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Jo'El Pearlman
SWIS Governor 2022 - 2023
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A Message from this Governor

Insight into the vision, objectives and lessons from our District leadership.

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SWIS Governor 2020-2021

I am starting to count the months, weeks and days. What a ride I have experienced. I can best describe my feelings as bittersweet. Having gone from being extremely nervous and questioning what I got myself into to where I am now, concluding a most interesting, gratifying and enjoyable year. Have I completed everything I wanted to or had planned? I can honestly say no; however, I have a couple months to go and so far, I look back on my year as having been successful and one that I will forever remember.

Governor's Update

Message from Governor Max – July, 2021:

I believe I have served the SWIS District and members to the best of my ability and will embrace being SWIS District Governor as one of my most worthy accomplishments   As an Optimist, we live by our Optimist Creed which provides guidance to live our lives by seeking out the good and dealing with the not so good. 

One of the greatest rewards of my past year is the number of friends I now have in my circle.  I have not had the opportunity to see each and every one as often as I would have liked to this past year, but there are all of the tomorrows to come.  If it had not been that we were dealing with an intruder we know little about, COVID19, our time together would have been greatly increased.

If I were to leave one, just one, suggestion/recommendation to the members it would be to become more involved with the SWIS District.  Many have served your clubs in an administrative position and survived.  Your next move is to the district level.  You will survive this move as well because you are never working alone.  Optimists are ‘Forever Friends’ and friends help friends.  Ask and you shall receive.  During my term, I had many questions and now closing in on the end, I still have questions, only to have them answered by Optimist Friends.

You have not heard the last of me…it is only July and I will not sign off until September 30, 2021.  I will have one final message to share as my term as SWIS District Governor nears an end and I start a new beginning. 

Forever in Optimism, Governor Max


Greetings from Governor Max– March 1, 2021: 

I am hopeful with this message, I can bring a bit of comfort to clubs that are experiencing financial and membership issues.  After reading this, which I would encourage you to do, I am confident you will see the "glass as half full".  We all have experienced a difficult 2020 and to date in 2021, things have certainly not greatly improved.  Let us put this behind us, and focus on why it is so important that we change our mind set and realize we must take personal responsibility.  

We cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but we can change ourselves. This is something we have charge of, ourselves.  We are not given a good life or bad life; we are given a life. It’s up to us to make it good or bad.

I suggest you look at the charter date of your club.  How many years have you been serving youth, 100, 50, 20, 5 or perhaps 1?  For a Civic Organization, whatever your number of years, you have reached a milestone, something worth celebrating.  How many members are in your club, 100, 50, 20, 5 or perhaps fewer?  Regardless, each member reaches 35 children.  Ask yourself, “Do I want to let these children down?”

We need to retain our members and build our clubs with new members.  I reach out to each and every member, not just officers.  We will get through this difficult time dealing with COVID. Make a commitment that you are going to do your part to re-energize your club and your members.  We need to once again become engaged, find new ideas, reach out to all members to restore the life of our clubs.  Another question you might ponder…. is your community and the youth you serve worth the investment of your time and a few dollars each month?  

Forever in Optimism,   Governor Max   


January 20, 2021 – SWIS 2nd Quarter:  Perhaps late, but comes with the same heartfelt meaning - Happy New Year and Welcome 2021. We have closed out a difficult year and I am sure everyone is looking forward to welcome changes in 2021.  As much as I nervously anticipated serving as your District Governor, Time flies when you are having fun. I have over 8 months remaining, and just wonder where the past 4 months have gone.

The purpose of my message is to thank optimists who have volunteered during this year and encourage you, as Optimists, to step forward and volunteer your services and talents to serve the SWIS District in the future. I believe I have said this before and I say it again, you are not acting alone. You have a group of talented members to work with and reach out to for help, advice, support.

Our SWIS District has been around, independently, since 93-94, a milestone for any Civic Organization.  I confirmed this date from the 93-94 Charter Governor of the SWIS District, Jim Kondrasuk.    To sustain our history, that which we do for youth, our communities and ourselves, we need leadership, new members, new clubs and members who demonstrate “The Power of One” with a desire to “Bring Out the Best in Everyone”.  

