Welcome our newest members
I grew up in the Soviet Union. I was born in Almaty, a capital of Kazakhstan, one of the then15 Soviet Republics. Upon graduating high school, I went to Moscow to study physics at the University of Moscow. I went through a 5.5 years of study there (equivalent to Ph.D in physics and Masters in Mathematics). I taught physics in high school. I then met and got married to an American who was in Moscow teaching English-speaking children of diplomats.
When I came to the US, my husband told me “Everything is possible in America!” “Really?!” So upon arrival I switched to the study of Russian literature and earned a Masters degree from Florida State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. Since then I had a chance to teach Russian literature and mathematics at Silicon Valley colleges and universities (Stanford, University of California, Santa Cruz and West Valley College). I retired from college teaching 10 years ago.
I also became a certified yoga instructor in 2000 and have been teaching yoga ever since.
About 5 years ago I became interested in Qigong, a Chinese health system. I became a certified Qigong instructor and have been teaching Qigong as well. Now during the pandemic, I teach my Qigong/yoga classes via Zoom.
Senior Organizational Strategist serving small to medium size organizations with rejuvenation strategies for Additional Revenues, Strategic Partnerships, Current Technologies, Relationships, Innovative Thinking, and Public and Private Sector funding. Also a pro bono advisor to a series of Non-Profits and Youth Groups.
CANADA TRADE LINK CORP., TORONTO NOV 2018 to PRESENT Helped to incubate and managing a Global Private Trade Missions group for bi-directional trade and representation for Canadian companies to carry out trade and trade related relationships with over twelve countries around the world. The company carries Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) to invest into social projects in the target regions Canada Trade Link is planning to operate working with local Rotary Clubs and Rotarians using portions of revenue generated through this Social Enterprise.
GOVERNMENT AND PRIVATE FUNDING/STRATEGY ADVISOR TRINITY TECH INC., TORONTO
GOVERNMENT FUNDING HELP/STRATEGY ADVISOR Hybrid Solutions, BRAMPTON
Active Rotarian with a title of Assistant Governor and Past President of Rotary Club of Mississauga City Centre Board Member, Rotary Action Group for Microfinance and Community Building (RAGM) Current Strategic Partner Lead and Conference Director for RAGM Incoming Chair for the Year 2020-21 RAGM Past Board Member, Peel Dufferin Catholic Family Services (2013)
Michael Corbin has nearly twenty years of experience in the international financial services and trade arena, the majority with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of Finance and Insurance Industries. He has extensive knowledge of financial services in the U.S. and globally, with expertise in the asset management, insurance and private pension sectors. He has been invited to speak on insurance and pension issues at the OECD’s technical seminars on Insurance and Private Pensions in Moscow and worked with various governments and industry associations in the CEE region. Most notably, he established and managed innovative programs in cooperation with U.S. industry to train Russian, Georgian and other Eurasian senior staff.
Dr. Alma Jadallah
Dr. Alma Abdul Hadi Jadallah is an internationally recognized scholar practitioner in conflict prevention and mitigation. As an educator, she teaches graduate level courses in conflict analysis and resolution. She also brings extensive organizational development experience to her work coaching parties and groups to identify shared interests and enhance their abilities and skills towards collaborative attitudes and behaviors. Dr. Abdul Hadi Jadallah’s research writings and practice focus on political and organized violence, the role of third-party roles, gender, and culture. She has worked extensively in the Arab world and on regional Middle East issues. In the US her work focuses on race, ethnicity and group dynamics in the workplace and communities. In 2019, Dr. Abdul Hadi Jadallah joined the Eminent and Expert Persons advising the ASEAN Regional forum advising on preventive diplomacy and on women peace and security (WPS). Past positions included serving with the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) as the Quaker International Affairs Representative to the Middle East. In 2014 – 2015 she served as the Regional Expert and Coordinator, Panel of Experts on Yemen established pursuant to Security Council resolution 2140 (2014), Department of Political Affairs, United Nations. Prior to this role, she served with the Special Advisor to the Secretary General Jamal Ben Omar (SASG) in Yemen during the Yemeni National Dialogue. On Syria, she was involved in Track II diplomatic efforts led by the UN. She is the recipient of several business awards and honors including the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award for the School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University.
Marilyn King is a two-time Olympian in the five event Pentathlon. Her 20-year athletic career includes five national titles and a World Record. An automobile accident in 1979 rendered her unable to train physically for her third Olympic Team. Using only mental training techniques she placed second at the Olympic trials for the 1980 Moscow Games.
This extraordinary experience and resulting research led to a 35-year career as an expert in the field of exceptional human performance. Her work focuses on systemic change in the areas of business, education and peace.
Marilyn’s participation in an international, five- year think tank on the role of business in peace building led to a career conducting programs for senior executives with global responsibilities at Fortune 500 companies. Her corporate clients include: AT&T, IBM, Ikea, Microsoft, Nokia, Oracle, Starbucks and Wells Fargo.
Marilyn has also presented at over 200 national and international education conferences with academicians and researchers who are designing the schools of the future. Her most pioneering work, a joint Russian-American venture called “The Peace Team” resulted in two opportunities to speak at the United Nations and an invitation to create a U.N. sub-committee on the role of sport in peace building.
In 2017 Marilyn was honored with the Distinguished Alumna Award from Cal State University East Bay and a Lifetime Achievement Award from The Visioneers International Network in Vancouver Canada. Marilyn has also been featured in numerous articles and books including, Enlightened Power- How Women Are Transforming the Practice of Leadership by Lin Coughlin, Marilyn’s television and radio interviews include The News Hour with Jim Lehrer and NBC Nightly News.
Teresa Felix, Club Treasurer
Mark H. Fowler
President of Stowe Management Corporation and CoCEO of Revolutionary Conversations, LLC, Mr. Fowler is a business growth and corporate re-engineering expert, author, writer, business educator, public speaker and change leader. He specializes in transitioning companies from challenge to achievement by focusing both on enhancing revenues and profits and instituting cultural and interactive processes that substantially increase collaboration and engagement–helping companies to achieve a whole new level of success.
Having worked with more than 150 companies with all forms of challenges and impediments, he’s helped turn them around, institute rapid growth, develop/implement sophisticated systems and procedures, raise working capital, merge, acquire and demerge organizations, while always focusing on well-being of the business and all stakeholders. A leader in the “business engagement” field for decades, he has developed systems and communication protocols, stressing the importance of team empowerment and personal development. By focusing on helping business owners and team members to be on the same page, he has aided them in succeeding with incredible achievements, unattainable in the current competitive cultural business environments that are all too prevalent in today’s reality.
He is a member of the AICPA and the California CPA Society (“Society”). He served as a director of the Society as a State Committee Chair; he also served as a Trustee for the California CPA Education Foundation. He is a Board member and Vice President of the United Nations Association of Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo. An active presenter, he has written more than 100 articles and created and presented more than 35 courses. With his emphasis on “business engagement”, he created and designed a dialogue and conversation system called the S.H.A.R.E.™ Tools, which are the basis of the award winning book he co-authored with Noal McDonald and Barbara Gaughen-Muller: Revolutionary Conversations: The Tools You Need for the Success You Want: http://www.revolutionaryconversations.net
Barbara Gaughen-Muller, Club President
Founder of Gaughen Global Public Relations, an author, a business leader and a public speaker. B.A. from San Diego State University and Masters work in Organizational Behavior from the University of California, Santa Barbara and San Diego State University. Radio show host, Inspiring Conversations with business, educational and spiritual leaders, broadcasts worldwide from the Radio for Peace International in Costa Rica. President of the United Nation Association, Santa Barbara Tri-County chapter; and the past president of the Book Publicists of Southern California. www.unasb.org ; Global public relations consultant, author, speaker and columnist for Going Organic Magazine; SEE (Surgical Eye Expeditions) International Board of Directors. Good Morning World daily email www.goodmorningworld.org ; Barbara’s late husband, Dr. Robert Muller and she wrote 7500 Ideas and Dreams for Peace and a Better World which is shared in a FREE daily email to subscribers in 5 languages world wide.
