#WomenWednesday Rotary Profile – Anna Giesbrecht

AG Twitter header - lrg

We are thrilled to feature our first Rotaractor, Anna Giesbrecht. Anna is one of the people working hard to form the Rotaract Club at the University of Waterloo. Anna and her team recently celebrated the successful approval of their constitution by Feds, making the UWaterloo Rotaract Club an official club on campus. Congratulations!

Why did you join Rotaract?  I joined Rotaract because my friend had been very involved with Rotary throughout his life and was very passionate about the experiences he had the opportunity to par-take in. I began learning more about what Rotary and Rotaract were, about how they strive to serve others in their local communities and around them. This is something that resonates with me so I decided to join for more opportunity to serve others.

Can you provide me with your “Rotaract path,” highlighting experiences and accomplishments?  My time in Rotaract hasn’t been very long. My friend Timothy Souza had started looking for people who would be interested in joining a University of Waterloo Rotaract club last December, and once I learned more about what Rotaract was I decided to join. Since then a team of us have been working on getting UWaterloo Rotaract started; electing a Board, Chairs, getting people out to meetings. During this time I became the secretary, which has been an interesting experience as I’ve never done it before, and we were able to get our constitution approved by Feds, thus becoming an official club on campus! Since the last few months have just been setting the foundation for the group we’re taking the summer to plan meetings and events for the fall term.

Tell me about your values and how Rotaract/Rotary aligns with these?  One of my strongest values is to treat others with the same respect as you wish to be given. I also believe that we all have a duty to look out for one another, to help each other prosper and heal. I found that this aligns with what Rotary stands for as they openly promote ‘service above self’. This is part of what really drew me to Rotary, as their goal is to help others and help create strong community bonds.

What are your future Rotaract/Rotary goals, both short‐term and long‐term?  Currently, to continue to help UWaterloo Rotaract grow, get more members, do more events, raise money and awareness – make a difference. In the short term we need to find people to sit on the Board and be Chairs for the Committees for once we leave. In the long term, I personally hope we can do an international trip with the group – whether it be to a Rotary conference or to learn more about how other people live and what we can do to support them.

If you could tell another woman one thing about Rotaract/Rotary membership, what would it be?  It’s a great place where your voice can be heard, where you can take leadership and affect change – both within the organization and around it.

Do you think Rotaract/Rotary membership adds positive value for woman? If so, how (e.g. networking, mentorship, community involvement, leadership, etc.)  Though I haven’t been involved for very long I can definitely say joining can add positive value for a woman. It gives the opportunity to meet women from all walks of life; different career paths, different ages and backgrounds. To form connections and relationships with these people offers so much more opportunity for learning. I think having women form mentoring relationships with each other would be very beneficial as you can learn about life through one another’s experiences. As well, to encourage each other to take leadership positions within Rotary is essential for Rotary’s growth and development over future years.

To find our more about the UWaterloo Rotaract Club, visit them on Twitter at @uwrotaractclub.


#WomenWednesday Rotary Profile – Jacqueline Mulvey

JM Twitter header - lrg

It is a pleasure to share Jacqueline Mulvey’s profile with you as part of our Profiles of Women in Rotary. Jacqueline joined Rotary over three years ago feels that belonging to Rotary has “changed her life.”

A lawyer for almost 20 years, Jaci is a sole practitioner in a General Law Practice with a focus on family law and real estate.  She practices out of a century home in downtown Kitchener that she and her husband purchased and restored. They have three amazing children, Emily age 15, Ben age 13, and Ella age nine.

It was a long-time client who introduced Jaci to Rotary.

With a busy practice and family life, Jaci felt she didn’t have enough time to be involved with Rotary. But, after a single breakfast meeting at the Walper Hotel, Jaci was hooked.

When she entered the room for her first meeting, she felt she belonged. She found the members welcoming, and it wasn’t long before she was calling them friends.

Jaci got involved immediately in the Club’s local Allocations Committee. The Committee’s responsibility is to allocate funds to community projects, including schools and other child-focused organizations. The Rotary Club of Kitchener Grand River’s primary focus (and the mission statement for their club) is to help local children, particularly those who are underprivileged. It has been a rewarding experience, and she has been involved with this Committee ever since. Jaci states that she “loves being a part of helping under privileged children in our community”.

Jaci has also been involved in the Kidsability Fun Fair committee for the last five years. The event is a local Rotary initiative, combining all five clubs. It provides a fun-filled day for the children involved with KidsAbilty and their families. A day for them just to be kids.

