Thursday, March 30, 2017

What Does Rotary Mean to You? Flavia Berti's Rotary Story

Flavia Berti, president, co-owner and founder of  Equipaws Pet Services, is one of the more dynamic members of the Rotary Club of South Miami and her work with the South Miami Rotary Art Festival Committee, especially on the marketing end, but also through her committee leadership and brilliant ideas, has been instrumental in its continued success!

Flavia also has taken over planning and hosting of our Rotary socials, and the last two socials at TamboWorks and Lincoln's Beard Brewery would not have been possible without her! Flavia truly is one of the Rotary Club of South Miami's All-Stars!

RCSM ( Rotary Club of South Miami ) "Who introduced you to Rotary?"

Flavia, "Brett ( Brett Trembly, one of our past presidents) actually brought me into Rotary. He mentioned Rotary at a BNI meeting, and I was kinda over BNI at the time with it being so business oriented, so Brett first mentioned bringing me into the Arts Festival by having doggy hydration stations. And then, Brett told me what Rotary is about, being volunteered based, but also having a business side and I said, 'That is totally up my alley!' Because, that's how I grew up, our parents always used to do things for others like galas, and I was always helping my mother with others."

RCSM, "So, you were brought in by the Community Service aspect?"

Flavia, "Yes"

RCSM, "What is your Favorite Rotary memory?"

Flavia, "Well, I love the South Miami Rotary Arts Festivals, they are so much fun! I like everything that leads up to it, and I like the group that we work with, we have an awesome team!

RCSM, "Is there any Arts Festival that sticks out to you as being especially special?"

Flavia, "Well, I've only done two or three Arts Festivals, I have to check to be sure, I really can't pick one. I really like working the marketing side of this, involving the radio stations, and just trying to change things to help increase turnout, it's really a great festival and for a great cause! "

RCSM, "What would you like to see Rotary do? What would be your next great project?"

Flavia, "I would like to get together with the whole group and just see what everyone's interests are, and then pinpoint one. For example, Mari (Mari Chael, another club dynamo), would like to make our community more bike friendly. For me, it's more on the animal side, and I love working with Senior Citizens. It wouldn't have to be something I like, just something we can all work together on. One common project. I also love the "Best Buddies" program, and working with kids with disabilities."

Thank you so much Flavia for your continued service above self to Rotary and to our club!

Interview by Jeff McNabb

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Rotary Lecture: 7 Tips for Flawless Social Branding! By Misty Buck Iglesias

March 28, 2017- was a perfect day with a perfect last lecturer to end this Women's History Month! Today's special guest was Misty Buck Iglesias, who is an innovative, pioneering, trailblazing, social media marketing guru!  Misty founded her company of Miss Ink LLC in 2008 (a landmark year signalling the dawn of all social media marketing), and thanks to Misty, we all walked away a bit more informed about effective social media marketing!

Jumping right in!

At the very beginning, Misty just informed her clients about My Space, as in 2008, there really wasn't much else available, but since that audacious start, like the social media platforms she informed us about, her knowledge, expertise and influence has grown exponentially! Wasting no time, Misty jumped right in with her "7 tips for Flawless Social Media"!

Tip #1

Claim your Name! Make sure to use a name that goes all the way through, use a name that applies across the board on multiple social media platforms! And, use a name where you can work with the branding such as @ symbols, which you will need to use all in one place. DON'T FREAK OUT if someone already has your handle! We live in an age of endless ideas and names, so BE CREATIVE, add an extra symbol or letter to that original name. Who knows? Maybe this slight change to the original name will work to your benefit!

Tip #2 

Brand Imaging - or in other words, connecting visually. For example, Misty's own logo uses a STAR and the color HOT PINK, the idea behind this imaging and color scheme is to be on the top of the mind of the potential client. To further make her point, Misty ran a slide of well known logos, such as the Nike and Rotary International logos, however, the biggest reaction from today's audience came when Brett Trembly's business logo was shown! "Pay me later," Misty reminded Brett.

Tip #3 

Let Them Meet Oz - Most of us can relate to the long winding yellow brick road in the Wizard of Oz story, but most of us just don't have the time to read that whole story, hence in today's age, skip that road and let them meet Oz from the beginning! Get to the point, spell it out, be concise, think of this as your own time sensitive commercial. Start by picking the top 3 things you want to be associated with, but don't just do this brand as a copy and paste, do so in your own voice!

Tip #4 

Be Personal - People do business with people they like! Misty, for example, loves classic trucks! What are your passions? You don't need to tell your life story, just what interests you! These are other ways to connect ..."I like that person because they like..." People simply like to be around other like-minded people!