Co-Author, Revolutionary Conversations, The Tools You Need for the Success You Want introduces not just a concept but a new way of communicating: the S.H.A.R.E.™ Tools
Emmanuel Itier, Past Club President
An experienced feature film Producer, Emmanuel Itier directed the thriller ‘Tell me no Lies’ (2000) and the horror film ‘Scarecrow’ (2002). He completed in 2012 the Peace documentary ‘The Invocation’ narrated by Sharon Stone and with Desmond Tutu, HH The Dalai Lama, Deepak Chopra and many others worldwide peace activists. Emmanuel also produced the films ‘Wildflower’ (1999) and ‘Scarecrow Slayers’ (2003) among other pictures. He also acted as a co-producer and financing consultant: ‘Johnny Mnemonic’, ‘Another 9 1/2 weeks’, ‘Shattered Image’ (1998), ‘The Dentist’ (1996), and ‘Progeny’(1999). In 2013 Mr. Itier executive-produced a Drama filmed in Hong Kong: ‘Red Passage’ which entered the Festival circuit in 2014. He also directed and co-wrote an action picture for The Asylum: ATTILA with ultimate fighter star Cheik Kongo. Emmanuel Itier has also been a successful Music and Film journalist for both Rock Magazines, French TV networks and the internet for the last twenty five years. Finally Itier has been a buyer for various French Film distribution companies for the last twenty years. He was on the board of directors of the Santa Barbara Film Festival for a decade and he writes poetry. He is also very involved with charities and the political world. He grew up in France and moved in the USA twenty five years ago. He resides in Santa Barbara, California with his wife and three sons. Finally Emmanuel Itier released in late 2013 another inspiring documentary Celebrating Women around the planet: ‘FEMME-Women healing the World.’ This Documentary earned several Awards around the World. Mr. Itier is now directing five documentaries in order to keep making Peace, One movie at a time. This new series is called The Oneness Collection: Documentaries for a Conscious Humanity.
Stephanie Phillips, ROP Rim of the World High School
Dr. Marilyn Tam
Marilyn Tam, Ph.D. is a Speaker, Author, Consultant, Board Certified Executive/Corporate Coach. She was formerly the CEO of Aveda Corp., President of Reebok Apparel and Retail Group; Vice President of Nike Inc. and also a successful entrepreneur who has built four companies.
Marilyn is a contributing writer to Huffington Post on how to live a happy, healthy, successful, and dynamically balanced life. Brand Channel lists her as one of the four most prominent names in Ethical Business globally. She is one of the top 100 leadership speakers in the world according to Inc Magazine. Brand Channel lists her as one of the four most prominent names in Ethical Business globally.
Her life is an inspiring example of what can be achieved if one followed their dreams. She grew up as an abused and neglected child in Hong Kong. She left home as a teen to come to America alone. Following her life mission, she achieved international business and humanitarian success.
Marilyn was recognized as one of the Top 30 Female Entrepreneurs in the USA by Fempreneur magazine. Jack Canfield detailed her work in his book on the strategies for success, “The Success Principles”.
Among her numerous recognition and awards is the Artemis Award from the Greek Government and Euro-American Women’s Council, with her image on a Greek postage stamp. Marilyn is featured in many documentary movies including GLOW Project, The Compass, Tapping the Source, and FEMME for her accomplishments and inner wisdom.
Marilyn’s award winning and top rated business book, “The Happiness Choice”, shows how and why happiness is crucial for business productivity and success, and for your physical, emotional, spiritual and financial health. Her book, “How to Use What You’ve Got to Get What You Want”, is published in six languages.
Members joining since June 24, 2016
Executive Director, Cities4Peace
Mandar is a Visiting Scholar in the School for Conflict Analysis & Resolution at George Mason University. He is also a Board Member of the Charter for Compassion, an international non-profit organization that promotes compassion in the world.
In 2016, Mandar started the From India With Love initiative to reinvigorate the ancient message of nonviolence (or Ahimsa) in the world. Aligned with this mission, in Oct 2018, Mandar hosted the inaugural World Summit for Countering Violence & Extremism that brought together peace activists and law enforcement executives to promote peace and compassion in the world.
Until 2016, Mandar worked for 17 years at Shell International. In his last role, he managed Shell’s prestigious GameChanger social innovation program investing in ideas that create shared value – both business value and social impact. Mandar is an acclaimed expert on leadership, entrepreneurship and social innovation and has spoken on these topics at many prestigious forums including TEDx, Wharton Business School, Social Innovation Summit, Sustainable Brands, London Business School, etc. He is also the winner of the prestigious Ashoka League of Intrapreneurs for designing and delivering an innovation learning program at Shell to over 2000 colleagues using meditation practice.
Estera Borscha, M.A. L.C.S.W
- Chair/President of Mediators Beyond Borders International, Los Angeles Chapter.
- Estera is also the chair of the Sustainable Development Goals Action Group, under the United Nations Working Group for MBBI.
- Board of Directors, United Nations Association Inland Empire Division. .
- Estera is currently a Clinical Director overseeing 5 mental health programs. Estera has extensive experience as a trainer in various departments such as: Mental Health, Wraparound, USPS (federal employees), Orange County Courts, Therapeutic Behavioral Services and Orange County Board of Supervisors.
Lisa Broderick is an accomplished senior executive whose career has been defined by understanding how technology impacts society and changes behavior. From her early days spent at Apple Computer over 30 years ago, Lisa has often been at the forefront of using technology to transform people and social behavior. Today, Lisa continues to work in areas such as diversity and inclusion, greater peace and toward socially impactful initiatives including Police2Peace.
Josiah Bruny, Music Changing Lives
Josiah Bruny, is the CEO and Founder of Music Changing Lives, (MCL), a non-profit organization focused on reducing our communities’ dropout rates through innovative music, and art after-school enrichment programs. Josiah’s vision is to build new-age community centers around the nation for disadvantaged youth who are aspiring to learn what it takes to compete in the entertainment industry and to teach them how to market themselves to become successful entrepreneurs. Prior to establishing MCL, Josiah created and led the independent record label, Higher Ground Records, LLC to become one of the leading underground labels in Southern California.
Josiah was raised in Altadena, California for most of his young life, but now considers the Inland Empire his home. Due to his hard work and dedication for the youth in our community, Josiah has been honored with several notable awards including the Daily Point of Light Award, Executive Director of the Year from the Community Foundation, and Cal State University of San Bernardino Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award to name a few honoring his efforts of service through Music Changing Lives. In 2012, Josiah collaborated with the Moreno Valley Unified School District, (MVUSD) to establish what is now known as the “Changing Lives Showcase,” a performance-art competition between four schools in MVUSD.
