2023 Float Riders and Outwalkers

The Rotary Rose Parade Float Committee Inc. presents “Imagine Rotary” as the theme of our January 2, 2023, float.

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

Some of the riders and outwalkers have reported on club or district projects supporting  Rotary’s Area of Focus “Saving Mothers and Children.”

Rotary International President 2022-23
Rotary Club of Windsor-Roseland
Ontario, Canada

President, Rotary International 2022-23
Trustee, The Rotary Foundation, 2019-23
Vice President, Rotary International, 2016-17
Director, Rotary International, 2015-16

Jennifer is the Founder and President of Media Street Productions Inc., a twenty-five-year old, award-winning media company in Windsor, Ontario. She is a proud member of the Rotary Club of Windsor-Roseland.

Her talents have strengthened Rotary reach and impact, through many roles including as Trustee of the Rotary Foundation, RI Vice President, and co-chair of the End Polio Now: Make History Today campaign, raising funds alongside Bill and Melinda Gates and their Foundation.  Jennifer is a leader in cultivating “experiential fundraising” opportunities such as Rotary’s Polio Golf Day with Jack Nicklaus in Jupiter, Florida, USA, which raised over $5.25 million for polio eradication in one day. Or, the innovative, virtual COVID-19 #RotaryResponds event that raised money for COVID-19 relief projects and showcased Rotary’s response across the globe.  Working alongside political figures, celebrities and global leaders, she uses her voice to raise awareness and hundreds of millions of dollars to eradicate disease, support peace and provide clean water and sanitation in developing areas of the world. Her skill as an expert storyteller inspires hope and promise and motivates people to take action. She has received many honors and recognitions including Rotary’s Service above Self Award and the Citation for Meritorious Service, the YMCA Peace Medallion, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, and Wayne State University’s Peacemaker of the Year Award – a first for a Canadian.  Jennifer is married to Rotarian Nick Krayacich, a local family physician. They share a love for many things including travel, cycling, golf and relaxing at their family cottage; and they share a thirst for adventure, which has included cresting the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa.

Rotary Club of LaSalle-Centennia
Ontario, Canada

As a family physician, Nick runs his own Medical Centre in LaSalle, Ontario, and Medical Director for a local Nursing Home.  He has served as President and Honorary President of the Essex County Medical Society, on the board of directors for Hearts Together for Haiti and the board of directors at Essex Golf and Country Club. He proudly served as the President of the Rotary Club – LaSalle-Centennial in 2012-2013, and 2015-2016.

Nick served District 6400 as the Paul Harris Society Co- Chair, chaired the District Conference golf tournament, sits on the District Membership and Foundation Committee, and chairs the District Promotion committee for the Taipei convention. He has been a featured speaker at the Zone 28/29 summer success seminar, as well as being the keynote speaker at District 5950’s Foundation dinner, District 6380’s Membership Summit, District 6400 Assembly, the International Assembly, and the International Convention.

Nick is very active in his community and has spearheaded dozens of events including golf tournaments that have raised hundred’s of thousands of dollars for local groups, scholarships and most recently a tournament that benefited a local cancer centre.

He is passionate about volunteer travel and has participated as a Rotary Foundation Alumni on missions to the Brazilian Amazon, Haiti and Tanzania. He led a Vocational Training Team to Ethiopia in 2017 and again in 2018 to train medical professionals in the six areas of focus.

Nick is the recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. He was also recently recognized with the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) – Spirit of Philanthropy Award and the LaSalle Citizens Award.

Nick and his wife Jennifer Jones share a love of travel, cycling, golf and time spent at their family cottage. They also share a thirst for adventure having scaled the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, Africa in 2009.

As champions of The Rotary Foundation, they are members of the Arch C. Klumph Society, the Paul Harris Society and are charter members of the Bequest Society.

Past District 5950 Governor

Aide to Rotary International President 2024-2025

Tom Gump is a member of Rotary International’s Membership Growth Committee (2022-25) and former Rotary Coordinator.

