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RLI International Newsletter

September 2016
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 Congratulates Sam Owori of Uganda

We extend our heartiest congratulations to Past R.I. Director and Past Trustee Samuel F. Owori (Sam) of Kampala, Uganda, who was the choice of the Nominating Committee for President to be the President of R.I. during 2018-19. While his outstanding record for Rotary has been published around the world, we add that he is a member of the RLI Intl. Senior Leaders Advisory Board and has supported RLI's development in Africa (now the first 100% RLI Continent).

Quotes from the Talk by RGHF Founding Member at the RLI Breakfast in Seoul

One of the important talks given at the RLI Annual Convention Breakfast in Seoul, Korea was by PDG Matts Ingemanson, a founding member of the Rotary Global History Fellowship, announcing its Agreement with RLI to jointly draft a series of optional Rotary history courses for use in RLI Graduate Course programs.

Here are some quotes from Matts talk:

"RLI is the leading standard for Rotary leadership training...RGHF is the leading standard for information about Rotary History. RLI's philosophy states that Rotarians need to have knowledge about where Rotary has been, where it is now and a vision of what Rotary can be. I have always said that we need to understand Rotary's history in order to understand Rotary's future because everything in Rotary evolves from its tradition."

We will update this process from time to time.


As in many international organizations, digital technology has brought the world closer together. We can communicate easily with Rotarians around the world by email, social networks and more. But face to face communication has not been completely replaced by technology and in some ways, personal contact has become even more important.

Looking back at the growth of RLI into almost 200 countries and geographical areas, most new member districts and RLI leaders were the result of personal contact. Very few districts have joined RLI because of an email, facebook page or other means of digital communication, but, of course, technology has fostered the ability to maintain active communication among "members".

Welcome New Member Districts

RLI is pleased to welcome District 2520 as a member of the Japan Division. The new district in Zone 1 brings the number of member districts in the Japan Division to 16. The Governor of District 2520 is Toyoaki Hamamori and the Japan Division Chair is Trustee Seiji Kita.

RLI is also pleased to welcome District 5230 as a member of the Far West Division (USA). The Agreement of Membership was signed by Governor Yavuz V. Atila and by PDG Wyn Spiller, Chair of the Division. The District is in the northern part of California.

Welcome New Member of Senior Leaders Advisory Board

RLI extends a warm welcome to John C. Matthews, RIDE as a member of the RLI Intl. Senior Leaders Advisory Board. John hails from Washington State, USA. He served as Governor of District 5030 during 2010-11 and was recently an International Training Leader at the International Assembly.

The International Online Pilot Courses Committee Is Expected to Report Shortly

The Online Courses Pilot Committee of RLI, under the Chairmanship of PDG Yoshihiro Sekiba of Japan, is concluding its work and its report will be discussed by Senior RLI International Officers at a meeting later in September. Successful pilot courses have been held. RLI emphasizes that online courses should be held ONLY for those who by reason of geography or physical disability cannot attend the usual in-person courses.

A Joint Committee is being Formed with RGFH and RLI

As previously announced, a joint project between the Rotary Global History Fellowship and RLI will soon move forward. A joint drafting committee is being formed between the two groups and the work on proposed Graduate Rotary History Courses will soon begin. The members of the committee will be announced in the October RLI eBulletin.

RLI Personnel Changes

As a new year began for RLI, many new Rotarians assumed RLI offices around the world. An updated Division List and International Officers List will be posted on the RLI web site at www.rotaryleadershipinstitute.org during September.

Some changes of international officers include:

PDG Grethe Christiansen of Denmark is now the RLI Regional Chair for Zones 15 & 16, succeeding the late Nils Ove Jensen, who was the first Regional Chair for that region. PDG Grethe was the vice-chair of the RLI Denmark Division and is now also the Chair of that Division. Her region includes all of Scandinavia, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Greenland and Western Russia.

RLI Intl. Vice-Chair and Secretary Knut Johnsen, PDG, of upstate New York State is now the Acting Regional Chair for Eastern USA that includes the RLI Sunshine, Zone 33, Northeast America and Heart of America Divisions. He replaces PRIVP Eric Adamson who served as Regional Chair for approximately four years.

PDG John Wigley of Australia is now the Chair of the Southern Australia Division and Acting Regional Chair for ANZO (Australia, New Zealand and Oceania). He replaces PDG Cathy Roth who temporarily stepped down as Regional Chair for personal reasons. Cathy has been one of our most effective Regional Chairs and we look forward to her return in that position.

Mustapha Receives Special Award

Former RLI International Vice-Chair Tam Mustapha, PDG, was the recipient of the Yvette Palmer Award at the recent Annual Meeting of the Northeast America Division in Trumbull, Connecticut USA. It is given annually to a Rotarian who has excelled as a facilitator of NEA RLI courses. In addition to his work for the NEA Division, as an RLI Intl. Vice-Chair, he visited many countries for RLI around the world and conducted faculty training sessions and other events for a number of RLI Divisions.

RLI Discussion Group on R.I. Discussion Groups Site Keeps Growing

We urge RLI members to join the RLI discussion group on the R.I. My Rotary/ Discussion groups. The RLI site is called, "Rotary Leadership Institute/RLI". At the time of the writing of this eBulletin, 690 Rotarians have joined the site and 29 discussion topics have been opened. Any Rotarian may join the group.


As in the past years, a number of Rotary Institutes around the world will contain various RLI events. Some such events include:

An Early Bird Meeting for those involved or interested in RLI at the Stockholm Institute for Zones 15 and 16.

The event will be chaired by PDG Grethe Christiansen, Regional Chair. There will also be an RLI exhibit during the week of the Institute. Visiting the Institute for the International RLI will be Intl. Executive Director Michael Rabasca. The Institute Convener is R.I. Director Mikael Ahlberg of Sweden.

An RLI Breakfast is scheduled to be held at the Thessaloniki, Greece Institute for Zone 20B. Chairing the event will be RLI Intl. Regional Chair Kalcho Hinov, PDG, of Bulgaria. The Convener of that Institute is Past R.I. Director Safak Alpay of Turkey, who was a speaker at the RLI Breakfast at the Seoul, Korea Convention.

An RLI Breakfast is also being organized for the Madrid, Spain Institute for seven Zones in western and central Europe. The Chair will be RLI Intl. Regional Chair and PRID Jacques di Costanzo of France. The host Convener is R.I. Director Eduardo San Martin Carreno of Spain and Co-Conveners are R.I. Directors Gerard Allonneau of France, Peter Offer of Great Britain, Guiseppi Viale of Italy and Corneliu Dinca of Romania. Visiting the Institute for the International RLI will be RLI International Chair David Linett, PRID.



“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.”