International Friendship Day
International Friendship Day is celebrated on July 30th in India, and I was invited to say a few words at the virtual celebration hosted by the Rotary Club Kakinada and its President, Pavan Kumar Mangalampalli.
Rotary Club Kakinada was established 77 years ago, and boats a robust history of service. Learn more here: https://www.
Joined by 98 Rotarians across continents, I shared how our club and foundation continue our decades of commitment to service through friendship and collaborations, specifically highlighting the work of our International Services Committee, Embassy Relations Committee, Twin Cities/Sister Cities Committees, the extent of our domestic and international grantmaking, and our signature projects - feeding the homeless, distributing dictionaries to students, planting trees in honor of our speakers, with a special mention about the longevity of providing fellowship to wounded warriors and their families dating back to WWII.
I noted that this club year, specifically, we are focused on equality for all, which we see as the "ultimate act of friendship," as selected by our theme "Change: Uncomfortable. Necessary. Rewarding." I mentioned that in our 108th year our club continues to honor our club mantra "Transforming the world through service."
It was great to see several familiar faces from our club joining the celebration, which also was live streamed on Facebook. Speakers from five continents also discussed their methods for delivering service, and celebrated the bond of Rotary friendships and partnerships.
I ended with a short passage from the United Nations on the importance of friendships:
"Sharing the human spirit through friendship - Our world faces many challenges, crises and forces of division — such as poverty, violence, and human rights abuses — among many others — that undermine peace, security, development and social harmony among the world's peoples.
To confront those crises and challenges, their root causes must be addressed by promoting and defending a shared spirit of human solidarity that takes many forms — the simplest of which is friendship.
Through friendship — by accumulating bonds of camaraderie and developing strong ties of trust — we can contribute to the fundamental shifts that are urgently needed to achieve lasting stability, weave a safety net that will protect us all, and generate passion for a better world where all are united for the greater good."
To view the entire celebration, find it here on Facebook: https://www.
Rotarians For Equality For Black People 5k Walk/Run
On Saturday August 1, 2020, our Ad Hoc Committee, Rotarians For Equality For Black People hosted its first event: a 5k Walk/Run on the C&O Canal. At 8:00 AM, fellow Rotarians from both our club and the Metro Bethesda Rotary Club along with family, friends, and neighbors met up at the Georgetown Waterfront in front of the Sequoia Restaurant.
The official event tee-shirts were distributed as we fellowshipped while wearing masks and keeping in accordance with the CDC social distancing guidelines. The official starting time for this fun walk/run was 8:45. Everyone brought with them energy and positive vibes. The weather was perfect with a slight overcast and sprinkles of sunshine.
Everyone completed the race at about 9:45 AM. Once we all made it back to the finish line, we cheered and accepted our beautiful 5k participation medals. This fellowship event displayed our stand in solidity with the movement for equality with the social equality movement happening all over America. It was great reuniting with everybody while we had fun, fellowshipped along with getting an awesome workout.
Pleases stay tuned for more activities to come.
We would also like to offer the virtual addition to all events. This way individuals uncomfortable with going out can participate and receive the same benefits of supporting the cause.
There is a MOVEMENT going on now in the United States which is addressing the inequality of Black People in this country. The call is for the ending of the systemic racism which has been built into the American Culture since it’s very beginning. Through education, events, fundraisers, and community engagement, we stand in solidarity with this cause. This committee offers Rotarians the opportunity to participate and help spark the inevitable change for equal justice, equal education, equal medical care, and equality as a whole.
Meeting in Review, August 5, 2020
President Nancy Riker opened the virtual meeting at 6:00 p.m.
Lisa Cohen provided an update on the Rotarians For Equity For Black People event.
Sergeant-at-Arms Bob Schott announced birthdays and anniversaries for the week.
Catherine Pociask talked about August Membership Month. She also announced a membership meeting on August 10 and a prospective membership meeting on August 24.
Kelsey Koberg provided a member moment.
Mary Goldsmith provided a fellowship update.
Nancy Riker introduced our speaker, Jennie Coppit, District 7620 Membership Chair.
Ms. Coppit provided an update on the district club membership, as well as gave suggestions and tips on how to increase membership. As a military wife and teacher, she learned the importance of communication, particularly nonverbal communication, and how to communicate with individuals at different levels. These same lessons play out in increasing membership of Rotary clubs.
Ms. Coppit spoke of the importance of empowerment and club engagement when seeking new Rotary members. Since not all clubs have the membership and resources of our club, partnering and empowering them to join together in projects is an important step in building momentum for Rotary.
Ms. Coppit also mentioned that only 9% of new-member leads are followed up on, leading to a low conversion rate of potential Rotarians joining clubs. She stressed the importance of following up on these leads and engaging with potential Rotarians.
She also commended our club for highlighting members and encouraged hybrid models of Rotary for those who many not be able to join an in-person meeting every week (when they resume).
Finally, Ms. Coppit stressed the importance of diversity and inclusion in clubs, stressing that a range of age, gender, race, and other demographics is a benefit, not a liability.
We then connected during a small fellowship breakout session.
President Riker adjourned the meeting at 7:00 p.m.
COVID-19 Volunteer Efforts
In March 2020, when the metropolitan area and the nation overall executed unprecedented measures to combat COVID-19, our Rotary District and Club took action to support our local community. President Lynn responded immediately to District 7620’s request for each club to provide a COVID-19 point of contact. Linda Solomon became our Club’s point of contact. Once Linda’s supply chain experience became known among task force members, she was asked to become a Logistics Coordinator for District 7620’s COVID-19 Community Response volunteer effort.
This new volunteer effort provided grocery shopping and medicine pick-up and delivery services to elderly and immune compromised citizens in our community. The effort was especially crucial during the months of April through June 2020 when online grocery ordering proved to be difficult. Several members from our Club served as grocery and medicine delivery volunteers, including Arthur Landwehr, Sarah Ross, and Khaled Sabah. Tine Hasling Rasmussen, a DC Rotaract member, worked directly with Linda as the Deputy DC Logistics Coordinator.
To date, District 7620 has responded with volunteer services to over 200 hotline calls. In Washington, DC, our club with the help of many volunteers, has successfully delivered over 85 grocery and medicine orders for elderly and immune-compromised citizens living in DC. We hope our services are not needed again, but if the city shuts down and grocery/pharmacy online ordering becomes difficult again, Rotary has the processes, online software, and volunteers to provide crucial services to our local citizens!
DC Rotaract New Board and Member Induction Ceremony
Dues paying members were provided with their favorite brunch drink, new board pins, and/or their new member packets/shirts were delivered to their front door on Saturday, July 25, ahead of the event!
Dictionary Project Update
Hi fellow DC Rotarians,
It is an honor and privilege to serve as the Dictionary Project Chair for the 2020–2021 year. I want to thank Bill Dent and Nancy Riker for their hard work and effort over the previous years to keep the Dictionary Project going strong. This year will be challenging given the current climate, but I hope to bring new ideas and energy so we are able to continue to deliver to the third graders of DC Public Schools.
Given the current situation with COVID 19, the Dictionary Project Committee will need to determine alternative ways to deliver dictionaries to third graders in Washington, DC. In the coming weeks, I will create a video highlighting the Dictionary Project. In addition, I would like participating Rotarians to create their own Zoom accounts. The introduction video and Zoom accounts will enable Rotarians to deliver dictionaries without having to visit schools physically, ensuring the safety of Rotarians and students.
Also new this year, we have enhanced the Dictionary Project with the creation of a survey, a promotional flyer, and an interactive Google Map showing the DC Public Schools to which we deliver. These new features will improve the Project and enable it to become more dynamic through the use of technology.
I look forward to another successful year!!
- Survey: used to gather statistics on who is delivering the dictionaries and how to make the Dictionary Project better
- Interactive Google Map: an interactive map enabling Rotarians to view the locations and delivery availability of schools
- Promotional Flyer: designed to encourage Rotarians to volunteer to deliver dictionaries to DC Public Schools
- Video: video introduction to the DC Dictionary Project for third grade students (in the event in-person classroom visits are not possible)
- Zoom: instructions for creating Zoom accounts for Rotarians in case we must deliver dictionaries remotely
- COVID 19 and delivery to classrooms
- Contact schools in September
Honorable mention: Bryan Ingram, despite being across the country in California, still managed to participate virtually by running 3.9 miles, exceeding the 5k limit. Great showing of support!