He passionate about growing Rotary Membership through forming new and creative Rotary, Rotaract and satellite clubs. He founded, co-founded, helped form and/or inspired dozens of new and creative clubs around the world. Tom also formed a Rotary Community Corps for Refugees, which serves hundreds of refugees in Minnesota, USA.

Tom is also one of only 1,000 Rotarians in the world to be named to The Membership Society for New Member Sponsors for bringing in more than 50 active members into his club, which puts him at the Gold Level of the Society. He was the winner of 2021 “Zones 28 and 32 Individual Membership Innovation Award,” for promoting new cause-based clubs throughout the world.

Tom now inspires others around the world to form new and innovative Rotary clubs. He speaks regularly on the topic of membership at Rotary club, district, multi-district, zone and international events. He has spoken at the 2022 Rotary International Assembly and is scheduled to speak at the 2023 Rotary International Assembly. For the past few years, he has led and been a panelist on breakout session panels at Rotary International Conventions. He also led a panel at 2022 Presidential Rotary Preconvention Conference: Serve to Bring Peace. He is on the Presidents-elect Training Seminars Alliance’s list of “Popular Speakers” and serves on the organization’s Advisory Committee. He has also served as a President’s Representative.
Tom’s tips for attracting and retaining members and some of the clubs he has formed have been featured as part of cover stories in the North American Rotary magazine and he and his work has appeared in other Rotary regional magazines. Tom has also written articles for Rotary’s blog Rotary Voices.

Tom has also served an International Assembly Training Leader and the General Chair of the 2022 Rotary Zones 25B and 29 Institute.

He has served in various promotion roles for Rotary including as Zone Promotion Coordinator for the Toronto and Honolulu Conventions and for Rotary’s Rose Bowl Parade Float.
As District 5950 Governor, Tom led his district to become only the third district in the world to ever have all of its clubs designated as 100% Paul Harris Fellow Clubs; and, in so doing, his district became one of the top overall giving districts in the world. Tom and Catherine are both Major Donors to The Rotary Foundation and members of both its Paul Harris and Bequest Societies. He also loves working on local and international grants. He was the International Grant Sponsor on a 1.3 million euro grant in Italy that involved every district in the country. He led his District in raising over $642,000 for the End Polio Now campaign during his year as District Governor.

Governor District 5300
Azusa Rotary Club
Azusa California

Roger Gutierrez joined Rotary a new Rotary Club in Irwindale CA, in 1984. He served as a member of the Board of Directors and ultimately Club President in 1989.  Roger spearheaded a merger with the Rotary Club of Foothills Sunrise in Glendora CA in 1993. There, he was Club President in 2001-2002. After losing membership, he again orchestrated a merge in 2005 with the Rotary Club of Azusa CA.

Roger served as Assistant Governor from 2010 to 2013, then Executive Assistant Governor for five years. He has been District Membership Chair, Chief of Staff, RLI, P.E.T.S. Facilitator, Master SSA at District Conference and at P.E.T.S.  Additionally, Roger has served on a FOCOMETER Project with his wife Sheila who, 20 years ago, started fitting eyeglasses on children in Mexico, giving better reading ability to over 1600 children.

Roger has attained the Major Donor Level 1 and is working towards Level 2. He is passionate about the service Rotary provides to the local community and globally. Three times he has been named Rotarian of the Year.

Members of the Las Vegas After Hours Rotary Club came together recently to honor the twenty-one victims and families of the Uvalde shooting this past May by creating healing pillows for each loved one who died.

After Hours is known for its commitment to hands-on service and the pillows were handcrafted with each name embroidered in the middle and detail given to each victim’s favorite color and a personalized charm to acknowledge their dreams and passions.

For little Jose, who wanted to be a police officer, his pillow was made with a dark blue center and surrounded by patches of stars to represent badges. Several members of Las Vegas’ local law enforcement agencies donated patches from their agencies, including a small Police Chief badge, which was pinned onto Jose’s pillow.

