OUR PRESIDENTS SPEAK: DAN LEBLANC, MERRIMACK VALLEY

Please tell us what factors helped you decide to join Rotary.
 
Business, giving back to the community.  Saw the road signs, looked Rotary up online, found a time/club that worked for my schedule.
 
Of your Club’s activities, what do you consider the one thing that best identifies what your Club is all about?
 
Since we're not affiliated with one town, it's hard to answer. We try to get involved with other clubs in the Merrimack Valley to assist with their projects when it makes sense. We're involved with events like the Salvation Army bell-ringing, our annual Fishing Flea Market, NFL raffles and most recently an eye-care clinic for the homeless. The idea is to encourage club participation and creativity in creating new events that eventually serve as outreach to the community.  
 
 
 
What is your Club doing this year to attract new members?
 
More social media advertising - getting more diligent about Facebook posts. Creating more fellowship events and inviting family and community members to join us. It's all about the tailgating!
 
Do you have any advice to offer others in the District about how best to achieve a successful fundraiser?
 
Find events that service a specific need, then advertise where these people are most likely to read about your event. People don't attend if you don't invite them. Needs to be multi-modal approach: social media, personal invites, physical deliverables and general ads.
 
Do you have any innovative plans for Rotary related publicity during your Presidency?
 
Nope, getting back to basics. Defined weekly-meeting structure with a mixture of club business, education and fellowship.
 
As President, what’s your biggest concern for the coming year?
 
Membership and events to draw more people to ask if Rotary is right for them. Defining the value proposition based on the prospects' interests and delivering on them if they join.
 
What’s the best book you’ve read in the past three years?
 
Chilton's Manual for Outboard Repair.
 
What’s your favorite quotation?
 
Stupid is as stupid does.
 
What’s your favorite restaurant in your community?
 
I don't eat out much anymore. I pretty much stick to the restaurants that serve good food. Sometimes, I'll go rogue and eat at a place with three stars or dirty tables.
 
What one thing would you most recommend as a “must see,” a “hidden treasure,” for visitors to your community?
 
The best places are the ones people don't make the effort to see. Drive, walk a little further, look a little closer and longer and you'd be surprised what everyone misses. There's lots of great things to see - most of them aren't hidden if people would just slow down long enough to notice. Must see? Depends on what you like and what interests you the most. Just experience new things. It's the best thing I can recommend and they aren't on the major highways, in your house, at work or in Rotary meetings.  
 
Dan LeBlanc, president of Merrimack Valley Rotary, may be reached at gaffed2001@yahoo.com. To learn more about Merrimack Valley Rotary, click here.