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Klinginsmith asks Rotary clubs to get ‘bigger, better, and bolder’

As the 2010 RI Convention in Montréal, Québec, Canada, drew to a close on 23 June, RI President-elect Ray Klinginsmith outlined his plans for his term, which begins 1 July. Participants also got a preview of next year’s big event in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, where the Host Organization Committee has planned fun for the whole family.

Klinginsmith will ask Rotarians to apply “cowboy logic” and make Rotary clubs “bigger, better, and bolder.”

The fundamental principles of cowboy logic are taking pride in your work, talking less and saying more, doing what has to be done, and remembering that some things just aren’t for sale, he explained during the closing plenary session.

“I believe the way for Rotary to remain viable and vibrant in the next century is to help our clubs to be bigger, better, and bolder,” Klinginsmith said. “The clubs are the life and breath of Rotary. Therefore, it is clear to me that my job is to help the district governors to help the clubs. We can do it, and we will do it, if all of us follow the simple solution of cowboy logic.”

Klinginsmith also listed improvements that he and the RI Board have already authorized, including revisions to the RI Strategic Plan to make it easier to implement and evaluate, a realignment of RI committees to fit the revised plan, the recruitment of 41 Rotary coordinators, and a commitment to finding new ways to attract younger members and enable them to serve as district governors.

Klinginsmith’s Rotary journey started in New Orleans, where he boarded a ship to begin a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, in 1961. After returning home, he and his wife, Judie, married and then honeymooned in the city. He said he is excited about the venue of the 2011 RI Convention because he will have traveled full circle in both his personal and Rotary life.

During the fourth plenary session, members of the 2011 Host Organization Committee shared some of the highlights planned for Rotarians, including a concert featuring a traditional New Orleans brass band, a gospel choir, New Orleans jazz performers, Cajun music, and the Mardi Gras Indians. A French Quarter dining experience and an evening at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas will be other host-ticketed events.