The delivery was coordinated with the 100-year-old Uvalde Rotary Club, who welcomed After Hours members Catherine Brame and Linda Bertuzzi at their meeting before assembling at the local library to meet the families. It was an emotional experience for everyone as the pillows were delivered and stories about the victims and the extreme loss were shared with Cat & Linda.

One mom continually ran her fingers over her child’s name, another held the pillow close to her heart the entire time, and another said the pillow was going into a bedroom set aside to remember her daughter. This project not only provided some healing for the Uvalde families, but also the After Hours members who felt a need to reach out and let them know we grieved with them.

Rialto Rotary Club
District 5330, Inland Empire

Kathy Holm has been a member of the Rialto Rotary Club since 2016 and a 4-year recipient of the Paul Harris award. She is a retired teacher of grades K – 8 and taught with the Rialto Unified School District for 25 years. One of her favorite projects is the distribution of dictionaries to 3rd grade students at local elementary schools. She is proud to be a part of Rotary which focuses on “service above self” and to represent District 5330 on the Rotary float which highlights serving with “imagination and hope” to end polio now.

Doctors and staff at the clinic.

From October 2016 through October 2017, a team of twenty-five (25) Oncologists, Pathologists, Nurses, OB/GYNs, Cytology Technicians, Nurse Practitioners and other allied health professionals came together to conduct the first cervical cancer screening and training program in the Artibonite Valley, in the Central Plateau of Haiti. The focus of the grant was to not only screen between 1500 – 1800 women during the initial two weeks of the program, but to also train ten doctors and other medical professionals at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Deschapelles, Haiti to be able to conduct on-going monthly cervical cancer screening efforts, screening approximately 150 women each month. At the rate of cancer experienced in Haiti at that time, we anticipated that we would discover between 75 – 90 women out of that group of 1500-1800, with cancerous or precancerous lesions, and be able to perform a number of life-saving procedures to save their lives. In addition, the on-going monthly screenings could discover and save between 89 – 112 women annually from dying from cervical cancer, all with equipment and supplies funded by a Rotary Global Grant .

According the Haitian Cancer Society, the typical Haitian woman who dies of cervical cancer, leaves between five and eight orphaned children. These children, if not adopted by extended family members, become Restaveks, child or sexual slaves and are relegated to lives of unthinkable misery. One of the side benefits of savings women from dying of cervical cancer was that we saved numerous children from becoming Restaveks. So, in addition to saving the lives of countless mothers, we saved the lives of their potentially orphaned children.

Governor, District 5320
Fullerton Rotary Club

Dan joined the Fullerton Rotary in 2007. Served as: President of the club 2016-17, Is current President of Fullerton Rotary Foundation 2018-21, Vice President during two President Terms 2011-2013, served as club Youth Chair establishing CSUF Rotaract club partnering with Placentia Rotary, established The Fullerton Rotary Jogathon event in 2011 which has raised over 300k for End Polio and over 175K for local schools. Dan is a two time Rotarian of the year in his club.

On the District level Dan has served as the Global Grant Chair and served as the Youth Chair since 2018-20. Participated in the Zone Institute in 2017, 2021. Served as a presenter at the Large Club Conference in Long Beach 2019. Attended two RI Conferences in Seoul, Korea and Toronto. More recently Dan orchestrated Project Shield in D5320 to slow the spread of COVID-19 creating over 90,000 Shields to front line medical workers in his district.

Professionally Dan is part owner and President of PacMin Inc in Fullerton CA a company that provided visually dynamic marketing solutions to the aviation and aerospace industry and other event related industries. Dan has a 40 year history as an international sales and marketing, and operations professional in the aerospace and semiconductor industries.