David Combs is the Midwest outreach specialist for the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. He builds coalitions and partnerships among UCS members and other groups to push for United States leadership on nuclear weapons issues. Prior to joining UCS, David organized in the Midwest with the ONE Campaign, a nonprofit that advocates for legislation in support of U.S. global aid, and served on the board of the local United Nations Association chapter in Chicago. David holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Roosevelt University.
- Ann Dinan, founder of the Deeper LeadershipInstitute — http://deeperleadershipinstitute.com/
creator of “Peace Leadership” http://deeperleadershipinstitute.com/ann-dinans-peace-leadership/
- Ann is the co-convener of the peace leader ship affinity group for the International Leadership Association and has organized multiple international peace leadership conferences.
Dr. Jack Friedlander
Jack Friedlander has 40 years of community college experience in a range of research and senior level administrative positions from dean, to executive vice president of educational programs, to acting president. He contributed to the college being selected by the Aspen Institute as the best community college in the nation, the number one community college by Value College, and College Choice’s selection as the best community college in the nation.
Dr. Friedlander has authored or co-authored over 80 articles, monographs, and assessment instruments. He has given over 70 presentations at state and national conferences. Dr. Friedlander has received a number of state and national awards for his research, administrative support for students, faculty and staff with disabilities, and contributions to community colleges. He has authored or co-authored grants in excess of 70 million dollars from a wide range of agencies including the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the U.U. Department of Education, the Fund for Improvement in Post-secondary Education, the Ford Foundation, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, and the Spencer Foundation.
Dr. Friedlander was selected by the Obama White House as one of 40 community college leaders as a champion of Change in Community Colleges. He served on a committee to advise the Obama senior higher education and labor policy staff on policies and proposed legislation pertaining to the nation’s community colleges. Dr. Friedlander was one of 30 people invited by the Gates Foundation to help it develop its plan to improve the effectiveness of community college developmental education programs. He received his BA in psychology from Florida International University, MA from UCLA in curriculum and instruction, and PhD from UCLA in Higher Education.
Dr. Friedlander currently serves on the boards for the United Nations Association-Santa Barbara-Tri-Counties, the Channel Cities Club, the Committee on Foreign Relations and, Get-Focused-Stay Focused Program. He is a member of the World Business Academy, the Global Citizens Club, and the Citizens Planning Committee. His interests include public policy, the arts, film, human rights, and swimming.
RESEARCHER, CENTER FOR TRANSBOUNDARY WATER MANAGEMENT
Dr. Suleiman Halasah is a Research Associate at the Centre for International Studies at Oxford University and Co-director of the Jordan-Israel Center for Community, Environment, and Research (JICCER) at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, Dr. Halasah is director of the Jordanian consulting firm, i.GREENs, which focuses on energy, water and environment. As the Jordanian partner, he was part of the founding group behind the Arava Power Company, a leading solar energy company operating in Israel and other countries.
Dr. Halasah holds a PhD in Desert Studies from Ben-Gurion University in the Negev, Israel; an Masters of Science from BGU and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Jordan in Amman.
Philip M. Hellmich is a thought leader in creating a new narrative of peace, from inner peace to international peacebuilding. As the Director of Peace at The ShiftNetwork, Philip is the chief architect of the Summer of Peace, Yoga DaySummit and WorldPeace Library – online global forums that seek to inspire, inform and involve people in the many ways that peace is emerging around the world. He also is the co-lead faculty of the PeaceAmbassador Training. These peace programs provide skills training, inspirational stories, and powerful solutions from the world’s top peacebuilders, social change leaders, scientists, Indigenous elders and spiritual mentors. Philip has dedicated most of his life to global and local peacebuilding initiatives, including 14 years with Search for Common Ground. He also served for four years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Sierra Leone where he lived and worked in small remote bush villages. A published writer, Philip is author of God and Conflict: A Search for Peace in a Time of Crisis with a Foreword by Lama Surya Das.
Philip serves as a board member of the Rasur Foundation International and adviser to The Global Peace Initiative of Women, The Gaiafield Project, American Museum of Peace and The Oracle Institute. Philip is a member of the Evolutionary Leaders Circle, a project of The Source of Synergy Foundation. He is a member of the Rotary eClub of World Peace. He is also long-time meditation practitioner and enjoys studying and teaching about the parallels between inner and outer peace.
An internationally known artist, author, and speaker, Irene Kai was born and raised in Hong Kong. At age 15, she came to New York City Chinatown with her American born mother. She received her BFA from the School of Visual Arts in NYC and MFA from the Royal College of Art in London and was an Instructor of Design at Penn State University. She currently teaches Design and Painting at the Rogue Community College in Southern Oregon. Irene posed for George Segal and her images are now in the Whitney Museum and the San Diego Museum of Art. Her work has been shown in galleries in London, New York, Los Angeles and southern Oregon. Irene was also a West Coast Regional Karate Champion at age 50. She traveled extensively to China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Morocco, Yemen, Egypt, Italy, England, France, Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and Mexico.
Irene served as president of the Southern Oregon China Connection and coordinated the Oregon Legislative and Business Delegation for Trade Mission to China. She also is a longtime supporter of peace initiatives. Irene designed the logo for the Culture of Peace Initiative (CPI), a United Nations Peace Messenger Organization, and her inspiring Peace Dove image hangs in the United Nations building in New York City. The logo and CPI website are used around the world and highlighted annually on the International Day of Peace in September. Irene co-founded the leading edge Ashland Culture of Peace Commission and is actively engaged in the commission’s local-global activities. She also leads the initiative to bring the World Peace Flame Monument to Southern Oregon in September 2018.
Irene’s two published books – The Golden Mountain: Beyond the American Dream and What Do You See? have been chosen for course studies in major universities and have won Independent Publisher Awards for Best book of the year, for Multicultural Non-fiction, and Freedom Fighter Award for promoting free speech, racial and religious tolerance.
Writer/Producer ARTHUR KANEGIS is President and founder of One Films, LLC, a motion picture development and production company dedicated to producing uplifting entertainment that makes a difference. He also founded Future WAVE, a non-profit organization that aims to shift our culture of violence to a culture of peace. He owns all rights to Garry Davis story. Just One! is a labor of love for Kanegis, who has spent seven years researching and developing the Garry Davis Story, including taping extensive interviews in France, Germany and the US not only with Garry, but also with Esther Peter-Davis, Ginia Davis and others who shared in the adventures.His production/writing credits include:
Dr. M.D. Kinoti
Dr.M.D. Kinoti is a Professor of Nonprofit / Nongovernmental (NP/GO) Management in the Anderson College of Business and Computing at Regis University, Denver – Colorado. He teaches graduate courses in Leadership & Management, International Community Development, Global Poverty, Social Entrepreneurship, Sustainability, and Peacebuilding/Conflict Resolution for Leaders.
Kinoti has over 25 years of professional experience in community development and leadership development. Before going into academia, he worked with several International NGOs including World Vision International in rural and urban community development in East Africa; with the United Methodist Church in youth and community development in Los Angeles; and with Lifewater International in global Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) programs.
