Posted by Rene' Pothetes on May 31, 2017
So how does the new Rotary club go from 0 to 60, well 58, in just three months?
Organic Growth, Planning, Mission and Vision and Buzz, that’s how.
The Southfield area Rotary club was the vision of Brandon Marsh and Kellee Miller. Brandon and Kellee were old friends and Brandon was a member of the Ann Arbor Rotary Club and is a Corporate Trainer for Dale Carnegie. Kellee is the Community Engagement Coordinator for Michigan Works! in Detroit and also founder of her own business, Wine, Spirit and Soul.
We discussed a number of ideas including a large public event to start with a bang. Brandon had other ideas. He wanted to grow organically. Being a mentee of John Barfield, Brandon had a heart for starting new things and we met to hear his vision.
Brandon’s idea was a simple one. Invite a core, set goals, everyone invite a few more just like them,  develop a mission everyone can accept, and create a word of mouth buzz in the community.

Kellee joined early on and they each invited a cadre of friends, who in turn liked what they saw and invited more. They worked on a mission for the club that centered around the underserved youth in the community.
The meetings were fast paced, 90 minutes and included several key elements. First, they networked and got to know each other in informal setting before the actual meeting got under way. Next, everyone introduced themselves, what they did and why they were there. One of the members was chosen ahead of time by Brandon for a Member Spotlight where they had 10 minutes to tell everyone about their business, family, desires and goals. There was always 20 minutes or more about Rotary International, ranging from an overview of the breadth of the organization to Club projects from other Clubs that made a difference in their community. Brainstorming and subsequent narrowing of focus highlighted the sessions on vision and mission. We always reviewed the goals and timelines to keep everyone abreast of progress.  We ended with the “alter call” and asked people to consider the commitment to the new service club in Southfield.
So, we were all ready to go after 2 months. We were well on our way to charter with 20-25 members by mid-April and then came “The Buzz.”  By mid to late April there was a buzz in the Southfield community among young professionals who were looking for an outlet for their service. Southfield area Rotary club was the place to be.
Brandon, Kellee and a number of the original core members talked about the new club, but it spread to people that were outside the original core and Brandon reported that everywhere he went there was an excitement about a new Rotary Club. By the time we went to District Conference in early May, we were in the low 40’s. We finally cut off the charter members May 26th at 58!

We filed the charter application May 29, 2017 with RI.
Fittingly Brandon is the Charter President and Kellee is the President Elect. Their Board rounds out with a President Nominee (yes, leadership out 3 years), Treasurer, Secretary and 3 At Large Board members. In addition to Brandon, there are 2 other former Rotarians in the new club
They have appointed 6 committee chairs and are seeking successful chairs from other clubs to mentor them in Rotary protocol. Contact Jim Gilmore ( if you have a mentor in mind.
The University of Phoenix has graciously offered classroom space for the Club meetings which occur every other Thursday, 4:30-6pm. The club is deciding when and how to add to the fellowship with additional times and places. Their next meeting is June 15th.
It's amazing the creativity, the Innovation and the excitement that this new club generates. They are using the Rotary branding center in their publications and you'll soon see some brochures and other materials that are coming from that site. They are excited to meet and work with other area Rotary clubs and are looking forward to participation in district projects and events.

We're looking forward to an official Charter date from Rotary International and we are planning a charter celebration sometime in the late summer or early fall.
The Mission of the Southfield Area Rotary Club: We serve our members by cultivating leadership, providing networking opportunities, and having fun while making a difference in our Community. Our primary cause is to empower the youth, especially the underserved in the Southfield Community.
Their Vision is: Southfield Area Rotary Club is the premiere service club in the Southfield community.
We have no doubt that vision will be achieved.