Dan is married to Susan Ouweleen who is the owner of Assured Audio Visual in Anaheim. Susan is also a Rotarian, and in 2020 was named woman leader of the year by the City of Fullerton Woman’s league and also named Rotarian couple of the year from their club. Dan and Susan have 5 children Tim, Christie, Rob, Ryan, Valarie, ages ranging 12-32.

Dan enjoys international travel, skiing, golf, and general outdoor activities. Has served in leadership positions on a variety of nonprofit and youth organizations and also has been a member of other leadership development organizations.

Dan Ouweleen’s, Governor of District 5320’s  Area of Focus, “Saving Mothers and Children” International Project in Mexico. Working with the RC of Califia Ensenada Mexico (provider of logistics and volunteers) ; Dental Care for Children (provider of Equipment and supplies, Dentists) and Manteca Optometric (provide Ophthalmologist)

Dt. 5320 provides funding of $5,800 for supplies and eyeglasses handed out. It is an annual project. Provides dental and Eye care to underserved children in rural parts of Ensenada, Mexico. The 2-day clinic provided over $120,000 in services and saw over 480 children and Adults. During Covid held 1 day clinic. The Califia RC picks a school. Dental Care provides dental services and Manteca Optometric provides eye care. Local children and children from the local school attend with parents’ family and friends attending the eye clinic. Local and USA Rotarians, Interactors, exchange students and dental students from USC and Loma Linda and other USA dentists attend to provide services.

In one day anywhere from 69-110 kids are seen along with their family members and other adults for eye exams. At the last clinic 30 dental students, 32 non-Rotarians, 27 Rotarians, 9 Dentists and 1 eye doctor attended. 69 Eye exams and 69 Dental exams. With the club’s $2800 over $45,288 worth of services provided. Club Rotarians volunteered 417 hours and 7 Club members were part of the 27 that participated on scene.

District 6920 Governor 2022-2023
Perry Rotary Club
Perry, NY

Heather holds a Doctorate in Physical Therapy and has practiced for 17 years holding positions of area director and vice president of operations for outpatient and rehab organizations. Heather holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications/Journalism and worked in Alaska and Washington as a news reporter for newspaper, radio, and television before moving to Florida for graduate studies.

Heather is a proud member of the Perry Rotary Club where she has been a member since 2008 serving in numerous positions including club president in 2014-15. She has served District 6920 as Disaster Response Chair, End Polio Now Ambassador and Rotary Leadership Institute Director and Facilitator. Heather has represented Rotary International administering polio vaccines in India, as member of a Vocational Training Team to Myanmar, and as a participant in Rotary Day at United Nations. She is a Paul Harris Major Donor and Paul Harris Society member.

Heather contributes time and energy into her local community and currently serves as a Board member of the Perry Convention and Visitors Bureau. She is the mother of two daughters, and grandmother to four. She loves the outdoors and spends free time travelling, hiking, biking, scuba diving…and has jumped out of a plane a few times.

District 6920 helps fund a midwife program in rural Guatemala with plans to develop a similar program in Panama. The program was developed by District Rotarian, Dr. Miriam Rittmeyer, who recently spoke about the program at the World Health Organization “World Polio Day 2022 and Beyond” Conference. The program is an intense 12-month training where traditional midwives are taught to identify risk factors and conditions during pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum. This knowledge is being used to prevent and treat conditions to save women and babies and create an environment for more successful pregnancies. The program is funded with grants through the Rotary Foundation, District 6920, and partnering clubs in Guatemala, and Panama.

Governor, District 5650
Lincoln 14 Rotary Club

Barbara recently retired as president of the Lincoln Community Foundation after serving for twelve years. She has nearly 50 years of experience in fundraising, program development, public engagement and teaching. Prior to coming to the Lincoln Community Foundation, Barbara was president of the Foundation for Lincoln Public Schools for 18 years. She currently is on the Chancellor’s Board of Counselors for the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the Lied Center for Performing Arts Statewide Advisory Board and has served on numerous nonprofit boards in Lincoln.

