Tom Gump goes above and beyond for our community.
If you’re involved in Rotary and are from Edina, Rotary District 5950 or anywhere in Minnesota, you might know that the name Tom Gump is synonymous with Rotary International.
Embracing Rotary’s motto of “Service Above Self,” Gump has taken on increasing leadership roles since joining Edina Morningside Rotary in 2013. After quickly transitioning from member to club president, Gump continues to say “yes” to leadership opportunities, serving in 2020–21 as district governor of the local region, stretching from central to western Minnesota, including the Twin Cities. Recently named as the aide to the international president for 2024–25, he is helping plan the next international convention in Calgary, Canada, that may welcome as many as 30,000 attendees.
Capitalizing on Rotary’s platform to make a lasting impact on “our world, our community, and ourselves,” Gump hasn’t stopped at taking established paths. He founded the world’s first-ever Rotary Club for Veterans and co-founded a club focusing on ending human trafficking. He is helping plan a celebration for a peace center, established in Istanbul, Turkey, and helped form a club for Egyptian doctors serving all over the world.
Closer to home, Gump brought together five local Rotary clubs to form a community corps to aid Afghan refugees. He also worked with others in eight Rotary clubs to assist nine Minneapolis businesses affected by
the recent civil unrest.
The entire Gump family is active in Rotary: wife, Catherine, is a member of the Rotary Club of Edina, and son, Andrew, is a member of the local Interact Club. Together, they have hosted seven exchange students in the Rotary Youth Exchange Program, winning a Connecting with Kids Leadership Award in 2020 from the Edina Community Foundation (ECF) for their service. The Gumps are also donors to the Rotary Foundation.
In 2023, Gump was honored with Rotary International’s Service Above Self award, which is given to only 150 members worldwide to recognize exemplary humanitarian service. It is Rotary International’s highest honor.
“Seeing your impact is the rewarding part of volunteering,” Gump says. “Building a well in Honduras and coming back later to see the reduction in infant mortality at the next visit highlights the impact a group of people can have.”
Gump’s volunteerism doesn’t end at Rotary. From his initial service for the Boys & Girls Club in Atlanta before moving to Minnesota in 1999, Gump found joy in each new activity. He began volunteering for Community Involvement Programs, a Twin Cities nonprofit that serves the needs of individuals with intellectual disabilities and people living with mental illness. Gump has also served on the Parks and Trails Council of Minnesota.
Another passion of Gump’s is the Edina Fourth of July Parade, hosted by ECF along with the city. For four years, he chaired the team that plans the parade and continues to volunteer on parade day, biking, walking and even canoeing to the parade start at City Hall from his nearby home.
“With anything you do, it’s the people who make a difference,” Gump says.
Those who find themselves at the starting point of the parade next Fourth of July will be able to see his enthusiasm as he queues up each act wearing his patriotic top hat.
Gump served on the ECF’s board from 2015–23, serving as chair from 2019–23.
Bohrer is an ECF member.