When Dr. Dan Little of Brookings accepted the position of District Governor nominee for Rotary District 5610, he was looking forward to the two years of extensive training that would prepare him to lead 40 clubs throughout all of South Dakota and parts of Minnesota, Nebraska and Iowa. That was in 2018.

Fast forward to the first day of his District Governor term, July 1, 2020, and the world looked much different.

“Everything changed in March, when most clubs suspended their meetings for at least a few weeks due to COVID-19. However, now about three quarters of the clubs are back to weekly gatherings, even if they are held virtually. The work of Rotary continues,” said Little.

Rotary International began in 1905 in Chicago, when Paul Harris and three other businessmen started meeting regularly to share ideas and network, “rotating” their meeting locations among their four offices. Now Rotary International membership tops 1.2 million with more than 33,000 clubs in about 200 countries. The organization is divided into 34 zones (Brookings is in Zone 29) and 531 worldwide districts. Each district has a governor, and this year’s governor for District 5610 is from right here in Brookings.

Little, a consulting veterinarian, provides expert opinions in complex scenarios regarding dairy, swine, beef, poultry, equine, small ruminants, practice management, and personal injury. Many of his current forensic investigations relate to alleged feed mixing and contamination concerns. He believes his background as a vet has helped him respond to the current challenges facing Rotary.

“Veterinarians use systematic problem solving to make decisions – possibly followed by another decision.” he said. This type of problem solving has come in handy as he helps guide his district through unprecedented times. “When faced with concerns or obstacles we must pursue the discovery of the root cause before we can effect positive change,” Little continued. “The ‘positive change’ work of Rotary has not stopped in these COVID-19 times. In fact, our mission and goals are more relevant than ever.”

Little notes that the Rotary International theme for 2020-21 is “Rotary Opens Opportunities.” Those opportunities include taking advantage of technology in ways not considered prior to the pandemic. “COVID is forcing us to adapt to the digital age. We have been stretched out of our comfort zone, but like a rubber band, I do not expect that we will ever go back to all of our past behaviors,” said Little. “Zoom and digital tools improve the ability of young professionals to participate in Rotary activities, so one unexpected result might just be membership for those who hadn’t previously been able to attend a more traditional, in-person, lunch meeting.”

Little grew up on a dairy and swine family farm near Faribault in south central Minnesota. He received his B.A. in Biology from Gustavus Adolphus College, his M. S. in Physiology of Reproduction from Texas A&M University and his DVM from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine before establishing a veterinary practice in southeastern Minnesota in 1984. 

His practice has focused on a systems management approach to food animal medicine. In addition to providing on-farm services to diagnose and prevent health challenges, he has also provided technical support to companies that desire to develop, market and implement biotech solutions in livestock systems. He has presented at national and international professional conferences and is a published author in scientific journals and industry magazines.

Although Rotary district governors are charged with the ultimate decision-making and leadership of their districts, Little ultimately sees his role as more of a “facilitator.”

“I view this position as an opportunity to be a team leader, providing the clubs in District 5610 with the Rotary International tools they need to meet their individual club goals,” explained Little. “We have tremendously talented and passionate Rotarians throughout District 5610.”

Although Little has been a Rotarian since 1994, he said he really understood the importance of membership when he joined the Brookings club after moving to Brookings in 2002. “I realized that I was immediately accepted and trusted in a new community of Rotarians.” Little subsequently served as president of the Brookings club, then as assistant governor and ultimately received the required training at the district, zone and international levels to prepare for his year as district governor.

“It’s a big commitment – one I entered into very seriously – but it’s a tremendous honor. The opportunity to be a leader in an organization where you can contribute locally but have an impact globally is humbling.”

Little remembers the first time he heard a former district governor challenge members of the Brookings Club to join the Paul Harris Society; the DG explained the global nature of Rotary’s work, but also emphasized that it was important to remember that behind each dollar donated, there was an individual, a real person, who benefitted. Little is proud to be a Paul Harris Fellow and a member of the Paul Harris Society.

