Jennifer E. Jones, a member of the Rotary Club of Windsor-Roseland, Ontario, Canada, has been nominated to become Rotary International’s president for 2022-23, a groundbreaking selection that will make her the first woman to hold that office in the organization’s 115-year history.

Historic move: Businesswoman Jones nominated for president of Rotary International

Author of the article:
Julie Kotsis  •  Windsor Star
Publishing date:
Aug 09, 2020  •  Last Updated 7 days ago  •  2 minute read
WINDSOR, ON. AUGUST 8, 1992 -  Jennifer Jones of the Rotary Club of Windsor-Roseland has been named the Rotary International's president for 2022-23. She is shown at her LaSalle, ON. home on Saturday, August 8, 2020. (DAN JANISSE - The Windsor Star)
Jennifer Jones of the Rotary Club of Windsor-Roseland has been named Rotary International's president for 2022-23. She is shown outside her LaSalle home on Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020. DAN JANISSE / Windsor Star

“There are very few opportunities in our lifetime to make a difference on a global stage,” said Jones, who has been a member of the Rotary Club of Windsor-Roseland since 1997 and is currently a Rotary Foundation trustee.

“It’s something that moves me very profoundly.”

Jones will officially become president-nominee Oct. 1 if none of the other five candidates contest her nomination.

“Our organization in 115 years, we’ve never had a woman serve as the president and I’m incredibly proud to be able to take on this role,” she added. “But I think it’s important to note that I was selected as a qualified candidate not because of my gender.”

 

Women have only been allowed to join the organization for the last 34 years. A U.S. Supreme Court ruling enforced that change.

Jones said many women are qualified to take on the role of president, but members must have served in a number of other positions first.

“We’re just at the point where we have a very small critical mass of women who have been able to accomplish serving in those different roles,” Jones said.

“It is a remarkable step forward in history because it represents diverse perspective and I think any organization that is looking to have balanced thought, needs to have diverse perspective. This is a sign of very positive change.”

Over the course of her membership, Jones has served as Rotary International vice-president, director, training leader, committee chair, moderator and district governor. She played a lead role in Rotary’s rebranding effort by serving as chairwoman of the Strengthening Rotary’s Advisory Group.

WINDSOR, ON. AUGUST 8, 1992 -  Jennifer Jones of the Rotary Club of Windsor-Roseland has been named the Rotary International's president for 2022-23. She is shown at her LaSalle, ON. home on Saturday, August 8, 2020. (DAN JANISSE - The Windsor Star)
Jennifer Jones of the Rotary Club of Windsor-Roseland, pictured outside her LaSalle home on Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020, will become the first woman to serve as president of Rotary International when she assumes the role in 2022-23. DAN JANISSE/The Windsor Star

Jones has received Rotary International’s Service Above Self Award and The Rotary Foundation Citation for Meritorious Service.

She is the co-chair of the End Polio Now Countdown to History Campaign Committee, which aims to raise $150 million for polio eradication efforts.

Jones recently led the successful #RotaryResponds telethon, which raised critical funds for COVID-19 relief and was viewed by more than 65,000 people.

“Through our lockdown and time of COVID, one of the things that has been remarkable is our ability to punctuate more than ever the kind of global community that we are,” she said.