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Sunday, August 29, 2010

We wish everyone could have joined us...

This year, the PNW District Optimist Convention was fun, educational, and inspirational. Held in Richland, Washington, the Pasco-Tri-Cities Optimist Club wowed us with their hospitality and with some of the great programs that they foster throughout the year.  Thank you so much to Zone 10 Lt. Governor Charlie Kissler and his wonderful band of Optimist Club members for a fantastic weekend.  Here are some highlights and notes of things that happened:

We were honored to have two representatives from Optimist International. Mark Weinsoff, Vice President, West Region, served as the official President's Representative. Not to miss out on visiting the Pacific Northwest District, President-designate Danny Rodgers arranged to visit as a  certified international trainer.

Mark and Danny moved the group with their enthusiasm, knowledge and participation. Both participated in general training activities and made motivational speeches, but most important they each led different sessions to help make our Optimist Clubs and our personal leadership styles stronger. Mark's Sustainable Membership presentation will be a model for the coming year. Danny's presentation on Seth Godin's Linchpin will encourage us to question ourselves what are we doing all we can to empower our future leaders?

In addition to Mark and Danny, our knowledge leaders included the Leadership Development team Gay Enyeart and Jean Jensen on the basics of being a club president and secretary/treasurer and Governor-designate Ed Murphy on how to be an effective lt. governor. 

Current leaders heard from Governor Linda Jackson about how they can contribute to the District blog, become their own publicists and increase the visibility of their club through the "Find a Club" section of the website. All members heard from Scott Keller, President, Portland NE about completing that community survey. 

In official business, we were fortunate to have three candidates running for governor-elect. Bill French went above and beyond in campaigning by visiting 75% of the clubs in our district and blanketing the convention with novelty items. He was rewarded by being elected as governor-elect on the first ballot.  Congratulations to Bill French of the Hillsboro, OR Optimist Club. 

We also passed a new policy to assist in passing records forward from one administration to the next. The policy requires the district secretary/treasurer to use Quick Books and allows for the district budget to purchase the updated license and software upgrade each year. It was also recommended that the 2010-2011 budget include purchasing a laptop and LCD projector for the District.

Governor-designate Ed Murphy introduced the strategic work plan for 2010-2011 that will emphasize new club building in the Seattle area, donations to the Optimist International Foundations, and a new Sub-Forty group to involve young Optimist Club members in shaping the future of the District.

Mark Weinsoff congratulated the PNW District for being first in the West Region as of this meeting. Mark and Growth Director Rocky Jackson challenged everyone to stay in that position by adding enough members to reach Honor Club recognition. Honor Club is within every club's reach and it's not about awards, it's about doing all you can do to make sure your club leaves a legacy and continues long into the future.

Merriwether Lewis and Albert Einstein showed up for the Old Timer's Breakfast with the theme of "Pioneers and Explorers" representing both 18th and 19th century explorations in the area. More than $200 was raised for the Optimist International Foundation to relieve Scott Keller and Albert Einstein of their neckties.

Golden Apple award winning teachers Denise Rosenblum and Jackie Ives explained all about the "We the People" program that engages high school students in civics, history, and political science topics in the Tri-Cities area schools and stumped us with some of the questions asked of the students. This is a great model for an Optimist Club Respect for Law program.

Charlie Kissler, Steve Enyeart and Scott Keller served as emcees for our different meal functions and Dyan Graybeal and Sue Thompson gave us some fun resolutions to live up to in the coming year.

Steve Andersen was recognized for his service with the Roy Proctor Lifetime Achievement Award.

Roger Thordarson and the Auburn Optimist Club were presented a certificate recognizing their 25th Anniversary by President-designate Danny.

As anticipated, Abraham Lincoln appeared for the evening installation of officers as Ed "Abe" Murphy and his team were sworn into office for 2010-2011.

Governor Linda warmly thanked everyone for their contributions throughout the year, club presidents, district chairpersons, and lt. governors, noting that the PNW District  is currently in 13th place of all Optimist Districts and only 20 members away from being even in membership from October 1, 2009.

Inspired by the words of Mark, Danny and all district leaders, we pledged to go back to our clubs and communities and continue to expand the reach of our Optimist Clubs because they are....

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