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Monday, August 19, 2019

The 2019 PNW District Optimist Convention in brief

Once each year, Optimist Clubs in the Pacific Northwest District come together to celebrate their
achievements and make plans for the future at the District Convention. One of the biggest items on the weekend's to-do list is to elect a Governor-elect.

eddie solorzano governor pnw optimist
We're excited to let you know at the 2019 PNW District Optimist Convention in Victoria, BC, Eddie Solorzano was elected to serve as Governor-elect 2019-2020. He will automatically ascend to Governor on October 1, 2020.

Eddie is a member of the Meridian Optimist Club. He has served as club president and lieutenant governor. Not long after joining ten years ago, he and his spouse Darla began attending district meetings. He commented in his acceptance speech, "I've seen the District in good times and not so good times. I like good times better. I'll work to make the District the best it can be, and with your help, we'll make it happen."

Although growth is the primary function of a district governor, they also play a large role in meeting planning. This year, Governor Ben DeRemer has also taken on a primary role in administration and bureaucracy. The convention business session and board of directors meeting reflected these goals.

Two policy amendments were brought before the assembly and approved. The first aligns voting procedures with Optimist International bylaws and the second established a position on the executive committee called governor-in-training. No one took on that position at the convention although it will be revisited at the first quarter meeting in October.

Delegates also had the special honor of hearing from Optimist International President-elect Mark Weinsoff. Mark led the officers-elect training on Friday and inspired the group on Saturday with his presentations on optimism, reminding us that the first purpose of Optimist International, and the reason Optimist Clubs were first formed, was to develop optimism as a philosophy of life. Among other things, he shared ways to have more optimistic meetings using the Optimist Creed for inspiration. He also introduced the concept of mindfulness by saying, "Optimism can be broken down into three things: gratitude, mindfulness, and hope."

Glenda Standeven, President, Chilliwack Optimist Club, presented the scholarship topics for 2019-2020 and shared some ideas for getting more participation at the club-level program. Her tip was to find a champion at a school and then to nurture, celebrate, encourage them to continue to help the students and club to connect.

Members of the Victoria Optimist Club and Victoria Evening Optimist Club provided hospitality at the registration desk and especially in the hospitality room. They gave wonderful raspberry jam to all attendees and gave a number of auction items to benefit the Canadian Children's Optimist Foundation and the Optimist International Foundation. Thank you, and acting Mayor of Victoria Marianne Alto for welcoming the PNW District to the island community.

While there were fewer attendees at this meeting than any meetings in recent memory, we are hopeful that our positive message will resonate with the incoming officers. We'll be reaching out to make ourselves available for your Optimist Club growth. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out here.

Thank you to the delegates who chose to be with the District for the Convention, and congratulations to our newly elected governor-elect Eddie Solorzano. We also send special a special thank you and sincere appreciation to Mark Weinsoff for sharing his optimism with the PNW District Optimist Clubs this year.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

This guy

Mark Weinsoff PNW Optimist Clubs
This guy will #shareoptimism at the PNW District Optimist International Convention, August 15-18, 2019.

Who is he? 

This is Mark Weinsoff, future President of Optimist International (2020-2021), a current member of the Optimist International Board of Directors, and former Vice President of the West Region.

This photo was snapped at the 2019 Optimist International Convention in Louisville, Kentucky. We can't wait to hear from Mark and to learn more about that yellow, optimistic car!

We hope that you are heading to Victoria, BC this weekend. Find out more about the convention here or on Facebook.

See you soon!

Photo courtesy of Gwen Gable

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Are you attending the 2019 PNW District Optimist Convention? Are you prepared?

