District 5610 Rotarians,

Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your District Governor for the past year!  It has been a year of challenges, success, and growth as we pursue our goal of serving others.   A year of COVID-19 restrictions may have limited travel and personal interaction, but we have discovered creative solutions of staying connected electronically through Zoom and hybrid meetings.  These changes have offered opportunities to share speakers and topics with other Rotarians around the world without leaving the comfort of our home or office!

A special thank you to the organizers and participants of our 2nd Virtual District Conference!  Through the collaboration and commitment of many District Rotarians, we were able to present an information packed District Conference with special emphasis on our goal of Ending Human Trafficking.  It will be great to resume an “in person” District Conference in Deadwood this October!

The past year has certainly validated our theme of “Rotary Opens Opportunities”!  It has been exciting to see clubs grow and retain membership by offering meetings, training, and activities through online methods that have increased participation of Rotarians of all ages.  Thanks to the increased efforts of our Membership and Public Image teams and the guidance of Nicole, our District Administrator, we have continued to attract new members that share our ideals of Service Above Self!

The Foundation and Global Grants Committees have developed a strong foundation for a new District focus on Ending Human Trafficking.  Stay tuned for more information on how we can support this effort on a District level!  We also awarded a record number of high impact District matching grants, as well as as District grants to support Technology and Infrastructure!  We have also continued our support to eradicate Polio through contributions to End Polio Now.  Thank you to all Rotarians that so unselfishly support the Rotary Foundation and the many projects that are possible through TRF funding.

Rotary 2020-21 has been a growth year!  Like a rubber band that has been stretched, we will never to be able to go back to “how we always did things before”.  Enjoy the excitement of the new normal as we not only gather again for in person meetings, but we also continue to implement the new tools that we have discovered to engage Rotarians worldwide in our quest of Service Above Self!  District leadership has focused on expanding collaboration to provide a more cohesive leadership team to address the needs of the District.  District Governor Elect Doug Lind is well prepared and excited to continue with many of the strategies that have been initiated over the past year. 

Truly, Rotary Opens Opportunities!  Thanks again for the opportunity to serve District 5610 as your District Governor.

