Rotary International names Salt Lake City
fo host the 2007 convention
(Evanston, Ill., Nov. 8, 2005) — Rotary International, one of the world’s largest volunteer service organizations for business and professional leaders, has chosen Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, as the site for its annual convention in 2007.
The Rotary convention, often compared to a mini-United Nations conference, will attract Rotary club members from around the world to the state-of-the-art Salt Palace Convention Center on June 17-20. Rotary conventions held in the United States typically draw about 25,000 registrants.
“We are very pleased to work with Salt Lake City and Rotary clubs in the region to make this happen,” said William B. Boyd, president-elect of Rotary International. Boyd, of Auckland, New Zealand, will set the agenda for the convention, which will culminate his term as Rotary’s president for 2006-07.
“Salt Lake City has the facilities and the capacity to host this outstanding event,” he said, referring to the Salt Palace’s 365,000 square feet of exhibit space and the city’s 20,000 hotel rooms, most of which are within walking distance of the convention center. Boyd emphasized that Utah’s 40 Rotary clubs — with their combined membership of over 1,900 — are working enthusiastically to plan and host a convention that will showcase the culture, history and attractions of their region.
Originally, New Orleans was to host the 2007 Rotary convention, with Salt Lake City the designated site for 2011. In August, however, Hurricane Katrina not only destroyed much of the New Orleans infrastructure, but also jeopardized the ability of local Rotary clubs to organize and host such a large-scale, international meeting. The Rotary International Board of Directors decided to switch the dates, making New Orleans the designated site for the 2011 convention. The change gives New Orleans Rotary members ample time to rebuild their lives and businesses before taking on the formidable task of planning and hosting an international convention. Boyd said the date switch was not an easy decision for the board, but one that had to be made for the benefit of the entire organization. He went on to praise the New Orleans clubs for their hard work in preparation for the convention prior to the hurricane disaster.
Each year, Rotary holds its convention in a different city around the world so its members can have a chance to attend one in their home region. The 2006 convention will be hosted jointly by Copenhagen, Denmark, and Malmo, Sweden. Chicago hosted the 2005 convention, and Osaka, Japan, was host city in 2004. Salt Lake City last welcomed a Rotary convention in 1919, eight years after the Rotary Club of Salt Lake City was chartered in 1911.
Rotary was founded in Chicago in 1905 as a way for business and professional leaders to improve their communities — and communities worldwide — through volunteer service. Rotary’s worldwide membership today exceeds 1.2 million men and women. Rotary’s top priority is the worldwide eradication of polio. Rotary clubs also initiate and support humanitarian projects that address many of today’s most critical issues, such as the global water shortage, hunger, poverty and HIV/AIDS and other diseases.
2009 - Seoul, Korea
2010 - Montreal, Canada
2011 - New Orleans, Louisiana