OUR PRESIDENTS SPEAK: Chris spear, Nashoba Valley

Please tell us what factors helped you decide to join Rotary.
I decided to join Rotary to spend more time with my wife, Laura Spear, was trying to get 24 members to start the Nashoba Valley club so I decided to tag along. Otherwise, I'd never see her on Thursdays. 
Of your club’s activities what do you consider the one thing that best identifies what your club is all about?
As a member of an amazingly busy club, it is hard for me to pick one activity that best identifies our club.The Nashoba Regional High School Reality Fair shows how we closely partner with organizations such as schools to create an event that exceeds everyone's expectations. Students have heard from their siblings and friends about how they learned how the real world works, plus we have adult volunteers who are not Rotarians and still come back every year. Our current Global Grant to the Razia Jan Institute has us partnering with people in Kabul to ensure young women in Afghanistan have an opportunity to become a midwife, and make a difference in their own lives and their community. 
What is your club doing this year to attract new members?
One way our club is attracting new members is through fun events that show people in our community what a fun club we are. The Stop Hunger Now event allows us to engage with everyone from young children to senior citizens, and enable them to serve people by providing meals.
Do you have any advice to offer others in the district about how best to achieve a successful fundraiser?
Our club has a flyer showing all the service that we perform for our community and around the world. You never know what a new member will bring to the club, but they certainly know what our club brings to other.
There are many parts to a successful fundraiser. A key part is having a focused management team with "one throat to choke" when things go wrong. While this might sound a little tough, it means your volunteers know they need to take their obligation seriously and act professionally. Their attitude will spread to everyone involved and the participants, too.
Do you have any innovative plans for Rotary-related publicity during your presidency?
My plans for this year are mainly, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." The club operates well, so my biggest goal is to bring in a few more people who are dedicated to service. I have about four people in the pipeline, and they are all women. These are people in our community who are already very busy, and making a transition in their life, such as sending kids off to college or retiring. Hopefully they will see that Rotary can give them new ways to serve others, and a much wider base than in the past.
What's the best book you've read in the past three years?
Two excellent books I've read are the Boys in the Boat, about the 1936 Olympic USA crew team, and Black Tide, which recounts the great molasses flood in Boston's North End in 1919 and how it helped redefine citizenship and corporate responsibility.
What's your favorite restaurant in your community?
Stow's best hidden treasure is certainly Nancy's Airfield Cafe at Minute Man Air Field. Delicious, well prepared organic food with a view of planes taking off and landing. Always a treat.
Chris Spear, president of Nashoba Valley, may be reached at chris@spear.net. To learn more about Nashoba Valley Rotary, click here.