This month we’re sharing Elizabeth’s story. Elizabeth Goodman is the recently elected President of North Charleston Rotary! In celebration of her new position, we got the inside scoop.
Elizabeth has been at Kotori for ten years and was recently promoted to Chief Financial Officer and Human Resource Manager. When she’s not working hard for our clients and employees, she dedicates time to her family and Rotary, a service-based organization, and her family.
How long have you been a member of Rotary?
I joined Rotary in November of 2014.. Since then “ve been awarded Rotarian of the Year for 2014-2015, and joined the board as a director in July 2016.
How would you explain Rotary to someone that knows nothing about it?
Rotary is a worldwide service organization. Our motto is Service Above Self. There are over 1.2 million members around the globe working together to unite and create lasting change across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves. There are 6 areas of focus for Rotary: Promoting Peace, Fighting Disease, Providing Clean Water and Sanitation, Saving Mothers and Children, Supporting Education, and Growing Local Economies. Rotary’s mission is “We provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through our fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders,” and its vision is “together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change — across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.”
One of our core initiatives is ending Polio. Rotary’s involvement in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative began in 1979. Since then, Rotary has assisted to reduce Polio cases by over 99%. Rotary has helped immunize more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries. Rotary has contributed more than $1.8 billion toward eradicating the disease worldwide. Currently, Polio remains endemic only in 3 countries.
What has been your favorite Rotary project?
Our Rotary club has presented the Rotary Roundball Classic for 26 years. Through this fundraiser, we have awarded numerous scholarships to students living in North Charleston. But this event was more than a fundraiser. It was also a service project. It provided our local high school teams the chance to play locally against some top-ranked schools across the US. Sadly, it will not take place this year. Additionally, we’ve also assisted the Daniel Island club with duck adoptions for the annual Charleston Duck Race. Those funds are then given to numerous organizations in the North Charleston area.
Personally, I enjoy going to the food bank with the club and helping out there, as long as we aren’t peeling onions.
This year, the North Charleston Rotary Club will celebrate our 75th year. We are planning a 75th-anniversary gala to celebrate and raise funds for the scholarship fund.
What motivated you to join Rotary?
Funny story. I was actually very hesitant to join Rotary. Neadom wanted me to join a group, but not a networking group. I understand his reasoning – get out of my comfort zone and meet new people, get involved, and make a difference. That worked! I stepped very far out of my zone and attended a few meetings. Once I got involved in a few projects, I was hooked.
During that time, the group invited me to help out with the first year our club assisted with the duck adoptions. That was also my first year in the club. The following year, I became the Duck Race Chair. Once on the board, I worked with another Rotarian to develop a process for organizations to apply for funds each year for our grants as well as duck race proceeds.
How is your club adjusting to COVID-19?
We took some time away from meeting for a bit, then started back meeting via Zoom calls each week. Now we’ve expanded. Several members expressed interest in meeting in-person, so we worked with our event space and are making it happen. Currently, we’re hosting a hybrid meeting with some members attending in-person and others logging in via Zoom.
What is your favorite part of being a Rotarian?
Meeting new people, helping the community, and making a difference on a global scale. Everything we do as a club supports the Rotary Foundation and in turn, the Foundation helps clubs around the world make a difference in their communities.
What do you bring to the table as the 2020-2021 president?
This is a tough one. While I am the club president, I have a great board of directors to help me out and assist in leading the club. My hope is that I can bring a fresh perspective to the club while still honoring the traditions that have been around for 75 years. Growing our club membership this year in addition to completing a few more service projects are major priorities for us as well. Additionally, I plan to have some more active sessions where we complete a mini service project during our meeting.
What’s something we may not know about you?
Another member bestowed a Paul Harris Fellow Award on me. Paul Harris is the man that started Rotary back in 1905. The Paul Harris Fellow program recognizes individuals who contribute or have contributions made in their name, of $1,000 to The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. Established in 1957, the honor shows appreciation for contributions that support our Annual Fund, PolioPlus, or an approved Foundation grant. While I do contribute to this fund, I hadn’t reached that threshold. Another member felt led to make the donation in my name and grant me the honor of becoming a Paul Harris Fellow.