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Central Coast Rotary to Send Young Professionals to Bangladesh

Team members will participate in a four-week cultural and vocational exchange

Central Coast Rotary, Rotary District 5240, has announced the selection of the 2010 Group Study Exchange Team to Bangladesh.

Under the direction of team leader and Rotarian John Kenyon, the GSE team will leave for Bangladesh in early January 2010 and return in February 2010. The four team members are Andrea Barkan, Marjorie Wass, Jim Bailey and Kevin Clerici.

Rotary’s GSE program is a unique cultural and vocational exchange opportunity for non-Rotarian businesspeople and professionals ages 25 to 40 who are in the early stages of their careers.

The program provides travel grants for teams to exchange visits in paired areas of different countries. For about four weeks, Rotary District 5240 team members will experience Bangladeshi culture and institutions, observe how their vocations are practiced in the country, develop personal and professional relationships, and exchange ideas.

The four team members were chosen out of a pool of 17 applicants from Rotary District 5240, which stretches from Cambria on California’s Central Coast inland to Atascadero to Bakersfield, Tehachapi, Simi Valley and Westlake Village. Past Rotary District 5240 GSE teams have traveled to India and Thailand.

Rotary District 5240 welcomes the following 2010 GSE team members and team leader:

Barkan, a Ventura resident, works as a grant writer for the Santa Barbara Symphony and as a grants manager for Livingston Memorial Visiting Nurse Association in Ventura. She previously worked as a freelance journalist for the Ventura County Star. Barkan attended California State University, Northridge and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

Wass, a Santa Barbara resident, is a senior account executive at SurfMedia Communications, where she works in public relations and marketing for a number of clients, including the American Red Cross, Santa Barbara County Chapter and Direct Relief International. Wass has a bachelor’s degree in theater from Appalachian State University.

Bailey, an Ojai resident, is a junior high school teacher and elementary science specialist for the Ojai Unified School District. Bailey attended California Polytechnic University and earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies with a physical science emphasis.

Clerici, a Ventura resident, has been a staff writer at the Ventura County Star since 2004 and also worked at a number of other newspapers including, the San Diego Tribune and the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson. Clerici attended the University of Arizona and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and creative writing.

Kenyon, a resident of Ojai, was a Jiffy Lube franchisee with stores in Los Angeles and Ventura County from 1985 to 2008. Before that, he worked as an elementary school teacher in rural Colorado. He holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Northern Colorado.

Rotary GSE team members from Bangladesh arrived in Southern California in October to tour Rotary District 5240 and observe their vocations as they are practiced in this part of the United States. The Bangladeshi GSE team members are primarily bankers and doctors.

Those interested in applying to participate in the 2011 GSE program can contact Kenyon at 805.798.0886 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

— Marjorie Wass is a publicist.

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