The Journal Gazette
Thursday, October 10, 2019 1:00 am

Rotarians to descend on city

Nearly 500 to be at regional event at Grand Wayne


About 500 people representing Rotary International chapters in 13 states will be in Fort Wayne this weekend for a regional conference.

The conference at Grand Wayne Convention Center will host the service organization's incoming international president-elect, Holgar Knaack of Germany.

He will address the group at a lunch meeting on Friday.  

“Having a future president of Rotary International in Fort Wayne is a rare opportunity,” said Floyd Lancia, a retired Fort Wayne home builder now on the organization's international board.

Another notable conference visitor is Addison Agen, the Fort Wayne native who was runner-up on “The Voice,” the NBC singing contest, in 2017.

She will entertain Friday night.

Lisa Waterman, a conference organizer, said Lancia is a member of the Anthony Wayne Rotary Club, one of three in Fort Wayne.

The two others are the Fort Wayne Rotary Club, often called the Downtown Rotary Club, and the Summit City Rotary Club. 

“His passion is Rotary,” Waterman said of Lancia. His position on the international board helped secure Knaack's visit, she said.

Knaack has been a Rotarian since 1992 and has served in leadership roles at Rotary International.

He is chief executive officer of Knaack KG, a real estate company, and was a partner and general manager of Knaack Enterprises, a 125-year-old family business.

Conference attendees will come from the central United States from Ohio to Oklahoma and south to Louisiana. The area includes more than 3,000 Rotary Clubs and 150,000 members.

Internationally, the club, whose motto is “Service Above Self,” has 1.2 million members from more than 33,000 clubs in more than 200 countries.

The event begins today and continues through Sunday.

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