In an encore episode of The Business Beat, Steve Jones-D’Agostino, strategic partner of Susan Wagner PR + Best Rate of Climb, interviews Satya Mitra, immediate past president of the Rotary Club of Worcester. They talk about service above self. In the spirit of full disclosure, Steve is a member of Worcester Rotary and chairs its Public Relations Committee.
The 109-year-old Rotary International is a worldwide service organization. Its purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders, to provide humanitarian services, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. Rotary is a secular organization open to all persons regardless of race, color, creed, religion, gender or political preference. Globally, there are more than 34,000 clubs and more than 1.2 million members worldwide.
Rotary members are known as Rotarians. Usually, they meet weekly for breakfast, lunch or dinner. These are social events as well as opportunities to organize work on their service goals.
Rotary's primary motto is, "Service above self.” An earlier motto was, "One profits most who serves best.” This year’s Rotary International theme—“Engage Rotary, Change Lives” —challenges Rotarians to make a difference by renewing their commitment and welcoming those who have an interest in giving back and wish to join Rotary.
Rotary started with the vision of one man: Paul Harris. The Chicago attorney formed one of the world’s first service organizations, the Rotary Club of Chicago, in 1905. It was intended to be a place where professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas and form meaningful, lifelong friendships. Rotary’s name came from the group’s early practice of rotating meetings among the offices of each member.
The Worcester Rotary Club held its first meeting 102 years ago this month - in March 1912 - and its charter was issued that April. By that August, there were 29 members. In the mid-1990s, Worcester Rotary’s membership stood at more than 225. Between then and the past year or so, membership fell to around 50. These days, thanks in large part to the inspirational vision and leadership of Satya Mitra, the chapter’s president for 2013-2014, Worcester Rotary’s membership has risen to more than 110.
Satya came to America from India in 1976 with a PhD in biochemistry. Since 1991, he and his wife, and Sheema Mitra, who was also born and raised in India, have owned and operated The Guru Tax and Financial Services - which is based in Worcester and serves primarily the Indus-American community. Satya also hosts Not Only Money, a radio show that airs Sunday mornings at 10 on WTAG 580 AM and 94.9 FM.