Since the TLI North was cancelled due to inclimate weather, I decided it was best to email you what I was going to cover for the State of the District speech. The basic outline are the following:
 
1. What it takes for the District to be Distinguished and where we are
 
2. What you can do to help yourself and the district at the same time
 
3. Why is it important for the District to be Distinguished

For the District to be Distinguished, the following must be accomplished:

a. 3% net increase in membership payments
b. 3% net increase in club growth
c. 40% of clubs becoming at least Distinguished
 
For a, we are ahead of last year for total payments. However, we are behind in percentage, since 2015-2016 was such a good year. We can recover with a lot of effort and some simple strategy.
 
For b, the good news is it looks like we lost no clubs. The bad news is that we haven't chartered any clubs.
 
For c, most of the clubs should repeat as at least Distinguished. However, some of the clubs who were Distinguished in 2015-2016 will face major hurdles in doing the same this year. The good news is some of the clubs who weren't at least Distinguished for 2015-2016 have a good shot at being at least Distinguished for this year.
 
How do we help the district and our clubs to meet these goals?
 
a. Membership Payments. Whether or not you think your club can become at least Distinguished, you can help your club as well as the district by doing the following:
 
1) Get new members. If your club is struggling to have 8 members or meet the membership requirements for becoming at least Distinguished, this is crucial. Treat every potential member like they matter.
 
2) Retain members. For the same reason as above. Remember "Every member matters".
 
b. 3% club growth.
 
1) If your club is struggling to remain active (8 members), work on membership. Try to have at least 13 members to get out of danger mode.
 
2) Help find new club leads. As well as the leads we are working on, we are focusing on corporate clubs, mega churches, and any club which can charter from 1-5 months. There is an incentive called "Leading with Leads". Anyone who provides a lead that charters by March 31 gets a $100 gift card. The district has a plan to contact corporations in our district with no club if the corporation has a club in another district.
 
c. 40% Distinguished Clubs
 
1) Make sure your club has enough members
 
2) Submit all of your educational goals as soon as possible.
 
3) Attend Winter TLI.
 
Why is it important for District 77 to become at least Distinguished?
 
Districts are like clubs. Most clubs which are at least Distinguished have high morale and work well as a team. Most clubs which aren't don't have the morale. Low morale can affect teamwork.
 
District 77 has struggled in the past 8 or so years. It was Distinguished only twice since the 2008-2009 Toastmasters year. The years were 2012-2013 and 2015-2016. I believe morale and teamwork improved last year, because District 77 worked as a team to become at least Distinguished. I believe it is important to keep the momentum going by doing this in consecutive years for the first time since 2008-2009.
 
I want this District to succeed not only this year, but also in the years following my term as District Director. "Every Member Matters" for this to be reality. This can be done only with your help.