Who are we?      The Original Rotary Club of Houston founded in 1912
What is Rotary?      Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change – across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.
What are some of your projects?      Rotary House (connected to MD Anderson-the largest single project of any Rotary in the world), Distinguished Citizen Award, Burnett Bayland (100 year committee - the longest of any Rotary club in the world), Camp Enterprise (practical introduction to the business world for select HS Juniors), Global Project (currently working on a $51,750 grant for Rainwater Harvesting in Peru), Adoption Fair (with Harris County Protective Services), Literacy: Dictionaries for 3rd graders and First Book program, Interact Clubs at three High Schools, annual Veteran lunch and outreach, and outreach to those incarcerated through Fresh Start.
How do I join Rotary?      Visit with our members at a meeting and learn about what we do. Our programs are amazing. Register under events on the right side of this page.
I'm still not sure where to learn more.      Look at our orientation power point presentation (no sound) featuring information about Rotary International and the Original Rotary Club of Houston. Rotary Club of Houston & Rotary International Overview
I have another question:      Send email to: administrator@rotaryhouston.org

Elena M Marks 

President and CEO 
Episcopal Health Foundation 
Thursday, February 20, 2020
5430 Westheimer Ct.
Houston, 77056

Elena M. Marks is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Episcopal Health Foundation, a $1.2 billion philanthropy based in Houston, Texas. The foundation works to improve the health and well-being of the 11 million people of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, which covers 57 counties in east, southeast, and central Texas including Austin, Houston, Beaumont, Lufkin, Tyler, Waco and Bryan/College 

Station.  Ms. Marks is also a nonresident Fellow in Health Policy at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy where her work focuses on health reform and access to care for low income and uninsured populations.  She serves on the boards of Grantmakers in Health, the largest national organization serving the field of health philanthropy, Harris Health System, an integrated health delivery system serving over 300,000 patients annually, and Community Health Choice, a nonprofit, community-based health insurance company with over 400,000 members. Ms. Marks holds a Bachelor’s degree from Emory University, a law degree from the 

University of Texas School of Law, and a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Texas School of Public Health.  Ms. Marks’ previous professional experience includes serving as the Director of Health and Environmental Policy for the City of Houston; consulting in the health care industry with large systems and community-based providers; starting and directing a successful legal placement firm; and practicing trial and appellate law with major Texas law firms. 

Dr. Emran El-Badawi
University of Houston
Program Director and Associate Professor


5430 Westheimer Ct.
Houston, TX 77056
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM


Dr. Emran El-Badawi is program director and associate professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Houston. He founded the Arab Studies program at UH and he has designed, implemented and assessed degree programs in the Humanities and Sciences. These include degrees in Arab-Middle East Studies, Religious Studies and interdisciplinary studies in Energy, Development and Sustainability, with a focus on US-Middle East relations. El-Badawi has consulted for various industries, including government, law and oil & gas. He is also active in program development and fund raising. 

Houston, we have a problem: a bad few years for Houston Professional Sports Teams.  First, the Houston Rockets GM tweets support for Hong Kong and China retaliates, possibly costing NBA and the Rockets 400 million dollars and loss of status and fan base there..  Worse,  the Houston Astros decide to add electronic sign-stealing to their arsenal and win the World Series, but get caught and fined ,severely. With each day, more anger surfaces. A season ticket holder sues.  Damaged opponents sue. Many teams demand additional penalties for the players and the team, including  forfeiting  their World Series award. Some opposing-team pitchers suggest "beaning" Astro hitters in retaliation. Result: The Houston Astros have become the new "poster children" for the most serious scandal in professional sports, equal to the Black Sox Scandal of 1919.  

Brian Smith, award-winning author, sports columnist of the Houston Chronicle, will sort out the issues and discuss what lies ahead for our hometown team.

Please invite your friends

Joe Colangelo,
Program Chair   

Brian Smith
Houston Chronicle Sports Writer

Thursday March 19, 2020
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM



Brian T. Smith is a sports columnist for the Houston Chronicle. He has won multiple Associated Press Sports Editors awards and been honored by numerous journalism organizations. Smith was a Houston Texans beat writer for the Chronicle from 2013-15 and an Astros beat writer from 2012-13. The New Orleans-area native previously covered the NBA's Utah Jazz (The Salt Lake Tribune) and Portland Trail Blazers (The Columbian), among other beats. He is the author of the book Liftoff, which documented the Astros' rebuild and 2017 World Series championship.

The Rotary Club of Houston 
David S. Wolff
2020 Distinguished Citizen Award Gala
Saturday, March 28th, 2020
7:00 PM – 11:00 PM
at The St. Regis Houston
1919 Briar Oaks Ln, Houston, TX 77027

