The Speaker Directory is a resource available to all Rotary clubs. Here you will find a list of speakers from our District whose presentations were recommended by fellow Rotarians. The directory is organized according to the following speaker topics: Cultural, educational, government, historical, medical, miscellaneous, philanthropic, Rotary and sports. Please click on the appropriate link on the left to learn more about specific speakers.

Do you have a speaker you'd like to recommend? Please contact the District Office at office@rotary5280.org or 310-670-9792


Check out the new additions to our Speakers Directory!

The following Rotarians and other speakers have agreed to provide a club meeting program on an occasional basis.  It is suggested that you make arrangements at least 30 days in advance.  
The following Rotarians and other speakers have agreed to provide a club meeting program on an occasional basis.  It is suggested that you make arrangements at least 30 days in advance.   
Jason Amodeo (Rotary Club of Crescenta-Canada) (jjjasamodeo@msn.com) Author and electrical engineer/designer Jason inspires audiences with humor and compelling stories designed to empower people through emotional intelligence to improve the quality of relationships at home and in the workplace.
  • “You don’t have to be better than everybody else.  Just be better than you ever thought you could be.”
Jeffrey Barnes (past Rotarian, seeking new club) (jeff@thewisdomofwalt.com).   California Baptist University Dean and instructor (“The History of Disneyland”), leadership coach and professional speaker Barnes teaches lessons and skills taken from Walt Disney’s magic kingdom.( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKBoCigxpKU)
  • Leadership Lessons from the Happiest Place on Earth
Barry Bernstein (Rotary Club of Beverly Hills) (barryber@gmail.com)                                                                      Architect/developer-turned-real-estate-investor Barry Bernstein puts his money into land and buildings.  A member of the Beverly Hills Architectural Commission, Barry will share his wealth of knowledge and experience on a topic understood by a relative few.   
  • What’s Hot, What’s Not--How the Pros Invest in Real Estate
Richard Chase, Ph.D. (Rotary Club of Manhattan Beach) (Rchase@marshall.usc.edu) USC  Professor Emeritus Richard Chase is the author of six books and numerous articles relating to business operations and management.  A nationally recognized scholar who has served on the business school faculties at Harvard University, UCLA and the University of Arizona, his Rotary program topic is also the title of one of his books. (For more about the speaker go to https://pressroom.usc.edu/richard-b-chase/).   :
  • The Customer Service Solution: Managing Emotions, Trust, and Control to Win Your Customer’s Business
Tony Ciancimino (Rotary Club of Playa Venice) (ciancimino@aol.com)
Upon inquiry one of this corps of district leaders will make plans to come to your Club to address the problem of child sex trafficking and District 5280’s plans to combat it. If you will reach out to Tony Ciancimino he will see which of these equally qualified speakers is available to come to your Club at your convenience. You will also be contacted by your AG’s regarding education and the 3/4/17 Child Sex Trafficking Forum at LMU.
Ken Chong (Rotary Club of L.A. 5) (ken.chong@live.com)  Executive Vice President of BRC Bellaire Holdings, LLC, commercial investment brokerage.  Ken is District SAG for Membership and is past president of the Rotary Club of Los Angeles 5.
  • Rotary Membership and Recruitment—Young Professionals and What Millennials Are Looking for in a Rotary club.
  • Commercial trends in Commercial Real Estate and Why the Continued Popularity of 1031 Exchanges.  
Brady Connell (Rotary Club of Playa Venice Sunrise) (bconnell@basecampfilms.com).  Executive Producer of Base Camps Films and executive producer of the former top-rated ABC television reality show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition recalls 200 episodes of rebuilding the homes of  families devastated by natural disaster or catastrophic illness.  Producing the show was a job that allowed him to combine his humanitarian impulse with a love of people and travel.  “I was a Rotarian before I knew about Rotary,” he says. Watch http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi2212364569.
  • Extreme Home Makeover--Harnessing the spirit of American communities
Robert DeCou (Rotary Club of Playa Venice Sunrise) (robert@luxvirtual.com) Athlete, and Executive Producer at Lux Virtual an animation studio that explains complex ideas through the use of 3D animation as shown on the TODAY Show, as well as virtual reality demos.  Rob DeCou’s first “crazy ultra endurance” event was at age 16 when he was a Rotary exchange student in India and completed 50 hours of non-stop aerobics with 15 other people for a World Record.  Recently the speaker completed a 3,000 mile Race Across America from Oceanside California to Annapolis, Maryland.  He was one of 20 cyclists out of 42 entrants to complete the timed race to cure brain cancer.  For more go to https://www.3000milestoacure.com/event/raam-2016-rob-decou/.
