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The Rotary Club of White Plains is Club 5043, District 7230, Zone 32, Region USCB, Federal tax ID 13-6111471.

Mailing address: P.O. Box 1712, White Plains NY 10602.

Our "Foundation of the Rotary Club of White Plains" is tax exempt, New York State #219346, tax ID 13-6165380.

Website created August 2001.

The Rotary Club of White Plains was chartered October 1, 1919, charter number 540.

What It Means To Be PRESIDENT

By PP George Koplinka
Presented at the installation ceremony for Ted Nygreen
June 26, 2007

Ted, what does it mean to be President of the Rotary Club of White Plains?

For one thing, you follow a long line of distinguished Rotarians who have held this office. Your peers have selected you because they believe you are the most qualified person to guide our Club in the year 2007-2008.

The letters comprising the word “President” give us some clues what it means to be one in White Plains Rotary.

First you must be “patient.” You will have to recognize that Rotary does not run like a corporation. All of the members are “volunteers,” and we all know that volunteers are slow moving. They have to be cajoled and skillfully motivated to accomplish the goals. A president has to ask, not tell. He has to request, not order. Above all, a president must remember that as important as Rotary is in the lives of the members, it is not the only organization or association to which a member belongs. And so, accomplishment takes place much more slowly in Rotary.

A president has to be “responsive.” He must be a good communicator. When information comes from Rotary International and the District Governor, the president has a responsibility to make sure the Board of Directors and the membership are informed. Too many presidents in our District sit on information and the club never gets the word. Ted, I hope you will use bulletins, special flyers, e-mail and all the tools at your disposal to make sure that everyone knows about the annual District Conference, District Assemblies, special events such as “On-to-Bermuda” and all of our own local programs and events as well as those of neighboring Rotary clubs.

A president in White Plains has to be “energetic.” He is always on time for meetings. He follows up on projects. He makes sure that he attends new member orientation sessions and assigns new members to important committees. He is always available for major committee meetings and can always be reached by phone, fax or e-mail. A White Plains president is a virtual dynamo!

Ted, being president means that you are “service” oriented. “Avenues of Service,” frequently used in Rotary literature, will be your bible. Club Service involves all of the necessary housekeeping activities: Club Bulletin, Fellowship, Membership and the like. Vocational Service describes the dignity of every member’s way of making a living. Community Service is so important to youth, the needy, and those looking for a better way of life in our city. International Service is our way of participating in the broader programs and aspects of Rotary International throughout the world.

Being president means being “innovative.” Ted, you will have to be the idea-man and the Club will look to you for creative ways to solve problems. You will have to be the instigator of new projects; the investigator of old projects. You will be called upon for inspiration and looked upon for leadership in new approaches to insure that White Plains Rotary remains the “Premier Club” in District 7230.

Being president means being “determined.” Neither rain, nor snow, nor gloom of night will keep you from accomplishing the goals you will outline for the Club early on during your administration.

Being president means you will be “enthusiastic.” You will see well in the opinions and suggestions of all of the members. You will be non-judgmental and fair to all members of the Club.

Most of all, being president means being “tactful.” You will respect the decision making of other Club members especially when you have delegated authority. But in the final analysis you must recognize that you are the spokesperson for our Club, and only you can make pronouncements concerning the official position of the White Plains Rotary Club. Truly, the buck stops with you.

And Ted, just when you finally put this whole thing together, just when you have a handle on what it really means to be a president, just when you are finally qualified to do the job right, somebody comes along and puts a past-president’s pin on you lapel and tells you to take a seat in the back of the room along with all of the other second-best presidents the Club ever had!

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