DG Eric's gave his inspirational message to the Bermuda clubs during his visit to Bermuda with  District 7230 Rotarians.  DG Eric reiterated the dream and theme of our RI President Dong Kurn Lee  "Make Dreams Real".

 

            In its 104th year RI President Dong Kurn Lee is the first Korean to head Rotary International and under his theme of "Make Dreams Real".  Lee will target childhood mortality as his top area of focus.  "We will keep our minds firmly on our goal that is to save the lives of children," Lee says. "Rotary will turn the dreams of a safe and happy childhood-a childhood that becomes a long and healthy life-into a reality because all of the world's children, are our children."

            In addition to reducing childhood mortality, Lee is also dedicated to the global effort to eradicate polio, Rotary's top priority. He has traveled around the world, including India, to immunize children against the crippling and potentially fatal disease which still threatens children in parts of Africa and South Asia. Since the launch of Rotary's Polio Plus program in 1985, Rotary members have helped to immunize more than two billion children in 122 countries. As the  lead private sector contributor and volunteer arm of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative - a public/private partnership spearheaded by the World Health Organization, Rotary International, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and UNICEF - Rotary has contributed US$700 million and countless volunteer hours to the cause.

   Rotary's recent funding agreement with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will provide another US$200 million toward ending polio over the next three years - another milestone in Rotary's 20-year legacy of polio eradication work.

            Lee will emphasize three other major humanitarian issues: literacy, hunger relief, and clean water. During his one-year term, Lee will encourage Rotary clubs around the world to partner with local governments and non-governmental organizations to initiate projects that improve literacy rates and provide sustainable sources of food and clean water to communities in developing countries.

 

DG Eric also spoke of the projects being undertaken by the clubs in our district, particularly the water projects, and the success of our district in improved donations to the Rotary Foundation and emphasized the need to grow the membership of our clubs and create projects to "Make Dreams Real".

            DG Eric joined the Rotary Club of South Shore (Staten Island, NY) in August of 1991. Since then, Eric has served the club in a variety of capacities, including Board Member, Treasurer for 2 years and President from 2001-02. Eric is also a current member of the South Shore Rotary Family Chorus. Eric was honored by his club by being awarded the Paul Harris Fellow Award in 2003.

            Eric has served the District as the Area 7 Assistant Governor in 2003-04, and most recently served as District Membership Co-Chair.  Eric has been very active through the years outside of Rotary. He has served as a board member of the Staten Island AIDS Task Force for 10 years, including board chairman for 5 years. He was on the founding board of Staten Island Cares.  He was also on the founding board of Rainbows Hope Inc. In 2000, Eric was honored by American Express as a "Great Citizen", a one-time only award celebrating American Express' 150th anniversary by recognizing the top 150 American Express associates around the globe who have "done something extraordinary to better our world."

            Professionally, Eric is a financial advisor with Ameriprise Financial Inc. He has attended RutgersUniversity, WagnerCollege, and has a B.S. in Economics from the College of Staten Island. Eric attained his Certified Financial Planner designation through the College for Financial Planning, and also attended the WhartonSchool through the University of Pennsylvania where he earned his Certified Investment Management Analyst designation. Prior to this, Eric worked with his family in the harness racing business, earning his trainers license through the United States Trotting Association, allowing him to train racing trotters and pacers.          Eric lives on Staten Island with his wife Kristine. He has 3 sons, Ryan, Kevin, and Paul, and a baby daughter Anna.