Good morning.  I'd like to introduce Dianne Crawford, my guest columnist for this week's edition of Sunday Morning Musings.  Dianne is our District Governor Designate 2023-2024 and she is from the Rotary Club of  Southeast San Diego.  Dianne has been a long-standing leader in membership development and many other things for District 5340.  Enjoy her her excitement for Rotary.
Greetings Rotarians, Happy Sunday!
Thank you District Governor Steve Weitzen for the opportunity to contribute to your weekly column and your continued support.
My name is Dianne Crawford, District Governor Designate 2023/2024, the newest addition to the District Governor line.  The District Governor is selected three years in advance.  The District Governor line includes the sitting District Governor- Steve Weitzen, District Governor-Elect Dan Gensler, District Governor Nominee - Chuck Pretto and me!  I am a proud member of the Rotary Club of Southeast San Diego and joined Rotary in 1997.  I’m six months into my journey to become District Governor and so far what I have learned has been interesting, surprising and the secret…………. Sorry, I’ll save that story for another day. 
I have served on the District team since 2006, first as an Assistant Governor and most recently as District Membership Chair with lots of different roles in between.  It has been an incredible learning experience and education in all things Rotary.  I love sharing the Rotary story, its history, the impact we’re making, info about my club and our projects.  I get excited talking about the personal and professional benefits of membership, the Rotary family and why I joined Rotary.  As I considered the possible topics for this article my thoughts kept coming back to “feeling” excited about Rotary and why. They say  excitement can be contagious and can create a certain energy.  I hope that’s true because today I’m going to share a few of the reasons why I’m excited!
10.  Its Spring!  Flowers are blooming, gardens are growing, the days are longer and warmer, pandemic restrictions are relaxing, vaccines are available, Rotary Clubs are starting to meet in-person again and everyone is looking forward to a brighter year. That’s exciting!
9. Without change, there is no progress. The world has changed and continues to change. Rotary is adapting to those changes by looking inward, evolving, exploring, finding new, better and more ways to serve. RI President Holger encourages us by saying, “We will not let rapid change defeat us. We will capture this moment to grow Rotary, making it stronger, more adaptable, and even more aligned with our core values.”  That’s exciting!
8. The pandemic pulled the covers back to expose some very big issues. Issues that were there before this virus appeared. The difference is the pandemic put those issues in the spotlight for everyone to see. Disparity in access to healthcare,  food, technology, shelter, schools, the environment, peace, racial inequality and so much more.  It’s hard to rest when the world is in such a state.  Rotary was built to find solutions to big problems, that’s the business we’re in and we’re REALLY good at it!  That’s exciting!
7. A year ago only Rotary’s e-clubs were using apps like ZOOM, SKYPE and Facebook Live for meetings.  Now every club has not only embraced the new technology but plan to continue to offer a virtual meeting option when in-person meetings resume. District technology has helped us become more efficient and productive with meetings, training and other events. Technology is also helping clubs find the best programs for their   meetings with access to speakers and experts from all over the world. That’s exciting!
6. Club flexibility helps clubs create an experience that works for every member. Now we have the chance to connect with each other differently—to offer MORE opportunities for people to join our meetings, to support their communities, and to grow personally and professionally.  Clubs around the world are adapting by taking advantage of this flexibility in different ways. For example, starting a satellite club to give qualified people who can’t attend club meetings a chance to join Rotary.  Changing how, when, and how often clubs meet opens new opportunities. Examples include meeting just twice a month, switching from a sit-down meal to a less formal — and likely less expensive — gathering, or replacing a regular meeting with a social event or service project. Offering a new membership type. For example, offering a corporate membership to attract multiple members of the same company, or an associate membership for younger professionals who want an option that costs less or requires less time. Developing a cause-based club to attract and engage members, who are passionate about a specific issue, like water or peace is another great way to stand out as a club.   That’s exciting!
5. Serving keeps you healthy!  Studies indicate that the very act of giving back to the community boosts your happiness, health, and sense of well-being. Serving other improves your physical and mental health, creates a sense of belonging and purpose, reduces stress and increases longevity. Serving others just feels good.  That’s exciting!
4. Leadership development is one of the many benefits of membership. Every club service project or event is a chance for you to lead and grow. Members can also take online courses through Rotary’s Learning Center, or leverage our alliance with Toastmasters for additional growth opportunities. Rotary’s commitment to member education and training is impressive.   That’s exciting!
3. Membership in Rotary and Rotaract is growing worldwide and in District 5340! Our members are our greatest assets. And when we grow Rotary, we grow our service and the impact of our projects; we grow the awareness and understanding of Rotary in our communities; and most importantly, we grow our membership so that we can achieve more. Since July 2020, Rotary membership worldwide has increased +2.247 and +49 in the District, Rotaract membership worldwide increased +11.876! 241 new Rotary Clubs and 641 Rotaract clubs have been added since July 2020! The number of new clubs is fantastic since that is the best way to expand our reach and increases our capacity for service around the world. That’s exciting!
2. Diversity, Equity & Inclusion is a top priority for Rotary, growing and diversifying our membership to make sure we reflect the communities we serve and are inclusive of all cultures, experiences, and identities. Rotary is creating an organization that is more open and inclusive, fair to all, builds goodwill, and benefits our communities. In 1989, the Council on Legislation voted to admit women in Rotary Clubs worldwide, that wasn’t very long ago. Today women represent 24% of Rotary’s total membership and 54% in Rotaract.   on October 1, 2020, Jennifer Jones made history when she was selected as Rotary International first female President-WOW! Did I mention that I will be the first African-American to lead District 5340?  Now, that’s definitely exciting!
1. If there was ever a time the world needed Rotary, it’s now.  Rotary is uniquely positioned to play a major role in uniting people and creating lasting change across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves. That’s inspiring and exciting!
This is our time to shine.  Excited about Rotary?   Share your Rotary passion loud and proud on the District Facebook page by posting I’M EXCITED ABOUT ROTARY!!!!!    Come On Rotarians.    Get Excited About Rotary!!!