SANTA BARBARA — Hannah Rael has been elected president of the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara Sunrise for 2021-2022.
She is the youngest president in the club’s 36-year history.
“Rotary provides an unmatched opportunity to develop relationships with people locally and around the world who are making a difference,” Ms. Rael said in a news release. “It is an honor to serve as president during this time of transition from the pandemic lockdown in which many of us have had time to reflect on our values, our privilege and how we can give back. Now we can put those thoughts into action.”
Ms. Rael has been a member of Santa Barbara Sunrise Rotary since January 2018. She previously served two years as the club’s International service chair and a subsequent year as membership chair.
Ms. Rael is the communications and marketing manager at the UCSB Library. Before joining UCSB, she worked as the public relations manager at ShelterBox USA, a nonprofit that provides emergency shelter and other essential items to families who have lost their homes to disasters. ShelterBox started as a club project by Rotarians in Cornwall, England, and the ShelterBox USA’s headquarters are in Summerland.
“Working at ShelterBox opened my eyes to how Rotary’s extensive international network brings together the connections, knowledge and generosity needed to support people in need worldwide,” Ms. Rael said. “With 1.2 million members around the world, Rotary has the ability to reach nearly every part of the globe with acts of service above self.”
The Texas native worked as an account executive at SurfMedia Communications and served in media relations and communications for Goleta-based Direct Relief. She is also a former News-Press reporter.
Ms. Rael serves on the board of Immigrant Hope Santa Barbara and is an alumna of Leading From Within’s Emerging Leaders Program as well as the Anti-Defamation League’s Glass Leadership Institute.
A graduate of Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn., she has a bachelor’s degree in political science and global studies.
— Dave Mason