Officially, we define the term Honorary Members as Persons who have distinguished themselves by meritorious service in the furtherance of Rotary ideals and those considered friends of Rotary for their support of Rotary’s cause. Translation: People that inspire us with whom we have established a relationship. In this section we provide an introduction to a few of our Honorary Heroes.
Gregory H. Johnson, Colonel (Ret), USAF
Gregory H. Johnson is a former air force officer and pilot, aerospace engineer, and NASA astronaut. He is currently an aerospace and youth development consultant supporting various commercial aerospace companies including a few start-ups. Additionally, Johnson serves as a Board member for multiple space and STEM non-profits and is an active freelance commercial pilot in the Lear-60.
Johnson started his career in the US Air Force, flying over 50 different aircraft, accumulating over 5,000 hours, including over 60 F-15E combat missions in the Persian Gulf. In 1998, he joined the NASA astronaut corps and ultimately piloted two Space Shuttle missions, STS-123 and STS-134. After leaving NASA, he served as Executive Director for the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, a non-profit commissioned to maximize utilization of the International Space Station to benefit life here on the Earth.
Johnson is a member of the Association of Space Explorers, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and is an honorary Rotarian. He has multiple degrees including a BS in Aeronautical Engineering from the US Air Force Academy, an MS in Flight Structures Engineering from Columbia University, and an MBA from the University of Texas (Austin).
Tracy Baim, Owner & Co-Founder Windy City Times
Tracy Baim is the owner and co-founder of Windy City Times and a long-time LGBTQ advocate. Windy City Times is a 34-year-old LGBTQ newspaper. She is also publisher of the Chicago Reader newspaper. She is longtime journalist and organizer. She is also the author or co-author of 12 books on LGBTQ history including– Out and Proud in Chicago, Obama and the Gays, and Gay Press, Gay Power). She is the producer of four films and the creator of the films That’s So Gay! and LGBTQ Trivia Game.
Tracy is a longtime journalist and organizer. Major events she has helped organize include Gay Games VII in Chicago (2006), and the March on Springfield for Marriage Equality. She founded the LGBT Chamber of Commerce in 1996, and has won numerous awards for her journalism and activism, including the Studs Terkel Award, and lifetime achievement awards from local and national journalism groups.