary Peace Fellows.   Other incoming members during the year discovered us through our new website and through referrals from other clubs.   Thank you to Tom Mulvihill for his work as the Membership Director.
 
The Rotary E-Club of One World has members from 17 different countries and all five continents are represented.  Isn't that exciting?   We truly are an international club.
 
 
COMMUNICATION
 
The Board met quarterly by GO TO MEETING platform and by SKYPE.   This is the first year that there has been a quorum at all the meetings.  (It sounds easy, but trying to schedule a meeting that can be attended by people in four different time zones around the world proved a test of our commitment level.)  Some of us were online at 6 AM on the West Coast on a weekend morning to participate in these meetings.  Several club members attended these meetings, as well as a few guests.   There were a couple of Forums for pods of members to chat by SKYPE.  Thank you to Juan Bujosa for organizing these.   This was a time for members to get to know one another and just chat about Rotary and share any thoughts and ideas about how to improve our Club.
 
In addition, for the first time, the Club now has an online storage space (Box.com) for important documents.  They will no longer be stored in someone's garage and this will be a place for all Board and invited members to gain access.   All grant documents must be stored here.
 
Our social media presence has increased dramatically.  We have over 1600 Facebook followers and our Twitter account is gaining momentum with an increasing number of followers.   We also have a Club Facebook page which is only for our members and a good place to check in.  Thanks goes to Michael Henstra, Juan Bujosa and Susan Weaver for their work in driving us into the 21st century with these platforms that are so important in reaching out to people around the world.
 
Of course, I cannot neglect to mention a huge thank you to Kathi Melendez who is responsible for collecting, editing and posting our monthly newsletter.  I cannot tell you all the positive feedback from the 50+ other friends (besides) members that are on the mailing list and receive this newsletter.  You can log in to the website to view all the archived newsletters.
 
 
PROGRAMS

As you have noticed, we have had a variety of programs this year.   The quality keeps improving and once again, thanks to Michael Henstra and many others for their help in getting these posted.    There are so many options and if everyone did one program a year, we'd have our whole year planned with interesting and thought provoking topics.   Ken Meyer, our Vocational Service Director, has been instrumental in getting our members to post programs.
 
 
PROJECTS
 
The most recent June newsletter details the work that Esha Chhabra has put in on the India Polio Global Grant.   If you haven't seen that, please look at the report with photos that she submitted.   We are truly making a difference in the Polio Plus campaign.
 
The Board approved financial assistance to a Global Grant for Sri Lanka brought to us by member, Helena Dahlin.
In addition two other Global Grants are in the planning stages:  Wakiso Women's Project in Uganda
and Project Peace Downunder.
 
In addition, the E-Club has supported the following projects (which have all been detailed in our past newsletters or as a weekly program);
 
Faco Surgery – Mexico in partnership with Goleta Rotary and Morelia, Mexico Clubs.
Schools for Freedom - Project by our member, Carolyn Metzker
Cambodia Academy at Mongkol Borei - Education support for Cambodian children- Rtn.Allan Pacela
Lac-Mégantic project in conjunction with Sherbrooke QC Rotary Club-  Rtn. David Wood
Thekwane Facelift Campaign- Rtn.Thoko Mkwanazi for school in Zimbabwe
 
District Designated Funds were divided equally between these three projects:
At Risk Youth in Niger (in partnership with Rotary Club of Ojai)
Project Peanut Butter  (addresses Severe Acute Malnutrition - Ghana) In partnership with District 5330 Palm Springs Sunup Club
Mentoring/Apprentice program for Craftspeople in Tibet - In partnership with Rotary Club of Ojai and Tibetan Aid Foundation
 
 
With Catherine Bonifant at the helm as International Service Director, a Twin club relationship has been initiated with the following two Clubs.
WEHawaii Rotary E-Club and
Toyko Peace Wing E-club
 
FUNDRAISING:
 
Thank you to Nik (our member from Russia) for his "Rotation" stories project.  He collected stories from a number of Rotarians and his father provided the artwork.   Juan Bujosa's son, Julian picked the lucky winner of a Paul Harris award.   That winner, Barry Higman, was from Melbourne, Australia. 
Congratulations to Barry and thanks to our team for such a creative project.
 
In addition, Nik started a new fundraising opportunity for the E-Club called "GEO Portraits of One World"  Members (and guests) could submit a photo and Nik's father, a famous Russian artist sent a fabulous rendering.   Donations were voluntary but already over $500 went to our Club through this effort.
More information can be found on the Facebook page.
 
Visitors' fees/donations to our Club have almost doubled. 
We have continued to bring up the bank accounts so that we will have a reserve for future projects.
 
In conclusion, the years leading up to my term were fun filled and challenging, but worth it!  I want to thank all the Board members that were and (still are) actively working to improve this Club.  We have a lot of work to do but with Susan Weaver and the new Board members, I have no doubt that the Rotary E-Club of One World will continue to break new ground and set high standards for E-Clubs around the world. 
 
It is with great confidence in our new leadership that I pass the torch (tiara) to Susan Weaver, President of the Rotary E-Club of One World effective July 1, 2015.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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