The annual event has had a tremendous impact on Jaci. She finds herself teary-eyed when she witnesses first hand, a child with leg braces have the opportunity to take their braces off to jump in a bouncy castle just like his/her peers. She finds the smiles on the children’s faces “contagious and unforgettable”.

At last year’s Fun Fair, Jaci was standing with a few other Rotarians when one of the parents approached them. She thanked them for putting on such a wonderful event and told them that they “had no idea how much this event meant to her son.”

A mother herself, the comment resonated with Jaci. She understood the specialness and power of Rotary, but more importantly, that the difference she made as a Rotarian was felt not just globally, but locally, and certainly to this one Waterloo Region family.

Last year, Jaci proudly stepped into the President-Elect role for the Kitchener-Grand River Rotary Club. She feels that being a part of Rotary has opened her eyes to something wonderful; a local group of people with a similar interest in making a difference in their community and in the world. This June she will attend the Rotary International Convention in Australia where she looks forward to having the opportunity to meet Rotarians from all over the world.

The values of Rotary, service above self, is something Jaci believes applies in her family life as well. She hopes that her involvement in Rotary will have an impact on her children; that they will realize the importance of helping people in need in their community. She has brought her children to Rotary meetings and events, and indicates that she would be so proud if one or all of them were Rotarians one day!

To find out more about Rotary and how you can have an impact locally or globally, visit the Rotary Club of Kitchener Grand River website, check out their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter.

#WomenWednesday – Audrey Wipper

AW Twitter header - lrgAudrey Wipper – Scholar, Horsewoman, Benefactor, Rotarian

Audrey Wipper has been a member of the Rotary Club of Kitchener since 1993, holding distinction as the third woman to join the club—but that that is not her only distinction!

Born and raised in St. Catharines, Audrey attended McGill University. She graduated in Arts in 1952 before moving on to complete a Master’s Degree in Sociology and further graduate studies at the University of California – Berkley. In the early 60s she went to East Africa and worked out of Makerere University in Kampala.

A pioneer in the field of scholarship on African women and development issues, her PH.D studies focussed on various religious movements involving both Christian and indigenous women in western Kenya. After receiving her Doctorate she returned to Kenya for post-doctorate studies. While there she was offered a position in the new Sociology Faculty at the University of Waterloo where she spent the rest of her career. She retired as Professor in 1996.

Over the years Audrey has had an active academic career authoring many books and editing journals, many most having  to do with conditions in Africa including: Towards a General Explanation of Protest Movements in Colonial Kenya, Equal Rights for Women in Kenya? and Bishops and Prophets in a Black City – African Independent Churches in Soweto.

For much of her life, Audrey owned her own horse and enjoyed riding most days. She was involved in competitive riding and dressage where she often travelled to shows pulling her horse trailer. Her Master`s thesis was on people who rode horses, hunters and jumpers.

As busy as her life was, Audrey maintained regular attendance at Rotary meetings. Her incredible work earned her a rare eighth level Paul Harris Fellow–the highest in the Club. In 2005, Audrey went to India as part of a Rotary National Immunization Campaign against Polio and helped vaccinate hundreds of children.

In 2009, Audrey approached club leaders to set up a fund that would support the university education of African women. It was her belief that educated African women could have a profound effect on their society and family. In this effort, and with a substantial personal contribution, the Audrey Wipper Educational Fund was created.

The Fund is administered by the Rotary African Women’s Education Fund (RAWEF) Committee. Since its inception, the fund has enabled 13 young women who survived capture from their Ugandan school dorm by rebel soldiers in Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army, to complete secondary and post-secondary education. The women, from Uganda and Kenya, are expected to return to work in their communities in order to provide leadership.

To find out more about the women who have benefit from the Audrey Wipper Educational Fund, visit http://www.rawef.com/ .



#WomenWednesday Rotary Profile – Jennifer Jones

JJ Twitter header - lrg

Jennifer Jones, Rotary International Director 2015-2017

Jennifer is the President and CEO of Media Street Productions Inc., a television production company in Windsor, ON. She is a proud member of the Rotary Club of Windsor-Roseland and is a Past District Governor of District 6400.

In Rotary, she is the Chair of the Strengthening Rotary’s Advisory Group and has served as the Moderator of the 2013 RC/RPIC Institute, Vice Chair of the RI Communication Committee, North American RPIC Coordinator, the Advisory Board for Rotary Canada and the RI Promotions Committee’s for Lisbon and New Orleans. She is serving a third term as Seminar Leader at the International Assembly 2014 and has been a featured speaker at this event on three occasions.