Barbara was a College Board education ambassador to China. She is recipient of the Spirit of United Way award, named Woman of the Year for the Lincoln Journal Star Inspire Award and inducted into the Hall of Fame for the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Nebraska Chapter. She is past president of Lincoln Rotary Club 14 and Lincoln Rotary 14 Foundation. Barbara was selected to be Team Leader for Rotary International Group Study Exchange to India. Barb is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow and currently a member of the Paul Harris Society of The Rotary International Foundation.

Her favorite time is spent with husband, Bob, and their three children and families—just ask her about her seven grandchildren.

Martha’s Family

Kasserian Ingera? This Masai greeting, “How are the children?”, reveals the values of the Masai society. The hoped-for reply, “All the children are well.” Imagine a world where that aspirational statement is true. Rotary District 5650 is working toward supporting that goal with global grants funded by local clubs, the District and Rotary International like a recent grant funded to end child malnutrition in Zambia. Domestically, the 39 Rotary clubs in the District are supporting the children and families in their communities, like this impactful Rotary 14 grant. Funds were raised by the club and Rotarians volunteered to help build a Habitat for Humanity home for a Sudanese mother and her six children.

Martha in front of her house with the Rotarians who assisted her.

The children in Lincoln, Nebraska are served by Rotary 14, a large club that meets in the heart of downtown. As a refugee resettlement community with over 180 languages spoken in the public schools, Rotary 14 often provides grants and their volunteer services to the newcomers in partnership with direct service organizations. The Club utilizes its broad network to raise awareness and expand the reach for the direct service providers. Affordable housing was identified as a high need in a community index, Lincoln Vital Signs. With this information, Rotary 14 selected Habitat for Humanity to be a beneficiary of a recent annual fundraiser, Rise.Shine.Give. They raised $30,000 to help build a home for the organization. Martha, a refugee from Sudan, and her six children, met the guidelines to purchase the home through a low-cost mortgage provided by Habitat for Humanity. She’s lived in Lincoln for 16 years and works second shift at a meat packing facility. She is a role model for other women in her community. Martha and her children, Rotary 14 and Habitat volunteers worked side by side to put up siding, paint and plant trees. At the dedication, the city, another partner, was represented by the Mayor. Rotary 14 president and club members and the 5650 Rotary District Governor all participated along with Habitat for Humanity and friends and relatives of the family. And how are the children? With her six smiling children gathered around her, Martha held up a new quilt square that simply stated, “Home.”

 

Governor, District 5180
Laguna Sunrise Rotary Club

Karen Cendro had her Rotary moment before she became a Rotarian. Husband Mike had been a Rotarian for about ten years and was President Elect of Point West Rotary. This meant attending the RI Conference in Bangkok. During the trip, they had the opportunity to participate in a water project in a small Cambodian village. That day changed how Karen saw the world. She was inspired by the cultural differences and comforted by the things in life that are consistent across cultures. The young children of the village were riding bicycles with straws in the spokes just like we did with baseball cards back in the day. Upon returning home, Karen immediately joined Rotary. Passionate about working with youth, the Rotary Youth Exchange program felt right. She served as the Youth Services Chair for her club and the RYE District Outbound Coordinator.

Karen and family have hosted students from Japan, Italy, Bolivia, Brazil and Peru. Karen served as President of the Rotary Club of Laguna Sunrise in 2018-19. During her term, the club focused on at risk youth. Thinking out of the box, the club created a community based Interact club at their local Teen Center.  Karen and her family live in Elk Grove, California where they enjoy cooking, gardening, golf, and friends. Karen and Mike’s son, Kevin, a RYLA alum, graduated from Regis University in Denver, Colorado in 2021. Mike and Karen, recently sold their janitorial franchising business and now have more time to be passionate Rotarians.

