In early November 50 enthused Governors-elects from around the Kiwanis world converged in Indianapolis for a collaborative training conference. An annual leadership training seminar designed to equip designated governors with the enthusiasm, knowledge, vision, tools, and skills necessary to strengthen and build and lead their respective districts.
The theme of the conference was “From Good to Great”, indicating that we still have a long and winding transition road ahead until we reach our full potential as a service organization. The topic was basically addressed from 4 points of view i.e. the cornerstones of our I-Plan: Growth-Service-Image-Finances. For 4 intensive days we addressed different aspects of the I-Plan roadmap, lead by our International President-elect, Poly Lat and key KI staff lead by CEO Stan Soderstrom and others, including our great MSC Gent staff, Dolores, Jan and Eric which lead the Europeans, in several extremely valuable group discussions. Present at the training and fully participating in our deliberations was our own Daniel Vigneron , KI Vice president!
Overall the conference was extremely enjoyable and a great learning experience. But one of the best parts was to be able to informally meet and confer with Kiwanis leaders from around the world, setting the tone for next year, building bonds of friendship, comradery and common understanding, the cornerstones of our great organization. For the Europeans this was furthermore a unique opportunity to get to meet our Federation counterparts and lay the foundation of an everlasting union of respect and fraternity. They were all there, except Axel from Germany, which we sorely missed! Also, the conference marked a new beginning for our provisional district Romania. During the group sessions we discussed our common experience as Kiwanis leaders and solidified the issues that may mark our direction in the year to come. We came as Kiwanians but left as Kiwanis friends and compatriots, eager to make our mark and nurture and move our organization forward from Good to Great
For me, this was a very special and heartfelt occasion. For almost 15 years I have made many regular visits to “3636” or “The Big House”, as we fondly have nickname our headquarters. I have been there as an interpreter, a Governor-elect and as a special guest and finally this year as the designate Federation President 2018 -19.
I distinctly remember my thoughts after my first visit to Indy. “Yes, Gov-elect is something I could do” And yes, the wish came through, and yes, so many other unintended consequences as well! At this juncture, I am thankful, honored, proud and privileged to have been given this opportunity to serve with dedicated European Kiwanis leaders to whom I pledge my support in their efforts to achieve Good and Great things for Kiwanis and our Federation. The same I pledge to all European Kiwanians. As Dylan once said “The times they are a-changing” and together we must embrace the winds of change and build windmills and that way achieve greatness!