Michael Fowlkes of the San Diego Men’s Division was the MDI President from 2004 through 2006.
What did you want to accomplish as the President during your time?
I wanted to stop the bleeding and get the attrition rate down. I wanted to have men be more accepting and connected with the Legacy Discovery. I wanted to organize MDI to make sure we had written procedures and processes. I also brought in the whole recognition program with the Rick Russell Award, the Hall of Honor, the Hall of Legacy and the Exemplar Awards. I wanted to make MDI this place that men wanted to be, to come and get what they needed. At the time we were trying to have a good relationship with the Sterling Institute of Relationships. That was the thinking at the time.
Which of your visions have lasted over the years?
The recognition program is still in place, especially the Rick Russell Award. The Legacy Discovery has become more of the accepted transformational weekend. I think that those are the basics. All of the codifying of our rules and procedures have been, at this point, updated and changed. I also wrote an RC and DC manual which has been rewritten a couple times, but still documents our procedures and our organizational chart.
Which of your visions have been altered or discontinued?
I don’t know that we do all the recognition programs that we started with. The other thing I think it was at the time I thought we had a really good process for monitoring the growth, but now through modern technology we know who’s registered with the website. We’ve modified all the different policies that we originally wrote.
How do you see MDI now?
I think it’s still in the process of becoming. I think we are still heading in the right direction. We’ve taken advantage of technology with the website. Legacy Discovery is more of an accepted program. I love that we made it through COVID and did innovative things through that. It’s is still a viable organization and the best kept secret. MDI is constantly in the state of becoming and evolving to being a place for a man to get taken care and get what they need, to get kicked in the butt. We are continually in the state of adapting, being the organization you’ve always wanted to be in, which was the context I held when I was the President.
What can you do now towards creating the MDI you’ve always wanted to create?
For me it’s always about constantly trying to get back to mentoring our young leaders, our DCs and RCs and Presidents. It’s about stepping up to create new programs like what I just completed: the Expansion Initiative. I was the first Lead Ambassador / Manager to form that program and create the scripts and protocols. So I think it’s about stepping into the areas where I’m passionate in order to move that part of the MDI forward.