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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Promise to live the Optimist Creed 1.3

Here's a familiar face. He served as PNW District Governor 2012-2013 and is a member of the Caldwell Optimist Club where they enthusiastically call him the Rah-Rah Man.

Who is it? Larry Blackburn

Larry first joined the Optimist Club of Ontario, Oregon in 1983. That means he has been sharing optimism for thirty-three years and anyone who knows him knows that he's been optimistic much longer than that.

This year, Larry has taken on a newly merged position for the PNW District. By combining the Membership and New Club Building Committees into the Growth Chair, Larry plans to lead us to growth in the coming year.

How will he do it? With enthusiasm, of course, and by living the Optimist Creed.

You can too! Take the pledge to Live the Creed by sending your picture  now.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Was it a good meeting? Yes!

Governor Rick Matkin wants to ensure that every district meeting meets the needs of the attendees. He also hopes to encourage more people to participate. With that in mind, he surveyed the participants at the first quarter meeting. Here's the report that he completed to review the results:

First Quarter Feedback Results

In an effort to provide to you a conference capable of meeting your needs, your Governor circulated a feedback form at the close of the first quarter conference in Kennewick, Washington. The form was completed by approximately 48% of those in attendance making it well above threshold for validity of the results. Generally any survey of this type will receive between 20% and 30% of the applicable participants.

The survey used common methods to gather the feedback and was generally received and returned without grumbling. The survey was divided into six sections for scoring purposes.

The first section was very basic and scored on a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being poor and 5 being very good. The venue for the conference received an overall rating of 4.6. The price of the conference was rated at a 4.6. The menu received a score of 4.5. The appropriateness or helpfulness of the training received a 4.9.

The second section was used to get a feel if the participant felt the time they gave up for the conference was used wisely. Good use of time is essential to a well-run conference. The results for use of time indicated 92% of the participants believed the time was used wisely. The remaining 8% indicated the organizers tried to put just a little too much into the segments.

The third section was to evaluate the training and trainers. The scale there was 1 to 5 with 1 being not helpful and 5 being very useful. The cumulative training score was 4.87 just almost 4.9. The trainers were evaluated for the presentation and content of their material with Lynn Viner’s presentation of “Leadership, Rungs of the Ladder”, receiving 92% of all responses were in the top rating of the table. Rick Matkin’s presentation of “Talking with Purpose” received 90% of all responses were in the top rating of the table. Material presented was viewed as helpful and the presenters viewed as knowledgeable on their subject matter.

Section four featured comments on what the participants liked best about the conference. While there were many responses, those responses were lumped into general categories. The category receiving the most positive responses was training with 38% or all participants listing it as their first comment. Additional responses were 24% of all respondents listed “Leadership, Rungs of the Ladder”, specifically as their first comment. The presence of a positive atmosphere was listed as the first comment on 14% of all surveys.

In section five, the survey sought what was the least liked part of the conference. Those comments were far fewer and featured no one category receiving more than one response. Those responses included; cold room, the chairs, too few people, the weather, and everyone’s favorite, not enough time for a nap.

Section six asked the respondents to provide advice for upcoming conferences for this year. The feedback was placed into seven categories with 28% of the participants asking for more of the same type of training. The other response receiving more than one response was a request for specific training such as officer-elect training, new club building and the return of roundtables. That category was listed by 12% of the respondents. Other noted responses were a request for a longer time span, more feedback by district chairpersons, and additional entertainment like we had at the banquet.

Every survey submitted was reviewed with care. Notes were taken to ensure no one’s comment didn’t receive the same weight as every other comment. You can be assured the Governor and the conference organizers will keep these results in mind throughout the remainder of the year and try very hard to make each and every conference meaningful and helpful to you as an Optimist of the Pacific Northwest District.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Promise to live the Optimist Creed 1.2

pnw optimist clubs live the creed
What's a governor-elect to do in his or her year-in-waiting?

According to Governor-elect Bruce Gilbertson, he's supporting Governor Rick as needed in membership, new club building, administration and more.

