International President-Elect Nominee

Rebecca Butler Mona
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Current Optimist Club(s)
Noon Optimist Club of Western Des Moines, IA

Date you first joined an Optimist Club:

May 1989

Year(s) you were a Club President:

1988-89; 1989-90; 2008-09

Year(s) you were a Lieutenant Governor:


Year(s) you were a District Governor:


International Offices or positions you have held:

Optimist Awards achieved:


Director of Global Marketing - IBM (current); after 32 years at IBM, I will retire in June 2017 to focus on my family and volunteer commitments.

What are your primary qualifications for this office?

My primary qualifications are my experience as an Optimist leader at the local Club, District and International level over the past 28 years in a broad spectrum of leadership roles, as well as my 32 years of business experience in management and executive positions in a large, global company (IBM). This dual base of experience provides a solid foundation for leading and motivating people to work together as a team to bring out the best in themselves and others, making informed decisions for the best of our organization, and representing our organization to Optimists, to groups with whom we seek to partner, and to the public. I have a passion for the work our Clubs do in their communities to truly make a difference, and I want to find ways to help them in that endeavor and to create more awareness of their outstanding work.

Why should a Club vote for you?

I was honored to be asked to have my name placed into nomination for President-Elect of Optimist International, and I recognize the significant commitment this role requires. For me, Optimism is a personal passion and has been since I joined shortly after college in 1989, immediately “jumping in with both feet.” I would appreciate the support of your Club, and believe I bring a unique mix of experience as an Optimist for 28 years in a broad range of roles in my Club, District and at the International level. I’ve visited many Districts and Clubs over the years, and understand the opportunities and the challenges our Clubs and our overall organization face. Growth, leadership development and marketing are topics where I have particular interest and experience, and I’ll work to help enhance these areas to benefit our Clubs and Members. Our “centennial year” (2018-19) should provide a unique opportunity to do that. In my professional experience at IBM, I’ve led complex organizations, managed budgets in millions of dollars, and gained insights into other cultures with travel to over 30 countries and daily work with colleagues across the globe. I am committed to ensuring that we make wise decisions for our organization and the Clubs and communities we serve around the world.

As an Optimist International President, what specific things will you work to achieve for the good of the organization?

If elected President-Elect of Optimist International, I would work to ensure that we remain focused on providing the best possible support for our Clubs and Members in serving their communities on a sustainable basis going forward. To me, this means effective communication (at all levels), leadership development, programs and tools to support growth in existing and new communities, improved awareness of our projects and related community impact, and sound overall financial management. I would also explore opportunities for partnership with other organizations toward mutual benefit, such as other service clubs as well as corporations. Ultimately, a successful organization is one that is growing, and I commit to work with the Board of Directors, our professional staff, and with our Districts and Clubs on opportunities to return our great organization to growth and strengthen our impact and visibility.

Anything else you would like to say to Clubs. 

Optimism is a big part of my life and has given me countless fond memories and dear friends. My husband Mike and I met through Optimists and our children Amanda (16) and Alex (14) have grown up in Optimism. I would be honored to serve as your International President and my family is in full support.

Candidate Bios

2017-18 President-Elect Candidates:

  • Rebecca Butler Mona, IA
  • Fatima Plater, MI
  • 2017-18 Board Director at Large Candidates (2 to be elected):

  • Don Brose, MI
  • Lola, Cumbo, AC
  • Sandy Cyphers, NCE
  • Robert Floyd, WMO
  • Patsy Garner, NTX
  • 2017-18 Vice Presidents-Elect Candidates:

  • Region 1 Northeast & Great Lakes – Cherryl Thames, MI
  • Region 2 Southeast – Brenda Ortelli, NFL
  • Region 3 Mid-Atlantic – Stewart Mallard, NCW
  • Region 4 Middle America – Gerri Barnett, IA
  • Region 5 Great Plains – Edie Harris, AMS&NW
  • Region 6 Southwest – Paul Lucas, NTX
  • Region 7 West Coast – T G Thomas, PSW
  • Region 8 St. Lawrence – Nathalie Boulet, QW and Roch Daigle, QC