The Downtown Rotary Club of Houston is shaping the Future of Houston and the World
“Since Rotary was founded in 1905, our role in the world and in the lives of its members has been in a state of continuous evolution. In its earliest days, Rotary offered its members a way to find fellowship and friendship and to build connections within their communities and still does. Rotary today offers something of singular and enduring value: the chance to be part of a global network of people who have the talent and the drive to change the world. We are men and women who believe in the power to make a global impact — and together, we have the capacity and the resources to achieve almost anything. Globally, Rotary is more relevant than ever, and its potential for good is vast. Rotary service transforms lives and communities. As our founder Paul Harris put it, “Rotary is a microcosm of a world at peace, a model which nations will do well to follow.” To me, Rotary is not only a model but an inspiration. It shows us what is possible, inspires us to reach for it, and gives us a path to act — and to be the Inspiration as Rotary Connects the World.”
Rick Slemaker – Founding Charter President, the Downtown Rotary Club of Houston
The Downtown Rotary Club of Houston was founded July 1, 2018 by several leading Houston area business and professional men and women. The first “interest” meeting of these prominent Houstonians was held in October of 2017. After several weeks of meetings, it was decided by Carmen Cuneo, the Rotary International District 5890 Governor, the Downtown Rotary Club of Houston would become a reality.
The Original Founding Charter Members included Rick Slemaker, Past President of the Rotary Club of Houston; Patti Whitmire Carlton, Past President of the Bellaire/Southwest Houston Rotary Club; Angie F. Jimenez, Centennial President of the Rotary Club of Houston; John R. Price, Past President of the Titusville, Pennsylvania Rotary Club; Debbye Crofoot-Morley of the Holocaust Museum-Houston; David T. Hale with Service Corporation of America; William
N. “Billy” Bray, a Houston Chronicle honored 40 under 40 Commercial Insurance Executive; RoShelle Salinas, Founder of Salinas Solutions and an Executive of the Houston Automobile Dealers Association; Tom F. Butler, Chairman of the Texas Credit Union Association; Denis DeBakey, Founder of DeBakey Financial Services; Neil Mallon Bush, Chairman of the Points of Light and Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundations; Charles C. Foster JD, Founder of Foster Global and immigration law advisor to Presidents George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama; William T. “Bill” Drennen III, Founder of WTD Oil & Gas; H. Kerr Taylor, AmREIT Founder and Executive Chairman of Rowland Taylor; William A. “Tony” Mayer Jr., retired investor and member of the PEP Board; and Taylor Waidhofer, Publisher of Houston Real Producers Magazine.
The newly chartered Downtown Rotary Club of Houston began meeting in the heart of Houston’s Theater District, The Ballroom at Bayou Place. Houston’s largest private event venue. The Downtown Rotary Club of Houston hosted among many special events, the 60th Anniversary of NASA, with Mark S. Geyer, the 12th director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center and the Senior Astronaut of the International Space Station, Randy “Komrade” Bresnik with Apollo 7 Astronaut Col. Walt Cunningham, who is a Charter Member of the Downtown Rotary Club of Houston.
Today the Downtown Rotary Club of Houston is the largest Rotary Club in South Texas and is part of Rotary International’s worldwide network of 35,000 clubs throughout 200 countries on every continent. Rotary is the largest international service organization in the world with a global network of over 1.4 million business and professional leaders, and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and act to create lasting change – across the globe, in our communities, in ourselves and having fun doing it.
ROTARY INTERNATIONAL is dedicated to these seven (7) areas of focus to build International relationships to improve lives and create a better world.
Economic and community development
Basic education and literacy
Peace and conflict prevention/resolution
Disease prevention and treatment
Water and sanitation
Maternal and child health
There is nothing like Rotary anywhere…we are the most successful “can do” organization in the world. That is why the some of the largest Foundations in the world give us more of their dollars than any other organization they support, and Rotary matches every dollar given to us.
That is a fact that speaks well of who we are. The numbers are now north of 17 Billion dollars raised by Rotary International and our partners.
Our club and Rotary International continues to contribute millions of dollars in food, clothing, living supplies, and political influence to not only in Texas, the United States and all over the world.
Today, more than $1.39 billion in new Downtown construction projects are underway and another $2.58 billion in pre-development/design—nearly one- third of these projects being residential developments.
What is Rotary Today?
Our motto “Service Above Self” says it all. We gather to share ideas and conduct service projects and entertaining events that will improve life in our community.
Today the Downtown Rotary Club of Houston is the largest Rotary Club in District 5890 and part of Rotary International’s worldwide network of 34,000 clubs throughout 200 countries on every continent. Rotary is the largest international service organization in the world with a global network of over 1.25 million business and professional leaders, and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and act to create lasting change across the globe, in our communities, in ourselves, while having fun.
There is nothing like Rotary anywhere…we are the most successful “can do” organization in the world. That is why the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation give us more of their dollars than any other organization they support, and Rotary matches every dollar. That is a fact that speaks well of who we are. The numbers are now north of 17 Billion dollars raised by Rotary and our partners!
Whether you’re a longtime resident or just moved to our great city, there’s no questioning Houston is experiencing an incredible burst of development, particularly within its Downtown core. Today, more than $1.39 billion in new Downtown construction projects are underway and another $2.58 billion in pre-development/design—nearly one- third of these projects being residential developments. Additionally, Houston continues to welcome waves of new businesses relocating offices to its central business district and with that, urban professionals also will see an additional 2.86 million square feet of office space being constructed, as well as eight new, modern and luxurious hotel high-rises dotting the city’s skyline.
And who can overlook the success of two of Houston’s most beloved urban parks: Discovery Green and Market Square Park – both of which have been heavily credited for being the economic catalyst for growth in the east and northern end of Downtown Houston.
With all this robust activity, combined with its strong economy, a growing urban population, and solidified status as being one of the nation’s top culinary and entertainment destinations, it’s easy to see how Houston has transformed itself into the global city that it is today.
Last but not least we ARE a networking organization doing business with each other. We Rotarians value our friendships and hard work. We all love where we work and live, Houston. Now more than ever we ARE a global community more diverse that any other city on earth. Our city with all its robust activity, combined with her strong economy, a growing urban population, and solidified status as being one of the nation’s top culinary and entertainment destinations, it’s easy to see how Houston has transformed itself into the global city that it is today.
The Downtown Rotary Club of Houston looks forward to you and your business joining the most dynamic organization in the world, Rotary. Right now, there is no better place on earth to do business and live than in our City on the Bayou.
The Downtown Rotary Club of Houston is an IRS-approved 501 (c) (3) non-profit and a Texas tax-exempt organization meeting once each month for social fellowship and service. Join us and be a part of something big! Watch our video.
Our members are committed to the ideals of Rotary International® and are dedicated and invested in making Houston, Texas, and the world a better place for all and…to have fun doing it. The Downtown Rotary Club of Houston membership is open to men and women who are recognized for their leadership, want to be socially active, and dedicated to community service.
No individual may join Rotary on their own. A current member of the Downtown Rotary Club of Houston must sponsor an individual for membership and subsequently that individual must be approved by the Downtown Rotary Club of Houston Board of Directors. Guests of members are welcome to visit the club to learn more about Rotary and our community and world-wide involvement.
Our Downtown Rotary meets only once per month as compared to other Rotary clubs meeting weekly. We feel your time is important and that is why our members chose monthly. We also have a fun and lively social meetings each month after business hours.