Michael S Kauffmann -- Service to the Optimist Club

From Kauffmann Kith and Kin

Jump to: navigation, search

The 90s were a personal growth era for me. My work in Scouting was a major part of that but my service to the Optimist Club of Villa Rica also played a key role.

My first exposure to the Optimist Club was when I went to them to request their support for Scouting in Villa Rica. The group I spoke to was composed of local business and civic leaders. They listened intently to my request and agreed to support it. Not only that but they invited me to join their club. Working in an industry that nobody wants to talk about doesn't inspire high self-esteem so I was very surprised.

Unfortunately, the club was in a downward cycle and it got so bad they discussed they possibility of closing it down. Having just joined, I certainly didn't want to see it go away. However, neither did I feel that someone as new to the club and the community as I was would be the appropriate person to take over the presidency.

So I proposed a compromise - I talked a well established community leader (my dentist) into becoming president and I would do all his work for him as vice president. The only thing he had to do was show up for lunch and introduce the guest speakers. It worked. In fact, during his year as president we went from an unknown club to one of the best performing clubs in the state.

Having proved myself during my year serving as vice president, the club members rallied behind me once I became president. We accomplished alot that year including becoming an Honor Club for the first time ever (a precendent that lead many other presidents to achieve the same level of success). During this time, I changed from a wallflower to someone who was outgoing, approachable, and fun-loving. My leadership skills still left something to be desired but Scouting bolstered those two years later.

My service to the club didn't stop there. I've served as a board member more often than not, served as Secretary-Treasurer once, and served as President two more times since. The Optimist Club has accomplished alot for Villa Rica and I'm proud to have been a part of that.

Personal tools