Posted by John Pokorny on May 23, 2017
A Satellite Rotary Club is an officially sanctioned by Rotary International Club under the charter of a parent club. The Satellite Rotary Club will operate under the parent Rotary Club Charter until such time as the satellite is large enough to petition RI for its own charter. The Satellite Rotary Club will have its own community service projects and fund raisers to support the community service initiatives established by the satellite clubs own board.
Satellite club members are listed as Satellite Club members of the parent Rotary club. Instead of a club president, there is a Satellite Club Director who is serving as one of the parent club Board of Directors and working closely with its president and membership committee. 
District 5790 now has two officially sanctioned Satellite Rotary Clubs; The Rotary Club of Lewisville Satellite Rotary Club of Little Elm and the Rotary Club of Cleburne Satellite Rotary Club of Cleburne Evening.
There are many reasons clubs might consider starting a satellite club. Perhaps as in the case of Little Elm, it provided a quick start opportunity to in a neighbouring community where Rotary does not yet have a presence. Or, as in the case of Cleburne Evening, it was an opportunity to start an evening club without waiting to recruit the minimum 20 members for a new club and serve those Rotary members whose best time to meet is in the evening.
For this story I asked Cleburne Rotary Club member Blake Jones to provide us some history on how the Rotary Club of Cleburne went about starting a satellite club in Cleburne. The following is  a summary of Blakes comments:
I wanted to get more people my age involved in Rotary but I was having a lot of trouble with getting people to stick around after bringing them to the meetings either because of time, cost, or interest. I kicked around the idea of starting a community-based Rotoract club but the issue would've been the age cap of 30. Clint Ishmael informed me of the upcoming Satellite Club option and I ran with it. I knew that if I were going to be successful in getting this thing off the ground, I had to empower the right people.
The first thing I did was go through my contacts starting with those I had invited to Rotary before. Some of them I contacted on Facebook Messenger during the day and told them I was trying to get a group together in hopes of making some changes for the better in Cleburne. Most of the people I contacted were on board.
The second thing was scouting out a meeting place and time. I spoke with the president of the chamber of commerce here and scheduled the use of their conference room on Monday November 14th, 2016 at 7:00 PM. I figured that this meeting time would be well outside of any time constraints. When we met, I pitched the idea of Rotary, what they do, what our role would be, and then I opened the floor to the group.
The third thing was empowering the individuals that would eventually make up the board. I made a point of identifying the immediate problems within our county and had the group mull over it. From there, I let their ideas and suggestions go their natural directions. My plan was to simply bridge the gap between the club that was being formed and our Rotary club. I explained the logistics of chartering to the group and without hardly any problems, the board was in place.
The group currently meets at 1940 W Kilpatrick St, Cleburne, TX 76033 on the second floor (this is the building I own and have my Farmers Insurance Agency in) at 6:30 PM on Monday nights. So far they have completed about 3 different projects and they are currently in the middle of a fourth. I would be more than happy to provide you with any details you want on those projects. The club was officially added to RI records on April 18 of this year.
On March 31, 2016, the Rotary Club of Lewisville Morning Satellite Rotary Club of Little Elm was officially launched at an District 5790 Area 10 All Clubs Membership Celebration. Having been officially sanctioned on March 16th, the Satellite Rotary Club of Little Elm members present were inducted by District Governor Mary Ann McDuff and me at that meeting as part of the celebration. The following is a short summary of the process Lewisville Morning Rotary and its Satellite Rotary Club of Little Elm went through to start the club:
As part of our 2016-2017 strategic planning efforts the club had decided to pursue establishing a satellite club that could serve the southeast section of Denton County and the city of Lewisville where the community has seen tremendous growth. We have had a fantastic relationship with Hebron High School there including Student of the Month recognition and an active Interact Club. Our club also sponsors an Interact Club at the Colony High School. At the time it was our belief that we could tap into our relationships with school staff and perhaps the parents of Interact students to have a formation meeting to discuss starting a Rotary Club in that area of the county. We had a few meetings with a community member with a deeply vested interest in Interact and have attempted to set up a formation meeting with a core group of community members. While there was oral interest, actually getting a core group together proved more difficult than first thought. We are still keeping our avenues open and will continue to pursue with this community during the next school year.
