Multiple District Convention stresses leadership growth


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Lions across Alaska and Canada just returned home from our Multiple District Convention. When asked to fill out the survey, I gave it four stars out of five. This was pretty much a business meeting, a lot of roll calls, committee reports, taking care of business; a lot of boring details. But was it boring? I didn’t think so. I stayed awake through the whole thing anyway. But I’m still considered a “new” Lion as I’ve not had my one-year anniversary yet and I want to learn as much as I can. I want to question what is being said and done and why so I understand. Yet, others might find this all too boring.

Loren Pitchford, an Alaskan author, was our guest speaker Thursday morning. He has wanted to speak before the Lions for years, to thank us for saving his sight. He got to check that off his bucket list and I’m glad I was there to hear his story. 



It was said, “If you’re not changing, you’re dying.” We need to “grow” our leaders, assess their value as a potential leader. Every lion needs to be nurtured. Are you preparing your leaders for the future? Are we?

We were all invited to attend the Leadership Academy in January, yet we didn’t have anyone one from southeast who attended. They had space for 36 attendees and they had 12 attendees and 24 unfilled seats. This was a travesty. I’ve heard too often that training the district provides is less than desirable, yet here was training to knock your socks off and they couldn’t fill the chairs. 



I attended the social media class on the first day. This is the third “social media” class I’ve attended in my 10 months as a Lion and being persistent finally paid off. Although the previous classes were good, this one clicked. On the second day, I took the district governor’s class on motivation, with the key message being “every club has an island.” What’s our theme? What’s the community’s need? Have we evaluated ourselves and our club lately? We need to share our island, spread the word. We need to spread the word whether by PSAs, the web, Facebook, Twitter, etc. 



Listening to the Zone reports were my favorite part of the convention. I love hearing what other clubs around the state are doing for their community.

The Awards Banquet was also one of my favorites. Please help congratulate the following: Secretary of the Year, Mary Omer, Palmer Lions; President of the Year, Jason Lockett, Anchorage Racing Car Lions; Membership Growth, Eagle River Lions; Zone Chair of the Year, Mike Norton, Mendenhall Flying Lions; Club of the Year, Kodiak Lions; and Lion of the Year, Finis Shelden, Eagle River Lions.

International Awards went to Lion Steve Grohol, who received the International President’s 4th highest award for membership growth and Lion Bonnie Leonhard, who received the International President’s 4th highest award for Youth Leadership.

We also had elections. Our new District Cabinet will start July 1. It will be comprised of will be the following new leader, Multiple District 49 council chair, PDG Dennis Cummings.

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