My experience in Rotary so far has been nothing less than a true privilege.  A gift.  I do not take it for granted.  Some say it takes so much time and effort to attend weekly meetings, board meetings, project and committee meetings, social events, etc.  It’s true.  It does take timeAnd effort.  What I get in return for my efforts, though, is priceless to me:

  • Friendships and bonds that will be everlasting
  • The discovery of new cultures and cultural challenges
  • Leadership
  • Connections and networks worldwide.
  • The opportunity to provide service, which may change forever or and even save a life.
  • And simply, it has wonderful, unforgettable

In Rotary International President John Germ’s announcement of this year’s theme, Rotary Serving Humanity, he explained that service to humanity has been the cornerstone of Rotary since its earliest days, and has been its main purpose ever since. There is no better path to meaningful service today than Rotary membership; and no organization better placed to make a real and positive difference in our world. No other organization so effectively brings together committed, capable professionals in a wide variety of fields, and enables them to achieve ambitious goals. Through Rotary, we have the capacity, the network, and the knowledge to change the world: the only limits are the ones we place on ourselves.

We need more willing hands, more caring hearts, and more bright minds to move our work forward. We need clubs that are flexible, so Rotary service will be attractive to younger members and recent retirees and working people. We need to seek out new partnerships, opening ourselves more to collaborative relationships with other organizations, to achieve even more together. And we need to prioritize continuity in our leadership. Because if there’s one thing we’ve learned from polio, it’s that if we want to go as far as we can, we all have to be moving in the same direction.

We’re all in this together. We’re all on the same team. If one of us scores, we all score. And we take just as much pride in an assist as we do in a goal. Because in Rotary, we lead just like we serve: together.

This year I ask you to consider inviting more Young Professionals in your community to join you in your Rotary journey.  Give them an opportunity to jump in, joining other members of your club and our district so they may connect, learn and explore what Rotary has to offer.

They will thank you.

And be flexible!  With your experience, knowledge and passion, along side Young Professionals in your community who bring yet another level of energy, creativity and strong desire to serve, we can accomplish great things in our communities and around the world.

By combining our efforts, and through our Rotary Foundation, and the resources of Rotary International, we have an incredible privilege to carry forth the tradition of Rotary Serving Humanity.

Katie Smardo
District Governor 2016-2017
District 6560 of Central Indiana