First of all, THANK YOU for giving me the opportunity to attend the District Conference.  It was an eye opener and I really enjoyed going to it.  It reiterated why I'm part of this amazing group.  With that being said, I'd like to take on an active role in our group and help move us forward in the direction that you would like to take us, Madam President.
Here are my notes and ideas:
As you already know, Rotary has six areas of focus (Promoting Peace; Fighting Disease; Providing Clean Water, Sanitation & Hygiene; Saving Mothers & Children; Supporting Education; and Growing Local Communities) and I think this should be our guide for what projects we want to take on.  Personally, my passion lies with the forgotten population (children and the elderly).  I love investing in our future (children) and caring for those that get pushed aside when they reach a certain point in their adult life.  For me, people are people and they should be shown respect as human beings regardless of their age.
I love that we reach children through Josh the Otter and we touch the education piece with the dictionaries, but there's more we can do.  And by that, I mean we need to get our members engaged and participating.  One of the areas heavily discussed at the conference was membership and retention.  There were many chapters there that had gotten stale over time and a handful of new chapters that were trying to establish their culture, which is where we are at.  
As a chapter, I believe our membership should be inclusive and engaging so we must attract like minded people.  An activity we did at the conference involved coming up with "We Want You!" posters to gain membership, which I think we should do in our own group.  I've attached pictures below of the conference posters to give you an idea.
As for our current members, we can look at creating a "Rotary Engagement Award," which is meant to encourage and celebrate member engagement across a variety of Rotary activities, and is more than attendance.  We define the criteria, how to track it, and how to celebrate it, while making it FUN and not a shaming thing.  I can elaborate more in person as my email is turning into a book...ha!
Other suggestions include:
  • Rotating meeting Hosts so everyone takes a turn bringing snacks & cleaning up.  Let's encourage our members to put some skin in the game so it's not a thing we just show up to and have wine.
  • Let's have sign-up sheets for activities/projects and place these on clipboards and put them on a table at our meetings.
  • Let's create a Business Advocacy Committee to reach out to business owners and get them to sponsor and/or join Rotary.  There are many people who want to do community outreach, but they don't know where to start.
  • We should have an announcements segment included in our meeting where anyone can share other community events/happenings so that we support each other and other organizations.  For example, October 23, 2019 is National Petal It Forward Day, which is a nationwide event where florists and volunteers randomly surprise people on the streets with flowers.  The recipients receive two bouquets, one to keep and one to share with someone else, therefore, petaling it forward.  Last year, we did this and it was a huge success and I want to make it an annual event where other businesses are involved.  Cutts donates all of the flowers and we handed out over 1,000 stems of roses last year.  10/11 did a story on us if you'd like to hear more about it.  Anyway, my point is, there are opportunities out there where volunteers are needed and Rotary can definitely be a part of the good happening in the community.
  • Finally, let's discuss membership fees.  This was brought up at the District Conference as the younger generations may not be able to afford the dues and as a result, we are alienating them.  Personally, $200 is a lot less than other membership organizations I have been a part of, but it does add up when I'm throwing in $20 a meeting and for me, I have to pay a babysitter, which is an additional expense, so when it's all said and done, I'm $1,000 into this.  And please let me be very clear...I am NOT complaining, I just want to make a point that we need to define our mission, culture and provide some structure so we can move this group along.  The people that I am trying to recruit love the humanitarian part of Rotary, but they want to make sure we are actually doing something and it's not just another networking group.
Other projects/ideas from the conference that really spoke to me include the Youth Exchange & Interact Program; the Wheelchair Project; the Rejuvenating Women's Gala in September; and EDGE, which is a literacy program started in NE City, with the goal of getting kids to read at the 3rd grade level by the time they reach 3rd grade.