Posted by Whitney Pangburn

Dear Rotary Members of District 7190,

As we progress into this new year, many Rotarians and club leaders are making plans and setting goals. Many of these goals relate to the future of our clubs or our roles within Rotary International. As District Governor I am busy executing the plan I made a year ago. I am pleased to communicate what has been already accomplished and importantly, where we are headed next. Of course, we engaged the typical planning for a District Governor year which includes budget preparations and vote, a few years of learning about processes and resources, planning for the years events including trainings and social gatherings and working with the D7190 District Governor (DG) track, committee chairs, assistant governors (AGs) and club presidents for the Rotary year 23’-24’.
This year was a bit unique for us as we also had/ have many other plans to make, in particular the excitement of our new district that is being built. It’s important to recognize that after this Rotary year, when we join two other rotary districts to celebrate the beginning of our new district, CNY Rotary (District 7180), our District 7190 responsibilities will need to, in essence, “close down.” This meant we had to appoint additional members to our District Governor track for an extended 18-month term as we wind those district activities down. Your current District Governor track includes PDG Sam Hall, PDG Fred Daniels, PDG Bruce McConnelee, PDG Denise DiNoto as well as myself. We also enhanced our District Treasurer function to ensure our district books were clean and kept on track to prepare to close them out. This is where Beth Kissinger has made great contributions of her time and talents to our district this year, and PDG Sue Austin has also served in a new unique role this year to help support Beth. We are fortunate to have many others who serve our district in a supporting role offering guidance and assistance where needed.
Much of this year’s planning however has been in anticipation of our new district. In keeping with full transparency, the prospect of CNY Rotary has been at many times exciting however there have also been concerns brought to me by our district members. Each concern presented is important, many have been voiced by long standing Rotarians who have made important and valuable contributions to our district that have brought us to where we stand today. But first, some background.
The role of a Rotary District largely is to aid the clubs. As many of you know, the decreasing membership of our clubs has been the driving decision behind the development of this new district. Rotary International at times creates new districts; however, if membership declines, they must act as fiduciaries to our resources and combine districts. Rotary International was at that point of “redistricting” our district a few years ago. This would have meant our clubs and members likely would have been split up and added to other nearby districts or even added to a district hours away. A few of our previous district governors decided to be proactive and help decide our future in a way that did not strip us of local decisions and our history. Unfortunately, both District 7150 (Syracuse area) and 7170 (Binghamton Area) were already showing the same signs of membership decline and after many conversations, we all collectively agreed to put in the work to form a new district that we could all help create.
Where do we stand today?
Rotarians from each of the three districts have likely put in thousands of hours of planning to lend their experience, share best practices and help build our new district from scratch. Some conversations have been easy and some were admittedly difficult. However, we were all working toward the same goal, uniting as one. This said, some of our members are still uncertain or frustrated about this new district. Over the coming weeks, I will identify key concerns voiced by D7190 members and let you know where we stand on addressing them. This information will largely be communicated by email however I will also work to have it added to the district website. In some cases, we are well advanced; in other cases, there is much work remaining. With that, I urge each of you to get involved or ask questions. I hope I have clearly articulated over the last 7 months the new opportunities to get involved in committees and leadership or to learn about what is happening through some of our communication. The entire team and I are happy to give updates.
Stay tuned for additional information to come!
Thank you for everything you do for our local and global communities. What would the world be like without Rotary in it?
Best regards,
Yours in Rotary Service,
Whitney Pangburn District Governor, Rotary District 7190