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RLI International Newsletter

Special Post Convention Issue
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.

Special Post-Seoul Convention Issue by RLI - Summer/Winter 2016

(Note: Regular monthly RLI eBulletins will resume in September)

SEOUL Convention Report from RLI

From all reports, the Seoul Convention was a great success and from the point of view of RLI, it was equally successful. Thanks to the strong support of our Korean Rotary friends, the Convention was one of the largest R.I. Conventions in history. The RLI Exhibit Booth was one of the busiest exhibit booths in the House of Friendship and the Annual RLI Convention Breakfast at the MVL Hotel was the second best attended RLI Convention Breakfast (just under 400 attendees) since RLI international convention breakfasts began in 2001.

We were most fortunate to have as our principal speaker, then R.I. President-Elect John Germ (who is now the R.I. President), who gave a wonderful speech that was supportive of the RLI program. The presider of the Breakfast program was Past R.I. Director Kwang Tae Kim of Korea, Chair of the RLI Korean Division. In planning the event, he was ably assisted by PDG Jungho Cho, the Vice-Chair of the RLI Korean Division, who was also a speaker. Other speakers at the event were R.I. Director and Chair of the Board's Executive Committee, Safak Alpay of Turkey, PDG Geeta Manek, a Rotary leader from Kenya and organizing chair of the 2015 Rotary Institute for Zone 20A (Sub Saharan Africa) and PDG Jungho Cho who spoke about RLI in South Korea.

A special guest speaker was PDG Matts Ingemanson of New York, one of the founders of the Rotary Global History Fellowship and a respected Rotary leader. Matts discussed the recent agreement of the Fellowship and RLI to jointly design Rotary History graduate courses for the RLI graduate program. A joint committee will likely begin work by this fall. As conceived by Intl. RLI Chair, David Linett and Matts Ingemanson, the project is intended to utilize both the talents and experience of RLI in creating and facilitating courses for adults and the vast historical knowledge and resources of RGHF. Both believe that the compatible knowledge and skills of both groups will be of great benefit to Rotary.


The RLI Annual Awards were presented by RLI International Executive Director Michael Rabasca with the assistance of RLI International Vice-Chairs Frank Wargo and Knut Johnsen.

The Distinguished Service Award of RLI is given each year to one or two Rotarians who have provided extraordinary service to RLI and its members. It is RLI's highest award. The Awards for Outstanding Achievement are given to 3-4 Rotarians each year for exceptional work for RLI.

Here are the citations that accompanied the awards:


For 2015 - Past R.I. Vice-President Celia Giay has played an outstanding role in developing RLI in Argentina through her role as the first Chair of the Buenos Aires Division. She has continually supported RLI in South America, holding a special Breakfast for RLI at her Zones Institutes and now serving as an RLI International Special Adviser.

Although holding obviously very busy and important positions in Rotary, she always gave her time and her considerable leadership skills for the benefit of RLI programs. We are most proud to present Celia with our Distinguished Service Award.

For 2016 - PDG Subhash Saraf has served for a number of years as the Secretary of the South Asia RLI Organization that consists of six RLI Divisions in five countries. His title does not truly tell the full story of his leadership and efforts for RLI that have included helping the development of member districts, traveling to conduct training and orientation sessions and dealing with the constant needs for assistance and support for RLI in South Asia.

One of his many 1achievements has been as Editor of the International RLI Annual Reports that are distributed at R.I. Conventions/Breakfasts. It is a monumental task that he does with great skill. Subhash is a greatly respected RLI as well as a Rotary leader and we are proud to present him with our Distinguished Service Award.


Tonette "Toni" McAndrew - Toni completed a four year term earlier in this Rotary year, as Chair of RLI's LARGEST DIVISION, Northeast America Division, in the Northeastern part of the United States and part of Canada.

It consists of 26 member districts in the original part of RLI. With considerable effort for such a major task, Toni led a truly outstanding educational courses program for over 2000 participants each year, led annual meetings and training events and also participated several times as a Subcommittee Chair of the International Curriculum Committee meetings in Florida.

Her hard work and dedication for RLI is a tribute to her skills and leadership ability. RLI is proud to present her with our Award for Outstanding Achievement.

Salvador Rizzo - was the first Chair of the all Mexico Division of RLI and later became an RLI International Regional Chair for Zone 21A, in Mexico, Dominican Republic, Central America, Venezuela and Colombia.

Through his skills and leadership he led the development of an excellent RLI program in his native Mexico and later helped to expand RLI in many other parts of northern Latin America. Today his region is 100% RLI thanks in large part to his efforts. RLI is proud to present him with our Award for Outstanding Achievement.

Dr. Kwang Tae Kim - After becoming a Past Director and serving on a number of R.I. Committees and becoming President of an International Medical Society, Luke gave his skills and organizational efforts to initiate and expand the RLI Korea Division, soon to be with 14 member districts and continually growing.

His efforts have made a positive impact on Rotary in Korea and his support for this RLI Breakfast has certainly helped to make it a success. RLI is proud to present him with our Award for Outstanding Achievement.

PDG Jungho Cho has been the Vice-Chair of the RLI Korea Division even before he became a district governor. His organizational skills have greatly helped the expansion of RLI in Korea.

His efforts for this RLI Breakfast have been truly outstanding, including making the arrangements with this Hotel, recruiting a large number of participants from Korea and handling a myriad of details with great skill. We thank him and are proud to present him with our Award for Outstanding Achievement.

A special award was given to RLI in Africa for achieving membership in RLI for all Rotary districts in Africa.

100 percent Continent Award

This Award recognizes that Africa has become the first 100% RLI Continent. That is, every Rotary District in Africa has become a Member of RLI. The Award goes to PDG Abdulrahman "Tunji" Funsho of Nigeria whose efforts led to the initiation of RLI in Africa and to its spread.

Another plaque was previously presented to PDG Beth Thomas of South Africa for her excellent work in spreading RLI in Southern countries of Africa. Both plaques were presented by RLI International Chair David Linett at the Rotary Institute in Mombasa, Kenya last Fall.


We invite all Rotarians (whether or not members of RLI) to join in the RLI Discussion Group on the R.I. Website. At the last review 669 Rotarians have already joined the group and posted many comments in quite a number of discussion subjects. Pull up "Rotary.org, My Rotary, Discussion Groups, Rotary Leadership Institute/RLI.

Enjoy the summer/winter seasons!!!!



“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.”