Rotary Rose Parade Float Committee

Rotary Rose Parade Float Committee

Float Riders and Outwalkers


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Rotary Rose Parade Float Committee




The Rotary Rose Parade Float Committee Inc. presents “Changing Lives Through Clean Water” as the theme of our January 1, 2015 float.

This year the Rotary Rose Parade Float Committee’s entry into the 2015 Tournament of Roses parade focuses on our projects that give communities the ability to develop and maintain sustainable water and sanitation systems and support studies related to water and sanitation.

For millions of people throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America, getting clean water is a daily struggle.  In fact, more than 80% of all sickness in the world is attributed to unsafe water.  Nearly 1 billion people are without access to improved water sources and every 8 seconds, a child dies because of this crisis.  Rotary Club members join together to provide clean water and sanitation to literally save lives!

The need is significant:  Proper hand washing with soap and water can reduce diarrhea cases by up to 50 percent.  783 million people don’t have clean drinking water.  Six hours per day is spent by women in some rural parts of Africa collecting water from a remote source.

Primary activities undertaken by Rotary Clubs seek to: Improve sanitation facilities by providing toilets and latrines that flush into a sewer or safe enclosure; Promote good hygiene habits through education; Implement rain water harvesting systems to collect and store rainwater for drinking or recharging underground aquifers; and, Build wells to extract groundwater from underground aquifers.

Rotary Club volunteers will be “Float Participants” on our 2015 float - some will be riding on the float and several more will be walking alongside the float.
Rotary Districts
Float Riders and Outwalkers
Gary C. K. Huang, Rotary International President and Corinna
- - - -
Ian Hicks
Clive Houston-Brown
Lisa Faith Massey
Melody St. John
Jennifer Smith
Edwin A. Velarde
Joe Zarachoff
Amanda Wirtz
Rotary District 3480 Rotary International President
  Gary C. K. Huang, Rotary International President and Corinna

Gary C.K. Huang is a member of the Rotary Club of Taipei, Taiwan, and is an adviser for Wah Lee Industrial Corp. and Bank of Panhsin, and is director of Federal Corporation and Sunty Development Co. Ltd. He previously was president of Malayan Overseas Insurance Co. and chair of Taiwan Sogo Shinkong Security Co. Ltd.

A Rotarian since 1976, Huang has served RI as vice-president, director, Foundation trustee, International Assembly group discussion leader, regional session leader, task force member and coordinator, committee member and chair, and district governor. He also was chair of the 2014 International Assembly Committee; adviser for the Permanent Fund Committee for Taiwan, Macau, and Hong Kong; and PolioPlus advocacy adviser for Taiwan.

He has been instrumental in membership development throughout Asia. As a Rotary Foundation trustee, Huang set the goal of recruiting 100 new Major Donors in Taiwan to celebrate Rotary's centennial; the result was the addition of 106 Major Donors in 2005 and 103 in 2006, who contributed more than $2 million to the Foundation's Annual Fund.

Huang wrote about his experiences in business and Rotary in his book, "Finding Solutions, Not Excuses." He received the Civic Service Award of the Federation of Non-Profit Associations and the Outstanding Community Service Award from Taiwan's Ministry of the Interior. In 2001, when the Rotary International Convention was held in San Antonio, Texas, USA, he was named the city's honorary mayor.

Huang is a recipient of the Rotary International Service Above Self Award and Presidential Citation and The Rotary Foundation's Citation for Meritorious Service and Distinguished Service Award.
Rotary District 5190 Northern Nevada and Northeastern California
Joe Zarachoff

Joe Z (as he is fondly known) grew up in the West Los Angeles area of Southern California. He attended USC studying Accounting and Economics and started his professional life as a financial advisor with EF Hutton and then Paine Webber. A self-taught computer programmer Joe moved to Las Vegas in 1993 and started Unique Software Applications, developing custom solutions for a variety of industries. It was in 1999 that Joe relocated to his favorite vacation spot, the South Shore at Lake Tahoe. He formed Affordable Business Services and expanded his offerings to include Credit Card Processing and other business services.

A Rotarian since 2004 with the Tahoe-Douglas Rotary Club, Joe served as their Club President in 2007-2008 .

Joe served as the Assistant Governor for Area 9 from 2010-13 while also participating on many District Committees. During the 2011-12 Rotary year Joe formed and chaired a new District Committee dedicated to advancing Rotarian endeavors through the use of Technology. Joe and his team completed the adoption and conversion to ClubRunner as the District website, grants portal and main communication tool. Other advances include the frequent use of online meetings, the forming of a social media committee and the adoption of a cloud based District File Server.

