Who are the people behind Polaris?

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Team Polaris

The Polaris team

Our responsibilities:

The Polaris team is responsible for the development of the Polaris software product and for the support to the districts. The software engineering is done by Cloudtec AG.

The responsibility for operation of the Polaris systems is carried out by  Cloudtec AG and the responsibility for operation of  the infrastructure  is carried out by Metanet AG. Both work under contract with the ARM.

Our tasks:

  • Sustainable product development of the Polaris solution
  • Management of the product development cycle (new releases)
  • Coordination of third parties involved in the development and in the operations
  • Support to the DICOs in the districts that are using Polaris
  • Organization of the Assembly of the Polaris district representatives before each new release development phase.
  • Organization of annual meetings with the DICOs, DICOs deputies and district representatives in the particular countries.
  • Promotion of Polaris in other countries
  • Periodic reporting to the ARM and to the Assembly of district delegates Switzerland & Liechtenstein about Polaris status.


For commercial enquiries about Polaris, please send a message to team-polaris@rotary.ch. For support, please see our Help page.

free photo by krakenimages on Unsplash

Jan Trnka, Product Manager & IT - responsible VRM

My professional background leads me to the firm belief that Rotary needs a new full-featured collaborative IT system available on any user device and in any language. My engagement rose over years from a CICO to DICO role, ending in the years 2019-2020 as a member of the Polaris team, in the role of the technical leader of that project. During this time, naturally Polaris became my passion.Since 2022 I took over the role of a Product Manager. In that position I am planing and organizing the development of this unique software. Together with keeping in touch with the districts and with all involved parties it is a challenge that fills my life as a Rotarian.

I know I cannot do it right for all, but it makes me happy to do it right for many.

Marion de Lattre-Wiesel, Team member

The relationship manager, spokesperson, communicator and moderator, editor, proofreader (and many more) ...  and female component in the team.

I am a self-taught computer nerd since childhood ... and have been involved in IT management and support since I joined Rotary.

My main asset is that I am not a computer professional (first an architect, then a mediator) and therefore I can explain computer processes in normal language, not geek!

I am very happy to have the opportunity to provide my skills and enthusiasm to the diffusion and use of the wonderful tool which is Polaris!

Philippe Schnyder, Team member

As IT security engineer and consultant, Rotarian and former Rotaractor who has been using computers for almost all his life, I have a strong technical background.

In 2014 I joined the national group of IT responsible for Rotary and Rotaract in Switzerland. Over the years I had the pleasure to accompany the evolution of the former system in what is Polaris today.

Since 2014 I have been covering many roles in the Rotarian IT team, including technical support and coordinating the development of the predecessor of Polaris.

Christian Mayer, Team Member

As DICO1920 in Austria, I was able to organize and successfully implement the Polaris introduction in Austria and Bosnia-Herzegovina. I was able to intensively expand my Polaris and Rotary knowledge. I am therefore very pleased to have the opportunity now to be part of the Polaris team.

With many years of experience in the IT sector and in-depth knowledge of a wide range of technologies, I am ready to make my contribution to our shared success.

During my professional career I have gained extensive experience in project management. I am familiar with the effective coordination of teams and the successful implementation of projects, be it in software development, system implementation or in the area of ​​user training.

I am confident that our collaboration will lead to innovative solutions that provide real added value to our Rotarian friends.

Thank you for the warm welcome to the team!

Michael Willi, Team Member

Through my work as a dentist, I have experienced the digitalization of our profession first-hand and also implemented it in the practice. The outstanding importance of user-friendly, stable and up-to-date software was and is a basic requirement. What is true for my small business is even more important for a global organization like Rotary. Polaris is exactly this tool, which should not only simplify the daily administration in the clubs, but also help to increase the attractiveness of Rotary as a whole for club members and candidates.

It is a great pleasure to work in the Polaris team, where motivated Rotarians constantly improve the program through their own experiences in their club and now also train DICO's from different countries. This non-profit activity with a common multilingual program will definitely lead to the growing together of the European Rotary community, and I am especially looking forward to that.

Kent Vesterberg, Team member

I am basically electronics engineer but came into contact with computers as early as 1974, which means that I must be considered a veteran in this context.

I received my education in Malmö and at the Lund University of Technology. I have worked with hardware but since 1980 it has mostly been about software and IT systems.

I was invited to Rotary in 1994 in Svedala, a small village in southern Sweden. IT knowledge within Rotary was low, to say the least, so it became close at hand to train within the club and district.

I was DICO in District 2390 for many years. But from 2005 I was chairman of the IT committee in Rotary Sweden. I was involved in introducing the first computer system in Sweden in 1997 and was project manager for a new system 2013 and have now been active with Polaris for two years.

Serge Dupont, Polaris Ambassador

In 2019-2020, as Governor of the D1690, I was convinced - I still am - that our movement had to adapt to the economic, technical, societal, etc. evolutions of the world around us, otherwise it would wither and disappear. The choice of an efficient computer tool was part of this concern. We chose Polaris

It is a proven software package - twenty years of existence -, evolving (at least two new releases per year) to meet the needs and expectations of the user Districts. It is supported by a solid and perennial structure: four Rotarian designers, a service company which writes the code and a team of trainers/maintainers. It fulfills the requirements of the European RGPD legislation and benefits from the experience of nineteen user Districts. It is designed by Rotarians for Rotarians, within the framework of a non-profit association, and is approved by Rotary International

Today we are so enthusiastic about the results we have achieved regarding our image and the rigor of the management of our Clubs and Districts, that the Polaris IT team and me have decided to "spread the word" to European Districts which are not yet using Polaris!

Brigitte Burtinovic, Polaris Ambassador

Caroline de Quelen, Polaris Ambassador

Convinced by  Polaris, I am part of the D1690 DICOs team since its deployment in our 80 clubs in 2019.


Endowed with a real interest for computers but not a computer scientist by training, I appreciate the ease of use of Polaris, which is dedicated to all Rotarians.


This is the tool that our clubs lacked for better consistency and even more impact!


Organized and methodical, I enjoy highlighting all the features of this beautiful communication, organization and management tool with clubs, and answering the various practical questions. It's easy to be convincing when presenting a tool that meets the needs so well!


Polaris, a tool for Rotarians, created and managed by Rotarians

Olivier Garosi, Polaris Ambassador

Olivier Gardiol, past Team member

The Polaris father and mind behind all that!

In charge, since 2006, of the IT solutions for the clubs in his district then in Switzerland, rot. Olivier Gardiol took over, in 2018, the responsibility to run the Polaris project of a brand new system aiming to run the Rotary clubs and allow a modern communication in the Rotary community.

His function as Product Manager was taken over by rot.  Jan Trnka in 2022. Olivier remains available to the Polaris team, supporting his colleagues on a case-by-case basis.