DATE: January 11, 2019
TO: Roseville Area Optimist Club Members
FROM: Don Salverda, President 2017-2018

SUBJECT: Annual Report 2018

This report to the membership summarizes our club’s activities in both 2017 and 2018.

It has been an honor, privilege, and valued opportunity to serve as our group’s founding president.

The months have passed very quickly since an initial meeting with Barb Einan and Terry Gorman in September 2016, and a meeting with a core group of prospective members in October to discuss the potential and practicality of forming our new club.

Thanks to our founding members and a highly committed board of directors, our club has grown quickly. Our intent has been to grow in size, service, and stature.

This report summarizes the highlights of our two-year journey.

Click here to download the 3 page PDF report.

  • Membership Growth

Our group started with 29 charter members in January 2017. Ed Studniski became our 100th member in May 2018. We currently number over 120 members. We were recently recognized as      one of the ten fastest-growing clubs in the Optimist International organization.

  • High-quality Speakers

Our club has established a reputation of featuring high quality speakers at our monthly meetings. Each are positive thinkers who are inspirational and have relevant messages. Speakers have included Governor Arne Carlson, Senator Dave Durenberger, CEOs Denny Sanford and Ron Peltier, judges Paul Anderson and Paul Magnuson, and inspirational speakers David McNally, Cindra Kamphoff, Scott Welle, and Kit Welchlin. Patty Wetterling, Joe Schmit, Bob Veninga, and Steve Kloyda were also very well received, as were other speakers.

  • Meeting Attendance

As our membership grows, our meeting attendance continues to grow. Our first meeting in January 2017 attracted 19 members and 14 guests. Today, each meeting attracts close to 100 members and guests.

4)    The Voices of Optimism Book

The Voices of Optimism book that our club published has been a huge success. Thanks to member Sue Filbin for proposing the idea, editing and designing the book as a volunteer, and ensuring that the idea became a reality. The book includes stories of wisdom, experiences, and lessons learned by 69 of our members and guest speakers. Over 800 copies have been sold to date. One of our members has purchased a copy for each of his firm’s 75 employees.

5)    Filming of our Speaker Presentations

Thanks to member Loren Swanson, most of our speaker presentations are recorded. The presentations are on our website. They provide excellent opportunities to review the messages of our speakers.

6)    Our Website

        Thanks to member Scott Plum who designed and developed our website and continues to keep it updated. The site represents our club to members, prospective members, and anyone who is interested in our club. We are able to conveniently pre-register luncheon reservations, promote our guest speakers, post the presentations from our speakers, share information about our activities, and more.

7)    Our “Celebration of Optimists” Fundraiser Party

        On October 24, 2018, our club held its first “Celebration of Optimists” Party. Designed to be an enjoyable and fundraising event, our club netted over $7,000 to help fund various service    projects. Thanks to Lynne Megan and her committee for leading the project.

8)    Our Leadership and Personal-development Book Discussion Groups

        Our club has established two leadership and personal-development book discussion groups. Each group meets monthly from 7:30-9:00 A.M. Group 1 has eighteen members. Group 2 has ten members. Each meeting features the discussion of a classic or contemporary book on leadership and positive thinking.

9)    Making Connections – Building Relationships

        At each luncheon meeting, approximately 20 minutes is dedicated to make connections with other optimists and guests at our tables. Each table has a host. This structured activity initiates members and guests to talk with each other, get acquainted, and hopefully spark new relationships. This activity has been very well received by our members.

10) Our Club’s Recognition

Our club has received a number of awards from our district and Optimist International. As   mentioned earlier, Optimist International magazine recently recognized the Roseville Area    Optimist Club was in the Top-10 Fasting-Growing Optimist Clubs in Optimist International.

We’ve had a great two years. Special thanks to our members for joining our newly formed group, for our board of directors who have been our strong leadership team, and especially to Zola Burns, our hardworking and tireless treasurer, who has handled many behind-the-scenes concerns and details of our new organization.

Additional special thanks to David Schaps, our secretary; Loren Swanson who records our speaker presentations; for Sue Filbin for developing the Voices of Optimism book; Scott Plum who developed our website; and for Terry Gorman who has provided excellent background information on the Optimist organization and has been a strong supporter of our new organization from day one.

As we move on to 2019 and the years to follow, I believe it’s important to remember and stress two key points:

  • Our Purpose

Dr. Stephen Covey’s wise advice to organizations that “…the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” To keep us focused, we provide copies of the Optimist’s Purpose and Creed at every meeting. In addition, our board of directors has recently adopted mission, vision, and value statements for our group.

  • Attracting New Members

To ensure our organization’s continued growth, it’s important to place strong emphasis on attracting new members who identify with optimism, and our group’s purpose, mission, vision and values. One person can make a difference.

Serving as our club’s charter president has been one of the most rewarding opportunities I have ever experienced. Thank you again for providing the opportunity.

Best wishes for continued growth in size, service, and stature,

Don Salverda