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Adi Soozin: recording Hello everyone and…
Gail Auguston-Koppen: Okay.
Adi Soozin: Welcome to another episode of Meet the rotarians today. We have a very special guest with us. Her name is Gail Auguston-Koppen. She runs her own company and executive for the 39 years at an international level mainly pulling in suite Executives for medical implant companies and international corporations. She’s used this amazing set and into people in this amazing International experience to help so many incredible projects around the world involve year over year and continue to build desolate locations desolate dark corners of the world into Powerhouse hubs and communities. It’s absolutely incredible. You’re about to not just hear me with my introduction, but you’re about to hear it straight from so Gail. Thank you so much for coming on today. Do you want to just help people who you are? What is your profession? I know you’re on a bunch of different board like that. Everybody wants a piece of you.
Gail Auguston-Koppen: Yes, my pleasure. I’m Gail Auguston-Koppen coppin. I owned my own executive retained search firm as ADI said for 39 years with global medical device manufacturers. I think people that know me and worked with me both in business and on my nonprofit boards and other leadership roles would describe me as an entrepreneur a Trailblazer a connector of people a Visionary and the community Builder and those are all things that I love to do and anything that changes lives and is transformation in a community is my passion. So it’s a pleasure and honor Audi to be here today with you.
Adi Soozin: So how would you say? No, we’ve briefly touched on it already, but would you see is your unique Professional Knowledge in your service projects locally and globally and maybe you can hear a little bit about what you’re doing with hope.
Gail Auguston-Koppen: Yes, so I’m on the board of spring of hope we have 60 schools in South Africa. We started in 2007 by a high school student and we have grown this exponentially with not only the community boreholes, but we put Community Gardens and teaching the community permaculture.
Gail Auguston-Koppen: Waterless toilets and our recent project that we started pivoting to actually in 2018 with a grant for Junior Achievement programs in financial literacy and coding for five years through Standard Bank was brought into our spring of Hope first primary Beretta or Flagship grade school and then Acorn to Oaks and we really believe that the em the entrepreneurial training of the people is what will transform the community when you have 85% poverty and unemployment about the same enroll areas entrepreneurship is the road out of poverty. So that is what I’m very excited about working on when we talk about rotary and the things that we’ve done both globally and locally globally I brought the first
Gail Auguston-Koppen: Global Grant to the Fort Lauderdale ladder of Rotary Club, they were a 97 year old organization and never did a global Grant. And so the first Global Grant I brought to them was 16 Early Education teachers with the hainesburg South Africa Rotary Club, and it was an 18-month training program that empowered in trained The Early Education teachers that then went back into the community. That was very exciting and very successful. And as a result of that we have now done a second Global Grant internationally with this same Rotary Club the hainesburg club
Gail Auguston-Koppen: For 40 family Gardens where we’re teaching in permaculture and they are teaching their communities with food and just food and fruit trees and just ways of eating healthy in the community and then most recently this isn’t a global Grant but our club was involved with the Portland Rotary Club New Generation club and doing a borehole for clean water and also permaculture Gardens at the center for disabled students in the community there in acorn cook again a very successful project. So those have been three of the international projects that I brought to the club in the last since I joined the club which has been six years ago and locally Dillard High School, which is a 75% poverty school here.
Gail Auguston-Koppen: In Fort Lauderdale, I was able to bring Junior Achievement the company of the Year their fellows program into the school five years ago, and we have now probably run over a hundred students. Through this Junior Achievement program, which has been very successful and I also was able to introduce in 2019 the very first rotary interact club, which allowed us to send some of the students to the rotary leadership weekend. We’ve introduced him now to the youth Exchange program being a former exchange student myself to Switzerland in high school. I knew how life-changing that could be and…
Adi Soozin: Yeah.
Gail Auguston-Koppen: we wanted to bring this to them as well, which has been introduced this year. So locally and…
Adi Soozin: I will to Gail’s point something.
Gail Auguston-Koppen: globally have been very engaged in rotary projects.
Adi Soozin: That’s very unique about rotary That You Don’t See with a lot of organizations will focus on feed someone in the fish for a day. But with the rotary service projects something that’s a very unique thing you get to experience is teaching people to fish for a lifetime and you can see with Gail’s projects. that’s just a few examples of the amazing types of things that you get to work on it. If you join the Rotary Club there international and Global International and local projects that every Club gets to work on at some point throughout the year. But thank you for sharing all that with us. I think that’s very inspiring to some of our listeners who are on the fence. Not sure if rotary is right for them. Not sure if it’ll allowed to Showcase their intellectual knowledge and their desire to collaborate with other performing High achieving professionals, but text is
Adi Soozin: Did you join rotary and what did you decide to join?
