Peter Staermose named Ambassador /Membership Chair
This fall Peter Staermose of the Rotary Club of Hørsholm was named the Ambassador and Membership Chair for the WASH Rotary Action Group Operations Team. This is an important position within the Team with two key components. 
To give members and especially our Ambassadors a better understanding of his background, experience and his goals we had a short interview with him.
Interview with Peter Staermose, Ambassador /Membership Chair
What is your Rotary Club?
I am a member of the Rotary Club of Hørsholm, located 20 miles north of Copenhagen. We have 31 members.
How long have you been a WASH Ambassador?
I have been a proud member of the WASH Rotary Action Group (formerly WASRAG) since 2009.  I am a “Life” member.  I was appointed an Ambassador in 2016.
What does an Ambassador do?
There are so many different responsibilities!
Primarily an Ambassador is the WASH Rotary Action Group’s representative in their own Rotary District.  For example:
  • Helping club members in your District identify potential WASH projects. 
  • Keeping the WASH Rotary Action Group informed of WASH projects in your District.
  • Broadcasting the many ways in which the group can assist.  Not all Districts are familiar with the services we offer.  Ambassadors can help by giving presentations at Club meetings, District Conferences, writing articles for local publications – the possibilities are endless!
  • Raising awareness of The WASRAG Fund which provides a $2000 subsidy when we are permitted to review Global Grant applications for WASH projects.
Very importantly, our Ambassadors must be reasonably fluent in English and able to translate documents between English and their local language. The Group would love to offer its services in all the official Rotary languages but doesn’t have the resources to do that at present.
It’s also helpful for an Ambassador to have a wide and flexible network in their area to spread the “WASH” message far and wide.
And so much more!
Why did you apply for this position?
Well – there are many reasons.
First and foremost, I am passionate about the need for water, sanitation and hygiene.  So many terrible diseases are spread by contaminated water, including one of Rotary’s biggest challenges – polio.  Despite huge efforts, a significant portion of the world’s population still lacks access to adequate WASH.  Eliminating these diseases would open doors for so many people – especially children.  The hours they spend in bringing water to their families could be so much better spent in getting an education and more productive activities.
In true Rotary fashion – I wanted to serve.  I’m not an engineer or a technician – but I do have strong administrative skills.  I’m looking forward to using them to promote and expand the Ambassador program to a whole new level.
What are the top three things you would like to accomplish in the coming year?
Our Ambassadors are very dedicated, motivated people.  I want to ensure that we do all we can to support them in their WASH efforts.  As Sir Winston Churchill famously said: “Give us the tools, and we will finish the job.”
My first goal will be to ensure that our Ambassadors have the materials and information they need and are informed on the WASH Rotary Action Group’s resources.  Particularly important will be helping them identify potential WASH projects for their clubs and districts.
Secondly – I want to raise awareness of the help we can give clubs in sourcing funds for their WASH projects.  Something as simple as helping in the preparation and submission of Global Grant can have a significant impact on the time taken to get help to those in need.
Third – Success is a wonderful motivator!  Helping our Ambassadors share their Success Stories is a great way of encouraging people to get involved in WASH projects.  The benefits achieved - number of hours saved, health improvements, increased income, better educational achievements – are all significant.
Tell me about yourself?
I have been a Rotarian since 1991.  Most of my earlier roles were at the club level.  In 2009-10 I served as Governor in District 1470.  And, when the RI Convention was held in Copenhagen in 2006, I was a member of the Host Organizing Committee.
I was born in 1943 and gained a Master’s Degree in Economics and Administration from the Copenhagen Business School in 1971.  I worked for IBM, NCR, Mærsk, Northern Telegraph and other major organizations for a number of years.  In 1995 I founded my own consulting company and spent the next 20+ years assisting significant organizations with their strategic planning, and leadership development.  During this time I also taught Economics, Bookkeeping and Human Behaviour at the Copenhagen Business School.
My wife Iben and I and have two children and four grandchildren.
In my spare time, I love to go scuba diving and I am a keen photographer.  I also love sailing but seldom have the time to indulge in it.  And finally, with a house and a garden to maintain, there is always something to do!
Finally, there is so much good we can do on this planet and the needs are literally everywhere, but no one can do it on their own. Together, we can do wonderful things, if we are using all our capabilities. As PRID John Kenny said: “The future of Rotary is in your hands” – I might change this a little "Our actions today are the cornerstone for future of Rotary."