Jennifer also contributes much of her energy to local organizations. She is the Chair of the Board of Governors at the University of Windsor and the immediate past Chair of the Board of Directors at the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce.

She has been recognized with many awards and recognitions including Rotary’s Service above Self Award, the YMCA Peace Medallion, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and Wayne State University’s Peacemaker of the Year Award – a first for a Canadian.

Jennifer is happily married to Nick Krayacich, a local family physician. They share a love for many things including travel, cycling, golf and relaxing at their family cottage. They share a thirst for adventure and reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa in January 2009.

As champions of The Rotary Foundation, they are members of the Arch C. Klumph Society, the Paul Harris Society and are charter members of the Bequest Society.

Meet Jennifer…

PDG Jennifer Jones has been selected to serve as Rotary International Director in 2015-2017. As of December 1, 2013, she is officially our Zones 28-29 Director-nominee.  What a great time for all of us to get to know Jennifer as she begins her preparations.

What are two of your most memorable Rotary experiences?

How do you select just two…. there are so many Rotary experiences that have framed the way I think, feel and act. I think for most of us it’s the intimate, shared experiences as a Rotarian…the joys and the sorrows of life are that much richer when you walk alongside those who you cherish.

A day I will never forget was being a club president on 9/11. By about 10am I began receiving emails and phone calls asking if we would be cancelling our meeting. I knew this was an important time for us to be together and share our feelings…so the meeting went on, but certainly not as had been planned.

Our members all arrived that day and as Canadian’s we stood belting out the Star Spangled Banner and weeping with our neighbors to the south.  Rotary punctuates more than anything that we exist without boundaries and borders and that day as human beings we were all united.

A second memorable experience that I have been recently reflecting upon was being the Host Organizing Chair of the Rotary World Peace Summit in April 2008 in Windsor, ON. It was a dynamic, three-day event in which over 1000 people attended including 400 young people. Rotarians came from far corners of the world and we opened the doors to the community to attend. More than 3500 people participated in a parade of flags along the Detroit River and an outdoor opening ceremony. It was breathtaking.

There were many notable speakers including UN Ambassadors, Nobel Nominees, Rotary Senior Leaders and on Sunday morning a “spirited” keynote address from Robert Kennedy Jr.

What first attracted you to Rotary?

I first attended Rotary because I was asked. It may sound cliché but I think this is the case for so many Rotarians. I was 27 – had just started my business and didn’t have a family history in Rotary. I really didn’t have much of an idea of what I was getting into at first but once I walked through the doors and saw like-minded people, some who I knew and some I didn’t, I was hooked. Right away I was asked to chair our club’s big Lobsterfest fundraiser. While terrified, I agreed. Ahhh…youth! It was a great lesson for me about engaging new members in Rotary. You have to give them something meaningful to do.

 How has Rotary changed your life?

The most profound way that Rotary has changed my life is how it’s affected my family and my circle of friends.  My husband Nick is a Rotarian, as is my mom. As a matter of fact, the last official act I performed as a District Governor was installing my mom into Rotary.

The embarrassing part of this story is that I am not the sponsor of either one. Sometimes we look right past what is in front of us and miss the opportunity to share service with those closest to us.

They both had the opportunity to serve as club presidents last year. We all attended PETS together.  Nick doubled the size of his club and my mom hosted an incredible international Rotary Peace Walk.

As of late, we have reflected upon how our membership in Rotary has deepened our marriage – making this life journey even more special by sharing in service.

What are your goals for service on the Board of Directors?

While the role of the Director is one that governs the organization at large – I think there are opportunities to continue to grow relationships within our paired Zones – everything we do needs to be focused on improving the club experience …and this is a theme that is central to all of my thinking.

We are truly entering into what will be one of our most historic times as an organization with the end of polio and strengthened brand communications.

However, our biggest task in North America is to continue to focus our attention on the North American Membership Plan and make it real to Rotarians so they are able to take action.

And finally on a more personal note, I’m quite excited to work with President Nominee Ravi Ravindran. I have had the wonderful opportunity to work with him over the past several years and he is an outstanding Rotarian, incredible business mind and a progressive thinker.

What do you see as Rotary’s biggest challenges?

