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Weekly Speaker Program

September 23, 2016: Neil Berg, District Governor.

Ted Valentine introduced our guest speaker, DG Neil Berg. Neil joined Rotary in May, 1989. He held the position of club president for the RC of Red Deer East twice; just to make sure he got it right!

Neil is Alberta-born and attended the University of Alberta. He has achieved remarkable accomplishments in the area of international service through his world travels. He is an investment advisor for a major firm.

Neil told us that he met with our BOD prior to the meeting. He complimented the club on our long history of strong leadership. He recognized RCCW members who are contributing their time, talent and treasures. Not just past DGs, but past and current District chairs: Tony Knight, Marie Rickard, Gail Williams, and Darren Grierson. He apologized for any he had missed!

At the District Conference in Jasper in 1991, he had his eyes opened and saw what Rotary truly was. He knew it was much more than just his club. He became "Rotarized" wearing the Rotary Wheel on his heart.

RI President John Germ sees the good Rotary has done around the world. There are many examples, big and small. We are this close to eradicating polio. Our club not only contributes financially, but also has club members, Gail Williams and the Dohertys, administering the vaccine in countries where it is needed.

The slogan for 2016-17 is "Rotary Serving Humanity", a call for every club and every individual to do good in the world.

Priorities are to bring in membership with willing hands and hearts, and bright minds. The goal is to see an increase in two demographics: 1) young working group and 2) newly retired. Neil was brought into Rotary by someone he respected, Monty Audenart. It is up to us to pay it back; to bring another someone into the world of Rotary. Do NOT keep the Rotary light under a bushel; let it shine!!

A prospective Rotarian is attracted to a vibrant club. They want to be engaged, to provide service. Engagement and retention are synonymous: attraction is on the other side. Happy bucks and sad bucks: every year RI has 100,000 new members, and, sadly, every year we lose 100,000 members. It is everyone's responsibility to be ready, willing, and able to tell the story.

The Council on Legislation in April, 2016, made sweeping changes to make Rotary more flexible for new members. Clubs can come together and have a social function instead of a regular meeting, or meet on-line. Attendance requirements are relaxed and now set by each club. We can invite people under a corporate membership, a family membership, or allow Rotaractors to join and still keep their Rotaract membership.

The Rotary foundation was born 100 years ago in Atlanta with a donation of $26.50. Over the last 100 years, $3 billion has been donated to every area of focus, helping millions of people worldwide directly and indirectly.

Neil had two requests:

  1. In this the centennial year, every Rotarian should contribute $100 to the Rotary Foundation and by the end of the year every member become a Paul Harris member. The District is contributing 100 points to every new member.
  2. That at least $26.50 is donated by every member to Polio Plus. RCCW is one of the largest contributors in the District. Let's keep it up!!

In closing, Neil suggested that an engaged Rotarian is a knowledgeable Rotarian. Join in Make Dreams Real to see the passion. Sign up for the three-part RLI training to learn the 5 Ws of Rotary. Go to the District Conference in Red Deer, May 5-7, to hear about all the great things going on in our District. Finally, the RI Convention goes back to Atlanta this year, 100 years later.

Mark Twain said, "The two most important days in a man's life: the day he was born and the day he finds out why." Rotary is about business and community leaders coming together for fun, friendship and fellowship to decide on service and take action.

Mike French thanked DG Neil for his time and motivating presentation. He sees Neil adhering to the high ethical standards of Rotary and contributing his own time, talent and treasures over the past 25 years. He is "Rotarized" and energized!! The Boltman was presented.

  • Neil Berg, Terry Felton, and Mike French
    Neil Berg, Terry Felton, and Mike French

reported by Jim Barnes

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