This session is pulled from Rotary International's 2018 conference in Toronto. 


PRESIDING TODAY IS: Diana Martinelli

bellDing! We’re now in session.

Welcome all – Visitors, fellow Rotarians and guests alike to this E-Club program!

Remember the smiling pot. Donations to our E-Club help support our service projects.

We’d like to respectfully remind all visitors that if they would like to contribute the normal cost of a meal for your makeup, we would be grateful. These funds go directly to our many and varied service projects around the world. You can make a contribution in the Donation box on the homepage. Or you can write a check to:  Rotary E-Club of District 7530 and mail it to Treasurer MSRE, 405 Blackberry Ridge Dr., Morgantown, WV 26508.


Four-Way Test

At the beginning of each meeting we remind ourselves of the The Four-Way Test.  Therefore, please remember to ask yourself always . . .

Of the things we think, say or do:

  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

A Reflective Moment

“In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.”    
                              ---Tom Bodett


Light Moments 

(from Boy’s Life,


Teacher:    Daniel, I’ve had to send you to the principal every day this week. What do you have to say for yourself?

Daniel:      I’m glad it’s Friday!
Teacher:     Tommy, can you tell us where the Declaration of Independence was signed?
Tommy:      Yes, ma’am. At the bottom.
Luke comes home from his first day of school, and his mother asks, “What did you learn today?”
“Not enough,” Luke replies. “They said I have to go back tomorrow.”


