Dear Rotarians,

The next Rotary year has arrived and new leadership for clubs around the world has begun with enthusiasm and energy; but first let’s thank our 2018-19 leadership for an inspiring year…you are much appreciated, Jessica Sherrill and Barry Rassin.

Rotary International President, Mark D. Maloney has spoken about how Rotary Connects the World, and now it is time to put these words into action! We have an exciting year ahead of us, and I look forward to connecting with all of you during this year as we “Grow Rotary”. We will build a stronger organization. Guided by our new strategic plan, we will work together to do just that: to increase Rotary’s impact, expand our reach, enhance participant engagement and increase our ability to adapt.

All of us will be “change agents” for Rotary; and this year’s efforts will set the pace for the future of Rotary. Membership has remained at 1.2 million members for so long! Unfortunately, our district has lost membership over the last 5 years; and it is time to forge ahead in growing membership. We can do it! Reach out to new members, engage current members, and create more alternatives for membership for the next generation of Rotarians. We don’t care whether the glass is half-full or half-empty – Rotarians know we will refill the glass!

By enhancing participant engagement Rotarians will have experiences that are personally and professionally relevant and fulfilling. By building a more family-friendly Rotary -- one that welcomes children to our activities and that is considerate of families in our scheduling clubs will ensure membership growth. Let us recommit to putting the needs, expectations, and growth of our participants at the forefront of our club’s plan of action.

Another priority of our new strategic plan is increasing our ability to adapt. Rotary must explore new approaches that do not threaten our sense of who we are. Rotary must respect professional commitments and not require Rotary leadership to be a full-time job. We need to respect the time and responsibilities of young people who are building careers.

In 2020, as Rotary marks its 115 th year, the United Nations will be celebrating the 75 th anniversary of its historic charter. It will be a time to celebrate our longstanding and beneficial partnership. Rotary shares the United Nation’s enduring commitment to a healthier, more peaceful and sustainable world. And Rotary offers something no other organization can match: an existing infrastructure that allows people from around the world to connect in service and peace and take action toward that goal.

Together, we will harness the power of connection just as Rotary has been doing for more than 114 years. We have a long, proud heritage. And we will continue to thrive because we are not afraid of change. In the words of our new mission statement: Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change – across the globe, in our communities and in ourselves.

The district team is eager and willing to serve you, so please do not hesitate to contact any of us. The district directory will be ready later this month and will be available at We are people of action and I look forward to connecting with you in this important journey, as Rotary Connects the World!

Yours in Rotary,

Lance Singleton
District Governor 2019-2020