Paul Harris Fellows are those who have contributed (or have had donated in their name) at least $1,000 to the Rotary Foundation, the organization that provides funding for local and global projects supporting Rotary projects involving health, economic development and peace. Last year, the Brookings Rotary Club achieved 100 percent Paul Harris Fellow status. Paul Harris Society members pledge to contribute $1,000 per year to the Rotary Foundation.

The reach is expansive; in 2018, the Rotary Foundation distributed more than $86 million to causes that reflect Rotary’s mission, most notably its continued quest to eradicate polio. “As recently as 1988, there were 350,000 cases of polio worldwide. Now, we are down to 72 isolated cases, with pockets of infection in Afghanistan and Pakistan. We’re remarkably close to total eradication,” said Little.

In addition to club members contributing to global causes, Rotarians exemplify their motto of “Service Above Self” by participating in local, club-level projects. Recent projects supported by the Brookings club, for instance, include a community food drive to benefit the Brookings Food Pantry, collaboration with the Brookings Area United Way to create the Born Learning Trails in two parks for area families to enjoy, the purchase of gift cards for all employees of area assisted living facilities, and the gift to the City of Brookings of a clock that was recently installed in the downtown area to commemorate the club’s 100th anniversary. As Little visits other clubs in the district (“a requirement of my job but also a great privilege!”), he learns about their projects, similarly organized to improve their communities and address the unique needs of their areas.

“These are the types of projects that attract people of all ages, backgrounds and experiences to Rotary,” said Little. “What does a Rotarian look like? One who cares about others and chooses to invest personal time in making the world a better place for people they may never even meet.”

Little is also a private pilot and a member of the International Fellowship of Flying Rotarians. His wife, Pat, is a retired real estate broker and provides business management services for their family businesses. They have six children and nine grandchildren within three hours of their home near Lake Campbell south of Brookings. They enjoy traveling, golfing, hiking, and spending time with family.

Article written by: Kay Norton, Brookings Rotary Club

Whiteclay Arts Makerspace Rotary Global Grant Project News Release #1

Whiteclay, Nebraska borders the Pine Ridge Reservation of South Dakota and has a population of about 12. It is less than two miles from the village of Pine Ridge, SD, population 3,308. It is the largest Native American city in South Dakota and is the headquarters of the Oglala Sioux Tribal Nation. There were four liquor stores in Whiteclay that sold about 4 million cans of beer, mostly to residents of Pine Ridge who left the dry reservation to buy their liquor at these stores. In 2017, the State of Nebraska Liquor Commission did not renew any of the liquor licenses in Whiteclay. As a result, all of the liquor stores closed. A non-profit corporation, Whiteclay Makerspace, was formed in Nebraska with the purpose of buying one of the liquor stores and transforming it into a makerspace for Pine Ridge area artists and craftspersons. The building has been purchased, remodeled and opened for local artists and craftspersons. An online marketing space is now open on the website www.whiteclayredo.com

Rotary District 5610 project members Ina Winter (Hot Springs), Linda Peterson and Tom Katus (Rapid City Rushmore) worked with building manager Jon Ruybalid to secure a $57,575 global grant from The Rotary Foundation (TRF). The grant, approved in August 2020, will support the artists and craftspeople who will be making use of the new makerspace in Whiteclay, NE.  Elements of the grant project include:

Equip the Artists and Craftspeople to directly impact the beneficiaries by supplying them with the needed tools and equipment to produce their art. Five centers situated inside the building will include: Quilting & Beading, Painting & Drawing, Photography, Woodworking, and Conference rooms. A gallery of art will be in the front and supply shop areas.

Stand up a Supply Shop to provide an initial stock of the type of supplies used by local artists and craftspeople. Prices of items will be set to help replenish supplies.