In a little over 8 months, we will welcome a new Governor and a new administrative team.  If you are approached, know it is because you are looked upon as someone dedicated to Optimism and portray leadership characteristics.  We have and belong to an organization that far exceeds any other when it comes to serving and benefitting youth.  Be a part of maintaining the history of Optimist International and the SWIS District.   

“Forever in Optimism”,  Maxine Lane, SWIS District Governor 2020-2021


November 23, 2020, SWIS 1st Quarter Continued:   First, thank you to the many clubs and members who supported my first quarter conference.  My nerves were working overtime up until the day of and once my Optimism took control, at 8:30 AM on November 7, 2020, the conference met all of my expectations.  My goal was to honor our Veterans and I was pleased with the entire program.  Thank you to Josh and Jo'El for helping to make this tribute happen and to the members who sent in pictures of Veterans in their family.   

From comments received, I’m confident everyone in attendance enjoyed hearing from our Guest Speaker, Dr. Jeff Kueter who shared a most interesting experience in his life serving our country as well as serving three Presidents in the White House.  I would be remiss if I did not share a special thank you to John Fons.  John covered for me in facilitating the meeting following my introduction and welcome.  John was also our Keynote Speaker, providing a most inspiring presentation on “The Power of One” and how such a simply phrase impacts our lives in multiple ways. 

I do not mean to fill everyone’s mail box with email; however, being a holiday advocate, I simply could not let the upcoming holidays pass without reaching out to each and every member in the SWIS District.  Holidays are for families and our SWIS District Optimists are family.  This year will be perhaps different in some instances, with all family members not being able to gather under one roof; however, we will still be together in thought.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, the official start of the Holiday Season.  As we prepare to celebrate with family and friends, we truly have much to be thankful for in celebrating our lives, a warm home, food on our table, we pray for good health for everyone and we have the love of family and friends.

May your Holiday Season be one that is blessed with all things bright and beautiful, leaving you with fond memories and hope for the future.

“Forever in Optimism”,  Maxine Lane, SWIS District Governor 2020-2021

 October 1, 2020, SWIS 1st Quarter:  Wow, where do I start?  Perhaps Thank You!  Looking back at the August, 2019 Convention you had confidence in me and voted me in as Governor Elect.  I now address you as SWIS District Governor and I am here to tell you, I will not let you down.
The farthest thing from my mind in September, 2009, when I joined the Optimist Club Platteville was someday serving the SWIS District as Governor, primarily because of my lack of self-confidence and second guessing myself.  In my youth I experienced bullying, was not the cheerleader or overachiever; I did not think I could accomplish what I have, but because of my hard work and dedication, I have conquered many challenges over the years.
What is in our future as I serve as SWIS District Governor?

I believe strongly that each of us needs to work to mentor and get others involved.  This means that those in leadership positions need to ask/recruit other members and mentor them to allow our organization to continue to grow, be strong, be the organization of choice and serve more children.

We need to encourage and share ideas, and we can only do that by encouraging and reaching out to other members.  We need to get people involved and empower them. 

“The Power of One” is within all of us.  Reaching out, mentoring, and working in unison to reach our goals in serving children and community.

I look at the shoes I’m looking to fill as SWIS District Governor.  Intimidating, damn right!  However, I’m once again ready to meet my fears and prove that through my determination and belief, I will do the best job I can.

I recently was introduced to a new quote, “Participation if preferred over Perfection”.  I’m far from perfect although I’ve been told I’m a perfectionist.  I am Maxine Lane, upfront and honest.  If I make a mistake, I’ll admit to it. 

I am looking forward to working alongside my team members and every other member within the SWIS District.  Thank you seems so inadequate so I’ll say it twice, Thank You, for allowing me to serve you in the capacity of SWIS District Governor, 20-21.

“Forever in Optimism”,  Maxine Lane, SWIS District Governor 2020-2021

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