Debra Merritt, OIF Board Candidate

I would consider it an honor and privilege to be elected to serve on the Board of Directors for the Optimist International Foundation. I have been an Optimist for over 20 years and have served our organization in numerous capacities at the Club, District, and International level, the most recent notable position being Governor for the Alabama-Mississippi District during our Centennial year. Our District was recognized as being Distinguished and ranked 6th overall.

I believe the Foundation is an integral part of our organization and its management crucial to our future success and growth. I have an extensive legal and financial/mathematics background which would be beneficial to my service on the Board. I am dedicated, dependable, and have a strong work ethic. I am willing to give the time and effort needed to make our Foundation strong.

I personally support the Foundation as a President’s Club Member and Christian Larson Partner and also proudly wear my pink purse in support of the Women’s Philanthropy Council. I gained significant knowledge and insight into the Foundation during my training to become my District’s Foundation Representative in 2016-2017, where I was recognized as Distinguished and set a new record for dollars contributed per member in my District. However, it was my experience during my year on the Foundation’s Club Grant Committee in 2017-2018 that made me want to further serve the Foundation on its Board of Directors. Being given the opportunity to help select the recipients of that year’s Club Grants was such a rewarding experience. I was able to see firsthand how the Foundation works in conjunction with our member Clubs to spread Optimism. I was so moved while reading the grant applications that it made me want to do even more to improve the lives of children in my own community. It was the inspiration behind the District-wide community service project which was conducted the following year during my term as Governor.