Rotarians with all kinds of expertise are stepping up to help their clubs, communities, and regions meet environmental challenges.  ESRAG’s Regional Chapters and specialized teams are growing and developing fast. At this year’s Annual General Membership Meeting, the ESRAG Board announced a new initiative to support volunteers, and honored twelve volunteers for their contributions in 2022-23.

ESRAG Director David Brawn, who brings tremendous experience recruiting and training Rotary environmental leaders across Australia, will lead a new Volunteer Engagement Group to “help ESRAG attract, retain, and support suitably motivated volunteers for ESRAG and Rotary Projects.”  He asks you to watch for a short survey soon that will be the first step in creating a database of skills and interests of ESRAG members and friends.

Newly-elected Director Malcolm Rooney, Coordinator of the Regional Chapter Chairs, announced nine Regional Chapter Volunteers of the Year who stand out for an array of qualities and achievements, including teamwork, enthusiasm, project implementation, representing ESRAG effectively with Rotary International, and many more.

This year’s regional honorees are:

  • Neeraj Bhatnagar, South Asia
  • Roger Blakeley, Oceania
  • Garry Fowler, Oceania
  • Bernhard Groth, Europe
  • Karen Kendrick-Hands, Central North America
  • Ingrid Hesser, Europe
  • Jennie Lewis, Eastern North America,
  • Kella Price, Central North America
  • Kirsten Weber, Great Britain and Ireland

ESRAG 2022-23 Chair Pat Armstrong then announced the winners of ESRAG’s international volunteer of the year award, named for one of ESRAG’s founding and most dedicated members. The Dr Keith Tovey Award in 2023 went to Ariel Miller, ESRAG Newsletter Editor, and a special joint runner-up award to Lori and Mike Cloutier.

Annual meeting highlights volunteers

Pat thanked Ariel for writing and gathering articles every month for the last four years, and working to create the new blog series which Communications Chair Laurie Zuckerman and ESRAG’s dedicated social media editors are mining for posts to expand the reach of environmental success stories, project ideas, and other resources.

As co-chair of ESRAG’s Plastics Solutions Task Force, Lori Cloutier has done a brilliant job in compiling and publicizing great information on how to reduce plastic pollution. Mike Cloutier has put in countless hours working with ESRAG IT Chair Mike Terrelonge to train ESRAG leaders on the many tools of our new iMembers database, and helping us overcome problems.

Congratulations to this year’s honorees, and thanks to all ESRAG volunteers for your dedication and service!