2016-17 Rotary President, John F. Germ
RI President-elect John F. Germ chose Rotary Serving Humanity as his theme for 2016-17. Noting Rotary’s unique ability to bring together committed professionals to achieve remarkable goals, Germ believes that “now is the time to capitalize on our success: as we complete the eradication of polio, and catapult Rotary forward to be an even greater force for good in the world.”
Germ unveiled the 2016-17 presidential theme, Rotary Serving Humanity, to incoming district governors on 18 January at the International Assembly in San Diego, California, USA.
“I believe everyone recognizes the opportunity
to serve Rotary for what it truly is: not a small opportunity, but
a great one; an opportunity of a lifetime to change the world for
the better, forever through Rotary’s service to humanity,”
After a historic year in which transmission
of the wild poliovirus was stopped in Nigeria and all of Africa,
Germ said we are closer than ever to ending polio.
Last year’s milestones leave just two countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan, where the virus still circulates. Polio would be only the second human disease ever to be eradicated. When that moment arrives, it’s “tremendously important” that Rotary is ready for it, said Germ. “We need to be sure that we are recognized for that success, and leverage that success into more partnerships, greater growth, and even more ambitious service in the decades to come.”
Germ, a member of the Rotary Club of Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA, encouraged attendees to return to their clubs and communities and spread the word about Rotary’s role in the fight for a polio-free world. “People who want to do good will see that Rotary is a place where they can change the world. Every Rotary club needs to be ready to give them that opportunity,” Germ said.
Enhancing Rotary’s image isn’t
the only way to boost membership. “We need clubs that are
flexible, so our service will be more attractive to younger members,
recent retirees, and working people.” He added: “We
need more willing hands, more caring hearts, and more bright minds
to move our work forward.”
John F. Germ
Rotary Club of Chattanooga
BIO: John F. Germ is board chair and chief executive officer of Campbell and Associates Inc., consulting engineers. He joined the firm as an engineer in 1965 after four years in the U.S. Air Force. He serves on the boards of several organizations, including the board and executive committee of the Public Education Foundation, Orange Grove Center Inc., and as board chair of Blood Assurance Inc. He also is founder and treasurer of the Chattanooga State Technical Community College Foundation and president of the Tennessee Jaycee Foundation.
He was Tennessee Young Man of the Year in 1970; Engineer of the Year, 1986; Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year, 1992; and Tennessee Community Organizations Volunteer of the Year, 2009. He is a recipient of the Boy Scouts Silver Beaver Award and the Arthritis Foundation Circle of Hope Award. In 2013, the White House recognized him as a Champion of Change.
Germ joined Rotary in 1976 and has served Rotary as vice president, director, Foundation trustee and vice chair, aide to the Foundation trustee chair, chair of Rotary’s US$200 Million Challenge, RI Board Executive Committee member, RI president’s aide, Council on Legislation representative and chair, membership zone coordinator, chair of numerous committees, area coordinator, RI training leader, and district governor.
Germ has received RI’s Service Above
Self Award and The Rotary Foundation’s Citation for Meritorious
Service and Distinguished Service Award. He and his wife, Judy,
are Benefactors and members of the Arch Klumph Society of The Rotary
Foundation. They have four children and six grandchildren.
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