The PNW District - Optimist International Convention is a mere two weeks away. It will be held August 15-18, 2019 in Victoria, British Columbia at the Days Inn Uptown. I don't think that we've heard much about it from our governor, so I must apologize, it's rather difficult for us to promote it, but here is what we know:

pnw optimist clubs mark weinsoff optimist international president⭐ Optimist Club members will receive top-notch training and motivation from the Optimist International Representative Mark Weinsoff. Mark is familiar with the PNW District having served as the Optimist International Vice President for the West Region in 2009-2010. Mark's career with Optimist International has led him to various International Committee roles and an elected seat on the Optimist International Board of Directors. This year he was elected to become the Optimist International President for 2020-2021.

Additionally, Mark is a Certified International Trainer (CIT) and is passionate about teaching optimism from a scholarly point of view and then putting that knowledge into action at the Optimist Club level. Convention attendees will have the opportunity to interact with Optimist International President-elect Mark Weinsoff and take their new-found optimistic goals and ideas back to their clubs.

⭐  There are two policy amendments to be considered.  The first seeks to bring PNW District policies in line with Optimist International bylaws. The second seeks to add an elected position to the executive committee and increase the succession line to becoming a district governor.

To provide a little history on the district policies, at the November 2018 PNW District Quarterly (Fall Board Meeting), club representatives were asked to approve a rather lengthy NEW set of policies. As policies are typically reviewed and adopted at the annual convention, the attendance at the first quarter board meeting was small. The lead time on receiving the completely revised policy manual was short. The notice that there was to be a special convention met the required timeline of 20-days; however, the need for a special convention was not well conveyed resulting in less than 40 registered individuals, not all of whom were eligible to vote, making decisions without the knowledge or counsel of their Optimist Clubs. These poorly informed individuals passed the policies in total that increased district dues and gerrymandered voting processes. The revised voting processes allow some individuals the ability to vote as many as four times and reduced the number of votes that a registered club president or designee could cast on behalf of their Optimist Club at the district convention.

The first policy amendment seeks to rectify the voting procedures by following the Optimist International bylaws and thereby removing the extra votes that were allowed. It is simple and straightforward. As Districts in Optimist International are administrative arms of the organization, it is not conceivable that they are allowed to change voting procedures that have been vetted and approved by the entire organization in order to maintain fairness to all Optimist Clubs.

The second policy amendment is not a bad idea. It seeks to add the position of governor-in-training to the executive committee by having a person elected to serve in such a position in the first year, become governor-elect in the second year, and rise to the position of governor in the third year. In the fourth year, this person would remain on the executive committee as the immediate past governor resulting in a 4-year commitment.

The problem with this policy amendment, however, is it ignores Optimist International bylaws. Optimist International does not have the position of governor-in-training, therefore the individual holding that title will not be included in Optimist International correspondence for their first year of service and will ultimately rely on the governor for their information source. That could, unfortunately, result in a biased or narrow point of view which would do nothing to improve the district or the Optimist Clubs in the Pacific Northwest.

It is our belief that every year there are between 4 and 15 governors-in-training. They are called lieutenant governors. It is incumbent upon the governor to ensure these leaders are learning all they need to know so they may move up the ladder and one day become the governor of the district.

⭐  The tentative agenda calls for a golf tournament Thursday morning, August 15, 2019, and the executive committee meeting at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, evening, August 15, 2019.

The opening session will be held Friday morning, August 16, 2019, at 8:30 a.m. There is training on Friday and Saturday with the Convention Session slated for 9:00 a.m. Saturday, August 17, 2019. A banquet will be held Saturday evening.

The Victoria Optimist Clubs encourage attendees to spend some time in Victoria to enjoy the city and its sights.

⭐  Links are provided for some materials that you may find helpful or interesting. We encourage you to read them and come prepared to make good decisions on behalf of your Optimist Club and the PNW District. Thank you.

  • Policy amendments to be considered at the 2019 PNW District Optimist Convention
                   Voting Procedures | Governor-in-Training

  • Executive Committee Minutes
                    November 2018 | December 2018 | March 2019 | April 2019

  • Board of Directors Minutes 
                    November 2018 | April 2019 

If you have not registered for the convention, please use the links provided here: CANADA | US

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