Rotary member Luther Jessie, General Manager Reggie McKenzie, and Rotary Club of Oakland president Lorna Padia Markus. Photo by Allan Yuan
General Manager Reggie McKenzie spoke to the Rotary Club of Oakland during its weekly Thursday afternoon lunch meeting in Oakland, Calif. Members of the Raiders staff, including Chief Executive Amy Trask, were also in attendance. "We were delighted to participate in the Oakland Rotary luncheon - we always enjoy opportunities to interact with Oakland businesses and to support the community," said Trask.
According to the Rotary Club of Oakland website, the club "is a diverse service club of over 340 professionals, businesspersons, and other community leaders dedicated to fighting hunger and disease, and promoting health, education and other humanitarian causes in Oakland and around the world."
Current Rotary Club of Oakland president Lornia Padia Markus described the Rotary Club in more detail. "Rotary International is a membership of 1.2 million people across the world," said Padia Markus. "It's 106 years old and it's two-fold – One, is we do community service throughout the world. One of our biggest initiatives is eradicating polio. It's also a collaboration of civic, business and non-profit organizations to work together to network, to improve their leadership qualities and to have opportunities to really be leaders in the community."
The weekly meetings often have special guests and Rotary Club of Oakland was excited to have McKenzie as their guest speaker. "This was awesome," said Rotary member Luther Jessie, who invited McKenzie to the meeting. "I mean, how many times do you get the general manager of any sports franchise to come and speak to you or to your organization? I think it's just a wonderful thing."
Padia Markus also recognized the significance of having McKenzie visit the club. "It was tremendous," said Padia Markus. "This is Oakland so having Reggie here as a speaker today really validates the connections that we have in the community in Oakland. There's a ton of Oakland Raiders fans in the room."
McKenzie was happy to come out and meet the Rotary members and have a chance to speak about the progress of the Raiders. "It was a great time for me to come out," said McKenzie. "I just talked to these guys about being out in the community and also a little bit about the Oakland Raiders."
McKenzie also shared his vision for the team." We feel like we've made great strides in our personnel department as far as the players on the field," McKenzie explained. "We feel good about the outlook of this team as well as this organization. I want to talk to you about our vision. Mr. Davis had a vision to win Super Bowls. He won three. That goal will not change. Winning is everything and we're going to do everything in our power to get that thing done. We want to bring the trophy back to Oakland."
The new Raiders general manager finished his talk with a message for the members. "Get on board right now because we're going places as a team," said McKenzie. "So please continue to root for the Raiders because we will be worth rooting for this year."
McKenzie left the meeting encouraged by his time spent with the Rotary Club. "The one thing I found out is this Rotary Club loves the Oakland Raiders and they support us," said McKenzie.