Director's Newsletter September 2021

Zone Leadership Team 20-21 

Calendar of Events -- Terra and Online
DG, DGE & DGN training online.
September 23, 2021
Virtual Governor-Elect Training Seminar Graduation, 7:00 pm ET
November 2-4, 2021
Virtual Zone Summit
7:00 pm ET each evening

June 4-8, 2022
RI Convention, Houston, Texas
September 1-6, 2022
Cruise to Bermuda "Life Below Water" Symposium

Rotary International Zones 28 & 32 is a four country, two language, community of Rotarians in Bermuda, Canada, France and the United States spanning eight time zones.
Click banner for more.
News from the Zones

It's September!

September is my favourite month of the year.  As we head into Fall and back to school my cherished memories are of new back packs, new shoes, and school supplies.  Reuniting with friends after the summer break and the anticipation of new classes, new subjects, and new skills.

Unfortunately, my cherished memories and opportunities for learning are not shared around the world. More than 775 million people over the age of 15 are illiterate. That’s 17 percent of the world’s adult population. More concerning is that girls represent two thirds of this number.  President Shekhar has made empowering girls one of his overarching themes this year with a focus on improving health, education, well-being, and economic security of girls across the globe. Please read this month’s article by Zone Ambassadors Carol Tichelman and Mary Shackleton to introduce our team of Ambassadors. Please reach out to get more information on how you can help engage in one or more projects that address the inequities affecting girls.

“Teach a mother to teach the world” -  Amarok Society

I first learned of this initiative during a presentation to my Rotary club by founders Dr. Tanyss and Gem Munro, who packed up their children in 2005 and moved from Vancouver, Canada to the slums of Bangladesh to improve the education of children.  They quickly realized the key was to teach the mothers to teach their children.  “If you teach a mother, she invests that learning back into her community. She'll use her empowerment to stand up for women's rights, children's rights, peace, and equality. She'll use her success to improve life for everyone in the slum”

The last 18 months have shown us that fast-advancing digital technologies are transforming ways in which people work, live, and learn, and are generating new skill demands and lifelong learning needs. They are also influencing ways in which education and learning are organized and managed.  Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with PRIP Wilf Wilkinson to discuss a new literacy program.  In Wilf’s presidential year of 2007 he added literacy as an area of focus for all clubs.  He is now leading the effort to support a new literacy initiative to teach anyone with a digital device and Wi-Fi to learn to read.  This new method is being adopted by the Amarok Society as they continue to teach the mothers to teach the children. If your club or district is interested in learning more and supporting this critical program, please reach out to Sharon McConnell, Literacy Chair of the Rotary Club of Belleville.

September is back to school for our District Governor line and partners as well.  We begin our virtual training sessions to prepare our future leaders. Please mark your calendars and register for our celebration event on September 23rd. Hear from RIPE Jennifer Jones, TRF Trustee Barry Rassin and celebrate our graduates as they prepare for International Assembly.

Be Well and Be Safe!


