Reflections of 2015

holiday team photo

(From left) Nora Beamish-Lannon, Nick Smith, Michelle Gasparian, Maura Rogan, Christine Sanders (front left) Melanie Davis, Renee O’Keefe.

As 2015 comes to close, the Regional Leader Support team wanted to take a moment and share a reflection on the gifts of 2015 and what they are most looking forward to for 2016.

2015 has been a year of true blessings. Our staff team continued to develop, with several colleagues moving into new positions and new talents joining our group. I have been fortunate to work with an amazing team to support your good works in your communities and globally. On a personal note, I’ve loved watching my daughter grow into a true toddler, and I’m looking forward to completing my MBA in 2016!  – Christine Sanders, Manager

2015 was a year of endings and beginnings for me.  In August, I left a volunteer management position at a social service organization that I held for seven years and joined Rotary.  Three weeks later, my oldest child left home for college.  I am happy and grateful to report that both of us are very happy in these new chapters in our lives.  We are working hard, learning new things every day, and meeting wonderful people! I am looking forward to supporting you and your important efforts in 2016! – Maura Rogan, Senior Supervisor

In 2015-16, I celebrate my 15th year anniversary and attended an amazing celebration   dinner hosted by our Rotary International General Secretary John Hewko. I enjoyed getting the opportunity to celebrate our milestones with other colleagues dedicated to supporting the volunteers and RI’s organizational goals. I’m looking forward to the next 15! – Melanie Davis, Regional Rotary Foundation Coordinator Specialist

In 2015 I celebrated my tenth anniversary with my partner with a trip to Scotland, and marked my one year anniversary with Rotary International. Next year I will complete my MFA in Creative Writing (a poetry collection due in Spring 2016), and will enjoy continuing to learn about Rotary and how to support our amazing volunteers.  – Nick Smith, Rotary Coordinator Specialist

This year I was able to attend my first Rotary Convention in my hometown of São Paulo, Brazil.  It was a wonderful opportunity to see our largest event up close, as well as to spend some time with my family afterwards.  I look forward to seeing what new adventures are in store for 2016, working with you all to make a real difference in the world! – Michelle Gasparian, Rotary Public Image Coordinator Specialist

stpehanie and arlo

Endowment/Major Gift Advisers Specialist, Stephanie Norton with her son, Arlo. 

2015 was the happiest year for me. I am thankful for my health, my husband, my parents, sisters, nieces, nephews, friends, and for my beautiful baby boy Arlo. I’m looking forward to working with all of you when I return in 2016! – Stephanie Norton, Endowment/ Major Gifts Advisers Specialist

I had the good fortune to join the amazing team at Rotary in the start of 2015. The time spent here this past year has made me so thankful to work for an organization whose volunteers are doing such inspiring work throughout the world. I look forward to more learning and growing in 2016! – Nora Beamish-Lannon, Administrative Associate

2015 brought me my son, Emmett, and the opportunity to work with the experienced Regional Leader Support team of Rotary. I look forward to growing with Rotary and connecting with each of the regional leaders as they dive into their roles and serve their communities in 2016. – Renee O’Keefe, Senior Engagement Associate

To our regional leaders, we thank you for your commitment and service. Please share your gifts of 2015 in the comments below, and we look forward to the many gifts of 2016!


Why is The Rotary Foundation important?

By Usama A. Barghouthi, RRFC, Zone 20B

Without projects, a Rotary Club would be a “meet and eat” social club, trying to keep members engaged while trying to attract new members to their weekly meeting. In Zone 20B and in District 2452, speakers are not easily found, so the club patiently waits for the next interesting speaker to come about. But meetings and speakers will come and go, and the club returns to what it was doing, meeting and eating.

In the Rotary Club of Amman-Petra, Jordan projects bring enthusiasm for its members. We look for projects with a large number of beneficiaries, projects that change lives, projects that have long-term effects, and projects that make us proud. It is with these projects that The Rotary Foundation enters. It is like the magic wand that gives the club the power to do the unthinkable- the power to be a change-maker, a life-changer, and have an effect on lives.


Members of the Rotary Club of Amman-Petra prepared food packages with the Jordanian Foodbank (JFB) in July 2014.  From left: RRFC Usama Barghouthi, Rima Tantash, JFB member, Rafic Hamarneh, Ghassoub Kawar, Yousef Nusseir, JFB member, JFB member, Yousef Batshon. Front: Amjad Nasser and son. 


Educate your districts and clubs on the ways to support Rotary. But don’t stop at just educating and giving. Increase your impact by connecting with other Rotarians and spreading the word about projects happening in your region. Here are some simple best practices to try:

  • Maintain a shared list of Rotarians who visit your club or you visit theirs, then reach out to them for help with your projects.
  • Reconnect with Rotarians you meet in business meetings, conferences and conventions, tell them about what projects are taking place and how they can get involved with Rotary.
  • Join Rotarians in action groups and collaborate with experts in a particular field.
  • Talk to your governor, district leaders, district committee chairs, and senior Rotarians about ways to grow your club and increase your impact.

So as we celebrate #givingtuesday, support projects in your community, your country, in your world by donating to The Rotary Foundation and grow your relationships with districts and clubs in your region.