Rotary International Convention 2024
In May of 2024 I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Singapore for the 2024 RI Convention.  I am truly grateful for the Sugar Land Rotary Club's support in attending.  In order to document my learnings and the fellowship I had, every day I posted on Facebook with a short summary of the day and with some pictures.  Since some members do not use Facebook, I thought I would also put some notes in the Bulletin.
Day 0
Went to the Sensoji temple during my layover in Tokyo, and also ate some absolutely amazing sushi! The subway was a bit a challenge to figure out, but people were very helpfulso I managed to get everywhere just OK.
Day 1
Had a great first day at the 2024 Rotary International convention! Attended the opening session with Grace Machel attending, who is a world renowned leader on women’s rights. Also very appreciative to have Rotarian friends like Farrah to introduce me to some wonderful Rotarians from around the world.
Here are a few pictures of the day. I met Teresa Whitmore, governor elect for Ottawa, and some of her friends as well. Hoping to work with Farrah to get our Nigerian friend Jonathan over to Houston.
Always wonderful to share these experiences with Rotarians from my district and even my Club! (Sugar Land Rotary)
Day 2
My second day at the Rotary Singapore Convention 2024 - D9220 was another great day, learned a lot and made great fellowship. It started out with an early morning sunrise walk at the Gardens by the Bay. Amazing how they turned a barren Island into a freshwater marsh full with animals.
During the opening ceremony, they spoke about mental health and making sure we continue to talk about the topic and helping others, and also a local Singaporean leader Claire Chiang spoke about making a difference in protecting the environment while growing business investments and tourism. Finally, we ended the day with Singapore hosting clubs, and it was super fun with traditional music and dancing from Singapore. 
I met many Rotarians from Washington state, Canada, and New York. These are all connections that I will have for years to come! We are always exchanging ideas on projects, fundraising ideas, and helping our communities. This will help me during my term Sugar Land Rotary!
I also registered for the 2025 Rotary International convention in Calgary! Looking forward to seeing everyone I met there. Excited that Bill & Josh will also be going. Hopefully others from our club will go as well!  2025 Rotary International Convention Calgary
Day 3
Day 3 of the Rotary Singapore Convention 2024 - D9220 was yet another great opportunity to meet some neat people from all over the world and learn more about Rotary.
In the morning, I met up with former governor Mindi Snyder and her friend Lynette, and then we had the foundation lunch where we learned about all the amazing things that the foundation is allowing returns to do around the world. Our host was the district governor from Japan, and at the table, we discussed fundraising via a Pickleball tournament! Have to do that. 🙂
After lunch, I had a nice coffee with Jeff Tallas and Heather Rimato and shared ideas on what we have learned and what we can implement at our own club in good ole Sugar Land. 
In the evening, I went to the Rotary Brew fellowship event, and had some awesome beers at the lion brewery. There I met with Steve Werner, nephew of Vince Lombardi! He is a former Peace Corps alumni and helps alumni from the Peace Corps connect with Rotary clubs, strategizes with RI on joint programs, and helps alumni Connect in general. Great person to meet. Also met with David Kirkaldy from Grand Cayman who is incredibly involved in Rotary on global level.
Day 4
WHAT if I told you that you could:
- Eliminate homelessness
- Eradicate polio
- Fight human trafficking while helping the trafficked
- Give the gift and of site
- Empower woman
That. Is. Rotary.
1. If you’re in high school join interact.
2. If you’re in college join Rotaract.
3. All others, join Rotary!
As you can see this whole experience was quite inspiring and motivating. Rotary International is far more influential and powerful at helping communities than I ever realized. Rotary doesn’t just raise billions of dollars, it’s in almost every country at all levels of the community and has far more reach than virtually any other organization. The fact that it is non-political and non-governmental makes it even more effective at implementing solutions.
Today started out with a nice coffee with Klaus from Germany, after which I went to a session on expanding membership and met Tari from Hungary.  I met Dave from Iowa who knows Nancy Anderson and sends his regards, and we also brainstormed ideas on being a more adaptive club, and to make it “irresistible“ for people to join. Henry from Uganda wants to buy Draeger gas detection equipment! And finally, I am excited for the trip next year to Calgary, which will be an absolutely beautiful place to explore as well!
Day 5
My last day in Singapore: vacation day!
Singapore is a really neat city with some fantastic architecture. I did all the touristy stuff, so next time I can explore the beaches a bit more, or catch a flight to Bali.
The cloud dome was truly an amazing experience, where you could walk through all different kinds of ecosystems, from caves to mountain cloud forests.
Then while taking a “bum boat“ cruise, I met Josef and his wife Mirka - Rotarians from the Czech Republic! They introduced me to a local Singaporean, Billy, who was an incredibly gracious host. Can’t wait to repay the favor.
Mark Heuchert Facebook links of trip: