Who is Nancy? During a recent FaceTime session with Nancy, I asked three questions which I thought would help us to get to know her better.  

Who is Nancy?  Nancy grew up in a very British,  conservative, male-dominated world as a feisty, independent woman.   She first taught middle school and then went on to graduate school to learn about learning disabilities and the psychology involved. Her dissertation dealt with the relationship between nutrition and behaviour; her test group was in the prison system of New Jersey at the training school for boys near Princeton.  She moved to Alaska in 1980 and worked first as a psychologist in the Valley and then went back in private practice “all over the place from Yakutac to Barrow”. In her personal life she has found an exceptional partner who shares her lively sense of adventure and humour.

Why Rotary?  Nancy loves to travel and on a trip to Ireland, she connected to fellow Floridians, whose daughter was head of volunteers for Shelterbox.  Nancy did the research and decided to set up a Shelterbox program in Alaska.  During her journey, she discovered Rotary youth exchange and became interested in that program too, while continuing to meet more members of Shelterbox.  Her uncle was a very conservative man who gave her the idea that Rotary was for people like him.. .  but then she met Terry Hall, Cheryl Metiva and her husband Marty who influenced her choice to become a member of our e club.  She first thought “I will join Rotary because it's my segue to get into Shelterbox”.  Terry Hall, whom she had met in a previous life in New York, helped her understand Rotary from a woman's perspective.  Now she realizes that; “when I look at shelterbox and our e-club, I understand that our main objective is service. I have attended almost every club in Alaska and am inspired by the small groups where we can talk about how to help our communities.  

What is Shelterbox?  It is an international disaster relief organization that started in Cornwall, England as a Rotary service project.  The idea was to create a box whose contents could help people who lose everything in a disaster.  The group of Shelterbox first responders will provide temporary shelter where there is no local infrastructure.  International Relief organizations like Red Cross do not always make use of best practices based on local conditions; Shelterbox is well placed to develop strategies to create local shelters; it’s target groups are women and children, the disbled and the elderly.  There is follow up with camps to ensure that all material is left in place.  

Clearly, Nancy is a Person of Action who exemplifies Rotary’s commitment to Service above self, while having fun helping others!