Most of all, he's doing the most important thing that any Optimist Club member can do. What's that?

He's making good on his promise to live the Optimist Creed. 

You can too. Send us your picture and we'll add you to the growing list of PNW District Optimist Club members who promise to Live the Optimist Creed.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Childhood Cancer Campaign has a new face in the PNW District

A new PNW District chairperson has been appointed. According to Governor Rick:
The leadership team is very happy to have another fine Optimist step forward to join the team. Eddie Sol√≥rzano of the Meridian, Idaho Optimist Club has stepped forward and agreed to serve on the leadership team in the capacity of Childhood Cancer Chairperson. 
Eddie was quick to add he felt he could only do this job due to the commitment of two very successful chair predecessors. Eddie wanted to acknowledge the work previously done for Childhood Cancer by Dyan Graybeal and Robin Stanhope. These ladies have committed to get Eddie on the ground and running in spite of their overwhelming professional and personal schedules that prevent them from doing the job wholly on their own. 
It sounds like we got a whole committee for the price of one who placed his name in the mix. Thank you, Eddie, on behalf of all of the Optimists of the Pacific Northwest District.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Promise to live the Optimist Creed 1.1

On behalf of the PNW District leadership team and the TriCities Optimist Club, Lt. Governor Gary Smith extends a sincere thank you to all who attended the first quarter meeting of the 2016-2017 year.

Over the weekend we shared optimism, learned from one another and made plans for success. Most of all we made a promise to one another, and now to others, to live the Optimist Creed.

Have you made the promise to live the Creed?

Lt. Governor Gary Smith has made the promise.

Send us a picture and we'll let the world know that you too have made the promise for the 2016-2017 Optimist International administrative year and beyond.

Gary Smith is the Lt. Governor for Zone 4 Washington. View all PNW District Officers at this link.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


Each year, the Optimist International President chooses a theme. It's an internal message crafted to help the members of the organization derive meaning and purpose to the year ahead. International President Jim Kondrasuk has chosen the phrase "Together We Can."

The Governor of each District does the same. He or she delivers a message that will unite the District in service. Governor Rick Matkin has explained his motto "Live the Creed."

While these slogans help motivate our clubs and members, they don't provide the goal. International President Jim has made the goal very simple: 100% Honor Clubs. In fact, he's declared 2016-2017 to be the year of the Honor Club. Watch his first video to learn more.

In order to prepare for success in the 2016-2017 Optimist year, following are the steps to Honor Club.

Please note - there are new requirements and these requirements will be in place for at least five years as determined by the Optimist International Board of Directors. 

Honor Club
  • Complete three or more service projects each year 
  • Complete the President’s Pride Report and Club Officer-Elect Form 
  • Recognize a Club member or local community individual 
  • Grow Club by Net of +3 in membership
  • Appoint a Club Foundation Representative and make a non-restricted contribution to the OIF or CCOF 
  • Conduct a Membership Recruitment/Drive (i.(e) NOW) Program 
  • Club President or Club President-Elect (or two Designees) attend District Convention (or two other District meetings/conferences) 
  • Be current on District and OI Dues and Fees 

Distinguished Club
  • Meet Honor Club Criteria plus one of the following: 
  • Add Net + 15 in membership OR Build one or more new Clubs OR Increase by Net + 8 and build two or more JOOI Clubs
Start now and you'll find it is not that hard to make your Optimist Club an Honor Club. 

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Promise to live the Optimist Creed

On some days, it can be a challenge to put your most positive thoughts forward. That's why Optimist Club members rely on the Optimist Creed to help keep them straight.

Saying it aloud with your friends and fellow Optimist Club members can renew your promise to yourself and to others to "Live the Creed."

Have you made the promise to live the Creed? 

Governor Rick Matkin has made the promise.

Now it is your turn! Send us a picture and we'll let the world know that you too have made the promise for the 2016-2017 Optimist International administrative year and beyond!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

How to find out what you don't know

Some might say that the best reason to attend an Optimist District meeting is to meet other Optimist Club members and learn about their clubs, projects and passions.

