Fresh from a Caribbean vacation with his wife, and fellow Rotarian, Karen, Past President James Good (2020-21) flew in to pass the gavel to incoming President Matt Staub of the Rotary Club of Harrisburg. 
While the transfer of the responsibilities and office are momentous, this was the first in-person luncheon meeting of the Club since the start of the global pandemic – 483 days.  Both the Club and the Hilton Harrisburg followed critical CDC protocols.
During his inaugural address, President Matt spoke of his three main goals for his 21-22 leadership year.
Goal 1 Wheel Turning Full Speed Ahead – “As we move forward, we will focus on goals for our Club – the first of which is extraordinarily simple – we will get the Rotary wheel turning at full speed.  Our Club held up very well (during the pandemic).  A few projects did not happen for reasons beyond our control such as our annual pancake breakfast fundraiser, the Youth Community Development Team (YCDT, and youth exchange. These projects need our full support now more than ever.”
All across Rotary, district conferences, president-elect trainings, international and large-club conferences were all moved online, trimmed, or even cancelled. People logged on from anywhere, any time, but the connections weren’t always strong, and ideas flowed a little less freely. Service stubbornly persisted, but for a long-time, fellowship was absent.
Not anymore!
Goal 2 Membership – “Our second goal is to grow our membership by introducing as many people as possible to the purpose and vision of Rotary.  I’ve never been a fan of setting a number.  We lost 17 of our members during the pandemic.  But I’m asking our member’s help in gaining 10+ members this year.  More importantly, if we do the right things for our Club and community, members will follow.”
Goal 3 Move Rotary Forward with Strategic Planning – “Now my final goal.  I believe, as I know many of you believe, that our Club is the crown jewel of District 7390.  Our club has spanned 7 generations and boasts 11 past presidents who went on to be District Governor.  As a dynamic large club, we have an obligation not only to serve our community, but to lead, to innovate and to shape the future of Rotary.
Past Rotary International Director Jeffery Cadorette has challenged us to ask ourselves to say,” If we were to invent Rotary today, would it look like it does?”  The answer, obviously, is no.  So, let’s work to make Rotary what current and future Rotarians want it to be, and what our communities and our world need it to be.”
Staub adds,” I have been told that our late Bob Hansen was the first in the District to encourage our Club to adopt strategic planning.  Strategic planning has clearly been instrumental in our Club’s distinguishing itself over the years.  Our Club has not had long-term strategic plan for 5 years.  We’re overdue.  We will be working on a deliberate, coordinated plan with input from Club leadership, from ALL of our members and from the communities we serve.
“We are all Rotarians. Together we have the obligation to shape the future of Rotary for the next seven generations, and to do so in a manner where the promise and purpose of Rotary established by Paul Harris so many years ago is not lost but delivered.  As Rotarians we have the opportunity to do such great things. Every single day is an opportunity to live this year’s Rotary International Presidential Theme from Shekhar Mehta – Serve to Change Lives. Now, let’s go do it. Let’s have a great Rotary year!”