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Monday, September 5, 2016

In 2016, PNW District Convention brings fun, confusion and surprise

The 2016 PNW District Annual Convention was held at the Pacific Inn, White Rock, British
Columbia, August 25-27, 2016. Approximateley 50 Optimist Club members representing 17 of 46 Optimist Clubs came together for fellowship, education and several governance matters for the good of Optimist Clubs in the District.

optimist clubs pnw district
Dancers at the South Pacific BBQ
In fellowship, Rose Brodie entertained the assembled Optimists with theme-parties throughout the weekend. Friday took us to the South Pacific while Saturday began with play and ended with the Roaring 20s. It was a fun time for all.

In education, Optimist International Representative Marc Katz joined 2016-2017 PNW District Governor Rick Matkin and Leadership Development Chair Lynn Viner to teach incoming club officers about their roles and to begin strategic planning for the lt. governors and committee chairs of the district.

In governance, five policy amendments were considered and accepted. They were:

  • A First -Timer's Incentive was approved that requests the PNW District and respective Optimist Club of the first-timer to pay the registration fees for the first time an Optimist Club member attends a District meeting.
  • The positions of Membership, Club Fitness Advisor and New Club Building are now joined as the Growth Chair. 
  • The signators on the District Bank accounts in US and Canada may now be the Governor, District Secretary/Treasurer and a past governor or district secretary/treasurer appointed by the Governor.
  • Reimbursement requests received more than 30 days after their transaction may now be declined by the District Secretary/Treasurer.
  • The District dues were increased by $5.00 to $23.00. 

Some might say that the real purpose of the District Convention is to elect a Governor-elect. We had success in that endeavor. Candidate Qualifications Chair Dick Disney informed those assembled that following the resignation of candidate Ben DeRemer there remained one candidate on the ballot: Teresa Wallace, Gresham Optimist Club. He called for additional candidates to present themselves and Bruce Gilbertson, Salem Optimist Club, came forward.

Following a bit of voting confusion during the convention business session on Saturday afternoon, Bruce Gilbertson became Governor-elect.

To rectify any voting confusion in the future, Governor Designate Rick Matkin has submitted the following information to be shared with the District:
During the District Convention of this last weekend, a slate of new leaders accepted the challenges of your Pacific Northwest District. It didn't take long for certain needs to pop to the forefront. Those member of the new district leadership team wish to push all new information available with reference to those challenges right into view for the members of our district clubs. It is in that commitment as well as the desire of the new officers to assure all members of the responsiveness and transparency of your new district leadership team, that this announcement is made. 
Rick Matkin, your new Governor-Designate, and Bruce Gilbertson, your new Governor-Elect, met briefly Sunday morning following the conclusion of the district convention. After a brief discussion resulting in a totally bilateral acceptance, a new committee has already hit the ground for our new year. Bruce has agreed to chair a policy review committee to begin work immediately on a review of our district policies. This is believed necessary following the spirited conversations surrounding the issue of voting strength of those clubs attending district convention. Mr. Gilbertson suggested he be joined by Annette Smith of the Coquitlam, B.C. Club due to her recent experience as the Parliamentarian for the current administration and the person presiding over the recent voting process at convention. In light of Bruce's desires to have the past Parliamentarian serve in this capacity, Rick Matkin agreed to approach the incoming Parliamentarian, Doug Lincoln of the Twin Falls, Idaho Club to serve in a similar capacity. 
It is with great pleasure to announce this committee has taken shape and appears to have hit the ground running. Both Annette Smith and Doug Lincoln have agreed to accept this committee appointment and pledge their efforts to serve Mr. Gilbertson. The additional positive in their acceptance is the amount of agreement they feel for the need and the energy they bring to the table to address this concern. This is an exciting outcome in light of the usual negative energy surrounding such a committee as being necessary but painful. 
All of these Optimists need to be congratulated and appreciated for their commitment to such an effort. Thanks to them all.
The District exists as an administrative arm of Optimist International and both are invested in our Optimist Clubs' continued to success. Please make plans to attend the next PNW District Meeting today.

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