Meeting Notes from December 5, 2017
 
Meeting was called to order by President Marv at 7:15 a.m. on the dot, and the Rotary Pledge was led by Suzie McNamara.
 
Announcements 
 
Ann Searles – asked for help in delivering Holiday Sales products to her many customers.
 
Helen Oloroso – The Holiday Party is coming along great, we have enough volunteers.  However, we are short on side dishes and asked if a few more folks would fill that gap.
 
Marisa Naujokas – There is still time to sell Holiday Sales products.  If you order greens, just make sure to give 24-hour notice before pick-up.  This is done on the order form where the pick-up date is shown.  Change that date!  Also, we have at least 35 citrus cases and lots of nuts, trail mix not sold as of this moment, so get out there and sell!  Pick-up of citrus and other sale items start at Saturday at 9 a.m. at Evanston Subaru.  
 
Kate Collinson – Citrus is being delivered Friday morning to Evanston Subaru in Skokie, and help unloading it would be appreciated.
 
Musa Sakamatte – Mentioned his trade program in Nigeria and that the Rotary districts in Nigeria have over than 300 projects working.
 
Roasts & Boasts
 
Zbig Skiba -  Boasted a news article that seemingly put Rotary in a bad light but actually was more positive – at least in his interpretation.  Rotary branding is working!!
 
Don Gwinn – Boasted his son and his play “Twist Your Dickens.”
 
Randy Usen – Boasted his bank, First Bank and Trust – being sold to Byline Bank and to expect the same customer service everyone is used to.
 
Linda Gerber – After six years on the organ transplant waiting list, her brother Rob received a kidney last week. Her family is overjoyed and profoundly grateful to the donor and his family for this gift of life. 
 
Harold Bauer– Boasted Kristin Brown for her efforts in meeting with Right To Be Free organization members while on her RI trip in Ghana.
 
Albert Menard gave his only and his last trivia question “what is the origin of our state‘s name?.”
 
Bruce Baumberger gave his mini-talk about how he got involved in Rotary and his progression through his Rotary commitment. 
 
Brad Weiss – Thanked his Nominating Committee for their hard work and we will be voting on the new slate of officers in two weeks. 
 
Ken Green – We have sold out of hams but he may have talked our supplier into six more and will know in a day or two.  He will put out a note when he knows for sure.  But be sure to check with him even after he sends the note and he will assign hams on a first-come-first-served basis. 
 
Program
 
Guest Speaker :  Dr. Francis “Tusu” Tusubira
 
You may already know Dr. Francis "Tusu" Tusubira, of the Rotary Club of Kampala-North in Uganda. While he started life as a practicing engineer and has maintained pace with evolving technology, his passion is more about people and organizational transformation and sustainability.
 
He begins with the question: How many times do we hear Rotary members say, “we have our project in Kireberebe Kisunkaaana?”  Let us get one thing right when dealing with economic and community development. It is not YOUR project. It is a community project that you are supporting.
 
It is not the things we give to or put in communities that create sustainability. It is what the community does in response to what we do as Rotary members.
 
There is a general trend of declining numbers, for many different reasons, in what used to be the strong bastions of Rotary.  Granted, numbers are increasing in some other parts of the world, but how long will it take for these, too, to start declining for the same causes?  

 

We have become a gerontocracy, and this is the image we project – and for any gerontocracy, the preservation of culture becomes a key consideration.  He has several times raised the matter of the bust of Paul Harris at our headquarters:  it is not that of the young man who founded Rotary, but a typical representation of the Rotary we tend to project – mostly elderly men.  We sustain this kind of image through an unwritten revolving door policy where once you reach the upper reaches of leadership, you are guaranteed a continuing leadership role in the major decisions of our organization.

“Do not get me wrong,” he said. “We need the older generations as members of our organization, now more than ever before because the numbers are increasing all around the world as life expectancy increases, and they are a great resource for Rotary.  We however need to understand and appreciate the importance of ceding leadership to the younger generations so that they, like we were at their age, enjoy the challenge and opportunities of leadership as well as designing the future of our organization while projecting an image that will be attractive to the younger generations.”

While other organizations are moving to flatter structures, we have built more and more layers in our organization, increasing the isolation between the clubs where the work is done and RI staff and leadership.

We have tied down the process of change in constitutional red-tape that would do any bureaucrat proud: The Council on Legislation has become an anachronism.

Culture is born as innovative ideas that work well in a given environment and in given circumstances.  Because the ideas have worked, they become normal practices, which are then entrenched as culture – and are codified as standard practices to ensure that everyone complies.

“I often wonder,” he asked, “if the revered Manual of Procedure is a guide for good practice or a straight-jacket to ensure conformity?  I am afraid I am inclined to the latter.  Culture blocks change.  Static culture murders innovation.”   

He said that Rotary’s continuing relevance in the face of demographic, technology, social, and economic trends, requires that we focus more on our reason for being as the prime driver, and let the “What” and “How” respond to the rapidly evolving and sometimes mutating environment.
 
Dr. Tusubira and Marv Edelstein
 
Guests and Milestones
 
Visiting Rotarians
 
Jennifer Jones – Rotary International Director 2015 – 17, Zones 28 & 29
Stephanie Urcick - Rotary Club of Canonsburg Houston Southpointe
Ronald Kasingita
Maria Valentino Henderson
Dr. Francie “Tusu” Tusubira - Speaker
Luis Neder
Musa Sakamatte – Nigeria Rotary Member
Tomi Buschemi
Ann Britt Asebol – Past RI Board member
Mitch Ashley
Lim Leerman – Interact Rotary Committee
Tor Itaili Kim – Interact Rotary Committee
Mitti Chang – Interact Rotary Committee
Laura Verdengaal – Interact Rotary Committee
Lea Lowe – Interact Rotary Committee
 
Birthdays
 
Scott Kaplan
Holly Halliday
 
Club Anniversaries
 
Chris Joyce - 1 year
Steve Goranson – 9 years
 
Sponsors