Workshops - the Las Vegas Experience!

Bright lights, sounds of the slot machine? Well not exactly, but you have the chance to take part in a variety of workshops and training at the Las Vegas convention! Workshops and training will be held on Thursday and Friday, July 10 & 11. We believe there is something for everyone, so plan to attend! Workshop titles, descriptions and faculty subject to change.

Membership Magic-Laura Barker
Has your Club struggled with increasing membership and attracting younger Members using traditional methods? Do you have the same ten people doing all of the work? Then this is the workshop for you. Learn proven methods to raise the profile of your Club, to motivate Members to work as a team and to increase your numbers by making your Club more appealing to the younger generation.

Rules & Tools for Leaders-Jerry Kelley
This workshop outlines challenges facing a leader of a volunteer organization, provides rules to follow and tools to assist in meeting them.

Navigating the Opti-verse and Getting Social with Optimism- Thomas Lloyd

We will review each of the Optimist International websites:,,, and  We will also look at Optimist International on the prime social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.  When we are done, you will have a better understanding of where to find scholarship information, program ideas, Foundation materials, President’s Pride Report, how to add/delete Members online, how to “Like” someone, post information about Club events and much more.

Marketing Your Optimist Club: Bridging the Generational Divide
We all know the importance of getting the word out about what our Clubs do in the community. But how do we tailor such a message and what vehicles do we use to tell our story to vastly different audiences? This session will provide you with answers to those questions so you can return to your Optimist Club with a wealth of information that guarantees people of all ages will be aware of your work and your mission in the community. Opportunities will also be afforded to share best practices.

Dynamic Public Speaking-Jim Boyd

Fear is a natural deterrent to becoming a dynamic public speaker but it also should serve as one of the pieces of the puzzle toward such a goal. This session will peel back the layers of fear to uncover stepping stones to be used to become more comfortable in front of an audience. The session also involves a laboratory setting in which participants will be able to test their skills in a safe and friendly environment - intended to help them become better in the public arena. Check your fears at the door!

The Optimist Leader-James Rankin

Leadership is a learnable skill that can be instilled in others by instruction, role modeling, and mentoring. You will learn powerful strategies to use each of these methods to assist others. The purpose of the workshop is to foster a deep understanding of the importance of leadership in every facet of life. We will identify leadership styles, incorporate Optimism in the framework of leadership, and develop proven techniques to accomplish success in the life of your Club, community and home. 

James M. Rankin is the author of, ‘The Power of the Creed’ along with other books. He was a distinguished Club President, Outstanding and Distinguished Lieutenant Governor and is currently serving as Governor of South Texas District. He is a PGI 10, and a Builder of Excellence. He was an award winning speaker for Toastmasters.

We Worked so Hard to Get You and then Let You Go-Tracy Huxley
Getting new Members is only half the battle.  Keeping Members is a balancing act we all need to learn! People don’t step up to become volunteers to then sit at home and not be involved. Learn how the different dynamics in the membership of your Club can work harmoniously together so that everyone’s needs are met.  Happy Members make for lifetime Members and that makes for the most productive Club your community and the children can ask for.

Membership Recruitment Kit-Esthermarie Hillman
This session features ideas on how to build new Clubs along with ideas to grow new Clubs to 35 or more Members.  This workshop will also include discussion on a New Club’s first fundraiser.  Crowd participation is encouraged in this session!

Social Media for Dummies-JOOI Board
Do you consider yourself technologically impaired? What better way than to participate in JOOI's workshop on “Social Media for Dummies!”   The JOOI International Board will bring you up-to-date on all the new technology and answer any questions

How to Spread JOOI by Building a JOOI Club-JOOI Board & Don Brose
You can do something extra special for the youth in your community by organizing them into a JOOI Club, and we can tell you how!  Experienced JOOI Club builders and the JOOI Board will guide you through the process to make something very special happen in your community, helping you to truly “Bring out the Best in Kids”

10 Commandments for Optimist International Districts-Jim Kondrasuk

Have you heard or been told about ALL the Optimist International "requirements" for your District? Do you know every District has great flexibility in how it operates? Is your District "in touch" with today's reality for Clubs and Members? Does your District operate the same way it did ten years ago? Does your District do something because "we've always done it that way?" If any of these questions intrigue you, or apply to you, then this session is definitely for you.

How to Plan District Conferences & Conventions-Ronda Vaughn

A practical “how to” session with ideas on determining sites, hotel selection, vendors, budgets and contract negotiations for District Conferences and Conventions.  This workshop also features discussions on preparing your conference agenda.

Show Me the Money: The Basics of Fundraising-Deanna Morrow   
Raising funds for those all-important youth and community service projects is a vital part of every Optimist Club’s activities. While it can be a fulfilling and worthwhile endeavor, it can also be overwhelming and confusing if you are not sure where to start or how to stay on track.  During this session, CIT Deanna Morrow and her team of experts will present everything you need to know about the basics of fundraising.  Along the way we will introduce a few successful ideas that can be implemented quickly at the Club level.  This is your opportunity to energize your fundraising efforts!  Be sure to join us!