  • 3,000 Miles to a Cure--Race Across America
Marisela Caraballo DiRuggiero (Rotary Club of Wilmington) (MCaraballoDiRuggiero@portla.org) The speaker is the  Director of Legislative Affairs for the Port of Los Angeles.  With 23 cargo terminals, 270 deepwater berths, 77 container cranes, 9 container terminals, and 113 miles of on-port rail, nearly $1.2 billion in cargo move through the Port of Los Angeles every day, making it one of the largest in the western hemisphere and one of the nation’s most important commercial assets.
  • Our Bustling Los Angeles Harbor--port operations, the maritime industry, environmental measures, transportation infrastructure, security, and community enhancements.  (includes PowerPoint)
Jermaine Ee (Rotary Club of L.A. 5) (Jermaine@ejermaine.com)  Co-founder of Candeavor, a digital marketing agency based in the Silicon Valley (https://candeavor.com/about/).  Jermaine has been a speaker at the Rotary International Assembly in San Diego and is current chair of the District YP Network.  
  • Digital Marketing for your Rotary Club and Business—A showcase in digital marketing trends, including use of apps  (20 mins + 10 mins Q & A)
  • A Broader Perspective—How Rotaract inspires future leaders through a greater understanding of themselves, their neighbors and the world.(20 mins + 10 Q & A)
Drew Frohlich (Rotary Club of Granada Hills) (AFrolich@aol.com) Past District Governor Drew Frolich has been involved at all levels of Rotary District and Zone administrations.  Drew has served as speaker and committee member of the SoCalNevada  President Elect Training Seminar (PETS).  A retired Navy captain, he is a also Master Potential Rotary Leaders Seminar (PRLS) graduate, a PRLS Instructor and speaker.  In 2016 he was a delegate to the RI Council on Legislation.
  • "Major Changes are Happening to Rotary!”   The Revolutionary Changes to Rotary Made by the 2016 RI Council on Legislation (COL)"
Adam Heller (Rotary Club of Beverly Hills) (adam@zeropainnow.com).   Author of Zero Pain Now and considered by many to be the leading expert on the psychological cause of physical pain.  A popular lecturer and frequent guest on television and other media, the speaker has partnered with staff at the Mayo Clinic in developing a program for pain management.  Learn how your personality can be linked to the causes of pain and techniques that eliminate emotional and physical pain (www.Adamheller.com).  
  • Zero Pain Now
Eliseo Gauna (Rotary Club of Redondo Beach)(eligauna@yahoo.com) PDG Eli was the first Spanish-speaking attorney in the San Fernando Valley in the 1960s.  A former beach lifeguard and former Golden Gloves boxer, the speaker served on many community organization boards in the Valley prior to moving to Manhattan Beach.
  • "Is there an ugly child in your life?"  (motivational)
  • "Power of One"  (inspirational)
  • "Brief History of Rotary and the Foundation"
  • "Immigrations of People and its Affect on Rotary?" (educational)
  • "The Art of Public Speaking - Do's & Dont's"  (informative)
  • "Group Study Exchange" - my experience as a Group Study Exchange leader to    Nepal 2010
  • McMartin Preschool- a modern day "Salem witch hunt" (costliest and longest   criminal prosecution in U.S. history)
Steve Holmstrom (Rotary Club of San Pedro) (steve@toothvet.info) is a board certified veterinary dentist who after retirement from small animal practice donates his time to do veterinary dentistry for zoo and wildlife animals.  He has worked on many species of animals:  elephant seals, sea lions, walruses, lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs, wolves, hyenas, chimpanzees, kinkajous, camels, wolf eels and even sharks to name a few.
  • Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!  
Steven Goldsmith (Rotary Club of Hawthorne-LAX-Lennox) sgoldsmith84@gmail.com was featured in the July 2016 issue of The Rotarian for having recently organized a Rotary Vocational Training Team to support an International Training Institute in Jakarta, Indonesia. As a life-time member of Mediators Beyond Borders (a partner of Rotary Action Group For Peace), and operations facilitator of the MBB-Rotary Working Group, Steve addresses a broad range of topics in the area of Rotary Peace work, Restorative Justice and current events.
  • Developing Rotary peace and conflict resolution projects internationally and here in Los Angeles.  (PowerPoint, 20 minutes + Q & A.)