“Chick in Crisis” Pregnancy & Parenting Family Resource Center District Project

Founded in 1997 in her garage, Inez Whitlow had a passion and a knack for helping others turn their lives around. A survivor who had overcome homelessness, the single mom of four graduated the welfare-to-work program and put herself through six year of night school. What she started as a hobby soon turned into a full-time job when she realized that teen moms did not have the grounding or support, they needed to better themselves. Full of tough love and encouragement, Inez set out to make a difference in young girls’ lives. Fast forward twenty-five year and CiC has touched the lives of upwards of 75,000 men, women, and children.

What started out as a passion to just help teen moms and women, or “chicks in crisis,” CiC has transformed into an essential pregnancy and parenting resource center for moms, dads, children, and birth mothers with a mission of helping ALL families cross the finish line. Located on a 2.5-acre ranch in Elk Grove, CA, Chicks in Crisis is a bustling, yet peaceful oasis, offering services to anyone is parenting and enrolled in school every thirty days with diapers, wipes, formula, hygiene, and clothing as long as family size is maintained, and no subsequent children are born while needing assistance. Education is the key! The goal at CiC is the clients can support their families without outside assistance; therefore, the finish line is graduating high school and going on to finish college or a trade school so that they become responsible, self-sufficient parents and are able to raise their children in a healthy, happy environment. In the past three years, 89 clients have graduate from high school, college, or a trade school.

The Rotary Club of Laguna Sunrise (my club) is an ongoing benefactor of Chicks in Crisis. Our annual fundraisers, along with our diaper/formula drive help support CiC with essentials for moms and newborns.

District 5300
Interact Adviser at Granite Hills High School, Apple Valley

Zayra is a Family Center Coordinator for Apple Valley Unified School District. Her proudest accomplishments have been assisting in the establishment of a Family Center at Granite Hill High School and development of the AVUSD Food Pantry. She just recently celebrated 15 years with the school district. It has been her honor for the past six years to be the Granite Hills High’s Interact Club Advisor which is sponsored by the Rotary of Apple Valley. GHHS Interact Motto is “Community and Leadership” and our focus has been to literacy events, hygiene kits for our family centers, and supporting Rotary events. We believe when we support the love of reading we help in their educational journey.

Zayra Hall is married to Michael Hall and they have two grown children. Both our daughters graduated from Granite Hills High School and have their Masters in Special Education. Casey Hall received her Masters in Education plus Education Specialist from UC Riverside and works for San Bernardino County School District. Cassandra Hall received her Masters from Vanderbilt and is the Special Education Adult Transition Teacher at Granite Hills High School.

Our club has supported and assisted in developing events that donate hygiene kits to give to help our families centers, and community family events. The Interact students have all agreed that their favorite Rotary event has been the food packing event. The food that is packed goes to our AVUSD Food Pantry, local fire department, and sheriff station. 

Governor, District 5240
Goleta Noontime Rotary Club

Scott joined the Rotary Club of Goleta Noontime in 2013 and served as the club’s 30th President in 2016-17. During his year as club President, the club was #1 in the District for per capita giving to The Rotary Foundation annual fund.

Scott has served Rotary District 5240 as Communications Director in 2015-16, Assistant Governor in 2017-18, Chief Operating Officer in 2018-19, District Administrator in 2019-20, President of the Rotary District 5240 Charitable Foundation and PRLS Director in 2019-21 and is serving as Rotary District 5240 Governor in 2022-23. He is the District’s youngest governor. In addition, Scott has served as an Assistant Rotary Public Image Coordinator for Zone 26 – which covers 16 Districts in the Western United States – in 2019-21.
Scott is a Multiple Paul Harris Fellow, Paul Harris Society Member, Major Donor Level 2, member of the Bequest Society, PolioPlus Society and a District 5240 Triple Crown Donor Charter member. In addition, Scott is a PRLS and Master PRLS Graduate.

Scott is the CEO of Synergy Computing, Inc., an IT Managed Service Provider in Santa Barbara, CA and is the author of the book “Hassle-Free Computer Support” and his second book “39 Seconds: How to Protect Your Business Data, Customers, and Your Money From Cyberattacks that Occur Every 39 Seconds” is due out soon. Scott is a Certified HIPAA Security Professional and member of FBI InfraGard.

