President Blake DuBose and sponsor Ann Elliott welcome Betsy Best (left) to Capital Rotary Club membership. Best, a Charlotte, NC native, is a partner in Blume Franklin-Best & Young, a Columbia criminal defense law firm. She has undergraduate and advanced degrees from the University of South Carolina and University of Wyoming, and previously worked for the SC Carolina Commission on Indigent Defense and the Richland County Public Defenders Office. She was the 2012 Public Defender Association’s “Public Defender of the Year” and is incoming chair for Justice 360, a non-profit organization that promotes criminal justice system equality and fairness. She’s a member of the National Association for Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Palmetto Club and Rockbridge Club, Inc.
Greetings again on behalf of the District Membership Team! As the holidays approach and the end of the first half of the Rotary year approaches with them, it is appropriate that we take a look at where we are in terms of Membership growth. Through the end of October we have shown an almost 1% gain in Membership so far since July 1st. Congratulations! Membership growth is not easily accomplished. It takes dedication and commitment from every member. And, it takes courage (as Dabo says, and with apologies to you Gamecocks, Bring Your Own Guts) by the club leadership to keep this challenge in front of the club and to lead the change required to bring focus to this vital area of Rotary’s future.
As you may have heard, Membership growth is Rotary’s #1 Internal Priority. As such it deserves the very best we can do to spread the influence of Rotary. I’ve said before that if we could spread the influence of Rotary to all mankind, the world would finally know peace. The only way we can spread that influence is one new member at a time. The goal of the District 7770 Membership Event Grant is to aid your club in addressing this #1 Internal Priority. I am attaching to this email a copy of the grant application. Look it over. It’s very simple. And, if you will run, with commitment and courage, the strategies it is intended to support, you will absolutely grow your club! How much more good can you do in your community with increased membership? How many more new ideas can you get from people you may not even know yet? How much more fun can you have at your social events? What kind of leaders might you find? And, lastly, how much more good can Rotary do in the world as new members become engaged by going or giving?
Yes, we have a 1% gain right now. But, we cannot rest! We need to make a concerted effort to push through to the end of this Rotary year if we are going to see the kind of success I know you can all achieve. I can’t grow membership in your club. Your Assistant Governor can’t grow membership in your club. Your regional Membership Advocate can’t grow membership in your club. Only you and your club members, with your leadership, can expand the influence of Rotary. The rest of us will surely help where we can and if you invite us in to do so. Remember these 10 powerful words – “If it is to be, it is up to me!” If your club will be lead to membership growth this year, it is up to you. Get your grant and let’s get going!!
Yours In Rotary Service,
District Governor Nominee
District Membership Chair
Lee Ann Rice (center) is welcomed as Capital Rotary’s newest member by sponsor Katherine Anderson and club president Blake DuBose. Rice, a Greenville native, is the S.C. Human Affairs Commission’s general counsel. She formerly practiced law in Myrtle Beach, where she was a Chicora Rotary member, a Paul Harris Fellow, and was 2011 Rookie Rotarian of the Year. Rice is the mock trial team coach for Brookland Cayce High School and is a Women In Philanthropy member through United Way. She’s also a candidate for the state government’s Certified Public Manager program, Class of 2019. She attended Furman University and the University of South Carolina’s School of Law.
What a great way to kick off Membership Month. On Thursday, August 3rd the, Ann Thomason, sponsored by Doug Bridges. Ann works for Trident Solutions as an account lead/Sr IT recruiter. She’s active with her church, Junior League, suicide prevention awareness and animal rescue. Ann will fit right in because Rotary is all about Making A Difference. Thanks Doug for sponsoring a new member.
District Governor September Message
Rotary: Making a Difference is truly a message of our times. The months of August and September have been exciting times in my Rotary story. I have visited, at this point, forty three clubs.
We met Membership challenges by hosting a Membership Summit with the Assistant Governors and newly appointed Membership Advocates in Summerville to focus on developing intentional strategies to grow membership throughout the District. Our monthly membership report showed progress with clubs growing membership by about one percentage over the start of the year. The recruitment process was to focus on attracting new prospective members that were already commitment to service above self. This approach should be a “win / win” in retaining members throughout the entire membership process. In September’s Fall Membership Training Seminar, Johnny Moore, Membership Chair, presented additional intentional strategy tools to the Club Membership Chairs. Membership Event Grants are being offered on a “first come /first serve” basis to clubs to host Discover Rotary or Membership Social Hours to attract new members during the year.
Since September is Basic Education and Literacy Month, each year we encourage clubs to get involved in this important area of focus. Clubs should start by identifying community needs and then working to provide solutions and support for those items. During my visits, I saw planning for their dictionary projects for children returning for a new school year. Several successful school supply and book drives were executed providing needed items and supplies to those who could not purchase them for themselves. Clubs were gearing up with reading programs and brainstorming with school officials on activities that could be accomplished during the month. Wendy Broderick, the District’s Literacy Chair, is sharing many more ideas for Clubs to consider not only during the Literacy month, but also, through the year. She is also providing the requirements to earn the Education and Literacy Award at this year’s conference.
By sharing our member’s stories, project involvement, and fun through fellowship, clubs will increase public and community awareness. Awareness provides the mechanism to attract diverse professionals of all ages, and service-above-self minded people. At the Club Leadership Fall Training Seminar, Mary Gasque, Public Image Chair, provided avenues to enhance Public Image Programs.
I am confident that District 7770 will make a difference in 2017-18. Gear Up and Get Excited About Rotary!
Gary C. Bradham
District Governor, 2017-18
We did it! We hit our goal of inducting 20 new members this Rotary year! Super grateful for our rockstar Membership Committee.
As a follow up to our March posting listing the 16 new members, here is a summary of the 2016-2017 newest members!
And for a refresher of the 16 new members previously announced:
Livingston presented Conway Rotary Distinguished Service Award
George Livingston was presented the Dr. Carl Busbee Distinguished Service Award at a recent special meeting of the Conway Rotary Club. Livingston is a Past President and an active member of the Conway Rotary Club. Altman was selected by Steve Williams, the previous award winner. (L-R Steve Williams and George Livingston.)
The Rotary Club of Charleston is serious about membership. At today’s meeting, the last of March Membership Madness, we inducted the 16th new member – just this Rotary year! With another application pending and several more prospects, it’s possible to hit a year end (June 2017) goal of 20 new members.
Here’s a summary of our newest members: