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RLI International Newsletter

October 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.

RLI is deeply saddened by the untimely passing of PDG Al Bergsma of Alberta, Canada. Al died suddenly at the age of 63 while on a camping trip with his family. He was the RLI Intl. Regional Chair for Zone 24, Northwest USA and Russia and was the division chair of the RLI Prairie Division. He participated in the Curriculum Meeting in Orlando, Florida last January. He will be sorely missed.

Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary to PRIP Frank and Gloria 
Rita Devlyn.

We wish Frank and Gloria Rita the very best on this wonderful occasion with our good wishes for MANY, MANY more. Frank was one of our early RLI supporters and recommended RLI in his Frank Talk IV.

MANY Colleges and Universities Changing from Lectures to Interactive Education

In previous ebulletins we have commented on the trend on the university level to move from classroom lectures to interactive education. The trend has accelerated, although some universities still have professors lecture for 60-80 minutes for a course without any discussion, questions, etc. from the students.  In an interesting twist, the Sunday Review of the New York Times ran an article suggesting that college lectures even discriminate against undergraduates who are women and minorities. Blaming the lecture format itself, "when used on its own without other instructional supports...offers an unfair advantage to an already privileged population." A far better alternative of education is "active learning". More about this in a future eBulletin.

The Zone 20A Institute in Kenya Celebrates Africa Becoming the First 100% RLI Continent

RLI marked a wonderful milestone at the Rotary Institute in Mombasa, Kenya in September. With District 9370 joining RLI, every district in all of Africa became an RLI member. A festive RLI Breakfast was held on the Sunday morning of that Institute and attracted more than 70 Rotary leaders. The presider of the Breakfast Program was PDG Elizabeth "Beth" Thomas of South Africa. Others participating in the program were R.I. Director Safak Alpay, the Convener of the Institute, PRID David Linett, RLI International Chair and three Africa  RLI leaders: RPIC Shirley Downie of South Africa, PAG Andrew Muguluma of Uganda and PDG Tayo Alabi, Vice-Chair of the RLI Nigeria Division. Linett then presented a special plaque to PDG Beth Thomas, who was instrumental in leading RLI in Southern Africa. A second plaque was intended for PDG Tunji Funsho of Nigeria for initiating RLI in Nigeria and other regions in central and northern Africa, but PDG Funsho had to leave the Institute to attend a meeting of the International Polio Committee in Evanston. Presentations will also be made at the RLI Breakfast in Seoul.

Among the other senior leaders attending the Breakfast were R.I. Director Frederick Lin of Taiwan, PRID Phil Silvers of Arizona USA, PRID and past Trustee Sam Okudzeto of Ghana and PRID Gideon Pieper of Israel. Also attending the event was PDG Geeta Manek, Chair of the Organizing Committee of the VERY SUCCESSFUL Institute.

Welcome New Member of the RLI Intl. Senior Leaders Advisory Board

RLI is proud to welcome R.I. Director Frederick Lin of Taiwan as a member of its Senior Leaders Advisory Board. Director HSIU-MING LIN of Taipei is a member of the Rotary Club of Taipei Tungteh.

Welcome New Division

RLI is pleased to welcome District 4060 covering the Dominican Republic as both a member district and a division. The Spanish language Agreement of Membership was signed by District Governor Miguelina Acosta de Guillermo, Governor-Elect Roberto Ortiz and Governor Nominee Pedro Vargas. The Agreement was also signed by the Chair of the new Division, PDG Ramiro Arroyo. We thank PDG Salvador Rizzo, RLI Intl. Regional Chair for Northern Latin America for his efforts in bringing this district and country into the RLI family. We also thank PDG Santiago Ancona Tiegell, Chair of the Mexico Division who traveled to conduct the faculty orientation (at the time the hurricane hit the DR). Of all the Rotary districts within the Northern Latin American Region (Zone 21A), only one district is not a member of RLI, but discussions for that are underway.

Join the RLI Discussion Group on Rotary.org

The RLI Discussion Group on the rotary.org website continues to grow and add many discussions. As of the writing of this eBulletin, there were 495 members of the group and is continually growing. To join the group and participate in discussions use rotary.org/myrotary and then discussion groups. The name of our group is rotaryleadershipinstitute/rli.


Saturday morning, September 12 was the date of the RLI BREAKFAST at the Zones 23B and 23C Institute in Puerto Iguazu, Argentina.  Almost 50 Rotarians heard about several RLI programs in the area, talks by Institute Convener Celia Giay, PRIVP, and a keynote talk by RLI International Vice-Chair and Secretary Knut Johnsen of New York State USA.
Intl. Vice-Chair Knut thanked the guests for their fine support of the RLI Program, especially those on the RLI Senior Leaders Advisory Board, explained some of the features of the new curriculum and explained how the RLI courses can be an excellent membership retention tool, especially for newer club members.
 Past R.I. Vice-President Celia Giay is now a Special Adviser to the Intl. RLI and founded and chaired the successful RLI Buenos Aires Division. Past President Luis Giay has been a speaker at RLI Breakfasts at Conventions several times.
While almost all programs at the Institute were in Spanish, an interesting aspect of the event was that PDG Knut Johnsen spoke in English, but had his wife Ana at his side to interpret his remarks into Spanish. Ana, an active Rotarian, is formerly from Uruguay.
This RLI event at a Rotary Institute was one of a majority (or more) of such RLI events this year around the world.


At its site in San Antonio, Texas, USA, the Zones 27 and 21B Institute added (as they did last year) sessions for RLI participants. R.I. Vice-President and Convener of the Institute, Greg Podd, also holds the post of RLI Regional Chair for America West. Participating in the meetings for the International RLI were RLI Intl. Vice-Chair Frank Wargo on the topic of the new curriculum and RLI Sunshine Division Chair Randy Rawiszer on the topic of "marketing".  Chair of the RLI Rocky Mountain Division that covers the two zones is PDG Philip Murphy of Colorado, USA. Former Division Chair Mike Forney did an outstanding job in building the division.




“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.”