Grate Patrol Update - August 2020
Greeting Grate Patrol Volunteers,
I pray all is well and that you’re staying safe and healthy. This email is to give you an update and the plan for Grate Patrol moving forward. Grate Patrol has been operating successfully throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We continue providing our homeless neighbors a meal, beverage, and other resources (underwear, socks, t-shirts, hygiene kits, etc.) daily. I would like to thank the volunteer groups that have continued support of Grate Patrol during the pandemic with monetary donations, donations of canned foods/nonperishables, toiletries, and some who have provided bagged meals and bottled water. We are in the process of reinstating volunteers for those groups ready to start back with Grate Patrol.
The plan is to reinstate volunteers in August 2020, commencing on August 18 for the our Rotary Club. I will send out our Genius Sign Up Roster for volunteers to sign up. Safety is always a priority, so I understand if some are not ready.
Our volunteer groups have the option of doing the following:
- Prepare meals (bagged lunches or casseroles) to be picked up by Grate Patrol staff or dropped off by the volunteer group.
- Make monetary donations.
- Drive your personal vehicle and follow behind the Grate Patrol truck (to maintain social distancing).
In order to maintain social distancing, volunteers are not allowed to ride along on the Grate Patrol truck (for the safety of volunteers and staff). Volunteers are asked to drive their personal vehicle and follow behind the truck. No more than 2-3 volunteers are needed. You have the option of meeting the truck at our Harbor Light Center located at 2100 New York Ave., NE, WDC 20002 or the First Stop (Union Station). You will follow behind the truck to each stop and one volunteer will distribute beverages on the outside of the truck and 2 volunteers will serve the meal from inside the truck. Face masks and gloves must be worn at all times. Gloves and hand sanitizer are available and stocked on the truck.
Member Spotlight: Kelsey Koberg
My name is Kelsey Koberg, and I grew up in Polson, MT, occasionally attending Rotary with my father. When I was in high school, my local Rotary sponsored my participation in a national debate institute, sparking my interest in one day joining the organization.
I am currently the Press Secretary at the Export-Import Bank of the United States. I’ve also worked in public affairs consulting and political campaigns.
I joined Rotary to be a part of an organization of people committed to service and giving back to the community. Looking back at the opportunities my local Rotary club provided for me when I was in high school, I hope to be able to provide similar support and opportunities to students in the Washington, D.C., area.
Meeting in Review, July 29, 2020
President Nancy Riker opened the virtual meeting at 6:03 pm.
She noted that we are very busy this month and gave a report on some events:
- We had the Community Service Chair, Khaled Sabah, lead 10 Rotarians on a 5K last Saturday;
- We supported one of our Community Service grants – “Teams Run DC” – it was a virtual run. Different groups did their run at different times and some Rotaracts participated; and
- This Saturday Rotarians for the Equality of Black People will gather for a 5K run down at the C&O Canal in Georgetown.
Nicole Williams provided details of the upcoming event on behalf of Lisa Cohen, Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee, Rotarians for the Equality of Black People. She pointed out that there is a flyer on the website and the event will take place Saturday, August 1, 2020, leaving from the C&O Canal in Georgetown (3000 K Street, N.W.) at 8:00 A.M. Be sure to bring your cameras.
Sergeant-at-Arms Bob Schott presented the Rotary four-way test and then announced birthdays and anniversaries.
President Riker asked visiting Rotarians and visitors to introduce themselves. Shawn McAllister from Rotary Club of Capital Hill joined us. He is also the District Governor nominee and he will be our District 22-23.
Tiffany Tate presented a member moment.
