Albion Rotarian on path to become district governor

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 March 2015 at 12:00 am

Marlee Diehl will lead 70 clubs in WNY, Southern Ontario

Photos by Tom Rivers – Marlee Diehl is pictured by the Rotary sign outside Tillman’s Village Inn, where the Albion Rotary Club meets every Thursday for lunch and a program at 12:15 p.m.

ALBION – A member of the Albion Rotary Club is on track to become district governor of the 70 Rotary Clubs in Western New York and Southern Ontario.

Marlee Diehl will be the third woman to serve in the role as district governor for District 7090. Her term starts in 2017-18.

She has been active in many district events and committees, and will continue in the district leadership until her term starts as district governor. Diehl already serves as an assistant district governor for the clubs in Orleans and Genesee counties, and helps plan the annual district conference.

Retaining and growing membership, committing to community service and celebrating the volunteers in Rotary will be a part of her message as district governor, Diehl said.

“Fun and fellowship are the biggest things in Rotary while doing good in the community,” she said.

The 70 clubs had about 3,200 members collectively about 10 years ago and are down to about 2,400 now.

Diehl wants to reach out to younger adults, perhaps through Rotaract Clubs which have less of a time commitment for members. There are three Rotaracts right now in the district that are affiliated with colleges. There are also 18 Interact Clubs at high schools, including one in Albion.

Diehl wants to engage more students in Rotary, and also reach out to retired people and other community members who also have a lot of energy to give to Rotary and the community.

She will encourage existing members to invite prospective members. She also wants existing Rotarians to celebrate each other, because many Rotarians are committed to service in their community and beyond.

“Every Rotary Club and every Rotarian is different and they all come with their own life story,” she said.

Marlee Diehl has been active in Rotary since 1994, when she joined a club in Hamilton, Ontario.

Diehl’s husband Bill is current president of the Albion Rotary Club. They met at a Rotary conference in Toronto in 2009, when they were both at a training session for incoming Rotary presidents.

Bill was to be president of the Albion club for the first time in 2009-10, while Marlee was to be president of the Hamilton, Ontario club.

They became friends at that conference and would marry in December 2011. Mrs. Diehl emigrated and now lives with her husband in Carlton.

For about 35 years she worked as a recruiter, helping companies find executives and leaders in management. While connecting with business leaders, she noticed many wore Rotary pins or had Rotary posters on their walls.

When she was looking for an outlet for community service, she turned to Rotary and joined the Hamilton club in 1994.

“I believe that those who find success in life should also give back to their community and the world at large in as many ways as they can find,” Diehl said.

She is also active at the First Presbyterian Church in Albion and the Oak Orchard Neighborhood Association.

A local Rotary Club recently had one of its members serve as district governor. John Heise of Holley led the district during 2010-11.