2019 Float Riders and Outwalkers

The Rotary Rose Parade Float Committee Inc. presents “Service Rocks” as the theme of our January 1, 2019, float.

The seven sustaining Districts each sponsor a walker for the Float.

If you would like to be considered for participation; or, know of someone who would, please contact James Lewis at 818-399-9870 or jameslewis1118@gmail.com

President, Rotary International
Rotary Club of East Nassau
New Providence, Bahamas

Barry Rassin, of the Rotary Club of East Nassau, New Providence, Bahamas, earned an MBA in health and hospital administration from the University of Florida and was the first fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives in the Bahamas. He recently retired after 37 years as president of Doctors Hospital Health System, where he continues to serve as a Director. He is a lifetime member of the
American Hospital Association and has served on several boards, including the Quality Council of the Bahamas, Health Education Council, and Employer’s Confederation. In July 2018, The Bahamas Government recognized Barry as an Officer of The Order of Distinction. A Rotarian since 1980, Rassin has served Rotary as director and as vice chair of The Rotary Foundation Board of Trustees. He was an RI training leader and the aide to 2015-16 RI President K.R. Ravindran.  Rassin received Rotary’s highest honor, the Service Above Self Award, as well as other humanitarian awards for his work leading Rotary’s relief efforts in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake there. He and his wife, Esther, are Major Donors and Benefactors of The Rotary Foundation.
Spouse of President Barry Rassin
Esther Rassin was born and raised on Long Island in the Bahamas and moved as a teenager to Nassau, Bahamas where she has been a dedicated banker for her entire working career. Starting with Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) for most of her sojourn and continuing with them after the major merger to continue with the combined entity, First Caribbean Bank.

She has actively supported her Rotarian husband by leading training sessions for other Rotarian spouses of District Governors at the International Assembly in California as well as the Zone Institute in South Carolina. Esther has always been a strong supporter of Barry’s Rotary efforts and has travelled with him extensively within their ten country District as well as other countries as part of his Director role and Trustee role. She greatly enjoyed her role as Aide to Vanathy Ravindran.

Esther also was an honorary President for the Star of The Bahamas Charity Guide, an organization that provides support to the local youth.

She is a Lifetime Honorary member of the Rotary Club of East Nassau, Bahamas as well as a recipient of the Sir Durward Knowles Humanitarian Award for her selfless service to those less fortunate. She is a kind, humble, fun loving woman With a keen eye for beauty she enjoyed her stint as a judge for the Miss Bahamas Beauty Pageant.

The gleam in her eye really is seen when she is with her grandchildren and nieces and nephews.

District 5240, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Kern Counties
Rotary Club of Moorpark

Kelly Martin Best is a native Californian from Yucaipa.  When she was 14 years old her family moved to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia with Lockheed and that began a great adventure!  Unable to attend school after grade 9 in Saudi Arabia, Kelly attended an international boarding school in Salzburg, Austria.  During her senior year in Salzburg, Kelly met her future husband, Ron.  They attend college together at the University of Utah and after graduation returned to California for Ron to attend UCLA law school.  When Ron had the opportunity to work on the Exxon Valdez oil spill case, the family, two daughters in tow, moved to Anchorage for 3 years.  Work opportunities later took them to Boise, Idaho and back to Salt Lake City before returning to California again in 2001.

With her daughters up and grown, Kelly missed the service and volunteering she experienced while her children were in school.  She joined Rotary of Moorpark (District 5240) a year ago and is now community service officer, loving giving back to her community in a meaningful way.  Travel remains an important aspect of her life and she has had the great fortune to travel with her family to Africa, Europe, Mexico and the Middle East.  She keeps busy as a realtor with C21 Troop Real Estate.  Happily, her daughters, Brittany, Megan and Claire, still live close and they get together often.  She and Ron enjoy walking their two dogs and golfing when time allows, and of course, traveling!

