I would like to start by thanking Past President, Mike Miller, and the previous Board of Directors for their amazing role in leading the club. You continue to be an inspiration.

It is an honor to start this new Rotary year with this year’s theme: Rotary Opens Opportunities.

The new President of Rotary International is the German Holger Knaack. With this theme, he asks Rotarians to create opportunities that strengthen their leadership, help put service ideas into action, and improve the lives of those in need.

I heard him speak live during PETS earlier this year and was very inspired with this speech.

He mentioned that to build a stronger membership, Rotary must focus on increasing the number of female members and transitioning Rotaractors into Rotarians. As this is sort of the low hanging fruit to increase membership.

Knaack believes that the People of Action campaign offers new public awareness possibilities for Rotary, as this campaign conveys our global image while still respecting differences in regions and cultures.

As I reflect on what this theme means to me, I realize that is no coincidence. It was precisely the vast range of opportunities to bring ideas into action what attracted me to Rotary.

I started my journey in Rotary while I was working in a project to bring clean water in Kenya (see photo). Rotary contributed to that project and we were able to care for mothers who were literally giving birth without access to water. I was very inspired with the work and came back to Houston to enroll in the environmental engineering program at the University of Houston.

Soon enough, I found that Rotary offered scholarships for graduate school. So, I participated and won the Rotary Global Grant Scholarship that led me to spend 3 years in Sao Paulo, Brazil doing research in water treatment. I built an international research collaboration and came back to Houston to be offered the position of the Water and Sanitation Rotarian Action Group Ambassador.

This was yet again, another opportunity, to connect with people to do good throughout the world. For me, Rotary DID and continues to open Opportunities for me to network with people who want to serve in the humanitarian world in the water and sanitation, and the disease prevention areas of focus. For me, it gave me the road to find my passion in life and a tremendous network of possibilities to serve with this passion.

So, what I am hoping we can accomplish this year:

  1. INCREASE MEMBER ENGAGEMENT - This has been a challenge for an e-Club since we don’t have as many face-to-face meetings. INCREASE THE QUANTITY AND QUALITY OF SPEAKERS, INCREASE FACE-TO-FACE MEETINGS. USE MORE ONLINE TOOLS - there is a large pool of platforms and tools that can make our communication easier, so we will be exploring those.

  2. INCREASE FUNDRAISING ACTIVITIES - We will be focusing on raising more funds for club activities.



    2. PARTICIPATE IN OUR FIRST GLOBAL GRANT. This grant aims to establish the first molecular diagnostics laboratory for infectious diseases in Venezuela.


It looks like we will have a busy year! Let’s continue leading like champions today.

Dr. Isis Mejias