Official Newsletter of the Salem Rotary Club

This week at Rotary...

Well-Traveled Power Couple
Philipp Haelser, a Rotary Scholarship recipient in 2009, and Mirjam Frey came to Boston from Switzerland to study law; Philipp at Harvard, and Mirjam at Boston College. Now married with three children, Philipp found a career as a diplomat and Mirjam a lawyer, scholar and social justice advocate.
Philipp and Mirjam began their story by sharing how they came to Boston and how they feel in love with the city and found a community of friends. Rotary introduced them to a few of our best, including Bruce and Heidi Whear and Amy Luckiewicz. In fact, the couple credit a Thanksgiving meal with the Whears as the event that changed their lives and set them on the path the continue on today.
During that dinner, they felt as if they were part of the family and saw the love, closeness and joy the Whears had simply being together. This is something they emulate in their own family today, and the pair continue to stay in touch with Bruce, Heidi and their extended family. They also credited a book recommended by Heidi’s father, Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, as the catalyst that changed their career trajectory to be more public service based than working at a large law firm. While in Boston, Philipp and Mirjam also met Amy Luckiewicz. A world traveler herself, they became fast friends and have continued to stay in touch since they left New England.
Since they left Boston, the couple has traveled across the United States and all over the world, now with three children in tow, largely due to Philipp’s job. Philipp joined the diplomatic service in Switzerland in 2011 and is currently the deputy chief of mission of Switzerland to NATO in Brussels. After some time back home in Switzerland, his first post with the diplomatic service brought them to Ghana. From there they returned to Switzerland for a bit and then back to the United States to Washington DC where Philipp was the political counselor and acting head of the political affairs team at the Embassy of Switzerland until January of this year.
While Philipp was practicing diplomacy, Mirjam established her career in law and advocacy for women and human rights. Now a postdoctoral visiting scholar at Boston College Law School, she continues as a lecturer at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center in Accra, Ghana, and previously served as a postdoctoral visiting researcher at Georgetown University Law Center (GULC) in Washington, DC. For several years, Mirjam also worked as an assistant judge at a first instance court of the Canton of Bern.
Philipp and Mirjam have built quite a life since getting together in 1998. They shared amazing pictures from part of their journey so far and gave us an inside peek at the caring and loving family that they are raising. Still inspired by the Whears, Mirjam noted that during COVID, they purchased a camper to take their children camping in different places in the US. They love spending time with their three children, exploring the great outdoors, camping, hiking and meeting new people. We have an open invitation to visit them when in Brussels, and they have an open invitation from us the next time they are in the US.


Don Lipcan of PEM
Gifted by Calendar Committee for his contributions to the calendar

VisIting Rotarians & Guests

  • Amy Luckiewicz, Assistant RI Public Image Director

Why I am A SALEM Rotarian

Dave Wescott opened our meeting with why he is a Rotarian. Known for being the youngest person to ever join our Club, Dave told his story of fellowship and service in true standup fashion. He told how he was surprised when he received his first bill because he had originally signed up for the free lunch. He learned soon after that the lunch was free, but the parking wasn’t (tip your waitstaff folks!)! He also joked that he thought the fines were backwards and that people who just spent money on a vacation or car may need the extra money. In all seriousness, Dave shared that he has stayed a Rotarian for all of these years because of the great relationships he’s built and the hands-on service projects. He is happy to be back with everyone at the Hawthorne and looks forward to more time together in person. Dave selected Jake Segal to share next week.

RotarIAN NEWS...

While we actually collected happy dollars this week, we unfortunately did not have a notetaker and the Zoom recording did not work! Apologies that the news was not captured. We will be sure to fix this for next week!

Club Announcements

As we begin to transition back to our in-person format, we need to track attendance and get a strong sense of who is coming to which meeting or event each week. Please complete this survey and let us know when you plan to join us at the Hawthorne Hotel. As in the past, please note that if you RSVP to an event, you will be charged for the meal regardless of your attendance.
      Upcoming Events
Friday, May 28, 6PM – Spring Break Series: Hawthorne Hotel Wine Tasting with Martignetti
This will be our one and only in-person fundraising event this year! The Hawthorne Hotel is prepared to host us, and their wine vendor, Martignetti, will take us on a wine adventure through Europe. The cost for this event is $25 per person. Last call for tickets! RSVP to Adria or Claire ASAP!
Thursday, June 24, 6PM – District Installation
Our Club is welcome to bring up to four representatives to the District Installation at the Danversport Yacht Club. Please connect with President-Elect Joe if you would like to attend!
May, June 25, 6PM – Club Leadership Transition Event
In lieu of an installation, president-elect Joe Amico has decided to graciously share the spotlight of the celebration of his transition to club leadership with me as I pass the reins over to him to end this Rotary year. Please save the date for this in-person event at the Hawthorne Hotel. More details will follow.
Upcoming Speakers
Jun 01, 2021
Latinos for Education Advocacy Director and Salem School Committee Member
Jun 08, 2021
Updates from the State House
Jun 15, 2021
View entire list
Member Birthdays
Kathie Strout
May 1
Jeffrey Holloran
May 4
James Lister
May 8
John Walsh
May 14
Francesca Little
May 22
Patty Pace
May 27
Board of Directors
President Elect
Vice President
Immediate Past President
Public Image Chair
Russell Hampton
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Club Information
Tuesdays at 12:15 PM
Hawthorne Hotel
18 Washington Square
Salem, MA 01970
United States of America
We are currently meeting via Zoom due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to returning to the Hawthorne Hotel soon! In the meantime, please email for our Zoom link.
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