May 15, 2020 • By Xanat Hernandez
Members of the Newport-Irvine Rotary Club, including Robert Motoshige EMBA ’05, worked with volunteers to make over 56,000 face shields for first responders over the course of three weekends. Beneficiaries included the Kaiser Permanente Irvine Medical Center, the City of Irvine, St. Jude Medical Center, the nonprofit organization Share Ourselves and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
The City of Irvine received 7,500 face shields and Mayor Christine Shea honored the Newport-Irvine Rotary Club at a city council meeting on May 12.
Motoshige is the president-elect of Rotary District 5320, which met weekly at the University Center at UCI before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We do this because we care,” said Motoshige. “I believe in service to my community and service to the world.”
The group produced the face shields at the Mission Viejo Community Center in a socially distanced, assembly-line style. A member of the Rotary Club was able to source materials for the face shields at cost; materials cost two dollars a mask. On April 27, Motoshige and a fellow Rotarian delivered the masks to grateful first responders.
Dr. Hassan Movahedi, director of continuing care services and inpatient quality at Kaiser Permanente, attended a virtual Rotary Club meeting on May 7 to thank the volunteers for their diligent work and donations.
“I want to thank you all for the face shields, it is a wonderful feeling to the focus of attention and kindness of the community. This has strengthened our resolve and this heart-warming encouragement continues to motivate us.”
The face shields are particularly beneficial in hospital environments.
“We are finding out that it is not just about your nose and mouth, the eyes are a very vulnerable place,” said Movahedi. We were struggling to get eye gear and we rushed to the hardware store for goggles.”
The face shields are utilized during procedures where a patient is likely to cough—such as swab tests and the placement of feeding tubes. They are also used when connecting patients to ventilators to protect from potential aerosolization of the virus.
Motoshige has been a part of the Rotarian community for 17 years and even joined a Rotary club when he lived in Santiago, Chile. During his time as a member of several Rotary clubs, he has participated in many service projects.
“We do a project where we bring doctors and dentists to Ensenada and set up a free clinic,” said Motoshige. “We are also working on a new project where we are helping a rural school in India build bathrooms, sinks and showers.”
Other projects include a freshwater project in Africa and a local project to clean up the Back Bay in Newport Beach.
Motoshige received his bachelor’s in economics from Stanford University and began his career as a bond trader for Morgan Stanley. As a student in the MBA for Executives (EMBA) program, Motoshige built a consulting company, Mount Soledad LLC, specializing in research for investment banks and hedge funds. He was class valedictorian and voted “Best Leader” by his classmates.
“I really enjoyed my time at the Merage School, and I still maintain strong ties to the School,” said Motoshige.