Turnover Speech - President Phil Rossy

93rd President of the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa

Head Table Members, my Fellow Kiwanians, Honourable Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for coming today to recognize all of the efforts of last year’s committees’, board members and Executive and to welcome and support the incoming Board, Committee Chairs and Executive for 2010/11.  

I’m pleased and thankful to have my family with me here today; my beautiful wife, Dianne, along with my son David, his wife, Jennifer, and Breanna, our granddaughter.  Also, my youngest son, Ryan, with his new bride, Susan.  Missing today, but not forgotten is our 2 grandsons, Tristan and Gavin and my daughter, Leigh-Ann and her husband, Dave, who live in Coquitlam, B.C.  For today is one of my proudest moments and to share this with my family has great personal meaning.   I want to recognize my boss, Mike Traub, VP for Riverstone Retirement Communities and to thank him for his support and encouragement as I embark on this journey as your President for the next 12 months. 

I am truly honoured to serve you and this great Club of ours, along with our incoming Board of Directors and Executive.  While there are many challenges ahead of us in the coming year, we are ready and eager to take on these challenges and seek success and accomplishments.

I’m inspired by what our Club has accomplished in 2009/10 under Immediate Past President Peter’s leadership and guidance, and with this in mind, my theme throughout this coming year will be to “Honour the past, build our future!”  For it was the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius who stated, “Why do we shrink from change? What can come into being except from change?”  As Kiwanians, we need to resist the appeal of the status quo, because we are in the business of change – change for the better, one child and one community at a time.  Our club has only one direction, from “Good to Great!”

Just think of all the accomplishments this great Club of ours has achieved these past 93 years!! Funding The Grace Hospital, Camp Banting, Ottawa Boys’ & Girls Club, the Air Cadets, the Kiwanis Medical Foundation, the Alex Dayton Centre, and the Youth Services Bureau, instituting crosswalks for pedestrians in the 1920’s, the Soup Kitchen Live program in the 80’s & 90’s, the ‘88 Grey Cup party that raised over $70K for the Medical Foundation.  These are our honoured “paving stones” for the years’ ahead.  “Honour the past, build our future”!!

But we have much more to do and accomplish, and I need YOU to be re-energized and re-engaged to meet our challenges.  In just 5 short weeks, our 1st KCO TV Bingo commences on November 8th on Rogers Cable 22, and every Monday night after that until next June.  Our future!!  We have the opportunity to raise $300,000 or more with 31 TV Bingo nights.  Just think of what we could do with these funds and how with your help under the leadership of Tom Burnie, Steve Moore, Gary Flockton and Deidre Powell, we can accomplish together with this Fundraiser?  

As approved by our Members this year and set in new Club By-Laws, I will task Immediate Past President Peter Nadeau to establish a Nominating Committee to produce a slate of candidates for Board positions including President Elect, VP’s and Board Directors.  This will take place no later than 2 months prior to the AGM held in March and April of next year.

To continue improving communication with each other, Jamie Johnson and Rita Harper are working hard to improve our website for information and updates on club and committee meetings, posting minutes for all members to view.  As well, we’ll post Board minutes to keep you informed of Board decisions or to access new Membership forms or donate funds to our service projects.  For new members joining us, the online Roster will help them to access Members quicker and to understand how our club operates and improve their orientation. “Honour the past, build our future.”   

This year as last year, I want to continue to focus on the activities of our committees.  For that, I need you to have an active role to play and that you feel engaged in the business of our club, whether that be a Community Service project such as the new Ottawa Boys & Girls Key Club under the guidance of Buck Madden and Rob Sirotek or the TV Bingo project.  Committee work has always been the “heart” of this Club and if you’re not presently on a committee, then you need to think about how you can contribute better to this service organization.  For without your 100% commitment to Kiwanis, and our Club, there is no meaning to being a member without engagement.

During luncheon meetings, I will periodically re-introduce “Roll Call” by asking senior members and Past Presidents’ to step up to the microphone and I will also look into having bar services at our luncheons. “Honour the past, build the future.”

And we must grow by bringing in new members through our Membership and Corporate Membership committees’.   I want to pledge to Ross Christensen and Derek Finley my continued support and focus throughout the year.

And when I think of our club going from “Good to Great”, I think about last week’s Mayor’s debate where over 75 guests heard about what this Club means to the City of Ottawa and what we’ve done these past 93 years.  “Honour the past, build our future.”

Finally, I want to end my speech with an Irish blessing....

“May you live a long life full of gladness and health,
With a pocket of gold as the least of your wealth.
May the dreams you hold dearest be those which come true:
The kindness you spread keep returning to you.”

Thank you.                                                                                                   October 1, 2010