Yours in Rotary,


Doug Lind
District Governor 2021-22
Rotary Club of Rapid City Rushmore
Dear District 5610 Rotarians:
I’d like to tell you a little bit about myself.  I was born in Vermillion, SD and raised on a farm in central Clay County with my parents and one brother and one sister.  I attended a country school, Vermillion High School, St. Olaf College, and graduated from the University of SD with a pre-law / English degree.  While in college, my brother Greg and I, with the help of our dad, started a small backhoe service company to help pay college expenses. After graduation, it was my original intent to go to law school. After a lot of serious consideration, I decided to postpone law school, and continue with the small excavating service business that my brother and I had started 3 years earlier in 1971.  Obviously, law school is still “on hold” and we have had a gratifying and exciting career in building our company to what it is today. Sadly, my brother lost his battle with lung disease in 2017 and I’m now the sole owner of our company.  We moved our business from Vermillion to Rapid City in 1981 and have remained there since.  My son was born to my first wife and I in 1990, and in 2011, Penny and I met and fell in love, and married. Together we share our son, three daughters and 3 granddaughters. Together we share a love for helping others through Rotary, a passion for golf, and 2 homes, in Rapid City and Florida.
Second only to my faith in Jesus Christ as my risen Lord and Savior, Rotary has been a driving force and has given and continues to give my life meaning and purpose.  I joined Rapid City Rushmore Rotary Club in January of 1995.  When I first became a member, the club was mainly comprised of young downtown businessmen and professionals, with a small number of professional women.  The original “big project” was the Black Hills Children’s Home Golf Event, and not much else.  Since then our club, through many of it’s long time members has grown into a multi-faceted organization. Rushmore Rotary has expanded its scope and mission to include far-reaching support of schools in Tanzania, water projects across the world, world-wide Friendship Exchanges and countless community projects for local organizations.  One of the greatest personal rewards in Rotary is growing, training, and educating new members and our community about the vast and amazing blessings that Rotary International brings to the world every day in ways that are almost beyond human comprehension.  For all that R.I. has given me, I will always be grateful and so humbled to be a part of it.  After many years of consideration, I have decided that I can repay in a small way all that I’ve been given by serving in this honored role, if I am chosen to do so.
During my Rotary career, I have served locally as President and B.O.D. member for six years over two different terms.  At the club level, I have chaired the BHCH Golf Event, the Membership Committee, the Social Committee, the Program Committee, and served on the Strategic Planning Steering Committee.  At the District level, I was part of the original leadership group that implemented RLI in 5610. I served as an Assistant District Governor for a period of four years and have served on the planning committee for the  District Meeting in Pat Sutliff’s term.  I have attended almost all District Annual Meetings for the past twenty years and have attended two Rotary International Conventions in Los Angeles and New Orleans. I attended the Zone Leadership Institute in Albuquerque, NM during Roger Kozak’s term.   I have been a member of two Friendship Exchanges, the first in Nikko City, Japan and last year to Sweden.  My wife and I have served as a Friendship Exchange hosts for many District Friendship Exchanges and chaired the local planning committee for last year’s District Friendship Exchange.            
The first part of my vision for our district is to develop a system of “Intentional Retention”. As I was reminded this morning at a Rotary meeting that I attended in Spring Hill, FL, there is power in numbers, and even more value in quality and integrity of members.  I believe that one often-overlooked part of a successful membership plan is consistent, planned, and intentional retention.  It’s a proven fact that it takes about three new members to replace one quality existing member.  I have been involved in membership committees for many years, and although it’s often talked about, there is rarely a plan for “intentional retention”, i.e., on-going consistent care, support and connection to each other as members.  Often-times members have left the club for a variety of reasons, some of which can be resolved or fixed and those responsible don’t become aware until membership dues lapse. 
The second part of my vision is to create a sustainable marketing and branding plan. There is a long-standing problem with branding and product recognition in our organization, and although the problem is recognized, more work and attention that needs to be given to this.  There is still a wide-spread ignorance in our communities and across the country about what Rotary is, what we do, and who we are.  I believe that until people are made more aware of our organization, through a structured branding and marketing plan, sustained growth will continue to be challenging.
The third and final part of my vision for our district is helping our individual clubs become more knowledgeable and then more willing to be involved in International Projects. I know that when I first became a member, my knowledge and the knowledge of our club did not extend beyond local community service, and now I know that there is so much more, and so many more ways that we can serve the world and in doing so do our part to make the world a better, safer and happier place.
In summary, my vision is to make our district stronger and more vital by developing an “intentional retention” system to grow our membership by retaining current members, while increasing awareness of our organization through a focused and structured marketing and branding plan to help our members and our community gain a crystal clear picture of Rotary and all that it is across the world.
During the next two years, I plan on committing my time and energy in support and assisting the sitting DG in whatever ways that I can to help and support District 5610 and serving with enthusiasm and commitment as the 2021-2022 District 5610 District Governor. I look forward to this honor with a sense of excitement, a certain amount of “what have I gotten myself into”, and mostly joy and enthusiasm!  I know that if I’m chosen to serve, I’ll be supported by my God, my wife, my family and employees, and many good Rotarian friends, all much more accomplished and knowledgeable  than me, and an unshakeable belief in the power of love through Rotary and its members.  
John Schneider
District Governor 2022-23
Rotary Club of Le Mars
During the recent online business meeting for District 5610, Le Mars Rotarian John Schneider was elected to the position of District Governor Nominee (DGN) for the 2020-21 Rotary year. The following year, 2021-22, John will serve as the District Governor Elect (DGE) and he will move to the District Governor (DG) in 2022-23.
John has been a Rotarian for 35 years and values the opportunity to live life through Service Above Self.  John has served as president of the Le Mars Rotary club twice and has for ten years managed the club’s drug store ice cream shop at the Plymouth County Fair. The Le Mars Rotary club recently celebrated 100 years of service to the community.  He is also Assistant Governor for Area 9 that includes clubs in Northwest Iowa and was District Conference Chairman in 2017.  His community involvement extends beyond Rotary including activities with the local chamber of commerce, economic development board, 50 year member of the Le Mars Municipal Band, church, historical museum and agriculture organizations. 
John Schneider is a fourth generation farmer on his family farm in Northwest Iowa, near Le Mars. His great grandfather emigrated from Denmark to homestead their century farm. John has been raising pigs since age ten as 4-H member with the exception of the years he was a student at Iowa State University where he earned a BS degree in Farm Operations and a became member of Alpha Gamma Rho social/professional fraternity. Growing up, John was active in FFA in high school and was elected as a State FFA Vice-President his senior year in high school.
In addition to his life long career in pork production, John served a term as Plymouth County Supervisor.  He has also spent most of the last 20 years in the banking industry as an agricultural loan officer and currently as a real estate evaluator.
John and his wife, Carol, have a daughter and son and five grandchildren all living in Iowa.  They enjoy traveling and visiting places of historical interest including railroad and model railroad sites. 
Rich Burns
District Governor 2023-24
Rotary Club of Yankton
I am fortunate to have experienced a diverse background. Being from the West Coast, I was born in rural Pendleton, Oregon but grew up in urban Portland, Oregon. Summers I worked as a Rangeland Technician and seasonal Wildland Firefighter for the US Forest Service in Northeastern Nevada. In 1979 I graduated from Oregon State University’s College of Agriculture with a Degree in Rangeland Resource Management. In 1980, I was hired by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) as a Rangeland Conservationist for the Elko, Nevada BLM District. My federal career spanned over 37 years when I retired in May of 2016. My last position was Field (Area) Manager which I held for over 25 years. I was responsible for all aspects of federal land management including fire, law enforcement, forestry, grazing management, renewable energy (geothermal and wind energy development), recreation, habitat conservation, and the oversight of off-shore federal resources within the Bay Area and along the Northern California Coast. During my tenure, I directly supervised a staff of 27 employees who represented a wide array of disciplines. As to career highlights, the reintroduction of livestock grazing and the use of prescribed fire as habitat management tools; acquisition of important landscapes; and the establishment of National Monuments, Wilderness Areas, Cultural Sites, Recreational Areas, Wild and Scenic Rivers, and Areas of Critical Environmental Concern are all things I’m very proud of. However, what I appreciated the most were the people and opportunities presented to build partnerships to meet each challenge. Within the world of BLM in Northern California, I represented islands of public lands within seas of private lands. To get anything done involved building coalitions with local landowners and  Governments/Agencies involving a wide array of tribal, local, county, state, and federal interests. To gather public support required interactions and creating partnerships with a diversity of advocacy groups and special interest organizations representing many points of view.
In my opinion, it takes making relationships and building partnerships to meet the challenges facing Rotary today. My involvement with Rotary has been for the better part of 26 years. I got engaged with the organization in 1993 when I was asked to speak and provide a presentation on the controversial topic of Grazing Reform to the Rotary Club of Alturas, California. By 1994, I was invited to join the Alturas Club. We moved to Ukiah, California in 1997 where I rejoined with the Rotary Club of Ukiah in 1998.  I served as Club President from 2003-2004, and again from 2013-2014. I took on a number of projects, and fundraisers including a partnership project with the City of Ukiah, called “Rocket Ship to the Moon” City Park/Playground Restoration Effort. it took 5 years to complete but in the end, it was Ukiah Rotary’s major Club achievement. I stayed with the Rotary Club of Ukiah until our move in 2016. I rejoined with the Rotary Club of Yankton, South Dakota in 2017 and was elected Club President in 2018. I have been serving as District 5610 Assistant Governor (AG) for Area 7 since 2019. While serving as AG, I have participated on District 5610 subcommittees, and served as the District Raffle Chairperson for the 2021 District Raffle. I’m honored to be considered District 5610’s Governor Nominee for Rotary Year 2023-2024.
I have been married since 1981. My wife Kelly and I have one daughter, Ashley born in 1991. Ashley is married and living in Bethel, Alaska. We have no grandchildren. In California, we raised organic walnuts and would commercially sell about 6 tons/year. In the fall of 2016 we relocated to Hartington, Nebraska bringing with us 2 dogs and 2 horses. We purchased a farmstead and started a small apple orchard and hard cider production operation called “Stick Figure Farms”.  Besides my involvement with Rotary and agriculture, I currently serve as Chairperson for the non-profit “Friends of the Missouri National Recreational River”. We spend a lot of time out-of-doors. I also enjoy building and design, using for materials wood and metal.