Dr. Kinoti’s expertise is in community needs assessment, monitoring, and evaluation, report writing, and development technical project advice. He also advises on cultural and political realities of establishing development projects. He is a Rotarian and has served as a Rotary International Cadre of Technical Experts for the last 4 years. In this role, he has helped review Rotary global grants, assisted in reviewing the program of scale applications, and visited several Rotary programs around the world to carry out feasibility and sustainability evaluations, including the establishment of the Rotary peace Center at Makerere university, Uganda. He has also been active in coordinating the online PCPR discussion groups. He was recently appointed to the Rotary Peace Centers Committee for a 2-year term – 2020 – 2022.
Dr. Kinoti researches sustainable livelihoods and focuses on tea farming. See his 15-minue video on issues with tea farming in Kenya https://www.verse.com/stories/336-the-mouths-that-eat-from-tea/
Chair and President, has been a life-long active volunteer serving as a Board member of the Friends of the United Nations (FOTUN) from 1998-2002. As Chairman of the Board for FOTUN from 1995-2001, she created The Peacemaker Corps in partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), The United Nations and the Simon Youth Foundation. In 1988 Carole was the technical advisor for the first United States government sponsored business junket for women business owners and leaders through HUD to the People’s Republic of China. From 1981 to 2004 she was a member of the Alliance Board and was then appointed Governor and Trustee of the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History. Ms Krechman is Purpose Prize Fellow since 2008 for her work with the Peacemaker Corps. Her experience includes, running several major companies, has been a member of Who’s Who in American Business since 1979.
Dr. Mary Jo Larson
Principal, Flexibility International, LLC
Ph.D., Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University, 2001
M.A., American University, 1982
B.A., University of South Carolina, 1970
Mary Jo Larson provides consulting services to international, multilateral, and private sector organizations. Program development experiences include Director of CEDPA’s global women’s leadership program, funded by the Gates Foundation, and Chief of Programming and Training for the Asia Pacific Region of the Peace Corps.
Dr. Larson develops programs and delivers executive training on multi-stakeholder negotiation, corporate responsibility, mediation, gender-related violence, conflict resolution strategies, strategic leadership, and corporate governance. She has facilitated innovative, cross-sectoral approaches to peace building and sustainable development in Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Pacific Islands and the Middle East, including Afghanistan and West Bank. Sample consultancies include:
With the Global Corporate Governance Forum, Dr. Larson is co-author of the Corporate Governance Board Leadership Training Resources and Preventing and Solving Corporate Governance Disputes. She has co-developed resources to build board capacities for governing banks and facilitated Board leadership program development in Asia, Europe and Central Asia, Afghanistan and the Middle East and South America.
Senior Advisor, Peace Corps. Recent projects include capacity building to address gender -based violence, strategic planning to address climate adaptation in vulnerable and least developed countries, and program assessment in Papua New Guinea and in Jamaica.
Faculty on Board leadership and Corporate Citizenship program for directors and senior executives of Tata Group. Pune, India.
Mr. Latuperissa served as the International Trade Administration -U.S. Commercial Service Director of the United States Department of Commerce in Ontario, California, the agency that promotes international trade for expansion and economic growth. He serves as a founding member/executive secretary for the California Inland Empire District Export Council, an Inland regional advisory group of business leaders that are appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce.
His responsibility includes promoting regional business and international development, marketing of Riverside, San Bernardino and the Eastern part of Los Angeles.
Prior to joining the U.S. Department of Commerce, he held the position as Head of Corporate Export-Import Operations for Hughes Aircraft Electronics, General Motors.
His temporary assignments overseas includes acting Senior Commercial Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Kazakhstan, acting Commercial Attaché for Belgium and Luxembourg, acting deputy Principal Commercial Officer, Toronto, Canada, advance team member for the Secretary of Commerce, during the 1994 Presidential Trade Mission to China and the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings in Jakarta, Indonesia. His previous assignments in finance were with the Veterans Administration and the Defense Logistics Agency.
He’s U.S. Navy Veteran and a member of the Reconstruction & Stabilization, U.S. Civilian Response Corps, Boys Scout of America, and Rotary International.
He’s fluent in three languages (Dutch, German, and Indonesian,) and holds a Master’s in International Business Administration, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Redlands in California.
Mr. Latuperissa received the International Trade Administration (ITA) Memorial Award and the ITA Bronze Medal for supporting underserved group from the Secretary of Commerce.
World Peace and climate change action are the twin focus for the remainder of my life. I am a member of the Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group. Following is a brief biographical sketch focused on my journey for peace and sustainability:
I began my activism for peace when I registered for the draft in 1970 as a conscientious objector to all war, based on my religious beliefs. I was quite active in the anti-Vietnam War movement from 1970 to 1972, traveling to demonstrations and peace conferences from San Francisco to New York City and many places in between, while pursuing a bachelors degree. I remained an occasional participant in anti-nuclear weapons rallies and vigils for Hiroshima through the 1980s. I opposed through public demonstrations, the first Gulf War as well as the Iraq War beginning 2003. Throughout this time, I was working as a Natural Resource Planner and data analyst for the US Dept. of Interior, after having completed a masters degree in 1979. Renewable resources, such forest wood resources, were the focus of my first career, and now I find that the renewable, carbon storage, and recyclability of paper and wood products has renewed utility in our current effort to arrest and reverse climate change. Recently, I have finally realized that the only solution for climate change is to
replace all fossil fuel sources with renewable energy sources as soon as possible, 2050 at the latest. I believe that Rotary can and must play an important role in demonstrating that investment in renewable energy is both environmentally and economically beneficial and smart. Our efforts for world peace, disease prevention, food sustainability, and economic development are threatened by climate change. The equality of women in all aspects of life is a major step toward both world peace and climate stability.
I find that the Rotary Club of World Peace is where I can best express and participate in the service to humanity that is my passion for the rest of my life. Although there is much good and many wonderful people in every Rotary Club, I have found myself wondering all too often is this the best way for me to spend my time, energy, and financial resources; I believe I will come closer to answering Yes! to that question as a member of your club than for any other Rotary Club I have been a member of. Thank you for the opportunity to join you in your journey for peace. I believe that world peace means we must also have peace with the earth and all its diversity of life.
Lori Michele Leavitt is a certified growth and leadership coach, consultant and a technology entrepreneur. She catalyzes momentum for leaders and their teams. Lori launched her first business in 2001.
Prior to that she financial analysis and consulting positions in companies ranging in size from $50M to over $1B.
She holds an MBA from the University of Washington and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting with an Economics emphasis from Central Washington University. She is a certified Gazelles Intl. business growth coach, peer group chair, financial manager (CFM), management accountant (CMA) and toastmaster.
She has been a Rotarian since June 2014 and sits on the Board of Brigid Collins Org, with a mission of ending child abuse. Her favorite role is as Mom to an adult daughter, Emily, who lives in Seattle, WA. Lori lives in beautiful Bellingham, WA.
Michaela is a Chicana peacebuilder from the Pacific NW region of the US. For more than two decades, she has supported conflict transformation initiatives led by civil society, government, INGOs, and the UN in 20+ contexts across five continents. At Build Up, Michaela nurtures a nonviolent, values-driven, and collaborative approach to programs and organizational culture that seeks to transform the complex systemic and ethical challenges deeply-rooted in the field of peacebuilding. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University, and Executive Master from The Graduate Institute, Geneva.
Lori Leyden, PhD, MBA is an internationally known trauma healing professional, member of the Global Evolutionary Leaders Council and the Association of Transformational Leaders. She finds the miracles that are possible out of tragedy and has brought comfort, peace and hope to thousands around the world from Rwanda genocide survivors to Sandy Hook, Connecticut, Australian indigenous and refugee communities, and survivors of the MSD High School shooting in Parkland, Florida.
