Jim Hennig reports on Rotary International Conference
It was an honor to represent this Rotary Club at the RI International Convention in Hamburg, Germany last June. I found myself rubbing elbows, literally, with many the 25,000 other Rotarians who were present. Over 100 countries* were represented. Many attendees wore clothing of color and style. Others wore matching pants and shirts and hats covered with the Rotary logo. Attendees were easy to approach, ready to engage in conversation and displayed an extended mood of celebration.
Multiple breakout sessions were available each day. The topics range from leadership skills, service & projects, strengthening membership and promoting Rotary. The lessons which I gleaned from these courses were brought back and shared with club leadership.
Currently, international involvement in Rotary is about 1.2 million members, who are distributed among ~35,000 clubs. Interestingly, most of the recent growth of Rotary is centered in Asia. Looking ahead, major emphasis is placed on increasing the number of female members and of those less than 40 years of age. While my attendance at this meeting was valuable–my appreciation for Rotary has been expanded–it is an experience that current club members and future club leaders should be exposed to.
The club will directly benefit from that participation. Next year’s RI Conference will be held June 6-10 in Honolulu, Hawaii.
*Germany, Costa Rica, Israel, Portugal, India, Taiwan, Egypt, Canada, Hong Kong, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Australia, Madagascar, France, Turkey, Italy, Nigeria, Switzerland, Ghana, Poland, Brazil, Belgium, Sweden, Nepal, Japan, Uruguay, Austria & United States.