July, 2020
The Rotary Theme for July is “Start of new Rotary officers year of service”
With Installations of new officers comes the feeling of new beginnings, new energy, new inspiration – and, yes - New Opportunities. It’s our Rotary New Year Celebration! We see new opportunities for service and new opportunities to grow and develop new skills and find new talents within ourselves.
For many Rotarians, leadership in their Rotary club is not only an opportunity to lead others, but an opportunity for personal growth that is unmatched anywhere else. This is an opportunity to grow in a supportive environment with people who only want to see you succeed. What could be better than that?
As we look forward to this very unique Rotary year, we want to acknowledge our gratitude to Immediate Past District Governor Steve, and Jill, for doing everything that it took to keep our Rotary light On. Most of our clubs have been meeting virtually. If yours is not among them, please reach out to your Assistant Governor, who can help you stay connected and active.
A lot is changing in Rotary, but the important things remain. Our connection to each other, our desire to help – whatever the challenge that we face in doing so, our understanding that we are not alone in this world and that together our influence can be felt all over the world, as well as in our own community.
So, let me thank you for the opportunity to serve this year as District Governor, or Chair of the District Leadership Team, if you will. Let me thank last year’s club leadership teams for an outstanding year and wish every success to 2020/2021 Club Presidents and their Leadership Teams! Let’s celebrate our New Year with renewed energy!!
Fundraising Help is on the Way
One of the most challenging aspects of Covid-19 has to do with the nature of our fundraising efforts. Most club fundraisers involve gathering many people together for some sort of fun experience and raising funds as a result. Since there is no mission without money, how do we adjust for that? IPDG Steve is assembling a team to research and share ideas for fundraising in the Age of Covid. You will be hearing much more about that.
District Governor 2020 Installation Talk
You may know that we experienced technical difficulties with our zoom installation which prevented many people from attending. Fortunately a video of the event will be posted soon and we’ll be sure to let you know where to find it.
In the meantime, I have adapted my talk for you, below.
Paul Harris is quoted as saying:
“If Rotary hopes to advance its aims, it must be evolutionary always, and at times revolutionary.”
Well – Welcome to the Revolution, everyone!
We are at a total pivot point. We have an incredible Opportunity! We can now ask ourselves – Who do we want to be? How do we want to look? What do we want our legacy to be? How can we best build on our hundred and fifteen years of service to our community and our world – all the while, embracing our future.
This unbelievable opportunity came cloaked in isolation and pandemic. We were thrust into the world of virtual meetings – if we wanted to survive. And, initially, that’s how we thought of it – we just wanted to survive, so that we could get back to normal and enjoy our close friendships and the opportunities for service that our face to face Rotary club experience gives us. However, it didn’t take long before we recognized the full opportunity that this awful situation gave us.
We all knew that virtual meetings - and even some virtual clubs - were the wave of the future. We also thought we knew that some portion of our Rotary world would be resistant to that. Had this happened by way of evolution. I dare say that there would have been some grumbling and moaning. That is human nature. But, having this forced upon us eliminates all of that. The revolution is happening. And, the surprising thing is that many Rotarians who might have been expected to be resistant are not – they are totally on board!
So, how do we help all of our clubs stay connected in this new world? I’m happy to tell you that we have the answer within us. Our Assistant Governors stand ready to help connect any District 7950 Rotary club with virtual meeting opportunities. And, we have a brand-new trio of Virtual Meeting Gurus who will be available to help us with any additional problem that develops. Thank you all for stepping up!
This may feel like an uncertain time. But Rotary has faced uncertain times before and emerged stronger, more vibrant and more adaptable. We will, too. In the meantime, I not only don’t want to lose anyone in this process - I want us to use these tools to reach out beyond our current selves. There are many like-minded folks out there, people that I call “Rotarians at Heart”, that would now be able to respond to the virtual invitation, to see how much richer life can be with “Service Above Self” at its core.
So – Who do we want to be? How do we want to look?
We want to reflect our community. We want a diverse Rotary club, where everyone has a seat at the table and a voice that is heard. That includes all manner of diversity. I met, virtually, one of our District 7950 Rotarians, who said that his explanation of Diversity and Inclusion, which I like very much, is: “Diversity is being asked to the party, Inclusion is being asked to Dance.” We want everyone to dance. And, we are taking steps to assure that happens.
We now have a new, dedicated, district committee this year – the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee. It is being led by District Governor Elect Billy Roberts and is structured with a standing committee and a group of advisors, who can help clubs make progress toward this goal. It’s not enough to want it to happen, we need to take concrete steps to move us forward. This is a great moment of awakening in our society. And, we recognize the opportunity for our own renaissance.
We all want to ‘grow Rotary.’ We can do this the same way we have always done it – organically, inviting our friends and acquaintances to join us. And, that is a wonderful way to grow! We should continue to do that. However, if we want to Grow Rotary – capital letters – then we need to start new clubs. A quick perusal of the MyRotary site will show you many opportunities for alternative club design – ranging from regular Rotary clubs, that just meet at different times and days, all the way through to virtual clubs who do not meet in a regular brick and mortar location, at all. These clubs meet virtually, plan their service projects and meet there. All of these clubs have value.
However, my favorite new model is the ‘Satellite Club.’ This is a club that an existing, vibrant, club starts initially as an adjunct club to itself. Say you have a wonderfully functioning legacy Rotary club, that meets Thursday at noon, does great service projects, enjoys fellowship and is otherwise very healthy. Why not start an early evening Tuesday Rotary club, for people who are unable to make a daytime physical meeting? There are ways to support that club until it is up and running. And, then, as time goes on, that club may become independent, or not, they may work together on service projects – whatever - the sky is the limit.
Last year, it was recognized that Rotaractors are Rotarians. Young adults are adults. However, there are certain challenges involved in this transition. In our district, that includes the fact that our Rotaract Clubs are academically based. We have not had a good way for our Rotaractors to move to a community-based club – until now. I’m happy to share that a community based Rotaract club is organizing, in Providence. You will be hearing more about that, as time goes on. I expect that with the success of that community based Rotaract club, more will form within our district.
Speaking of the District, I’d like to talk just a moment about the purpose of the Rotary District. Some of our newer Rotarians are not aware that a club is part of a District, in our case, 65 clubs. Our district is part of a Zone and our Zone is part of Rotary International. The whole world.
The districts’ sole purpose is to support and strengthen each club. We do that in three ways:
  • We develop and run exceptional training programs, so that clubs do not have to figure it all out for themselves – each year!
  • We organize and present events whereby Rotarians can develop goodwill and better friendships, and maybe learn a little something, as well.
  • And, we help clubs in their efforts to both further the work of the Rotary Foundation and the elimination of polio, through the support of Polio Plus.
Nowhere in what I have just told you have I said anything about Rotary police, or judgement of any kind. So, please welcome your district representative – she, or he, really is your friend.
Which brings me to the final thing I would like to touch on. Our district is blessed with a strong, supportive Continuity Team, as well as subject matter experts and their committees, upon which you can draw. Our Assistant Governors either have answers or can get them for you. Our Different Committees are made up of Rotarians with specialized knowledge in their areas of expertise. Their contact information will be both in the District Directory and posted on the web site. Don’t let them be lonely. They have stepped forward to share their experience and expertise where it would do the most good. I will be communicating to you to introduce you to the Committee Chairs and their Teams. Their contact information will be on the web site and within the District Directory. Reach out to them and, if you would like to share your knowledge and talent to help the clubs, please reach out to me and I will put you in touch with the right person.
I began with that famous Paul Harris quote:
“If Rotary hopes to advance its aims, it must be evolutionary always, and at times revolutionary.”
I submit to you that we can never see where we are going if we remain focused on the past. We have this incredible, once in a lifetime opportunity, to leap forward. To seek out and include all of those “Rotarians at Heart” of whom I spoke. We have the opportunity to nurture and care for our current members to make sure that everyone comes along. We have Endless Opportunity!
So, as noted, July is New Leadership month. It is the month that the new club leadership teams organize and club members galvanize around their new leadership teams. It is also the month that the new District Governor starts club visits. Club visits, this year, will be virtual, at least to start. Rotary International has suspended all in-person meeting through to the end of the year. We will be constantly reassessing the situation, as I really want to meet Rotarians face to face. Meeting all of you was a big draw for me! It is my hope that we can have in person meetings after the first of the year.
I am very excited about the opportunity that has been presented me and also the opportunity that it has presented to you. Together, we can enter hyperdrive and make Rotary revolutionary. Thank you for the incredible honor of serving as your district governor, this year. Thank you for your trust. And, thank all of you, for your support.
Best wishes for a fun July. I wish you and everyone dear to you remains safe and well.
Kind regards,

