Posted by Mary Jones on Jul 06, 2018
Assistant District Governor Karen Schibline introduced our guest, the new District Governor for Rotary District 6270, Kola Alayande.
Kola Alayande
Kola introduced himself saying he is a second generation Rotarian, following in the footsteps of his father. He first became involved with Rotary as an Interactor in 1982 and went on to be a Rotaractor in college. He is one of the co-founders of the Mequon/Milwaukee After Hours Club. He said he enjoys martial arts, the arts, and jazz. He is married and has one son.
Kola said that he joined Rotary via Interact because he went to an all-boys high school and the only way to meet girls was to be involved in extracurricular activities. So he joined various after-school groups so he could meet girls, including Interact. He said it doesn't matter how or why you joined Rotary but rather what you end up doing ... the mark you leave. Thirty-six years later, here he is as a District Governor. He said he is teaching (brainwashing) his 11-year-old son to be involved and hopes he will join Interact and/or Rotaract.
Next Kola showed the "What is Rotary" video. Following that he commented that Rotary is about impacting community--locally, nationally, and internationally.  He added that Rotary has an incorrect image as an "old man's club"; he sees men and women working together to make their communities better.
He emphasized that it's important to change the stereotype of Rotary, noting that many people question him when he tells them that he is a Rotarian, "What are you doing in an old man's club?" they ask.  He said it's important to show the fun side of Rotary.  He noted that Barry Rassin, the new Rotary International President, wants Rotary to highlight its professional impact and show Rotarians having fun as friends and neighbors.
Kola outlined the goals for Rotary International for the next year per the new RI President:
1. End polio in the world and make sure it doesn't come back. He noted that just like ebola, polio could spread via "one plane ride."  He said once polio is eradicated, it will still be important to fund the End Polio campaign to make sure the disease does not come back.
2. Increase the number of new Rotoract and Interact clubs and support and strengthen existing clubs -- to involve more young people.
3. Increase diversity in Rotary membership. He noted diversity does not just include color/race but also sex and age, noting that more women and older people should be encouraged to join Rotary.
4. Attract and engage more young people.  Kola said he takes some issue with this goal, as he also feels it's important to engage older people as well. He noted that newly retired baby boomers have time and money and that we should reach out to such friends who might be interested in joining Rotary.
5. Enhance the public image of Rotary and make the public aware of the good that Rotary does.
Kola said that he's heard a lot about our Club and its activities and noted that in 101 years, our Club has had 7 Club members become District Governors. With 54 Clubs in the District, Kola said that was an impressive number. 
He observed that some clubs do look like "old men's clubs," and he plans to work to change that image in this District.
His goals for clubs in the District is "to do better than last year."  He said he hesitates to set goals for clubs ... that he'd rather just challenge them to do better than last year and let them determine how high they want to set their bar. He observed that only 3 clubs in the District received the Presidential Citation in 2016, and 11 in 2017, but he believes that most clubs did the work to earn a citation but simply failed to record their activities on Club Central. He encouraged all clubs to find someone in their club who will make sure their activity is reported regularly online.
He said that when he was discussing Rotary with a friend once the friend asked him, "Why are you a member of that secret cult?"  He said he took time to explain to his friend what Rotary is and does and his friend was amazed.  Kola observed that humility -- failing to let people know what Rotary does -- can be "dangerous humility." He said we need to let the world know what we're doing and the easiest way to do that today is via social media, such as Facebook. He encouraged our Club to engage in more PR (public relations) activity to let people know what we're doing. He said that by spending $5 on Facebook you can "boost" a post to reach 1,000 people, one of the cheapest ways to increase awareness of our Club and what it's doing.
Kola said at his Club they challenge members to bring new people to the Club -- each one, bring one is their motto. They encourage members to bring someone new at least once a month.
Lastly, Kola said he hoped many Club members will attend DualCon, which will be held May 17-18, 2019 in Wisconsin Dells, with Districts 6220 and 6270 participating. He said it will be a celebration of the Rotary year that will be concluding the end of June 2019. He noted there are about 2,700 Rotarians in District 6270 and he hopes 10% of them will attend DualCon, but his dream would be that 50% would attend.  He said it's a great way to show kids and grandkids what we're doing and to encourage them to join Rotary later in life.
President Christy closed her first meeting by leading the Club in the Four-Way Test.