Weekly Newsletter | January 12, 2016

As with any group, the long term vitality of our Club – and Rotary in general – depends on attracting great quality new members. New members can be called the lifeblood of an organization because they may have fresh ideas to contribute, and fresh energy to accomplish bigger goals. Often, we think of an energetic new member as being younger than our average participant. We can all think of other organizations that are having trouble in this area, and we know they will be in decline if the trend continues.

In order to bring in new, younger Rotarians, we need to make sure our “self-image” is welcoming and compatible with the kind of people we’re looking for. Do we warmly welcome strangers visiting our Club meetings? Or do we assume that is someone else’s job? Do we always sit with the same tight-knit group of friends? Are we open to new ideas for ways to accomplish our goals? Do we regularly try new committees and different ways to serve? These are all traits of a vibrant Club, and a vibrant Club will attract new members.
Our Club has an excellent reputation in our Community, and we’re doing better every year at educating the public about Rotary. Our contributions to our communities – local and global – are well known, tangible and important.  So we have set the stage to welcome new members.
The leadership of Rotary has put a lot of thought into the challenge of attracting and retaining members. They have developed some excellent training materials to help us. And, they have established an initiative called the Young Professionals Summit. This started with the simple question, “What do young professionals want?” A two-day summit was held in Berkeley, California last August. Our Club was proud to send a representative – Brenna Baucum – to bring us back a message about the things she learned. Brenna will speak briefly to our Club next Wednesday. Please take her comments to heart and discuss them with your fellow Club members. It’s an important topic, because, after all, great quality new members are the lifeblood of Rotary.

Don’t miss this week’s meeting: Cheryl Nester Wolfe, President and CEO of Salem Health, will speak to us about the changing nature of health care, her vision for Salem Health as its recently appointed President and CEO, and what the affiliation with OHSU mean for the future of health care in Salem and the surrounding communities.