The results are in!  Seven Rotarians start new terms on ESRAG’s Board this year.  They represent six nations and bring an array of environmental knowledge, professional expertise, and Rotary leadership experience to ESRAG. Tim Conners, Clari Nolet, and Michael Terrelonge were elected to second terms. Felix Kariuki and Malcolm Rooney were newly-elected, and Past Rotary Foundation Trustee Jorge Aufranc and current RI Director Faiz Kidwai have agreed to serve as appointed members.  “The Bylaws empower the Board to appoint up to directors who can have exceptional contributions to ESRAG,” says ESRAG Chair Yasar Atacik. “This also helps ESRAG to have a better geographical representation on the Board.”

Jorge Aufranc (Guatemala) served on The Rotary Foundation Board of Trustees and helped establish the environment as Rotary’s 7th Area of Focus. He serves on the Enhancement Grant Model group which developed the Environment policy statements defining activities eligible for global grant funding. A chemical engineer, he chairs the RI/USAID Steering Committee and has served as a Director of WASH RAG and a member of the Cadre. Jorge has also served as a Director of Rotary International, member of the Council of Legislation, and is a recipient of The Rotary Foundation Citation for Meritorious Service. He is passionate about river restoration work and building local and international alliances to strengthen ESRAG’s impact.

Tim Conners (United States) is an engineer and experienced leader in strategic planning and building high performance teams.  He holds degrees in mechanical engineering (University of Minnesota) and business (Sloan School, Massachusetts Institute of Technology), and trains groups on the En-ROADS Climate Solutions Simulator to build insight into the drivers of climate change and the synergistic impact of available solutions. He has served as Co-Chair of ESRAG’s Renewable Energy Task Force and is the Board’s leader for ESRAG’s Website Team, overseeing the rapid expansion of ESRAG’s online resources. He has held key Club and District leadership roles in Rotary, including serving on the D 5950 Lake Street Revitalization Team (site of the murder of George Floyd) and Co-Chair of the Eco Expo Fundraiser.  He was appointed an ESRAG Director last year and has just been elected to a full three-year term.

Top row: joining ESRAG’s board in 2023 are Jorge Aufranc, Felix Kariuki, Faiz Kidwai, and Malcolm Rooney. Starting a second term: Tim Conners, Clari Nolet, and Michael Terrelonge

Felix Kimani Kariuki (Kenya) is an engineer serving as Programmes Director for Agriculture and Nutrition at Global Open Data, a network of over 1,200 partners. He is building out systems to equip farmers to plan climate-resilient crops and get those crops to market at the optimal time. A member of the Lavington Eco Rotary Club, he is Chair of ESRAG’s Africa Chapter and is rapidly building a network of gifted young African environmental problem-solvers in ESRAG. He is eagerly advancing international alliances to increase ESRAG’s capacity and impact.

Faiz Kidwai (Pakistan)  is a Rotary International Director and an architect in Karachi who launched the Rotary Pakistan Smart Villages Program to rebuild resilient, carbon-neutral communities to meet the challenges of Pakistan’s devastating floods. A 1983 architecture graduate of NED University of Engineering and Technology in Karachi, Faiz was later awarded a research fellowship in conservation in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina by the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at Harvard University. A specialist in socially-responsive architecture, he has developed master plans for numerous urban housing projects, large urban development and city planning projects.

Clari Nolet (United States) pioneered ESRAG’s two major circular economy projects, both involving partnerships beyond Rotary. The first is the Freon initiative through which clubs organized community drives to collect old stocks of Freon to deliver it to a facility where it could permanently destroyed and generate carbon offset credits. The second partnership is the lithium-ion recycling collaboration with Redwood Industries which now involves over 50 clubs. With an MBA in finance, she has served as President of the Board of the Los Altos Rotary Club Endowment in California and as marketing director of the Club’s largest fundraiser for three years.  She will work to encourage the Rotary Foundation and clubs to their investments to benefit the environment.

Malcolm Rooney (Scotland) has served as Co-Chair of ESRAG’s Great Britain and Ireland Chapter and in multiple roles to build ESRAG’s capacity and teamwork.  He is Coordinator of the Chairs of ESRAG’s 13 Regional Chapters, Co-Chair of the Building ESRAG IT Understanding and Skills Team, serves on several other teams including Communication, Marketing, and Education, Membership, and Volunteer Engagement. Malcolm holds honors degrees in physical education and divinity.

Michael Terrelonge (Jamaica) chairs ESRAG’s IT team and has expertly guided ESRAG’s transition to iMembers. He has worked diligently on continuous improvement, through training for ESRAG teams and working with the vendor on systems enhancements to meet ESRAG’s needs.  He advocates for the goals and concerns of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and was an expert panelist on ESRAG’s breakout session on this topic at the 2022 Rotary International Convention. His environmental work focuses on climate change adaptation, including disaster preparedness, sustainable agriculture, and nature-based solutions.