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Catalina Rotary Club Member Bio

Dick Carlson

Dick Carlson

My Rotary Story
The Palo Alto, California Rotary Club sponsored a water project in rural India with the Mumbai Rotary Club. To celebrate the completion of that project, we were invited to see the project opening. By chance, a Mumbai Rotary club’s officer’s daughter was getting married the week before the visit. We were invited to attend that wedding, and gladly accepted. Little did we know that an Indian wedding is a week-long extravaganza! Every day we had a new party theme. On one day, my wife, along with the other women, had both her arms painted with henna. On another day the party was in a huge tent. After we survived all the parties, we finally visited the project. Our bus traveled for hours high into the hills northeast of Mumbai. This was the real India, that tourists never see. The whole village came out to greet us, all bedecked in their finest sari’s. The celebration was so huge because the new water system meant the village women no longer had to walk five miles every day for every drop of water. Even better, the water system was all gravity fed, so there was no expensive pump that would require electricity or inevitably breakdown. My wife got to turn the handle to start the water for the first time. We and that village will never forget what Rotary accomplished.

Full Name
Richard Carl Carlson 


Partner Name

Place of Birth/Hometown
Minneapolis, MN / St. Louis Park, MN

How long in Tucson
Twenty years

Son-Chris Carlson in Kirkland, WA
Daughter-Allegra Riley in Bend, OR

Current Position/Employer
Happily retired

Major Career Milestones
Office of Management & Budget, Executive Office of the President, 1965-69; Stanford Research Institute, 1976-1984; led the plaintiff team for the $3 billion Washington Public Power Supply System securities fraud lawsuit, 1984-1988; co-founded Spectrum Economics, 1988.

When joined Catalina Rotary

Rotary Milestones
Joined Palo Alto Rotary in 1994
Treasurer, Palo Alto Rotary, 1995-2003
Moved to Tucson and joined Catalina Rotary in 2003

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