Provide Training to succeed in developing their small businesses of art production, the beneficiaries have noted that training is needed in business practices, financial matters, entrepreneurship, marketing, online marketing, computer skills, and professional development.

The project committee members worked for over a year to interview artists, gather equipment costs, supplies list, and secure the training element. They wrote the grant application, secured international Rotary partners with India, Australia, Greece and Mexico, and US Rotary Districts in Vermont and Texas, to provide funding in addition to our District DDF.  The committee will oversee the implementation of the grant, measure outcomes, evaluate the effectiveness of the project, and report on grant activities to TRF.

Art Zeitler, Regional Rotary Foundation Coordinator states “This is an outstanding project for an underserved population, and I am delighted to see the support, not only from my fellow Texas Rotarians, but also Mexico, India and elsewhere in the Rotary network. This is a great opportunity for use of a Rotary Foundation Matching Grant.”

Martin Cohn, past president, Brattleboro, and Tristam Johnson, Brattleboro Sunrise, Vermont, concur: “The Rotary Clubs of Brattleboro first became aware of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in October of 2011, making it the focus of their international work. We are proud to join with other Rotary Clubs in supporting the Whiteclay Makerspace in providing jobs and resources to artists on the reservation. We remain committed to its success.”

The beneficiaries of the project will be the resident Lakota artists and craftspeople in need of space and other assistance to produce and sell works that will enable them to raise their level of income. District 5610 project committee will be the grant administrator serving these beneficiaries. Whiteclay Makerspace will be the cooperating organization assisting District 5610 in delivering the project. First Peoples Fund is providing two Native trainers to lead business classes, included in the grant. This is the premier national Native American arts organization that has trained and provided funding to more than 2,000 Native artists over the past 20 years.

Donations of cash or in-kind items are welcomed. Please contact the committee members (listed below) for a current list of needs. Work days for volunteers to install equipment and prepare the space will be scheduled this fall.

Project delivery, particularly the training element, may take up to two years. Monitoring and evaluation may be done during project implementation and up to five years after project completion to ensure outcomes are achieved and the artists and craftspeople are sustaining their businesses.

Project Committee Members

Ina Winter, Hot Springs Rotary, D5610 DG 2019-20 kristine.ina.winter@gmail.com
Contribution: project and process knowledge
Linda Peterson, Rushmore Rotary, PDG, RPIC 2018-20 linda4rotary@me.com
Contribution: financial management and product knowledge
Tom Katus, Rushmore Rotary, Omniciye Committee tmkatus@gmail.com
Contribution: people and place knowledge
 
 
 

To view and listen to a recent media news release by South Dakota Public Broadcasting click here:  A Once Tarnished Town Is Changing It's Legacy By Richard Two Bulls Sept. 1, 2020

 

 

Whiteclay Arts Makerspace Rotary Global Grant Project News Release #2

We should define just what is a makerspace: To describe them simply, makerspaces are community centers with tools. Makerspaces combine manufacturing equipment, community, and education for the purposes of enabling community members to design, prototype and create manufactured works that wouldn’t be possible to create with the resources available to individuals working alone. These spaces can take the form of loosely-organized individuals sharing space and tools, for-profit companies, non-profit corporations, organizations affiliated with or hosted within schools, universities or libraries, and more. All are united in the purpose of providing access to equipment, community, and education, and all are unique in exactly how they are arranged to fit the purposes of the community they serve. We think of our Whiteclay Makerspace as a small, volunteer-run community (10-80 active members) that occasionally teaches classes, shares some amount of tools and space, and pays a relatively low membership fee to sustain the approximately 3,000 square foot space. The online marketing venue will also collect a percentage of sales to sustain both the artists and the operating expenses.

Whiteclay Makerspace, a non-profit charitable 501(c)(3) corporation, was formed in Nebraska with the purpose of buying one of the liquor stores and transforming it into a makerspace for Pine Ridge area artists and craftspersons. The building has been purchased, remodeled and opened for local artists and craftspersons. An online marketing space is now open on the website www.whiteclayredo.com.