David Klaus gave the Embassy Relations Report. David provided an overview of our Twin Cities Clubs. The Twin Club movement has existed in the Rotary world for many years as clubs have found it advantage to work together on common projects and to promote peace and international understanding. He provided us with the three (3) criteria our Board Directors established in 2008:
- We shall have no more than one (1) Twin Club per Country;
- Each Twin Club should be in the Capital City of the Country;
- We shall have one (1) Sister Club, the Rotary Club of Tokyo, and all of the others will be Twin Clubs.
David gave us a look at the Twin Club Certificate of Recognition and provided a wealth of information, including that our club currently has 13 Twin Clubs.
President Riker noted that the Embassy Relations Committee and the Twin Clubs Committee are now combined.
Lisa McCurdy introduced our speaker, Peg Hacskaylo - Peg is Founder and CEO of the National Alliance For Safe Housing (NASH), a subsidiary of the District Alliance For Safe Housing (DASH), a local safe housing program that she founded in 2006. Peg is a Social Work Professional designing and delivering services for women, families, and victims of crimes for more than 25 years. She has overseen the development of innovative programs providing safe housing options for hundreds of survivors and their families.
Peg is sought after to consult with by federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Justice, and State and Local agencies concerning all aspects of domestic violence, sexual assault, and housing collations and programs.
NASH’s mission is to insure that survivors of domestic and sexual violence have a full range of safe housing options through improved access, increased resources and innovative solutions. NASH’s vision is to create a world where safe housing is a human right shared by everyone. NASH is a member of the Domestic Violence and Housing TA Consortium. Ms. Hacskaylo reported that Five (5) federal agencies came together in 2015 and developed a MOU so that they could collectively address the issue of domestic and sexual violence and housing and homelessness and the incidents of the degree to which victims of domestic and sexual violence become homeless and are shutout of housing options.
NASH and five (5) other sister agencies were bought in to do the work for them by providing training and technical assistance across the country to try and help build bridges between domestic and sexual violence providers and homeless and housing agencies. All of this is to make sure that survivors do not become homeless because of abuse.
DASH (founded in 2006) has provided housing for all survivors through DASH by using a human rights and trauma inform lens. DASH does not screen survivors out of their housing for whatever reasons or presenting issues they might have had when they came to DASH in need of housing. Survivors are provided space and the time to move forward with their lives in a way that makes sense to them. DASH realized that here were victims of domestic violence being shutout of victim specific housing programs because there was not enough room or because of various reasons like drug issues, or documentation issues or mental health problems. These victims would then end up in the homeless housing systems where they were not able to receive the kind of services they needed to address the trauma that they experienced. If they were not able to receive those services, or get into a homeless shelter, they would end up going back abusive situations. Because of the gaps in services, DASH operated in a way that would keep victims from falling through the cracks and the model became nationally known. DASH began to get requests by others for training and technical assistance.
Next, we connected during a seven-minute small fellowship breakout session.
President Riker adjourned the meeting at 7:07 pm.
Member Spotlight: Tiffany Tate
Tiffany Tate took her upbringing as a military brat and used it as a lifelong research project. By traveling to different parts of the country, she was able to view various economic standards and practices within city governments that drew her interest into the world of business.
In 2012, after completing her undergraduate degree in Economics and receiving a minor in World Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University, Tiffany decided to pursue an Executive Masters of Business Administration at Wesleyan College. She completed the degree in 2014 with a 4.0 GPA as the youngest graduate to ever enter the program. She then went on to be an Economist Intern for the Macon-Bibb Workforce Investment Board, which then merged with the Middle Georgia Regional Commission. After completing her internship in Macon, Georgia, she began working at the Atlanta Regional Commission as a Labor Market Information Systems Specialist. Upon completion of her graduate studies and research in industry operation and economics in Rome, Italy, and Dubai, UAE, Tiffany returned to Georgia in order to delve into economic development.
In 2014 Tiffany started Tate.Alpha Total Economics, LLC with the desire to help those that are developing a small business gain a greater understanding of the their business and the economics of the market itself. She began working with people interested in creating their own small businesses in Middle Georgia ranging from community clubs and organizations, product development, child care centers, magazines, musical artists, and art collaborations in Macon.
