New Rotary District Governor Richard Haas Visits Local Club

Rotary Club of Los Alamos President Tim Bullock and District Governor Richard Haas show banner with Rotary International’s theme for the new year – Create Hope in the World. Photo by Linda Hull

Vice President
Rotary Club of Los Alamos

Richard Haas, District Governor for Rotary District 5520, 2023-2024, visited the Rotary Club of Los Alamos on August 22.  Haas, a member of the Rotary Club of Las Cruces since 2010, expressed his interest in expanding Rotary projects in keeping with Rotary International’s theme for the new year, Create Hope in the World.  His interests fall particularly in the area of mental health and collaborating with other Rotary clubs on small and large activities. 

“We are connected by service,” he emphasized.

Customarily, the new District Governor visits all of District 5520’s 68 clubs before the December holidays.  The District, which encompasses all of New Mexico and west Texas, is geographically the largest in the United States.

In addition to District Governor Haas, visitors at the meeting included members of the Rotary Club of Santa Fe:   Zella Cox, Lisa Karam, Peter Ives, and Kerry Quinn, Lt. Governor for the northern part of District 5520.  Louise Romero from the Albuquerque del Norte Rotary Club also attended.

Upon joining the Las Cruces Rio Grande Rotary Club, Haas immediately became involved in the Club’s service projects.  He served on the board as Membership Chair, Service Project Director, Club Administrator, Treasurer, and Club President.  He has also served District 5520 as an Assistant Governor and District Conference Chair.  Through his generosity and dedication to humanitarian service, he is a Paul Harris Society member and a PolioPlus member.

Raised in the Texas Hill Country, Haas graduated from Boerne High School.  He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in architecture from Texas A+M University and the University of Colorado, respectively, and has practiced architecture in Denver, Austin, San Antonio, Santa Fe, and for the last 28 years in Las Cruces.

In addition to his practice, Haas taught architecture at Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) for seven years.  Currently, he is the president of Desert Peak Architects in Las Cruces.  The recipient of numerous awards, he is known for architectural design that connects people to the landscape in a sustainable manner.  In 2007 he received the New Mexico Architect’s Medal for his work in the region.

Haas has served as President of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) New Mexico Chapter three times, and has also served on several national AIA committees.

In Las Cruces, Haas has served in various capacities over the years including Board Chair of the Chamber of Commerce and Chair of the Southwest Spaceport Task Force, which led to the establishment of Spaceport America in New Mexico.

 Haas and wife Susan, a registered nurse, have been married for 43 years. They have a son and daughter, each with their own family living nearby, and seven grandchildren. Together they enjoy traveling and motorcycling throughout the Southwest and playing with their grandchildren and Aussie pups.  

The Rotary Club of Los Alamos, through its 1312 Club Foundation, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and one of over 34,000 clubs worldwide.  Rotary, which now has 1.5 million members, was founded in 1905; the local Club was chartered in 1966.  Rotary areas of focus include promoting peace; fighting disease, particularly polio; providing clean water, sanitation, and hygiene; supporting education; saving and enhancing the lives of mothers and children; growing economies; and protecting the environment.

The Rotary Club of Los Alamos meets in person Tuesdays, 12:00-1:00, in the Community Room, Cottonwood on the Greens, at the golf course.  A Zoom option is available by contacting Linda Hull, 505-662-7950.  Hull is also happy to provide information about the Club and its humanitarian service.  The community is invited to attend meetings and consider becoming a member.