A Top Female Leader In Rotary Says Recruiting Women Is An Opportunity For Growth
On World Polio Day, I had the opportunity to sit down with Jennifer Jones who now serves on The Rotary Foundation Board of Trustees and who previously served on the Rotary International Board of Directors and as its Vice President. In that capacity, she reached the highest rank achieved by a female in Rotary.
Rotary excluded women until a United States Supreme Court ruling on May 5, 1987 that opened the door for women to join the organization.
Jennifer was a reporter who covered Rotary before women were allowed to join and remembers attending at least one club meeting with all men. She was treated well and later, when the opportunity presented itself, she joined.
She has risen through the ranks in an unprecedented way. Speculation abounds that she could one day be Rotary’s first female president.
In our discussion, we talked about her experiences and thoughts about women in Rotary. She points out that because women slightly outnumber men in the world and are also underrepresented in Rotary, an emphasis on recruiting women represents an opportunity to grow Rotary’s membership.
Interview with Jennifer Jones, the Trustee of Rotary International.
The following is the pre-interview with Jennifer Jones. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.
What is your personal or professional connection to polio?
Currently, I serve on The Rotary Foundation’s Board of Trustees (the Board manages the business of the Foundation—the charitable arm of Rotary International that funds service activities).
I also focus on cultivating experiential fundraising opportunities such as a recent golfing fundraiser we held with polio survivor and ambassador Jack Nicklaus that raised more than $5.25 million for polio eradication.
Where are you presently focused?
Wild polio now exists in the smallest geographic area ever—only in Pakistan and Afghanistan. But the program faces key challenges, so we must remain focused and committed to stopping polio wherever it persists.
How do we get from where we are to total polio eradication?
Financial and political commitment from leaders, donors, and governments around the world to rally behind a polio-free future are needed now.
More about Rotary International:
Rotary brings together people of action from all continents and cultures who deliver real, long-term solutions to the world’s most persistent issues. Each year, Rotary members contribute millions of dollars and volunteer hours to promote health, peace and prosperity in communities across the globe. Rotary is the driving force behind efforts to eradicate polio. With its partners, they have achieved a 99.9 percent reduction in polio, with less than 35 cases reported in 2018 compared with 350,000 a year three decades ago.
Jennifer Jones. Photo Credit: Rotary International
Jennifer Jones’s bio:
Jennifer Jones is the president and CEO of Media Street Productions Inc., an award-winning television production company in Windsor. Jones has served Rotary in many roles, including as RI vice president in 2016-17. She is co-chair of the End Polio Now: Make History Today campaign to raise $150 million. She has been a leader in cultivating experiential fundraising opportunities such as Rotary’s Polio Golf Day with Jack Nicklaus in Jupiter, Florida, USA, which raised over $5.25 million for polio eradication.
Jones has been recognized with many awards, including the Service Above Self Award and the Rotary Foundation Citation for Meritorious Service, the YMCA Peace Medallion, and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, and she was the first Canadian to receive Wayne State University’s Peacemaker of the Year Award.
Jones and her husband, Nick Krayacich, are members of the Arch Klumph Society and the Paul Harris Society and charter members of the Bequest Society.
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