President Dan Coons opened the meeting by introducing himself and reciting the Rotary International theme for 2020-21 - Rotary Creates Opportunities.  He then recited the Rotary Vision Statement:
Together we see a world where people unite and 
take action to create lasting change - 
across the globe, in our communities and in ourselves
Invocation - Past President Jim Schmidt
It was a heartfelt prayer including thankfulness to be safely back together and acknowledging all the sacrifices and loss that so many have experienced since we last met in person under his administration on March 12, 2020.  
Pledge of Allegiance - led by Darl Andersen
There were some Rotarians with tears in their eyes hearing unified, friendly voices reciting the pledge together for the first time in over a year.
Introduction of Guests
  • Logan Harper was introduced as an ex-(corrected to former)Marine by John Pennypacker.
  • Warren Williamson introduced Visiting Rotarian Tom Yuzer
  • Chris Krueger introduced Visiting Rotarian Dave Brauchler, a former helicopter pilot and also a former Marine from San Clemente, California, but now living in Arizona.
  • Polly Cady introduced Kayla Mudge, a long-time family friend who now lives in Scottsdale.  Kayla has a love for community service.
  • Speaker, Bill Whittich, was visiting via Zoom
  • Another guest attending via Zoom was Shenaaz Shaik
Rotary Minute - Visiting Rotarian Penny May
Penny talked about several things about Rotary that stand out for her
  • Friendship - through Rotary, she has gained long-term lifelong friends.
  • Networking - whenever she has a need, usually it can be met by someone in her local club - help with taxes, legal matters, financial advice, education...
  • Leadership - there are lots of opportunities to grow in leadership skills in a safe environment by accepting responsibility for positions and projects.  We are always surrounded by others who will help and mentor us as we grow.  Sometimes, you learn what NOT to do, but you don't get fired!
  • Opportunities to serve and share our time, talent and treasure.  She has travelled the world with opportunities to provide polio vaccine in India as well as in Caborca, Mexico.  She has visited Rotary supported orphanages in South Africa and Russia.  She saw how well-drilling in Fiji brought much-needed clean water to a community.  She has helped with local projects she learned about through Rotary friendships - like handing out facemasks at our local Salvation Army. 
  • When Rotary had Group Study Exchange, Penny hosted teams from all over the world, with team members staying in her home. 
  • She has been involved in Youth Exchange. 
  • She has also participated in Rotary Friendship Exchange travel to foreign countries.
  • Penny is very appreciative of the many wonderful experiences Rotary brought to her life.
Happy Bucks - Greg Okonowski 
  • Don LaBarge contributed saying he felt he didn't deserve all the praise being heaped on him for the 7th Street Food Pantry service project.  He said the praise was deserved by the great crew who helped.  Jim Schmidt who he was surprised to see had hammer-jack skills.  He said when he took the tile to the dump, he learned that Tim Troy and Dan Coons had put 3,400 pounds of tile in his trailer.  With the good painters who followed and then the great flooring installation by Lorenzo, it turned out great.
  • Joan Reimann contributed saying she was happy to not have to unmute herself before saying anything.
  • Penny May contributed, saying "thank you" for being back together again.
  • Polly Cady was happy to report that she, and Lu and Wayne General would be celebrating a total of 200 early April birthdays together.  She pledged $50 to Polio Plus to celebrate.
  • Lu General matched Polly's $50 pledge.
  • Wayne General also matched Polly's $50 pledge.
  • Since the three pledges did not yet total 200, Allan Cady also pledged $50 for Polio Plus.
  • Pam Cohen was happy to be meeting in person - and very happy about the free lunch.
  • Ted Williams was also happy to be back, adding he hates Zoom.  He also added that he has a gift from travels to Tazmania to auction at the club in the near future.
  • Tom Yuzer was happy to report they finally closed on their home purchase and they will be Mesa residents six months of each year.
  • Warren Williamson explained that it is not accurate to say someone is spending money like a drunken sailor because when sailors run out of money, they stop drinking.
  • Jim McGown contributed.  He was also happy to be meeting in person.
  • Colleen Coons pledged $10 proud of the good job Dan and Pam were doing with Mesa West's first self-managed hybrid meeting.