Joe is married to Cheryl, a certified Bookkeeper, who is also a dedicated Rotarian. Cheryl has previously served as our District Treasurer, a role she will resume in 2015.
The Z’s are committed to the Rotary Foundation as together they are Major Donors, Benefactor supporters and members of the Bequest Society. Joe is also a Paul Harris Society member.

Joe and Cheryl enjoy visiting Cheryl’s daughter Kim, attending concerts and all things digital.
Rotary District 5240 Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Kern Counties
Edwin A. Velarde

Edwin is a proud member of Rotary Club of Westlake Village since 1994 where he served as President in 2012-2013, held positions as Chair of International Service and Chair of Rotary Foundation.

Currently, Velarde is the President of Rotary District 5240 Charitable Foundation, District Chair of Fundraising for Polio Plus and District Water Projects Adviser. Earlier in 2014-2015, he conceptualized and organized The EPiC Challenge, presented by Rotary District 5240, a 200K cycling event to benefit Rotary’s Polio Plus Program.

Velarde developed and managed Rotary humanitarian projects in the Philippines. “Changing Lives through Wheelchairs” providing mobility for the physically challenged and “Investment for the Future” that helped a super-typhoon damaged school by providing math, science & technical books, a computer lab and latrines.

Partnering with Rotary Club of Makati South, Velarde developed “Water for Life and Health in Marinduque Island”. Coordinating with the local government and engaging local Filipino workers, this project provides clean water access to hundreds of poor families in 8 villages in Marinduque Island and 4 villages in Pampanga Province. Waterborne diseases are now being prevented from infecting many families and young children improving the quality of their lives and their health.

In cooperation with Rotary Club of Westlake Village and the City of Westlake Village, for 5 years Velarde is the organizer of Run/Walk for Global Clean Water in Westlake Village, California, creating awareness on the global water crisis in the community and helped support Rotary clean water projects in countries such as Thailand and Honduras.

Married with 3 children Merielle(25), Conner(22) and Davis(18), Edwin and his beautiful wife Cristina live in Ventura County where they own and operate Oak Park Family Dentistry.

Born and raised in Manila, Philippines and came to the United States at age 15, Velarde is very familiar and lived through the challenges of water scarcity and questionable water quality. He is a strong advocate of one of Rotary’s 6 Areas of Focus – Water and Sanitation.
Rotary District 5280 Los Angeles Basin, California
Melody St. John

Melody St. John has been involved with Rotary practically throughout her entire life, dating back to when  her father was a Rotarian in South Dakota. Fast forward to Los Angeles, California, present day, where she utilizes her passion for youth programs and community service projects along with her husband Paul St.

A member and Past President of the Rotary Club of Hollywood, St. John is involved in a number of District activities and positions including Chief of Staff to current District Governor, Elsa Gillham. She is the Managing Director of SCANEX, the multi-district international Rotary high school youth exchange program, working with over 100 students annually.

St. John has been involved in six district humanitarian trips where water projects were delivered. These projects include but aren’t limited to clean water for schools, bio-sand filters, hydroponic systems and construction of a reservoir in countries including Colombia, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, and Costa Rica.  St. John is part of the team that will be delivering this year’s project to Guatemala in February 2015.
Rotary District 5300  Southern California-Southern Nevada 
Clive Houston-Brown

Clive was born and raised in Zimbabwe, Africa where he saw first-hand the tremendous problems the lack of clean drinking water can have on a third-world population. He came to the United States at the age of seventeen and served three years in the United States Marine Corps and then went on to university to study business, technology, and education, culminating in a Doctorate in Educational Leadership in 2002. He is currently the Vice President of Facilities & Technology for the University of La Verne in Southern California, where he has worked for almost 18 years. The values of the University of La Verne closely match those of Rotary in terms of service and community engagement/outreach and the University has been a strong supporter of his Rotary activities.

A proud member of Rotary since April 2004, Clive was Rotarian of the Year for the Rotary Club of Pomona in 2005/2006 and served as President in 2006/2007. He served a number of years as Chair of International Projects for the club and is in his third year as club Foundation Chair. With a passion for clean water projects, Clive has made more than 120 presentations to Rotary Clubs in and out of his District. He has initiated, led and helped with dozens of humanitarian clean water projects around the world and has taken Rotarians to project sites in Africa to see the impact they have. Clive was District Grants Chair for a number of years and has served in the role of District 5300 Chair for International Clean Water Initiatives for much of his time in Rotary.

