“Service Above Self” is a motto that Melanie Duguid firmly believes in.
After all, she will be practicing it every day this year as president of the Deerfield Rotary Club, as she plans an exciting program year.
Like all Rotary Clubs, the Deerfield Club is devoted to public service – in the workplace, in the community, in the nation and throughout the world. Its members are largely business and professional people with strong ties to their communities.
When Melanie became one of Rotary’s 1.2 million members in 2008 she never gave it a thought that she someday might become president of one of its 34,000 non-profit community Rotary Clubs that exist in more than 200 countries throughout the world.
Giving Back to the Community
Some examples of this service practiced by the Deerfield chapter during an average year include fund-raising donations to the July 4th10K Race, the Three Men and a Truck event aiding the West Deerfield Food Pantry, the Coat Off Your Back Fund to help clothe the less fortunate, charitable donations to support Family Day activities and the Back to School backpack program for NICASA troubled moms and their young school children.
Others are: The North Suburban United Way Community Fund, the Deerfield High School Chorale’s activities, “Christmas Call Home” phone cards for international students attending Trinity University, the DHS Parents Network After-Prom Party, the Deerfield Police Department’s “Don’t Text & Drive” campaign, and Rotary International’s Shelter Box disaster aid fund to provide shelter for the homeless throughout the world.
Not bad for a Rotary Club with only 35 members.
On top of that is the Deerfield Club’s support of Rotary International’s worldwide polio eradication program to immunize the world’s children from this dreaded disease. Members of Rotary are currently raising $200 million towards a $355 million challenge grant donated by Bill and Melinda Gates, of Microsoft fame, to eliminate the scourge.
Compassion For Others Drew Duguid to Rotary
It’s this compassion for people and diversity of interest that appealed to Ms. Duguid to join Rotary. She plunged right in by regularly attending Thursday noon meetings held weekly at the Italian Kitchen. She became a member of the Board of Directors in 2009, served as President-Elect in 2010-2011, and was installed as President in June of this year succeeding Gary Heymann. She serves until June 30, 2012.
When asked what her plans are for her year in office, Melanie indicated that for the most part she plans to continue with the current successful portfolio of projects that have been sponsored by the Club over the past few years.
”Last year we changed the meeting format by involving our individual members to a greater extent in planning the programs. Each member now takes a turn in organizing one. It provides for increased member involvement and creativity,” she said.
But she says there’s one thing that will not change, and that is the weekly meeting recitation of the "Four-Way Test": 1) Is it the TRUTH? 2) Is it FAIR to all concerned? 3) Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS? and 4) Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned? This is a cornerstone in Rotary relationships, Melanie indicates.
Duguid said she will attempt to cooperate more closely with those other service clubs located within Deerfield.
“We want to work more closely with other service clubs, and be more inclusive as an organization, both in attracting new members and in providing community service. I think it is important that we reflect upon our community’s diversity when carrying out “Service Above Self,” she said.
Duguid is a Certified Financial Planner with over 17 years of experience. She is also a Certified Real Estate Appraiser and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. She is also a member of Deerfield's Coe Financial Group, a Highland Park resident, and a current member of the Board of Directors of Tri Con Child Care Center. But that's not all. Duguid is a former member of United Way of the North Shore as well, and affiliated with the North Shore Council of Illinois Financial Planning Association.
She was raised in McHenry, Illinois, and received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California.