Jessica Putnam - Club President 2021-2022 and Daughter Landyn
 
When Jessica Putnam joined the Bridgton-Lake Region Rotary Club three years ago, she was not a stranger to Rotary. She had had an opportunity to visit the Oxford Hills Club several times with colleagues at the Edward Jones Office in South Paris.  Jessica liked the ambiance and friendliness of the Oxford Hills Club, but wanted a Club of her own.  And with plans to open an office in Bridgton in the near future, she decided to check out the Bridgton-Lakes Region Club.  

George Klauber was the President at the time and welcomed her as a new member after several visits over as many months. Before long she was asked to Chair the Community Services Committee, under which much of the Club’s community work is planned and implemented.  A year later, Carol Madsen was President and Julie Forbes was President Elect.  In the tradition of Rotary Clubs worldwide, at mid-year a President Elect Nominee is chosen.  Jessica, a Rotarian for 1.5 years, was selected, accepted and elected.  She figured she had two years to become prepared. Little did she know, or any of us, how the world would turn with the Covid-19 pandemic.  And Jessica’s personal world changed drastically as well. 

Bridgton-Lake Region Rotary Club:  How did the pandemic affect your daily life? 

Jessica: In early March 2020, I had just returned from a well-deserved vacation. My first day back to work, on a Tuesday, ........

ROTARIAN JESSICA PUTNAM:  HAVING HER CAKE & EATING IT TOO! 

When Jessica Putnam joined the Bridgton-Lake Region Rotary Club three years ago, she was not a stranger to Rotary. She had had an opportunity to visit the Oxford Hills Club several times with colleagues at the Edward Jones Office in South Paris.  Jessica liked the ambiance and friendliness of the Oxford Hills Club, but wanted a Club of her own.  And with plans to open an office in Bridgton in the near future, she decided to check out the Bridgton-Lakes Region Club.  

George Klauber was the President at the time and welcomed her as a new member after several visits over as many months. Before long she was asked to Chair the Community Services Committee, under which much of the Club’s community work is planned and implemented.  A year later, Carol Madsen was President and Julie Forbes was President Elect.  In the tradition of Rotary Clubs worldwide, at mid-year a President Elect Nominee is chosen.  Jessica, a Rotarian for 1.5 years, was selected, accepted and elected.  She figured she had two years to become prepared. Little did she know, or any of us, how the world would turn with the Covid-19 pandemic.  And Jessica’s personal world changed drastically as well. 

Bridgton-Lake Region Rotary Club:  How did the pandemic affect your daily life? 

Jessica: In early March 2020, I had just returned from a well-deserved vacation. My first day back to work, on a Tuesday, I realized the state of the market and the confusion with the Covid-19 pandemic that my clients needed me now, more than ever. I made myself very much available to those requiring a little extra reassurance that their strategic investment plan and long-term goals would not be derailed by the current environment, and it was important to stay the course. That same day, I took a pregnancy test, only to find it was positive. I never planned to become a mother. As the oldest of eight children, I felt that I had already experienced “motherhood” and my primary goal in life was to continue to excel in my career and have lots of social events consistently booked on my calendar. I always had this misconception that if I had a child, my career and other goals I worked so hard to obtain, would be ruined or less fun if I had to worry about another, smaller, most likely crazier version of myself.  Little did I imagine at the time that motherhood would add more happiness and value to my already happy, but busy life. I continued to work, as hard as I could, and it ended up being one of my best years yet. 

Bridgton-Lake Region Rotary Club:  How did being a mother effect your Rotary life?   

Jessica: In November 2020 when I had my daughter, Landyn, I thought I’d take advantage of my 16-week, paid maternity leave and be able to continue my professional studies and stay up to date and involved in Rotary, the Chamber Board of Directors and all other community work. The reality was, that I very much needed to take a step back for myself, and my new little family.  By the time my leave was complete I had child care worked out with family and friends.  I believe Landyn is in good hands while I am at work.  And she has a chance to bond with her grandmothers as well as with me.  She is a beautiful, happy baby. 

Bridgton-Lake Region Rotary Club:  What are your Rotary plans with your Presidency only a few months away? 

Jessica: Rotary has changed my life in many positive ways. Not only do you develop “family-like friendships” but you start to feel much closer to your community by working together to help others and make a difference. I am excited for my upcoming term and have a few goals in mind. 

  

Some are administrative, like organizing and restructuring club committees in order to better utilize the committee chairs. I’d also like to develop better monthly reporting systems to track progress of the many committee projects.  Finally, I’d like to see us keeping better track of participation levels during our events as a gauge of satisfaction.   

   

Some are membership-oriented goals, like encouraging growth by attracting younger members from the community. We will do this by adding more "family friendly" fundraisers and “just for fun” events and asking young professionals to join us. Now about 1/3 of our members are under 40 years of age; another 1/3 are between 40-60; the remainder are over 60.