Hope Haven is a cooperating organization to a Global Grant led by District 3860 in Tagbilaran, Philippines, whereas District 5610 is the international partner.  The project is aimed at promoting disease prevention and treatment through improvement in the Philippines healthcare system, specifically providing clinical treatment and rehabilitation for persons with physical disabilities.  A working trip to the area of Bohol, Philippines is planned for early March 2022 and Hope Haven is calling on volunteers. 
In Bohol, Philippines individuals with disabilities are often confined to their home, cut off from communities, school, job opportunities, and rely heavily rely on a caretaker.  Wheelchair recipients gain mobility, find socialization, education, workforce opportunities, and ultimately reach a sustainable change in their lives and contribution to their communities.  The purpose of this project is to create the sustainable and ongoing continuum of care for needs based-individuals through cooperative efforts of the Rotary clubs of Sioux Falls West, Tagbilaran, Hope Haven International, and the Bohol Federation of People with Disabilities. The projects goal is to provide 200 adults and children with wheelchairs and other needed mobility accessories through wellness fairs held in the area of Bohol.  Because each person is individually fitted to a mobility device to fit his or her needs, local healthcare staff will receive education on wheelchair usages, training in proper wheelchair fitting, and training in follow- up services for their patients.  Reliable and health-focused assistance from healthcare providers and patient caretakers leads to less pain, increased ability to heal, and less injuries due to improper wheelchair seating. 
Ideally, the travel team we are trying to fill will consist of wheelchairs construction specialists, medical personnel, accounting personnel, photographers, and general lifting/tool assistants.  However, this is just the beginning, most importantly we wish for your great Rotary work ethic and attitude.  If you are interested in learning more or would like to become part of the volunteer team please contact Mark Siemonsma, CRFE Director of Development, 712-470-0298 or 712-476-312 or www.hopehaven.org.  Also, your District Global Grant/VTT Subcommittee chairperson, Jennifer Rollins can help!

