Assistant District Governor Bill MacGrath introduced both District Governor Susie Cantrell, who joined the meeting via Zoom, and District Governor Coordinator Janice Mitchell— “We call her my chief of staff,” said Susie — who said she was “channeling Susie” in talking to our club.

Janice, who is a member of the Bearden club, began by reviewing Rotary’s Five-Year Plan: “As People of Action, we share a strong sense of purpose.  We understand that fulfilling that vision requires a plan. This is Rotary’s plan for the next five years: to increase our impact, expand our reach, enhance participant engagement, and increase our ability to adapt.”

She gave examples of what we are doing under the four priorities of the Five-Year Plan:

  1. Increase our Impact: People of Action are effective problem-solvers.
    1. Polio Plus; giving to the Rotary Foundation Annual Fund
  2. Expand Reach: People of Action activate and inspire one another.
    1. Grow and diversifying of our membership.
  3. Enhance Participant Engagement: People of Action strive to understand the needs of others.
    1. Increase openness and openness.
    2. Enhance participation and engagement, networking opportunities.
    3. Expand diversity and inclusion efforts.
  4. Increase Our Ability to Adapt: People of Action are inventive, entrepreneurial, and resilient.
    1. Embracing that sometimes change is good.
    2. Janice asked, “Are you keeping touch with your membership? Do your projects reflect your club’s priorities? Sometimes we have to look at what’s working and re-evaluate the projects we want to keep and the ones we want to stop doing.”

Janice reviewed District Governor Susie’s key priorities, which include empowering girls, creating peacebuilder clubs, and talking about mental health, especially using what we learned during the pandemic so we can prepare for the next one.  “Check in with your members,” said Janice. “Make your club a safe place for all.”

Janice then asked four members the questions “Why are you in this club?” “What keeps you in this club?” and “What makes you proudest about your club?”

“Does you community know about your club?” asked Janice. “What are your projects? Are fund raisers still enjoyable?  Do all members know the goals and priorities?”

Erin Vanderveldt, noting that she is still in her first year in the club, said, “There is something intangible about this club. It’s a giving club, it’s a serving club. I’m mindful about how I allot my time, and Rotary is a priority.”

Rob Johnson said, “It’s a great way to give back to the community. I’ve had the opportunity to go to South Africa and India and have eye-opening experiences. We continue to enhance the programs that have been so beneficial, including our scholarships, our picnic for international students, the Teacher of the Year awards and how meaningful that meeting always is, the Beaumont food packing.  What bursts my buttons is that we got a lot of announcements, and I think to myself that I can’t do all of them,,but if I can do two or three things a month, that’s pretty good.”

Susana Navaro said she was drawn by the international projects.  “I was already involved in international projects, but I realized I could multiply what I was doing.” She noted the orphanage in Kenya as a point of pride, echoing Townes’ request for everyone to buy at least a couple of $25 Christmas food baskets for the orphans in Kenya.

Shane Jackson said, “I love the diverse people, thoughts, ideas, and experiences of this club. I like to sit with new people each week and hear about the different ideas and experiences. You pick what makes you happy.”

Janice concluded her presentation by singing, “Oh, we all live together, together every day. We live in a house, in a neighborhood, in a county in a state in the USA and the good old earth, and the good old earth is out in space. We all live together, together every day.”

Her final words were “Make the commitment right now to create hope in the world!”