  • Volunteer opportunities in Los Angeles in the area of peace
  • Upcoming Rotary Peace events and projects on the road forward for Rotary in building peace after polio.
Marsha Hunt (Rotary Club of Westwood Village) (marshahuntinc@msn.com).   Founder and CEO of Marsha Hunt Productions;  co-founder of the Uganda Development Initiative;  Emmy-award winning producer with Fox Sports
  • My Road to Uganda—How one trip to east Africa led to many others, changed the speaker’s life and led ultimately to membership in Rotary (video included)
Jerry Ipsen, CFE, MBA (Rotary Club of Burbank, Noon) (jerry@jerryipsen.com). A Marine Corps Officer, now a Certified Fraud Examiner with experience in private investigations, due diligence and as a financial analyst helps businesses and nonprofits to improve their internal controls, reducing the opportunity of fraud.
  • Risk Management: Internal Controls and Fraud Prevention
Commodore Harry Jacobs (Rotary Club of San Pedro)(harry.jacobs@uscgauxnet.us)
Harry Jacobs is an Auxiliary Public Affairs Specialist in the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary.   He has been a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary since July 1980.  Jacobs has been the guest Speaker at over 400 service clubs in southern California since 2004.  In addition, Jacobs has been a presenter-panelist at the National Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events [CREATE], which is located on the campus of the University of Southern California.
  • How do you guard 95 miles of coastline in an age of terrorism?
Manisha Javeri, Ph.D. (Rotary Club of L.A. 5)(mjaveri@exchange.calstatela.edu).   Professor of Instructional Technology at the Graduate School of Education, California State University at Los Angeles; Rotary District Peace Chair; 2010 Rotary Peace Fellow.  Professor Javeri was a speaker at Rotary’s 2016 World Peace Conference (http://www.peaceconference2016.org/manisha-javeri/).
  • Creating Peaceful and Sustainable Societies--the role of technology
  • Rotary’s Areas of Focus: Measuring impact index
Connie Chung Joe (Rotary Club of Koreatown) (cchungjoe@kfamla.org)  An attorney by education and experience, Connie is currently Executive Director of Korean American Family Services (KFAM), a non-profit organization serving Korean American families in Los Angeles. Connie is the Community Service Chair of her Club.  
  • “Who are Asian Pacific Islanders in LA County? Beyond the Model Minority Myth” Using Census and other demographic data, this presentation challenges common assumptions about the Asian Pacific Islander community and explores its rich diversity, including its strengths and needs. Connie will also cover some of the API causes the Koreatown Rotary Club supports, including Asians for Miracle Marrow Match (A3M) and Asian Foster Family Initiative.
Tapio Kartiala, Retired Aerospace Engineer, Lockheed Martin Skunk Works (kartiala@earthlink.net)
  • Top Secret Airplanes of Lockheed Martin Skunk Works.
  • Fascinating topic about development and testing of Lockheed's most famous airplanes. 
Tore Knos, PhD (Rotary Club of Playa Venice Sunrise) (rotarytore@gmail.com)
International Disaster Aid relief
  • As a board member of Disaster Aid USA, a Rotary project, Tore Presents a dynamic power point presentation on international disaster relief aid.   The speaker uses his personal experience in disaster aid work in South Sudan, Philippines, and Malaysia to show disasters, response, and aid being delivered to the affected people.
Tore Knos, PhD (Rotary Club of Playa Venice Sunrise) (rotarytore@gmail.com)
Hiking the Appalachian Trail
  • The speaker hiked the Appalachian Trail in 3013 as a Rotary fundraiser.  The trail, 2178 miles long goes through 14 states from Georgia to Maine and the hike took 5.5 months.  The powerpoint presentation shows the beauty and challenges that were encountered during the hike.  This is an east coast version of the movie “Wild”.
Peter Lattey (Rotary Club of Downtown Los Angeles)(peter@peterlattey.com)   Architect by profession, humanitarian and adventurer by inclination, this speaker has sailed across the Pacific from Australia for pleasure and traveled to Kenya on multiple occasions to help provide clean water and more for villages in need.  He is passionate about the humanitarian work of Rotary.
  • The Sky Above and the Sea Below--a Sailor’s Tale (includes video)
  • To Live You Must Wash--Bringing Hygiene to a Place Where Germs Are Unseen and Therefore Unknown (includes video)
Mark Lipps (Rotary Club of Manhattan Beach) (mark@marklipps.com)  Has spent almost 30-years in the TV business starting in news and the last 18 years with Fox Broadcasting. Mark took early retirement. Since then he have taken volunteerism up a notch.
