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Questions regarding your club's scheduled date and time: Contact Link for District Governor
Questions regarding pre and post event promoting of your club visit:  Contact Link for Public Image Chair
I have six weeks under my belt now as District Governor and by the time you read this I will have completed over half of my club visits.  They have all been enjoyable and every club has been so welcoming and accommodating.  I am very impressed with the small clubs as their attendance is better, a high percentage of the population are members and they are very active and a driving force in their communities.  I’ve enjoyed touring Rotary projects from all sizes of clubs and member get-togethers if I have a day’s layover to visit their community.
This is Membership and New Club Development Month. Almost every club brings up the challenge of attracting new members.   If I have visited your club, you know that part of my presentation is about enhancing member participation.  Clubs that are vibrant with several service projects that engage their members are more likely to retain members and grow their club as the community can see the impact of Rotary and they want to be a part of it.  Thanks to Tahiry Razafimanjoto and the Spearfish Club for working to form the new Sturgis Rotaract Club.  I know Carmen Hansen, Heidi Bell Gease and other Black Hills Rotarians were instrumental, also. Work is also under way to form a new student based Rotaract Club at Augustana University in Sioux Falls.  Carmen Hansen is our District Membership Chair and would be happy to work with you to grow membership.
Coming up very rapidly is our District 5610 Conference in Sioux City September 22-24.  There is a lot of information about it on the website.  It will be a celebration of what Rotarians have done in our District recently.  I do want to add that in addition to keynote speaker Boyd Renner, we have other great general assembly speakers which will also be breakout session facilitators.  They include past RI Vice President and current trustee on The Rotary Foundation, Greg Podd, and our immediate past RI Board of Director, Suzi Howe and Rotaract extraordinaire Clare Richards from St. Cloud, MN.  Registrations are expected by September 8th for meal counts and hotel room block reservations will end about August 22nd.
I am looking forward to meeting many of you at the District Conference and at my remaining club visits!!

Yours in Rotary!!!

DG 5610 John Schneider
Membership Minute
Focusing on the comfort and care of our members
August is Membership and New Club Development Month. One of RI President Jennifer Jones' initiatives is to focus on the comfort and care of our members, and Membership Month is the perfect time to make sure that  your club provides a welcoming experience. Members are more likely to stay if we listen to them and understand what they want out of Rotary. Here are a few ideas for helping people feel valued and involved:
Remember that for any Learning Center course, you’ll need a My Rotary account. 
Find more
membership resources on My Rotary. 
Questions?  Reach out to Carmen Hansen, District 5610 Membership Chair,
"Imagine One's Dream" a limited edition print, signed and dated by Darren Jones, a Chicago artist and brother to Jennifer Jones, will be auctioned at the 2022 District Rotary Conference in Sioux City. The auction will be at the Friday evening banquet and the profit will be designated for the Polio Plus fund.
The "Imagine One's Dream" original painting was a combination of acrylic paints, industrial staples, shredded studio paperwork, plaster and beach sand painted on wooden panel.  For this piece, Jones used beach sand from their family cottage in Ontario, and paper he shredded and used from the Rotary website to include the "Objects of Rotary and the Four Way Test."  After the textures were layered and dry Jones said he began the colour process by literally applying paint to his hands and then onto the panel.  The colour pallette was inspired by the colours of Rotary and the Presidential theme. "The gradient shading is also done on purpose to create a more landscape emotion, representing the horizon we all walk towards!!" states Jones.  
The numbered print includes a signed Certificate of Authenticity and is valued at $800.  It has been beautifully framed in brushed silver as suggested by the artist.   It would be a beautiful addition to a home or office to reflect the importance Rotary plays in the lives of people around the world. 
The Rotary Clubs of Sioux City and Le Mars will welcome members from 40 clubs from Iowa and South Dakota at its District Conference featuring Navy Seal Boyd Renner as a keynote speaker Sept. 23-24 at Stoney Creek Hotel and Conference Center in Sioux City, IA.
Renner will speak Sept. 23 at 7:30 p.m. A limited number of tickets will be available to the public.
Renner served for more than 23 years with the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, also known as SEAL Team Six SEAL Team Six has been known as the U.S. Navy's premier hostage rescue and counter-terrorism unit. He also served with SEAL Team Two for four years and held every enlisted rank from Seaman Recruit to Master Chief Petty Officer before he became a Chief Warrant Officer in 2010.
After 9/11, he completed 10 tours in Afghanistan and 2 tours in Iraq and was deployed in Albania, Sarajevo and to the Arabian Peninsula.
Besides the Navy & Marine Corps Life Saving Medal, Renner’s many awards include the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medal and the Army Commendation Medal -- all for valorous actions.
While in the Navy, Boyd earned a business degree from Saint Leo University and a master's degree in project management from Penn State University.
Today Boyd is a recognized keynote speaker and a co-founder of Endeavor Life Sciences, a company that has patented a way to safely add DNA to a new or existing tattoo and jewelry.  He is currently the Chief Operations Officer at FINAO Coastal Group in Virginia Beach Virginia.
In addition to the address by Renner the Rotary conference will feature meetings on the Rotary mission of service and ideas and new initiatives for district clubs.
Rotary International projects fight polio and disease, provide clean water and sanitation, support mothers and children, promote literacy and economic development and protect the environment.

Initiatives Overview

Rotary International President Jennifer Jones imagines a Rotary where members act to make their dreams become reality and make the most of their club experiences. During her year, Jones will focus on four presidential initiatives that Imagine Rotary: advancing our commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI); creating a welcoming club experience; empowering girls; and expanding our reach.