In his spare time, Scott enjoys traveling with Rotary friends and meeting new ones around the world, photography and amateur (ham) radio.

Scott resides in Santa Barbara, CA where he was born and raised.

Governor, District 5500
Catalina Rotary Club, Tucson, AZ

Raised in the Detroit area, Anita earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in mathematics and mathematics education respectively from Wayne State University in Detroit and her Ph.D. in Education from St. Louis University. Anita retired in December 2012 from Penn State University after serving for 10 years as Chancellor of the DuBois campus. In appreciation for her service the campus and the local community established an endowment for children and youth in Dr. McDonald’s name because they knew serving this population was very important to Anita. Prior to her position at Penn State, she served in senior administrative positions at the University of Arizona and at the University of Missouri in St. Louis.

Anita’s primary volunteer work is in Rotary and the ALS Association, Arizona Chapter. Professionally, she serves on the Board of Directors of Walden University and is a Trustee for Columbia College Hollywood.

Anita has been a Rotarian since 1998 when she was invited to join the Catalina Rotary Club of Tucson. She served as Club President and Public Image chair. At the District level she has served on the Training team, was the first Awards chair in 2017, co-chair of the 2018 District Assembly on Leadership, and as Assistant Governor and Annual Fund Giving chair for the past two years. Anita is a level three major donor and a member of the Paul Harris Society.

Anita’s husband, Bob, passed away in 2016 from ALS. They have one daughter and one son living in Denver and one son in Washington, D.C. and now have seven grandchildren. In addition to the joy of being with her grandchildren, she loves music, live theatre, dancing, traveling, and attending sports events.

 

A two-year Rotary Global Grant (2019-2021) to improve healthcare in indigenous villages in Sonora, Mexico brought lifesaving help to remote, rural areas, especially during Covid-19. It’s efforts, spearheaded by Catalina Rotary (Tucson) in D5500 and Rotary Club of Navojoa (Mexico) in D4100 brought timely and culturally appropriate intervention to these remote areas, often making the difference between life, death, and permanent disability. Grant components included the provision of medical supplies and telemedicine equipment to each of 6 indigenous communities. It also trained local men and women from each village to become healthcare workers.

Another very important component of this grant involved ongoing training for the whole community (in creative formats such as puppet festivals) that focused on preventing disease and treating illness and injury. Mothers were especially involved in these training efforts as they are typically the ones in a community who care for the sick and educate their children and families in matters of health and wellness. Pregnant women were especially helped to prepare for a healthy pregnancy, delivery, and subsequent care for their child. Until this grant, it was not uncommon for women to seek medical help only in their last months of pregnancy. By the end of this Global Grant, it was apparent that this model of healthcare provision and training offered real promise for addressing the problem of few doctors, difficult terrain over considerable distances, and the medical care needed by men, women, and children in far-flung communities.

Assistant Governor, District 5330
Hemet Rotary Club

Dan Cortese joined the Rotary Club of Hemet in 2018. He first served as the club’s membership chair before being nominated and elected as club president for the Rotary year 2020-2021.

Dan has served as a District 5330 Assistant Governor since 2021 and is a member of the district’s A/V Team. Dan also serves as a co-chair for the district’s Public Image Team. Most recently, Dan was awarded the “Rising Star” award for District 5330. Dan is also an executive board member for the Valley Community Pantry in Hemet, and serves on the advisory board at the Therapeutic Horsemanship Equestrian Center (T.H.E. Center).

Dan was born in Garden Grove, California and was raised in Hemet, California. He is married to his wife, Alison, and has two sons, Brayden and Gavin. In his spare time, Dan loves to coach both of his sons’ baseball teams. Dan works as an Environmental Compliance Coordinator for the City of Hemet specializing in water conservation, water quality, and stormwater pollution prevention programs. Dan has his Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership.

