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President Jim Louttit's Welcoming Remarks
Category: Microcredit | By SDR, 1-Aug-2018 | Viewed 1470  Comments 0 | Source Jim Louttit

Meet Incoming RAGM President Jim Louttit

2018 - 2019 RAGM President Jim Louttit

It is an honor and pleasure for me to lead RAGM this Rotary year as your Chair and President.  Some of you may recall I first served in this role during the Rotary year 2013-14 and I look forward to another year working with all RAGM members. But first I thank Past President Larry Wright for a successful 2017-18, providing leadership throughout the year along with the Board of Directors. 

We did have some Directors departing at the end of 2017-18 due to their terms ending and I thank them for their service while in their individual roles.  They are:

> Mike McCullough - President 2016-17
> Marilyn Fitzgerald - Developed World Microfinance Director
> Albert Kim - Funds Development Director
> John Ayliffe - Regional Outreach to Europe Director
> Nadim Matraji - Regional Outreach to Middle East and North Africa Director
> A. S. Venkatesh - Regional Outreach to South Asia Director
> Sergio Bortolani - Research, Training Information and Volunteer Director

Fortunately, we were able to replace some Directors and I welcome the newest members to the RAGM Board for 2018-19, they are shown below. I would like to add - Congrats, Summer on joining the Board of RAGM as Secretary.

> Matthew Kane - Developed World Microfinance Director
> Khalid Hasan - Research and Training Information Director
> Jose (Jess) Francisco Cifra - Regional Outreach to East Asia Director
> Summer Lewis - Secretary

Our entire RAGM Board of Directors can be seen at:

Volunteer Opportunities

We still have some Board vacancies going into the year and while we have some great qualified candidates for several of the roles, I thought it would be beneficial to list the openings and have your thoughts on possible candidates - committed RAGM members like yourself that represent our interests globally.  The opening roles are:

> Funds Development Director
> Regional Outreach to Europe Director
> Regional Outreach to Middle East and North Africa Director
> Regional Outreach to South Asia Director

Following RI President Barry Rassin's theme for 2018-19, to Be The Inspiration, when he asks Rotarians to inspire change in the world, I am asking if you are available, committed and are looking for opportunities to get involved with RAGM to help us in our effort to eliminate poverty through the empowerment of people.  If you are available and inspired to create lasting change by investing in people, please e-mail me at jvlrotary@gmail.com and we will talk further about the role that interests you.

President Jim's Focus

This year, your new RAGM Executive will have a focus of engaging more of our members in the tasks of providing global leadership to assist Clubs and Districts to participate in effective microfinance and community development programs.  While RAGM is currently involved in several excellent sustainable microfinance projects like LaunchDETROIT and more recently the LaunchMyCity initiative; the Honduras Economic and Community Development (HECD) Program; and what President Elect Nick Frankle is doing with Women's Economic Ventures in California, there are more out there.  You will be hearing a lot about the global initiatives over the coming months and I know there are more out there that are below the radar.  If you are inclined to further your own project or participate in one that already is underway, please let me know and I will ensure you are connected to the proper people.

Toronto Convention

I would be remiss if I didn't extend a huge vote of thanks to those volunteers that helped make our presence at the June RI Convention in Toronto a success.  Past President Mike McCullough moderated an excellent breakout session with panelists Marilyn Fitzgerald, Matthew Kane, Summer Lewis and Larry Wright on the topic of "How to Build Sustainable Communities through Microfinance". 
Rotary Convention RAGM booth with Nick Frankle

President Larry Wright chaired our Annual General Meeting and provided a popular keynote speaker.  It was Rotarian and Founder of FINCA International, Dr. John A. Hatch, and he was presented with a Paul Harris Fellow at the end of his talk. 

And last, but not least, our Conferences and Volunteers Director (and now also RAGM President Nominee), Sam Veerasingham, coordinated RAGM's excellent booth in the House of Friendship.  Click on the picture of the booth with RAGM President Elect Nick Frankle relaxed before the crowd gathers to see an enlarged view.  The new members that signed up at the booth, volunteers to greet the booth's visitors, and the crew that put up and took down the booth were critical to our successful presence in this, our 11th year at the International Convention.

Looking Forward

I believe this will be an exciting year as your Board of Directors will be reaching out to you as we want to grow RAGM's presence in the Rotary world while we continue moving to eliminating poverty and changing lives sustainability.  The Executive Committee will be meeting monthly while the full Board of Directors will be meeting on a quarterly basis, with the first Board meeting scheduled for August 22, 2018.  Along with RAGM's full Board of Directors and RAGM's Advisory Board, I am looking forward to a successful 2018-19.

Yours in Rotary,

Jim Louttit,

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