Following the installation night on 27th May, the Rotary Club of Royal Hua Hin has inducted a new President. Swedish national Dr Birger Rexed will be taking over from the outgoing and then Immediate Past President Gianni Battistini on 1st July.
Professionally Dr Rexed is a Swedish medical doctor with the international Rotary movement long being at the forefront of his approach to life. He was virtually born into Rotary and has been a contributing Member for some 30 years. His ‘induction’ into the ideals of Rotary began as a Member of ‘Round Table’, an organisation for the younger generation to connect with peers which follows Rotary ideals. Rotary membership in Sweden followed and inevitably continued with residence in Hua Hin.
Around six years as a Member of the Rotary Club of Royal Hua Hin with responsibility for Club Membership and as Secretary was followed by acceptance of the Presidency position. As a doctor, Dr Rexed has broadened his perspective from general practice to obstetrics and gynecology to medical consultancy and occupational health. A theme that emerges is to look at the bigger picture; including working with companies to improve both the health of the organisation as well as the health of employees. It’s about bigger solutions to achieve sustainable outcomes.
Healthier and happier employees and leaders mean improved and more profitable companies. Dr Rexed had been a frequent visitor to Thailand which led to him developing a holiday house in Hua Hin in 2008. He is now a resident with his wife Karina alongside the Palm Hills golf course, but certainly not as retirees. After a casual conversation with the CEO of MedHelp Sweden, he learnt about the difficulties for nurses providing advice to Swedish callers to a help line after hours and during weekends. The answer was to take advantage of the time difference of 5 or 6 hours between Sweden and Thailand.
His company MediCall now employs around 40 Swedish nurses who live in Hua Hin to take these calls. For the nurses this is ‘working in paradise’ rather than during long cold winter nights or weekends in Sweden. This has become a ‘win-win’ solution, imagined and put into operation by Dr Rexed’s company. Participation is a Rotary Club principle which means that members must be ‘doers’ rather than talkers. It’s very obvious that Dr Rexed more than meets that requirement.
He loves a challenge, says “we can do this,” and then gets it done. That’s an approach which will guide his Presidency and continue the fine service traditions of Rotary’s work amongst the Hua Hin community. Footnote: A small snippet of our conversation with Dr Rexed revealed his sense of humour and a potential nickname. He mentioned that the first syllable of his last name; ‘Rex’, could be translated from Latin as ‘King’. Put that together with a slightly different version of his first name Birger and you have ‘Burger King’! Maybe fast food will be on the menu of the next weekly Rotary lunch meeting.