President’s Letter – September 26, 2019

President’s Letter – September 26, 2019

Dear Fellow Rotarians,

This morning I sent a club survey to everyone, and already 17 percent of club members have responded! That level of engagement is exciting to see. It is exciting because it means our members care about the club and want to be a part of its success. I can’t wait to watch as more of your responses come in. I am already seeing an interesting diversity of perspectives, interests, and preferences. That diversity is one of the things that I enjoy about the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara. It is a diverse community that reflects a substantial part of our broader community. 

When we make time to participate in a survey, attend a club meeting, contribute money, or volunteer our time, we make a conscious choice that is a statement of our values and priorities. There is nothing about being a Rotarian that is literally required. It is all a matter of voluntary choices. When we “can’t make time” to attend a club meeting or participate in a committee, we are excusing ourselves a little bit. There are only 24 hours in a day — we can’t make time. But we can choose how we spend our time based on our values and priorities. 

Rotary won’t always be the top priority. That’s OK. What is important is that the choice to spend time on something else be made thoughtfully and intentionally. I think it is an interesting exercise to think about why I miss the meetings I miss or attend the meetings I attend (it was more interesting before I took the office of President!).  If you participate in a committee, or volunteer to lead one, or choose not to, do you give much thought to that decision?

I’m going to miss tomorrow’s meeting, and I am delighted that our President Elect, Stacey Lydon will fill in for me. But I am very disappointed that this is a rare occasion when work obligations conflict with Rotary and when I weigh the consequences of each choice, I felt compelled to prioritize work this time. I’m going to miss a great program that I had been excited about for months! A reporters roundtable is just the kind of program that the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara builds its reputation on. It shows the community why our club is relevant. It is a great opportunity to introduce a friend or coworker to the club. 

I’ll miss you tomorrow, but look forward to seeing you at Mulligan’s next week!

In fellowship,


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