Our speaker introduction today was by Ana Sutherland:
Hadi Mortada, our District Governor.
Hadi was born and raised in Beirut Lebanon, and received early education at St Joseph school. Hadi completed a diploma in Electronics Technology at the Beirut Technical College. In 1985 he moved to the United States where he completed English studies and pre-engineering at the University of Georgia. In 1986 Hadi moved to Colorado where he completed Electronics Engineering Technology at the University of Southern Colorado. Hadi is also a Microsoft Certified Professional MCP (1998).  In late 1989 Hadi moved to Canada and completed Sales & Marketing Certificates at Algonquin College. At the same time, he was part of a team that started a daily news paper in Ottawa, "The Ottawa Sun" where he worked with the company for 27 years.
Hadi's Rotary involvement
  • Member of the Rotary Club of West Ottawa since 2003
  • Club President 2013-14
  • Years as AG 2014-2019, 5 years
  • District Legislative Committee
  • Completed all levels of Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI)
  • Paul Harris X 2
  • Bequest Society
  • Lloyd Loynes Volunteer award recipient (Rotary Club of West Ottawa)
District Conference committee 14-15, 15-16, 16-17 PR & Sponsorship
Hadi's roles in his club include - Public Relations committee chair, Calendar Committee, Mums Committee, Membership committee, Club President, Music for Humanity committee, Club Co-Treasurer, Chair Social & Recreational Committee. Hadi also played an instrumental role in developing the club's website. He is Social Media liaison for West Ottawa and the Ottawa area clubs.
Conventions Attended Montreal, Lisbon, Atlanta, Toronto, Hamburg, and many District Conferences
Hadi is a landlord of rental properties, and a renovator, builder, and gardener. His hobbies are travel, cycling, rowing with Dragon Boat Team, classic cars enthusiast and restoration.
Hadi has always been impressed by our club, and what we accomplish both locally and internationally.  He told us about how he became involved in Rotary.  Back in 2002, a friend and client invited him to have lunch at a Rotary meeting, and he eventually joined the club in 2003 while he was still working.  In 2007, he became ill with Crohn’s disease, and had to take time off.  In January 2008, he was hospitalized for three months.  He and his wife had no family here in Canada, and it was his friends in Rotary that responded and supported him.  This is when he came to realize that there is a Rotary family that everyone has.  Rotarians care about each other as well as doing service work together.  People seem to join for one reason and stay for another…this often being the friendships that develop. 
Rotary offers everyone a lot of opportunities.  During this time of Covid 19, we needed to adapt and have often turned a negative thing into different positives.  Rotary is a team.  We were able to use Covid 19 as an opportunity.  It is important that we set goals as they give us direction, whether or not we actually achieve them all.  They can change, but they are important in providing a road map.  We achieve more when we have set goals.  It’s important for Rotary to maintain visibility in our community.
Hadi worked on membership in his club, and has realized that it’s easier to get members than it is to keep them.  Rotary needs to be accessible and affordable.  Maybe we should consider gathering differently and break away from “the way we have always done it”. 
We should look to other organizations for new possible ways to do things.  Invite other service organizations to join us on a project.  We can achieve more that way.
We should be aware of the new Area of Focus on the environment that was introduced by Rotary International.  We should promote District activities among our members.  The first ever virtual District Conference is about to happen, and it’s going to be great. 
In answer to a question, Hadi let us know that we can register for the District Conference up to Friday at noon.  There are going to be some great presenters, and great break out sessions.  Also, there is going to be a drum circle.
John Gale thanked Hadi with our now traditional virtual loaf of bread.