Others might say that the reason is to make new friends and meet with old ones.

And then there are some who think that coming to a District meeting is inspirational.

However, the best reason to attend is because you don't know what you don't know.

For those who have been members for a long time, they often feel that the meeting ritual is old hat and there is nothing new to learn. However, do they know about the new theme or the online resources, among other things?

Those who have been members for a short period of time may think that its just for the old-timers so that they can do the meet and greet. However, do they even know what an Honor Club is and why it is important to their club?

The point is that we have four District meetings per year. Each has a different purpose and character. Each is important to the successful maintenance and growth of your Optimist Club. If you are a club leader or member, make it a point to attend every one that you can because you don't know what you don't know. But you can learn!

Click here to register for the first District meeting of the 2016-2017 administrative year.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

It's a new year - are you ready to Live the Creed?

pnw optimist live the optimist creedAn introduction to the 2016-2017 theme and logo from Governor Rick Matkin

I have been watching and listening to guest presenters at our club meetings for literally years. Almost without exception the guest has commented on the Optimist Creed once the club has recited it in unison. Comments over the years have included, “that’s amazing”, “I love your creed”, “your creed is so special and meaningful”. One comment that has been offered more than once and has stuck with me over the years is the comment, “If only we all lived that, we would all be better people”. They are even more impressed when we present them with our symbol of gratitude for their presentation in the form of a coffee mug with the creed embossed on the back of it in gold.

It is from this casual comment of a guest or so that when offered the opportunity to present a theme I chose, “Promise yourself…to live the creed”.

As Optimists we have dedicated our lives and our free talents to the betterment of others. We have shared ourselves through mentoring, working, speaking, and doing. We make promises to everyone in our family, our workplace, our community, and our neighborhood. But how many of you actually make promises to yourself? Why would you suppose the creed starts with, “Promise Yourself”?

I believe the guest who has provided us with our theme this year actually believes a person who lives by this creed will actually become a better person. I know that I believe a person who lives by this creed will become a better person. I think of how many different ways this better person would present themselves. I know that as a previous supervisor and employer, a neighbor, and a taxpayer that I want to see a person who is so strong that nothing can disturb their peace of mind. I know I enjoy being with a person who always talks health, happiness and prosperity. I want to work with someone who works only for the best and then expects only the best. I want to be with a person who is enthusiastic about the success of others. To forget the mistakes of the past is to me the vision of Brett Favre throwing a touchdown minutes after he sets a new conference record for interceptions.

I have found strength in these words, especially in my business world. So often in larger bureaucratic organizations, competition is so fierce for promotion and status that the ongoing practice of back stabbing has become common place and almost an expected ritual amongst colleagues. How much better would the work place be if each person were just as enthusiastic about the success of others as they were about their own? The upside of that is, if you find someone doing so well, tag along, learn, watch and listen. If they are doing well they know something you may not yet have learned. All too often those celebrating the success of others soon find themselves celebrating their own successes.

Let me take the choice of theme and the reintroduction of shirts into our annual celebration here and explain them further. When I was recently in St. Louis attending training for Governors Elect, I took the opportunity to ask one of the organizational officers if Optimist International had an official color. The response was no there is no official color so to speak. I was perplexed since I had always seen the banners in purple and gold and many of the award vests and achievement patches. Still the answer was no.

My response to that was a decision to make this year’s shirts and logo purple and gold. If you encourage others as well as yourself to live the creed then be proud and stand out as being the banner bearing our creed. Our banners are purple and now you, too, may stand out in a crowd to live the creed and show others how it is done.

Why live the creed? It will make you a better person. People will see your commitment and those successes brought about by your abilities to live the creed. People enjoy being with others who are successful, happy, optimistic. Those people may become so happy being with you they may want to join in with the source of your creed and join an Optimist Club. You become a living and breathing symbol of the success experienced by one that has chosen to live the Optimistic way of life and “…to live the creed”.

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