RI President’s Message
Dear Fellow Rotarians
Dear fellow Rotary leaders:
As we begin a new year of service, let us not forget the importance of
every one of Rotary’s members.
You have been handed the reins of club and district leadership at an historic moment.
Rotary has a chance to capture the world’s attention and realize possibilities beyond our
expectations. But we must build on the work that has come before us if we are to reach
our goals, such as defeating polio and empowering girls and women.
Rotary offers people of action a chance to connect and find belonging, and this
fellowship gives us hope that we can create lasting change. But in the wake of the
COVID-19 pandemic, more people than ever feel hopeless. Many have lost people close
to them. Social networks have been uprooted and divisions have grown wider as
opportunities for connection have been lost.
To make matters worse, in many parts of the world, asking for help — especially in the
realm of mental health — is considered a weakness. But nothing could be further from
the truth. It is brave to be vulnerable and to admit you don’t have all the answers.
Reaching out for help is courageous — and continuing on a path towards wellness is
even more so.
Join me in making Rotary a source of strength for all of those who feel they have lost
hope, within and beyond our membership. Let this be the year we Create Hope in the
World, and let Rotary be known as an organization that takes care, not only of its
members but of the people we serve as well.
It is within your power to help bring peace and soothe those afflicted by conflict, both in
their communities and in themselves.
McInally lauded Rotary’s ability to adapt technologically during the COVID-19 pandemic, saying the approach should continue and be combined with the best of our past practices as Rotary seeks to grow and increase engagement.
“We have learned there is a willingness within communities to care for one another,” he says, “and we must ensure that we encourage people who have recently embraced the concept of volunteering to join us to allow them to continue giving service.”
McInally says that senior leaders’ ability to communicate directly with club members online will be one positive legacy of the changes Rotary has had to make. But, he adds, “face-to-face meetings remain important, as they encourage greater interaction.”
The best way to increase membership is engagement, according to McInally. To better support clubs, he says, Rotary International, regional leaders, and district teams all need to engage with them. Engagement through social media will reinforce Rotary’s brand and showcase the opportunities that come with it. And, he says, engagement with governments, corporations, and other organizations will lead to meaningful partnerships.
With better engagement, McInally says, “We will grow Rotary both by way of membership and in our ability to provide meaningful service.”
He adds, “Membership is the lifeblood of our organization. I would encourage the use of the flexibility now available to establish new-style clubs that would appeal to a different demographic.”
McInally, a graduate of dental surgery at the University of Dundee, owned and operated his own dental practice in Edinburgh. He was the chair of the East of Scotland branch of the British Paedodontic Society and has held various academic positions. He has also served as a Presbytery elder, chair of Queensferry Parish Congregational Board, and commissioner to the church’s general assembly.
A Rotary member since 1984, McInally has been president and vice president of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland. He has also served Rotary International as a director and as member or chair of several committees. He is currently an adviser to the 2022 Houston Convention Committee and chair of the Operations Review Committee.
McInally and his wife, Heather, are Major Donors and Benefactors of The Rotary Foundation. They are also members of the Bequest Society.
The members of the Nominating Committee for the 2023-24 President of Rotary International are: Gérard Allonneau, Parthenay, France; Ann-Britt Åsebol, Falun-Kopparvågen, Sweden; Basker Chockalingam, Karur, Tamil Nadu, India; Corneliu Dincă, Craiova, Romania; Celia Cruz de Giay, Arrecifes, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Mary Beth Growney Selene, Madison West Towne-Middleton, Wisconsin, USA; Jackson S.L. Hsieh, Taipei Sunrise, Taiwan; Masahiro Kuroda, Hachinohe South, Aomori, Japan; Larry A. Lunsford (secretary), Kansas City-Plaza, Missouri, USA; Anne L. Matthews (chair), Columbia East, South Carolina, USA; Akira Miki, Himeji, Hyogo, Japan; Eun-Soo Moon, Cheonan-Dosol, Chungcheongnam, Korea; Peter L. Offer, Coventry Jubilee, West Midlands, England; Ekkehart Pandel, Bückeburg, Germany; M.K. Panduranga Setty, Bangalore, Karnataka, India; Andy Smallwood, Houston Hobby Area, Texas, USA; and Steven A. Snyder, Auburn, California, USA.
Gordon R. McInally
2023-24 President, Rotary International