Posted by Kate Ropchak

Club Assembly

Janna Berkholtz, our membership chair this year, gave us an overview and brainstorming session of how to improve the club’s strategies for recruiting members. We currently have 49 members, but only about 29 people attending every week. 4 years after the pandemic, we have stopped losing members and are ready to grow–but how?
The 2 new members that have joined us since August, Andy and Mark, both found our club by googling ‘Rotary’. While we’re pleased they found our club attractive, we need to keep offering our position and showing how involved we are with our community as the focus of our message, as that is one of our main draws. We also need to keep our social media up to date, and spread the word–make connections, make a difference, join Rotary!
Currently, we have been starting conversations at gatherings and expos, inviting people to events, and giving free breakfast at bingo. We’ve had great conversations but gained no new members. What are other clubs using? Largely the same tactics, but in a slightly more effective way. Minnetonka holds a brewery event that engages over 60 potential members by ensuring five touches to each person and increasing face-to-face combat, not just having conversations during events or meetings. This more personal approach is something we could take on to reverse the commoditization of inspirational speakers–people will come to make connections, not just hear a speaker. Reminding others of the nonreligious and nonpolitical nature of our club is also a great incentive.
Another strategy we could implement is circling back to former or inactive members, reminding them that we only meet once every two weeks now and meetings don’t have to be made up if missed. Checking in on these members, having reunions, and reaching out to offer connections could help us learn why they left and how we can incentivize them to return. Additionally, holding entrance interviews, exit interviews, and interviews with current members could help show off the club and focus on what we need to change through conversations rather than impersonal surveys. If we focus on turning people from fans to raging fans, our current members will become more dedicated and interested, and are more likely to invite their friends to Rotary events. After all, Rotary is now more open than ever–you don’t need to be retired, have worked in business, own your own company, or be a professional to join

Vocational: Tim Connors

Tim Conners, an extremely active member of our club, is from Rosemount, Minnesota. After getting his undergraduate and graduate degree in engineering from the University of Minnesota, he worked at Emerson from 1990 to 2019, also completing his MBA at MIT. He and his wife Donna have been married 28 years, and he has 3 children and 7 grandkids. He enjoys spending time with his grandkids as well as music, games, cars, cycling, handyman tasks, and driving around town in his Porsche 9/11s. Conners has been a board member of the Louis August Jonas Foundation for 9 years, in various positions including treasurer and president, working to help children from around the world experience diversity, service, and leadership at Camp Rising Sun. Through Rotary, Tim has been involved in ESRAG (Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group), the website team, the renewable energy team, the Million Solar Panel Challenge, the Citizens Climate Lobby for Carbon Pricing, the MIT Alumni Climate Education and Advocacy Team, and EnROADs training.


  • Shelly from the Excelsior/Lake Minnetonka Rotary club will be coming in February to tell us about an upcoming Alan Page event.
  • Bill will be attending the NCPET (North Central President Elect Training Seminar) on February 23, 2024 in Eagan.
  • February 29—Swallowship at 5:00pm at Hackamore Brewery in Chanhassen
  • March 28—our next Bingo fundraiser will be at 7:00pm at Fat Pants.
  • April 20—Eco Expo!

Happy Fives

  • Bill Gaddis is happy to be President of our Club! He thanks Dan O’Brien for helping him with the transition to the Presidency. Bill also congratulates our intern Kate on her perfect ACT score!