Imagine: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

Diversity is one of Rotary's longstanding core values and greatest strengths. Jones knows there is more to be done to ensure that Rotary's culture exemplifies our values of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Rotary, with input and guidance from the DEI Task Force, has strengthened our commitment to DEI, resulting in a greater focus on celebrating every individual's contributions, advancing equity, and creating a more welcoming and inclusive culture.

President Jennifer Jones encourages each of us to do our part to ensure Rotary is a welcoming and inclusive community by:

  1. Learning more about DEI in Rotary, including understanding definitions and how to celebrate and respect our differences.
  2. Determining why DEI matters to our club and community and how using DEI principles can help our club grow and become stronger.
  3. Raising awareness of DEI, including creating a DEI committee in your club that reflects the demographics of your community.
  4. Taking action on DEI in our club and community for instance educating yourself about underrepresented groups in your community in order to become a more knowledgeable and effective advocate for DEI.

Learn more and take action by reading the DEI presidential brochure.
Find additional resources on our DEI web page.
Watch what Jones hopes to accomplish with DEI (download).

Imagine a welcoming club experience: Comfort and Care

Rotary has an important role to play to ensure that the club environment and experience is welcoming, inclusive, and enjoyable for all members and participants. Surveys show that comfort and care is the single greatest driver of satisfaction and our most powerful tool for retention. This begins with listening to and understanding what members and participants want out of their Rotary involvement. We often speak of the importance of "exit interviews" to better understand why former members leave. But why wait for them to leave? Jones urges club leaders to incorporate "entrance interviews" as well to understand the needs and expectations of new members at the outset. And of course, be sure to regularly survey all existing members, to ensure they have an opportunity to share thoughts about their membership experience.

Watch Jones talk about her Comfort and Care initiative (download)

Empowering Girls

Jones will continue past RI President Shekhar Mehta’s Girls Empowerment initiative, recognizing that empowered girls become empowered women. Share your Girls Empowerment projects on Showcase.

Imagine Impact: Expanding Rotary's reach media tours

Imagine Expanding Rotary's Reach Throughout the year, Jones will visit eight service projects that represent each of Rotary's areas of focus and polio eradication. The tour will provide examples of how Rotary can make a measurable difference, while introducing Rotary to new audiences and potential partners and influencers.

Watch and download video messages from Jones


The District Governor Award for Rotarian of the Year is presented to Don Norton. He is a Rotarian who has gone above and beyond and has proven to be extraordinary in his service above self.  This is a new award this Rotary year that will serve to honor one individual who has exhibited these attributes.  Congratulations Don! 

Don Norton enjoys transforming communities and improving people’s lives through Rotary. He has just completed his second term as President of the Rotary Club of Brookings, South Dakota, where he is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow. He serves as the Grants Chair in District 5610. He has been a Rotarian for 26 years.

Don also helps build the leadership capacity of communities across the state as CEO of the South Dakota Agricultural and Rural Leadership Program (SDARL), focusing on developing the skills, knowledge, and character of leaders through training seminars.

Don’s background is in education and communication. He taught more than 20 communication courses at the college and university level, and has received four Associated Press News Awards for broadcast journalism, including as a news anchor/reporter at WGN Radio in Chicago. He has a Master of Arts Degree in Communication from Western Illinois University, and is certified in Non-Profit Management from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. He is a Maxwell Leadership certified trainer, speaker and coach.

Prior to joining SDARL, Don directed the leadership programming and served as CEO of the Illinois Agricultural Leadership Program. He has led leadership classes to China, India, Japan, Panama, Germany, Poland, Ireland, Scotland, and held leadership seminar meetings in Russia and Ukraine.

Don and his wife, Kay (the District 5610 Public Image Chair), have two grown sons. They enjoy singing special programs at retirement and nursing homes, and carry on a Brookings tradition with the Hopeful Spirit Chorale, a group that lifts up the spirts of the homebound and those in hospice.


Tahiry Razafimanjato has been presented Rotarian of the Quarter for his dedication to Rotary and District 5610. Tahiry started Sturgis Rotaract Club, and is past president of Northern Black Hills Rotary Club, and a member of the District Membership Committee.  Tahiry joined Rotary in 2015 at Northern Black Hills Rotary. Rotary was not something new for him. He grew up in a Rotarian environment in Madagascar; his dad is a long time Rotarian. Her sister and brother are also all Rotarians. For Tahiry, Rotary means more than a service. He considers Rotary as a way of life.

The District Governor Award for Rotarian of the Quarter was presented to Tahiry Razafimanjato he is a Rotarian who has gone above and beyond and has proven to be extraordinary in his service above self.  This was a new award in Rotary Year 2021-22 that served to honor one individual each quarter who has exhibited these attributes.  Congratulations Tahiry! 


On July 1, John Schneider assumed the volunteer post of Rotary International District Governor for 2022-23.  As Governor, he serves as a guide and resource along with his district leadership team for the clubs in District 5610 encompassing all of South Dakota, northwestern Iowa, and southwestern Minnesota.  John will serve through June 30, 2023.  Attached is a link to incoming District Governor John Schneider's club visit schedule.  As incoming Presidents for 2022-23 please review the schedule and please confirm the scheduled date, time, and location with District Governor 2022-23 John Schneider at 1-712-540-4250 or by email at
Capture Photos of Visit for a Post Event Facebook Post
Questions regarding your club's scheduled date and time: Contact Link for District Governor
Questions regarding pre and post event promoting of your club visit:  Contact Link for Public Image Chair
District Conference
Upcoming Events
August 2022
Roger Kozak Service Above Self Award