Rotary Bonaire

Meet the Guest Speakers of Rotary Bonaire--2009

On November 18, 2009, Bonaire's Police Chief John Schagen addressed the membership.


Our guest speaker on September 16th, 2009 was Mr. Ruud Koornstra, the inventor of the LED bulb light and entrepreneur. Ruud started his career as a program maker for television with his company, IDTV. His company was very successful with many well known television shows. After selling IDTV at the age of 36 (!) and a bucket full of money, he could not sit back. He started to chase his lifelong dream: Make the world a little better, more efficient.

With a few partners he invented a tool to make cars more fuel efficient. The product was an excellent product, but to his huge surprise, he was entangled from different directions, mainly from the well known Dutch institute TNO. This was not due to technical, reasons, but to commercial reasons.

After that, he and his crew invented the energy-saving LED bulb. Our present bulbs are for 89% energy wasting bulbs, the bulb he is marketing is 90% energy saving. He needed to be very persistent to market his bulb, and, by "coincidence," he was asked to make a present to Bill Clinton during one of his visits to The Netherlands. This present for sure was...... his invented LED bulb.

Ruud and Bill found each other and after some diversions Bill Clinton now is marketing Ruud’s LED bulb in the United States. Not only that, but other well known World Principals are marketing Ruud’s products like Kofi Annan, Dalai Lama, Richard Branson, and Tony Blair. Ruud is focusing on markets like China, India, and the United States. His products will be introduced in The Netherlands and Europe in October/ November this year. Ruud is also writing a book about how energy saving light CAN change the world. He is a column writer for the Dutch newspaper, Financieel Dagblad. For more information about Ruud and his companies you can visit or

THANK YOU RUUD, very impressive, please keep up the good work!


Guest speakers on Wednesday, September 9th, 2009 were
Eric Bennitt from Aruba on his trainings, Speed Of Trust, and
Hans Hillan with an update on the BES islands.


On Wednesday, August 12, 2009, Rotary Bonaire met at the home of host Ruud Vermeulen, along with guest speaker, Ruud Koornstra. Pictured above are Lt. Governors Glenn Thode, Herbert Domacasse, and Richard Hart, accompanied by Rotary President, Huub Groot, and host, Ruud Vermelen.


Rotary Bonaire's guest speaker on August 5, 2009 was Karol Meyer, one of the worlds most famous free-divers from Brazil. Karol began free-diving in 1999 and has gone on to hold 3 world records, in addition to 2 Pan-American Records, 22 South American records, 5 national records and she has won several international competitions representing Brazil.

Called also by the name of "Karol Fish", she is one of the most famous free-divers in the world.

On July 10, 2009, she achieved the absolute amazing record of 18 minutes and 32 seconds without a breath to Guinness Book records, and became the human with the biggest apnea in the world. She became the first Brazilian woman athlete to achieve world records, and the first athlete in the free-diving world to brea a world record during a free-diving competition in 1999.

Besides free-diving Karol is also very active with several fundraising projects. At the Rotary meeting, Karol explained the different ways of free-diving by showing a video. She takes a weight of 40 kilos (about 71.2 pounds) with her and dives down to the ocean-bottom. Arriving there she will go up again by using a type of air-balloon. There are always safety-divers present, two on the surface, two in the middle and two on the bottom. Karol tells us that your mind and body need to be in perfect shape and harmony. You cannot dive to 100 meters (over 300 feet) if your body is okay but your mind is not! When she dives, her heart-beats per minute goes down to 25!!! The current free-diving-record is 81 meters. Karol will make four attempts on Bonaire to get a new world record: August 15th of 85 meters, August 17th of 90 meters, August 19th of 95 meters, and August 21st of 100 meters.

For more information about Karol Meyer see


On July 8th, 2009, guest speaker, Sharon Bols, talked to our club about the Bonaire Library, located behind Jong Bonaire. They have a new, active, and dynamic board, who is looking for support to give the over 2800 children on the grade school and high school levels a membership card to sign books out of the library. Reading is a key for education; books are in 4 languages: English, Dutch, Papiamento, and Spanish.


It was a busy lunch on June 10, 2009! The first guest speakers were Ina Offerman and Hans Bolsman, who represent “Fundashon Saka Man i Yuda Nos ” (loosely translated as, "take your hands out of your pockets and start helping us"). This worthy foundation tries to help the poorer elderly people on Bonaire by providing hands-on services like painting houses, cleaning houses, cleaning gardens, etc. Also, when within their financial limitations, they provide fruit baskets or food packages. The day's second guest speaker was introduced by Philip: Mr. Dennis Kelner. Dennis climbed the stunning Mount Everest 3 years ago, and he regaled the group with his story and great pictures!


May 6th's lunch presentation was made by the foundation, "We Dare to Care" on the children's park located behind the hospital. The foundation requires ongoing support to keep the park open and managed with staff. The park has been operating for four years now.


On Wednesday, April 22, 2009, Ms. June Hay, General Manager Sales & Service MCB Group, presented the start of a Sales & Service incentive program at MCB Bonaire. This international concept is used to improve customer service including smaller waiting lines, proactive understanding of customers needs, communication, disciplines of employees to customer and more....Good Luck to MCB!


On April 17th, Prime Minister Dejong-El Hage and Commissioner Lieto made a presentation to the Rotary Bonaire regarding the new constitution with the BES islands (Bonaire, St. Eustatius, and Saba) and Holland.


Rob van Dogen

Fellow Rotarian, Rob van Dogen, a dentist from Holland, today presented to the Rotary Club an idea on how to make youth aware of the importance of brushing their teeth and overall teeth maintenance including diet. With the assistance of cartoon books, stuffed animals, and basic awareness by parents and schools, we can improve the overall dental care on the island. With the help of Rob's colleagues in Holland, who donate tooth paste and brushes, we can make it happen. Rotary Club Bonaire is looking at this project for the near future. Thank you, Rob.


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