District 5240, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Kern Counties
Thousand Oaks (Noontime) Rotary Club

 

I was born in 1934 at the Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, as were my two brothers and my three children. I attended Pasadena public schools thru the 14th grade, and graduated from John Muir Junior College in 1954. I was in the service from 1954 – 1956 with the Army Security Agency.  After my discharge I attended Cal State LA, and graduated in 1959 with a degree in Business Administration/Accounting. I have worked in Local Government for the last 52 years, with the Cities of Monterey Park, Fontana, Thousand Oaks and Westlake Village as the Chief Financial Officer.  I joined Rotary in January 1967, and my sponsor was the City Manager of the City of Monterey Park. I have been President of Monterey Park and Thousand Oaks clubs. I have also served on many club and district committees. My wife Patty and I are Major Donors to the RI Rotary Foundation, and I am the current President of the Thousand Oaks Rotary Foundation. I have “perfect attendance” since I joined Rotary in 1967, and I have attended over 70 Rose Parades in Pasadena.

District 6710, Western Half of Kentucky
Bowling Green AM Rotary Club

 

Bob Buchanon resides in Bowling Green, Kentucky, where he was born, reared, and educated. His degree from Western Kentucky University was in Psychology and Religious Studies. He is 71 years old and has been married to Delores for 49 years. They have one son, one daughter, and three precious grandchildren.

Bob has been in the work of ministry for 51 years. He worked as the local pulpit minister for 33 years, but has spent the last 18 years as an evangelist in foreign fields. His work has literally taken him all over the world. He has preached in China, Vietnam, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Russia, Netherlands, Romania, Hungary, Italy, Sweden, Belgium, Aruba, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Belize, Mozambique, and Zambia. He has made repeat trips to many countries: 12 trips to Zimbabwe and 15 trips to South Africa. He just completed his 29th trip to the Philippine Islands, where he offers free medical clinics for children thanks to a Rotary grant from his district.

Bob has many hobbies. He travels Route 66 each summer, making hundreds of photographs each year and interviewing people for a book that he is writing on The Mother Road. He collects all sorts of Coca-Cola memorabilia and served as president of the Midsouth Coca-Cola Collectors Club for six years. He loves to collect and trade Disney pins and Hard Rock Café pins. He set a world record by being the first person to visit 250 Hard Rock Cafes around the world.

Bob has a great love for the Rotary Club. He joined the Bowling Green AM Rotary (District 6710) in 1993. He was named Rotarian of the Year for 1994-95. He served as Sergeant-At-Arms for the club for two years. He then served as chair in all avenues of service, president-elect, and president. He has attended 20 international Rotary conventions and has served as Sergeant-At-Arms at 17 of these conventions.

Rotary District 5330 – Inland Empire, Southern California
Rotary Club of Desert Hot Springs

 

Jackie Chatman has been a Rotarian since April 2015, as a member of the Rotary Club of Desert Hot Springs (California), District 5330. She is the immediate past club President, as well as Assistant Governor this year.

Jackie holds our Rotary motto, “Service Above Self” close to her heart and follows it in her dealings locally and through international projects. Jackie is one of the founding members of the Desert Hot Spring Rotary Community Garden project and has been a big part of our community’s health and wellness community, creating the Happy Healthy Halloween event as well as contributing to our Community Appreciation Day. Jackie has also become involved with our District’s Youth Service programs by participating in RYLA and PRYDE, as well as working to start a middle school Interact program. Jackie will be participating in her first VTT project in Brazil in March of 2019.  Jackie has also been part of several international trips or Mexicali and Rosarito, Mexico.

Jackie has always been service minded, including her education as a clinical family therapist, receiving her Masters Degree from Pepperdine University and holistic nutrition practitioner, earning her certification in 2010 from Bauman College.  Jackie moved to Desert Hot Springs in 2012 to open a health and wellness retreat and very quickly got involved with the city she now calls her home.

As a lifelong fan of the Rose Parade, being able to take part in decorating the float and showcasing Rotary to the world is one of my greatest gifts from Rotary.

District 5300, Southern California-Southern Nevada
Barstow Rotary Club

 

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit . . . I am Paul Anthony Courtney and I love my life. I am an entrepreneur in constant pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled. I have been a Rotarian for over 20 years and the experience has been phenomenal . . . The perception and the reality of local, regional and global opportunities in the absence immediate resources, Rotary International “Service above Self” has aided me to successfully navigate as an entrepreneur: the emphasis on TEAM rather than hierarchy, fast decisions rather than deliberation, and equity rather than cash compensation, has yielded life’s greatest moments. I have served as club president twice, have been on the board member for over 20 years and served at the District 5300 RYLA Chairman, 1999/2000.

My greatest passion is bringing a peace of mind to individuals who may have not had “a break-through” in their lives. Each and every-day I share the value of education and aide individuals to discover healthy perceptions of themselves and this pursuit, they strengthen their relationships as they embark on a growth mindset leading to peace, a feeling of being complete, being smart and that they are opportunity bound . . .

I know that no single approach to success enhancement is the right one for every individual, and being aware of this single personal fact, I have continued to pursue my education, combining it with over 30 years owning multiple businesses. My educational background includes an AA in Administration of Justice and a Doctor in Business Administration Entrepreneur/Business Management. I also have a B.A. in Psychology and a Master’s in Business Management/Human Resources.

 

District 5340, San Diego and Imperial Counties
City Heights Rotaract Club

 

Bélgica Crespo grew up, currently resides and works in the community of City Heights, San Diego. She is a proud Aztec, receiving her B.A. in Spanish with a minor in Personality and Social Psychology from San Diego State University and is pursuing her M.A. in Counseling with an emphasis in School Counseling at the University of San Diego. She is passionate about giving back to City Heights and does so by working with families in the community as the CAC Family Coordinator with the College Avenue Compact Program. Bélgica has been part of the Rotary family for 13 years.  She started as an Interactor at Hoover High School and helped charted a
community-based Rotaract Club a few years later. Bélgica is the past President of City Heights Rotaract, is currently serving as the District 5340 Rotaract Representative (DRR) and Director of Finance for Big West Rotaract MDIO.

District 5370,  Northern Alberta, part of Saskatchewan, part of British Columbia and part of Northwest Territories Canada
Rotary Club of Edmonton South (Alberta)

 

Carol Devereux has been a Rotarian since 1997 is a member of the Rotary Club of Edmonton South (Alberta), District 5370. She is serving as club president this year and is also the District 5370 Paul Harris Society Coordinator.

She is retired from a rewarding career as a physical therapist, having worked in hospital and home care settings as well as being a private practice owner. Carol’s husband Bill, also a Rotarian, passed away in 2008. She has 4 children and 4 grandchildren.

Carol has long held as true the quote “Rotary takes ordinary men and gives them extraordinary opportunities to do more with their lives than they ever dreamed possible”. Rotary has made it possible for her to participate in wheelchair distributions in Belize, an orthopaedic medical mission in Ecuador, a polio vaccination initiative in Nigeria as well as hundreds of local community projects, having met so many amazing people along the way. As a lifelong fan of the Rose Parade, being able to take part in decorating the float and showcasing Rotary to the world is just another of those opportunities.

District 5280 – Los Angeles Basin, California
Angel City Rotaract Club

Sarah Furie grew up in a Rotary family. When she was less than a year old, her Grandfather was a District Governor of a Rotary Club in Connecticut.  Leading with the “Service above Self” motto, she was a founding member of her Interact Club where she later served as President.  She continued her Rotary journey, founding a Rotaract Club at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York and was a founding member of the San Fernando Valley Rotaract Club in Los Angeles. Sarah enjoys volunteering at her district’s annual Angel City Celebration and raising money to end polio. Currently Sarah is the Digital Marketing Associate for the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA.  She is a member of the Angel City Rotaract Club and serves as the District Rotaract Representative of District 5280, Greater Los Angeles.

District 5730 – Texas Panhandle and South Plains
Rotary Club of Plainview

T. Leslie Gattis was born and raised in Plainview TX where he resides today with his wife Lori (high school sweetheart) and two children Tiffany 15 and Tyler 12. Leslie and Lori are both graduates of Texas Tech University. He is the owner of Ag Venture Solutions LLC. , a crop insurance agency and is also involved in the family business, JMS Equipment, a farm equipment dealership.

Leslie’s Rotary career started November 27th 2001 with the Rotary Club of Plainview.  Leslie has served the club in almost every capacity serving on many committees, and holding every office including President twice 2016-2017 and 2008-2009. He is currently serving his third term as the Foundation chairperson as well as his first term as Assistant Governor for District 5730 area 5. Leslie is a PHF+3 . Rotary is a big part of Leslie’s life and he tries to incorporate Rotary in to all things.

Rotary is but one of Leslie’s passions. Leslie is a “hands on father” involved with everything the family is involved with, including Church, school and whatever else fits on to the families busy calendar.

