Holland District wins top awards at convention

Published 7:13 pm Friday, February 15, 2019

Martha Byrum receives the third place award for District Newsletter from Ruritan National President, Guy Cox during the National Convention. — Submitted



Last month, thousands of Ruritans converged from across the United States on the Hampton Roads Convention Center, less than 50 miles from the location of the Ruritans’s humble beginnings in Holland, which is part of the city of Suffolk, over 90 years ago. Ruritan National has nearly 30,000 members throughout the country who work to improve more than 1,100 local communities spanning 24 States. Each community is represented by individually chartered clubs, which are organized into zones, based on their geography and distance. Multiple zones make up a district, with 38 Ruritan districts each working to support their clubs and the Ruritan National organization’s vision of fostering “fellowship, goodwill, and community service.”

On Jan. 19, during the 2019 Ruritan National Convention, the Holland District was recognized and awarded for leading efforts in communications. The district includes many of the oldest clubs in Ruritan, including the very first one for which the district is named. Composing of 53 clubs across six zones from Central Virginia to South Hampton Roads, the Holland District covers a vast territory and includes hundreds to thousands of Ruritans.

In 2018, the Holland District Governor Phillip Bradshaw made it his mission to bring the Holland District’s communication strategies into the 21st century. Throughout the year, Bradshaw visited every corner of the Holland District and delivered his message about improving communication to show the communities that Ruritans serve, what Ruritan is all about, in addition to providing opportunities for non-members to learn more about Ruritan, and get involved in their communities by volunteering, becoming a member or providing support for Ruritan through sponsorships or donations.

Bradshaw’s 2018 agenda as the governor put an emphasis on digital communications with the revamping of the Holland District Ruritans’ website, launch of a print and email newsletter “The Ruritan Eagle,” and increasing outreach through social media with launch of the Holland District’s official Facebook page.

To help in accomplishing these objectives, the Holland District’s 2018 governor enlisted the services of fellow Ruritan Tim Bradshaw and his company, Insercorp LTD, headquartered in Downtown Franklin, a full service creative, web and managed solutions service provider.

Holland District Wins National Communications Awards

Bringing with him over a decade of professional marketing experience, Tim Bradshaw was appointed as the Marketing and Communications chair for the Holland District Cabinet and worked with the District Secretary Martha Byrum, along with committee members Jim Henderson and Ashlyn Sampson, to plan, design and execute the first phase of the district’s new marketing and communications strategy.

Ruritan National President Guy Cox presents the award for “Best District Website in Ruritan” to 2018 Holland District Governor Phillip Bradshaw. — Submitted

Award for District Newsletter

The district’s quarterly publication received a podium finish of third place for District Newsletters at the national convention. Through Insercorp’s partnership with Constant Contact, the Holland District was able to take the “Ruritan Eagle” District Newsletter to the next level, delivering important news right into the inbox of hundreds of Ruritans. As the Holland District’s Newsletter Editor, Martha Byrum extended her gratitude to all of the contributors from across the Holland District who helped make the “Ruritan Eagle” such a success.

Best District Website in Ruritan

In late 2018, Insercorp developed a cutting-edge, interactive website for the Holland District Ruritans replacing its stagnant, templated WordPress website with a completely custom, mobile-friendly platform powered by Insercorp’s proprietary website management platform, iPlasmaCMS2.

During the convention, the new website stole the spotlight with its innovative and intuitive interface and its dynamic content, earning the award for “Best District Website in Ruritan” out of the 38 Ruritan Districts.

The new website provides both members and non-members with a wealth of information including club pages, an interactive district map, member directory, photos, events and news.

With the first phase of the new website complete the next phase will include providing clubs access to post their own content directly to their club pages, making it even easier for Ruritans to stay engaged with their communities and further strengthen the Ruritan mission of “Fellowship, Goodwill and Community Service.”

For more information about the Holland District Ruritans, and to explore the website, visit www.hollanddistrictruritans.com.