Posted by Jed Wieland on Sep 21, 2017

This week we enjoyed having two speakers Richard Molitor and Linda Guirey.  This was a New Zealand first and probably a first for Rotary where two former exchange students came and shared their experiences since their scholarships some 40 years ago!
Richard, an inbound student in 1975 told us that upon his return to the US he finished school and attended the University of Washington from where he graduated in 1982 with a degree in pharmacy.  He went on to travel, including to New Zealand before settling down to a role in hospital pharmacy.

Richard’s career has been motivated by the motto he has adopted; “service above self” and his career took several turns, each time with the aim of assisting people with unique needs.  From assisting people to help themselves with the administration of pharmaceutical matters to setting up an internet service, he has assisted people manage their needs including HIV sufferers and received a number of awards for this.  He has gone on to develop the use of the internet for his pharmaceutical services and has consulted widely on how the internet may be used generally for this purpose.   For his services and presentations, he has been formally recognised and has received a number of award from a range of public bodies and institutes.

Richard has been married for 31 years, has no children and has enjoyed travelling to many countries over the years.

Linda Guirey was an out bound student in 1976.  Her destination for the year was to upstate New York.  Upon her return, Linda found that she could not settle and decided to go to Australia and was employed as a nurse in a veterinary clinic.

In 1984 Linda returned to New Zealand and joined the printing industry until 1989 when she went to Great Barrier Island and set up a successful café there.  By 1998 she had entered the health care industry and in 2010 she established her own business as a key note speaker specialising on meeting and overcoming significant challenges.  

After she left Great Barrier Island, Linda had to redefine her life in the face of a significant and personal family circumstance.  She decided after a time that she need to move on with her own life and remarried and now has 6 children.  Rotary has helped Linda deal with unusual circumstances and her motto for living her life has been “live each day like it is a beautiful day.”  Linda is the author of the book “Life in the Face of Change”

An extract from Linda’s website reads When Linda is not thinking, speaking, reading or writing about ‘choices’ – she can be found creating artwork on her easel, pottering around home with her husband Paul and their 2 gorgeous dogs – Mini and Cheech, or caring for and enjoying her family of 6 when they come to visit!  Linda and Paul have 3 children each – all in their 20’s – making a blended family of 6.  Never a dull moment in the Guirey household – “working with teenagers and young adults is all about ‘choices’”

Linda seeks to give people greater awareness of themselves and the world around them, the importance of attitude always, and steps that they can take towards creating better relationships, achieving their goals and creating the life that they choose.

We were treated to a wonderful insight into the lives of two former Rotary Exchange Students which serves to highlight the many opportunities for all to benefit from into the future.