It was a big question. Too big, even. During last week’s First Five Zoom Chat, Rotary International President, Mark Maloney asked, “What does Rotary need to do to be successful in the next 100 years?” I began to fret as I prepared to answer the question. I can’t even imagine what Rotary should look like ten years from now. Instead of answering directly, I took the easy way out and shared three strategic themes that I think of enduring importance to Rotary’s future.
My response to President Maloney’s question flows out of my experience as President of LA5. I have witnessed three things at work within our members that make Rotary attractive to others. I believe these three things will energize Rotary’s future.
INNOVATION—From a reimagined El Rodeo to our club’s pivot to online gatherings during this pandemic, I have seen our club innovate to meet the moment. We don’t care about innovation for the sake of innovation, but for the purpose of accomplishing a mission.
ENGAGEMENT—Our club has learned that Rotary is not a passive organization. Rotary is at its best when its members engage one another through business, social events and service projects. When we truly engage with people, we come to care about them at a deep level. That will always be attractive.
IMPACT—LA5 continues to be a high impact club. I am proud that by the time this Rotary year ends we will have distributed over $400,000 to communities that need clean water, to promising students who need scholarships, to children longing for permanent homes, and to frontline care professionals needing PPE equipment. We understood the moment we were in and seized the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of real people.
Friends, I am confident that these three values will propel our club forward next year and in the distant future. I look forward to enjoying some measure of our future alongside you.
President, Rotary Club of Los Angeles
2019 - 2020