Posted on Nov 18, 2020
With the Annual Zone 33/34 Summit quickly approaching, District 7030 would like to provide a little extra context surrounding the event, and, moreover, recognize one of our own who has played a key role in this year's Summit and the schedule leading up to it – PDG Roger Bose
Originally intended as an in-person event to be held in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, due to the travel restrictions and limitations suffered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Annual Zone 33/34 Summit (formerly called the Zone Institute) was significantly changed to be a complete online occasion for the 2020-2021 Rotary year.
However, even with this disruption to such a critical and foundational event for Rotary Leaders in this part of the world, Team Rotary was able to muster their strengths, skills, expertise and experience and precipitate a valuable and viable online forum for education, awareness, training and fellowship which includes a conference type agenda specifically targeting attendees from the complete District Governor string from both Zone 33 and Zone 34, including: Past District Governors (PDGs), current District Governors (DGs), District Governor-Elects (DGEs) and District Governor-Nominees (DGNs).
Led by Co-Convenors – RI Director 2019-2021 Stephanie Urchick (D7305) and RI Director 2020-2022 Peter Kyle (D7620) – a dedicated team of Rotary leaders covering the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern USA to the Caribbean Region have been working tirelessly since the start of this calendar year to ensure that the annual goals and objectives of the Zone Summit were met and that all Club, District and Zone Leaders were able to access and benefit from great learning experiences, as well as, from exposure to the wider world of Rotary.
On a side note for those wondering why we have two (2) RI Directors and why their respective years differ and overlap: Although every RI Director on the RI Board represents a pair of Zones where there are 17 official Directors for any one Rotary year, the current Director situation in Zones 33/34 came about when Zone 33 was expanded to include two (2) additional Districts that belonged to another Zone due to an RI “reset”. As there was already a Director chosen from one of those Districts (i.e. Stephanie), RI allowed the oddity of two Directors to exist for Zones 33/34 up until Stephanie's term ends in 2021.

In early 2020, PDG Roger Bose from District 7030 was asked by both RI Directors Stephanie and Peter if he would join and be part of the 2020-2021 Zone 33/34 Summit Leadership Seminar Team which is responsible for facilitating the training of respective personnel from all 29 District across Zones 33/34 (i.e. DGs, DGEs and DGNs) for each Rotary year. Honored outright by the request, PDG Roger was further surprised to learn that this first assignment to the team was not what he expected. Anticipating that someone's first assignments as a rookie to the team would be towards the training of DGNs and then, if done well, perhaps an assignment the following year to train DGEs, PDG Roger was surprised to discover that he was being asked to immediately be part of the group training current DGEs led by DGE Training Chair PDG Art MacQueen (D6970) and overseen by Group Training Chair PDG Haresh Ramchandani (D7020).
Humbled by this privilege and honor, PDG Roger accepted the invitation to join and the team jumped right to work. The first challenge with regards to overall training faced by the Summit Training Teams was how to mimic that aspect of the annual Summit where all-day, in-person training sessions with the 29 DGNs and 29 DGEs normally take place over the course of an entire week. After many discussions, first amongst the DGE Training Team – Art MacQueen (Chair), Jeanette Loftus (Deputy Chair) and Roger Bose (Assistant Chair) – and then amongst the larger overall training group and Summit Leadership team – led by Haresh Ramchandani – a comprehensive online training plan and curriculum was designed, developed and implemented and ensured that participants would receive the substantive rigor and high quality content that had come to be expected from the Zone Summit.
This novel online training program had the team take what would normally fit into one dedicated week of intense training and expand it over a longer period, delivering weekly sessions (every Tuesday) starting from the end of July 2020 through November 2020 when the Zone Summit itself is scheduled to occur. Catering for all 29 DGEs from around Zones 33/34,, each session began at 6:00 p.m. AST and was about 75 to 90 minutes long. Attendees were given a schedule, a "playbook" (description of session topics) and "homework" to be done in between sessions which were all collectively known as the group's "Flight Plan" and under the "Team Galaxy" theme for the DGE group.

