Dr. Wayne Strom was a brilliant organizational behavior scholar. He understood that businesses, clubs, churches, and schools were human endeavors and subject to the passion or apathy, strengths, failures, personalities, insecurities and confidences of every member of the organization. He taught me that organizations were living, breathing things and should be thought of that way first because there is nothing in the universe more powerful than a shared vision of the future.
If, during this past year, you have felt that I have in a small way provided leadership that has united our club and moved us forward, you have Dr. Wayne Strom to thank. Of the many ways I have fallen short in my leadership this year, I offer the sad excuse that I simply could not keep up with his brilliant mind and his inspired teachings.
Wayne Strom passed away on April 2 from complications related to COVID-19. The cruelty of this disease is staggering. His death was swift but difficult. He died in isolation. This disease has robbed the world of a brilliant, empathetic scholar, and a caring human being. Because of his work preparing homeless adults for the job market, Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission in Mission Hills will name their new learning center for Dr. Wayne Strom.
I forecasted that many of us would personally know a victim of COVID-19. Until I lost Dr. Strom last week, I didn’t fully realize that we are all victims of this hideous pandemic.
Like me, many of the members of our club will participate in prayerful practices this week. We are dark for Good Friday. Whether through the Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu traditions or whether through no religious tradition at all, pause this week to ponder this moment. Grieve for a while, then allow hope to stir your soul and imagination and inspire you to serve those who will desperately need LA5’s help in the years ahead. A shared vision of a hopeful future is a powerful thing.
Stay Safe. Stay Home.
President, Rotary Club of Los Angeles
2019 - 2020