On July 1, the Manchester Rotary Club will have a new president. Carlan Cotten will hand her title over to President-Elect Taylor Rayfield, who will lead the club for the next year.
As president, Rayfield will be in charge of seeing that the strategic plan and initiatives are followed through, running meetings and conversing with community partners and politicians.
“Promote literacy,” Rayfield said when asked about his goals as president. “That will be heavy focus for rotary. Promote literacy efforts in local school systems.”
He added he wants to get books into the hands of children who are 5 years old and younger, which means partnering with Head Start and local day cares to provide them literacy opportunities.
“We are going to look at bringing our community together,” Rayfield said. His idea is to have a day where community partners get together and work on their services project as one unit.
Rayfield first joined rotary in 2012 or 2013. He left when he started his position in the Coffee County School District, and rejoined in 2016. He served as president-elect under Cotten, who nominated him for the role.
Rayfield will be the club’s youngest president, but Cotten is confident he will lead well.
“He made a comment to me that he, at some point, wanted to be president of rotary. I wanted to make that dream come true. He has great leadership skills and I am sure he will take it to the next level,” Cotten said.
She later added, “I feel very confident that he is going to increase our membership and give us some more direction on which way we’re going and provide us with a lot of great opportunities to further our club.”
Rayfield added rotary is a great organization and gives him another chance to do what he is passionate about – giving back and serving the community.
In his first 100 days as rotary president, he wants to outline the strategic vision and have a vision statement that encompasses what the club is.
He also wants to establish strong service communities, such as service projects, club administration, public relations, and continue to develop rotary members.
“I plan to sit down with our membership and engage with them to make sure our priorities have been focused and our strategic plan has been focused based on what they would like,” Rayfield said, adding he would like to expound upon the traditions and strides made in the community.
“Our club is not just ‘we meet for breakfast.’ We are an active and vibrant club and we are going to strengthen that. We’re about rolling up our sleeves and diving in,” he continued.
Rayfield thanked Cotten for her year of leadership and the rotary board for going above and beyond.
“I look forward to continue to increase our club and service to the community,” he concluded.
In the past, the Manchester Rotary Club was involved in creating Rotary Amphitheatre next to the Parks and Recreation Complex, partially funding the dog park, handing out dictionaries and selling funnel cakes at the county fair every year.
To join rotary, contact any rotary member. Meetings are open to guests and membership forms can be provided then as well. Meetings are the second and fourth Thursday of the month, 7 a.m. at the Mercantile Café, 102 W. Fort St.
About Rotary International
Rotary International’s mission is to provide service to others, promote integrity, advance world understanding, good will and peace through our fellowship of business, profess and community leaders, according to Cotten.
Rotary International also promotes peace, fighting disease such as polio, providing clean water, saving mothers and children, supporting education and growing local economies.