Name: Garth Arnold
About: I am District Governor of Rotary Ireland and responsible for 73 clubs and nearly 2000 members. Rotary is a worldwide service organisation which aims to bring together leaders who step forward to take some of the toughest challenges in their communities and beyond.
- Tell us about your career to date:
I have been a Rotarian since 1994 and I can honestly say it is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. When I retired from Danske Bank after nearly 39 years at the end of December it allowed me to do more with Rotary and really commit myself to giving back. The projects we are involved in, both at home and internationally are incredibly inspiring and the team of dedicated Rotarians I have come to call my close friends have really created a new ‘career’ for me after officially ‘retiring’. I’m also passionate about antiques and work in the family business sourcing, buying and selling some amazing pieces.
- Why work in the sector you do?
Having worked for nearly 40 years in the Private Sector, working in the Third Sector allows me to give something back into the community.
- What would you regard as your greatest achievement to date?
Being part of a small Team that took twenty six talented young students from across Ireland to the European Parliament in Strasburg in 2015 to take part in Euroscola, an event which allowed them to debate with other students from across Europe on the important topics that affect them now and in the future. These students were part of Rotary’s annual Youth Leadership Development Competition which is Rotary’s longest running and most successful youth projects.
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Never assume anything
- If you could step into the shoes of one businessperson for the day, who would it be and why?
Bill Gates the co-founder of Microsoft and his significant work with his wife Melinda with their Gates Foundation. The Gates Foundation supports work in more than 100 countries in areas of health, development and education. Also, with my volunteer work with Rotary, Bill & Melinda have a special connection as both organisations work towards eradicating polio. To an audience of nearly 40,000 Rotary members attending the humanitarian organization’s annual convention, Rotary and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation renewed their longstanding support for ending polio – a paralyzing, life-altering scourge on the verge of becoming the second human disease ever to be eliminated. Rotary committed to raise $50 million per year over the next three years, with every dollar to be matched with two additional dollars from the Gates Foundation. This expanded agreement will translate into $450 million for polio eradication activities, including immunization and surveillance over the next three years. This critical funding helps ensure countries around the world remain polio-free and that polio is ended in the remaining three endemic countries: Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan. Bill Gates is an inspiring man and someone I would love to meet.
- In three words or less, how do you define success?
- How do you motivate yourself and your staff?
Despite the fact that my team are now a team of volunteers as opposed to a team of employees the same rules apply, through setting and achieving plans, understanding the capabilities of my team and bringing them with me in the activities I need delivered. I also believe in rolling up my sleeves and getting involved, it’s critical to be on the ground working with them to achieve the plan collectively.
- How do you relax?
Watching my kids play sport and gardening.
- What’s your motto?
Be the best you can be
- What are your aspirations for the future of your business?
That our membership will be on the turn again and we are moving towards our membership goal of 2500 over the next 5 years. Also, that we continue to change with the times to ensure we are fit for purpose for our future years.
To find out more about joining Rotary visit www.rotary.ie or visit your local club.