Posted by RLA Dean Gene Medina
The Arizona Rotary Leadership Academy (RLA)year is underway. On August 29th,  26 RLA candidates and 8 academy faculty, representing Districts 5500 and 5495, and 29 Rotary clubs, participated the 17thannual Student Orientation program via Zoom. What a learning adventure! What a talented group of candidates. 
We had opportunities to reflect on the work of “People of Action”, meet academy colleagues, hear our Governors’(Diane and Elizabeth) thoughts about RLA and its role in district leadership training, and review the six courses of the academy program:  
  • September:The Rotary Brand: Become a Rotary Brand Champion
  • October:Understanding and Utilizing The Rotary Foundation (TRF)
  • November:Collaboration and Funding to Meet Needs.
  • January:Building on a Heritage of Leadership and Accomplishments: Districts 5500 and 5495
  • February:How to Succeed in Membership Growth and Retention
  • March:Rotary’s Fiduciary Responsibilities and Youth Protection
Using a self-paced, computer-based online learning framework, candidates work independently online at their own pace and on their own schedule. Learning is facilitated and guided by talented and experienced past District Governors and senior Rotarians. These courses range from 8 to 12 hours to complete.
This year we have added a new dimension to the academy experience: candidates have an opportunity to work in a small group focused on their self-selected area of Rotary interest.
Following the initial orientation, we had breakout groups (Breakout rooms in Zoom vernacular), in which group members began getting acquainted, discussed the intent of the groups and began planning for next steps.  This year’s learning groups are: Membership, TRF, Communication, Youth Protection and Fiduciary Responsibilities, and Leadership Development. As self-directed groups, candidates can meet during the year to discuss courses, provide learning support to one another, explore their Rotary topics of interest, share ideas about effective leadership and the discuss challenges they see as Rotary moves into the future.
As a reminder, the primary goals of the academy are: (1) to expand the foundation of Rotary and district leadership, (2) to provide opportunities for excited and engaged Rotarians to expand their leadership talents and learning, and (3) do the work within the parameters and constraints of Rotarians busy lives.
Check out our webpage,, and explore the information. You may be interested in exploring the academy learning opportunities that awaits you.  Watch for the RLA 2021-22 program. We will begin recruiting in June, 2021.