Membership is definitely our biggest challenge. If we don’t have Rotarians we don’t have Rotary and then nothing else matters. We can’t rely on the same old business model and expect things to change. Albert Einstein once said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

What about you would surprise your fellow Rotarians?

While attending University for a degree in communications, I worked full time in radio at AM800 CKLW. This is the station that launched all of the Motown greats including Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and so many more.

I began as the world’s worst overnight disc jockey and then transferred quickly into the newsroom where I found my passion. I loved being an anchor and reporter and breaking news as it happened. These were formative years and the most profound lesson learned was about the power of story telling – a skill that I now rely on daily in sharing Rotary with others.

There are many other things that people wouldn’t know but one other memorable surprise would be that I starred in a movie called “The Gift of Time”. It was shown nationally and was sent to Hollywood to qualify for the Academy Awards. It was a cute little flick but as you can see, I kept my day job! As I reflect upon the name of the movie – isn’t that what Rotary is all about!

#WomenWednesday Rotary Profile – Melanie Schrauwers

MS Twitter header - lrg

It is a pleasure to share Mélanie Schrauwer’s story with you as part of our Profiles of Women in Rotary. I first learned about Mélanie while at a Rotary training session. I was intrigued when I heard that it was the men in her Rotary Club who organized the baby shower for her most recent child, Mila! I knew that I had to speak to her.

What I learned is that Melanie is a very busy mom, entrepreneur, and Rotarian…but also someone who may very well have found that elusive recipe for balance.

How does Rotary align with your values?

Rotary’s motto, ‘Service Above Self’ has always held a special place in my heart. Our family thrives when helping others. We try to always be kind, generous and compassionate with our neighbours, friends and people of the world. To serve others is a priority.

What keeps you coming back every week?

The Rotary Club of Burlington Central consists of 65 friends who meet weekly. We can lean on one another professionally and personally! We have a lot of fun, with a common goal—to make a difference in our community.

What is/was the greatest challenge you’ve ever faced?

Prior to going on maternity leave, I struggled with my career and the direction it was taking. Making the decision to start my own business was a big one. I received an incredible amount of support from my Rotary friends. They never ceased to encourage me. I really do feel like I can do anything.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?

My kids and our family are what I am obviously the most proud. However, being a Rotarian allows me to teach our kids the importance of being involved in something other than ourselves. I am proud to be able to teach them that.

What was a defining turning points in your life?

I moved to Ontario, from Chicoutimi, QC, when I was 18 and didn’t speak English. I worked hard to pick up the language and make a decent life for myself. I will never forget those who helped me along the way. Rotary gives me a chance to ‘pay it forward.’

What do you consider your greatest Rotary moment?

While visiting Fort Worth, Texas, I had a chance to attend the District Conference dinner with a friend. She is the person who sponsored my Rotary membership and my dearest friend. They do say to invite your best friends to become Rotarians!!  The focus for the event was polio. Members of organizations such as Centre for Disease Control, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Health Organization, UNICEF and Past Director of Rotary International, Phil Silvers, spoke about the polio situation as of May 2013. The presentations were interesting and incredibly eye-opening. I am proud to be a part of an organization so dedicated to ridding the world of this terrible disease.

What are your future Rotary goals?

Short-term, I would like to become more involved on the District level. Not a position, per se but, promoting Rotary to younger people, even young parents. Being a part of the membership growth campaign.

Long-term, I would like to take my family on an international trip. Whether it be a vaccination mission or other projects. Since Mila is only one, this is super long term goal!

If you could tell another woman one thing about Rotary membership, what would it be?

GET INVOLVED! Break the mold. One of my fellow Rotarians, an older gentleman, calls the 18 women in our club the “powerhouses”! We get things done!

Rotary membership adds positive value for woman. Having women with so much experience become my friends has given me courage, knowledge and the “can do” attitude I didn’t have before! There is no limitations for women today. The only limitations are the ones we inflict on ourselves!

Is there anything you would like to add?

Rotary has changed my life. It has made me a better person and has given me a feeling of “belonging”.

To find out more about Rotary and how you can have an impact locally or globally, visit the Rotary Club of Burlington Central website, check out their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter.

"Téo Schrauwers, 6, enjoys looking through The Rotarian as much as his Rotarian mom."

“Téo Schrauwers, 6, enjoys looking through The Rotarian as much as his Rotarian mom.”

#WomenWednesday Rotary Profile – Patricia Dimeck

PD Twitter header - lrg

“I am a part of all that I have met”.  Alfred Lord Tennyson

I joined Rotary in 2006 with great excitement in my heart because, having been a volunteer all my life for our church and community I had not claimed one specific volunteer flag under which I could fly. Now I work under the Rotary flag and I am grateful every day for the opportunity to change a life. This is how I will change the world, one person at a time.

I was born and raised in Liverpool, England – the third daughter of a big and boisterous family, born of parents who always looked for more. MORE! Their immigrant adventure brought us to Canada from a city where music was so big and so were crime and economic struggle. The natural beauty of Ontario took my breath away and I am proud to now call it my home. I raised two amazing kids in rural Ontario and loved the grass roots contrast to living the urban life in England.

My Rotary introduction was first made by a superlative Rotarian, PDG Doug Vincent; and I knew I had discovered something special in this organisation. I joined Waterloo RC whose members provided a positive and rich environment for my own launch. I subsequently came to know other parts of this whole canvas called Rotary as I moved from Bruce-Grey to Waterloo.

Quickly I became involved in International Service; that had been my dream for many years as my adult children left the nest. Back then I had only a small comprehension of the amazing work that has preceded me, and the needs which are so huge. Hence Rotary presented me with impressive history, goals, and the opportunity to achieve them as I explored northern Mexico via project work. The people I have met on my travels are too many to count, and yet they have each enriched my life. The Rotarians with whom I have worked in northern Mexico continue to amaze me as they work tirelessly in their impoverished community. They are grateful, hardworking, dedicated to their community and to each other and they welcome visiting Rotarians with immeasurable warmth! In Agua Prieta, as they celebrate 70 years of Rotary in their city, they continue to impress me with their spirit of community and family.

My work for a tour company takes me all over North America and it is as fascinating as it is challenging, and always satisfying. As a writer waiting to carve out my name, I document my experiences as I travel and enjoy the endless variety of people, scenery and events that unfold before my eyes.

I continue to strive to deserve the honour of being a go-between from the richness of Ontario to the poverty of the Sonora desert.   It is a privilege to receive donations from the hands of generous Rotarians in Canada and then hear the ‘Gracias’ of the resilient people of Agua Prieta. I bring back with me so many difficult, uplifting stories every time I visit, and leave behind a part of my heart.

I am without doubt a part of all whom I have met.

Howie happy_8627-1

To find out more about Rotary and how you can have an impact locally or globally, contact us by email at RotaryKitchener@gmail.com or visit our website, our Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter.

#WomenWednesday Rotary Profile – Tracey Hare Connell

THC Twitter header - lrg

This week we are featuring the Rotary Club of Kitchener’s Tracey Hare Connell.

Tracey has been a dynamic and engaging Rotarian since she joined in 1997. Her natural leadership abilities were the reason she was quickly recruited to chair important Club fundraising projects and act as a mentor to fellow Rotarians. In 2005/6 Tracey accepted the role of President. Since then Tracey has continued to lead many aspects of the Rotary Club of Kitchener to success, including the upcoming In Vino Caritas ‘In Wine there is Charity’ event taking place at The Tannery on April 3rd.

Why did you join Rotary?

I was seeking a way to focus on something to marry my personal and business interests. My Father, Doug Hare, was the Past President of the Rotary Club of Waterloo (1974/1975) and my brother, Ron Hare was also a Rotarian. My history with Rotary through my Father’s and my brother’s experiences ensured that Rotary was on my list of considerations. (Those experiences included hosting youth exchange students, hosting the world junior curling championships and engaging in a number of charitable and volunteer events and activities. As I explored further, I discovered a friend who was also very involved in Rotary and gave me some perspective (in current terms) about what it was ‘really’ like.

In the process, I looked at other terrific organizations including Zonta International, two Rotary Clubs and a non-profit Board of Directors role. My choice was the Rotary Club of Kitchener.

If you had to describe your Rotary experience in one word, what would it be?

One word … rewarding! I always say that I’ve gained more than I could ever give.

Rotary Experience = Challenging. Fun. Warm. Rich. Rewarding.

Challenging? Yes!  I challenge anyone to motivate and lead a group of busy business people who are ‘volunteers’ with varied skills and motivations.  Leading volunteers is perhaps one of the most significant leadership challenges anyone can take on – in business and in life. My first Rotary leadership opportunity came in the form of a new fund-raiser. There I sat, 15 years younger than most of the folks around the table … inspiring lofty objectives, finding consensus and leveraging the skills of business owners, doctors, lawyers and other community-leaders to plan and execute a high return winter golf tournament. This brand new ‘fun and fund-raising’ event raised 150K over its lifecycle.