Along with running Tate.Alpha, Tiffany also worked as a Microeconomics Professor at Mercer University and Wesleyan College and as the Director of Academics of Graduate Programs in the Stetson School of Business and Economics at Mercer University. She is a graduate of Leadership Macon and is an official Macon Ambassador. She is also a member of Career Womens Network, Women United, the Downtown Macon Rotary Club, in which she was named the 2015 Rookie of the Year, and the Urbane Young Professionals Network.
In 2018, Tiffany made the move to Washington D.C., where she pursued her business in economic development as well as joining a startup called ExecOnline as a talent acquisitions specialist. Tiffany also started a Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs Network for a younger and diverse meeting of professionals in the metro DC region. She and her husband, Spenser Osbourn (who serves as a Navy Physician), both reside in Shaw with their two pups.
Meeting in Review, July 22, 2020
President Nancy Riker opened the virtual meeting at 6:00 pm.
Sergeant-at-Arms Bob Schott presented the Rotary four-way test and then announced birthdays and anniversaries for the week.
President Riker provided a club update.
Meeting visitors introduced themselves.
We heard about an upcoming community engagement event this weekend on July 25 – the QuaranTeens Run DC Virtual 5K.
Oluchi Ogwurike presented a member moment.
Our guest speaker was H.E. Mr. Lang Yabou, the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Gambia to the United Nations. Click here to read his biography.
Next, we connected during a seven-minute small fellowship breakout session.
President Riker adjourned the meeting at 7:00 pm.
Member Spotlight: Oluchi Ogwurike
I grew up in Nigeria. My earliest memories of Rotary were receiving an award from the local Rotary Club on behalf of my primary school. I was about 10 years old at the time and intrigued by the existence of this selfless community. I also remember learning the four way test at the time. I believe this experience was pivotal to my desire to join Rotary as an adult.
I am currently in a family practice residency here in DC. Before this, I worked as a volunteer learning strategist helping students with learning techniques at St Georges' University in Grenada. The experience was inspiring and I loved being able to make a positive difference.
My interests include traveling and exploring new places, visiting museums, finding new places to eat, and creative writing.
Joining Rotary has helped me to be in a position to make a positive difference through numerous avenues available, actively give back to the community, and meeting some great people. I am continually impressed by the dedication and drive of my fellow Rotarians and this continues to inspire me.
July Committee Updates: Part II
Here are some July updates from several of our Committee Chairs. Click here for updates from earlier this month from other committees.
Career Fair Committee
By: Donnie Shaw, Chair
With school campuses in flux in the District, we are keeping our eye out for concrete decisions by the Chancellor on how students and the public will be allowed in schools. We are, nevertheless, committed to working with the Columbia Heights Education Campus (CHEC) during the 2020-21 school year. Our committee members have stayed in touch, and we remain engaged with CHEC. Marilyn Nevy Cruz has continued to keep Rotary connected with CHEC as best as possible. As information comes out from the Chancellor's Office, we will update our pathway for the 2020-21 Annual Rotary Foundation Career Fair at CHEC.
Health and Wellness Committee
By: Linda Solomon, Chair
The Health and Wellness Committee is responsible for providing member expressions on behalf of the Rotary Club of Washington, DC. Expressions are communicated for member birthdays, Rotary anniversaries, illnesses, weddings, funerals, births, and other life events.
During this Rotary year, we have arranged for every member to receive a birthday and anniversary card electronically. For our members who do not use computers, we will continue the practice of sending them cards via snail mail. In light of COVID-19, we are planning to pilot new outreach efforts in the form of member phone calls and zoom meetings. Stay tuned!
Member Moment Committee
By: Russ Savage, Chair
The Member Moment Committee recruits members to prepare and offer their Member Moment – a brief description of their career, education, family, travels, hobbies, or whatever they want to tell about themselves. The Member Moment appears in the weekly Progress Newsletter and then is spoken by the member at that week's meeting.
Rotary International Foundation Committee
By: Bill Simons, Chair
Solicitation of funds for the Rotary International Fund will begin in October.