In 2013/2014, Clive helped pilot a District Global Grant water and sanitation project in Burkina Faso in partnership with the Cirque du Soleil’s One Drop foundation. Following the project’s success, he worked with the leadership of WASRAG (Water and Sanitation Rotary Action Group) and One Drop to develop a formal partnership between Rotary and the One Drop foundation. A trip to Mali, Africa earlier this year with representatives from each organization helped identify potential project sites and culminated in an agreement to jointly conduct up to $20 million in water and sanitation projects in that country over the next five years. A strong supporter and advocate for The Rotary Foundation, Clive encourages all Rotarians to make TRF their charity of choice and water projects their project of choice.
Rotary District 5320 Orange County, Southern Los Angeles County
Ian Hicks

Ian is a member of the Rotary Club of Yorba Linda Sunrise and Governor Elect 2017-2018

Ian graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in biological sciences from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. He then went on to qualify as a Science and Biology teacher at the Johannesburg College of Education. Despite the enjoyment of teaching, Ian was lured into the pharmaceutical industry and became a Medical Representative for a local company. This provided him with many of the fundamentals in working with multiple layers of management and being of support to medical practitioners through provision of useful, published information. The opportunity arose to join a US based company (Ethnor) and Ian built the business, becoming a Regional Manager. He then became a Product Manager for Lederle in South Africa, where the team collaborated to build a major product into the market leader in the country. This brought him to the attention of head office in New Jersey, leading the family to be relocated to the USA in 1983.

Ian was moved into managing an oncology product for Lederle, which the team commercialized globally. This was the first of several major multinational programs, which also provided the opportunity of significant travel and collaborating with multiple nationalities and cultures globally. The opportunity arose for the family to spend a year in Stockholm, Sweden, where the children experienced the British Primary School with many other expatriate children and Janet experienced tea and events with Ambassador’s wives. It was rather fun as a family to attend birthday parties at the American Embassy, as well as Thanksgiving, along with Christmas parties at the Canadian Embassy!

On return the United States, Ian led the International oncology efforts to multiple successes. Everything had to be dealt with through integrity and validation. It transpires the business success was based off the “Four Way test”, although Rotary was yet to become a force in the family’s lives.

Rotary beckoned in 1986, when Ian was invited to join the Oakland, NJ Rotary Club. This was fun and there were many fundraising activities. However, the opportunity to join Allergan in California arose, where Ian was privileged to commercialize Botox® for Allergan on a named-patient basis in the EU. During this time, he became a member of the Mission Viejo Rotary Club and a Paul Harris Fellow. Fast forward to joining the Yorba Linda Sunrise Rotary club some 22 years ago. Shortly after that Ian was elected to the Board and was President 1996-1997. He has since been very active both at the club level and District level, having chaired many major events, culminating in XO to PDG Lorman and Rotarian of the Year.

Ian and wife Janet have enjoyed a tremendous amount of international travel and experiences, with many photographic safari’s in southern Africa, as well as International Rotary Conferences in Barcelona, Singapore and locally (Los Angeles). Ian and Janet are active gardeners, photographers and hikers, enjoy supporting Rotary events and have a superb time cooking and enjoying good wines with friends. They empty nesters, with Clifford a physicist in Applied Physics at the Max Planck Institute in Dresden, Germany, CarolAnne living with husband Michael in Bethel (Danbury) CT, where she is studying Physical Therapy, and Lesley, an interior designer, living with her husband Michael in Santa Ana.
Rotary District 5330 Inland Empire, Southern California
Jennifer Smith

Jennifer joined Rotary in June of 2011. She is currently serving as president of the Temecula Valley New Generations Rotary club. The “New Gen” Rotary is a unique rotary club that is geared toward attracting members who are 18-40 years old. The goal of the New Gen club is to help bridge the gap between high school Interact members and Rotary clubs with older members when a Roteract club is not available. The Temecula New Gen Rotary is the only one of its kind within District 5330. Jennifer has held many positions within her club including public relations chair, membership chair, youth services chair and she completed the three years of training required to become president.

When the New Gen club was approached by the Rotary Club of Onitsha Gateway from District 9140 in Nigeria asking for help to provide a school and surrounding community with access to clean water, Jennifer was unsure if they would be able to raise the funds needed in order to complete the project. After seeing the pictures of the school children and learning about the condition of the water they receive to drink every day, Jennifer decided to enlist the help of other presidents within District 5330 to help procure the funding. By joining forces with 2 of her club members and 9 other clubs in the district they raised the funds needed to complete the project that will supply 500 students a day with clean water.

Outside of her busy rotary schedule, Jennifer enjoys traveling with her husband. Jennifer works as an office manager at Temecula Chiropractic and at their satellite location of Lake Elsinore Chiropractic where she feels the most rewarding part of her job is being able to help people on a daily basis.
Rotary District 5340 San Diego, Imperial, and parts of Riverside Counties 
Amanda Wirtz
Rotary District 5890 Greater Houston Area
Lisa Faith Massey

The Rotary Rose Parade Float is not an official Rotary International program.