Past President Kelly McKinney introduced Hazzem Koudsi and shared a little background on him.  Hazzem obtained a degree in Economics from Guelph University after apparently attending a number of high schools.  After a career at Canada Revenue Agency, Hazzem felt he had more to give to his community and in 2021 became the Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity where his outgoing personality and his time in government will serve him well navigating various policies and regulations as he focuses on Habitat for Humanity.  Hazzem recalls riding the school bus in the County when he lived on Rednersville Road, a youngster from Syria.  He spent time making friends through sports in order to fit in, although he admits he was not all that good at sports.  When he started work on a six month contract in the mail room at CRA, he found the workplace was not as diversified as it is today and his name Hazzem became Hank.  He worked hard, but found the work environment did not encourage connections with people and so he decided it was time to go. Since then he has worked on the Board for the Quinte Humane Society during fundraising of the new building, a proud accomplishment.  This was followed by Habitat to Humanity.
Hazzem's parents left Syria shortly after they were married fifty-seven (57) years ago in Dasmascus.  Their first stop was in Wisconsin where an uncle lived and from there the family moved to Belleville where his parents built a good life with three sons.  His dad was an accountant, a hardworking immigrant, and bought their first house and built equity.  Because of his background, Hazzem learned about home affordability, bringing families hope so they can grow and set down ties in the community.  And he has taken those values to 93 Dundas Street East, where a three storey, 66 unit complex will be developed with daycare space, green land, one/two/three bedroom units, partnering with Hastings County to provide living options for people in the community.  Hazzem recognizes how fortunate he has been to accomplish what he has and demonstrates love of family and respect for the community.
Hazzem's father, Rotarian Al Koudsi thanked Hazzem for joining Rotary and following in his footsteps.  Hazzem was presented his blue badge by President Darrell Smith.