Strategic Planning Committee
By: Steve Liston, Chair
The Strategic Planning Committee is reviewing many aspects of our club with the goal of providing suggestions to the Board for the short (virtual-only), medium (restricted meeting), and longer (up to 3 years) terms. The Committee will meet virtually through the summer, coordinating with relevant committee chairs on issues including service, fundraising, membership, fellowship, community and Rotary relations, communications, and Club management. The Committee plans to provide recommendations to the Board in September. If you have thoughts you would like to share, please contact Chair Steve Liston or one of the Committee members: Bill Busker, Allister Chang, PE Bill Dent, PP Lynn Holec, Bryan Ingram, PP Lisa McCurdy, PP Gerry Murphy, President Nancy Riker, and Emily Seen.
Virtual Write Night with Free Minds Recap
I thoroughly enjoyed participating in the June 24th Free Minds Virtual Write Night entitled, “On the Same Page,” along with other members of the DC Rotary Club.
Write Night gives volunteers the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of current inmates, simply by reading their poetry and writing messages of encouragement and support. This feedback from caring strangers provides young inmates with an invaluable connection to the outside world. It also encourages new writers to express themselves in positive ways and to hone their communication skills—skills that will make it possible for them to complete high school and begin college when they are released.
Free Minds uses books, creative writing, and peer support to awaken DC youth incarcerated as adults to their own potential. Through creative expression, job readiness training, and violence prevention outreach, these young poets achieve their education and career goals, and become powerful voices for change in the community.
The Rotary Foundation of Washington, D.C. (our Club’s Foundation) has supported this great organization four years in a row with a large $20,000 grant and this past year with a $5,000 grant.
Update from the Interact Club of Richard Wright PCS
By: Amora Cambell, President, Interact Club of Richard Wright PCS for Journalism and Media Arts
Coronavirus has put a stop to many community service opportunities around the world ,and yet, the result has caused new ideas to help our community be heard. Every Thursday our club would meet to discuss new projects or ways to help out in this time of need, which makes victories like getting together and sharing ideas for how to assist frontline workers and people at risk so much more rewarding.
Before coronavirus hit our city, we raised over $200 from a dress down fundraiser. Fundraising isn’t common with non-sport clubs, so this was an important landmark for our school as well as the Interact club. The money was matched by Rotary DC which allowed us to donate to the Best Kids Foundation for their Virtual Superhero 5k and Fun Run. Best kids support foster children by trying to make a positive impact on their lives. Because of this amazing cause, we chose to give this organization a new ally in making the children of DC happier.
This summer we will partner with the Arkansas Rotary Interact Club for an inspirational art project to say thank you to healthcare providers. Without the pandemic causing a great amount of integration to technology, this partnership most likely wouldn't have happened.
In addition to the summer project and meetings, we were able to expand our horizons when two exchange students, Jaden and Magda, came to a meeting to talk with us about their experiences abroad. Every member asked questions about the schools, host families, and culture of the place they went to.
Another great achievement was made by two of our members who participated in the Four Way Test Speech Competition. They had a great time writing and learning about the Four Way Test, a skill that will continue to help them throughout their service career. Lastly, we celebrated our one year anniversary with a beautiful slideshow of our accomplishments this year.
We would like to thank Rotary DC for making this possible by sponsoring our club.
Farmers' Market Volunteer Day
Khaled Ali Sabah, Kenneth Brown, and Bill Dent volunteered at the farmers' market. They were joined by Amora Campbell, President of the Interact Club at the Richard Wright Public Charter School for Journalism and Media Arts.
Meeting in Review, July 15, 2020
President Nancy Riker opened the virtual meeting at 6:00 pm.
Sergeant-at-Arms Bob Schott presented the Rotary four-way test and then announced birthdays for the week.
President Riker provided a club update. We celebrated our club’s 108th birthday with a candle and cake. She mentioned our active club presence on Facebook.
Meeting visitors introduced themselves.
Shelly Williams talked about the ongoing volunteer opportunity with Walter Reed Bingo, which is now being held via Zoom on the third Thursday of every month. Reach out to him for details.
Munyaradzi Tichaona presented a member moment.
