Welcome to District 5495 News

Engaging our Rotary members is vital to the success of our clubs!
Join this free Zoom workshop on September 23, 2021, from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm Pacific Time to share ideas about engaging new and current club members with other club and district leaders from around the Big West Zone 26/27.
Click  HERE  to register in advance for the workshop (you will receive the link to the Zoom meeting after you register). 
Feel free to Invite others to the workshop, such as your club membership chairs and board members. Everyone is welcome!
What a great time to update your club’s brand materials and show your pride in Rotary!
For a limited time, Russell Hampton Co. is offering clubs in District 5495 a 10% discount off select items most used by clubs, including:
  • New Member Kits and Rotary Basics booklets to welcome your new members. 
  • Member badges. 
  • Club banners.
  • Community and road signs to upgrade your image in the community. 
  • End Polio Now materials to help you create awareness and build pride for World Polio Day October 24. 
  • Custom branded apparel for your club.
Click Here to access the special ordering site and enter discount code NEWBRAND at checkout to get the 10% discount. Note: For custom branded apparel, please call or email Russell Hampton with the discount code.
By DG Bret McKeand
Many of our clubs have asked how they and their members can help the victims of the devastating fires in District 5190 (California & Nevada), Hurricane Ida in Louisiana and the earthquake in Haiti.
Here are three opportunities for your clubs and members to provide financial assistance: 
District 5190 Fire Relief:  Please click  HERE  for fire relief funds donation Info.
Haiti Assistance: Please click  HERE  to support ShelterBox operations in Haiti.
Hurricane Ida: Please click here to support District 6200 (Louisiana) efforts to aid victims.
District 5495 Governor Bret McKeand has unveiled the 2021-22 edition of the District "5 Avenues of Service" Distinction Award.
This year's criteria for the award was shared during the August monthly President's Call on Aug. 26.
Criteria for this year's award reflect Presidential Initiatives promoted by Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta, as well as district initiatives promoted by DG Bret. The district's "5 Avenues of Service" Distinction is separate and different from  the RI Presidential Citation. To qualify for a Presidential Citation, club presidents must achieve goals as listed in My Rotary.
As in the past, there are five avenues of service: Club service, community service, international service, vocational service and youth service.
Each area of service has several achievement opportunities for clubs to pursue. To receive the award, clubs will need to achieve at least one required project in each avenue of service as well as one optional project.
Clubs have until May 1, 2022 to submit their final results. Winners and certificates will be announced and recognized at the 2022 District Conference, May 13-14 in Prescott, Arizona.
Contact District Governor Bret at scibret@aol.com with questions.
Applications from qualified candidates are now being accepted for the position of District 5495 Governor in 2024-2025.

October 30, 2021 has been established as the date all qualified candidates will be interviewed by the District Nominating Committee. Applications shall be submitted electronically to the District Secretary Teresa Haire (teresalynn0928@gmail.com) no later than 12:00 p.m. (noon) MST on October 23, 2021.

The Nominating Committee will notify each applicant of the time for his or her interview appointment to be conducted on Oct. 30 at a location yet to be determined, or via Zoom. The space provided will satisfy social distancing guidelines and masks will be worn. 

Applicants are asked to submit an application form containing an endorsement by your club officers, your biography, a photograph, a statement addressing your desire and qualifications for the position and written responses to the following questions:

* How important would continuity be to you in setting direction and policy for the district?
* How would you work to ensure continuity?
* How would you work to build relationships with the clubs, and implement Rotary’s Strategic Action Priorities and Objectives?
* What one thing would you change about District 5495 if you had the authority and opportunity?
* Diversity is a core value in Rotary. How do you believe we can create a more inclusive, diverse, and equal environment in Rotary, within District 5495, and in our communities?

A letter by District Governor Bret McKeand explaining the application process in further detail and a full application are available at the district website. Visit here.

"The District Governor role is an important position in our district and I encourage all clubs to seriously consider nominating members who they think will help build our district and lead it into the future. We have a lot of great Rotarians in our district who I know would bring a lot of talent, expertise and passion to the role," said DG Bret McKeand.
2022 Rotary International Convention:
Registration Now Open!

Registration is now open for the 2022 Rotary International Convention in Houston, Texas. Join us next year to explore what’s possible in Rotary, in Houston, and in yourself.  

Whether you’re new to Rotary or a longtime member, it will be an unforgettable experience. Learn more at convention.rotary.org/houston

 Don’t miss your chance to Discover New Horizons at the 2022 Rotary International Convention!