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We wish all Rotarians, their family and friends a wonderful Memorial Day. A special thank you to the members of our Rotary family who have served or are currently serving the nation.
Help Rotary raise awareness for polio eradication and the importance of vaccines during World Immunization Week, 24-30 April. Show your commitment by sharing some of these sample posts on social media. Here are a few of the reasons why it is important to remind everyone of the importance of vaccines, and they are ready for social media posting. You can get more ideas for social media posts, as well as videos and images by going to the helpful resource page on the Rotary International site or simply Download the World Immunization Week Toolkit.
  • Because vaccines work, Rotary and partners have reduced polio cases by 99.9% worldwide since 1988. EndPolioNow won't stop until we end the disease for good.  #VaccinesWork endpol.io/c2tr
  • The systems created to deliver polio vaccines to the hardest-to-reach areas of the world are helping #EndPolio workers find #COVID19 cases, trace contacts & provide info on how to slow the spread of the virus. #VaccinesWork endpol.io/c2tr
  • #VaccinesWork & are the best investments we can make in human health & potential. Thanks to the polio vaccine, the world’s seen a 99.9% reduction in polio cases since 1988. @Rotary #EndPolio EndPolio.org
     The District 5610 Raffle is our primary fundraiser supporting the Rotary Foundation. Nearly all of our Foundation contribution raised from this effort supports local and global humanitarian programs. The District grants that are used by clubs for so many worthwhile activities are funded from these funds. 
      This year, clubs from around the District have donated 36 prizes with a total value of over $13,000. The grand prize is a Bosch 4-piece kitchen suite with a retail value of up to $6500 donated by Karl’s TV & Appliance and the Rotary Club of Gregory, SD. To see a full list of the prizes select the file "2021 District Raffle Prize List" in the News/Downloads page or simply CLICK HERE
      For more information please contact Rich Burns, District 5610 Raffle Chair, at rkab1158@pacific.net.
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