Rotary District 5610 project members Ina Winter (Hot Springs), Linda Peterson and Tom Katus (Rapid City Rushmore) worked with building manager Jon Ruybalid to secure the Rotary Foundation $57,575 global grant. The grant, approved in August 2020, will provide equipment and supplies for the artists and craftspeople who will be making use of the new makerspace in Whiteclay, NE. The team is thrilled with the enthusiasm and generosity of the local business community as items are procured!

Donations of cash or in-kind items are welcomed. A donation form is available for download on the rotary5610.org website. Please contact the committee members (listed below) for a current list of needs.

Work days for volunteers to setup and install equipment and prepare the space have been scheduled for September 12, and 26, October 2, and 10. Please call us to volunteer!

Items needed:
table saw
drill press
laser cutter
Mac computer with Adobe Photoshop software
airbrush tool
quilt hoops
leather tooling punches, stamps, awls, mallets
Carpentry tape measures, angles, saws, misc. hand tools
wood chisel hand tools set

This project supports the Rotary Community Economic Development Area of Focus. Goals of the project—as defined by the Rotary Foundation—support: building the capacity of local leaders, organizations, and networks to support economic development in poor communities; developing opportunities for productive work and improving access to sustainable livelihoods; empowering marginalized communities by providing access to economic opportunities and services; and building the capacity of entrepreneurs, social businesses, and locally supported business innovators. District 5610 project committee members are the grant administrators developing actions to serve these beneficiaries.

Elements of the Whiteclay Makerspace grant project include: Equip the Artists and Craftspeople to directly impact the beneficiaries. The resident Lakota artists and craftspeople are in need of space and other assistance to produce and sell works, enabling them to raise their level of income. Five centers situated inside the building will include: Quilting & Beading, Painting & Drawing, Photography, Woodworking, and Conference rooms. A gallery of art will be in the front and supply shop areas. Stand up a Supply Shop to provide an initial stock of the type of supplies used by local artists and craftspeople. Prices of items will be set at a discount for the member artists to help replenish supplies. Visitors and the general public will be able to purchase items at posted prices at the store. Provide Training to help the artists succeed in developing their small businesses of art production. The beneficiaries have noted that training is needed in business practices, financial matters, entrepreneurship, marketing, online marketing, computer skills, and professional development.

Whiteclay Makerspace will be the cooperating organization assisting District 5610 in delivering the project. First Peoples Fund is providing two Native trainers to lead business classes, included in the grant. This is the premier national Native American arts organization that has trained and provided funding to more than 2,000 Native artists over the past 20 years.

PROJECT COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Ina Winter, Hot Springs Rotary, D5610 DG 2019-20 kristine.ina.winter@gmail.com
Contribution: project and process knowledge
Linda Peterson, Rushmore Rotary, PDG, RPIC 2018-20 linda4rotary@me.com
Contribution: financial management and product knowledge
Tom Katus, Rushmore Rotary, Omniciye Committee tmkatus@gmail.com
Contribution: people and place knowledge
 

 

WORLD POLIO DAY IS OCTOBER 24 THIS YEAR AND IT IS MY HOPE THAT EVERY CLUB'S PRESIDENT IN DISTRICT 5610 WILL SHOW  AND READ "5 REASONS WHY WE MUST ERADICATE POLIO", USING ZOOM OR MEETING IN PERSON, THEREBY  CELEBRATING THIS SPECIAL DAY.
 
Rotary has made the huge commitment to continue giving $50 million a year until polio is eradicated. This shows the level of support our wonderful organization is doing for one of the noblest projects in history. The Gates Foundation has also raised the bar by committing to match every dollar Rotary raises by two dollars. District 5610 is asking every Rotarian to help with a $40 gift a year. 
 