Past District Governor Dan Messersmith has resigned from The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona board after 12 years of service to the organization that helps students complete their vocational training and re-enter the workforce.
Replacing Dan on the board will be Marco Cecala, a member of the e-club of the Southwest.
“On behalf of all the members TRVFA, we wish to sincerely thank PDG Dan Messersmith for his significant contribution and time to TRVFA the past 12 years,” said PDG Jeanie Morgan, chair of the district’s TRVFA Committee.
“Every application submitted to TRVFA was evaluated personally by Dan.

Dan’s knowledge and expertise benefitted the men and women who submitted their applications in hopes of receiving a scholarship from TRVFA. His selfless work made a difference in the recipients’ life, the continuation of TRVFA and as a result greatly assisted our communities.”
Dan will still be very supportive and committed to TRVFA as well as readily available to answer questions. Consider sending Dan a personal thank you for all his efforts in supporting TRVFA; direct them to dwmessersmith@gmail.com.
Marco is retired from a civil engineering practice and lives in Yarnell with his wife Rebecca Wilks. They are supportive of the Guatemala Literacy Project and active in other efforts as well. Marco came from a vocational education background, first in the jewelry business then home building and civil construction.
“The opportunity to work with others and help them to find meaningful careers is a great opportunity,” said Marco.
The members of TRVFA are currently seeking a Rotarian to assist TRVFA by reviewing and selecting applications from students. The position will be shared by both districts, which will decrease the workload.

Send your information and inquiries to trvfarotary@gmail.com.
We Rotarians are, if anything, eternal optimists. Otherwise, why would we work so hard in the face of insurmountable obstacles and challenges to make the world a better place for all?
Despite suffering through a pandemic that has severely impacted our world, our communities, our families and even our own clubs – Rotarians remain steadfast in their mission to “Serve to Change Lives.”
This optimism – this conviction that our work as Rotarians really DOES make a difference – is readily apparent as I begin traveling throughout the district and visit our clubs. 
Our July 10 year-end celebration and installation was not only enjoyable, but invigorating! Not only did we salute the great efforts of those who persevered and kept Rotary involved in helping others through this pandemic, but the overwhelming focus was on the future -- and the opportunities this year to serve others.
Time and time again, I was approached during the weekend by Rotarians excited to tell me of upcoming projects and activities their clubs are planning as we emerge from a year of meeting virtually and self-imposed quarantine.
I’ve sensed that same enthusiasm as I’ve begun to visit our clubs. Since July 1, I’ve had the opportunity to attend a few club installations and have now begun my official DG visits. The atmosphere is like nothing I’ve ever sensed before – our clubs are clearly eager to get back to work and find ways to serve! 
Exploring the Possibilities of Expanding Our Reach in Membership, Service & Conflict Resolution Through Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

One thing we have learned over the past year is that DEI has become a hot topic with all sorts of controversy attached. Those of you who know me soon become aware that I wear my rose colored glasses when it comes to all things Rotary. It seems to me that Rotary is the perfect stage for DEI. We are an international organization so by our nature we are diversified; we proclaim truth and fairness for all and have been known as the great equalizer for both our members and those we serve. These things are self-evident when we look at the overview of the international organization. But when we view many of our clubs we see that diversity and inclusion are not as defined as they could be. Here is our opportunity to look at all the types of diversity available to us to enable our clubs to grow in qualified members, effective service projects and impact those communities we have not been able to reach. This is not a mandate from on high. Each club should determine how DEI can best be implemented. If you and your club are happy with your current membership, no one is going to force DEI on you BUT if you want to grow in numbers and service, I urge you to consider mirroring the makeup of your community so you have among your members those who are familiar with community leaders you have not been able to reach. 

District 5495 Rotarians said farewell to outgoing District Governor Elizabeth Mahoney and installed Bret McKeand as the new DG during a special Installation Ceremony held July 10.
In addition to installing the new district governor, the program celebrated the achievements of the past year and recognized the efforts of dozens of Rotarians throughout the district. 
The event, held at the Wigwam Resort in Litchfield Park, was the first in-person district-sponsored event since March 2020. Nearly 200 Rotarians attended the luncheon program.
Outgoing District Governor Elizabeth was praised for her leadership and focus during a year that saw tremendous challenge caused by the worldwide pandemic.
“Elizabeth kept us all focused on those things we could do, rather than dwell on all those things we couldn’t do,” said Incoming District Governor Bret McKeand. “Despite all the hardships and having to meet virtually, many of our clubs continued to do great work and serve their communities.”
After a video tribute featuring remarks by several club presidents, AGs, Interact students and other Rotarians, Elizabeth was given the traditional “boot” and presented with a number of gifts – including a framed Larry Fitzgerald autographed jersey given to her by the District Governor line. (Yes, Elizabeth is a HUGE Larry Fitzgerald fan!)