Les Esposito and Larry Thompson have been named Rotarians of the Year for their club, Rotary Club of Montecito, according to Harlan Green, president of the nonprofit service organization. The Rotary Club of Montecito has bestowed this honor only 17 times since its beginning in 1954.
Mr. Esposito was invited to join the Montecito Rotary Club in 1991. He has served as a board of directors member for 15 years, the club’s president from 1996 to 1997, and the club’s foundation president from 1997 to 1998.
Mr. Thompson joined the Montecito club in 2007, when he moved from the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara Sunrise, which he joined in 1994. He oversees the Montecito Rotary as the lead club in Rotary District 5240 to support the Ushindi Congo Project for Women, which helps victims of the area’s ongoing war. He worked with the project’s director, Dr. Victoria Bentley, to found a second relief and training center. Both centers provide trauma treatment, vocational training, and micro-loans for women war victims, enabling them to support their families and become self sufficient in the face of terrible abuse and extreme poverty.
Both Mr. Esposito and Mr. Thompson are Paul Harris Fellow award recipients. The award is given to individuals who make substantial contributions to Rotary humanitarian and educational programs.
Mr. Esposito is the executive director and director of development for the Dyslexia Awareness and Resource Center in Santa Barbara. Mr. Thompson is an architect and principal of Lawrence Thompson Architects, Inc. in Santa Barbara.
Locally, the club supports several organizations including Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara, Inc., Dyslexia Awareness and Resource Center, Storytellers, Santa Barbara City College Vocational Scholarships, as well as the Montecito Rotary Foundation.
The purpose of the Rotary Club of Montecito organization is to support efforts of Rotary International to achieve world understanding and peace through international humanitarian, educational, and cultural exchange programs.
For more information, vistit online the Rotary Club of Montecito, or call club president Harlan Green at (805) 681-6363.
Rotary International is a world fellowship of business and professional people who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. Rotary is the world’s first service club. The first Rotary Club was founded in Chicago, Illinois, USA on February 23, 1905 by Paul Harris. Rotary acquired its organizational name because originally membership met in rotation at various places of business.