District governors kick off new Rotary year with Klinginsmith
Three incoming district governors respond to a joke by 2010-11 RI President Ray Klinginsmith on 30 June at RI World Headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, USA. Rotary Images/Alyce Henson
Fifteen incoming district governors marked the beginning of the new Rotary year with 2010-11 RI President Ray Klinginsmith during an informal governor installation event on 30 June at RI World Headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, USA.
What began as an idea for a casual visit of leaders from districts 6420, 6440, and 6450 (Illinois) evolved into a gathering that united governors from as far away as Colorado, Iowa, Maine, Mississippi, and the African nation of Lesotho.
“It was originally a request to meet with local district governors-elect,” Klinginsmith said. “It was just an idea that grew.” Rotary International has no formal governor installation ceremony.
The event allowed district governors who were visiting the area to meet Klinginsmith and discuss plans for the year. Thomas M. Thorfinnson, 2010-11 RI vice president, and General Secretary Ed Futa joined Klinginsmith to offer advice, reflecting on how they would change their approach to leading a district if they could do it over again.
The incoming governors expressed appreciation for the opportunity.
“This meeting shows how approachable Ray is and how [he is] a compassionate person who wants his governors to know they can talk to him when they need to,” said Ann Lee Hussey, governor of District 7780 (parts of Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire). “I think Ray has given us the permission to be creative and think outside the box. Now I have him beside me to help.”
Hussey said that this year, she has set up committees to reflect the Avenues of Service, including the recently added Avenue of New Generations Service. A polio survivor, she will also encourage clubs to support the polio eradication effort through an awareness week in February, and plans to participate in a National Immunization Day in Nigeria in November.
Roger Kueter, governor of District 5970 (Iowa), said he values Klinginsmith’s leadership and looks forward to the year ahead. “We are excited about President Ray’s initiatives and doing things differently.”
One of Kueter’s goals is to promote the importance of giving to The Rotary Foundation and the Every Rotarian, Every Year initiative. “We’ll also be focusing on expanding New Generations and e-clubs in our district,” he said.
Frank Baffoe, governor of District 9320 (Lesotho; South Africa), said he will focus on membership. Baffoe, the first black governor from his district, attended the 2010 RI Convention in Montréal, Québec, Canada, and visited Evanston before returning home. “We come from an area where the majority of people are black, but there are very few Rotarians. We are going to try to change that,” he said.
Bryan Cooke, governor of District 5440 (parts of Colorado and Nebraska; Wyoming), said the event offered him a chance to learn more about Rotary International and meet fellow district leaders.
“I am in a Future Vision pilot district, so we will be testing the new changes and seeing what works,” said Cooke, adding that he will encourage clubs to participate in the effort to end polio and will promote a global grant project to provide clean water in India.
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