Tom welcomed Anne Bermingham, DG 7090 for 2021-2022 to our club. Anne is currently a Past President of RC of Hamilton A.M. She has been a Rotarian for 25 years. In this time she has contributed to and led many activities, auctions, and events in her club and in our district. As the Volunteer Coordinator for Telling Tales, she worked with clubs in both 7090 and 7080. In her professional life, Anne is President of 2WA Consulting Inc. where she assists corporations and individuals with leadership development, change implementation and communication strategies. Among her other activities she is also past Chair of the Board of Directors of Hamilton Burlington United Way. Anne is dedicated to service, both in Rotary and in our community.
And so, Anne presented the Rotary International vision for 2021-2022, aptly titled “Service to Change Lives”. Specifically, she focused on the theme of Rotarians as People of Action who “unite and take action to create lasting change across the globe, in our communities and in ourselves.” Rotary, as a worldwide organization of over 35,000 clubs in over 200 countries acts as a connector. Alone, the organization has some strength; united with others we have the capacity to effect extraordinary change. Look at the End Polio project as just one example of action and impact.The ROTARY INTERNATIONAL ACTION PLAN for 2021-2022 is: Increase our impact, Expand our reach, Enhance participant engagement, and, Increase our ability to adapt.
Increase our Impact
Anne cited the “Great Lakes Watershed Cleanup” initiated by Past D.G. Frank Adamson as a compelling example of an idea that became an international event and in so doing, actually hit all 4 prongs of the Action Plan. GLWS Cleanup grew from an idea at the R.I. District Governors Training session in San Diego in 2019 to include all 16 Districts bordering all 5 Great Lakes. It is now including parts of the St. Lawrence River and the Erie Canal.
By measuring the time of volunteer service, the volume of trash removed, the number of people (Rotarian and non-Rotarian) we can demonstrate the impact of the GLWSC had on the environment.
There are other examples of active service, such as the Pedal for Polio, wherein multiple clubs join for one day or for one cause to leverage our influence and impact.
Expanding our Reach
Service projects allow us the opportunity to invite non-Rotarian volunteers to help us. Anne challenged us to tell 5 people the Rotary Story of Polio during October. DVSRC’s own Thie Convery has been a District Champion of the End Polio Now campaign. Bragging rights indeed!
District 7090 is also looking to expand our reach by starting satellite clubs. So far 10 clubs have indicated they will assist in the development of these clubs of 8 or more people dedicated to a particular avenue of service but not meeting at the same time as the host club. View it as a group tailored to a service driven project. Also we have 8 Rotaract clubs in D7090. These are groups of people under 30 years of age who are also not Rotarians but they are committed to the ideas of service and Rotary values. Less formal than the traditional club, the Rotaractors provide another perspective of the challenges facing the world.
Engaging Participants
Active service projects clearly offer opportunities to engage our members. Anne also stressed the value of social media to inform others of our projects and celebrate our successes. She invited new members as well as others to join in a Web Talk September 30: Rotary 101, a Guide to the Rotary World.
Our revamped club website allows us to post a wealth of material about our programmes and projects. She encouraged all of us to consider increasing its content.

Increase our Ability to Adapt
The adage “change is constant” is true for all of us, be it in our personal or professional lives. So too, it is true in Rotary. And while sometimes change in Rotary may feel slow Anne referenced several examples of recent changes. First, the grant qualification process has been revamped for D7090 so that one may do it online and on one’s own time (although deadlines still apply)--a welcome change from the time sensitive credentialing event of past years. Secondly, Youth Exchange has been revamped for D7090. We will focus on Short Term Exchange- summertime—and we will also explore creating customized exchange programmes for people under 30 years of age who will complete a service project while visiting another country or region.
District Conference
Anne briefly shared some information about this annual event. Tom McLeod will follow up throughout the next few weeks. Here is a link to the district website that has all the district events listed:
October 22 (Friday afternoon) we will see many clubs working alone or together on service projects. What a great time to put ideas into action: to serve, to unite, to engage, to adapt. We hope you will join in – stayed tuned for our project! Saturday October 23 brings the District Conference to Hamilton convention Centre from 9:00 - 3:30. Anne hopes a number of you will attend.
Anne thanked DVSRC for the opportunity to speak today. She recognized a number of club members for their work and paid special tribute to both Ralph Montesanto and Bob Morrow for their work with District Council Volunteering beyond the club level for many years.