Tip #5 

Be Present - Needless to say, there are a bunch a social networks with more being created each year and the new "hot" platform changes frequently, there's no question there are social media FOTMs ( Flavor of the month)! Which one should you choose? Misty suggests pick one or two, but BE ACTIVE, get really good, build some expertise at those two before expanding, still, remember to BE THERE, BE PRESENT! Check on those networks, check the comments, and RESPOND back, not just with emojis, but with actual comments! Be engaged! Think of it going to a party, knocking on the door and suddenly there's no one there! Don't miss opportunities! It's called social networking for a reason!

Tip #6 

Study Influences, What are your hot topics? What is interesting to you? Who influences you? Look for those people who you may want to follow, and study what you are interested in! You can also Join social groups! This is yet another way to connect, another way to find the like-minded!

Tip #7

Be Human - Don't be afraid to speak your mind, but do use what you are comfortable with! Just don't go on rants all of the time! And, most of all, don't be afraid of who you are, give something, some subject for potential client to connect with and be inspired! Have funny anecdotes, share some experiences, show that you are human!

Thank you Misty for this informative lecture!

by Jeff McNabb

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Dynamism of Rotary

March 14, 2017 - This day of Fellowship was centered around the discussion about the purpose and the meaning of Rotary. Are we a business interest first organization or is service paramount? What is this engine behind the dynamism of Rotary? In changing evolving times, focuses for membership and recruitment lead to differing philosophies and frankly, no club can even exist without attracting new potential members. Ultimately, there is no doubting the original meaning of Rotary which was firmly established in 1910, specifically, to be of "service above self", still, one can come to service from differing initial premises.

An Email Conversation Develops Into a Discussion!

The principals of this discussion were two of our more distinguished members, namely, Dr. Michael Newman and Roy Gonas. Roy presented his coming to Rotary philosophy from the attitude of service first, leading to business relationships later, while Dr. Mike offered a different perspective as coming from an attitude of business interest leading to service later. The idea for this discussion was proposed by President Subrata Basu, based upon a long inter-club email conversation string originally titled "R2R and other Rotary ideas", began by myself. It should be noted, Subrata during this year actually has taken to heart initiating further Rotary education during our Fellowship weeks, and has been instrumental in getting these kinds of lectures and discussions started.

The Rotary Field at Murray Park!

Past president Michael Mills set the stage with his own Rotary Story while also adding in a bit of a "craft talk", in a sense, Mike combined the two approaches ( business and service) to be later discussed in more depth and detail. During Mike Mills' term as president, the Rotary Club of South Miami focused on community service projects centered in South Miami, in fact, it was during President Mills' term where we helped to install the lights for Murray Park's field, a project so impressive the field was named after our club and today and is still known as "The Rotary Field at Murray Park"! Mike also noted our newer members (including myself), while setting up very worthwhile service above self projects, have lost that South Miami focus, although, the current President, Subrata, has made considerable effort this year to refocus and to bring us back "home".

The Intersection between Commerce and Service!

Former District Governor, Roy Gonas, began the discussion by noting President Elect Felipe Vidal's follow up message to one of his responses in that email conversation string (needless to say, this was quite some conversation!). In Felipe's response, he backed up his case of a business first approach with a subject brought up at the recent PETS seminar (or the President Elect's Training Seminar) that topic being: Rotary, is "the intersection between Commerce and Service"! Felipe's Rotary philosophy dealt more with this continued and stronger emphasis on business networking. An idea where the "business first" approach can and will lead to a call to service later ( but, only for those who really want to do community service, those only joining Rotary for business interests, will naturally weed themselves out).

Service is Paramount!

"I'm going to get back to this later, however, remember this, Service above Self" Roy followed up, (and paraphrasing Roy's continuation) "Rotary began not as a business networking club, but more as a social club, an idea originated by its founder Paul Harris, a "lonely" young lawyer in 1905, where Harris and other young professionals would set up meetings in different offices, thereby rotating venues (although the name "Rotary" does not come from the office rotation idea, that's a myth), the key point, is that it worked! However, Rotary didn't officially change its focus, (and it did so rather dramatically) from being this social club to a service club until 1910. And, that switch to an emphasis on service first, this "service above self" attitude is what truly distinguishes us from other organizations. It is ultimately why Rotary, along with the privileged association of its remarkable members, those distinctions, these diversified classifications, those leaders made up of individuals defined by the very highest level of character, join in service as it is for service, for THAT is the heart and soul of Rotary, as service is paramount!

Business relationships develop naturally!

Mike Mills actually had a great response to this service first approach in his own answer, in that now famous or (is it infamous?) email conversation string. And I quote, "When business professionals and community leaders meet, my experience is that the business relationships and referrals come naturally."

 Not Tit for Tat!