Covid has, as expected, been a setback with the total cases of wild virus increasing but not as much as was feared. Since the 4 month suspension ended in August the number of polio cases have increased in Afghanistan to 102 compared to 67 year to date last year.  Pakistan did better with only 65 cases versus 67 last year at this time. The eradication program had to be suspended from March to August so as not to become a vehicle for covid to spread but our personnel and resources were used to slow the spread of covid. During the near five suspension months it is estimated that over 40 million children went without polio vaccination. Now we have to make that up  in a very carefully masked, methodical and sanitized way. The effect of covid has also been felt worse in the number of vaccine derived cases of polio increasing. These happen when vaccination levels lag and the vaccine has a chance to revert and causes paralysis instead of protecting. These cases are now occurring in a number of the poorest countries of Africa. When this occurs the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) must go back  into these poor areas and vaccinate every child and then moving circularly out until the cases drop. This takes a huge amount of time, effort and money. Rotary and the partners of the GPEI have developed a new type 2 polio vaccination that should stop this problem in the future. Then we can again concentrate on Pakistan and Afghanistan.
 
Since Rotary first started the effort to eliminate polio from the world it has given $2.1 billion. We also have encouraged world governments to contribute $10 billion to the effort. In return this money has saved 19 million children from ruined lives of paralysis. 1.5 million children are now alive that would have died. Hundreds of thousands of adults will not have post polio syndrome which causes severe handicaps in their later years. The economic benefit from reducing the cases of polio are calculated to be $27 billion now, and by the year 2050 will add up to a value over $41 billion.
 
It is frustrating that it has been so long and so hard to get to the final eradication but we will as the Energizer Bunny says "keep going and going and going" because it is so vital to the lives  of ALL THE CHILDREN OF THE WORLD. Rotary is going to be remembered as the organization that wouldn't  and couldn't give up.
 
Thanks to the District, to the clubs and to the individual members for continuing to give so generously.
 
Willis Sutliff MD, Polio Plus Chair
 

 
Does your club have a plan to celebrate World Polio Day on October 24? The big day is just five weeks away and it’s time for all clubs to develop a plan to help spread the word about Rotary’s work to end this horrible disease and to celebrate the wonderful work so far.
 
District 5610 encourages you to do something to highlight the event - a watch party, a proclamation from the city government, a speaker at your weekly meeting, etc. As important as it is to plan your club's event, it's also important to try to promote the event among your club members and in the community. We want everyone to understand that we are so close to eradicating polio from our planet. Please plan something to help celebrate the day and send me a note and let me know what your club is doing. 
 
This message provides a wide variety of options for your club to celebrate World Polio Day on Wednesday, October 24. Please forgive the length of this message. I wanted to use just one message, and give you many options. 
 
A large number of resources are available on the End Polio Now website (www.endpolio.org/world-polio-day). Most of them are ready to be used, so they require no work on your part. Some can be customized for your event or local media. A folder with all the resources can be downloaded here (www.endpolio.org/sites/default/files/wpd_2020_en.zip), or you can visit the resource center (https://www.endpolio.org/resource-center#see-more) to choose which resources you want to download.  The resource center provides an array of materials, including banners, posters, news releases, sample proclamations, invitation templates, fact sheets with program information, and social media messages.  Rotary International’s Brand Center (https://brandcenter.rotary.org/en-GB) also has images, videos, etc. that talk about the polio eradication initiative. It is truly amazing how many resources are available.  Please let me know if I can help you to access any of the information.
 
Below there are suggestions of what you can do to celebrate World Polio Day 2020!  Review those ideas and search for others. Work with the club to determine how you will celebrate the day, and then choose materials from the resource center and other links to help you.
 
