October 27, 2021

I’m learning so much this year in my role as President-Elect. One of the things I’ve learned is that there are actual perks to being in leadership with LA5! (Whaaat?! I know!)

One of those perks is an invitation to attend the Large Club Conference.

For those who don’t know, the Association of Rotary Club Executive Directors (ARCED) puts on a conference each year for large clubs in the Rotary system.

The conference travels to different host cities, and this year we had the privilege of being hosted by the Queen City: Cincinnati, Ohio.

When I tell you I ate my body weight in chili spaghetti and Graeter’s ice cream …. Believe it.

This conference was a four-day mélange of dinners, drinks, speaker sessions, breakout discussions, drinks, tours, idea exchanges, drinks, and endless opportunities to connect with Rotarians from across the continent (Canada was in the house!).

I experienced my first super traditional Rotary meeting in-person. (You thought LA5 was traditional? Pffft …)

I got to meet some of my favorite Rotarians from the First Five Collaborative in person! Chicago and Oakland and Seattle were there.

I got to virtually meet the founder of Sam Adams - he is hilarious and makes good beer.

I got so many ideas from other club’s successes and heard tales of lessons learned - both of which we can bring into our club and its strategic planning.

I learned that Jermaine Ee is still arguably the most famous Rotarian in our club.

Mostly, I had realization over realization that Rotary is this massive organization that allows you to connect with wonderful people anywhere and at anytime - simply because you’re a Rotarian. It’s so awesome.

For those of you considering venturing into the path of LA5 leadership, I would add the Large Club Conference to your list of reasons why you should.

I did a terrible job of taking photos, both in that I didn’t take many and the ones I did take were terrible (I was having too much fun and soaking it all in and I’m too spoiled by having William around all the time!) … but here they are anyway.

If anyone is taking a trip to Cincy soon, feel free to hit me up for restaurant recommendations, I’m obviously a pro now after my four days there. :)

-Malinda Monterrosa

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