Past president Dr. Michael Newman, followed up Roy with his response in regards to approaching Rotary this time from a business networking venture standpoint, although, Dr. Mike pointed out, "This is not a Tit for Tat, where Roy takes one side and I take the other". Dr. Mike began his Rotary lecture with his own Rotary story. Originally recruited in 1979, by a PR Marketing guy, first name of Buzz, Dr. Mike joined both the Rotary Club located in downtown Miami as well as the "Progress" club ( a BNI equivalent business networking club ). He was with the Progress club for 5 years and it did help him grow his practice. And, after about a year and a half of commuting to downtown Miami, Dr. Mike needed a new Rotary club that was closer, and so introduced by Jesse Cruz, Dr. Mike joined the Rotary Club of South Miami in 1980 and has been a member ever since.

The Dynamism of Rotary!

While Dr. Mike originally joined Rotary as a means to build his practice, over the years, he learned Rotary was more for service and not as much for business networking. In fact even recently when we've had visitors who, when introduced, almost gave commercials for their business it would be Dr. Mike who noted, publicly so, that while it's OK for professionals to come here, this is not a business networking club like a BNI. In fact to make his point, illustrating this dynamism of Rotary, Dr. Mike cited one of the avenues of Rotary service which is "Vocational service" a service that encourages Rotarians to serve others through their vocations. However, business AND service can be married with Rotary. One sure way (the ultimate way, noted by Dr. Mike) to build a business, is to build a rapport with the people who you want to build a rapport with, building upon these relationships with the people in your lives, and Rotary, being a service oriented organization, does just that! Dr. Mike went on further to note, all of us together are more than just friends we're a "Rotary family" and he would call upon nearly everyone of us if he needed a service.

This is an ongoing, continuing, and developing conversation, and a great one to have! For this discussion ultimately attempts to answer the pressing question all clubs must eventually ask, "How can our Rotary club grow?"

Thank you Mike Mills, Dr. Mike, Roy and especially Subrata for bringing up this topic!

by Jeff McNabb

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Rotary Lecture: Greg Hamra, Climate Change, Carbon Tax and Negative Externality!

March 7, 2017 - Our lecture today was by Greg Hamra of the Miami Chapter of the Climate Change Lobby (CCL). The CCL is a bi-partisan organization taking up the good fight and saving the world through the implementation of Carbon Taxes. Climate Change isn't, nor should it be, a partisan issue because it affects everyone and simply does not differentiate between party lines. Frankly, we all breathe the same air, we all live on the same Earth. And, the CCL has something to offer for both sides of the aisle, as their plan can effectively reduce carbon emissions while also reducing some federal regulations.

Livable World

The CCL's motto: "Political Will for a Livable World!"
Political will does not originate with the politicians, it comes from the people! Mr. Hamra encouraged all in attendance to reach out to their government representative, because, as he stated, it works!

350 Parts Per Million

An admitted "frustrated" scientist ( not mad, he corrected, but frustrated ), Hamra talked extensively about the diabolical issue of rising Carbon Dioxide emissions, bringing up the example of which states the proverbial line in the environmental sand that we simply cannot cross in terms of Carbon Dioxide "was" 350 parts per million. Unfortunately, we exceeded that limit, in fact passing 400 parts per million a few years ago. Hamra goes on stating that 350 parts per million may now be an impossibility.

Still, worth to note is what James Hansen once said, ( Hansen is the scientist whose research was the very basis for the founding of ). “If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from to at most 350 ppm.”

Hamra, then stated we now have three options: Reduce ( our Carbon Dioxide emissions ), Adapt ( to an ever warming climate ) or Suffer!

Ocean  Acidification and  Negative Externality

The Climate Change Lobby's position is focused on reducing Carbon Dioxide emissions. As with increased Carbon Dioxide emissions, we also have increased Ocean Acidification, which is a reduction of the pH of the ocean over time. According to Hamra, this Ocean Acidification leads not just to Global Warming, but rather a "Global Weirding" and "Climate Chaos", which also has a direct negative impact on economic markets. 

The economic term used here was "negative externality" which occurs when a product or decision costs the society more than its private cost. Car pollution is an example of negative externality; as a driver of a car, you don't account for the costs of the air pollution created by the car but the society is paying for the costs of air pollution. Hamra's specific example was even more direct, as it's not only a market loss but also a food supply negative, such as the supply of Herring fish gradually being depleted due to Ocean Acidification. Herring fish are being overcome by Humboldt Squid; these giant squid thrive with ocean acidification and are directly competing with fishermen and resulting in a loss of revenue for the Fishermen and potentially a food shortage.

Gaining Traction

Fortunately the CCL is gaining traction, as their concept of letting our free market decide is attractive enough that they are making a difference, generating that political will, raising awareness enough that both conservatives and liberals are now standing firmly together, and hopefully through this unified effort, we can actualize Hansen's "impossible" dream and make this world a bit more livable! 

Thank you Greg Hamra for this thought provoking lecture!

Article by Jeff McNabb
(edited by Frankie Berti)