District Governor

SHAFI PAREKH

District Governor 2017-2018

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Born in India to a father who was a businessman and Charter member of a Rotary Club, Shafi migrated to Pakistan with his family in 1947, schooled in England, came back and joined his family dairy and foods manufacturing company and joined Rotary in 1972.  His wife, their son, and he moved West, in 1974 after running two milk plants for the US Navy, one on the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba and one at the Roosevelt Roads Naval Base in Puerto Rico.  They had another son and moved to Michigan where he started working for General Mills making Yoplait Yogurt, where he joined the Rotary Club of Reed City.  Here Shafi got a University to host a Gifted and Talented program each Saturday during Summer break and involved three school districts in a Super Saturday program where elementary level students were put through college courses.  From there to Dallas, Texas to take over another Yoplait plant and another Rotary Club where he was President in 1990, board member and president of a local theater as well as serving on the boards of University of Texas Center for Translation Studies, and Center for Slower Learners.  Here they were very involved, as a family, in Youth Exchange and Group Study Exchange. Their younger son, Mustapha, went to Germany as a Rotary Exchange student and they hosted a German student.  They also hosted Group Study Exchange participants and leaders.

He took an early retirement in 2003 and moved back to Pakistan where he and his wife Marjan lived for 5 years.  Shafi ran his training and development company with a friend who was in the executive search field and worked with pharma clients as well as Nielsen.  He provided them with tools for candidate selection using psychometric evaluations and benchmarking.  He joined another club in Karachi in his old district and served as president, district trainer, and district secretary.  During his 5 years, his club was involved in over 20 Matching Grants, mostly as Host Club, digging tube wells, rebuilding a village of 126 homes destroyed by an earthquake, providing solar lamps for village homes, providing oncology diagnostics equipment for pediatric oncology hospital, went to Italy for fundraising for a Global Grant to buy brain surgery equipment for the same hospital where none existed and the children with tumor diagnosis were sent home to die.  His club was also involved with local NGO that took care of acid burn victims, and provided legal advice and financial assistance to released illegal immigrant women prisoners so they could go home and not be exploited by locals.

Shafi and Marjan moved to Raleigh in 2008 after their son, Murtaza, joined a group gastroenterology practice, and their daughter-in-law, Donna Edwards, joined Wake Med as a Hospitalist.  They have two grandchildren, Somer who is seven, and Adam, who is 5.  They take care of them when their mom works.

Their younger son is an attorney in San Diego, California where he started with a firm Cooley Godrich and transferred to Pillsbury.  He was loaned to a biotech company who hired him and that company was bought by Novartis.  He moved back to Pillsbury Law.

His passion is to serve and support the membership and the clubs.  His focus during his tenure as District Governor is poverty alleviation through enhancing literacy, mainly female literacy which, he says, will be critical to sustaining the advances in Polio eradication, specially in Pakistan so as to prevent resurgence of Polio.  He would like to support RI President Ian Riseley in his 1.2 million tree planting initiative worldwide to offset Carbon Emission as service to our future generations and our planet.

Shafi says he retired three times and when asked what keeps him busy, he responds, family, Rotary, and Karaoke.  Shafi and Marjan are part of a social group of mainly Indians and they rotate at each others homes and sing Bollywood Karaoke songs.