  • Jack Rosenberg pledged $25.  He was very thankful for the team that showed up at his house to successfully install his new kiln. In addition to Rotarians, Erwin Reimann and Robin Harris, the crew included former Mesa Baseline Rotarian Kent Brooksby, Hayden Clark and two young missionaries for the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
  • Colleen Coons pledged an additional $10, as we caught a glimpse of their son Nicolas' girlfriend.  She was a Rotary Youth Exchange from California who travelled to Taiwan where she and Nicolas met when he was also there on Rotary Youth Exchange.
  • Darl Andersen was happy to be back at Mesa West for a number of reasons, but one was to get to observe the size of Greg Okonowski's lunch plate.
  • Pam Coons contributed for the same reason.
  • Jeanie Morgan pledged $10 - she said dues notices had gone out that morning, and seventeen Rotarians had already paid.
  • Allan Cady held up his sponsor-program thermometer saying there was a very narrow space below the $50,000 line, but with funds that are still likely to come in, we will not only exceed the second, $45,000, goal, but will go past $50,000 before the end of this Rotary year.  He thanked the Mesa West members saying that during a time like we have been through, we need to feel good about this successful fund-raising campaign.
  • Shelly Romine announced our Rotary Week of Service project to provide shower kits to be used by homeless at Paz de Cristo.  We will have a social media campaign.  Members were told they could expect to hear more via e-mail.
  • Dan Coons reminded members that the Polio Plus trophy won for our giving in 2019-20 was on display, and strongly encouraged members to give to Polio Plus so we could move up in current Polio Plus giving placement within District 5495 so we can keep the trophy another year.
Program - Dr. Bill Whittich:  Stop Recruiting - Start Attracting New Rotary Members
Dr. Whittich is a Rotarian from Laguna Beach, California.  He is a speaker, author, and had a career in non-profit management.  His message for our program today is well known in District 5180, and he is an instructor for Far Western PETS.  
There are two big questions potential members need answers to:
  1. Will they be able to network? - form new friendships, learn something new from guest speakers, have fun, and do worthwhile service.
  2. How will they benefit? - they are looking for "something else" - they often go shopping, visiting several clubs to find the best fit - near to home/work is not so important anymore.
Just imagine - if a mystery shopper visited your club.  He told of one experience where a visitor was told an empty seat was not available because that was "Bob's seat."  That was not exactly the "something else" the visitor was looking for.
All prospective members have expectations.
Bill said he travels 100+ days each year.  At one Grand Hyatt, a young man on the staff was looking great.  He was warm and friendly but was wearing a badge that said 10+5.  He was asked about the badge and had to explain that he'd been caught not living up to the service standards and wearing the badge was his reminder to go above and beyond to surprise and delight customers.  At the next motel Bill visited, he was happy to see they were living up to their standards.  They had left the light on for him.
Potential members are looking for a business attitude, a service attitude, time to work on service projects.  They don't want to be another warm body who is there just to write checks.
Many young professionals in their 20's 30's and 40's are looking for a family-oriented club where their families can join them for social and service activities.  At the rate boomers are retiring, they will be ripe for the picking after they have travelled the world for a year or so and then look around and think, 'Now what?"
When Paul Harris formed Rotary in 1905, he was 36.  Other members of the original club were 38, 40 and 41.
Bill indicated it is a mistake to tell prospective members about Rotary.  Instead, tell them what you do.  Young people like "green" projects - community gardens, food banks, etc.  Even better if their family can be involved.
Rotary clubs need to attract more women.  40% of business owners are women, so why is Rotary at only 26%.  
It's a good idea to define who we want to attract.  If you define the members of Mesa West, you'll just get more of the same variety.  Some places to start:
  1. Invite friends
  2. Chambers of Commerce are full of potential Rotarians
  3. Think about local businesses
    • Cleaners
    • Bank
    • Home Depot
  4. Think about relationships - ministers, rabbis, priests, potential Rotarians are everywhere.
  5. Many Rotarians serve on non-profit boards - invite other board members
  6. On social media, advertise speaker with photo and info to attract visitors.
The point is that the job is to attract.  He suggested using Instagram, Linked in, Twitter, chat with others in Starbucks.  Talk about what we do.  Don't invite them to a meeting.  Invite them to enjoy lunch with you and some friends.  When you invite them, make sure they do not pay for their own lunch.  When talking about what we do, talk about what we do locally.  Listen for "try" then slowly reel them in.
Since this meeting was held on April Fools Day, Penny reminded everyone,
"Let us be thankful for fools.  Without them, the rest of us would not succeed."