Olive P. Scott

Olive P. Scott

Governor District 7190 - 1995-1996
My husband, Ray, and I spent a truly memorable summer during my year as District Governor traveling the "by-roads and by-ways" of the nine counties comprising District 7190 in rural upstate New York, USA, from Schoharie County in the south to Washington and Warren Counties in the north and the Vermont border to the east.

District 7190 was part of several Districts throughout the years, finally becoming District 719 in 1957 and 7190 in 1991. The Rotary Club of Albany, New York was chartered as the 68th Rotary club in 1913 and the Troy Club was chartered as 112th in 1914. These two clubs were the wellspring for nearly all of the clubs in what is now District 7190. We currently have 46 clubs with a combined membership of 1,918. Our newest club, the Rotary Club of Northern Lake George, was chartered during my year as Governor. The charter date was May 17, 1996, which was the first day of our three-day District Conference. I remember my excitement when I received a call from Ray Bredberg, my RI Service Supervisor, just before the opening session telling me the charter had been approved.

After retiring from the State University of New York at Cobleskill in September 1993, I planned to start a small antique business, set up my loom, update my weaving skills and do some traveling. We started with the traveling part and left for Denmark immediately after my last day of work, spending a wonderful month touring the length and breadth of a lovely and picturesque country.

Upon returning home in October my Rotary club suggested that I submit my name as a possible candidate for District Governor Nominee. I didn't think I had much of a chance but with the support of my club and their pledge to help me in any way they could, I submitted the paperwork. The interview process took place the first of December 1993 and my short term retirement plans changed dramatically as I began my training to become the 1995-96 District Governor for 7190. Several of our PDG's offered their encouragement and assistance and the District Governor invited me to become part of the Multi District PETS Planning Committee which met monthly. My training was underway. The training at the zone level and again at the International Assembly in Anaheim was motivational, focused and intense. It was a great experience, one I shall long remember. What a marvelous opportunity to network with my classmates from all over the world! I was pleased with the way the introduction of women into the training program was handled-noted by not blown out of proportion. I should note that as part of a college senior administration staff I worked in a "man's world" for over half of my professional career, therefore, being one of the first women in a new role was not a new experience for me.

I returned from the International Convention in Nice eager to assume my duties as District Governor on July 1. The District Directory had been distributed, the "speech" for my official club visits was ready and my first newsletter was almost ready for printing. On July 15 I found out that the District reserve account of approximately $27,000 had been reduced to $2,500, that the District liability insurance due in mid June, $2,700, had not been paid, the $4,500 account for the new computer that had been ordered was really part of the $27,000 balance which was no longer available and the $50 reimbursable deposit made by 26 of our outgoing students in the Youth Exchange Program was also part of the $27,000 reserve account. Needless to say, this was a "large dose of reality". My first communication as District Governor to the club presidents and committee chairs was to place a freeze on the District budget. 
The Budget and Finance Committee and I spent an inordinate amount of time in the next few weeks unraveling the previous year's "accounting process", performing an audit, implementing some standard accounting procedures and revising the current year budget. I loaned the District $3,000 to pay the liability insurance and appealed to the clubs to pay their District dues as rapidly as possible.

Meanwhile the club visits were going very well. We were made to feel welcome and "special" with banners announcing our visit, certificates of appreciation for our service to the District and small gifts unique to the area. My husband, a fellow Rotarian, accompanied me on all but one of my official visits as well as the area representative assigned to the club. Our District theme for the year was "Fostering Involvement" and one of my objectives throughout the year was to create a team concept and to share responsibility for the club with the area representative-that was achieved.