Doctors and staff at the clinic.

From October 2016 through October 2017, a team of twenty-five (25) Oncologists, Pathologists, Nurses, OB/GYNs, Cytology Technicians, Nurse Practitioners and other allied health professionals came together to conduct the first cervical cancer screening and training program in the Artibonite Valley, in the Central Plateau of Haiti. The focus of the grant was to not only screen between 1500 – 1800 women during the initial two weeks of the program, but to also train ten doctors and other medical professionals at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Deschapelles, Haiti to be able to conduct on-going monthly cervical cancer screening efforts, screening approximately 150 women each month. At the rate of cancer experienced in Haiti at that time, we anticipated that we would discover between 75 – 90 women out of that group of 1500-1800, with cancerous or precancerous lesions, and be able to perform a number of life-saving procedures to save their lives. In addition, the on-going monthly screenings could discover and save between 89 – 112 women annually from dying from cervical cancer, all with equipment and supplies funded by a Rotary Global Grant .

According the Haitian Cancer Society, the typical Haitian woman who dies of cervical cancer, leaves between five and eight orphaned children. These children, if not adopted by extended family members, become Restaveks, child or sexual slaves and are relegated to lives of unthinkable misery. One of the side benefits of savings women from dying of cervical cancer was that we saved numerous children from becoming Restaveks. So, in addition to saving the lives of countless mothers, we saved the lives of their potentially orphaned children.

Governor District 5280
Inglewood Rotary Club

Born in Chicago, the oldest of six children, Olivia learned leadership, management, organization, accountability, and responsibility while growing up in Los Angeles, California. She attended Pepperdine University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in math and psychology and a Masters degree in Administration and Management of Schools.

Olivia taught high school algebra and geometry before serving as a school administrator with LAUSD, a manager in the auto industry and as the Executive Director of a nonprofit agency in the real estate industry. She currently works in the real estate industry, for 20 years, now specializing in the commercial sector.

Olivia strives for leadership roles as her way to be of service. As President of the Rotary Club of Inglewood, she developed interest in the business of Rotary and grew active on the district level. Attending our District’s Humanitarian Trips, she saw first-hand her Foundation donations at work across the borders. It is Olivia’s belief that if we are sincere
about the work we do as Rotarians through Rotary, the Rotary Foundation should be the first charity on our list for giving.

The greatest gift given to Olivia, by Rotary, is her beloved husband. “What a joy to have a life partner who shares my Rotary values and experiences. We work and play with the most unlikely folks from communities all over the world, developing friendships and partnerships, while helping those in need.”

Olivia served on the board of directors of Music Mends Minds and as an ambassador for MMM and the Rotary Rose Parade Float Committee.

Governor District 6710
Greensburg, KY Rotary Club

Nancy is a 30-year Rotarian who will tell you “I’m in Rotary because Rotary is in me!”

She has been a member of the Rotary Club of Greensburg KY. since 1992, when she was inducted as the Club’s first female member. She went on to become the Club’s first female President, serving two terms in 1998-2000.

Nancy is the sitting district governor of Rotary District 6710, and has served as Assistant Governor, District Polio Plus chair, District Awards chair, and a member of MSPETS executive committee and 2023 Zone 30/31 Institute committee.

As an active certified public accountant, Nancy continues to manage the private CPA practice which she founded in 1991. She is highly active in her community, serving on several Boards. Nancy and her husband, fellow Rotarian PDG Otha Ray Stearman (2019-20), have been blessed with wonderful children, grandchildren and two Border Collies.

Nancy is a Major donor, member of the Bequest Society, a multiple Paul Harris Fellow and a member of both the Paul Harris Society and the Polio Plus Society.

To recognize her passion for Rotary’s work to End Polio Now, Nancy was presented the 2020/21 “Regional Service Award for a Polio-Free World” by the Trustees of the Rotary Foundation for her efforts in promoting polio eradication.

 

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