For 30 years, my goal has been to empower young people to have a positive impact on the challenges they face. What if we asked them to do only important work? My passion for collaborative innovation, project-based learning, and arts integration has taken me to rural and urban classrooms; founding a parent cooperative; teaching in universities, working with NASA, curriculum writing, coaching teachers and administrators and inviting the whole world to make a shared vision of success through a mural project based on trees.
Fergal is the Peace Programs Manager at Rotary International. One of his key responsibilities is the creation and continued implementation of an overarching peace strategy for the many peace activities within Rotary.
Before joining Rotary, Fergal worked at the Rand Corporation in Los Angeles, California,
managing development and peacebuilding research projects in Rands Labor & Population Unit and Health Unit. Prior to moving to the US, Fergal was the Executive Office on the EU & International Affairs Desk in the Irish Prime Minister’s Office, Dublin, Ireland. Fergal also has a background in media and communications, having produced documentaries that focused on peacebuilding and development projects in Brazil, Malawi, South Sudan, India, and Pakistan. He has also produced a number of programs that focused on the Northern Ireland conflict and British-Irish relations today.
Fergal holds a BA in World Religions & Theology and an MPhil in International Peace Studies both from Trinity College Dublin. He also holds an MA in Comparative Ethnic Conflict Studies from Queens University Belfast and an MSt in International Relations from the University of Cambridge.
Dr. Connie Montgomery
Connie Montgomery, Ph.D.: Executive Director of Literacy, Language and Cultural Centers (LiLaC), Inc.
Connie’s academic degrees, licenses and credentials include a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, 2009, in Reading, Literature, Literacy; an M.A. from the University of Minnesota, 2002, in Curriculum and Instruction, Reading Specialist, and a B.A. from University of Southern Colorado-Pueblo, 1992, Summa Cum Laude, English, Reading, Elementary Education. She holds a California professional clear K-8 Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, and received her TESOL/TESL/TEFL Teacher Training Certification from Oxford Seminars in 2011.
Connie Montgomery taught various grades of elementary students in public schools in Colorado, Minnesota, and California. While attending Ohio State University she was a Graduate Research Assistant, a Graduate Teaching Associate, and a supervisor for the OSU Reading Clinic. Connie served as a university supervisor for CSUSB, Palm Desert Campus for five years (2008-2013), supervising student interns and student teachers in schools throughout the Coachella Valley.
After earning her Ph.D. in 2009, she began doing weekly visits to families with young children in Desert Hot Springs, CA. In 2012 she incorporated the 501(c)3 non-profit Literacy, Language and Cultural Centers (LiLaC), Inc. LiLaC is an evidenced-based home visitation program for families with young children whose second language is English.
LiLaC’s mission is to provide caring, personalized and expert guidance for parents to increase the learning and literacy development of their child. They enroll families with children prenatal through age 3 and continue weekly service through the child’s third grade of school. As Executive Director/Founder, Connie oversees all LiLaC services and supervises all functions of the organization. She coordinates communication with the Board of Directors and Staff, represents LiLaC in the local community and in social media, and coordinates LiLaC sponsored events.
Brought up with Rotary as my father and uncle were both Rotarians. My uncle Ralph Jones was a Charter member of University District Rotary Club, sponsored by Seattle Rotary No.4, in 1947
Rotary life…-1979-1984…Bellingham, Washington Rotary .Classification: Television Station Management. Serviced on the board as secretary and Weekly Club Bulletin Reporter.. Hosted a student exchange student from Germany.
-1984-1986…Boise Idaho Rotary Classification : Television Station Management CBS-TV Served on the boards as Youth Chair, International Service. Chaired the District Conference in Sun Valley, Hosted a student from Brazil.
-1986-1992…Vancouver Arbutus Rotary Club, Classification: Television Sales Management, Global Television/Canada Went through the chairs, Youth Chairman, Secretary, President Elect, President 1991-92. Host three students, The Netherlands Mexico and France. In 2016 while on vacation in Europe, visited with Ton Menke, the Dutch student who is now 46 year old very successful businessman in Rotterdam. Hosted Group Study Exchange Groups from Norway and Russia. Coordinated the District Conference. Attended Rotary International Convention in Portland Oregon during my presidential year. Changed careers going from Television Management to becoming a Medical Insurance Broker. It was not convenient to join a morning or noon club, as I was building my book of business. Had a very successful career and retired to Rancho Mirage in 2013. -2013-2016 Rancho Mirage Rotary Club and served as President for 2015-16, during Rudy Westervelt’s year as District Governor.
Hosted 4 team members from South India as part of Friendship Exchange…Team member on Friendship Exchange to South Africa in November of 2016. Hosted 4 team members from South Africa in June, 2017. 2017-current E-Club World Peace…..find this group really challenging and look forward to working with Rudy and Karyn, as the group grows. Attended the Rotary Presidential Peace Building Conference in Vancouver in February 2018 and Rotary International Convention and Peace Summit in Toronto and served as a moderator at the session on Unconscious Bias
Education: Seattle University BA Business Administration with a major in Accounting, 1973. MBA University of Washington in International Marketing.1975.
Two Paul Harris Fellows 1991 and 2016. Taught television management seminars with Sterling Institute out of McClean, VA.
In a long term relationship for 12 years,with a physician, Vivek Bhargava, a fellow Rotarian and Paul Harris Fellow, but lost him to kidney failure, over two years ago.
Served on the boards of various community organizations, The Washington State Convention Center, Stanford Alumni, etc. Travel extensively, or as much as possible, Europe, South Africa, Canada, and India
Adam Olson is Oxfam America’s Advocacy Advisor for the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Tennessee.
In this position, he works with a global team fighting poverty through advancing human rights. Adam collaborates with policymakers, allied organizations, community leaders, faith groups, and academics. His work is entirely nonpartisan.
Adam guest lectures on aid effectiveness and the politics of poverty, especially enabling local decision-making in development, international food aid procurement, and agricultural development.
Before coming to Oxfam, he worked in federal and state-level politics in Minnesota. Adam interned at the Walworth County District Attorney’s office and later held roles in local government and non-profits, including assisting with a historic reorganization of the Minneapolis and Hennepin County public library systems.
Greg Persall has been a Rotarian for over 25 years, has been with five clubs, and served as Club President with three of them. He is a Paul Harris Fellow +3. Greg is a retired Sergeant with the Riverside Co., California Sheriff’s Dept, and is also a U.S. Coast Guard veteran. During his career, he had assignments in Training, Corrections, Patrol, Youth Diversion, Community Policing, Disaster Response, Rangemaster/Firearms instructor, Chemical Agent instructor, Law Enforcement Incident Command Systems instructor/trainer. He has been an instructor and holds three teaching credentials. He holds an Associates degree in Police Science, a Bachelors degree in Management, and a Masters degree in Criminal Justice Administration.
Catherine Ross Bonifant
Retired Secondary Teacher (IT & English), Head of Library, Creative Director Literature Festival.
Academic Qualifications: Graduate Diploma International Studies (Peace and Conflict Resolution), Bachelor of Education.
Married with three adult children and seven grandchildren.
