I recently had dinner with the former District Governor of District 5950 who was the District Governor when I was President of my local Rotary Club.  Bob was the person who asked me to lead, what became the Rotary Initiative to End Human Trafficking in Minnesota in 2017.  As we were reflecting on what has happened with this initiative which started five years ago as a three-year project in Minnesota amazed us both.


Bob’s wisdom, leadership and commitment gave power and longevity to this important initiative.  It was Bob who had the vision to know that something as important as this initiative would take longer than one year to get going, so he worked with his successors AND three years of leadership in a neighboring District (District 5960) to make a three year commitment to support the work of our team. A year later, District 5580 which serve northern Minnesota, North Dakota, northwestern Wisconsin and part of Ontario joined the effort so we expanded the mission of the initiative which became known as the ”Tri District Rotary Initiative to End Human Trafficking.


Two years ago, knowing that the three-year commitment was completing, I approached our District leadership asking for their assistance.  I knew that work was just beginning, and we needed to establish a model that was more sustainable than the model that had been created for the initial initiative.  THUS the Rotary Club to End Human Trafficking was born with the support and assistance of yet another District Governor, Tom Gump. 


As I now look to end my tenure as the Charter President of the Rotary Club to End Human Trafficking, I am excited to see a club that not only is sustainable but is expanding in its influence within Rotary and in communities around the world.  In the two years since this club was formed, 5-6 other clubs focusing on ending human trafficking have been formed.  Many traditional clubs have also started project in their local communities focusing on educating young people on avoiding becoming victims. We have established a great relationship with the Rotary Action Group Against Slavery (RAGAS) and with other non-profit organizations.  We have members from four continents who are committed to expanding influence in their countries/continents.  And we continue to expand the awareness at Rotary International about this critical human rights travesty.


This will be my last letter to you as I will be ending my tenure as President of the club.  Michelle Seets will become President as of July 1 and I know that this club will continue to grow and thrive under her leadership.  Thank you for the honor of being your President for the last two years.