Dear District 6630 fellow Rotarians and Friends:
In a continuing attempt to focus our interests and efforts in developing membership through new and innovative ways, I need to update you on recent activities of the District’s Strategic Planning Committee. The Strategic Planning Committee has been looking at realigning Clusters in District 6630, beginning its efforts in this regard in the 2018-2019 Rotary year. During that Rotary year, the Strategic Planning Committee, chaired by PDG John Bosco, was asked to look at the question of if and how existing clusters within the District should be re-aligned in light of shifting membership patterns. Simply put, the District has had 11 clusters for a number of years. Those cluster include Ashtabula County (Andover, Ashtabula, Conneaut, Geneva, Jefferson, and Rock Creek Grand Valley); Cuyahoga County Northeast (Cleveland, Hillcrest Sunrise, and the Heights of Greater Cleveland); Cuyahoga County Northwest-Lorain County (Westshore, Lakewood-Rocky River, Lakewood-Rocky River Sunrise, North Ridgeville, Westlake-Bay Village); Cuyahoga County Southeast-Summit (Bedford, Chagrin Highlands, Nordonia Hills, Solon, and Twinsburg); Cuyahoga County Southwest (Berea, North Royalton-Broadview Heights, Parma, Strongsville); Geauga County (Burton-Middlefield, Chagrin Valley, Chardon, and Chesterland); Lake County (Mentor, Painesville, Wickliffe, Willoughby, Willowick-Eastlake ); Medina County (Brunswick, Lodi, Medina, Medina Sunrise, Wadsworth); Portage County (Aurora, Garrettsville-Hiram, Kent, Mantua, Ravenna); Summit County North (Cuyahoga Falls, Hudson, Hudson Clocktower, Northampton-Cuyahoga Valley, Stow-Munroe Falls); and Summit County South (Akron, Barberton, Green, Fairlawn, Port Summit, Tallmadge).
Due to the fluctuation in the number of clubs, what started out a number of years ago as clusters of relatively even size has now shifted so that at least one cluster—Cuyahoga County Northeast has only three clubs, while others, such as Summit County South, have six. Further, and unfortunately, the Medina club recently went out of existence.
As a result of these changes, the Strategic Planning Committee recommended to the District’s Board on October 24, 2019, that the clusters be reorganized, effective December 31, 2019. Most clusters will be unaffected. However, after careful consideration, the Strategic Planning Committee did recommend a number of changes which were adopted by the District Board on October 24, 2019. In the ensuing time, all Assistant Governors have been briefed and have been in the process of describing these changes to the various clusters. A summary of the changes is:
  1. Medina Cluster will be eliminated, effective December 31, 2019.

  2. There will be no change to the composition of the Geauga, Lake, Ashtabula, and Cuyahoga County Northwest—Lorain County clusters.

  3. The Rotary Club of Chagrin-Highlands will move from the Cuyahoga County Southeast Cluster to the Cuyahoga County Northeast Cluster.

  4. The Rotary Club of Tallmadge will move from the Summit County South Cluster to the Summit County North Cluster.

  5. The Rotary Club of Port-Summit will move from the Summit County South Cluster to the Portage County Cluster.

  6. The Rotary Club of Medina-Sunrise, and the Rotary Club of Wadsworth will move from the Medina Cluster to the Summit County South Cluster.

  7. The Rotary Club of Brunswick and the Rotary Club of Lodi will move from the Medina Cluster to the Cuyahoga County Southwest Cluster.

  8. Any Rotaract or Interact Club will remain in the same Cluster as the sponsoring Rotary Club when the changes in the various cluster become effective.

An endeavor has been made to accomplish at least two things. First, to better “equalize” the number of clubs in each cluster. While the perfect balancing is not possible, we have achieved a better balance.
Second, an endeavor has been made to place clubs, to the extent changes were made, where either connections have already developed or where there is the potential for connections to develop between clubs.
These changes, as noted, are the result of shifting membership patterns within our District. This is not the first time clusters have been re-aligned, and probably will not be the last.
You should know that the Strategic Planning Committee is now hard at work on the second portion of its charge originally adopted in 2018-2019. That is to carefully study our entire District to look for locations where new Rotary Clubs, of whatever type, might be started. This gives us even more opportunities to look at how we might grow our District, and thereby expand our reach, impact, vibrancy, and community involvement. We will certainly keep you apprised as these events develop, and if you have questions, do not hesitate to contact either myself or the Assistant Governor in your Cluster.
With regard to membership, has your club assessed its progress in gaining and retaining new member’s year to date? We are nearly at the half-way point in this Rotary year, and while the District has made progress in adding new members, that progress has been limited. Even though virtually all clubs are working hard to gain membership, your Membership Committee continues to work hard (having recently completed a successful Tri-District Membership Conference and having distributed well over two dozen Rotary Leads), our increase in membership has been limited. In fact, as of the time I write this, the District has increased in membership by 23. While that progress is welcome, I think it is fair to say if the District is to end the year with its first “net gain” of members in some time, we all will need to focus a little bit harder and stretch toward the challenge of reaching out for even more people of action to join us.
These are many ways this might be done, but one that your club might consider is looking at this year’s Presidential Citation for Rotary Clubs. As you can see with even a brief glance, the goals President Maloney asked each club to focus on are membership oriented. By example only, one of the five goals of the United People section is to appoint an active Membership Committee comprised of no less than five members, as well as to improve or maintain your club’s retention of current and new members by at least 1%.
With regard to retaining members, there are also multiple goals that clubs can and should focus upon, including increasing the number of members involved in service projects, or arranging for club members to tell your club’s and Rotary’s story. In summary, this year’s Rotary Presidential Citation is a “mini” membership plan in its own right. Consider using it for that purpose, and perhaps win an award in the process.
In closing, I want to wish all of our District members and their families a healthy and happy holiday season. We have much to be grateful for and much to look forward to as we move through the holidays. Please take time to reflect on not only the gifts we have received, but also the gifts we can give as we continue through a very exciting Rotary year.
Yours in Rotary Service,
John Reyes
Rotary District 6630 Governor 2019-2020

Tel: 330.258.6469