President’s Mission and Vision for 2022 to 2024

As your President for 2022 to 2024, let me start by thanking you for giving me the opportunity to lead this great organisation – the best Rotary Fellowship in the World!  My ambition is to build on the sure foundations laid by my predecessors, and in particular, on the fantastic legacy left to us by Immediate Past World President George Chaffey.

We have so much to thank George for.  He led us through two unprecedented years.  For much of that time it was hard to get together.  But through his leadership, we adapted to meet the challenges thrown at us. Zoom speaker meetings, pioneered in the UK, Scandinavia and South-West USA and online AGMs and half-year meetings gave more of us the chance to get together more often and kept friendships going until we could meet again in person.  We are now more connected to each other than ever we were before. 

Also, under PWP George’s leadership, we positively embraced Rotary’s changes to the rules on fellowship membership, allowing each section to adapt their membership criteria in the way that works best for them.  And our numbers are increasing as a result of this.

But we do still face challenges if we are to sustain our fellowship in the years to come. General aviation is getting harder. And each year (most of us) get another year older. 

Growing new, younger, membership and ensuring that we can develop future leaders of our great fellowship will be my priority. I am delighted three fantastically enthusiastic and experienced IFFR leaders have agreed to serve on a new “Membership and Marketing Committee”.  Alan Dias, former Regional Vice-President represents the Americas Region, Beate Thomsen, IFFR France Section Chair represents Europe, and Eric Chin, IFFR Hong Kong Section Chair represents Asia & Australasia.  As a team, I hope we can take forward initiatives to help IFFR grow further

I’m aiming, with the help of the Membership and Marketing Committee – and all of you, to take forward three strands of activity

Spreading the word about IFFR

IFFR gives you great opportunities (a) for aviation-related fellowship; (b) to have new aviation-related experiences; and (c) to get involved with aviation-related service.

We believe that’s the message we need to get out there, and its why, for example I’m trying out a new way of showing all the good things the members of IFFR do with an online newsletter.  And we will also be reaching out soon to members who are, or want to be, active social media users (Instagram, Facebook etc), with the aim of building a community that can work together to help us build awareness of the IFFR brand. 

Promoting the aviation service done by IFFR members

I have heard so many accounts of selfless aviation-related service done by our members, including Angel Flight, Care-Giver days, sponsored Run The Runways events, support for Aerobility charity which gets disabled people flying, and Flying Doctors (to name but a few) to and it makes me proud to be a part of IFFR and in the company of such wonderful Rotarians.  I believe we need to make more of this: to celebrate and share with our members – and with other people – the “Flying Good” that our members do, and let people know how they can get involved.  Alan Dias has already started building stronger links with the Air Care Alliance which are raising more awareness of IFFR and generating more interest in membership, and you will be hearing more about that in coming months. You can see our “Flying Good” posts HERE

Connecting our Members more

We have already started on this. If you booked a room for the Melbourne Convention hotel, you will have seen we used the Rotary-Events online system to enable immediate payment by credit card.  The better the online experience we offer, the more likely it is that new potential new members will reach out to us. 

With around 1,200 members around the world, there will be many members who have shared interests – student pilots, glider pilots, Angel Flight pilots, electric aircraft pilots, airshow enthusiasts, and even simulator pilots (yes, we have several members with over 1,000 hours logged flying simulators).  The more we connect to each other, the more we will want to meet up with each other – and the bigger and the more enjoyable our times together will be.

We intend to look at how we can make it easier for members to connect more easily with like-minded members, or for example, with members local to them.  We would welcome your feedback on what you would like to see here. How would you like to be able to engage with other members? Do use the comments box below to share your thoughts.

So, drawing to a close, I would like to emphasise IFFR is truly a fellowship we can all be proud to be members of.  We have a great membership with a passion for aviation and our leaders around the world are doing a fantastic job. I am not seeking to change what we do (and I’ve noticed that every section does its IFFR in its own unique way). Rather, I want to celebrate all that you, our members do, and to make us a bright Rotating Beacon visible to others, so that we remains the greatest of the fellowships, and the one that you and our fellow Rotarians want to continue to be an active part of for many years to come

Caroline and I look forward to meeting with you all over the next two years. Let’s share the ride together and, please, do get in touch with us to share your stories too.

Keep Flying Good!

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