The Kessler Report – Silver Linings

I have used this forum before to discuss the silver linings of our current situation.  Now let me be the first to say that a pandemic is not what anyone would want to live through and all the life we have lost is irreplaceable.  We have been unable to travel or are limited in where and what we can do.  We can all agree that there are plenty of negative things that have occurred because of COVID 19.
Forever the optimist, I view every situation for all that it provides not takes away.  The obvious is the ability to connect now like we have never before.  With that in mind I, and my fellow 2022-24 Director classmates, have had access to something that has never been granted before.  Traditionally the first year after a Director is nominated there is limited interaction with the sitting Rotary International Board other than between current and nominated Directors for each Zone and any personal relationships that may exist.  In Zones 28/32 we are extremely lucky as not all Zones have the relationships between the sitting Director and the incoming Director as we do. This affords the ramp-up time to be spent being counseled by the sitting Director as the incoming Director gets ready to take the position.   Director Valarie has spent countless time with me going over the current Board matters and getting me ready for the position.  What traditionally occurs during one’s nominee year is they may attend Council on Legislation as an observer or go to events during the International Convention, but because of economics and logistics an incoming Director does not attend their first board meeting until the January of their elect year (6 months prior to assuming the position).  In that short period of time a Director Elect has to get fully up to speed with all that is going on as they will be charged with making important decisions based on conversations and concepts that are years in the making.
Now for the silver lining, due to the convenience and access that Zoom allows, Immediate Past Rotary International Holger Knaack invited all Directors Nominee to sit in on all Board meetings beginning January of last year which is a full year ahead of when access is traditionally granted.  Because of this I have had the opportunity to attend every Board meeting since, which are now occurring monthly, and the experience has been tremendous.  To be in the know so early in the process and be able to sit back and observe is something that is truly amazing, and I am grateful to have this opportunity. 
While I can not guarantee this will translate into every decision that occurs during my term on the Board being the right one, I can guarantee that the decisions on items that have been discussed over a long period of time will be understood and the historical perspective (at least 18 months’ worth) will be with me and my fellow Director classmates.
We can all agree we are ready to resume life pre-pandemic and that day cannot come soon enough.  But while we wait for that we must take the wins where we can and being able to attend every Board meeting a year earlier than expected is a win.

Virtual Zone Summit


District 7020 Haiti Disaster Recovery Fund

Correct email address is 

Haiti Needs Our Help

For many of us as Rotarians and Rotaractors, when disaster strikes, the first impulse/question emanating from our head and our heart is, “How can I help?”. That is followed almost immediately with the question of where can I have the greatest impact? Who will be the best steward of my dollars? How can I be sure my assistance will make its way to those most affected? We are fortunate that our official service partner answers all of those questions in a positive and dramatic fashion. How? Because like The Rotary Foundation, ShelterBox has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. How fortunate we are that our service partner, ShelterBox, is not only an experienced first responder, but an effective one as well.  The pictures that you see below are from the Haiti earthquake in 2010.
The devastation, death toll, number of homes damaged or destroyed, and the thousands who have been displaced from the recent 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Haiti, followed by the impact of Tropical Storm Grace, is an evolving story line. Between now, as I write this, and September 1st when you read it, those numbers will surely have grown.
We have deployed an emergency response team who will assess damage reports, understand from the communities what they need, and work on the challenging logistics of delivering aid in an area with safety concerns, a fluid political landscape, and during a pandemic. We are also in active discussions with local partners in Haiti, Rotarians on the ground, and other disaster relief organizations to understand the shelter needs and how ShelterBox can best respond to help displaced families in Haiti. It is indeed a process.

How Can District Grants Be Used Beyond Borders?

The Rotary Clubs of East Greenwich, Providence and Wakefield in district 7950 collaborated with the Rotary Club of Pursat, Cambodia in district 3350 to address environmental needs and bring clean water to students at the Preah Theat Primary School during the global pandemic. The school, located 22 kilometers from Pursat, has 376 student (176 girls) and 15 teachers. The district grant project increased the students access to clean water, improved trash management, access to latrines and hand washing stations, and provided education to the students on dental, hand washing and menstrual hygiene.
Members of the Rotary club of Pursat oversaw all aspects of the grant project including meeting with the school principal, four village chiefs, teachers, and parents so they fully understand the projects objectives and how they would need to maintain all the equipment once the project was completed. The project included installation of a garbage incinerator to burn plastic wastes in a more efficient way and leaving less smoke pollution; a large biosand filter system that could produce 2,000 liters of clean water per day; three latrines; and the installation of a handwashing station with mirrors in front of the latrines so students can clean their hands after using the toilet.