Leslie is also a dedicated long distance motorcycle rider, having achieved several awards while touring the great United States of America. Leslie has made many friends out on the road some of them are Rotarians too.

Attending the Rose Bowl Parade has been on Leslies Bucket list for many years. Riding on the Rotary Float is like getting the cherry on top.

District 5160 –  North Central California
Rotary Club of Paradise, California

 

Brian was born in 1958.  He owned a computer store from 1991 until Nov 8, 2018 (the date of the Paradise fire).  He has been in Rotary in Paradise since 1992.  He has been the Membership Chair, Bulletin Editor, Team Captain a few times, on the Board a few times, Area Membership Representative, Area Foundation Representative , Assistant Governor, First Dude of District 5160.  His wife, Pam Gray was the DG in 2014-2015 and is a Past President of the Paradise Rotary Club.

He was born in Modesto California, had two brothers (one is deceased).  His Mother passed away, but my Father is still alive, Joe Gray and he too survived the fire, but lost his home.

District 5240, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Kern Counties
Ventura Rotaract Club

 

Parker Jellison was born in Ventura California and lives in Ventura Ca. He has graduated from school of Hard Knocks with a Masters in Business and Department of Real Estate with a Real Estate License. He has worked in real estate sales for 2 years working with Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices California Properties. Were he was awarded Rookie of the year, holds the record for highest sale todate in the Ventura office, and is ranked in the top 7% in Berkshire Hathaway. He has been recognized as a Rising Star in the Real Estate industry for implementing creative marketing techniques and technology. He attributes his success and passion for service to his Mother and Father who has always been my support and biggest cheerleaders in achieving the highest reaches of success. “Success is not what you take from it, but the path that you create for other influencers behind you.”

Parker Jellison’s involvement with Rotary started with Rotaract of Ventura. He is currently the President of Ventura Rotaract where his clubs goes to Mexico every year to fund and build a house in a day. Under the direction of District Director of New Generations, Li Gibbs, he also serves on the District 5240 staff as the District Rotaract Representative where he emphasizes the importance of fellowship and legacy. He was the 2017 Interact District Conference MC. He is part of the development team that is answering Barry Rassin’s call for helping the Hurricane torn island of Tortola British Virgin Islands. He is honored to have been selected by his District Governor as a participant to walk alongside this year’s Rotary float and is looking forward to representing the Rotaractors and Rotarians of Rotary District 5240 and the during the 2019 Tournament of Roses Parade!

District 5240, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Kern Counties
Rotary Club of Westlake Village

Brian Hynes, OakHeart Country Music Festival co-founder, has been apart of the Conejo Valley community for over 20 years. Hynes plays an active role as a Westlake Village Rotarian and is also the current  owner of Borderline Bar and Grill, a local country bar which has been in the community for 25 years.

 

District 5240, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Kern Counties
Thousand Oaks (Noontime) Rotary Club

 

Patricia Jones is the current President, CFO and Co-Owner of Home Helpers In-Home Care in Thousand Oaks, California and together with her husband George have taken care of hundreds of seniors in Ventura and LA Counties for the past 10 years.
Prior to doing senior care, Patricia served as the President and CEO of the Alliance for the Arts, the official nonprofit fundraising arm of the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza and responsible for raising over 20 million dollars and establishing and funding two endowments. During her tenure, the organization was lauded by the National Endowment for the Arts as the most successful public-private partnership in the US. After 14 years in this position, she retired to work with her husband in senior home care.

About the same time as she started in home care, Patricia joined the Thousand Oaks Rotary in 2010 after much encouragement from her business associates and friends. She currently serves on the Rotary Board as Vocational Chair and Chair of the Rotary Senior Outreach program and a member of the Rotary International Committee.

Patricia rode on the Rotary Rose Parade Award-Winning Floats in 2017 and 2018 as a Rider Sponsor. In 2018, she was asked to join the Rotary Float Committee as an advisor.

Patricia also volunteers as Chair-Elect for the Conejo Valley Senior Concerns Organization. Senior Concerns is 41-year old and fully-audited 501-C3 (nonprofit) providing vital services to seniors and family caregivers in the Conejo Valley. Their services include an Adult Day Program, Meals on Wheels, a free Caregiver Support Center, and pro bono legal and financial services and much more.