     A Few Ideas for Celebrating World Polio Day:
 
VIEW
  • Mark your calendar to watch the Rotary International Online Global Update on 24 October and share the event on your social media pages.
  • Follow the event on social media and share it with your network.
  • RSVP to the Online Global Update on Facebook and see who else is participating.
  • Get early access to see a downloadable program by registering your World Polio Day event by 15 October
SHARE
  • Use the sample posts from the World Polio Day Toolkit on your social media pages
  • Use the #EndPolio and #WorldPolioDay hashtags to follow and join the global conversation on social media.Follow End Polio Now on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Follow @EndPolioNow on Facebook and Twitter, and visit the World Polio Day page on www.endpolio.org  for updates.
  • Update your Facebook cover photo and Twitter avatar, using the graphics provided.
  • Use Rotary’s Brand Center to create a People of Action social media post about ending polio that promotes your club’s events. Just sign in, hover over Ads, and choose Online. In the options on the left, choose Fighting Polio.
HOST
  • Organize a community event with club members, friends, and family members to observe World Polio Day. Invite local media representatives, officials, and other leaders to participate, and use the opportunity to introduce them to Rotary.
  • Organize a viewing party for friends and club members to watch the World Polio Day events.
  • Invite local media, officials, and leaders to introduce them to Rotary.
  • Dedicate a club meeting to World Polio Day and update your website with the event details.
  • Create a fundraising or community event. Every dollar raised is matched 2-to-1 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • Register your event (https://www.endpolio.org/register-your-event) and tell us how you’re participating with the global Rotary community.
WRITE
  • Email or call local reporters and pitch a story about World Polio Day and your club’s contributions to the effort. Send them the news release and the fact sheet about Rotary’s efforts to eradicate Polio.
  • Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper about the importance of ending polio. Send it to the op-ed or editorial features editor for consideration.
  • Write your government officials asking for an official proclamation for World Polio Day.  A template for the proclamation is included on the resources page.
Thank you for all that you do to make your Rotary club a critical part of your community. 
 
Chuck Lubbers
 
Public Information Director - District 5610
 
Rotary Club of Brookings
 
Installation has begun on two “Born Learning Trails” in Hillcrest and McClemans Parks, thanks to support from the Brookings Rotary Club and the Brookings Area United Way.
 
Born Learning Trails are a series of 10 reinforced signs that offer fun, evidence-based learning activities for young children and their families and are a source of free outdoor play in the community.
 
Funding for the project was made possible by a donation from the Brookings Rotary Club, this year celebrating its 100th year, as well as a grant from Rotary District 5610, the Brookings Area United Way, and labor from the Brookings Park District and local Rotarians.
 
 
Rotary Clubs of Marshall
 
Donated iPads to Local Care Facilities
Noon Rotary Club and Sunrise Rotary Club of Marshall, MN recently came together and provided funds in the amount of $2,500 to purchase 11 iPads to help patients connect with their families and friends amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The funds raised matched the $2,500 donation given by Schwan’s Home Delivery whose funds were also used to purchase iPad devices for similar use.
“This is amazing and greatly appreciated by the facilities to not only connect with families but also to have virtual healthcare visits with their providers”, stated Melissa Maranell, Patient Care Coordinator for Marshall Avera@Home.
Noon Rotary Club Member Susie Sammons, Hill Street Place Senior Housing Administrator, conducted a needs assessment and was instrumental in ensuring that the iPads could be utilized throughout not only in Marshall facilities, but including Minneota as well.
Marshall Rotary and Schwan’s together distributed iPads to the following facilities:
2-Marshall Avera @ Home and Hospice Care
4-Hill Street Place Senior Apartments
4 -Prairie Home Hospice and Fieldcrest
2-Minneota Madison Ave Senior Apartments
2-Boulder Creek Memory Care
Noon Rotary President Matt Pedersen said that offering community assistance during this crisis is what Rotary is all about, “Providing this technology to connect patients and individuals to their loved ones or their medical provider who they would otherwise have no means to contact makes an immediate powerful and emotional impact."
“The coronavirus implications have limited access to loved ones and extended isolation is difficult on many”, said Sunrise Rotary President Christian Becker, “this donation eases the individual’s situation by providing an important communication link”.
The motto of Rotarians is "Service above Self". It reminds Rotarians to think of how they can help others instead of selfish thoughts.
 