Catherine became a Rotarian, joining a local traditional club in Queensland in 2006 to coincide with enrolling at the University of Queensland in Peace Studies with the Rotary Peace Fellows. The RPF remains her Rotary focus and has included her appointment as a Volunteer Reader for the Rotary Peace Centre of the RPF applications since 2017. Catherine believes the Fellowship is yet to gain the recognition it deserves in Rotary and welcomes opportunities to increase their role in Rotary.
Catherine has held directorships in International Service, Administration, website administration, public relations and President of a traditional club as well as Charter Secretary for the EClub of Social Innovators, Ontario, Canada to which she belongs currently. She held the office of Peace Chair in D9640 from 2008 and in D5240 from 2014 -2017. She remains Advisor to both these district committees and up until this week has been part of the Scholarship committee for D7090. A recent change to the eligibility for Volunteer Readers for the Rotary Peace Centre disallows Volunteer Readers to be members of district selection committees for the perceived conflict of interest and Catherine has withdrawn from the D7090 committee to fulfil the requirements for the Reader role this year.
Catherine is an Honorary member of three Rotary clubs: Rotary E-Club of One World (California) D5240, Rotary E-Club of Connect Delhi, India D3012, Rotary Club of Gold Coast (Australia) D9640 and has a ‘buddy club’ relationship with a local club, the Rotary Club of Ashmore (Australia) D9640.
Catherine regularly attends the Peace Fellowship annual seminar at University of Queensland and has a Facebook group for Rotary Peace Fellowship graduates and Supporters with a current membership of 422. Catherine has attended a number of Rotary Conventions including the Toronto 2018 convention held in Toronto, Canada. She attended the Rotary World Peace Conference 2016 and has registered to attend the Rotary World Peace Conference 2020. Catherine was a Plenary Speaker at the Rotary International Peace Symposium, Pune India 2017 presenting on the Peacebuilder Club program she implemented in D5240 as district Peace Chair.
Catherine was elected in the recent ballot conducted by the Rotarian Action Group for Peace to the Board for a three-year period beginning July 1, 2019. She is keen to continue the work done by previous directors to increase and enhance partnerships with those in pursuit of world peace. She is a member of the Rotarian Action Group for Microfinance and Community Development and the Rotarian Action Group for Family Safety. Catherine is working with a group of Rotarians and Peace Fellows towards applying to RI for a Rotarian Action Group for Women and Youth. She is a member of Mediators Beyond Borders International.
Dr. and Master Zhi Gang Sha
Dr. and Master Zhi Gang Sha is a Tao master healer, a spiritual teacher and an 11-time New York Times bestselling author of 21 books. As a medical doctor trained in Western medicine, traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, he answered the call of the Divine by creating Soul Mind Body Medicine®. His life’s mission is to share this secret to transformation: Everything has a soul, including everything in your body. Heal the soul first; then healing of the mind and body will follow. Through this miraculous self-healing system, Master Sha has not only healed thousands of individuals, he’s also empowered them to transform their lives.
As the founder of the Institute of Soul Healing and Enlightenment™ and the Love Peace Harmony Foundation™, Master Sha was honored in 2006 with the prestigious Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Commission Award for his humanitarian efforts. In 2014, Master Sha was recognized by the cities of Maui and Honolulu in Hawaii for his compassionate service to promote love, peace and harmony worldwide. Master Sha was invited in 2015 to be one of the Founding Signatories of the Fuji Declaration, whose mission is to create lasting peace on Earth. Master Sha is a member of Rotary E-Club of World Peace and is a founding signatory of Conscious Business Declaration, which aims to define a new standard for business in the 21st century. In 2016, Master Sha received a commendation from Los Angeles County for his humanitarian efforts both locally and worldwide.
As a grandmaster of many ancient disciplines, including qigong, tai chi, kung fu, feng shui and the I Ching, Master Sha was named Qigong Master of the Year at the Fifth World Congress on Qigong. Since then, he has been honored with the title of Master out of respect for his many years as a high level practitioner of these ancient arts.
Master Sha is featured in the documentary film, Soul Masters. His New York Times bestselling Soul Power Series books reveal soul secrets, wisdom, knowledge and practical techniques to transform every aspect of life. His Soul Healing Miracles™ Series releases sacred wisdom, practical techniques and extraordinary blessings from the Source to empower people to create their own soul healing miracles.
Robert (Bob) C. Smith
BSc. Mechanical Engineering, Llandaff University, Wales. P.E. London Institute, England. EIT. Santa Clara University, California. International Communications, Rice University, Texas.
An international business development professional with over 40 years experience in product and service marketing. Lived and completed engineering assignments in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean & North America. An affable, pragmatic engineering diplomat, leaning more towards uncovering the “adventurous opportunity” in any environment.
- Initiated the first Solar-Engineering design department for Brown & Root Engineers. Coordinated 10 person engineering department in designing seven major Middle-East projects, within budget and two months ahead of schedule.
- Secured and serviced an open-ended energy conservation contract with the fourth largest utility company in the USA, for 5 years.
- Implemented permanent UAE presence for Gulf Interstate Engineering, and reduced annual operating budget by $240K
- Initiated the Sister City relationship between Houston & Abu Dhabi, arrange 4 trade missions and secured Engineering Oversight for $1.8Billion refinery project.
- Conceived & coordinated promotion of the Texas International Apple Festival in Medina, Texas.
- Conceptually developed, with the King of the Zulu, and subsequently implemented, the placement of a PhD graduate engineer from U.T. Austin, for sub Sahara water quality improvement.
- Initiated & coordinated development of International Student Exchange between Rice University & Texas A & M with the Republic of South Africa.
- Conceived and developed a Texas Philanthropic organization (https://c3austin.org/ ) to distribute $1.6 million to at-need individuals within 18 months of start-up.
- Continuing promotion of the ridiculous concept of World Peace in the Middle East, Far East, Australia, Japan, Africa and the Caribbean through Mediators Beyond Borders & Rotary International.
Sharon Tennison, President and Founder of Center for Citizen Intiatives
Sharon Tennison has worked for 30 years in Russia and the countries of the former Soviet Union, creating numerous multi-year programs to provide training for Soviet and Russian citizens to gain independence and skills designed for self governance. She is founder and President of the Center for Citizen Initiatives (CCI). She lives and travels extensively part of the year in Russia.
Jessie Tucker III
Chantelle Vo (Doerksen)
Chantelle Doerksen is a Rotary Peace Fellow alumnus (Queensland, Class X), past MBBI Chair, and return Peace Corps Volunteer (Paraguay). She currently works for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) as a senior coordinator for the Policy Development Support Department, working with an international network of volunteers. Her professional background includes experience working in business, community development, and public policy. In 2012, she graduated from the Rotary Peace Centre at the University of Queensland located in Brisbane, Australia. During her time as a Rotary Peace Fellow, her research focused on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 and the role of women in decision-making and peace- making processes at local, national, and international forums. As a graduate student, she completed formal mediation training and worked with several Peace Fellows to host local community dialogues focused on building trust and fostering a sense of community. For her research project, Chantelle spent time with the United Nations Development Programme on local initiatives in the South Pacific. She co-authored a book chapter in 2016 that incorporated her research. For the Rotary Peace Fellowship, Chantelle was sponsored by Rotary District 5300 and by Karen Whisenhunt of the Las Vegas Rotary Club. In Australia, she was adopted by the Rotary Club of Brisbane High Rise and Rotary District 9600 (which covers not only part of Australia, but also Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and Nauru). Chantelle remains active in community development projects in Los Angeles, California, where she lives with her husband (a local jazz musician/ educator) and their two-year old daughter.