Bala and Roma Murthy Testimonial – The Rotary Foundation

When the 2001 Bhuj earthquake hit in Gujrat India and 20,000 lives were lost in the devastation, our hearts broke. When we saw on Television, towns and villages were decimated, our hearts broke even more. Living in the US, we felt helpless as to how to help the families rebuild their lives. Both Roma and myself have visited Gujrat as tourists and on business, and had fallen in love with the Indian state. I reached out to Rotary International to find out how we could maximize the Rotary aid to this devastated region. Ultimately, multiple districts across the US, Canada and India came together to apply for Rotary disaster relief funding and grants. Because of the generosity of Rotarians through the Rotary Foundation, Rotary was able to help rebuild one of the hardest hit areas of the earthquake and re-erect the community, known today as Rotary Nagar (City of Rotary). The power of the Rotary Foundation was evident when clubs from across the globe came together to help in the time of a crisis.
As Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar, I finished my MBA. The warmth and generosity of Rotary, ignited my passion to give back. In India, there's a saying that you don't just marry your spouse, but you marry the whole family.  My wife teasingly says that when we got married 36 years ago, she didn't just marry me, she married into the Rotary family!  

District Governor Elect Graduation


Zones 28/32 Empowering Girls Initiative Teams Announced

As you may have heard or read in our previous Beyond Borders articles, one of Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta’s key initiatives during the 2021-22 Rotary Year is Empowering Girls. This initiative focuses on the empowerment of girls through club and district events and service activities, as well as through RI-sponsored events such as the Rotary International Convention, Rotary Day at the United Nations, presidential conferences, and Rotary Days of Service.
We are proud to announce that the following members of our Rotary Family listed below will be helping us coordinate and promote the Empowering Girls Initiative in our Zones. We will be adding at least a few more teammates, so please reach out to Carol or Mary if you are interested.

A Successful Strategic Planning Program For Clubs

Since 2018 Rotary District 7120 has offered facilitated strategic planning workshops to those clubs who have chosen to engage in this process.  The purpose of these workshops is to strategically position clubs to “Create an Exciting Vision of the Future”.  Specifically, the process is designed to transform clubs by providing a clear focus on key critical objectives. This is done by defining goals to better set priorities, achieving these goals with less time & money, retaining members thru richer engagement, and attracting new members.  This process has allowed clubs to better use members’ skills, club actions becoming proactive not reactive, service projects becoming more relevant, identifying possible threats to club growth and organization health, renewing energy, creating excitement & restoring commitment, and more effectively using budget dollars.
The workshop, usually conducted with anywhere from 8 to 15 club volunteers, is divided into four major sections:  
1) an analysis of the previously completed Club Health Check Survey focusing on examining Club Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats in five categories: Club Experience, Service and Socials, Members, Image, and Business and Operations.
2) the development of a Vision Statement for the club.
3) A determination of what category to work on first.
4) Action Planning – What specifically to do to get to where the club wants to go.

Community Assessment - Moving from Response to Engaged Transformation

We often discuss why people join and stay in Rotary, and the conclusion inevitably suggests fellowship and community service. A District 5360 survey led to a new understanding of “Why” people are leaving. Two of the primary reasons included Rotary’s structure/cost/meetings, as well as our broken culture that is often cited as male, pale, and stale. Finally, many that left Rotary felt that we had become “responders and cheque writers” and had lost our ability to proactively engage in our communities.
These observations underscore the importance of Community Assessments for determining Rotarian Service. The foundational premise behind a community assessment is to have those with “lived experience” in the room with Rotarians as we develop a strategy to Serve. The people who are living with the challenges identified need to be engaged as partners and collaborators in mapping out the full range and extent of the needs and potential solutions. What would have to change in the lives of these people to improve the outcomes that are problematic? Which strengths are there (either active or potential) within this group to build upon? Who else is working with this group and what are they doing? Where are the gaps in services and in the approaches being taken by those who are trying to help?