 
Rotary Club of Watertown
 
Boxes of children books were delivered to the Watertown Boys and Girls Club this summer during Covid-19. Waterown Rotary Club collected books for ages 1-18 so that children could pick a book when receiving summer lunches. 
 
Rotary Club of Vermillion
 
In recognition of the national "Read Across America" day, the Vermillion SD Rotary Club works with the local elementary schools to provide a free book for all Kindergarten and Jr. Kindergarten students in the community. Students get to select a book from those provided to each classroom and the extra books are left for the teacher's use. The video link capture the joy of the event. We hope that receiving these books is another small step to developing a passion for reading. You can watch the video on the Vermillion Club's YouTube channel by CLICKING HERE or on the image below.
 
 
Thank you to all clubs doing good in their communities and across the globe to support educations in so many ways:  student scholarships, sponsoring and funding of early education of students internationally, dictionaries, pencils, and school supplies distributions, meals/backpack programs, providing funding to support school clubs and activities, Rotary Youth Exchange, and more. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
What is your club’s ACTION PLAN?   Here is Rotary’s Action Plan.  How does it align with your club?
 
INCREASE IMPACT Achieving impact and measuring results and outcomes of our work is critical in order for clubs to continue to attract members, partners, and donors.
 
  • DEVELOP A STRATEGY for educating members about the importance of service projects. 
  • CONDUCT A COMMUNITY ASSESSMENT to identify top concerns in your area.  RI has great Community Assessment Tools.
  • FOCUS YOUR EFFORTS Review your club’s activities, focus on activities that make an impact.
  • ENCOURAGE YOUR CLUB TO CELEBRATE SUCCESSES
EXPAND YOUR REACH Collaborating with new and different groups will help increase your club’s openness and appeal, create a more diverse membership base, and expand your capacity for service.
 
  • SET A GOAL to collaborate with new groups through service projects or social events, introducing more people to Rotary.
  • USE ROTARY’S MEMBERSHIP TOOLS to assess your club.  Membership Assessment Tools
  • CONSIDER FORMING NEW CLUBS.  Take advantage of flexible club models.
  • TELL YOUR STORY.  Use Brand Center to show your club’s impact.
 
ENHANCE PARTICIPANT ENGAGEMENT By understanding the needs of others, you’re able to improve the experience for members and others that participate in club activities. 
 
  • FOCUS NOT ONLY ON GAINING NEW MEMBERS BUT ALSO ON DELIVERING VALUE – survey members to find out what is important.  Hold a brainstorming session.
  • ENCOURAGE MEMBER INVOLVEMENT - Resources for engaging current members
  • UTILIZE THE LEARNING CENTER CURRICULUM – there are great leadership development courses for members and participants. 
INCREASE OUR ABILITY TO ADAPT - Looking at your internal processes is essential for creating a strong foundation for innovation, sustainability, and growth.
 
  • HOLD BRAINSTORMING SESSIONS with club members to gather ideas for activities and service projects.  Contact other organizations or clubs to partner. 
  • TRY NEW IDEAS; EXPAND SUCCESSFUL CLUB INITIATIVES – focus on club successes.
  • REVIEW YOUR CLUB ROLES, PROCESSES AND TASKS – look for ways to become more efficient – whether its by reducing, combining, or eliminating responsibilities or using different technology.  Rotary Club Health Check
 
Carmen Hansen – District Membership Chair
Rotary District 5610 Governor, Dan Little, announces that a subcommittee was recently formed to submit a Global Grant proposal with outcomes aimed to End Human Trafficking, which is timely, as South Dakota Governor, Kristi Noem, recently declared August “South Dakota Human Trafficking Awareness Month.”  Global Grants/Vocational Training Team Subcommittee Chair, Jennifer Rollins, is chairing the recently-convened taskforce that plans to meet twice a month to build a coalition with others engaged in similar efforts.  The goal is to identify a coordinated, sustainable Global Grant project that will protect vulnerable populations against human trafficking. Similar Ending Human Trafficking initiatives have already been implemented by other Rotary Districts in the upper midwest.
 
