Melanie McNeill takes on the Rotary presidency for 2017-2018
Rotary International is where Neighbors, Friends, and Problem-Solvers Share Ideas, Join Leaders, and Take Action to Create Lasting Change
Neighbor, friend, leader, and problem solver are just a few descriptors of Paducah Rotary’s new president, Melanie McNeill. McNeill, a Vice President and Trust Officer at Paducah Bank, is a 10-year member of the Rotary Club of Paducah. She is a devoted mother, a committed community volunteer, and a respected leader among the membership of the Rotary Club, who have chosen her to lead their group forward in the coming year. “Our guiding principle is service above self,” she explains. “We look for ways our members can provide service to those in need.”
McNeill is looking forward to her year of Rotary leadership and collaboration with her fellow Rotarians. Part of her challenge in the year ahead will be looking for new ways the group’s 180 members can have an impact in their community.
The Rotary Club of Paducah is just one segment of Rotary International, an organization originally established more than 110 years ago to eradicate polio. Now, it’s a network of 1.2 million people committed to improving communities around the world. The club’s 2017 international theme is “Rotary: Making a Difference,” and McNeill is excited to guide her club’s participation.
This emphasis on service inspires McNeill’s passion for the club. She says many people believe Rotary exists as an organization built for networking, but it’s so much more.
“It is a social club to form those professional relationships and professional connections—but with the added benefit of making a difference here locally as well as around the world through the Rotary Foundation,” she says.
And in the 10 years since McNeill joined the Rotary Club, she has helped make that difference for many people. Before becoming president, McNeill served on the Rotary Club Board of Directors, headed the club’s annual Antique Quilt Show and spent a year organizing speakers for each Rotary meeting. She also has chaired the Dictionary Committee, which helps the Rotary Club promote education by giving each third-grader in Paducah and McCracken County a new dictionary.
In fact, for the past 102 years, the Rotary Club of Paducah has focused its efforts on improving the community. Recently, members built a playground at the Pat & Jim Brockenborough Rotary Health Park, distributed backpacks to elementary students, and partnered with other organizations to offer local high school graduates two-year full scholarships to West Kentucky Community and Technical College. In 2017, the Rotary’s quilt show raised $32,000 for the scholarship fund. It currently supports several other local and national charities, as well.
Paducah Bank shares Melanie’s enthusiasm. McNeill says Paducah Bank has been highly supportive of the club and partners with it to fund scholarships.
“We are a bank totally committed to our community,” McNeill says. “Our customers are from our community. They’re doing business with us, so we want to be able to support them while also giving back to the community— not just through the Rotary Club, but through our involvement in many charitable projects in our community.”
“During the next year,” McNeill forecasts, “we will continue with the tradition of our existing programs, but we are also looking at how we can expand. We continuously look for ways we can impact the community for the better.”