Incidental but Critical Lessons from the Pandemic

Article on behalf of the Rotary International Project Alliance (IPA)
The digital divide, in which social and economic inequalities lead to dramatically different access to computers and the internet, remains a serious issue in the U.S. This fact was laid bare recently in North America, where many school districts attempted to move education online to avoid the spread of COVID, only to find computers and smartphones, access to networks, and computer knowledge to be surprisingly uneven and often limited in families of elementary and primary school students. Although the specifics are quite different, a digital divide was also apparent in the work of the International Partnership Alliance (IPA) as students, teachers, school administrators, and Rotarians in the IPA program struggled to sustain education during the pandemic in the Copán region of Honduras. There too, municipalities closed schools and hoped that somehow education could move to online formats.
According to a 2021 report by the Wilson Center, the digital divide in Latin America is vast with only 45.5 percent of Latin American households having broadband access and a gap in usage of computers of about 40% between the top and bottom quintile of wage earners. The report also points to a dramatic gap in internet usage between urban and rural regions. In Honduras, particularly in the villages in the Copán region in which the IPA  operates, computer equipment and access to networks are minimal, making a complete and robust shift to online education impossible. The equipment and infrastructure were not there for students, teachers, and schools to switch to online education.

Centennial Clubs for 2021-2022

Club Charter DateClub IDClub NameState/ProvinceClub Country NameDistrict IDZone ID
01-Jun-19224721AlbionNew YorkUnited States709028
01-Jun-19226338FrederictonNew BrunswickCanada781028
01-Jun-19226394YarmouthNova ScotiaCanada782028
01-May-1922188Sedro WoolleyWashingtonUnited States505028
01-May-19224586Smiths FallsOntarioCanada704028
01-May-19224771DansvilleNew YorkUnited States712032
01-May-19224814Seneca FallsNew YorkUnited States712032
01-May-19224910Ballston SpaNew YorkUnited States719032
01-May-19224922Glens FallsNew YorkUnited States719032
01-May-19225404Stroudsburgs, ThePennsylvaniaUnited States741032
01-May-19225537MontclairNew JerseyUnited States747532
01-May-19225540MorristownNew JerseyUnited States747532
01-May-19225642Lambertville NJ-New Hope PANew JerseyUnited States747532
01-May-19225964Mt. HollyNew JerseyUnited States750532
01-May-19225977SalemNew JerseyUnited States750532
01-May-19226575MarlboroughMassachusettsUnited States791032
01-May-19226608CambridgeMassachusettsUnited States793032
01-Apr-1922193KamloopsBritish ColumbiaCanada506028
01-Apr-1922214EllensburgWashingtonUnited States506028
01-Apr-19222780Boyne CityMichiganUnited States629028
01-Apr-19224661Port HopeOntarioCanada707028
01-Apr-19225507BellevilleNew JerseyUnited States747532
01-Mar-19222828AlpenaMichiganUnited States631028
01-Mar-19224804Penn YanNew YorkUnited States712032
01-Mar-19224891OneontaNew YorkUnited States717032
01-Mar-19226566FraminghamMassachusettsUnited States791032
18-Feb-19225609Cliffside Park/Ridgefield/North HudsonNew JerseyUnited States749032
01-Feb-19224740Lancaster-DepewNew YorkUnited States709028
01-Jan-19223056WayneMichiganUnited States640028
01-Jan-19224819Watkins-MontourNew YorkUnited States712032
01-Jan-19225992WoodburyNew JerseyUnited States750532
01-Jan-19226402St. John'sNewfoundland and LabradorCanada782028
28-Dec-19212922ColdwaterMichiganUnited States636028
01-Dec-19215656The PlainfieldsNew JerseyUnited States747532
01-Dec-19216536North AdamsMassachusettsUnited States789032
01-Nov-1921185Mount VernonWashingtonUnited States505028
01-Nov-19212783CheboyganMichiganUnited States629028
01-Nov-19212811PetoskeyMichiganUnited States629028
01-Nov-19215040Tarrytowns, TheNew YorkUnited States723032
01-Nov-19215580HobokenNew JerseyUnited States749032
01-Nov-19216624MelroseMassachusettsUnited States793032
01-Nov-19216669New BedfordMassachusettsUnited States795032
01-Oct-19215675WestfieldNew JerseyUnited States747532
01-Sep-19212851OwossoMichiganUnited States631028
01-Sep-19215031OssiningNew YorkUnited States723032
01-Sep-19215387LehightonPennsylvaniaUnited States741032
01-Sep-19215938BridgetonNew JerseyUnited States750532

