It is with this tenet in mind that I announce today that I have resigned my position as the website administrator of the PNW District.
I began this website in 2007, before I had a role within the PNW District. My purpose was to help Optimist Clubs receive more publicity. It was at this time that Optimist Club members and leaders were crying that the organization needed marketing. I imagined then, and I still believe, that the secret to marketing is publicity. The secret to publicity is the ability to write your own stories and to archive them where they can be accessed by the public 24/7/365. That is why the purpose of this website was and will always be to promote the activities of Optimist Clubs primarily in the Pacific Northwest.
Several years after I started this site, I became Governor of the PNW District - Optimist International. One of the first challenges I faced, and let me tell you there were many, was access to the district's website. For the sake of history, David Morrison built the PNW District's first website at www.pnwoptimist.org. When David stepped back, Michael Gray stepped into the role. I had intended to continue to use Michael's technical skills as a computer technician until I realized I was not going to have access to actually write stories or change the information on the site he had built because it was not built on a shareable platform. Additionally, its design did not allow the progressive social media messaging that I hoped to share.
In October 2009, my first month as governor, I asked Michael to transfer the site to me so that I could update it. He refused, partly because it was housed on a server that he kept in his garage instead of being secured online on a shareable platform as I mentioned earlier. After months of aggravation and intervention by others on both Michael's and my behalf, the website domain name was finally transferred to the district in March 2010.
But something else had happened. In the meantime, as governor, I needed to communicate and our clubs needed a portal for information. The site that I had built for publicity at www.pnwdistrictoptimist.com had by default become the district's website and it has proudly served in that capacity for Governors Linda Vaught, Ed Murphy, Bill French, Larry Blackburn, Fred Wallace and Dick Disney.
You might imagine a pattern is about to emerge here. Unbeknownst to me, Michael had kept his old website and upon his becoming governor, without telling anyone, he reactivated it at www.pnwoptimist.com in August 2015.
The default district website, the one hosted here, received very little information for publication from the governor in 2015-2016. While frustrating, it was okay because we had greater stories to tell. Until now.
After submitting some ambitious goals to grow the readership of this website as the website administrator for the PNW District, as requested by Governor Rick Matkin, I found myself butting heads with some so-called leaders who apparently don't care about the skill, experience or knowledge of others. On November 19, 2016, Governor Rick, prompted by the 2015-2016 governor and secretary-treasurer, informed me that he was going to pursue the same model that was used last year for registrations, disrupting my ability to continue to grow this site as a district portal.
I expressed my desire to Governor Rick to build one website for the district - not "Linda's site" or "Michael's site" and received an offensive reply that let me know in no uncertain terms that my expertise was not welcome. You may read the entire conversation here.
I now turn to the Optimist Creed.
Someone reminded me to give so much time to the improvement of myself that I have no time to criticize others and to be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as I am about my own. Well, did you know that the year I was governor - 2009-2010 - the PNW District earned Distinguished District status with an Outstanding Governor? That's a pretty big deal considering it has only happened once in the past 16 or more years. Do you see anywhere in this website that I have tooted my own horn? No - but you will see where I have loudly acknowledged Distinguished Governor Ed Murphy and Distinguished Governor Dick Disney's achievements. I have written more than 800 stories that celebrate the good work of Optimist Clubs and Optimist International.
If someone sees my transparency as critical, I beg they take another look. I am working for the best and as an Optimist Club member, I expect the best of others.
Please know, I have shared my optimism at least once per week for over 9 years and I will continue to do so, right here, on this website. My publicity will no longer be in service to a district, but instead, it will be in service to the Optimist Clubs that make our world a better place to live. Please continue to share your stories for publication by email or phone 208.861.2310
Thank you for all that you do as an Optimist Club member and thank you for reading this story. At 900 words, it is the longest and perhaps most difficult post that I have ever written for this site, but I felt it was necessary that I explain why I have resigned.
If you would like to tell the world why you live the Optimist Creed, please click here to send your picture.