While we were working with the Hebron (Castle Hills) area, one of our former Lewisville Morning Rotary Club members now working in Little Elm (also in SE Denton County) contacted our club about the possibility of starting a Rotary Club in Little Elm. That former and now current Satellite Club member Lori Krouskos is the manager of Point Bank in Little Elm. She had been contacted by 2 Little Elm community members that were also former Rotary members that were interested in starting a Rotary Club in Little Elm. In October of 2016, those 3 members met with Area Governor Gerald Robinson, Marilyn Pokorny and I about the various options for staring a Rotary Club. As a result of that meeting, members present agreed to start a Rotary Club formation process. They invited community members involved in Little Elm that considered themselves concerned citizens wishing to make Little Elm a great community to live and work. Since better than half of the interested members were not familiar with Rotary, the 1st two meetings focused on Rotary, what Rotary is and is not and all the benefits a Rotary Club could bring to a community like Little Elm. From there, we had a core group excited about forming a Rotary Club. Our 1st few meetings were at Point Bank trying different times of day to determine the best time of day for our meetings. As time went on, it was decided that a bi-weekly Thursday evening meeting time worked best for the majority of those interested. The meetings were moved to Bella's Cafe who had agreed to a dinner order service arrangement and meeting space for the group. The growing core group then began identifying community needs for service projects and fund raisers to support the projects identified. The group then identified a vision statement and a mission statement for the new Rotary Club.
It should be mentioned that at the outset of formation, the group had intended to start-up as a separate Little Elm Rotary Club and the Lewisville Morning Rotary Club as well as other clubs in Area 10 had agreed to support them in the effort. However, as the formation process continued, core group members were concerned that they would lose some of the great momentum they had achieved by waiting to identify the minimum 20 members the Rotary International requires to charter a Rotary Club. Further, other recent new club start-ups were holding off chartering until they had at least 35 members. In late February, the Little Elm Rotary Core group then decided to pursue becoming Satellite Club of the Rotary Club of Lewisville Morning. The Lewisville Morning Rotary Club BOD agreed to the formation of the RC of Lewisville Morning - Satellite Rotary Club of Little Elm. The satellite club elected a Satellite Club Director who serves on our BOD. They also elected a secretary and treasurer for the Satellite Rotary Club of Little Elm. A Satellite Club application was prepared and 8 satellite club member applications were sent into Rotary International Club and District Support. A few days later the Rotary Club of Lewisville Morning Satellite Rotary Club of Little Elm was sanctioned by Rotary International.
Have there been growing pains? Very few but not all that problematic. Because it is a Satellite Club, all members must be entered into the RI Data Base by Rotary Data services. Consequently, there is a lag in getting new members inducted. Currently, the Satellite Club of Little Elm has 12 inducted members with 3 in the cue. Once RI has processed the member applications, our club has to synchronize it's membership records with those of Rotary International using the Clubrunner compare and sync process. Another issue we had not anticipated was recording attendance. With the Little Elm Club meeting bi-weekly, the Lewisville Morning Rotary Club attendance took a nose dive on the off weeks. However, by applying Clubrunner exemption rules for the Little Elm off weeks, the problem is resolved. 
You may wish to check out the Lewisville Morning Rotary website to find out more about the Satellite Rotary Club of Little Elm. Simply hover your pointer over the Little Elm Satellite Image above and click. Note the Little Elm RC Stories link in upper right corner as well as the stories about the club on the home page.
Any Clubs interested in considering starting a Satellite Club is welcome to contact Blake Jones of Lori Krouskos for their personal insights.  The District 5790 Membership support team including Andy Eads, Lori Ficking, Lori Williams and District 5790 Membership Director Kay Huse are also excellent resources. Another resource to consider is Area 10 Assistant Governor Gerald Robinson (District Governor Nominee 2018-19) who has been instrumental in starting 3 new clubs in the last two years in addition to supporting the Little Elm satellite clib efforts. Marilyn and John Pokorny who have been personally supporting the Satellite Rotary Club of Little Elm efforts since October 2016 will be more than happy to provide information for your club to consider.
While the Satellite Rotary Club is a new concept in District 5790, District 5450 has been working on the concept since Rotary International started piloting the concept in 2011. The District 5450 Membership Team has prepared The Satellite Handbook - Guide To Forming, Managing and Operating A Satellite. This tool, while not the officially sanctioned how-to for satellite clubs does provide best practices from the satellite experiences in District 5450.