At Lincoln South Rotary Club we heard from Rotary District 5650 Governor 2020-21 Roxy Orr on October 16.

Governor Roxy told us why this year's Rotary theme was especially fitting - Rotary Opens Opportunities. We all had to not only think outside the box, but throw that box away. One of the areas that touched her the  most was Youth Exchange. That has been one of her passions since joining Rotary and having to cancel that was difficult.

She then shared good news - that Rotary District 5650 leads among all of the Districts in our Zone in Membership growth. She encouraged us to keep searching for ways to connect and attract members.

Earlier this week she presented some of the awards that our club and members earned last year as announced at the District Conference. See the separate article (click here).

Roxy presented the new 5 year Strategic Plan and Priorities for Rotary International. She pointed out the challenges and that we all need to work to keep Rotary viable or there may be a time when Rotary no longer exists. Embracing these priorities will help strengthen our organization.

This is Rotary’s plan for the next five years: to increase our impact, expand our reach, enhance participant engagement, and increase our ability to adapt.

Increase our Impact
We need to keep up the effort to eradicate polio. Continue to give - leverage our legacy - to ensure that we achieve the goal. We need to measure the impact of the programs in our club and make changes where needed. The challenge is to find ways to improve our ability to increase our impact - perhaps rework how we are organized.

Expand our Reach
We need to increase Rotary's openness and appeal. One way that we are doing that is by educating the membership about diversity, equality and inclusion. This will teach us to look at our community in a different way. We will find ways to reach out beyond friends and invite them to join our Rotary journey. Click here to register for the Rotary District 5650 Inclusivity Workshops that start 10-22.

Unlike any other organization, Rotary has been able to utilize Foundation funds in ways that appeal to our membership. We are able to invest the funds, and then pay the earnings back out in local and international projects. But, we need members to feed the donations to keep that going and growing.

Enhance Participant Engagement
This is not a new concept but one that is more important today than ever. Rotary wants to support the clubs in engaging the members. Clubs should do a periodic health check to be sure they are still relevant. Seriously look at whether or not we are meeting the needs of our membership. Just like customer service is key in business - it is key in Rotary.

Increase Our Ability to Adapt
Thank goodness for Zoom - we have been forced to adapt this year. But, in what other areas should we adapt. Let's look at the club's governance - the rules and practices - are they in need up revamping?


Roxy has been a member of Omaha Suburban Rotary since 2004. She has taken on many roles in her club as well as the district over the past fifteen years. She had the privilege to serve as club president in 2014-15. Roxy has also served two terms as chair of Suburban Rotary Charitable Foundation, board of directors of club foundation, club board of directors, chair of club’s TRF committee, chair scholarship committee, chair community service committee and chair of Suburban’s 50th Anniversary Party. 

She was recognized as Yearling of the Year, Omaha Suburban Rotarian of the Year and District Cadwallader Award. Roxy is a Level I Major Donor, member of the Paul Harris society, bequest society member and a Patron of Suburban Rotary Foundation. 

For the past sixteen years she has served in many roles for Rotary Youth Exchange on the club and district level. She was district conference chair 2011-12 and served three years as District 5650 public relations chair. Currently a facilitator for Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI), Rotary visioning, and One Rotary Summit (ORS). 

Roxy has had the privilege of going on an NID to Nigeria. She has also enjoyed attending seven international conventions. 

Outside of Rotary she is a member of P.E.O., and Toastmasters. Dedicated platelet donor for the American Red Cross. Roxy has been the operations manager of Women’s Edition magazine for the past 32 years. 

Roxy has two daughters and six beautiful grandchildren. In her spare time, she enjoys travel, gardening, baking cakes and giving them away to friends. 

Roxy is proud to be a Rotarian because it allows her to be a person of action with others of the same mind set to make a true difference in her community and the world. 

For a more complete article on Rotary's Strategic Plan and Priorities, click here.