At the upcoming District 5610 Conference, the subcommittee plans to invite a victim of human trafficking to speak (or provide a video) to the audience in order to raise awareness of the prevalence of this crime.  Furthermore, many community members may not be aware of current state and local efforts underway to stop this crime.  The subcommittee is reaching out to a National Anti-Human Trafficking program as well as a state Task Force and individuals/organizations that have overlap with the Task Force.  The subcommittee wishes to instill an energy to facilitate a call to action similar to those already in play such as SD Resilient Communities initiative, Chains Interrupted, United Way, and Children’s Home Society to name a few.  Therefore, the subcommittee intends to update attendees on current community coordination and available steps for members to take while a Rotary specific focused Global Grant effort is under development.  
 
Human trafficking occurs when an adult or child is manipulated, recruited, harbored, or transported for the purpose of involuntary exploitation, commercialized sexual exploitation, slavery, illicit adoption, organ removal, or forced labor services. While the exact scope remains unknown, it is estimated that 25 million people worldwide are affected by human trafficking, of which an estimated 30 percent are children. Sadly, South Dakota ranks lowest on Shared Hope International’s report card for sex trafficking, just one form of human trafficking. 
 
All Rotary Clubs of District 5610 and individual Rotarians are invited to consider how they might become involved in this Global Grant process by offering shared knowledge and/or financial resources. If your Club is interested in partnering financially with the District on a Global Grant application and/or you are aware of efforts in your  community to End Human Trafficking, please email Jennifer Rollins, District 5610 Global Grant/Vocational Training Team Subcommittee Chairperson at Jennifer.Rollins.usafa@gmail.com.
 
Dan Little, DVM
District Governor 2020-21
Rotary Club of Brookings
 
Dr. Dan Little grew up on dairy and swine family farm near Faribault in south central Minnesota. He received his B.A. in Biology from Gustavus Adolphus College, his M. S. in Physiology of Reproduction from Texas A&M University, and his D.V.M. from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine before establishing a veterinary practice in southeastern Minnesota in 1984.  His practice has focused on a systems management approach to food animal medicine.  In addition to providing on-farm services to diagnose and prevent health challenges, he has also provided technical support to companies that desire to develop, market, and implement biotech solutions in livestock systems.  He has presented at national and international professional conferences and is a published author in scientific journals and industry magazines. 
 
Dr. Little’s education and management consulting experience in the areas of protocol development, facility design, production efficiency, and financial management have provided a framework for his skills in forensic investigation and economic loss evaluations for livestock related matters.  As a consulting veterinarian, he provides expert opinions in complex scenarios regarding dairy, swine, beef, poultry, equine, small ruminants, practice management, and personal injury.  Many of his current forensic investigations relate to alleged feed mixing and contamination concerns.
 
Dan joined the Downtown Rotary Club of Rochester, MN in 1994.  He joined the Brookings Rotary Club in 2002 after his wife, Pat, and he moved from Rochester, MN to Brookings, SD to support the growth of the dairy industry along the I-29 corridor.  Dan has served as Program Chair, President, and a member of the Board of Directors for the Brookings club.  After serving as a District 5610 Assistant Governor for two years, he was nominated for District Governor in 2018 and is serving as District Governor for the 2020-2021 Rotary year.  He is proud to be a Rotary Paul Harris Society member. 
 
Dan is also a private pilot and a member of the International Fellowship of Flying Rotarians.  Pat is a retired Real Estate broker and provides business management services for their family businesses.  They have six children and nine grandchildren within three hours of their home near Lake Campbell south of Brookings, SD.  They enjoy traveling, golfing, hiking, and spending time with family. 
 
 
Doug Lind
District Governor Elect 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 Nominee 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. 

 
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