On June 25th, Rotarians of District 7080 will welcome new District Governor (DG), Patsy Marshall. We are thrilled to profile our incoming DG in this edition of Women in Rotary.
A member of the Guelph Trillium Rotary Club, Patsy has had a distinguished record of service in Rotary. As a passionate, dedicated Rotarian, she has been involved in a variety of club and district committees, has served on her club’s Board of Directors, and was President of her club in 2000/2001. During her year as President, her club chartered the Rotary Club of Guelph South. It has since become a vibrant club.
Patsy was an Assistant Governor with the Guelph Wellington Cluster, in 2010 and 2011, taking on a variety of assignments. She continues to be actively involved as a member of the District Training Committee, especially with President Elect Training (PETS) I and II, and Club Leadership Training. She is a member of the District Foundation Committee, the District Conference Planning Committee, and is an engaged, certified instructor with the Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI). Patsy speaks at Camp Enterprise, and at the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) program, as an avid supporter of young adults. She has encouraged other clubs to support Youth Services.
Patsy is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow and is a member of the Paul Harris Society. In addition, Patsy has been involved with numerous community boards and committees, as a leader and as a member, throughout her lifetime. In 2012, she received the Woman of Distinction Award for Training and Education, from the YW/YMCA of Guelph. She has also received the J. David Stewart Award from Conestoga College, in 2007, for excellence in teaching and leadership.
Married to Jim, owner of Vac-Man, they live in Guelph and have two grown children; Peter and Heather, a daughter-in-law Natalie and a son-in-law Matt. In addition to family outings and getting together with friends, international travelling and gardening are passions for Jim and Patsy.
As a farm girl, Patsy was educated at Medway High School in Arva, and then attended the University of Guelph (B.A.Sc. 1974 and a M.Sc. in 1976). Her career has been in health care and education, and her vocational classification is Adult Education. She served in senior leadership roles in respiratory medicine for eight years and was Director of Education for Homewood Health Centre (a psychiatric hospital) for eight years. Patsy has owned her own training and development company, Train on Track, for over 20 years and focuses on training soft/people skills to develop the human side of business. She continues to offer leadership and management training programs to several Top Fortune 500 companies. In addition, Patsy continues to teach with Conestoga College, Sheridan College, the University of Guelph, Brock University, and the University of Waterloo. Patsy’s distinguished career has provided her with unique leadership opportunities as she has developed colleagues and coached many high performing teams.
Patsy is excited about the new challenge ahead as District Governor for 7080, supported by fellow Rotarians, family and friends. She hopes that during her year, her District will continue to be a resource to clubs, encouraging Rotarians in District 7080 to reflect on what Rotary means to them and their contributions to the world of Rotary as they Light Up Rotary!
Q. Why did you join Rotary?
I liked what my [Rotary] sponsor told me – sounded like I would be joining other professionals to make a difference in my community and around the world. And there would be fun!
Q. How would you describe your Rotary experience in one word?
Q. What was your Rotary Path?
I began my professional career as a teacher at the Rotary Children`s Centre (Guelph) with five special needs children aged 18 months to three years of age—all in diapers. At that time, I didn`t know what Rotary was, or what the wheel affixed to the building meant.
I joined the Rotary Club of Guelph Trillium in 1996. By 2000-2001 I was President. After this, I joined the District training team. From 2008-2010, I had the privilege to be the Assistant Governor of the Guelph-Wellington Cluster. In 2011/12 I was invited to be the District Governor Nominee Nominee. The last two years have been a whirlwind. Now I am looking forward to the honour of accepting the role of 7080 District Governor 2014/15.
Along the way, I have received multiple Paul Harris fellows and I enjoy being one of the facilitators with the 7080 Rotary Leadership Institute team.
Q. What was the greatest challenge you`ve ever faced?
As a child, I required major surgeries for a bone condition which impacted my physical ability. My parents were brave and prepared me for what was to come.
Because the surgery I had as an infant had not been successful, I had to wear steel braces until my 13th birthday. When I went in for surgery again, this time with a more successful outcome, my mother told me that I would need to learn to walk all over again. I thought she was joking. She wasn`t.
I still remember my dogged determination to get on my feet as soon as possible. After being in a body cast for five months, and two months of rehabilitation, I was chasing those young interns and my orthopaedic surgeon around!
Most children at school were wonderful, too. They always included me. I played baseball and was goalie in soccer – although I let more balls go in the net, than I stopped. My brother and sister were supportive, too. I was not treated differently which really helped me to overcome adversity and become self-confident.
I bring the lessons I learned during my childhood to every challenge I face.
Q. What`s the best advice about Rotary you`ve received?
Remember to consider the big picture items in Rotary. I received this sage advice from Past District Governor, Ian Ferguson.
Q. Rotary does Rotary align with your own values?
I have always been a giver and Rotary enables me to share my vocation to make a difference in people`s lives.
Q. What Rotary initiatives are you passionate about?
So many things!
- Our work to End Polio Now, for sure. I don`t have polio; however, I know I can relate to those who do!
- Weekly speakers and learning about what is happening locally, nationally and internationally.
- RYLA, Camp Enterprise, Rotaract, Interact and Youth Exchange opportunities are amazing and I speak at RYLA and Camp Enterprise.
- Rotary Leadership Institute.
And, of course, Club fellowship and connections with similar-minded individuals. All of the above come with membership, and being an active member.
Q. Do you think Rotary membership adds positive value for woman?
Yes; all of the above and brings a sense of inner peace.
Q. If you could tell another woman one thing about Rotary membership, what would it be?
You will never regret becoming a Rotarian.
Q. What do you consider to be your greatest Rotary moment?
Being told I would become a Rotary District Governor!
To find out more about Rotary and how you can have an impact locally or globally, visit the Guelph Trillium Rotary Club website, or check out the District 7080 Facebook page or follow them on Twitter.