Click Here to Register

What is DCA 2020

Rotary Distinguished Citizen Award is presented annually to someone in Houston who exhibits high ideals, leadership and philanthropy. The funds raised support our on-going service activities. This year we are honored to present the Distinguished Citizen Award to David S. Wolff for his service to the growth and development of Houston.
Since it was first presented in 1962, the Rotary Distinguished Citizen of the Year Award has gone to an impressive array of individual Houstonians and Houston institutions. The Rotary Distinguished Citizen Award is the Rotary Club of Houston’s major fundraiser for its many community service projects.
Meet Our Honoree
David S. Wolff
David is a leader in Houston’s real estate and business community; a philanthropist; dedicated husband, father and grandfather; civil servant; and visionary, foreseeing the growth of West Houston and becoming one of the pioneers of what we know today as the Energy Corridor.
Born in Philadelphia, he graduated with honors from Amherst College and received an MBA from Harvard Business School. A dedicated alumnus, he has served as a Trustee of Amherst College and is presently a Trustee Emeritus. He has also been an advisor to the faculty of Harvard Business School in the development of the study of entrepreneurship as well as the major gifts chair of his last three reunions, all of which broke fundraising records.
As Wolff Companies’ Chairman and President, he has made a lasting impact on the Houston metro area. In 1970, he founded what has evolved into Wolff Companies, one of the leading land development and investment companies in the Southwest. He has developed thousands of acres into high-quality, master-planned mixed-use environments, including office, business and industrial parks as well as sites for healthcare, hotels, retail and residential projects. Among its current holdings are Central Park, located in the Energy Corridor; Ten Oaks, adjacent to Texas Medical Center’s West Campus; and the 1,500-acre Gates Ranch residential farm project near Chappell Hill, TX.
Delivering on his belief that thoughtful planning, green spaces, culture and high-quality infrastructure enhance long-term real estate values, David has devoted considerable time and business acumen to a number of civic organizations, including the West Houston Association, which he co-founded and chaired for six years; the Houston Parks Board on which he served for 12 years, including two terms as Chairman; the Houston Grand Opera, where he was Vice President and Chairman of the Finance Committee; and the Greater Houston Partnership. He also served as a Chairman of METRO (the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County) from 2004 to 2010.
David has a long history of preserving and enhancing the natural beauty of each property he develops by protecting trees, adding landscaping and preserving green spaces for the benefit of current and future generations. When developing Westway Park, he preserved an existing arboretum that included tree specimens from all over Texas, some of which were over 100 years old.  Today and in perpetuity, Carolyn H. Wolff Park, named after David’s mother, serves as an urban nature reserve and a peaceful respite.
The American Society of Landscape Architects, Scenic Houston, Keep America Beautiful, the American Institute of Architects and the Municipal Art Commission have all recognized Wolff Companies’ developments for enhancing and preserving the natural beauty of land, while meeting the ever-changing needs of business.
When not working on land deals, David keeps busy as a partner in the San Francisco Giants and owner of a 1,680-acre working cattle ranch in Independence, Texas. David and his wife, Mary, have been married for forty-seven years and have two daughters, both of whom help him run Wolff Companies, and five grandchildren.
Camp Enterprise 2020   April 3, 4 & 5, 2020
Camp Enterprise was initiated in 1986 by the Rotary Club of Houston as a means of providing a first-hand, practical introduction to the business world for selected high school juniors who have demonstrated leadership at their individual schools.
The camp is an intensive three-day program of instruction, competition, and teamwork.  Through interaction with business executives and entrepreneurs, participating students are introduced to the challenges and opportunities of the free enterprise system.  From successful business leaders, they learn the value of hard work and dedication; and learn that they can be successful in whatever career they pursue if they apply the principles that many have learned from years of experience.

The Rotary Club of Houston is a group of business leaders working together collaboratively to impact positive change in our community and around the world, operating consistently with Rotary's motto of Service Above Self. Some of our service projects include:

  • Rotary Distinguished Citizen Award is presented annually to someone in Houston who exhibits high ideals, leadership and philanthropy. The funds raised support the club’s on-going service activities.
  • Camp Enterprise is an annual activity that introduces business and business ethics to 75 high school juniors.  The funds for this event are raised with an annual golf tournament.
  • Burnett Bayland Outreach has delivered personal support and mentoring to at-risk children under the jurisdiction of the county. Started in 1919, it is the longest continuous service project of any Rotary worldwide.
  • Rotary House across from MD Anderson created as a culmination of a thirty year dream of our club. the successful fun raising reality of a $26 million fund raising reality is the largest project by a single Rotary club in history.

The club also works actively in many other areas including mentoring elementary school youth, giving assistance to ex-offenders, and international projects, including Polio Plus.

The object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster:

  • FIRST - The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service; 
  • SECOND - High ethical standards in business and professions, the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations, and the dignifying of each Rotarian's occupation as an opportunity to serve society;
  • THIRD - The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian's personal, business, and community life;
  • FOURTH - The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.
From the earliest days of the organization, Rotarians were concerned with promoting high ethical standards in their professional lives. One of the world's most widely printed and quoted statements of business ethics is The Four-Way Test, which was created in 1932 by Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor (who later served as RI president) when he was asked to take charge of a company that was facing bankruptcy. This 24-word test for employees to follow in their business and professional lives became the guide for sales, production, advertising, and all relations with dealers and customers, and the survival of the company is credited to this simple philosophy. Adopted by Rotary in 1943, The Four-Way Test has been translated into more than a hundred languages and published in thousands of ways. It asks the following four questions: "Of the things we think, say or do:
1. Is it the TRUTH?
2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
5. Will it be FUN!

We meet Thursdays at 12:00 PM
5430 Westheimer Ct.
Houston, TX 77056
United States of America

(713) 973-9936
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Youth and Education Co-Chair
International News
Scientist, farmer, innovator, Rotarian

A plainsman with a PhD, Bob Quinn uses his 4,000-acre Montana spread as a laboratory to revive an ancient grain, rethink agricultural practices, and reinvigorate rural communities


Since 2015, more than 4 million people have fled an economically devastated Venezuela. Tracking the stories of three who left puts faces on that staggering statistic.

More than a library

After the genocide of 1994, Rotarians led a successful campaign to build Rwanda’s first public library.