Paul P. Harris

April 19, 1868 – January 27, 1947

The Founder of Rotary

Paul Harris, a Chicago lawyer, founded Rotary on February 23, 1905 with the help of three of his clients. Silvester Schiele, a coal merchant, Gustavus Loehr, a mining engineer and Hiram Shorey, a merchant tailor. their intent was to provide fellowship among business men and provide service to the community. They called their group “rotary” because the meeting rotated among the homes of the members.

Paul Harris was born in Racine, Wisconsin. He tried his hand at being a newspaper reporter, business college teacher, stock company actor, cowboy, and a salesman for a marble and granite concern in the US and Europe. He received a bachelor of physical culture and LLD degree from the Uiniversity of Iowa, and an honorary Ph.D from the University of Vermont.

Paul was president emeritus of Rotary International, comprised of 6,000 clubs when he died in 1947. Today there are over 34,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas.

Holger Knaack, Rotary International President 2020-2021

Holger Knaack

Rotary International President 2020-21

Holger Knaack holds a degree in business administration from the University of Applied Sciences Kiel. Since 1995, Holger has been CEO of there all estate company Knaack KG. Previously, he was a partner and General Manager of Knaack Bakery Enterprises, a 125-year-old family business. Holger is Chairman and founder of the Karl-Adam-Stiftung (Karl Adam Foundation). For six years, he also served as Chairman of Rotary Youth Exchange Germany.

A Rotarian since 1991, Holger is a member of the Rotary Club of Herzogtum Lauenburg-Mölln. He was RI Director and RI Treasurer as well as a member of the Executive Committee of the Board. In addition, Holger has served as Council on Legislation Representative, Zone Coordinator, GETS Trainer and RI Training Leader. He has been a member and Chair of numerous RI committees. He was Moderator of the 2019 Rotary International Assembly, Endowment/Major Gift Adviser and Co-Chair of the 2019 Hamburg Convention HOC. Holger is a Major Donor to The Rotary Foundation, a member of the Paul-Harris Society and the Bequest Society. Married to Susanne for 43 years, the couple has hosted more than 40 Rotary Youth Exchange students. In his leisure time, Holger enjoys sailing and playing golf.

Johrita Solari

RI Director 2019 – 2021

District 5320

A Rotarian since 1993, Johrita is currently a proud member of the Rotary Club of Anaheim, California. She served as District Governor for District 5320 in 2010-2011. Additional service has included chair of the 2013 Southern California/Nevada PETS, training leader at the 2014 and 2015 International Assemblies, chair of the 2015 Institute for Zones 25/26, and membership on Rotary’s Peace Major Gifts Initiative Committee. On July 1, 2019, she became the Rotary International Director (2019-2021) for the newly configured Zones 26/27.

As District Governor, Johrita held the first District 5320 Million Dollar Dinner for The Rotary Foundation. Under her leadership, District 5320 became the second district in the world to become a 100% Paul Harris Club District.

Johrita is Co-Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of Solari Enterprises, Inc., a full-service property management company employing 300 team members who specialize in the management of more than $1B of affordable multifamily housing. She works together with her husband and daughters to create a working environment with a high level of ethics and integrity. She has served in many capacities on community and industry boards.

Rotary plays an important role in the lives of the Solari family. Johrita, her husband Bruce, and their two daughters, Gianna and Tressa, are all past club presidents and with their son-in-law, Reece are active supporters of The Rotary Foundation. Johrita and Bruce are members of the Arch Klumph Society.

They live in Villa Park, California, U.S.A.

Josephine Crenshaw

District Governor 2020-21

Rotary Club of Oregon City

When Jo is not running her McDonald’s stores, she enjoys
spending time with her husband, John, her two sons, and five grandchildren. She served her club as President in 2000-2001, chaired their successful Texas Hold’em fundraiser for several years, and now serves on the International Service committee

She enjoys travel and is working on her bucket list which includes visiting all the continents of the world. As part of that list, she participated in a Rotary Friendship Exchange to South Africa.

James (Jim) Boyle

District Governor 2021-22

RC West Linn

Raised in the Chicagoland area, Jim and his wife, Nancy, have lived in West Linn, OR for the past 25 years. Jim worked at a variety of Fortune 500 companies over the past 30 years prior to leading two consumer electronics companies. After leaving corporate life, Jim fed his entrepreneur spirit by building and developing high end residential properties and teaching MBA classes. Jim and Nancy raised one son, Ryan, and enjoy spending time with and entertaining their two grandchildren. Aside from traveling internationally, Jim enjoys playing pickleball, taking challenging hikes, and is an avid reader. Rotary found Jim when his club held a service project that benefited a women’s shelter and it involved the entire community. He realized then how significantly a small but committed number of Rotarians can impact a community. Through service, Jim and Nancy have developed lasting friendships and a network that spans the world. Jim has sponsored 24 new members and believes the WORLD NEEDS MORE ROTARIANS.

Steve Williams

District Governor 2022-23

RC Hermiston

Steve originally joined the Hermiston Rotary Club in 1999. After moving to Baker City, he joined the Baker City Rotary club in 2002; serving as Club President during the 2005-06 year. In 2006, Steve rejoined the Hermiston Rotary Club and has been active in the Youth Exchange, Membership, and The Rotary Foundation Committees. Steve served as President of the Hermiston Club in 2013-14. At the District level Steve served as Assistant Governor for the Eastern Region from 2010 –13; served as Administrative Assistant Governor in 2015-16; and served as District Trainer 2016-19.

Steve is married to Janet Williams and they have two sons: Sean and Jason. Sean lives in Hermiston and Jason lives in Portland with his family: wife Michelle, children Cooper and Clara.

Steve and Janet have hosted six inbound exchange students from five countries: The Philippines, Argentina, Taiwan, Japan, and France. Steve and Janet are District 5100 Triple Crown donors supporting The Rotary Foundation as Major Donors, as members of the Paul Harris Society, and as members of the Bequest Society.
Steve and Janet enjoy camping, traveling, and spending time with their family.

Steve is a proud graduate of the Oregon State University School of Business and works as a Project Manager for a large farming operation in the lower Columbia Basin. He provides administrative leadership in Human Resources, Safety, and Asset Management, along with many other areas.

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