Gail Auguston-Koppen: So I joined rotary in the mid-90s at that point. I’d had my business for quite a while. I had moved up through the chairs nationally been president and then International, they’re the National Association for my industry as well as the international position for three years, and I’ve just been very blessed and rotary appealed to me because it was International as I said, my whole Focus after being in foreign exchange student was Global and so looking at The Rotary Club in Portland, Oregon, even though I was traveling a lot with my business. I was very much em,
Gail Auguston-Koppen: Their International projects which their projects at that time were in Guatemala. And so then I came down here to Florida in 2000 to get out of the rain in Portland and I was by Coastal for 15 years. And so I joined the Rotary Club here in Pompano Beach for 13 years and was involved very much in fundraising for the military families and a number of other projects, but it wasn’t until 2017 when I went to the Fort Lauderdale Rotary Club to present basically a year-end report on a Spring Hope since they had been supporting our water projects in South Africa that they gave me an application and said you need to join our club and I did yes, they were supporting our projects in South Africa and so in 2017 a transferred to the Fort Lauderdale Rotary Club
Gail Auguston-Koppen: Has been phenomenal because they have been so open and so receptive to these International projects that I brought to them in 2018. And that’s another thing about rry. I was a new rotaryan in this club and…
Adi Soozin: yeah.
Gail Auguston-Koppen: yet after one year of a membership. I brought them an international Global grant that they had never done before and the board and Foundation approved getting off we ran and so I think if you are a connector You are somebody that’s a Visionary in a community Builder and have a good idea. The rotary clubs will listen. So that’s another again big plus for people that are maybe on the fence. Not sure can I break into the rotary system and make a difference and I’m saying yes you can.
Adi Soozin: absolutely, and if you feel like you can’t your own club then maybe visit a few of the clubs around you because sometimes you’re not in the club that’s necessarily run for you, but It’s like a stone’s throw away will be totally receptive and on board with what you want to do rotary is very amazing and every Club has their own passion projects as well. So that is something to consider is if you’re very passionate about a particular type of community service will service projects to check out what all the clubs around you are working on. but it sounds your feels like perfectly with the club of Fort Lauderdale, which is a good for us. So
Adi Soozin: what is final question and then I’ll let you go. What is one thing that you’d want to tell Those were thinking of joining Rotary International?
Gail Auguston-Koppen: I would say that if you love business and you love changing lives and you love making a difference in the world that there isn’t a better organization to be part of than Rotary International because you are with minded people who are service above self number one who are a lot of fun and wherever you go in the world and any play time I travel if I was in Paris, I went to the Paris Club when I’m South Africa and go to the South Africa Rotary Club, you can make friends all over the world and it’s a great way to transfer your business skills into changing lives and transforming communities.
Adi Soozin: And yeah and giving back absolutely I’ve personally been to 48 countries and the nice thing about rotary is no matter where go you can find you’ll immediately feel at home with rotarians because there are certain core values that every Rotary Club retains regardless of the country. So I definitely agree with that. The loving the international aspect of being able to plug in and feel immediate at home with the local population regardless of where you are. Gail, thank you so much for your time. And for jumping on this call with us the photos in your background. I have to ask these are all of South Africa or what’s the
Gail Auguston-Koppen: Yeah. Yeah, some of them are a local artists. They leopard that’s behind me as my photo. I have gone to South Africa every year for four to six weeks doing photography.
Adi Soozin: You took that.
Gail Auguston-Koppen: And so I have a lot of photos in my place here and…
Adi Soozin: No.
Gail Auguston-Koppen: on drives thousands of photos. My husband did the videos and I get the still shot. So we love the big cats lots of big cats.
Adi Soozin: What kind of camera do you have?
Gail Auguston-Koppen: I’ve had a number of them the one I’ve had the Cannons I’ve had the and…
Adi Soozin: Yeah.
Gail Auguston-Koppen: I’m just blanking on the one I have down to be honest. I have a long lens and a short lens so that you can’t because sometimes those cats are hanging in the tree and…
Adi Soozin: Yeah.
Gail Auguston-Koppen: sometimes other there’s sitting on the ground but It’s always a thrill and
Gail Auguston-Koppen: So yeah, I love South Africa. It’s just an amazing place and we have a lodge to Lonnie that we put into auctions that raises money for a spring of Hope. And in fact, we’re having this spring of Hope Gail up in Palm Beach that I mentioned for New Year’s Eve. But anyway,…
Adi Soozin: Okay.
Gail Auguston-Koppen: I highly recommend the country and no better way to go than to also do a service projects with rotary.
Adi Soozin: And just watch for those of you tuning in we will put in the notes underneath of this video links. So that could see more about that Lodge and maybe participating in the auction as well as links to the other. Projects that Gail has mentioned. Thank you so much everyone for tuning in. Thank you Gail for the time and for answering my questions about these photos as well that one of the leopardy. Take care everyone. Bye.