Happy New Rotary Year!
I am honored, humbled, and excited to serve you as your 2023-24 District Governor. As some of you know, I am a former Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar who received the extraordinary opportunity to go to then West Germany from Japan to study at the prestigious Albert Ludwigs Universitaet, Freiburg after college. To serve you as your DG is my way of giving back to Rotary and to the American people who have welcomed me with open arms.
What are your New Year’s resolutions? I look forward to listening to yours when I begin visiting the 63 clubs in mid-July.
Here are mine:
1) To Support the Rotary Foundation.  We will continue to show our strong support for The Rotary Foundation. As a beneficiary of the generosity of the Rotary organization, I pledge that I will be an All Star donor this year. And I ask you to please consider becoming a Paul Harris Society member this year.
2) To Promote Rotary.  Once and for all, let’s stop saying “We are the best kept secret in town.” We have been too humble for too long, and it is high time for us to promote who we are and what we do for the community. We are planning a BIG  ad campaign, and I ask all of you to please help us by wearing something Rotary as often as you can because that will trigger a conversation with people we could not have reached out to.
3) To Grow Rotary! Through retention and attraction, let’s increase our membership. Let’s offer irresistible club experience not only for the new members but also for the incumbent members. My team and I will do our utmost best to offer extra special Rotary experiences with District sponsored events and projects. With more members, we can do more impactful service projects for the people in need both locally and internationally. While focusing on retention, we will also help club champions charter new clubs this Rotary year.
In order to make my New Year’s resolutions come true, I have asked two amazing new leaders to lead: Karen Greenberg as the District Rotary Foundation Committee Chair and Jennifer Floto as the District’s Chief Communications Officer. Both are extraordinarily committed Rotarians with enormous knowledge and experiences in their respective areas. Grow Rotary will be spearheaded by veteran Rotarians and membership experts, Brady Connell and Peter Smyth.
As some clubs have adopted “having fun” to the Four Way Test, my team and I have many plans to expand the fun. While ambitiously supporting seven Global Grant projects, we will travel to the historical and beautiful capital city of Ecuador, Quito, then to the top of everyone’s bucket list, Galapagos, and to a retirement beach city of Manta on our 2024 Humanitarian Trip.
The District Conference will be closer to home and shorter in days for the first time. It will be held at the iconic and elegant Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown LA from Friday afternoon on May 3 until Sunday brunch on May 5, 2024.
Rotary International President, Gordon McInally, will be visiting our District on May 13, 2024. This will be the first time in 13 years that an RI president visits us. With support by the Rotary Club of Beverly Hills and the Mental Health & Wellness Rotary Club, let’s give Gordon an extra special welcome luncheon at the classy Beverly Hills Hotel. Our Senior Assistant Governor, Diane Good, is organizing mental health related special projects for Gordon to participate in, and you are most welcome to join us.
Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change--across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.
Let’s “Create Hope in the World”!
Makiko Nakasone
2023-24 D5280 District Governor
Member of the Rotary Club of Glendale