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Questions regarding your club's scheduled date and time: Contact Link for District Governor
Questions regarding pre and post event promoting of your club visit:  Contact Link for Public Image Chair
Welcome to a new year Rotarians!!  I am so looking forward to this year visiting Rotary Clubs and helping to lead Rotarians to successful fellowship, fundraising, public image, service projects and growth.  I hope that all clubs have transitioned to new leadership and comfortably settling in to what the new year awaits.  I encourage all club presidents get their club goals into Club Central.  It is absolutely important to have goals so that you know what direction that you want to lead your club.  District Leadership is standing by to help you in any way necessary.

As I write this, I have completed four club visits.  The have all been a rewarding experience and Carol and I are enjoying meeting new Rotarians and rekindling old friendships. PDG Doug Lind warned me that I need backups to my backups and that nearly came to fruition as the electricity went off at the beginning of my first presentation and did not return until after the meeting.  Still ended up to be a great visit.  I’ve have been so pleased with my meetings with club Boards of Directors as much of the discussion revolved around my presentation.  

At the District Conference we will be recognizing Rotarians of Distinction.  Please have Rotarians in mind if your Assistant Governor or Club President is looking for recommendation.  There are no criteria other than what the AG may have; a Rotarian that has distinguished themselves in their club and/or community.

Speaking of the District Conference, it will be held in Sioux City, IA September 22-24.  It will be here before you know it.  Conference Chairman, PDG Steve Harrington, has put a lot of effort into publicizing the event, so I won’t go into a lot of details.  Keynote speaker, is Navy Seal Legend Boyd Renner.  We also will be hearing from past RI Vice-President and current Rotary Foundation Trustee Greg Podd, Immediate Past RI Director Suzie Howe, Rotaract fire cracker Clare Richards of St. Cloud MN and a RI President’s Representative to be named.  Please check the District website for updates and registration information.

Again, I’m looking forward to my club visits and meeting so many great Rotarians.  Please note my schedule here on the website and I’ll be calling club presidents a couple weeks before the visit to finalize details.

Yours in Rotary!!!
DG 5610 John Schneider
The Rotary Clubs of Sioux City and Le Mars will welcome members from 40 clubs from Iowa and South Dakota at its District Conference featuring Navy Seal Boyd Renner as a keynote speaker Sept. 23-24 at Stoney Creek Hotel and Conference Center in Sioux City, IA.
Renner will speak Sept. 23 at 7:30 p.m. A limited number of tickets will be available to the public.
Renner served for more than 23 years with the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, also known as SEAL Team Six SEAL Team Six has been known as the U.S. Navy's premier hostage rescue and counter-terrorism unit. He also served with SEAL Team Two for four years and held every enlisted rank from Seaman Recruit to Master Chief Petty Officer before he became a Chief Warrant Officer in 2010.
After 9/11, he completed 10 tours in Afghanistan and 2 tours in Iraq and was deployed in Albania, Sarajevo and to the Arabian Peninsula.
Besides the Navy & Marine Corps Life Saving Medal, Renner’s many awards include the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medal and the Army Commendation Medal -- all for valorous actions.
While in the Navy, Boyd earned a business degree from Saint Leo University and a master's degree in project management from Penn State University.
Today Boyd is a recognized keynote speaker and a co-founder of Endeavor Life Sciences, a company that has patented a way to safely add DNA to a new or existing tattoo and jewelry.  He is currently the Chief Operations Officer at FINAO Coastal Group in Virginia Beach Virginia.
In addition to the address by Renner the Rotary conference will feature meetings on the Rotary mission of service and ideas and new initiatives for district clubs.
Rotary International projects fight polio and disease, provide clean water and sanitation, support mothers and children, promote literacy and economic development and protect the environment.

Initiatives Overview

Rotary International President Jennifer Jones imagines a Rotary where members act to make their dreams become reality and make the most of their club experiences. During her year, Jones will focus on four presidential initiatives that Imagine Rotary: advancing our commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI); creating a welcoming club experience; empowering girls; and expanding our reach.

Imagine: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

Diversity is one of Rotary's longstanding core values and greatest strengths. Jones knows there is more to be done to ensure that Rotary's culture exemplifies our values of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Rotary, with input and guidance from the DEI Task Force, has strengthened our commitment to DEI, resulting in a greater focus on celebrating every individual's contributions, advancing equity, and creating a more welcoming and inclusive culture.

