Community First and its board of directors are delighted to announce that President Pierre Mainguy and Chief Operating Officer and Director of Research & Development Romain Rak have been jointly nominated for a Rotary Humanitarian Award in the “Knowledge Sharing” category for their achievements in bringing aquaponics to remote communities in Cambodia.
Over the past years, they have brought together their respective skills to create sustainable food systems to fight off malnutrition and empower families economically. The project has been receiving a great deal of attention from Rotary Clubs worldwide as it addresses all six areas the Rotary International Foundation has strategically decided to focus on: promoting peace, fighting disease, providing clean water, empowering/saving mothers and children, supporting education and growing local economies.
The Rotary Humanitarian STAR (Science, Technology, Aerospace, Robotics) Awards, recognizes outstanding scientific and technological achievements with significant humanitarian benefit. Its purpose is to honor and bring to light achievements to support, advance and inspire humanitarian accomplishments. The Rotary Club of Sierra Madre in conjunction with other Rotary clubs, embodying the pursuit to serve humanity, offers the Rotary Humanitarian STAR Awards.
Throughout the years, the award has recognized people like Larry Sanger, who is credited with creating and enforcing many of the policies and strategies that made Wikipedia possible during its formative years, Jim Marggraff, nominated for his lifelong learning and development, improving the human condition through Virtual and Augmented Reality and Dr. Mihri Ozkan for her new battery technology for electric vehicles which uses organic matter and inexpensive, abundant renewable resources.
Perhaps the most notable laureate of the award is Frances H. Arnold, PH.D., Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering and Biochemistry at CalTech. Her recognition at the Rotary STAR Awards was shortly followed by her winning the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for "the directed evolution of enzymes," according to the award citation.
Directed evolution, pioneered by Arnold in the early 1990s, is a bioengineering method for creating new and better enzymes in the laboratory using the principles of evolution. Today, the method is used in hundreds of laboratories and companies that make everything from laundry detergents to biofuels to medicines. Enzymes created with the technique have replaced toxic chemicals in many industrial processes. Read the New York Times article here.
Community First is honored to have its leaders be nominated for such a prestigious award and is grateful for the support of its donors who empowered them to bring local solutions to the global problems of poverty with aquaponics. This nomination would not have been possible without your support.
The Fourth Annual Rotary Humanitarian STAR Awards will be held on February 6, 2020 at University Club in Pasadena, located at 175 N Oakland Ave., Pasadena, CA 91101, from 5:30pm-9pm. Tickets include “Meet the Scientists”, reception with free drinks, followed by the banquet and Awards ceremony (which includes talks by award recipients).