Karyn Westervelt, Immediate Past President of Rotary E Club of World Peace.
Karyn has been deeply involved in Rotary since joining the Rotary Club of Lake Arrowhead Mountain Sunrise in 2007. She served as Club President in 2009-10.
Her focus in Rotary has been on our youth, working with the Boys and Girls Club, Rotary Youth Camps, various Literacy and Training Programs.
Karyn’s first International Convention was in 2008. It was when she realized the enormous power of Rotary to end polio and change the world.
In 2015-16, her husband, Rudy, served as the Rotary International District 5330 Governor. Together they visited all 62 Rotary clubs in the Inland Empire and met hundreds of Rotarians with exciting new ideas.
January 15-16, 2016, Rudy convened the Rotary World Peace Conference. She helped him and the conference was a huge success. Many compared it to an international convention with over a dozen tracks and over 100 speakers and facilitators working to develop solutions to major issues happening in our communities.
She has started working with Rudy and others on the Rotary World Peace Conference 2020.
Karyn is very excited about being president of the Rotary Club of World Peace for 2018-19. Emmanuel has been a marvelous president and he, Karyn and Derek Moore, president, 2019-20 are now working together to continue the club’s success and growth.
Rudy and Karyn have five grandchildren living in four different states. They enjoy RI Conventions, working to promote peace and travel.
Rudy Westervelt, Club Member & Advisor, Rotary District 5330 Governor 2015-16, Convener of the Rotary World Peace Conference 2016, CEO of Power in Learning. Programs Chair for the 2017 Presidential Peace Conference at the Rotary International Convention in Atlanta. Programs Chair for the 2017 Zone 25-26 Institute in Reno. Advisor to the 2017-18 Rotary International Conference Series. Convener of Rotary World Peace Conference 2020. President of Solutions for Peace Foundation, Inc.
Rudy earned his B.S. from Cornell University, his M.S. from the University of Connecticut. He has numerous scientific publications and has given presentations and led training sessions around the country. For 30 years he led manufacturing plants and distribution centers for The Kroger Co. He currently operates his own company, Power in Learning and is a sought after consultant across the food industry and a training facilitator and team building leader for all leadership teams.
In 1980 David Wick, Ashland Culture of Peace Commission Executive Director, helped launch the United Nations NGO, Pathways To Peace (PTP), as a director, which assisted the adoption of the UN’s International Day of Peace in 1981. PTP used the terminology of a Culture of Peace in the mid 1980’s and was involved in the United Nations 1999 Resolution “Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace” (A/RES/53/243). David also led the global PTP Culture of Peace Initiative, a United Nations-designated “Peace Messenger Initiative”.
In 2013 in Ashland, Oregon David and Irene Kai inspired a core group of people to organize a highly successful International Day of Peace, Feast for Peace and to work with the Mayor on deepening its identity as a City of Peace. The Mayor challenged us to find ways “to contribute to peace in our own lives and in the world at large.” However, to truly accomplish this we needed to move beyond dinners, words and proclamations to practical ideas for formalizing a culture of peace in an ongoing way throughout the community.
Vice President Global Relations, Silver Light International –
A Professional Services Company that serves as a bridge between the United States and China, works throughout China, and has a focus on Jiangsu and Zhejiang Provinces. We provide a trusted partner for western clients who are interested in accessing the important China market.
Publisher at Silver Light Publications Inc., a small but mighty award-winning publishing company in Ashland, OR
– First book wins three national awards – The Golden Mountain: Beyond the American Dream
– Second book wins national Freedom Fighter Award – What Do You See?
– Four books become textbooks in Universities
Please go to http://www.silverlightpub.com.
1. European Foundation for Management Development, Sun Microsystems, Stanford University, Levi Strauss, Santa Cruz County, Pathways To Peace.
2. Co-created the Organization and Societal Transformation Special Interest Group, pioneered organization learning and Knowledge sharing. At Sun Microsystems received companywide recognition, for my first-of-its-kind in Silicon Valley, Mini-MBA program and received an Information Resources Champion, Academy Award for it in 1996.
3. Extensive international training and consulting experience in both the business and peacebuilding arenas. I have been responsible for corporate and executive development programs in Spain, Hong Kong, France, India, Germany, Belgium and Canada. In 1982, I co-founded the internationally recognized organization Pathways To Peace (a NGO at the United Nations) and co-founder of its business focused project, PeaceBuilding through Business.
In 1996, I helped design and lead an international conference in Delhi, India related to leadership in Human Unity. My weeklong program on leadership was a subset of the conference that involved 100,000 people from over 50 countries.
Co-facilitate Listen To The City, a dialogue with 5000 New Yorkers on the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site.
Peacebuilder using humor and the Rotary Four-Way Test where questions lead to answers and desired outcomes beneficial to all concerned.
Rotary International, member
Westport Sunrise Rotary, president 2014-15
Rotarian Action Group for Peace, co-founder
Rotary E-club of World Peace, Vocational Service co-chair
Peace Literacy Foundation, advisor
International Cities of Peace, representative to the United Nations
United Nations Association-USA, member
Author, Rotary Four-Way Test for Conflict Transformation
Mark joined the Rotarian Action Group for Peace (RAGFP) Board because he believes that Rotarians have, are and will continue to effectively promote peace and conflict resolution/prevention through humanitarian service. He is confident that the Rotarian Action Group for Peace (RAGFP) will bring greater focus to Rotarian PeaceBuilding initiatives, muster the needed resources and talent to achieve greater understanding, goodwill and peace in our communities and conflict zones around the world.
Mark serves The Rotary Foundation as a Technical Coordinator for the Cadre of Technical Assistance Advisers in the Area of Focus: Peace & Conflict Resolution/Prevention. He has served as President of the Jerusalem Rotary Club RY 2009-10, was a Presidential Citation Awardee RY 2009-10 and received the District Outstanding Service Shield in RY 2009-10 & RY 2012-13. He is currently serving as the Chair of the Club Services Committee RY 2012-14, and was the Club Secretary RY 2004-5 as well as the Club Bulletin Editor for six years and Webmaster RY 2003-present. Mark has been named District TRF Fund Raising Chair in RY 2014-15.
He and his wife, PP Dr. Marilyn Farber, are Rotary Foundation (TRF) Major Donors, Benefactors, Bequest Society members and Multiple Paul Harris Fellows. Mark has also served Rotary as District Chair Peace Projects RY 2004-5, and served two terms as the Chair, International Fellowship of Rotarian Editors and Publishers (ROTARY IFREP) RY 2007-08 & 2012-13. Mark served as District Chair Rotary Friendship Exchange (RFE) RY 2010-13 reestablishing this program after a 23 year hiatus. Mark is the Co-founder and Past Co-Chair of the Rotary Leadership Institute (Israel Division).
At present, Mark is a Director on the Paul Harris Peace Forest Board of Directors RY 2012-15, the Zone Institute (Jerusalem) Coordinator for Sergeants-at- Arms services (November 2013), the District Program Coordinator for Rotary Services RY 2013-14, The Rotary Foundation (TRF) Technical Advisor (Microfinance, Community and Economic Development), The Rotary Foundation (TRF) Technical Coordinator (Peace & Conflict Resolution/Prevention) RY 2012-15.
