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The Rotary Club of Toledo’s new president, Dr. Riaz N. Chaudhary, is an example of what can happen when a hard-working immigrant comes to America and sticks to his or her dreams.
A native of Pakistan, Dr. Chaudhary, 67, immigrated to the United States in 1972 at age 26. He spent his first year in the Cleveland area, when he interned at Lakewood Hospital in Lakewood, Ohio, then came to Toledo to do his residency from 1973 to 1976 at the Medical College of Ohio, now the University of Toledo Medical Center.
He is the founder and president of Oregon Clinic Inc. of Oregon, which he opened 37 years ago after finishing at MCO. He still practices there.
“I feel this country gave me a chance to be successful. I have a deep sense of gratitude. I love this country,” said Dr. Chaudhary, a general practitioner with a specialty in geriatrics who was sworn in as a U.S. citizen in 1976.
Dr. Chaudhary has been with the Rotary since 1995. He has been a member of the group’s board of trustees since 2007.
His one-year term as president began July 1.
Dr. Chaudhary said he grew up in a Pakistani village with mud streets. As a sixth grader, he was impressed by a humanitarian-aid program undertaken by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, which led to some of his village’s streets being paved.
“I thought ‘These people came here to help us and improve our lives,’ ” Dr. Chaudhary said.
He said that motivated him to work harder and succeed.
He got his medical degree in 1970 from King Edward Medical College, now King Edward Medical University, in Lahore, Pakistan. Founded in 1860, it is the oldest medical school in Pakistan and one of the oldest in South Asia.
Dr. Chaudhary and his wife, Ginny, have been married 41 years. The couple has four sons, all with careers as professionals.
“This is what motivates me — the success of my sons,” he said.
Dr. Chaudhary, a former president of the Eastern Maumee Bay Chamber of Commerce in Oregon, said his goal is to raise the Rotary Club of Toledo’s profile. With 450 members, it is Ohio’s largest rotary club and the 12th largest in the world.
It has $3.3 million in assets. It distributes $160,000 to $180,000 in grants annually to nonprofits, mostly from endowment proceeds.
“My goal is to get our club members together and become a force for change in the community,” Dr. Chaudhary said.
Contact Tom Henry at: email@example.com or 419-724-6079.