“In Rotary, we do not divide our work by nation, culture, or language. It does not matter what is printed in your passport. What matters is that you believe in service above self,” Tanaka wrote in his February message to Rotarians.
Tanaka and Burton share a passion for increasing awareness and membership for Rotary International, Burton said, as well as completing the organization's international mission to eradicate polio.
Rotarians around the world subscribe to a standard of ethics originally penned by Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor as a business philosophy. Taylor, who lived in Oklahoma in the early 1920s, later moved to Chicago, where he became first the president of the Rotary Club of Chicago and, in 1954-55, was the 50th anniversary president of Rotary International.
The philosophy, called the Four Way Test, is: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
“If you can answer all four questions yes, it's the right thing to do,” Burton said.
"Rotary members use their expertise, compassion and power to accomplish incredible things," Tanaka said. "From local food pantries to clean water and maternal health, Rotary clubs engage in local and international service projects in thousands of communities all over the world. Our track record of success is demonstrated by the millions of people who have achieved and sustained a better quality of life through Rotary."
Burton's presidential theme will be “Engage Rotary, Change Lives.”
“I'm trying to get Rotarians to get serious about doing rotary work in their local communities and the international community and going out and asking people to become members and support our foundation so we can do even greater work in the world,” Burton said.