I became a member of Rotary because a respected friend asked me if I would be interested in it and I had always been intrigued by service organizations. Most of my professional life was spent in service to others, either in the Army National Guard or as a wildland firefighter in a career spanning 40 years. I didn't know much about Rotary, I had a vague idea it was an organization that professional folks used to develop business leads. Boy was I wrong about that! What I found was a group of intelligent, passionate, caring and empathetic people genuinely interested in making the world a better place in a whole bunch of different ways. Count me in for that!
Ever since I was a little kid, I have traveled internationally. The first time I was out of the country was in the mid'1960's when our family went to Guatemala. I've since visited every continent except Antarctica and found that traveling outside your home country and comfort zone expands the mind greatly. As a citizen of the world, I believe it's important to have perspective on the way people live around the globe and the challenges and aspirations that human beings share. As a 5 year old American in a Third World country, I will never forget what it was like to have an old lady beg from me - me, a little kid, who had more than someone as old as my grandmother. Something felt wrong about that equation then and it still does, and that's something that draws me to Rotary and especially the international work that we do: attempting to correct or at least alleviate some of the vast global inequities that seem to be ever-present, everywhere you look. I like it that Rotary and Rotarians think big, as in how can we stamp out Polio worldwide? I really admire my fellow Rotarians and the Rotary organization, in what we stand for and what we can accomplish together!