Welcome to the Rotary Club of Gulfport.  We meet each Thursday from noon to 1 p.m. at the Great Southern Club located in Downtown Gulfport.  Each week we present insightful program speakers who engage with the club and guests about a variety of topics. For many of us, seeing each other regularly and sharing in community fellowship is a highlight of our week.  You are welcome to visit us!
 
It is truly an honor to serve as club president of the Rotary Club of Gulfport during this 101st year as we all work together to serve our community.  As such, we have chosen as our theme of the year, "Rotary 101". This is a play on words as we were founded in 1921, making our club 101 years old. Even more significantly, our theme this year, Rotary 101 suggests that we focus on the basic, elementary and critical few things that support our mission of 'Service Above Self'. Much like any 101 course you may have taken in school, the focus is on the foundation, the building blocks and the heart of something much deeper. In our case, our foundation, Rotary, centers around service to others and shining a light on those that we serve rather than those of us who serve. In 1914, Rotary founder Paul Harris said, "Whatever Rotary may mean to us, to the world, it will be known by the results which it achieves. To that point, we will work to support each other in the spirit of service.
 
We will focus on a few other critical areas which support our mission of service. These areas include our speaker programs, membership engagement & growth, fellowship and telling our story. This year, we will place a strong focus attracting speakers who engage our members and guests. We will look to invite dynamic, relevant and even controversial speakers as we understand that our weekly program can determine attendance and growth. We will focus on retaining and engaging current members in a more impactful way while we look to grow club membership with community focused individuals and leaders in our area. Another area of focus will be more opportunities to fellowship with other club member and with Rotarians in other local clubs through social events, service events and fundraisers. Lastly, we want to tell the story of the Rotary Club of Gulfport. Of all the things that our club does in an excellent fashion, we have a significant opportunity to use social media and other means to talk about who we are, who we serve, our joint projects with other organizations and why someone should consider joining our club. During Rotary year 22-23 we will improve our focus on these key areas that we already have shown success in.

I appreciate all of our officers and active members for their commitment to making our club so special.  It is so important to our community that we stay active and relevant providing service and scholarships to so many deserving students in our area.  I look forward to our continued efforts in providing whatever support and service we can for the city of Gulfport and its citizens for many years to come.
 
In Service,
Chris Estrade
President 2022-2023