John Matthews, “Life as a Rotary International Director”
John has been a Rotarian since 1988 and is a currently a member of the Rotary Club of Mercer Island. He served as District Governor for District 5030 in 2010‑11 and now serves as the Rotary International Director for Zones 25/26 for the years 2017‑19.
In addition to his work with Rotary, John has completed two successful careers: the first, with the U.S. Navy for 20 years, retiring as a Commander in the Supply Corps; the second, where he recently completed 25 years as a Senior Vice President with Costco Wholesale. Costco is a $110B company, with 180,000 employees worldwide. While with Costco, John had responsibilities for all of the Human Resource and Risk Management functions.
While living in Seattle, John has been active in both corporate and community boards, including the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, The Advisory Board for the University of Washington Bothell, Mercer Island Presbyterian Church, Rotary First Harvest, and NW Reinsurance.
John and his wife Mary Ellen, who is also a Rotarian, have been active supporters of the Rotary Foundation. They have travelled internationally in support of Foundation grants and polio immunization. They believe that some of the greatest gifts that Rotary brings to the world are our Peace Programs and the scholars that graduate from them. In support of those efforts, John and Mary Ellen have established the John and Mary Ellen Matthews Endowed Rotary Peace Fellowship.