General Session Speakers
Opening General Session: Friday Morning
Time: Friday 2/2/2024 – 9:00 am – 9:45 am
Keynote Speaker: Jason Browne
Jason is passionate about storytelling, He expertly merges radio, marketing, and public speaking to engage global audiences. Collaborating with giants like Facebook, Microsoft, and Rotary International, and drawing from his MBA, Jason has spoken on over 100 stages, addressing leadership, privilege, and diversity.
Jason’s genuine passion for sharing stories is deeply rooted in his desire to craft a brighter future, especially for his younger family members. This dedication is mirrored in his extensive international experience in marketing communications, workshop facilitation, and public speaking. He’s contributed to over 5,000 hours of ON-AIR content and has connected with more than 100,000 people through live events worldwide.
Offstage, he enjoys basketball, music, kayaking, and winning over his young niece. From deep dives into DEI to discussions on space travel, Jason’s approach intertwines seriousness with fun. His guiding principle: “Use what you love to fight what you hate.”
General Session 1: Friday Lunch – DGE Susan M Krahe-Archibald, D5500
Time: Friday 2/2/2024 – 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Keynote Speaker: Mary Lathrum
On October 29, 2016, Mary Latham took off in her mother’s old car on a mission to every single state in the U.S. to collect stories of human kindness. Latham used local radio and media to get the word out as she traveled through towns to collect her stories. Her mission evolved, and soon, Latham visited many high schools, church groups, rotary clubs, and other community gatherings to spread the message of More Good. The mission spanned through 154 strangers’ homes in all 50 states and covered more than 43,000 miles in her mom’s Subaru, nicknamed Old Blue. All of her stories will go into a book she plans to donate to hospital waiting rooms across the country.
She received national attention, appearing on MSNBC, The Today Show, The Kelly Clarkson Show, and in the pages of The Washington Post, along with local media in almost every state she visited across the country. She is currently writing her book and continues to speak on the More Good mission today, hoping to bridge the schisms that divide our country and inspire others with her stories of hope – proving there really is More Good in the world. You just have to look for it.
General Session 2: Friday Dinner – DGE Christopher J. Skorina, , D5320 & DGE Dianne Crawford, D5340
Time: Friday 2/2/2024 – 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Keynote Speaker: RI Foundation Chair and RIPP Barry Rassin
Barry is a director and former president of Doctors Hospital Health System in Nassau, Bahamas, where he retired after a 38-year career. He was the first fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives in the Bahamas and was honored with the National Award of Health Hero by the Bahamas Ministry of Health and the Pan American Health Organization.
A Rotarian since 1980, Rassin served as RI president in 2018-19, when he advocated for closer partnership between Rotary and Rotaract clubs and presented the measure that broadened the definition of membership in Rotary International to include Rotaract clubs at the 2019 Council on Legislation. He has served RI in many other capacities, including as RI director, Rotary Foundation trustee and vice chair, chair of both the Finance and the Shaping Rotary’s Future committees, RI training leader, and seminar trainer. In 2010, Rassin coordinated Rotary’s disaster relief efforts in Haiti after a devastating earthquake. That included supervising the completion of 105 relief and development projects throughout Haiti that were made possible by the $6.5 million raised by Rotary members worldwide. He is currently active on the Bahamas Rotary Disaster Relief Committee and working on relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Dorian and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Outside of Rotary, Rassin chairs Volunteer Bahamas, a national program to create a culture of volunteerism in the country. He also helped found the Haiti National Clean Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Strategy (HANWASH), a collaborative program to bring potable water and adequate sanitation to all the citizens of Haiti. In 2018, the government of the Bahamas named him as an Officer of the Order of Distinction.
Rassin has received the Service Above Self Award. He and his spouse, Esther, are Rotary Foundation Major Donors, Benefactors, Paul Harris Fellows, and members of the Paul Harris Society.
General Session 3: Saturday Breakfast – DGE Ted Faigle, D5000 and DGE Michaelle Holcomb, D5495
Time: Saturday 2/3/2024 – 7:00 am – 8:30 am
Keynote Speaker: Jean Irwin-Hatfield
A recipient of a Rotary Foundation “Ambassadorial Scholarship” which in her 7th year of teaching the deaf allowed her to study overseas. As part of a Deafness Research Team in Nottingham , England, she learned new techniques to teach the deaf to read. It is little known that for the deaf, achieving high levels of literacy is the most difficult challenge academically.
The techniques she learned in Nottingham were successful. After her return the new methods she used helped her students break the 4th grade reading level ceiling many deaf persons face upon graduation from high school. She has been able to share those methods at multiple conferences and through Rotary travel far and wide to do teacher workshops. It is her hope to share them again in Kenya in the near future.