Catherine Pociask led a new member ceremony for Maria Nelly Pavisich (rejoining the club) and Victor Ricslit (new member).
Next, we connected during a seven-minute small fellowship breakout session.
Linda Solomon introduced our speaker, Naumaan Hamid, Restaurateur, Activist, and Past President of the College Park Rotary Club. He – along with several others – shared the depth and breadth of our club's involvement and District 7620's ongoing COVID-19 Emergency Response.
Mr. Hamid, a New York Native, received his bachelor’s in hospitality management from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. He eventually settled in Maryland, where he opened his first restaurant, Krazi Kebob, off the University of Maryland campus in 2010.
Mr. Hamid descends from a long line of chefs and restaurateurs, so naturally his love for food flows through his veins. This passion is what fueled his decision to follow in his family’s footsteps. Mr. Hamid considers food an opportunity to spread happiness and is a firm believer of the saying that the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach.
In addition to being an entrepreneur, Mr. Hamid advocates the importance of community service and giving back. He spends most of his time outside of work dedicated to nonprofit work. Even while at work, he tries to find any opportunity to incorporate his passion for community service. While growing up, Mr. Hamid was blessed to be surrounded by amazing mentors and role models that he remains forever grateful to. Because of these wonderful influences in his life, he strives to provide the same mentorship to the youth that he was given. Mr. Hamid’s aim in whatever he does, whether business or personal, is to incorporate his passion for community service. He hires local community kids so he can not only help them by providing employment, but so that he can be a mentor for them as well.
Currently, he is serving as immediate past president of the Rotary Club of College Park, Charitable Funds Chair for RCCP, Chair of District 7620 COVID-19 Task Force, & District 7620 Rotary Advocate. Mr. Hamid believes that with each new day, there is a new opportunity to help make a difference.
President Riker adjourned the meeting at 7:00 pm.
Spotlight on Monica Conroy
My first exposure to Rotary was as part of an Army family living in Seoul, Korea, in the 1980s. Rotary is held in high regard by Koreans. I went back to Korea to teach English in 1995 for a year. Upon my return, I bumped into a college friend and she introduced me to Katherine Wellington, who was serving as Secretary of the Rotary Club of Washington, D.C. She was so passionate about Rotary and the Washington Club and its members! I started as the Administrator/Executive Director in November 1996. The club met at the Hotel Washington (now the W) then. My first day on the job started with our annual career fair with over 300 students in the morning and Jack Valenti, then President of the Motion Picture Association of America, speaking at the club’s weekly lunch.
The 1998 Embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya took the lives of our former club member Julian Bartley Sr. and his son Jay. Julian had also belonged to the Rotary Club of Medellin and was a member of the Nairobi Club. Rotary International President Lacy presented Julian’s widow Sue and their daughter Edith with Paul Harris recognition later that year at the National Press Club.
One of my favorite early Washington Club memories was painting a Boys and Girls Club location in the city. Another is attending a Trees for the Capital planting with the founder of our speaker recognition, Peter Gilsey, and dining at his forward-thinking, plant-based restaurant in Bethesda, Thyme Square.
I left the club as an employee in 2001, not long after September 11. We had a Board meeting that Tuesday. The outpouring of support through phone calls and letters was emotional. The Rotary Club of Oklahoma City took its remaining donations received after the Murrah Building bombing and sent them to the Washington Club. We used those funds to aid survivors of the Pentagon attack. I went to work for Rotarian Chuck Lawrence at Security Storage Company of Washington and stayed there and in the club through Security’s acquisition in 2015. Since its founding in 1890, Security supported the Washington community with time and resources; Community Chest was started in the building lobby in the early 1900s. Security was always represented in the Rotary Club of Washington and in Kiwanis as well.
These experiences and many more have shown me the power of connectivity through Rotary on many levels – personal, professional, social, local, international. In late 2001, I switched from honorary to full-time Rotarian and served the club in most positions over the years, including Club President in 2008-2009 and Foundation President a few years later. I was named Rotarian of the Year in 2006 and 2012. Fun facts: My Changing of the Guard was held at the National Zoo! Also, our club participated in an interactive panel about our Capital Cities Network at the 2008 Rotary International Convention in Los Angeles.
