Skip to content

DACdb Login         Home         My Rotary         RI Zones 33-34

Meet Rotarian Jeff Wells


This editable transcript was computer generated and might contain errors.

Adi Soozin: Hello fellow Rotarians! Today we are starting a new initiative with a podcast that features different Rotarians:

  1. Their story, 
  2. Why they joined Rotary, 
  3. Who they are and 
  4. Some of the service projects that they’ve worked on using their Professional Knowledge. 

And of course, we are going to kick off this new initiative with my father who has graciously offered to be the guinea pig. Dad, thanks for coming 🙂 

Jeffrey F Wells: My pleasure.

Adi Soozin: For those of you who don’t know me. My name is Adi Soozin and I am the Public Image Chair for District 6990. 

My father is currently the President of the Club of Norfolk. 

Dad, do you want to tell everyone who you are and what your profession is? If we couldn’t tell by the photos behind you.

Jeffrey F Wells: I’m an architect. 

As you can see I’m in my office. 

I’m currently the president of the Norfolk Virginia Rotary Club. 

This is my third time as president, for three different clubs in my 43 years with Rotary. 

So I’ve been involved for quite some time because I came right into Rotary out of college. It has been a life changing experience for me because of all the people we’ve met and all of the projects we’ve worked on,  all the wonderful events and opportunities to serve the local and global communities.

Adi Soozin: … and you are second generation?

Jeffrey F Wells: I Am Second Generation and you would be third generation.

Adi Soozin: I am and (no pressure), but my kids will be the forth. So, let’s see. How do you use your vocational knowledge and service projects locally and globally?

Jeffrey F Wells:  It’s interesting as an architect. I’m quite often asked to help out with nonprofits and NGOs that are building in the third world. Once Upon a Time in our Rotary Club in Ridgewood, New Jersey, in my year as president, during the Centennial, we started a project in Les Cayes, Haiti. 

Over the years we’ve been to the locations down there over 50 times, and each and every time we didn’t just bring a group of Rotarians, but we’d also bring a group of volunteers that were not really knowledgeable about Rotary. 

When they found out about the service projects we did and how it was all about by coming down and putting hands on, it was a wonderful life-changing experience for many people. 

We started small, restoring an old church and turning it into an orphanage and then we got a little bit larger and bought some land which is difficult to do in Haiti.

Then we built an educational center, a housing center and a health center for what began with a several hundred boys because the boys are mostly thrown into the streets. 

Then we started a second orphanage for the girls, buying them back from (the sex-trade). 

So we ultimately ended up helping around 600 families. Then we brought teachers in and educated them in the various trades, giving them life skills. Not just to learn to read and write in English, but also to learn how to do carpentry and masonry and welding and some of the trades that would give them the ability to have a job and thrive on their own.

Jeffrey F Wells: Agriculture was a big part of the program as well. We built a farm, barnes and then brought in cows, chickens, goats and let them take over. Then we did the architectural hydroponic farming which was very unique to the region. 

But that’s just one of the many projects I was a part of. We’ve done everything from planting trees for the local clubs in New Jersey, to building better pathways, and cleaning the beaches and providing oyster beds in the Chesapeake. 

So anywhere you go there’s an opportunity to serve, and anywhere you go there’s an opportunity to meet people that are not within your profession but somewhat related. As an architect for me Rotary was great socially as well. It gave me the chance to meet many people that were outside of the Building Trades.

Adi Soozin: When did you join Rotary and what made you decide to join?

Jeffrey F Wells: So my father, past International director Ray Wells, was a member of the Paramus Rotary Club and I had been exposed to Rotary from an early age through the district conferences and the many projects he worked on. 

When I got out of college in 1981, I joined in May and remember going to my dad saying, “Hey Dad. I want to join Rotary” and he said “I’ll let you know when you’re ready, you’re still a little too young” and I said “I knew you were going to say that but I’ve already been proposed. I just wanted you to come to my induction.” 

He laughed and he came, so I began my Rotary journey in May 1981 and it’s been outstanding.

Adi Soozin: We said we’d keep this brief. What is one thing you’d want to tell those who are thinking of joining Rotary?

Jeffrey F Wells: Explore the world with Rotary. 

See what’s going on everywhere. I’ve gone to a meeting everywhere that I’ve ever traveled. I’ve had a Rotary makeup and literally have traveled to the far reaches of European and African nations. Australia was a wonderful International Conference. 

We just came back from New Zealand. Everywhere you walk into a Rotary meeting and you automatically have like minded people that are service driven and have a love for Humanity. So there’s nothing I can say that is not encouraging.

Adi Soozin: Yeah, that is one of the nice things about the four-way test, which is the foundation of Rotary for those of you listening who are not Rotarians yet. 

The four-way test helps us to have very high quality people joining Rotary and connecting and forming these very unique collaborative communities filled with brilliant professionals around the world. 

They are all collaborating to help with everything. You just got a few examples from my father, so if you are interested in joining a club, you can just type in to Google “find a club near me + Rotary” and you can see which clubs are in your area. So you can visit your local club and see what they’re working on.

Jeffrey F Wells: I need to just take a second and show you how exciting it is to be an architect in my office and…

Adi Soozin: yes.

Jeffrey F Wells: Hear what is going on right outside, as they rehearse for tomorrow’s performance.

Adi Soozin: He has a full string orchestra outside of his office performing while we are trying to do this recording

Jeffrey F Wells: so with that, we’ll talk soon. Love you.

Adi Soozin: Love you, Dad. Bye.

Adi Soozin is a 3rd generation Rotarian and the Public Image Chair for District 6990.

She has a Bachelor's Degree in Medicinal & Biological Chemistry from PBAU & an MBA from IE Business School. She started her career with a guerrilla marketing company in 2009. It was here that she first learned about the fast paced world of marketing when she worked with her boss on projects for Porsche, Whole Foods, Target & Disney.

After this, she was selected to manage Apple sales on a NATO base in northern Italy. She doubled sales within 12 months, which is why her boss documented her strategies and had them replicated across all of our locations in Western Europe.

As of now, the fastest she has grown a company is from “idea on paper”, to $108,757,750 in sales in less than 5 years. By its seventh year, this company closed more than a quarter billion in sales. This is why her strategies and playbooks are used by 1000s of marketers & agencies across 59 countries via

Back To Top