Randy Van Tassel, District Governor, District 5190
Today’s program was the annual District Governor’s visit and message. Randy Van Tassel used appropriate analogies to describe his concept of the role of the District vs. local clubs.  His analogy was that of a tandem bicycle. The district was the rider in the back seat responsible for providing propulsion, assistance and encouragement to individual clubs who sat in the front seat of the tandem bicycle and provided the direction and steering.
Randy also made a great comparison for Rotary as an organization to understand and heed. That comparison was between Apple Corporation and Kodak Corporation. One failed to understand the changes occurring around them and went bankrupt (Kodak) and the other reinvented itself as more than a personal; computer company (see: ipads; ipods; iphones) and is one of the world’s largest corporations. Rotary is in the process of responding to changes in society and attitudes. Examples he used were the advent of Corporate memberships, the invention of Satellite clubs, and changes in the attendance rules.  Many changes are aimed at allowing Rotary International and local clubs to revitalize and grow memberships and commitments to service.
Randy spent time emphasizing the meaning of Rotary’s motto for this year. It is more than Rotary Connecting the World he said. It is connecting the world to produce lasting change. Of course the best example is the Polio Eradication program which was successful because Rotarians were not intimidated by the enormity of the task.
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Matt Lopez was recognized by Governor Randy with the Blue Badge presentation, signifying his full membership in the Club.  Matt, a former Rotarian with the Rotary Club of Portola, shared a few words about how his prior Rotary experiences have shown him the value of Rotary International and the impact it has on this world.  Matt's full understanding of the meaning or Rotary assures that he will be an important and valuable member of this club for years to come,
Two well-deserved honors were presented by Randy to club members. First, Jim Buckley was awarded the “Quiet Rotarian” honor for his many “behind the scenes” contributions to our club.    Next, the “Making a Difference” award was given to Greg Wood for all of the many small and large tasks he always agrees to do for our club.
To highlight the importance of supporting the Rotary International Foundation, DG Randy told a personal story about his club’s participation in an international project with the Chiapas area in Southern Mexico. The results of that project, which included local, district and Rotary Matching Grant monies, were lowered infant mortality rates in Chiapas and better surgical training for the medical practitioners there. Randy emphasized that the funding process generated $120,000 for the successful project.
Lastly, Randy explained the combining of the District Conference and Club Leadership Assembly. The combined meeting called “Rallye 2020,” is scheduled April 24-26, 2020 in Sparks at the Sparks Nugget. Finally he offered chocolates for anyone who would immediately volunteer to become a Paul Harris Fellow or make a bequest to R.I. in their trust plan. PDG Roger Hassler met that challenge by becoming a Paul Harris Fellow (again). Thanks to Roger for his generosity and commitment to Rotary and thanks to DG Randy for his meaningful message to us.