White Middle-Aged Princess

Yes, I was called this last week during one of my presentations.  To provide context, it was during a District 7820 Systemic Racism Tool Kit Presentation. Since the tool kit has been released, I have made over 150 presentations across the Zone. Mostly well received. 
So, in the middle of such a presentation, where you are earnestly and whole heartedly presenting on a topic you feel passionately about, fueled but a deep commitment for change and one participant’s comments stops you in your well-meaning tracks – what do you do?
Well – there were a couple of things I could have done.  I could have ignored the participant and continued with my presentation.  I could have acquiesced and apologized for making the participant upset or I could have been so upset that I ended the presentation prematurely.  I did none of those things.  I acknowledged the comment and thanked the participant for stating the obvious. As it is the obvious realities that sometimes trip us up in these conversations. 
I said yes, I am white and yes, I am a middle-aged woman and yes, I know I am privileged, on a whole bunch of levels.  So, thank you for raising those points and lets use that as a springboard to talk about privilege and our responsibility to leverage that privilege to create a bigger stage for all to stand so more voices can be heard. 

An Opportunity to Learn and an Opportunity to Lead!

Entering its second year as an engaging and widely praised approach to building positive relationships and helping people maximize their potential, the Centre for Coaching will be accepting registrations starting September 6th, 2021, for two of its offering of the 2021-2022 Rotary year. 
Coaching is an innovative leadership model that embraces shifting organizational landscapes while building empathic leaders and agile teams. As Rotarians, we understand our personal goals and feel connected to our international, district or club missions; yet sometimes we wonder if our leadership style or how we approach our Rotary team-work is as effective as it can be.
In an interactive and partner-building environment, our certified coaches will help you develop a new mindset and a new skillset. One that helps you improve your emotional intelligence and your leadership effectiveness while helping your team(s) expand their contributions to Rotary’s success.
The coaching approach empowers people to maximize their potential by developing creative ideas and solutions through inspiration and innovation.  Through coaching Rotarians become vibrant, inspirational leaders who champion club growth and engagement.
The 3-part certificate series will be offered virtually from 10 am. to 12 pm. EST on Saturday, January 22nd, February 26th, and March 26th, 2022. Due to the personalized nature of this learning environment, there are limited spots available.  We request you register for all 3 sessions to maximize the benefit of this innovative approach.  For more information ahead of registration please contact us at Registration opens in early September.

Hashtags 101

When you see the “#” symbol, what’s your first thought? In 2021, depending on your generation, it could have a variety of meanings. However, did you know that this little tic-tac-toe box could help your club leap into the spotlight?
Known as a “hashtag” in social media, websites and applications, this symbol serves a serious function. It’s like a digital trigger that groups common content together. And when a bunch of hashtags get used, magic can happen in the digital world. This is called “trending.” In the 2021 digital world, trending is the equivalent of being handed a giant megaphone with a world-wide audience.
So how can your club use hashtags to launch your club’s content? Here are a few tips:

Polio Updates

We made the $50 million PolioPlus Goal again!!!
Well, we made it just slightly - but we made the $50 million!  This means we will receive $100 million match from the Gates Foundation and will be able to provide polio eradication grants for $150 million.  I want to thank all 20-21 and 21-22 EPNCs.  You, working with members of the End polio Now Countdown to History Committee, the Rotary staff, Directors and Trustees made it happen again!  Everyone made it happen.
Service Award For A Polio-Free World
Think hard who in your region or zone should be recognized with a Service Award for a Polio Free World.  There is a regional award and an international award.  The following describes the criteria and guidelines and has a link to the online nomination form.  Nominations close October 1.