Heifer President Jo Luck to talk service with Rotary

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (June 21, 2010) – Heifer International President Jo Luck will be one of the keynote speakers in June at the Rotary International Convention in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, which is expected to have a registration of 40,000 Rotarians.

Jo Luck, who led the global hunger-fighting organization as president and chief executive officer from 1992 to 2010, will be the featured speaker at the service organization’s third plenary convention session on Tuesday, June 22, just days after being named a 2010 laureate of the World Food Prize.

She shares the prestigious 2010 prize with David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World and one of the foremost U.S. advocates for hungry people. The World Food Prize recognizes individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world.

“I am delighted to have been invited to speak to my fellow Rotarians,” said Jo Luck, a longtime Rotarian herself, having received Rotary’s “Service Above Self” award in 1998, the organization’s highest honor, and being named a Paul Harris Fellow, recognition for significant contributions to the organization. “I look forward to re-connecting with old friends, making new friends and sharing with them the wonderful work of Heifer and the amazing stories we have to tell.”

Many of those stories are especially fresh for Jo Luck who, in January, stepped away from the CEO’s position to write a book about her more than two decades’ worth of experiences with Heifer, including her work with project partner families from more than 60 countries worldwide.

“I’ve been blessed to have been part of Heifer and its work with families in need around the world. I look forward to sharing my experiences with Rotary colleagues, as the stories are not only excellent examples of Heifer’s effective community-development approach, but they also reveal the life-impacting potential within all of us,” she said. “However, I’m saving the best for the book, so be looking for it. I am confident that many will be inspired by Heifer’s life-changing work.”

Rotary International is a global service club organization, with more than 1.2 million members in 33,000 clubs worldwide. Rotary club members volunteer locally, regionally and internationally to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training and promote peace under the motto Service Above Self. The organization’s worldwide service focus is to eradicate polio from the face of the world.

In addition to Jo Luck, Rotarians attending the annual convention will hear from Greg Mortenson, coauthor of “Three Cups of Tea, Dolly Parton, international music star and founder of Dolly’s Imagination Library, a literacy program, and from Bob Mazzuca, chief scout executive of the Boy Scouts of America.

Heifer’s mission is to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth. Since 1944, Heifer International has provided livestock and environmentally sound agricultural training to improve the lives of those who struggle daily for reliable sources of food and income. Heifer is currently working in 50 countries, including the United States, to help families and communities become more self-reliant.

For more information, visit www.heifer.org or call 1-800-696-1918.