Mark most recently became a Ziglar Legacy Certified speaker through Ziglar Media. He has created multiple presentations from 15-min to 90-min (see http://www.ziglarcertified.com/marklipps)
  • Building the best you
  • Building better relationships
  • Goal setting and achievement
  • Are you leading zombies? (this is about engaging your members or staff which will lead to more productivity and spreading of the club responsibilities. Let’s get rid of the 10% doing 90% of the work and level the playing field with all the members)
  • 12 seconds to a better you! (this presentation can be a quick filler 10-min fun participatory exercise with the everyone in the room)
  • Best practices for building your Rotary membership into a formidable team- bigger is better!
Richard Ludt (Rotary Club of Southgate)(richard@irsdemo.com).  Interior Removal Specialists, Inc. is an award-winning company that demolishes, hauls and recycles building interiors.  Every month the company donates tons of used desks, fixtures, cabinets and other furnishings to a number of non-profits.   Corporate Director of Environmental Affairs Richard Ludt will demonstrate how “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” in a peek into a company known for its public plant tours and community education programs (see http://www.irsdemo.com/).
  • Destruction with Care  
Michael Lushing (Rotary Club of Beverly Hills) (mlushing@gmail.com)  Commercial retail specialist Michael Lushing is an business expert in landlord-tenant issues of every description and is a regular lecturer at Loyola and UCLA Law Schools.  Combining a master’s degree in psychology and a dual career in marriage and family counseling, Michael will explain why there is a whole psychology to commercial real estate.
  • "Inside scoop on what's happening in the retail leasing world.”  Who are the coolest new retailers opening stores, which are the hottest new shopping centers and how does the Internet impact retail store leasing
Nora MacLellan (Rotary Club of Westchester) (dougnora@aol.com) Ph. 310-489-0160.
Nora is Rotary District 5280 Chair - Vision To Learn, Rotary District 5280 Chair - District Breakfast.  Founded by then-Los Angeles Times publisher Austin Beutner and former Dodger General Manager Ned Colletti, Vision to Learn provides free eye exams and glasses for children in low income communities and Title 1 schools.
  • Changing Young Lives One Pair of Glasses at a Time--Discover Vision to Learn and how your Rotary club can become involved.
Rick Mendoza (Rotary Club of Palos Verdes Peninsula) (rmendoze5280@cox.net).  Past District Governor Rick is a former SCUBA instructor who spent years photographing marine life of every description.  Rick is also a past DRFC who would love to share his knowledge and enthusiasm for The Rotary Foundation this centennial year.  
  • Say “chum:”  SCUBA and Underwater Photography (includes color slides)  
  • Happy 100th Birthday, TRF.  Now, “Towards Our Second Century!”
Leon Nixon (Rotary Club of San Pedro), Capt. Leon Nixon (Los Angeles Port Police), who has spent a career in law enforcement, is also a professional comedian and a member of the Screen Actors Guild.  
  • The Magic of Rotary
Lance Miller (Rotary Club of L.A. 5)(lance@lancemillerspeaks.com) Renowned speech coach and 2005 Toastmasters International World Champion Speaker Lance Miller (http://www.lancemillerspeaks.com/Toastmasters.aspx) tells how to master the art of public speaking.  (See his 8-minute world championship speech “The Ultimate Question:”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRT36MTVw6c.)
  • Finding Your Voice--the Power of Effective Public Speaking
Bernard Otis (Rotary Club of Woodland Hills)(seymour.otis@gmail.com) Author of the Amazon and Barnes & Noble online best seller “How to Prepare for Old Age.”  In this touching, often humorous and very personal account, Bernie shares his 86 years of life, love, loss and laughter as an inspirational guide to what it means to age without growing old. His advice on love after 60, how to talk with family members about illness, what you should be prepared for when confronting tragedy and loss, what it means to be a caregiver to a loved one and many other of life's challenges are a must for family members young and old. Bernie's book is a treasure trove of personal and professional life experiences that will help you prepare for old age and take control of the nature of aging. Be prepared to laugh out loud and quietly shed a tear as Bernie takes you through the voyage of life.  See his blog at  http://seniormomentswithbernardotis.com/
  • How to Prepare for Old Age
Arlen Peters (Rotary Club of Studio City-Sherman Oaks)(arlenp@roadrunner.com) Award winning television producer/director/writer Arlen Peters may be best known for his hundreds of CBS radio interviews of every Hollywood celebrity from Woody Allen to Richard Zanuck.  His television screenwriting credits include Get Smart, Love American Style, The Mary Tyler Moore Show,The Bob Newhart Show,The Odd Couple and Taxi.  The speaker’s hundreds of columns and articles have been published by The Chicago Sun-Times Syndicate, Los Angeles Times Syndicate, New York Times Syndicate, Los Angeles Times Magazine, Coronet Magazine--and even the National Enquirer.  
