Hi Fellow Rotarians and friends,
A new a Rotary year is upon us, and I am humbled and honored to be the new president of our club.  My focus this year will be Minds Matter: Prioritizing Mental Health.  A lot of work still needs to be done to destigmatize mental health conditions, and to ensure access to quality mental health care for all.  I hope our club can partner with the Mental Health cause-based Rotary Club to work on these important issues.
 I am very proud that our club is the lead club in a reverse Global Grant to provide microfinancing to small businesses in South Los Angeles. Microfinancing is the process of providing small-dollar loans small businesses, along with education and mentorship to help the businesses flourish.  Our club is joined by a Rotary club in Costa Rica to lead the project. 
This year we will continue to fight human trafficking, and also continue our support of the three groups of girls currently housed at the Lodge – the foster kids, the girls who were victims of human trafficking, and the unhoused Pierce College students.  We will continue to look for ways to assist the staff at the Lodge in serving the needs of these girls and young women.
Our new Rotary District Governor Makiko has issued a challenge to all of the clubs in our District 5280:
  1. Increase membership;
  2. Increase giving to the Rotary International Foundation; and
  3. Raise awareness of Rotary
Therefore, I issue a challenge to each of you:
  1. If you are a member, sponsor at least one new member this year.If you are not currently a member, please consider joining us!
  2. Consider giving to the Rotary International Foundation to support the work Rotary does here in Los Angeles and around the world.If you already give to RI, consider increasing your donation, or giving a bequest to RI in your will or trust (talk to your legal, tax, and financial professionals before making changes to your estate planning).
  3. Wear something “Rotary” every day, and share Rotary news and events with your network on social media.
Together, we are going to make a positive difference in the lives of many people this year, in our community and around the world. In the words of Rotary International President Gordon McInally – we will Create Hope in the World.
Yours most truly,
Michelle Rodriguez
President 2023-2024
Rotary Club of Woodland Hills