Protect Your Children, Protect Your Club-Laurie Ferris
We all work to safe guard children from dangers.  It is the responsibility of every adult to keep children safe.  Optimists are leaders in providing programs that teach sports, bike safety, internet safety, respect for law, substance abuse prevention and more.  Millions of children each year face the dangers of child abuse.  Preventing abuse can make a difference in every community influencing social problems such as teen pregnancy, depression, suicide, academic failure and substance abuse.

In this session you will learn what child abuse is and how we can be leaders in child abuse prevention.  You will also learn how to protect our Members, our Clubs and the Optimist International organization. 

Applied Optimism-Mark Weinsoff
Good and bad events occur in everyone's life.  How you explain these events to yourself is the primary factor that determines your overall happiness.  In this workshop you will learn the difference between optimistic and pessimistic explanatory style, the power of gratitude and how your optimism affects everyone around you. These practical methods based on the latest research in the field of Positive Psychology will help you make positive change in your life. Mark Weinsoff, Chuck Champlin and Elroy Pinks developed this presentation for the University of California, Santa Barbara Professional Development Conference where it was so well received they were asked to repeat it at the UCSB Professional Women’s Conference, the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce and five UCSB department retreats. Presenters are Members of the Optimist Club @ UCSB.

Optimism as a Philosophy of Business- Mark Weinsoff

Scientific studies have proven that Optimists live happier, healthier and more successful lives than pessimists.  Can the principles of Optimism be applied to business to create a happier, healthier and more successful workplace?  The answer is a resounding YES!  A whole field of scientific studies looking at Positive Organizational Behavior (POB) has grown out of the field of Positive Psychology.  This workshop will explain the principles of POB and provide some practical ways they can be implemented in the workplace along with ways for each individual to contribute to a positive work environment.  

Increasing Attendance at Meetings-Andre Therrien

Are you working hard to organize your Club or District meetings and would like to have the maximum number of attendees?  Then this workshop is for you! Come and learn the five stages of the marketing plan, the theme to be used for each stage and the tools at your disposal.  This strategy was used very successfully at the St. Lawrence Region Parallel District Conference last year with over 1,167 participants.  This is a workshop you don't want to miss!

District Secretary-Treasurer Designate Training-Marc Katz & Tracy Huxley
So you've stepped up to be your District Secretary-Treasurer, now what do you do?  At this District Secretary-Treasurer workshop find out the “who,” “what,” “where,” “when” and “why” of this important position as the District Governor’s right-hand person. Workshoips presenters are Past District Secretary-Treasurer Tracey Huxley, Past District Secretary-Treasurer Marc Katz and Optimist International Chief Financial Officer Connie Pellock.

Fun & Fellowship Continues-Sue Creswell
More fun and exciting ways to enhance your Club and Zone meetings and “mix up” your Members to have ”fun and fellowship!”

Leading Your Team: Club President’s Training- Deanna Morrow & Danny Rogers
You’ve accepted the challenge. You are the CEO of your Club, involved in virtually every project and program that your Club undertakes. As President, you provide the foundation upon which your Club becomes successful. You manage volunteers, and service is the outcome.  It’s time now to lead your team in the most effective way possible.  Be sure to join CIT Deanna Morrow and Past President/CIT Danny Rogers for this training session filled with ideas and information to ensure your team’s success, as together we focus on leadership and your responsibilities as Club President throughout the Optimist year.  Your journey to success begins here!

Club President’s Training – Sue Creswell
You said “YES” to being Club President!  Congratulations!  Now let us give you the confidence to lead your Club through the next year, building your membership, taking care of business AND having fun at the same time! Club President...your best year yet as an Optimist!

Time Management –Nick Prillaman
Do you find yourself overloaded with work? Feel so stretched to the limit you can’t set priorities? Exhaust yourself every day without accomplishing your goals?  The Time Management workshop will help you identify the causes of procrastination and indecision, pinpoint personal time wasters, and increase your concentration and focus. Learn to schedule your time more effectively, stay on track, and keep important goals on target, so you can stay balanced and be more effective and productive.

Their Voice, Your Vote-CQ Committee
This open forum will formally introduce you to candidates seeking election to our International Board of Directors.  Learn their strengths, experience, and ideas they intend to bring to Optimist International.

Seeking Rising Stars–Barbara Scirto—Sullivan & Rebecca Butler Mona
This workshop will answer your questions regarding how to achieve your leadership goals though service at the Optimist International level.  This includes being appointed to International-level committees, becoming a trainer, running for the Board of Directors, being selected as an Optimist International Vice President or International President.  Candidate Qualifications Committee Members will be on hand to enlighten you!


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