Patricia had a prior career in Manufacturing and Human Resources at Rocketdyne in Canoga Park, California for 14 years in the 80’s and early 90’s. Originally from a rural area of Michigan, she also had a 9-year career at Michigan State University working in Alumni and Development Affairs and also attended there as a student. Preferring the warmer weather in Southern California, Patricia transferred her credits and completed her BS in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix and received her MBA in Business Administration from Pepperdine University in Malibu.

Over the years, Patricia has received numerous awards for community service. Just recently she and her husband George were named Philanthropists of the Year by Senior Concerns. She was named Woman of the Year by the Greater Conejo Chamber of Commerce and Woman of the Year by the American Heart Association. She was named Top 25 Most Influential People in the Conejo Valley by the Acorn Newspaper. She received the Women in Business Not-For-Profit Leadership Award by the San Fernando Business Journal. She has received numerous commendations from City of LA, Agoura Hills, Westlake Village and Thousand Oaks. Patricia also received recognition from the State of California Senate and Assembly for volunteer and community efforts. Patricia was also named by NASA as a manned Flight Awareness Honoree, recognized personally by George H. W. Bush and astronauts for Safety contributions to the space program while working at Rocketdyne.

Patricia is married to George Jones, and has step-daughter Eva Marie (Jones) Cote and step-son Joe Jones. She also has four grandsons, Ryan, Brandon, Skyler and Ocean.

District 5320 – Orange County CA from Anaheim to Newport to San Clemente
Rotary Club of Long Beach, California

 

Adriana has been a member of the Rotary Club of Long Beach since 2013.  Since that time,  Rotary has made it possible to for her to help serve and support our local community with many projects, among them scholarships, books, literacy programs, a park, a Ronald MacDonald House, and a Fisher House.  Rotary also instrumental in her visit to Rome and the Pope, to build stoves in Guatemala, and to fund grants providing 8 water projects in Mozambique.

She has enjoyed serving the Rotary Club of Long Beach as a Vice President, the Director of International Service and the Foundation Chair.  This year she is honored to serve as the Large Club Conference Chair to be held in Long Beach in 2019.

Also, serving District 5320 has been a pleasure as DG partner (2016-17) and as this year’s District Conference Chair (2018-19).

Adriana is a major donor and member of the Paul Harris Society.

Born in Connecticut, her parents moved the family to California when she was 5.  Adriana attended St Joseph High School and the University of Southern California.

Some years ago, she participated in the Rose Parade as a float driver.  She is looking forward to being a part of the parade to represent Rotary!

District Governor 2018-2019
Rotary District 5240, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Kern Counties
Rotary Club of Bakersfield East

Sandi Schwartz has been a member of the Rotary Club of Bakersfield East since 1994.  She served as the club’s President in 2013-14.  She is the current District Governor of District 5240 which represents 72 clubs and 3,300 Rotarians in the Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Kern Counties of California.

She and her husband Richard are Major Donors to The Rotary Foundation and they are Paul Harris Society members. Sandi walked the streets of India in 2004 for an National Immunization Day to End Polio that profoundly changed her life and devotion to Rotary.

Sandi has been a registered nurse for 46 years with the last 27 years in the field of home health and hospice.

She and her husband Richard are the proud parents of 7 children and 11 grandchildren.Sandi is newly retired along with her husband and enjoys all things sports and gardening as well as cooking.

District Governor 2018-2019
Rotary District 5190, California Mother Lode, Northeastern California and Northern Nevada
Rotary Club of Sparks Centennial Sunrise

Tina joined Rotary in 2005 and served as the charter secretary for the Rotary club of Sparks Centennial Sunrise, and club President in 2010-2011.  After serving as club President she went back to being the Club’s Youth Service chair while serving at the District level as Literacy chair, and then Co-Chair for Interact. Tina was an  AG for her area which has 8 clubs in 2014- 2017 and is currently serving as the District Governor for District 5190.

Tina has been a Real Estate Professional for over 30 years serving as the Broker/Owner of HomeGate Realty of NV for the last 17 years.

Tina is a Paul Harris Society member and Tina and her husband  Brian are both Paul Harris fellows and major donors, bequest society and becoming a triple crown recipient in 2018.They enjoy traveling, gardening, time with their grandchildren and all the good times they have with their friends in Rotary.

Go to the History page to see past float riders and outwalkers.