District Governor Gene Holiman

Posted by on Tuesday, September 5th, 2017 in Blog

Reported by Jacqueline Sinex

President Sara Pantin called the meeting to order. Pauline Gubbels led the Pledges; and Mike O’Krent gave an invocation to the crowd in Hebrew and English. Sylvia Holmes led the Four Way Test. Guests and visitors were greeted by David Palmer and introduced by Carl Noble.

Past President Gaines Bagby reminded club members about the upcoming “Meet the Mayor” event coming up on September 14th in City Hall and encouraged Rotarians to show their presence. Charles Doty announced the wine party event he is hosting on September 15th.

For the Global Awareness Update, Laraine Lasdon and Girish Altekar shared information about global
initiatives OUR Club is involved with and the peace scholar program.

Ann Graham reminded members and guests about our Camp Enterprise program and called for volunteers to help interview student applicants.

Ann led the Thank Goodness Basket where fellow members share a special update from their lives. The money collected was donated to Kathleen Holiman’s project for the year — Polio Plus. Sara Pantin shared her pride in the “true grit of Texans” in recent natural disasters; Adrian Moore shared information about the Friends of Cary event featuring John Quinonez; Vlad Bahrencu shared a laugh that his recent fortunate weight loss is a result of a “gift” his young daughter gave him – a stomach illness; Rick Ravel announced his celebration of his daughter’s birthday; Pauline Gubbels shared that her family in Houston and Beaumont were safe; Roger Williamson shared his special eclipse experience; Don Ray George shared a message about polio and the importance of efforts to treat polio victims as well as prevent the disease; Mary Reynolds shared her pride in being a Rotarian today (with the Book Trust program being saved entirely by Rotarian donations) as well as the good news of the health for her daughter; Bruce Golden is thankful to be a “past” District Governor; and Gaines Bagby spoke
about recent trips he and Leslie have taken.

Gaines then introduced our prestigious guest speaker, Gene Holiman, the 2017-18 District 5870 Governor.

Gene began addressing the crowd, referring to Hurricane Harvey as like a “death in the family”, where efforts to help are very strong at the beginning of the incident, but eventually die off later when people still need help getting through it. He has organized an effort to provide recovery assistance to hurricane victims through Rotary Clubs, to help with more of the long-term needs. A new fund, being established by our District, will be announced soon.

This year, Rotary had positive momentum, with milestones such as the Rotary Foundation anniversary and an excellent PR program. But in the end, a district is only as strong as its clubs. The clubs are what create the momentum and results. The Rotary Club of Austin is a leader in the district, and an excellent contributor to the collective goals. Many other clubs are using some of the ideas generated by our Club as templates to start programs and events in their own.

Gene cited that this year membership is a priority focus. The net membership gain has been low, and he aims to see a positive net gain in new members by the end of the year. He explained that Rotary is a 3-legged stool: public relations, Foundation, and membership. Without any of these elements, the stool cannot stand.

The District Governor set several overall goals for the current year:

  • Each club should have a net gain of at least 1+ member.
  • Every person should bring a visitor to Rotary who has not been before.
  • Each club should nominate someone for the District Roll of Fame.
  • Participate in a project as a club once per month.
  • Every club should display a visible Rotary sign at their meeting place.
  • Every club should add at least one new benefactor (estate donor).

Other goals include:

  • At least one new club formed in the district.
  • An employer/inner-company club formed.
  • One or more Interact/Rotaract clubs started in the community to allow kids in non-traditional schools or homeschools to be involved.
  • A top service project recognized by Rotary International.

President Sara adjourned the meeting at 1 pm and closed by highlighting Greater Texas Water Company (Reggie Nisbett), one of our members with an advertisement that supports Club operations.

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