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President's Corner
Category: Microcredit | By SDR, 25-Mar-2019 | Viewed 549  Comments 0 | Source J. Louttit
President Jim Louttit
President's Corner

By JIm Louttit

It has been an exciting year so far and hard to believe it is almost over.  I have been involved with several initiatives/projects over the past eight months and we still have a few months remaining before the end of this Rotary year, ending with the RI Convention in Hamburg the first week of June.

As you know, the success of any organization lays with the hardworking Members of the Executive, the general Board of Directors and its Members.  And we are very fortunate to have these people as part of the Rotarian Action Group for Microfinance and Community Development (RAGM).  To let you know what your Executive and Board have been up to during the year, let me share a few details.

At the start of the year, I had the pleasure of visiting District 2080 in Italy as part of my District (7070) and theirs coming together on a Global Grant that exemplified economic and community development in action.  Read more about this project at https://rotary7070.org/stories/our-global-grant-with-italy-a-big-success.

During one of our first monthly meetings, the Executive discussed several initiatives to provide better value for RAGM and its Members.  First was the establishment of a Governance Committee to oversee all aspects of the organization's functions on behalf of the Board as well as making recommendations to the Board on governance policies, practices and procedures related to RAGM.  Next, we established a Technology Infrastructure Committee with President Elect Nick Frankle as Chair and several technology-oriented RAGM volunteers to review our existing website and look for ways to provide a more modern approach and level of functionality.  More details are noted in a separate article in this Newsletter.  Another initiative that has started is the Guidebook for Global Clubs Committee being chaired by President Nominee Sam Veerasingham.  More details are also noted below.

No Stone Left Unturned: Inspiring a New Generation of Entrepreneurs in Mauritania
We are currently working with RI, the World Bank and Rotarians in West Africa for the Entrepreneur's Marathon Sahel 2019 to provide mentorship for a program starting March 28 and will be complete at the end of August.  Some other ongoing projects where RAGM is involved are the Honduras Economic and Community Development (HECD) Program and LaunchDETROIT.  An article on the HECD Program is included in this Newsletter.  You can also learn about LaunchDETROIT at https://launchdetroit.org/ and some of the other initiatives recently started including LaunchGLOBAL and Trailblazers Global.  Also check out LaunchRaleigh at https://launchraleigh.org and LaunchMyCity at http://launchmycity.org.

We will have several vacancies coming up on the RAGM Board this year.  If you have a desire to be part of the 2019-20 Board and work with the other Board Members to keep moving RAGM forward, please let me know at jvlrotary@gmail.com and we can discuss this further.

Hamburg Convention 2019
Last, but not least, let me bring you up-to-date on the RAGM activities scheduled for the RI Convention in Hamburg running June 1 to 5, 2019.  This will be an excellent ending to our Rotary year as we will have a RAGM Booth in the House of Friendship and the booth number is 4723 in Exhibit Hall A4, Hamburg Messe.  We do have an "ASK" for volunteers to serve a shift or two in the booth and I hope you will consider giving us some of your time while attending the RI Convention.  Watch for a message from Sam on volunteering.

RI has also approved a breakout session for us this year.  The session is called "How To Initiate and Manage Microfinance Projects" and will be held on Monday, June 3 from 15:30 to 17:00.  We have some great speakers and this session is proving to be very informative and one that you will want to attend.  Once we are advised of the location, the information will be noted on our website.  Our Annual General Meeting will also be held on Monday, June 3 from 17:00 to 18:00 and located at the Hamburg Messe in Rooms Osaka 2 & 3.  This will be your opportunity to provide feedback and help make RAGM more responsive to the needs of its Members and its beneficiaries.

As I mentioned at the start, this year has been exciting and there is more to come before June 30.  It has been a pleasure to be part of the RAGM Board and I am looking forward to a successful year ending with the RI Convention in Hamburg.  We do need volunteers and I am looking forward to seeing you there.

Jim Louttit


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