District governor visits Elkins Rotary

The Inter-Mountain photo by Tim MacVean Rotary International District Governor Mike Davidson speaks to the Elkins Rotary Club Monday about ways to improve the organization.

ELKINS — Rotary International District Governor Mike Davidson paid a visit to the Elkins Rotary Club Monday during the group’s weekly meeting.

Davidson, 2018-19 district governor for District 7530 and Wheeling Rotarian, spoke to Elkins Rotarians about ways they can better the organization at a local level.

He explained that Rotary International President Barry Rassin, of East Nassau, Bahamas, set the year’s Rotary theme as “Be the inspiration.”

“Barry’s belief is we all, as Rotarians, can inspire others. Who are the others? The others are your fellow Rotarians here in Elkins and your fellow Rotarians in Buckhannon, Weston and the other places where we have Rotary clubs,” Davidson said. “You can, in fact, inspire these folks to help do all the things that your Rotary club has pledged to do over the year. Your service projects, your recruiting, foundation donations and everything like that.”

He added that a “big push” for this year is improving public image of the club and outlined various goals for Rotary clubs, including strengthening clubs, increasing youth activities, donating to the Rotary Foundation, developing leaders and having fun.

“(Strengthening clubs) is our number one priority. To bring you up to speed, over the past eight or nine years, Rotary District 7530 — our district – has been placed on probation for membership. We have a minimum threshold of 1,100 Rotarians in our district,” Davidson said. “Our district is basically the northern half of West Virginia but we keep dropping down below that number, and one thing I want to do is help you and help your club increase your membership.”

Davidson’s suggestions for boosting membership include implementing new member orientation and mentoring; sharing best practices among district clubs; and having district awards and recognition.

He added he also wanted Rotary International District 7530 to focus on increasing youth activities.

“Youth activities, that’s the biggest push for me this year because we have such a great opportunity to bring in young professionals and fill up Interact Clubs in high school and Interact Clubs in college,” Davidson said.

Upcoming Rotary International events include the District 7530 Conference May 3-5 at Oglebay Park in Wheeling and the Rotary International Convention June 1-5 in Hamburg, Germany.