  • Confessions of a Celebrity Interviewer--Conversations with Lucille Ball, Paul Newman, Robin Williams, Warren Beatty, Barbra Streisand, Billy Crystal, Bob Hope, Tom Hanks, Clint Eastwood, Nicolas Cage, Brad Pitt and many more
Rafael Quezada, Rootstock Foundation (rafael@therootstock.org) Rootstock Foundation’s goal is to give youth the tools they need to restore the planet they’ve inherited, following 150 years of industrial pollution that is presently harming people and the broad spectrum of life in ways never before seen.
  • Rootstock talks about their plans, in conjunction with Arizona State University’s LARB (Laboratory for Algae Research and Biology), for providing holistic nutrition and heavy-metal chelation therapy in Flint, Michigan. This is in response to the ongoing tragedy occurring there, with as many as 10,000 children suffering damage to organs, brain, bone and tissue.
Vicki Radel, Ph.D. (Rotary Club of Redondo Beach) (DrVictoriaRadel@cs.com).   Founder, Life Enrichment Therapies; Past District Governor, District 5280.
  • Evolution of 5280 Peace Programs—Our District’s new focus on Peace and Conflict Resolution  
Stephen Ropfogel, MAS (Rotary Club of Glendale Sunrise) (Findologist@Earthlink.net) Close-up magician and Magic Castle member Stephen Ropfogel is a “findologist” with HALO Branded Solutions ( http://www.yourfindologist.com/).  The company has been providing promotional products to businesses and nonprofit organizations for more than  25 years.  Stephen earned his Master Advertising Specialist (MAS) designation, from the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), awarded to the top one percent of promotional products professionals.  The speaker combines real magic with general education about a little known industry.
  • Do you believe in magic?  Why promotional products works

  • As easy as “abracadabra”--how businesses attract people to their trade show booths
Yuko Saito-Rodriguez (Rotary Club of South Bay Sunrise) (yukosland@gmail.com) The speaker is a Regional Manager for Velur Enterprises, Inc., a leading land-investment firm based in southern California.  She has been a keynote speaker  
for the Financial Executive Networking Group, a national organization.  Her wide variety of topics include:
  • Why California is still the best place to live and work
  • California, the manufacturing capital of the United States
  • The Amazon Effect
  • Climate Change Legislation
  • How raw land gets selected for development
Lee Stacy (Rotary Club of Burbank Sunrise (lstacy.rotary5280@gmail.com).  Lee is  currently an Assistant Governor of District 5280.  He has been speaking to Rotary clubs on these topics for about 10 years.
  • Fishing in Beautiful Southeast Alaska (includes video)
  • Everything You Wanted to Know about Pistachio Farming (includes handouts and video)
Elizabeth Skrzat (club application pending) (elizabeth.skrzat@lacity.org) The speaker is the program director for City Plants (www.cityplants.org), a non-profit partner of the City of Los Angeles dedicated to replenishing and improving the area’s threatened urban canopy.  
  • The Crisis of Canopy--The reasons cities and suburbs need to continue to plant trees for beautification, air quality, energy savings, quality of life and even jobs.
Jennifer Usyak (Rotary Club of Downtown Los Angeles) (usyakjen@hotmail.com)   Former Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar and Stanford University graduate Jennifer is an advisor at the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles for political and community relations.  Born and raised in Japan, she has been a member of the Rotary Club of Downtown Los Angeles club since 2012 and served as president for 2015-16.  She has a passion for working with youth and has been a volunteer in the Los Angeles County juvenile halls and camps through the Office of Restorative Justice/Archdiocese of Los Angeles since 2009.  
  • Building Bridges, Spanning Continents--Rotary’s Global Grants Scholars program and why your club should become involved.   
Laine Wagenseller (Rotary Club of L.A. 5) (ltw@wagensellerlaw.com).  Every year this Los Angeles business litigator returns to a small village in Uganda to help young men learn the true potential of adulthood.   One of the trips resulted in a story that made the Los Angeles Times, KCBS, KABC and other media outlets, and won the speaker the L.A. 5 presidential award (http://www.rotaryla5.org/stories/laine-wagenseller).
  • Building Men in Uganda