Posted by Bonnie Branciaroli on Apr 08, 2019
Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) trainings offer foundations, fun and friendships for leaders to grow and succeed. 


PRESIDING TODAY IS: E-Club President-Elect Bonnie Branciaroli

bellDing! We’re now in session.

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


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?

Reflective Moments

“I desire that there be as many different persons in the world as possible; I would have each one be very careful to find out and preserve his or her own way.”
           – Henry David Thoreau
“Being positive in a negative situation is not naïve, it’s leadership.”
           – Unknown
“The foundation upon which Rotary is built is friendship; on no less foundation could it have stood.”
          – Paul P. Harris

Light Moments

"Life is like a dogsled team. If you ain't the lead dog, the scenery never changes."
         – Lewis Gizzard
“Always drink upstream from the herd.”
         – Will Rogers
"It's hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse."
          – Adlai Stevenson

RLI – Foundation 101 to Rotary 

As I traveled from Elkins, West Virginia to Blacksburg, Virginia on a cold February day for my Rotary Leadership Institute Faculty Training I wondered why in the world would I be assigned Foundation I: Our Foundation. I am a Public Image (PI) girl!
A newly retired Marketing/Public Relations professional, I now had the time to join a community organization that focused on community service and professional camaraderie. Intrigued by the global presence of Rotary International, I decided to join in January 2017. I jumped in, “boots to the floor” and “brain to the books,” to learn all I could about the organization that was going to be a long-term companion.
In the following two years, I attended RI International conventions, Zone seminars, District conferences, club projects and completed the three parts of the Zone 33 Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI), a leadership building, multi-district program that is a “recommended unofficial affiliate of Rotary International.” You could say RLI is the “nanny” that coaches us “newbies” about Rotary by using the building blocks of Rotarian leadership.
Bevin Wall, Mid-Atlantic Division RLI Executive Director, says it much better, “RLI explores ways to ‘turn on’ Rotarians to the power of Rotary.”
According to the website,, Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) began as a grassroots coalition of Rotary districts implementing a leadership development program for “potential” leaders of Rotary clubs in 1992. Since then RLI has become a worldwide organization with divisions in every continent of the world. Although an unofficial program of Rotary International, it has substantial support of a number of past Rotary International Presidents and current, past and incoming RI Directors. The RI Board has adopted a resolution recommending RLI to the districts, and the Council on Legislation has twice recommended RLI to the Board.
The mission of RLI is simple – to give clubs in the member districts the opportunity to identify those with the potential for future club leadership and send them to RLI courses at club expense. All member clubs may send any club Rotarian to RLI courses and/or any Rotarian may attend any course at his/her own initiative.
The overriding goal of the courses for club Rotarians is to create ENTHUSIASM for Rotary by opening up to them the world of Rotary outside of their own clubs and also showing them the great potential of Rotary service for the benefit of the world that can be furthered with excellent leadership in the clubs.
All said and done, though, RLI is one of the best ways to meet fellow Rotarians within your district and in other districts, interact with them on a social and educational level, and learn what works for them in their individual clubs.
I love to travel and wanted to meet Rotarians outside of my district. I also wanted to evaluate Rotary clubs in various geographic locals, and how those locations shape their projects and Foundation donations. The Rotary Foundation, the charity arm of Rotary International, is one of the most important aspects of Rotary since it is the vehicle that powers the efforts to eradicate polio.
I chose Winchester, Virginia, for my Part I course since it was relatively close to my home, but located on the eastern Allegheny Plateau in the Shenandoah Valley. Here I met George Karnes, now District Governor of 7570.
You can dovetail an RLI into vacation trips. Part II was completed in Wytheville, Virginia, en route to see the total eclipse of the sun in August 2017. Heading south to Georgia, Wytheville was along the way.
Part III and graduation took place in November 2017 in Fredericksburg, Maryland. This upscale, metropolitan setting was very different from the settings of rural Virginia, and it was here I met Geetha Jayaram, a lovely, warm lady who was recognized in the August 2018 issue of The Rotarian as one of three Rotary women recognized on International Woman’s Day by Rotary International and the World Bank for their commitment to improving lives through innovative humanitarian projects. Geetha, a member of the Rotary Club of Howard West, MD, founded the Maanasi Clinic which has been recognized by the World Health Organization for its effort to advance mental health care in developing countries. A Rotaract alumna, she also received the Foundation Global Alumni Service to Humanity Award in 2014-2015. If you have a question concerning Global grants, Geetha is your powerhouse of answers. ( (
There’s more to RLI than meets the eye! These dynamic, educational gatherings offer an opportunity to meet Rotarians from all cultural sectors. RLI is Foundation 101 to Rotarian leadership.
All classes are facilitated by RLI Faculty and highly interactive. By the end of the day, you are truly INSPIRED to return home to try new ideas and projects.
Choosing an RLI course is easy. Regional coordinators are available to answer questions and put your name on the list. David Cavender of the Rotary Club of Morgantown is our regional coordinator and can be reached at .
The RLI schedule can be found at:
The first RLI Training Session for the new District 7545 is scheduled for Saturday, July 27, 2019, at Fairmont State University, Gaston Caperton Center, 501 West Main Street, Clarksburg, WV. If you are interested in attending and learning more about Rotary leadership, contact our current or incoming club president.
NOTE: As you could tell by my leading paragraph, RLI Faculty training was completed and what I learned about Foundation: Part I, I’ll explain in my next program.
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