2009-05-22 / Community

German Rotary Team Visits Rockaway Club

German GSE Team at Rockaway Rotary Club luncheon. (l to r) Simon Droste, Tanja Beenken, Martin Gutsche, Rike Jungemann, and Jan Spekker. German GSE Team at Rockaway Rotary Club luncheon. (l to r) Simon Droste, Tanja Beenken, Martin Gutsche, Rike Jungemann, and Jan Spekker. The Rockaway Rotary Club hosted a Group Study Exchange (GSE) team from Germany during the first week in May. Accompanied by local club members, the team toured historic sites throughout New York and visited the Statue of Liberty. In the evenings they dined at the homes of local Rotarians and were guests of the Rockaway Club at its regular luncheon meeting on May 6, where they briefed the club on their backgrounds and activities. The hosting was part of a vocation exchange between Rotary District 7250 covering Queens and Nassau County and Rotary District 1850 in northwest Germany.

The Rotary Foundation's Group Study Exchange program is a cultural and vocational exchange opportunity for businesspeople and professionals between the ages of 25 and 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 four to six weeks, team members experience the host country's culture and institutions, observe how their vocations are practiced abroad, develop personal and professional relationships, and exchange ideas.

The GSE team from Germany included; Tanja Beenken, a Bank Financial Advisor; Rike Jungemann, Regional Planner; Simon Droste, Head of E-commerce and Marketing in Southern Europe for smilebooks.com, and Jan Spekker, TV Journalist for German television station RTL. They were lead by Team Leader and Rotarian Martin Gutsche, a lawyer and CPA, and past district governor of District 1850.

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