President’s Letter – August 14, 2019

President’s Letter – August 14, 2019

Dear Fellow Rotarians,

Last week we had a great program with Stephanie Armstrong from the Chamber of Commerce. I think she valued the dialogue with our members, Rotarians who are business leaders, community leaders, wise and experienced members of the community and who care about Santa Barbara. We had a high level of engagement, with 34 people participating, some of whom were there because they were considering joining the club. This kind of quality programming shows the value of membership in the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara.

We were engaged not just by attending, but by being part of the dialogue. When civic leaders want to engage with the community, our club is where they will find the community. We represent a broad cross section of Santa Barbara’s residents and businesses. I hope we become even more representative by attracting diverse new members. I know Ms. Armstrong will be talking positively about her experience with our club as she engages with her board, representatives from the City, and with business leaders.

The program on Friday was worth talking about. The Rotary Club of Santa Barbara collaborated with the Chamber of Commerce on a press release that was issued to Noozhawk, the Pacific Coast Business Times, and the Santa Barbara News Press. I have brought it up in conversations over the past few days. Over time, the more we consistently tell the community about our club’s meaningful involvement in the community, and our access to people who lead and impact our lives in the community, the more likely we are to reach potential new members. At the same time, we will remind our current members of the reason they are a part of the club.

In the coming weeks we will have some remarkable program topics and speakers. Keep your eye out for announcements. What would it look like if we selectively invite people who we think would be interested, and talk about these programs afterward? How would that affect membership?

We will continue the theme of engagement this week with our members only meeting to discuss the club’s budget and financial condition. The Board makes decisions, but in service of the membership. The club’s money is your money. The way we generate revenue and the way we spend it will affect your experience as a member of the club. It will affect our ability to retain and attract members. It will limit or open up opportunities to be of ever greater service in Santa Barbara and abroad. Your engagement in the process—sharing the benefit of your experience, your common sense, and your insights—will make our club more vibrant and successful.

I look forward to seeing you and, more importantly, hearing your voices on Friday.



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