John Germ is a member of the Rotary Club of Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA. John joined Rotary in 1976 and has served Rotary International as president in 2016-17, vice president, director, Foundation trustee, and vice chair, aide to the Foundation trustee chair, chair of Rotary’s $200 Million Challenge, RI Board Executive Committee member, chair of numerous committees, area coordinator, and RI training leader. In 2013, the White House recognized him as a Champion of Change.
He led Rotary’s US$200 Million Challenge, a fundraising effort in which Rotary raised more than $228 million toward a $355 million challenge grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Because Rotary reached the $200 million milestone ahead of schedule, the Gates Foundation awarded Rotary an additional $50 million, all of which funded critically-needed polio immunization activities, protecting millions of children against the crippling infectious disease. John has always made time to serve his community, his most notable accomplishments being his work with the disadvantaged, as well as physically and mentally challenged individuals. In 1981, John led the effort to build Camp Discovery, a special designated camp for those with mental and physical disabilities. He also spearheaded a $7 million campaign to raise funds for Orange Grove Center, a school for the mentally challenged. These funds also helped construct a residential rehabilitation center, residences, physical therapy area, and a recycling center.
Rotary Theme 2016-17
Rotary’s founder, Paul Harris, believed that serving humanity is “the most worthwhile thing a person can do,” RI President-elect John F. Germ said, and that being a part of Rotary is a “great opportunity” to make that happen.
Germ unveiled the 2016-17 presidential theme, Rotary Serving Humanity, to incoming district governors on 18 January at the International Assembly in San Diego, California, USA.
“I believe everyone recognizes the opportunity to serve Rotary for what it truly is: not a small opportunity, but a great one; an opportunity of a lifetime to change the world for the better, forever through Rotary’s service to humanity,” said Germ.