Trainers themselves also had "homework" every week. Apart from their own planning meetings discussing strategy and preparing content, there were rehearsal meetings every Thursday at 4:00 p.m. that covered the session for the following Tuesday and placed extra focus and emphasis on precise timing and a smooth flow of information so that no one would be "lost" during the session. As we all have experienced over the last few months, trying to “actively engage” with every person in an online forum such as a Zoom e-meeting is not easy; however, PDG Roger and the DGE Training Team were both mandated and committed to do just that with each participant every week. Even one DGE slipping through the cracks during a training session was not acceptable to the team and all efforts were made to ensure it did not happen over the course of the four-month long program. 
Coming to near the end of the program and close to the Zone Summit itself happening on 20-21 November, and by all accounts from the Zone Leadership, PDG Roger and the DGE Training Team have not only exceeded expectations by all, but also, exemplified a true commitment to serving Rotary and Rotarians. Having had to submit regular reports on the sessions and progress of attendees, as well as, being evaluated themselves by the Zone leadership, this year's Zone 33/34 DGE Training Team has raised the bar in both excellence and adaptability where they demonstrated the ability to meet all challenges head-on and overcome some very unusual and atypical obstacles with true Rotary decorum and professionalism.
Zone DGE Trainer, however, was not PDG Roger's first Zone assignment nor the first time he distinguished himself at this level. While many in District 7030 are familiar with PDG Roger's District various endeavors and accomplishments over the years as an Assistant Governor (2011-2013), a District Governor (2016-2017), a Past District Governor (2017-present), and current Chair for the District 7030 Finance Committee (2020-2022), for the last two (2) Zone Summits (2018 and 2019), he was also appointed by immediate past RI Director David Stovall to the role of Meal Packaging Coordinator for the 100,000 Meal Packaging Zone event. Each year, this event was the Zone's “hands-on” project held on the final Saturday of the Summit for which a great deal of planning was required as it involved exactly what it says – literally packing 100,000 meals!

In 2018, the Summit was held in Norfolk, Virginia and the Zone partnered with Rise Against Hunger; and, in 2019, when it was held in Atlanta, Georgia, the Zone partnered with Meals of Hope. Each year, prior to the Summit and while still in Trinidad, PDG Roger's role as coordinator was quite varied and demanding requiring him to conduct several tasks, including: communicating and negotiating with the partner organizations for the event; organizing logistics with the management of the hotels where persons staying; overseeing the incoming delivery and unpacking of material and the outgoing arrangements for finished boxes; advising the Summit attendees on the event; making joint presentations with the partner organizations; garnering support from volunteers and encouraging an average of 380 to 400 persons each year to register and sign liability waivers for the set up and break down of the packing spaces; and, liaising with the operations department of the hotels (facilities, parking, using staff access, etc.). Even with the assistance of other volunteers for certain tasks, the job executed by PDG Roger was most impressive and recognized by the Zone, particularly when considering the vast geographic separation of himself in Trinidad and all other related parties in each US city during the planning stages every year.
The Meal Packing event of 2018 posed a particularly unique scenario with PDG Roger having to make special arrangements with the local police in Norfolk, Virginia as he found out 48 hours before the event that the biggest local marathon was being run that same Saturday morning causing several streets to be closed including the street directly in front the hotel in which meals were being packed. Special arrangements for access to both the delivery trucks, as well as, the volunteers coming from other areas had to be made with the Norfolk police resulting in runners having to take a slightly different route as a result. For the remainder of the 2018 Summit, PDG Roger was then affectionately known as "the man from Trinidad who caused the Norfolk Marathon route to change at the last minute” – a title he honorably accepted.

Both Meal Packaging events were hugely successful and in no small part due to the role of both PDG Roger and the partner organizations whose tried and tested methodologies for the layout of the packing rooms, division of tasks and “assembly-line" production, allowed for 100,000 meals to be individually packed and sorted in under 2 hours on both occasions!

Although there will not be a hands-on Meal Packing event associated with this year's (online) Summit, PDG Roger continues to honor and represent the Caribbean as the first District 7030 Champion for the annual Feed 10Million Initiative of Zones 33/34. Now in its second year running, the Feed 10Million Initiative has a simple objective that focuses on Rotarians supporting and caring for their neighbors and communities by collectively providing at least 10 million meals during the Rotary year throughout Zones 33/34. With his entrenched background from the annual Meal Packing events, PDG Roger is very much poised and enthusiastic to get District 7030 and clubs in the Caribbean involved for the first time in the Feed 10Million Initiative and guide our members, both Rotarians and Rotaractors, towards participating in and contributing to this most worthwhile endeavor.
It is with great regard, admiration and honor that District 7030, its clubs and its members hold PDG Roger for his unfettered dedication to serve at all levels of Rotary, his incontrovertible contributions to his club, his District and his Zone and his unwavering commitment to the practice and demonstration our global motto of "Service Above Self"
District 7030 would not only like to formally congratulate PDG Roger for his appointment to the Zone Leadership Team this year and successful training of the 2020-2021 DGEs, but moreover, to express its collective gratitude and appreciation for all that he has done throughout his Rotary career to make us all proud to be one Caribbean people.