Over the span of his career, Mark has worked with diverse organizations in the USA and in Israel: U.S. Peace Corps Country Director, the United Nations Development Program Senior Advisor, Jewish Federation and Community Center Executive Director and in various Ministries for the State of Israel: Division Director, Research and Program Evaluation, Ministry of Social Affairs. He has lectured and taught at prestigious educational institutions including Hebrew University, Haifa University, Cornell University, Brandeis University and Boston University.
Mark received his Ph.D. in Social Welfare at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA (USA). He also holds a Master of Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (Economic and Social Development) in Pittsburgh, PA (USA), and a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science (with concentrations in Economics and Sociology) from San Diego State University in San Diego, CA (USA).
Henry Oster was born Heinz Oster on November 5, 1928 in Cologne, Germany to Hans and Elisabeth Oster. He entered grade school in 1934 and in 1935, the Nurumberg laws prohibited Jewish students from attending school and Henry was expelled.
In October of 1941, Henry and his parents were forced on a train and sent to the Lodz Ghetto. He lived in a single room with 18 other people with no modern facilities. His father died of starvation within 6 months. In 1944, Henry and his mother were forced into cattle cars and transported to Auschwitz-Birkenau Death Camp. Henry was selected for the work camps and his mother was immediately murdered in the gas chambers.
Henry was tattooed with the number B-7648. Working 16 hours per day in the stables, Henry was able to avoid selection for the gas chambers on three more occasions. With the Soviet Army advancing, Henry survived a Death March to the train station and transported in an open cattle car to Buchenwald Concentration Camp. A thousand Jewish boys were rounded up to work in the quarries. From April 1 to 11, Henry and the other inmates were given no food. On April 11, 1945, General George Patton’s U.S. Third Army liberated Buchenwald.
Henry was sent to an orphanage in France and was able to reach the United States in 1946 to join his uncle in Los Angeles. Today, Henry shares his personal testimony as a speaker at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles.
Henry’s message to all of us is “Be aware of how easily people can be persuaded to commit genocide if nobody speaks up against it.”
Birmingham resident, Jerry Levin and former television network journalist, is an author and public speaker advocate/activist on behalf of peacebuilding nonviolence as a way of life at both the micro and macro level of human relations. The former WBRC-TV News Director, while serving as Cable News Network (CNN) Middle East Bureau Chief based in Beirut, Lebanon was kidnapped in early 1984 by Hezballah and became the first of the so-called forgotten American hostages. He was able to escape eleven-and-a-half months later on Valentine’s Day 1985 due to the nonviolent strategies developed by his Birmingham native wife’s, Dr. Lucille (Sis) Levin and her team of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian friends at home and in the Middle East.
While in captivity, he had a profound spiritual and philosophical awakening. After a sudden insight about what he labels “the futility of violence” and motivated by his intense contemplation of Jesus’ teachings about human behavior, he moved from paying lip service to the belief that at times violence has its uses to becoming an anti-violence activist on behalf of unconditional nonviolent living. A member of the global violence prevention organization, CPT (Christian Peacemaker Teams), he and his wife served for many years in the Israel’s occupied territories trying to help defenseless Palestinians withstand the impoverishing and expropriating effects of the Israeli Army’s colonial rule of the West Bank and its ghettoization of Gaza. In 2003 The Levins were also on the ground serving as human shields against the U.S. bombing of Baghdad during the opening months of the second Gulf War.
At home he has become involved in local racism, poverty, and homelessness issues and causes, co-founded the Birmingham Committee to Protect the Homeless, and was a guest lecturer in the Introduction to Peace Studies course his wife taught at the University of Alabama, Birmingham.
Along with his wife, Jerry Levin was the recipient of the 2009 Dali Lama’s Wisdom in Action: Unsung Heroes of Compassion Award. In 2016 his name was placed in nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize causing him to say he should not to be considered because there were and are clearly many more people and organizations who have given and risked far more than he in the name of nonviolent peace and justice. He is also a recipient of Life Memberships in the Radio and Television News Directors Association, and the Foreign Press Association of the United States
He has written about his conversion to nonviolence in Reflections On My First Noel and his experiences in the Middle East in West Bank Diary: Middle East Violence as Reported by a Former American Hostage. The story of his wife’s efforts to free him was told in the motion picture, Held Hostage, starring Marlo Thomas. It premiered on ABC Television on the Sunday evening before the first Gulf War began in January 1991.
Upon their return to Birmingham, the Dean of the Episcopal Cathedral Church of The Advent asked the Levins to serve as his Pre Marital Counselors (they are professionally trained, certified servers in this field). Dr. Levin, a long time Rotarian International member, joined her husband of forty years in accepting membership in the Rotary E Club of World Peace. Together they have made over one thousand talks on Healing the Dysfunctioning Family of Abraham both here and abroad.
Sig Wathne, a Rotarian since 1980, Founder and former President of SIKAMA International, Inc. an electronic manufacturing company in Santa Barbara for the evolving Microelectronics and Semiconductor industries.
Sig’s interest in electronics started in high school, (Norway then under German occupation had confiscated ALL radios, if any were found, punishment was immediate death) Sig wanted to listen to the BBC, right across the waters. Outfoxing the Occupation powers, he obtained rolls of toilet paper, removed the paper, wound a coil on the core (Tuned to the Scotland frequency) glued in a Detector, clips (for ear plug, antenna and ground) placing the paper carefully back on the roll and alas, a crystal-set was born. At 8 PM every night was “Toilet time” for the latest progress of the Allied Forces. Almost a hundred were made, not a one was found! All due to tight lipped friends.1940 was the year Norway became drawn into World War II. On 9 April Nazi Germany invaded our country, which remained occupied until 8 May 1945.
“This was the beginning of 5 long years of torture,” said Santa Barbara resident and author Sig Wathne. I was 12 and my little brother was 2, asleep in the other room. We left LA during the depression and had returned to our Grandparents in Norway. Let’s make our opposition to war heard before war is once again a reality. Peace begins with me, is my motto for my life.
Dr. Lucille “Sis” Levin
Mountain Brook native, international peace activist and arts patron Sis Levin passed away Friday at the age of 89, her family confirmed. Dr. Lucille Hare (Sis) Levin was the founder of national and international educational endeavors focused on violence reduction and prevention — was a leading exponent of training teachers (preschool through University) in the techniques of systemically and comprehensively teaching students the concepts of nonviolent living.
“She was brilliant and a great writer,” Levin’s daughter Florence Selman said of her mother, who was passionate about the arts and activism.
Levin was the devoted spouse of Jerry Isadore Levin, a former Middle East Bureau Chief for CNN. She relentlessly pushed for his release after he was abducted by Hezbollah and held hostage for a year in Lebanon in the 1980s.
“My mother was a true steel magnolia. She could charm a bird from a tree, but look out if you crossed her,” said daughter Suzelle Smith.
“Heaven definitely became a more interesting place last Friday when Sis walked through the pearly gates.” Levin was known for talking to anyone she met about international peace, whether they were a waitress or a hospital worker. “Her entire focus was peace, nonviolence, conflict resolution and love,” said Selman.
Jerry Levin died in February at age 87. Selman was not told the exact cause of her mother’s death, but she believes it was a broken heart. “I’m sure they’re arm in arm,” said Selman of the Levins. “She wanted to be with him more than anything,” she said.