In short, Rotary is a terrific way to learn about and connect to my community and its challenges, developments and achievements.

What’s the best advice about Rotary you’ve ever received?

Don’t join Rotary for the food or the business connections … join Rotary because you sincerely want to learn more about your community; to give back; to get involved and to meet a diverse group of people.  The rest will naturally come.

Tell me about your values and how Rotary aligns with these?

I value people and am inspired by the power of a vision to make change in our community and in the world – one small step at a time. Rotary is the ultimate in community – locally and globally.  I value the unique contributions and varied skills and capabilities that Rotarians bring to anything. When we harness the drive, capacity and capabilities of a group of people (in this case Rotarians), we can accomplish much.

What Rotary initiatives are you passionate about? What keeps you coming back every week?

Interestingly, I’m one of the *new* Rotarians who can’t make the weekly meetings due to business commitments and travel,  however,  I’m passionate about helping Rotary raise funds to support its charitable causes, such as Kidsability and Women’s Crisis Shelter. This keeps me committed to continue to lead and participating in Rotary fundraising activities. With financial resources, Rotary can help locally and internationally. Matching grant programs allow us to compound our money – a small seed contribution can be doubled and tripled through this process.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment or take the greatest pride in? Did your experiences with Rotary aid you in this?

Accomplishment: Successfully balancing a challenging business /work life and marriage for over 25 years.

Rotary has been part of my business and family life for many years.  A dimension of Rotary kept me connected and engaged to a diverse group of professionals and a terrific social and business network here and abroad (even before social networks were online!)  As a bi-product, both my personal and business life has seen benefits.

What do you consider your greatest Rotary moment?

I truly joined Rotary more so to become a committed ‘foot-soldier’ vs a member of an executive team. (I had the good fortune to have this opportunity in my working life.) Despite this, my greatest moment came in my year as President. In particular, at the end of my year as President. With my past Rotary President father looking on, I was able to thank an outstanding group of dedicated Rotarians for helping us raise >100K; for clearing community trails of garbage; for hosting two international exchange students; for sponsoring a Rotary Ambassadorial scholar to the University of Waterloo from Japan; for supplying medical and community care facilities in Africa to fight Aids and to help us erect a sculpture at the Rotary Peace Park in Waterloo to symbolize Rotary’s mission to promote goodwill and friendships around the world.  I proudly accepted a Presidential Citation and reflected on an incredible year with a fantastic Board of Directors and committed group of Committee Chairs and Rotarians. People who can make these things happen are the kind of people you want to spend time with.

If you could tell another woman one thing about Rotary membership, what would it be?

This is a personal undertaking. Do this for no one but yourself and if you do get involved, be prepared to contribute all of the skills and abilities you have to offer. In family, business, and Rotary, we succeed when we do our best.  A fellow Rotarian (Louise Gardiner) always told me that the order of priorities was family, business and Rotary. I agree. Despite that order of things, the magnitude of Rotary’s collective achievements is enormous -locally and worldwide.  This used to strike me at every Club Board meeting. Just when I thought we were ‘standing still’, I’d listen to each Director deliver a ‘report’ and highlight progress, achievements and challenges … a track record that many businesses would be proud of.

Do you think Rotary membership adds positive value for woman?

I do believe that Rotary adds positive value for women – locally and worldwide. It’s another opportunity to operate on equal footing – in some cases with men who don’t work with women in their executive peer group. I’d suggest that the learning goes both ways.  This can be a terrific opportunity to learn and exercise leadership and organizational skills and an excellent opportunity to network with a diverse group of business people and community leaders.

Is there anything you would like to add?

Sure … there are some stodgy and old-fashioned stuff of Rotary … such as toasting the head of state and singing Oh Canada at every meeting.  I’ll admit that this can feel a bit ‘uncool’ and un-current at times, however, Rotary is also an extremely modern organization in so many ways. It’s the people of each Club that will determine the future and that’s an exciting thing to be part of.

For more information about the wine tasting and auction event, In Vino Caritas, check out their Facebook page. To find out more about Rotary and how you can have an impact locally or globally, contact us by email at RotaryKitchener@gmail.com or visit our website, our Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter.

Tracey & Dad

Proud daughter, Tracey Hare Connell, poses here with her father, Doug Hare, a Past President of the Rotary Club of Waterloo.