President Jennifer Jones encourages each of us to do our part to ensure Rotary is a welcoming and inclusive community by:

  1. Learning more about DEI in Rotary, including understanding definitions and how to celebrate and respect our differences.
  2. Determining why DEI matters to our club and community and how using DEI principles can help our club grow and become stronger.
  3. Raising awareness of DEI, including creating a DEI committee in your club that reflects the demographics of your community.
  4. Taking action on DEI in our club and community for instance educating yourself about underrepresented groups in your community in order to become a more knowledgeable and effective advocate for DEI.

Learn more and take action by reading the DEI presidential brochure.
Find additional resources on our DEI web page.
Watch what Jones hopes to accomplish with DEI (download).

Imagine a welcoming club experience: Comfort and Care

Rotary has an important role to play to ensure that the club environment and experience is welcoming, inclusive, and enjoyable for all members and participants. Surveys show that comfort and care is the single greatest driver of satisfaction and our most powerful tool for retention. This begins with listening to and understanding what members and participants want out of their Rotary involvement. We often speak of the importance of "exit interviews" to better understand why former members leave. But why wait for them to leave? Jones urges club leaders to incorporate "entrance interviews" as well to understand the needs and expectations of new members at the outset. And of course, be sure to regularly survey all existing members, to ensure they have an opportunity to share thoughts about their membership experience.

Watch Jones talk about her Comfort and Care initiative (download)

Empowering Girls

Jones will continue past RI President Shekhar Mehta’s Girls Empowerment initiative, recognizing that empowered girls become empowered women. Share your Girls Empowerment projects on Showcase.

Imagine Impact: Expanding Rotary's reach media tours

Imagine Expanding Rotary's Reach Throughout the year, Jones will visit eight service projects that represent each of Rotary's areas of focus and polio eradication. The tour will provide examples of how Rotary can make a measurable difference, while introducing Rotary to new audiences and potential partners and influencers.

Watch and download video messages from Jones


The District Governor Award for Rotarian of the Year is presented to Don Norton. He is a Rotarian who has gone above and beyond and has proven to be extraordinary in his service above self.  This is a new award this Rotary year that will serve to honor one individual who has exhibited these attributes.  Congratulations Don! 

Don Norton enjoys transforming communities and improving people’s lives through Rotary. He has just completed his second term as President of the Rotary Club of Brookings, South Dakota, where he is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow. He serves as the Grants Chair in District 5610. He has been a Rotarian for 26 years.

Don also helps build the leadership capacity of communities across the state as CEO of the South Dakota Agricultural and Rural Leadership Program (SDARL), focusing on developing the skills, knowledge, and character of leaders through training seminars.

Don’s background is in education and communication. He taught more than 20 communication courses at the college and university level, and has received four Associated Press News Awards for broadcast journalism, including as a news anchor/reporter at WGN Radio in Chicago. He has a Master of Arts Degree in Communication from Western Illinois University, and is certified in Non-Profit Management from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. He is a Maxwell Leadership certified trainer, speaker and coach.

Prior to joining SDARL, Don directed the leadership programming and served as CEO of the Illinois Agricultural Leadership Program. He has led leadership classes to China, India, Japan, Panama, Germany, Poland, Ireland, Scotland, and held leadership seminar meetings in Russia and Ukraine.

Don and his wife, Kay (the District 5610 Public Image Chair), have two grown sons. They enjoy singing special programs at retirement and nursing homes, and carry on a Brookings tradition with the Hopeful Spirit Chorale, a group that lifts up the spirts of the homebound and those in hospice.


Tahiry Razafimanjato has been presented Rotarian of the Quarter for his dedication to Rotary and District 5610. Tahiry started Sturgis Rotaract Club, and is past president of Northern Black Hills Rotary Club, and a member of the District Membership Committee.  Tahiry joined Rotary in 2015 at Northern Black Hills Rotary. Rotary was not something new for him. He grew up in a Rotarian environment in Madagascar; his dad is a long time Rotarian. Her sister and brother are also all Rotarians. For Tahiry, Rotary means more than a service. He considers Rotary as a way of life.

