RLI International Logo
RLI International Newsletter

January 2015
The Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) is a multi-district, grassroots leadership development program of member districts organized into regional divisions throughout the world. It is not an official program of Rotary International and is not under its control. The RLI seeks to have Rotary Clubs in member districts identify those Rotarians who seem to have the POTENTIAL for future club leadership (not necessarily as club presidents) and provide those so identified with a quality education in Rotary knowledge and leadership skills for voluntary organizations.

Happy New Year

In Memoriam

We mourn the passing of Dr. Pat McAndrew of Pennsylvania, USA, husband of PDG Toni McAndrew, RRFC and Chair of the Northeast America Division of RLI, its largest division with 26 member districts.


40 Rotary leaders have already registered for this year's Curriculum Meeting that will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn Airport in Orlando, Florida USA from Friday, January 30 at 10:00 a.m. until Sunday noon, February 1. The group will review the entire Parts I, II and III curriculum materials as well as Graduate courses and recommend any needed changes for use during 2015-2018 Rotary years. Some years ago, RLI adopted a three year segment for its curriculum in order to lessen the burden of annual translations of the materials. Courses have been held in at least 25 languages.

The organizing chair and Secretary for this event is PDG Randy Rawiszer, Chair of the Sunshine Division and the Editor is PDG Ed King, a longtime leader in RLI. Subcommittees for the various curriculum subjects are now forming and many divisions around the world have and will send recommendations to PDG Knut Johnsen, International RLI Vice-Chair and Secretary for consideration at the meeting.


At the RLI Reunion and Rotary Day at the Taipei Garden Hotelin Taiwan on December 23, Trustee Jackson S.L. Hsieh presented WeiLin "Dens" Shao with RLI's highest award, the Distinguished Service Award. Dens is the founding Chair of the Taiwan RLI Division of all seven districts in Taiwan. He has a truly outstanding record of achievement for RLI. Trustee Hsieh also serves as the RLI Regional Vice-Chair for East Asia. Dens also received a special award from President Gary Huang and his wife, Corinna. At the Rotary Day event, US$25,000 was raised for polio eradication. Of those attending,250 were alumni of the RLI Program of Taiwan.

Odds and Ends aboutLeadership

We have previously written about the change from lecture to interactive discussion in certain physics classes at Harvard University. An article in December in the New York Times has announced that a number of US universities are also changing to interactive discussion groups in the sciences. The changes have been prompted by the low success rates of many students in the sciences where lectures have been the standard teaching method.

Some quotes from the New York Times article offer some insights:

At a lecture hall at a California University, "Hundreds of students fill the seats, but the lecture hall stays quiet enough for everyone to hear each cough and crumpling piece of paper. The instructor speaks from a podium for nearly the entire 80 minutes. Most students take notes. Some scan the Internet. A few doze."

In another room the instructor "peppers students with questions and presses them to explain and expand on their answers. Every few minutes, she has them solve problems in small groups. Running up and down the aisles, she sticks a microphone in front of a startled face, looking for an answer. Students dare not nod off or show up without doing the reading."

The above is an effort at a small but growing number of colleges to transform the way science is taught.

One might not think so, but there is a tendency for teachers/discussion leaders to lecture because it is easier. Not everyone believes this, but if one watches a rare lecture at an RLI course, you can see why that is true. It takes some creativity and planning to teach through the discussion method, using small groups, role playing, interactive larger groups, etc. That is why RLI faculty training and retraining from time to time is so important for the success of the program. Hopefully one does not see much lecturing at RLI courses, because we have been using interactive methods from the very beginning of the program. Not only do participants learn more with interactive methods, but their enthusiasm level is greatly increased.


Welcome New Member Districts

RLI is pleased to welcome District 6000 to the Heartland USA Division. The District Governor is John L. Ockenfels of Iowa City, Iowa USA. The district covers 64 clubs in the State of Iowa. District 6000 joins with District 5650 within the Heartland USA Division, whose Chair is Nicolette "Nicki" Klein of Nebraska.

RLI is also pleased to welcome Districts 6040 and 6820 to the Heart of America Division. The Agreement for District 6820 was signed by District Governor Paul Bucurel of Lauderdale, Mississippi USA. The district covers 44 Rotary Clubs in the State of Mississippi.

District 6040's Governor is Cassey D. Venters of Kansas City, Missouri USA. The district covers 58 Rotary Clubs in the State of Missouri. The Chair of the Heart of America Division is PDG Wesley Wade Drinkard of Lincoln, Alabama.

WelcomeNew Member of the RLI Intl. Senior Leaders Advisory Board

RLI is honored to welcome Rotary International Director Nominee Mikael Ahlberg of Farjestaden,Sweden as a member of the RLI Intl. Senior Leaders Advisory Board. On the R.I. Board he will represent Zone 15 for which he is currently the Rotary Coordinator. His classification is financial education. The Advisory Board now consists of 126 Senior Leaders of whom 16 are current, past and future R.I. Presidents.

RLI around the world

The South Asia RLI Organization held its Annual General Meeting on December 14 at the Rotary Institute in the Grand Chola Hotel, Chennai, India. The South India RLI Organization coordinates all divisions in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Maldives. All Rotary districts in that region, except one, are members of RLI. Additional reports on the meeting will be forthcoming and noted in a future eBulletin.

The RLI Sunshine Division recently conducted courses in Tortola, British Virgin Islands, District 7020. RLI Intl. Vice-Chair Frank Wargo for Training, led a number of courses and worked with Sunshine Division Chair Randy Rawiszer to train 8 new discussion leaders. The Sunshine Division will soon be working with Caribbean countries in District 7030.

Indonesia RLI conducted a Part I course for the new South China/Indonesia Division. An interesting addition to the "goals of the session" was a focus on the philosophy of giving. According to RLI Coordinator for Indonesia, PDG Rodolfo Balmater, the word "giving" was intended to mean giving of oneself for the benefit of others–not simply donating money.

The Malaysia/Singapore Division held its first course in the Mandarin language in Kuching, Malaysian Borneo. Kuching is the Capital of Sarawak State. The course was conducted by PDG Peter Wan of Hong Kong, Chair of the South China/Indonesia Division who represented the International RLI for this course. Peter is also a past member of the R.I. Audit Committee and other important posts. The course was arranged by PDG Hoe-Beng Fong, RLI Intl. Regional Vice-Chair for Southeast Asia.

A number of RLI Divisions are arranging for breakfasts and other events at Rotary Institutes in the fall of 2015. We thank the Conveners of those Institutes for their support of these events. Reported to us so far for 2015 are a breakfast in New Zealand, a luncheon in Australia, a breakfast in the Philippines, a breakfast and other events at San Antonio, USA, a RLI meeting in India and many events in planning at other Institutes. We will keep our members informed. The 2014 Institutes showed a record number of events for RLI.


“Having leadership skills does not alone assure good Rotary leadership. An effective Rotary leader must ALSO have Rotary knowledge, perspective about where Rotary has been, where it is now and a vision of what Rotary can be.”