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ROTARY CLUB NEWS: New Rotary Club president shares his journey

Bill Flederbach (Photo provided)

I have the privilege of serving the Lake Placid Rotary Club as president, for a one-year term, starting July of 2022. As I am preparing for my term, I am looking closely at the projects being implemented by the Environment Sustainability Rotary Action Group as inspiration for projects we will consider engaging in at our club. So, what is ESRAG, and why am I a passionate about their mission?

I began my Rotary journey, with my wife, Linda Flederbach, as host parents for International Exchange students through the Rotary International Youth Exchange Program in 2005. Although it was Youth Exchange that initially attracted me to Rotary, Rotary has something for everyone, and I soon became involved in local projects and various community service initiatives.

I moved to Lake Placid as a permanent resident approximately 2 years ago and transferred to the Lake Placid Rotary Club. This was a great way to immediately meet so many amazing people in the community. I have always been passionate about the environment, and am the founder of ClimeCo LLC, a global company focused on climate change. My firm provides sustainability consulting and invests and develops projects that reduce greenhouse gases around the world.

In 2021, the perfect intersection of my passions occurred when I was introduced to the Environment Sustainability Rotary Action Group (ESRAG). ESRAG contacted ClimeCo to help them with a climate change related project, little did they know that as President of ClimeCo, I am also a Rotarian. Soon after this introduction, I joined ESRAG, and began to learn about the wonderful local and global initiatives they lead. I found my new passion in Rotary!

ESRAG was formed in 2015 and has ambitious plans to make a real difference in creating a world for future generations where our environment thrives. ESRAG has five primary themes, including: biodiversity, circular economy, climate, food systems, pollution, and sustainable living. One of the initiatives I am participating in is the Plastic Solution group. ESRAG Plastic Solutions is leveraging the power of Rotary, to develop a global network to rethink and influence how we create, use, and dispose of plastics. This group also focuses on river / ocean bound plastic collection and reuse. This makes me reflect on the great work already being done locally by the AuSable River Association doing with their annual river clean-up volunteer day which I participated in last year.

So, how do you join ESRAG? I would start by checking their themes and projects at www.esrag.org. The list of projects may inspire you, they did me. If you would like to join ESRAG, you don’t have to be a Rotarian, but we would love to talk to you about your passions and what our Lake Placid Club is doing.

(Bill Flederbach lives in Lake Placid.)