The District Governor Award for Rotarian of the Quarter was presented to Tahiry Razafimanjato he is a Rotarian who has gone above and beyond and has proven to be extraordinary in his service above self.  This was a new award in Rotary Year 2021-22 that served to honor one individual each quarter who has exhibited these attributes.  Congratulations Tahiry! 


On July 1, John Schneider assumed the volunteer post of Rotary International District Governor for 2022-23.  As Governor, he serves as a guide and resource along with his district leadership team for the clubs in District 5610 encompassing all of South Dakota, northwestern Iowa, and southwestern Minnesota.  John will serve through June 30, 2023.  Attached is a link to incoming District Governor John Schneider's club visit schedule.  As incoming Presidents for 2022-23 please review the schedule and please confirm the scheduled date, time, and location with District Governor 2022-23 John Schneider at 1-712-540-4250 or by email at
Capture Photos of Visit for a Post Event Facebook Post
Questions regarding your club's scheduled date and time: Contact Link for District Governor
Questions regarding pre and post event promoting of your club visit:  Contact Link for Public Image Chair

“In life’s journey, a bend in the road is not the end of the road, unless you refuse to make the turn”.  In 2018, Penny and I decided that I should embark on this “journey” of serving as this District’s 2021-2022 District Governor.  I can honestly say that it was not without a certain degree of concern and trepidation (what am I getting myself into??) that I jumped into the commitment.  It’s definitely been a ride, and one I will always look back on with (mostly) fond memories.  I need to use that well-worn and somewhat trite phrase that “it seems like only yesterday” …because its so very true!  There were certainly moments when I doubted my sanity (and so did my wife), but luckily, there has always been my amazing team of committed, kind and forgiving Rotarian leaders to support me, pick me up when I was down, gently correcting me when I started down the wrong path, and always, always cheering me on when things were going as planned and even when they weren’t.

My wife, Penny, has been my constant supporter, editor, strategist, tech advisor and head cheerleader throughout the past three years, and I will always be grateful for her support, her love, and the occasional “nudge” when I needed it!    

Nicole Rawden has been there for me always and has such an amazing talent to remind me of things before I even know I’ve forgotten them, to pull out information that I could spend a week searching for in minutes, and to always be there, even late nights and early mornings, to help me do my job better than I could ever hope to do it myself. 

We have an amazing “DG Track”.  IPDG Dan has been a wealth of information and advice when I was facing difficult decisions, and DGE John has become a close friend, always there to laugh together and sometimes have those uncomfortable talks about difficult decisions.  I’m confident that John will be an excellent DG and further advance our District in positive ways!  DGN Rich and DGND Bruce are both in the midst of DG training, and I feel both possess the right stuff to be great DG’s. 

Our Leadership team for the past year is one of the main reasons for the successes we’ve enjoyed as a district this year!  We’ve grown, we’ve established broader and well-structured committees, we’ve developed new long-standing programs that will continue on for many years and we’ve definitely gotten the train back on the tracks after two long years of COVID pain.  I’m so grateful for all the work, much of which has gone unseen by most, that District Chairs and their committees have performed.  I could write a long essay on all the wonderful successes I’ve seen this year that have been performed with little fanfare, just because “it was the right thing to do”!    

The other main reason for the successes our district has enjoyed this year is YOU!  You are the club member that shows up to meetings, volunteers to chair projects, comes up with new innovative ideas, brings that friend or neighbor who becomes a great member, and who gives freely of his or her time and talents and treasures to make our District and our organization stronger!  Never hesitate to take the next step… to chair the committee, to serve on the Board of Directors, to be an Assistant Governor, or to serve in a district leadership committee.  Our success is due to people that our willing to take the next step.  I know that I will never regret my decisions to do so!

Which brings me back to my opening quote…although I don’t know where I might land in my next Rotary adventure, I do know that this is definitely just a “bend in the road” and not “the end of the road”.  I ask that as you thoughtfully consider the next step in your Rotary journey, and that you think and move forward boldly.  I can promise that you won’t regret it!  Thank you all for allowing me to serve as your District Governor.  It’s been my honor and my privilege and given me many forever memories. 

In Rotary, serving to change lives,


Doug Lind   

District Governor 2021-2022  

District Conference
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August 2022
Roger Kozak Service Above Self Award