Rotary Club of South Surrey


Date: December 5, 2018

Jerry Zdril, President and Chairperson
Roberta Zdril
Don Boyce
Pat Hahn
Peter Herz
Deidre O’ O’Ruairc
Brian O’ O’Ruairc
Chip Bowness
Scott Phemister
Carlos Galvez
Jeff Richards
Alan Benson
Rhonda Latreille

Rob Prosch, Rotary District Membership Chair
Eva Galvez

Call to Order and Welcome

Jerry called the meeting to order at 7:15, Scott led the singing of the national anthem and offered the invocation.

Rotary minute — no one offered a Rotary Minute at this meeting.

1.      Christmas Party. Starts at 5:30 - Dinner at 6:30  

Make sure you let Renee or Rick know so we can confirm #s for caterers.  Rick asked for some to come a little early to help set up (5:00 - 5:15) and Pat reminded club members to bring our own booze.  If we don’t meet our minimum numbers for the caterer, we may need to include the cost per member slightly.

2.       Coldest Night of Year Update
Jerry reminded us of this event planned for Feb 23 to raise funds for Sources for the homeless.  5 clubs are promoting this event and hoping for 25-50 Rotarians to participate.

3.       Hazelmere Meeting Reminder
Jerry encouraged attendance at the Dec 17 Rotary meeting at noon at Hazelmere.
Dick Stott from White Rock Club provide a review of their Beer Garden experience and offer tips and strategies for us.  Our club is partnering with Peace Arch Club to sponsor 2 beer gardens this summer.

4.       PADS Graduation
Pads graduation certificate arrived showcasing the support dog, Roo. 

Christine and Roo agreed to present and Rick suggested we frame certificate and have it ready for table display.

Impact were disappointed that they were not invited to the graduation until the last minute, and as a result, were not able to attend.  It was recognized that many received a short notice. 
Rick suggested we get a certificate for Impact as well – everyone agreed.

5.       Shred It Next Year
Scott reported that Impact want to support local causes, not international projects.

Looking at June 8 as a potential date for us.  They apparently do not confirm until December, and are only doing 4 next year. 

We have to make an application and identify a local project.
Jerry asked if we could discuss this at the December Executive Meeting.

Confirmed Executive Meeting for December 12.

Rick asked if we could change our start time for the Executive Meetings to begin at 7:30 to end by 9 am.  Everyone agreed.

6.      Change and Relevancy
Jerry - shared a passage from the last Rotarian Magazine on change, and encouraged us to each to explore new ways to be effective and relevant. 

President of Rotary International: “ Change is hard.  And the longer we have been going one way, the more friends we have with us, the harder it is to be the one who turns around and does it differently.  But change – not change for its own sake, but careful, considered, goal-directed change – is essential for any organization that wants to evolve, stay relevant, and move forward in the right direction.”

This was an appropriate segue to Rob Prosch’s presentation. 

7.       Rob Prosch – Membership Attraction and Retention

Rick introduced Rob Prosch, noting that in addition to his work as Rotary District Membership Chair, Rob is also Associate Dean of Aviation, Everett Community College in Everett Washington. 

Rob acknowledged and recognized that Deidre is always emailing Rob and making suggestions and offering ideas.  Following that lead, Rob was proposing an open discussion today on how to grow the club and retain membership.  Folks are needed to take on service leadership role.

Successes - Challenges and Strategies

Goal this morning - as a club - what do we need to do about membership? 

Significant membership issue — North America declining in membership, while membership is increasing in India, and Asian countries.  As a result - we are seeing a change at Rotary International level — we have clubs, districts and zones.  Now combining zones to include almost all of North America.  Our existing 2 zones have 2 reps at RI.  We now have only 1 zone and the new zone is going to Asia.  Therefore, we will have less of a voice as Rotarians on direction RI takes.

From this District level — RI data shows that we gained 5 members.  Rob and Linda disagree with numbers. 

As reported previously, there were problems with the RI servers and we now have to reconcile and fix numbers.

Last year our membership remained flat – didn’t lose anyone but little growth.

Out of every 2 members who join Rotary — lose 1 within 2 years.  So we have to work on retention as well as attraction.  We attract new members — do not recruit them.

Rob asked about good changes and Peter commented that he appreciates less emphasis on age.  He felt that older members were minimalized with the emphasis on attracting younger members.

Deidre and Pat stressed that we need both young and old!

Rob suggested that we start with inviting prospective members to a social.

He commented that there are wonderful comraderies within this club - shows your club is healthy. 

Missing a greeter, and he stronger suggested that we re-establish that assigned role to make sure guests and everyone is welcomed.  When you ask everyone to do it — not everyone will step up and then we rely on others.  The formality of a greeter serves a purpose.

Invocation - nice generic invocation - Rotary does not subscribe to a particular belief - Rob acknowledged that our invocation was good.   Be careful to respect beliefs of all members and guests.  Brian commented that inclusion means that everyone can respect the message of the person offering the invocation, and that to prevent that freedom is its own kind of reverse discrimination.  Concerned that to the extent that we try to please the whole world we please no one.  Rob suggested that when in doubt, we go to the 4 way test.

Successes - Retention

Successes - very engaged club - people really like each other.  Attitude that it should be fun.  We have a lot of opinionated people and it is respected and this comes from confidence that we can express our viewpoints.

Rob encouraged us to express that in our messaging out to our community.

All of us know someone who embrace these values.


Competition with other service groups!  Our like-minded friends are already involved!

Others retired and travel a lot. - kids gone and away a lot.

5 clubs in WR/Surrey area.

USA has larger clubs and good attendance rates.  Smaller clubs can serve their members even more effectively.  Eg- morning, noon and evening clubs.  Lots of different opportunities.

What are your expectations of members?  About engagement.  Now allow Rotarians to serve as they are able to serve.

We have a lot of events and are actively involved - also our weakness - do we really want to add to this in order to attract new members?  Can we handle more?

Partner with Rotaract

Maybe we can lower the age?  Rotaract 18-30 can also be Rotarians.  Some clubs actively invite Rotaract to join and only pay District and RI fees.

Rotaract ideas and exuberance for service is infectious - so how do we make that invitation and create a special membership structure for that?

Our local Rotaract are active and have lots of socials and want to connect with us — we need to reach out more.  We both need each other!

Club Legacy

What is the legacy our club wants to leave?  Make a difference - in what way. 

Help kids get straight away in this life.

Youth pointed in right direction - help them with their personal goals, education, see their personal value.


Nice connection with Rotaract.

Want to leave money behind but we do not have a funded foundation.
What is the legacy our club will want to leave specific to our community? 

Fellowship and Service

People join for local service and fellowship. Is one a stronger motivator or is it personal to each member?

Rob shared that only 6% of members are attracted with the international service side.  That means that 94% are attracted to local service and fellowship and stay for same reason.

Membership confirmed that our service is directed to both youth and adult personal development with an emphasis on the needs of youth.

We are meeting our legacy objective both locally and internationally.

Internationally, our orphanage is doing well, and locally, our work with the White Rock Learning Centre is effective.

Learning Centre - doing good job but little community recognition/publicity regarding our partnership with the Centre. 

Rob recommended that we take advantage of social media and press releases. 

It was recognized that there is good uptake of Joanne’s work in this area. 

We could do more with social media, and it was suggested that we work with Rotaract to help with our social media initiatives.  If you want to communicate with younger persons - need Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube.


This is our flag and something to talk about – attractive to new potential members if we have a passion about this!  Always include this in all our press releases and communications.  Always refer to our ‘why’. 

Start with Fun and Fellowship to get them in the door and then connect with why we do what we do.

Without FELLOWSHIP cannot be effective in community.  Passion brings new people in for a 7 am meeting, and our projects provide a venue for service. 

Socials provide the fellowship to keep people engaged.

Deidre thanked Rob.

8.       Salvation Army

Carlos is providing a special presentation at the Dec 19 meeting, so bring your cheque books!

Salvation Army looking for continued assistance with kettles - Jerry asked for volunteers to take on 2-hour shifts. 

9.       Adjournment

Jerry adjourned the meeting at 8:36.