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Ramón Martínez is the president of the Monmouth-Independence Rotary Club.

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INDEPENDENCE/MONMOUTH — Ramón Martínez, Independence community engagement manager, took on a new role when he was named president of the Monmouth-Independence Rotary Club on July 1.

“I’m really excited to help keep the momentum going of what Monmouth-Independence Rotary has created,” Martínez said. “I especially … enjoy it because it allows me a chance to connect with our Monmouth neighbors.”

Each Rotary Club has its own character and projects it’s interested in, Martínez said.

“One of our biggest programs is the youth exchange program,” he said. “It’s been very successful and it allows local youth to go a year abroad. Right now, we’re kind of in limbo about how we’re going to adjust to the pandemic.”

Students are expected to participate in training activities for the year before their exchange, debrief when they return and help train the next group.

Rotary Club is about a bunch of people coming together to do positive things for the community, Martínez said.

He hopes to maintain the strong sense of community while making the club accessible to more people.

“There’s a lot of very incredible people in the group from an array of backgrounds,” Martínez said. “At the same time, I want to be able to help make our Rotary Club more appealing to young professionals.”

Some clubs have multiple gatherings that allow for different schedules, he said.

“That’s something that I would like to do, because I understand not everybody can make it to our Rotary Club meetings at noon on Thursdays. That’s a very hard time to dedicate. And I also understand that not everyone can dedicate an entire hour.”

More than 30 people attended a pre-pandemic evening meeting of the Polk County Young Professionals, he said.

“I think one of the big reasons it was successful is because of the time,” Martínez said.

For now, Rotary meetings are being held over Zoom, but there are still guest speakers.

“I just want to encourage everyone to be able to get out of your comfort zone a little bit,” Martínez said. “Rotary gatherings tend to break up your week a little bit in some ways. It helps connect you with people you wouldn’t connect with otherwise.”

Martínez said he is grateful for the opportunity to be president the M-I Rotary Club.

“I want to use some of my energy to excite people about getting involved with Rotary,” he said.

For more information about the M-I Rotary Club or to join a meeting, email Martínez at rmartinez@ci.independence.or.us.

What is Rotary?

Rotary connects people—approximately 1.2 Million members and 35,000+ clubs around the world.

Through Rotary clubs, people from all continents and cultures come together to exchange ideas, and form friendships and professional connections while making a difference in their backyards and around the world.

Rotary Causes

Promoting Peace

Savings Mothers & Children

Providing Clean Water

Fighting Disease

Supporting Education

Growing Local Economies

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