Above: Rotary Club of Morinville President Sheldon Fingler speaks to Rotarians Wednesday morning after assuming the gavel. Below left: Fingler unveils the new Rotary banner and motto. – Stephen Dafoe Photos
by Stephen Dafoe
Morinville resident Sheldon Fingler has assumed the Rotary Club of Morinville’s gavel. The local businessman took over the presidency of the service club from Brian Reed at the club’s July 8 breakfast meeting.
Fingler said he was motivated to join the Rotary Club two years ago out of respect for those pillars of the community who had built the club and the community.
“When I saw the people that were in Rotary, I saw Rotary as the pillars of the community – the true leaders, the people that make a difference and make change,” Fingler said. “When I was young I always respected and admired the people that started and were in Rotary. So for me, joining Rotary was about joining those people – the leaders and the pillars of the community. I’m incredibly honoured to be here with the people I grew up admiring.”
Taking the presidential reins for the next year, Fingler said member engagement is the top of his priority list, and his only goal. Fingler said he did not feel it right to establish goals for his year without speaking to the membership about what they want to accomplish over the next 12 months.
“When it came to goals, I felt it was kind of unfair for me to stand up here and set goals for a club without understanding what the club wants,” Fingler said, adding he wanted the club members to be more engaged.
To that end, the Rotary President is planning more social events and more subcommittees for members to participate in. “It’s about engagement,” he said. “It is about having every member be part of a committee or a group, or organizing something. So you just don’t come to a meeting. You are always part of something.”
Fingler said there has been some talk that some members have felt disconnected. He wants to turn that around to the point where everyone has an active role in the club. “I think that is how we are going to grow and become better as a club, do more things, and make a difference,” he said.
He added he has been pleased that 50 local members have been able to make a difference on the world stage through Rotary’s international projects, and sees more members as a way to do more work. Although increasing membership is something Fingler wants to see continue, he wants to ensure the club is bringing in the right new members.
“I want to make sure we have the right people in the group, doing the right things, working forward together,” he said. “We have an amazing group of people in this group, and we are lucky to have so many good, caring, generous people. I want to have more of us, more people wanting to make a difference to change the world.”
But while the new president is mindful of Rotary’s commitment to global initiatives, he does not want the club to forget what can be done closer to home. To that end, Fingler said he is planning to talk individually to all of the members about what their goals are for the club.
“I want to get things done,” he said. “I want to be a club of action. I want to be a club of movement, so we are constantly out in front. I want the Morinville Rotary to be the name that everybody hears and thinks of first when they think of community giving.”