Jim Louttit, Centennial Speaker #5, on economic and community development.

Jim Louttit, Chair and President of the Rotarian Action Group for Microfinance and Community Development and Vice-Chair of the Rotarian Action Group Chairs Committee, was the guest speaker in our Club's Centennial Speaker series. He spoke about the important role microfinance plays in the lives of low-income consumers. The Rotarian Action Group for Microfinance and Community Development (RAGM) has helped people and groups both locally and internationally obtain loans they would not otherwise have access to, leading to improved quality of life. Louttit gave specific examples of programs he has directly worked on, including the Honduras Economic and Community Development (HECD) Program, which has currently helped over 9,000 clients, and LaunchDetroit, a microfinance program benefitting entrepreneurs in Metro Detroit that is currently being implemented. 

Dr. Godfrey Bacheyie also addressed the audience to explain that our Club has been taking part in microfinance projects for some time in Ghana. Women have been able to earn a living because of the help that has been given. Repayment rate for projects that Mr. Louttit and Dr. Bacheyie spoke of were both upwards of 98%.

Past President Shari Cunningham thanked both speakers and Mr. Louttit was presented with a Centennial Speaker Series Certificate and maple syrup made by Club member Gordon Drake. $100 will be donated to Rotary International's Foundation Fund and $100 to a charity of his choice.

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