I completed all but one of my goals for 1995-96. We did not make our membership goal of 9%, net gain, but we did increase y approximately 6%, turning the downward spiral around and heading back toward a District membership of 2,000. Our 46th club was chartered with 30 new members. This was the first year in many years that we achieved basically 100% reporting of attendance and membership from all clubs in the District every month. We made our District pledge to the Rotary Foundation thanks to a special effort by three of our larger clubs and had three major donor contributions, two more than I pledged. Attendance at District functions increased significantly. District By law changes were approved creating an Executive Council, which gives more structure to the administration of the District and provides for some continuity from one year to the next. Area Councils, qualifications and duties for District positions and safe guards for the District Budgeting process also were added to the By Laws.
Ray and I made a commitment to live, sleep, eat and breathe Rotary for the year and we pretty much did just that. We attended all of the club functions that we were invited to, visited most of the clubs at least twice, some several times. Our family and friends understood the commitment we had made and our family participated in our events when they could, including my 94 year-old mother, when she visited us during the year from California. Most of our social life during the year revolved around Rotary events and our Rotary friends. Our home club, the Rotary Club of Cobleskill, NY, more than fulfilled their commitment to assist me in any way they could, providing financial support as well as person power in completing my year as Governor.

I approached the job of District Governor as a Rotarian who happened to be a female. I am sure there must have been some male Rotarians who were not overjoyed with a female District Governor. However, I believe even they would say that I did a good job and they will remember me for the job I did as District Governor and not just as the first female Governor.

I am continuing to serve Rotary this year, 1996-97, at the District level and at the zone level. I am the Chair of the District Foundation Committee, District Leadership Development Trainer, member of the 1997 District Conference Committee, member of the Board of Directors of the Gift of Life Committee and member of the District Executive Council. I served on the 1996 Zones 31 & 32 Rotary Leadership Forum Planning Committee and was a Group Discussion Leader for the District Governor Nominee Program and for the District Leadership Development Trainers Program.

I consider it an honor to have served as the 1995-96 District Governor for 7190. It was a very positive experience for me and I am glad I took advantage of the opportunity to be involved in Rotary beyond the club level. I have learned a lot about a great service organization and the tremendous work that Rotarians do around the world to further world understanding and peace. 
Olive and her husband, Raymond, are members of the Rotary Club of Cobleskill, New York. Olive retired from her position as senior Vice President for Academic Affairs with the State University of New York at Cobleskill in September 1993.

Olive received her B.A. and M.A. degrees from the California State University at Long Beach and her Ed.D. in college administration from Pepperdine University, Malibu, California. Olive's professional career spanned 35 years in higher education, the first 29 years in southern California as a classroom professor and college administrator and the last 6 years in New York. She is a member of Kappa Delta Pi, Phi Kappa Phi and Epsilon Pi Tau honorary societies and a member of the American Association for Higher Education.

A past president of the Rotary Club of Cobleskill, which she joined in 1988. Olive has served as an active member on various committees within the four areas of service, has hosted members of the Group Study Exchange from Germany, Turkey, India, Brazil and the Philippines. She has worked as a volunteer on Rotary Day at the WMHT Auctions. She received her club's Rotarian Of The Year Award for 1993-94.

At the District level she has served as Chair of the Vocational Service Committee, member of the Foundation Committee and as the 1995-96 District Governor. Currently she is serving as Chair of the Rotary Foundation Committee. District Leadership Development Trainer, on the Board of Directors of the Gift of Life Committee and on the Executive Council.

Since serving as Governor in 1995-96, Olive has served District 7190 as Rotary Foundation Committee Chairperson from 01 July 2001 to 30 June 2002, and is serving as Polio Eradication Fundraising Campaign Chairperson from 01 July 2002 to 30 June 2003 and PolioPlus Committee Chairperson, also from 01 July 2002 to 30 June 2003. She served on the 1996 Zones 31 & 32 Rotary Leadership Forum Planning Committee and was a Group Discussion Leader.

In her community, Olive is a member of the Board of Directors for the Schoharie County Arts Council, hospital auxiliary for Bassett Hospital of Schoharie Country. Schoharie County Colonial Heritage Association, Iroquois Indian Museum and has served as a Deacon in the Presbyterian Church.

Olive and Ray have one son, Danny, a Professor at Cornell University, and two grandchildren. 

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