Program:  Best E-Club Practices: Impressions, Ideas and Inspiration

from the 2018 Rotary International session in Toronto
Member Bonnie Branciaroli attended the Rotary International’s best E-Club practices session in Toronto last month, the link to which was also distributed to the E-Club Presidents Council. Ten different E-Clubs from around the world served as presenters. (There are now some 300 Rotary E-Clubs!)
The session link appears below, which includes zoom video and some PowerPoint presentations. I recommend watching it, if possible (and that you begin about 8 minutes in), to get a sense of the breadth of E-Club types, locations and interests. However, note that the session lasts nearly 90 minutes, so if you don’t have time to take it all in, I’ve summarized some of the key takeaways from my perspective below the session link:
Personal Perspectives
First, even the very first E-Club, which was formed more than a decade ago (now known as E-Club One but originally called a “cyber project”), struggles with membership engagement and continuity. Basically, E-Clubs are not for everyone, and new members can find it difficult to learn about Rotary and its traditions from afar.
  • Our founding president and current membership chair, Rick Phalunas, has done a great job developing a Rotary “scavenger hunt” for new members to help educate them about the organization. (If you’re one of our new members or just want to learn more about our longstanding international organization, contact Rick, and he can get you started on the hunt!)
Another presenter noted that E-Club banking can be challenge, owing to many banks’ requirement of being physically present to change signing authority, etc.
  • I think our Club treasurers will agree, but they have managed nonetheless to make it work, even from a distance. We thank them for their dedication to the cause! And speaking of finances, it was reassuring to know that our E-Club’s dues are comparable to other E-Clubs’ everywhere.
The global nature of many E-Clubs is impressive: the Guatemala E-Club has members from five different nations; the Rotary E-Club of World Peace in California has members from 10! (This latter club was created after a World Peace Conference there by engaging the speakers and experts who attended! Fun fact: They recently brought in actress Sharon Stone as a member….)
  • Although our Club was international at one time (with one member from Brazil), we currently have members only from the States. (Currently, our members reside in four different states: OH, NC, FL and WV.)
Two of the best practices espoused in the convention session was 1) to have a theme for your E-Club and 2) to have two-year club presidencies.
  • Our Club has always been focused on leadership, as it originated with members from the Leadership WV Class of 2012. Although we have branched out to include other meeting topics in the last couple of years, we still make sure to include programs about leadership at least quarterly. Recently, we have broadened our leadership to include educational leadership, such as supporting Imagination Library and through our children’s/youth book collections/donations. Moving forward, we may want to create a tagline or slogan for our club to help better brand and reinforce our leadership “theme.”
  • Our club’s officer positions have always tended to be for two years at a time to help ensure consistency. Many members are new to Rotary when they join us, and having a longer officer period allows time for relatively young members to get acclimated to their positions.  
One Rotary International presenter discussed a new type of E-Club: the hybrid club. These clubs hold both regularly scheduled face-to-face meetings for those who can attend, and others “attend” via zoom.
  • Our Club has held socials over the years with those who can attend, and we’ve had people join us via audio in the past. However, with zoom, people could join us with their own beverage from their own location and perhaps feel more included in our social gatherings.
That said, we’re excited about our zoom Coffee Chat this coming Wednesday morning at 7:30 a.m.! Please grab a cup of tea, “joe” or juice, and join us, if possible! (If you don’t want to be seen at that time of morning, simply leave your video off and join the conversation via audio only!) An email with the link was distributed late last week. If it’s popular with our members, we might switch around the times to include a lunch chat and happy hour chat in the coming months to make it possible for different/more members to participate.
One hybrid club in Wisconsin who participated in the Rotary International best practices presentation highlighted their book drives, which allow them to provide books to the youth in their area.
  • I’m interested to hear if our members want to continue our similar effort this coming year or move on to something else…. Rick has proposed our Club support the tree initiative (which was discussed in our last posted meeting). Personally, I like Rick’s idea, and I’d also like to again support RISE Against Hunger in partnership with other area “T-Clubs” (i.e. traditional, or terra, clubs). I’d also like to support/sponsor a young person for Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA), a program in which two of our newest members (Wrenna and Katie) have been very active.
Please let me know of YOUR ideas for the coming year, so they can be considered for inclusion in our strategic plan, which is in the process of being updated. (The plan will be shared with members in early September for feedback before being finalized.)
One concern expressed about E-Clubs was that we don’t seem to incorporate the 4-way test into our meetings.
  • As you know, we always include the four-way test on our website programs, but this might be something we could include in our coffee/lunch/happy hour chats as well, if desired.
  • Also, E-Club One reported that its board meetings are open for all members to attend, and remember that ours are as well! Please know that you are always welcome to join to us for part or all of these discussions, which we hold monthly and keep to under an hour.  
  • One of the ideas I liked from this E-Club convention session was that of inducting new members via zoom (then following up with the new member packet via snail mail).  We could do it at the start of our exec board meetings, for example, to make the membership induction more personal and engaging.
A club in the U.K. uses not only zoom, but also What’sApp as a way to communicate with each other on one’s own time. They also take advantage of podcasting or audio files to engage more speakers.
  • In the past, we’ve asked our speakers to video themselves with their smartphones; we can now ask them to record via zoom. Therefore, please start thinking of people you know who would make a great speaker for our Club, particularly those who can talk about issues of leadership, youth or education. Feel free to approach them; then send their contact info to me, and I’ll gladly follow up and answer any questions they may have about the process.
And think big! Rick Phalunas has always dreamed of securing high-level—even international—speakers for our E-Club. (Here’s a taste of that, if you’re interested: Her Royal Highness Princess Anne’s spring 2018 talk to Rotarians from Great Britain, Ireland and Scotland appears in the following link: )
  •  E-Club One issues Rotary-branded certificates to their guest speakers, which I’ve noted as something to do in the future when guest speakers provide our programs.
  • Another idea for our club is to record our zoom board meetings for members who can’t participate in real time. We could do that if members wanted it; right now, minutes are posted on our website under “organization” and “documents.” (Speaking of which, our July 2018 exec board meeting minutes are now available there, fyi.)
Finally, please don’t forget about our Facebook page!  Please like it and share it with your friends, if possible. And if you have Facebook information to share, please send it to our new public image chair, Bonnie Branciaroli, at
Thanks for attending our E-Club meeting! We hope it provided some food for thought and some ideas and inspiration of your own. Please remember to share them with us in the comments section below.