Jean retired from teaching in 2008 in Reno, Nevada, but returned for 3 years to teach in California in 2017. She is retired again. She and her husband, David, reside in Sacramento , California.
General Session 4: Saturday Lunch – DGE Alberto Hernadez, D5280
Time: Saturday 2/03/2024 – 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Keynote Speaker: RI Zone 26-27 Director Dan Himelspach
Dan was raised on a ranch in southeastern Montana and holds a BS in Chemistry from the SD School of Mines and Technology, a JD from the University of Denver College of Law and a Master Negotiation Certificate from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. Dan is the principal of Dispute Management Inc. located in Denver, Colorado. Dan is married to Leslie Lawson, a former Denver District Court Judge. Dan and Leslie have two children, Mariah and Jonathan, who have participated in a wide variety of Rotary projects and events.
Dan joined the Denver Mile High Rotary Club in August 1993and has served in multiple leadership positions, including President for the Rotary Year 2005-06.Dan has traveled to and been instrumental in many of the Club’s international and local projects. Dan was the Grants Subcommittee Chair for District 5450for three years. He served as District 5450 Governor for Rotary Year 2013-14.Dan trained the DGNs at the 2014Zone Institute. He served as the Zone 27 End Polio Now Coordinator for Rotary Years 2015-17and as Zones 26-27 Regional Rotary Foundation Coordinator for Rotary Years2017-20. Dan also served as a RI Council on Legislation Representative from 2017-20.
Dan is currently the RI Director Nominee and will serve as Director from Rotary Years 2023-25.
Dan is a member of the Paul Harris Society and the Bequest Society. He has been awarded several awards for his Rotary service including The Rotary Foundation Citation for Meritorious Service
General Session 5: Saturday Dinner – DGE Michael Driebe, D5300 & DGE Judy Zulfiqar , D5330
Time: Saturday 02/03/2024 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Keynote Speaker: RIPE Stephanie A. Urchick
Stephanie A. Urchick, of the Rotary Club of McMurray, Pennsylvania, USA, is the selection of the Nominating Committee for President of Rotary International for 2024-25, a decision that would make her only the second woman to hold that position. She will be declared the president-nominee on 15 September if no challenging candidates have been suggested.
With the world facing incredible challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, disasters driven by climate change, and conflict in many regions, Urchick says Rotary’s leaders can offer a vision and a plan for overcoming these challenges.
“Measures taken by Rotary leadership to survive and end critical challenges often make our organization stronger and more resilient for future events,” Urchick says. “This kind of essential leadership also creates new levels of cooperation, even among rivals, when Rotarians pull together as people of action to serve and solve a crisis.”
Making regionalization a priority is crucial, says Urchick.
“Because Rotary operates in more than 200 countries and regions, it is vital to recognize that the organization has the potential to become more efficient and effective by understanding and reacting to how regional differences affect the way Rotarians work together to address providing service, promoting integrity, and advancing world understanding, goodwill, and peace,” Urchick says.
Urchick is partner and chief operating officer of Doctors at Work LLC, a consulting and training company. She holds a doctorate in leadership studies from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She is active on numerous community boards and committees, and has been honored by organizations including Zonta International and the Sons of the American Revolution.
A Rotary member since 1991, Urchick has traveled to Vietnam to help build a primary school and to the Dominican Republic to install water filters. She studies several Slavic languages, has mentored new Rotarians in Ukraine, and coordinated a Rotary Foundation grant project in Poland.
Urchick has served Rotary in many roles, including as a director, Foundation trustee, and chair of the RI Strategic Planning Committee and the Foundation’s Centennial Celebration Committee. She currently serves on the Election Review Committee and the Operations Review Committee. She is a Rotary Foundation Major Donor and a member of the Bequest Society.
General Session 6: Sunday Brunch – DGE Sherry Peckhoon Sim D5240
Time: Saturday, 02/04/2024 10:00 am -11:30 am
Keynote Speaker Lex Gillette
A highly sought-after inspirational African American key-note speaker who empowers his au-diences to gaze beyond the horizon and see more than what is in front of their eyes.
There is no need for sight when you have a vision. In fact, Lex proclaims that it wasn’t until he became blind that he was truly able to see. As he writes in his book FLY!, “Vision gives you strength. You see what can be, and maybe what ought to be. Your focus shifts away from what’s in your way, to what lies beyond your current reality.”
Lex has a unique perspective as a Black, blind Paralympic speaker. His presentation topics include visionary leader-ship, culture, diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), ableism, growth mindset, resilience, and high performance, to name a few.
Lex is the best totally blind long and triple jumper in the his-tory of the U.S. Paralympic movement. He is the current world record holder in the long jump, a five-time Paralympic medalist, a four-time long jump world champion, and an 18-time national champion.