District Governor
Charlene J. Jarest

District Governor Elect
Billy Roberts

District Governor Nominee
David P. Sampson

Immediate Past District Governor
Steve Albright, IPDG

D.G.’s Administrators
Roger A. Cabral, PAG
Harvey Trieff, PP

District Secretary
Harvey Trieff, PP

District Treasurer
Roger A. Cabral, PAG

Assistant Treasurer
Juan Barrera, PP

District Trainer
Steve Albright, IPDG
District Foundation Chair
Kris Musco David, PDG

District Grant Steward
Stephen Certa, PDG

District Grants Chair
Jean Sullivan, PAG

District Membership &
New Club Formation Chair

Missy Garlisi, PP

District Public Image Chair
Art Norwalk, PP

District Budget & Finance Chair
Steve Albright, IPDG

District Nominating Chair
Charlene Jarest, DG

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Billy Roberts, Chair

Council on Legislation Chair
Policies & Guidelines Chair
Russell Bertrand, PDG

Technology & Website Chair
Chuck Sauer, AG

Virtual Meeting Gurus
Justimiano Alves

Patrick Wendell

Michael White

AG Coordinator

Lori DiPersio

Area 1 – Brad Boyd
Harwich/Dennis, Chatham,
Nantucket, Nauset, Yarmouth

Area 2 – Robert Mascali
Falmouth, Barnstable Sunrise,
Bourne Sandwich, Hyannis, Martha’s
Vineyard, Osterville

Area 3 – Joanne Tully
Weymouth, Quincy, Braintree,
Holbrook, Randolph/Avon, Milton

Area 4 – Joel Kopke
Plymouth Sunrise, Plymouth, Duxbury,
Middleboro, Tri-Town

Area 5 – Steve Savrann
North Attleborough, Attleboro, Sharon,
Foxboro, Mansfield, Norwood

Area 6 – Mark Ferreira
Bridgewaters, Brockton, Abington,
Canton, Rockland Hanson, Stoughton

Area 7 – Paula Raposa
Fall River New Bedford, Dartmouth,
Fairhaven, Taunton

Area 8 – Lori DiPersio
East Providence, Middletown,
Newport, Bristol, Portsmouth,
Warren Barrington

Area 9 – Shameem Awan
Metro Providence, Scituate RI,
Cumberland/Lincoln, North
Providence, Smithfield, Woonsocket

Area 10 – Sharon Johnson
Providence, Cranston, Pawtuxet Valley, Warwick, Pawtucket

Area 11 – Chuck Sauer
Wakefield, Chariho, Westerly,
North Kingstown, Jamestown,
East Greenwich

Area 12 – Sue Heller
Cohasset, Scituate MA, Hingham,
Russell Hampton
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