Tell us something you're proud of.
I am most proud of stepdaughter Sydney graduating from high school this year. We have a rock star relationship.
What is one thing few people know about you?
I did a solo skydive at 23. If I could have afforded it at the time, skydiving would have become my expensive hobby. Now, driving across the Bay Bridge makes me weak in the knees.
What's the best place you've traveled to and why?
I love travel! I lived in Istanbul for a few months in 2009, during Ramadan, for the World Bank IMF Annual Meeting and fell in love. It’s a stunning city of contrast. Old, new, Christianity, Islam, Asia, Europe.
What are your working hours?
I’m available traditional hours Monday to Friday. Email is best – email@example.com. I am also available via phone at 202-331-8686. The club has evolved over the years. Some things are the same. I’m learning the rest and look forward to serving the club again.
Committee Updates, Part 1
Here are some July updates from several of our Committee Chairs. Look for additional updates later this month from other committees.
Embassy Relations Committee
By: David Klaus
The Embassy Relations Committee (ERC) continues to meet once a month, now via Zoom on Tuesday evenings at 6 p.m. The next meeting will be on July 14, 2020. Here are some recent updates from our committee:
- The Permanent Representative of the Gambia to the United Nations will speak to the club on July 22. The ERC has recommended to the club's Board of Directors, when it meets on July 16, that honorary memberships for eight Ambassadors who spoke recently to the club be renewed for the Rotary year 2020-2021.
- Letters prepared by the ERC were sent recently to the Ambassadors of Cambodia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and India informing them that the club's International Service Committee, in its most recent selection, approved grants for nonprofit charitable agencies in their countries.
- The committee is working to prepare an Ambassadorial Reception at the Residence of the Ambassador of Tunisia. It was scheduled for October 22 but will almost certainly have to be postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Tunis Doyen Rotary Club in Tunisia recently became a twin club of our club. The club recently sent ERC-prepared letters to all our twin clubs to tell them that we were thinking of them during this worldwide pandemic.
Community Engagement Committee
By: Khaled Sabah
I’m happy to announce the first Community Engagement Committee event of the new Rotary year. Rotary members will be invited to participate in Teens Run DC's QuaranTeens run, which is a virtual 5k (3.1 miles) to take place at any location and at any time between July 18 and July 26. Rotary members can choose to complete the 5k either independently or as a group (of 10 or fewer). Email invitations with more information to be sent out soon. For more information on Teens Run DC and their virtual 5k event, please visit https://www.teensrundc.org/quaranteens-run-dc-virtual-5k.
Grate Patrol Committee
By: William Kelly, Salvation Army Outreach Director
Grate Patrol is still operating successfully in the midst of the protests and demonstrations. We had to detour the route a few days, but we were still able to serve our homeless neighbors. I am planning on reinstating volunteers soon. The plan is for volunteers to drive their personal vehicle and drive behind the GP truck. This is to maintain social distancing. The volunteers (no more than 2-3) will then get on the truck to serve. I will be sending out an update soon.
By: Catherine Pociask
"Calling all Rotarians" to join the Membership Committee. We need your participation! Let's start this Rotary year out with a bang and get you involved. If you want to get involved or have any questions contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our next "Prospective Membership Orientation" meeting is July 13 at 6:00 p.m. And, our Membership Committee meeting is scheduled for July 16 at 4:30 p.m. via Zoom.
By: Steve Liston
Until we can meet again in person – and maybe after that! – our virtual programs are proving to be a success, with people attending from around the country and the world. Thanks to all of you for continuing to provide us great speakers. We are booked almost through August at this point, but will need more speakers in the fall, so please get in touch with Steve Liston (email@example.com) if you have speakers to suggest.
Walter Reed Bingo Committee
By: Shelton Williams
Rotary USO Bingo has gone online! The USO reopening date is unknown, but the Rotary Club of Washington, DC, and the USO are now partners in hosting 98 persons in monthly bingo games on Zoom.