Matt Gerber
Rotarian, The Rotary Club of Dallas
ShelterBox USA Board Member
Matt Gerber grew up in Rotary. Although he was born into a farming family in Oregon with no connection to the organization, a Rotarian and neighbor invited him to apply to be a Youth Exchange Student.
Since the age of 15, Matt has participated in Rotary programs from Youth Exchange to Camp Enterprise, being a founding Rotaract Club president at his university, a mentor to Interact Clubs, 11 years as a guest speaker at RYLA in District 5100, speaker to numerous district and zone events, service on district committees, being a Rotary Club president in Minneapolis, participating with Rotary as he lived and worked in several places overseas... until he finally moved to Dallas and is now a proud member of our club.
Matt's story highlights the potential of youth programs to inspire lifelong loyalty and participation in Rotary. For the last 24 years, Matt says that Rotary has been the most consistent part of his life, especially given that he has worked, lived and studied in 75 countries around the globe. Much of his professional work find inspiration in using the model of Rotary programs in unlikely settings. Matt came to Dallas four years ago when he was hired to start a vocational rehabilitation program for struggling veterans—which he based off the model of RYLA. The program was an immediate success and graduated nearly 200 veterans into new careers and purpose as certified personal trainers and giving them leadership and professional skills to help them succeed in civilian life.
Matt currently helps companies design and implement corporate social responsibility strategies around the globe, with current projects in Pakistan, Ukraine, Poland, Spain and the UK. Additionally, Matt serves on the US Board of Directors for ShelterBox, the official disaster relief partner of Rotary International. Originally started as a Rotary project 20 years ago by a club in Great Britain, ShelterBox has now been nominated two years in a row for the Nobel Peace Prize for its ongoing work in Syria, Somalia and the Lake Chad Basin Crisis. Today, Matt will be sharing about his Rotary journey and the importance of inspiring young people with the potential and purpose of being part of Rotary.