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Rotary Speakers' Bureau
Looking for a speaker for your club? District 6970 provides this Speaker’s Bureau to assist your program chair in arranging interesting and relevant speakers on a variety of subjects – Rotary and non-Rotary.

For convenience to the club and the speaker, we indicate which geographic area within the district a speakers prefer to appear. “Any” means anywhere within the district.

If you or your club have a recommendation for a speaker, send the speaker’s name and title, Rotary club (if any), topic(s), email address,telephone numbers and preferred geographic area. We ask that you seek permission from the speaker prior to submitting your recommendation. Send the information to the district executive secretary using the Contact Us link.

Program chairs should make direct contact using the email addresses and telephone numbers below.


Rotarian speakers who offer their speaker services to your club generally will travel to any club in the indistrict. Speakers designated with an * prefer to speak to clubs within the southeast portion of the district.

Most past district governors are willing to speak on any Rotary subject of your choosing. However, several PDGs have special interests or experiences they would like to share with your members.


The following speakers have been recommended by district club program committees. Each speaker has confirmed his or her interest in presenting to other clubs within the district. While most speakers are willing to travel to clubs throughout the district, a few restrict their travel where indicated below.

If your club has recommendations for additions to the Speakers’ Bureau, please contact the District Executive Secretary (click Contact Us).

John Brunner
Past-District Governor 2012-2013 | 352.317.1251
Jennifer Mitchell
Office of Communications
St. Johns River Water Management District
Topic: The Future of Our Water Availability
Email: | 904-730-6283
Area: Northeast Florida
Art MacQueen
Past-District Governor 2013-2014 | 386.295.1620
James Bennett
Urban Transportation, Development Manager
Florida Department of Transportation
Topic: Road projects going on (and about to start) in and around the Jacksonville areas.
Area: Duval and surrounding counties | 904-360-5646
Cynde Covington
Past-District Governor 2010-2011
Topics: Foundation, Polio Plus, NID Trips | 904.568.1497
Jeff Davis
Topic: Strategic planning for small businesses
Area: Duval, Nassau, Clay, St. Johns | 904-536-1518
Dave Faraldo
Past-District Governor 2009-2010
Topic: Membership building | 904.536.4416
Richard Willits
RC Southpoint, atttorney
• Top 10 things your mother never told you about the law.
• Our jury system
• Charles Ponzi and Ponzi schemes
• The Ashley Gang | res. 904-834-2972 - cell 561-385-0027
Debra Lowe
Major Gifts Officer
Topic: The Rotary Foundation
Foundation Major Gifts | 407.846.0610
Steven Woodard
Director of Emergency Preparedness
City of Jacksonville
Topic: Bracing for the Worst
Area: Duval | 904.255.3123
Cassie Moyers
D6970 Rotary Youth Exchange Chair 2018-21
801-870-0940 (cellular)
Betsy Kruger
Owner, Strategic Power
Topic: Marketing strategy expert coaches business leaders using a system transform marketing strategy and magnify business. | 386-253-2060
Jeanette Loftus
Dist. Governor 2018-19, District Foundation Chair 2020-2023
Topics: Polio, NID to India, Foundation email: 386.931.9030
Donald Dymer
RC Jacksonjville Oceanside
Topic: The Trends and Myths of Employee Screening and Testing | 904.241.1821
Russ Miller
District Governor 2008-2009 | 813.230.1334
Lawrence M. Hills Jr.
Program Director
Topic: Teen & Truancy Court 4th Judicial Circuit: The effectiveness and success of the Teen and Truancy Court.
Area: Clay, Duval, Nassau | 904.255.1030
Karen Weiss
Assistant Governor 2008-2013
Early Act | 386.956.8207
Lynn Brannon
Florida Army National Guard
JFHQ Family Readiness Support
Topic: Florida National Guard Family Program offers a variety of volunteer opportunities to support and assist service members and families of the Florida National Guard. | 904-599-2917
Susan Wischhusen
Spring Hill Rotary Club
District 6950, Zone 34 Coord.
Rotarian Action Group Against Child Slavery | 631.697.1804
R. Charles Nichols, M.D.
Univ. Florida Radiation Oncology
Topic: The story and successes behind the Proton Beam Therapy being used at UF Health Proton Institute - Jacksonville | 904-588-1800
Bill Hamilton
Hoods For Heroes | 904-887-2187
70% of Firefighter line of duty deaths are from cancer and 1 out of 3 are diagnosed with cancer. We provide grants for Firefighters to get them the protective chemical blocking hoods to reduce their exposure to carcinogens.
Harlow A. Hyde
RC Deland
Topic: Climate Change emphasis on the historical and statistical record in North America, including both temperature and precipitation. | 386-748-2820
Jim Samuelson
Shelter Box, 606 SW 3rd Ave., Ocala, FL 34471
Supported by Rotary ShelterBox USA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing shelter, warmth and dignity to survivors of disaster and humanitarian crisis worldwide. | 352-502-6585
Sam Houston / Mike Cassata
Cecil Field POW*MIA Memorial
6112 New World Avenue, Jacksonville, FL 32221
Mission: HONOR all former Prisoners of War; REMEMBER and NEVER FORGET those quiet, Missing in Action Heroes and the Families that wait for their return | 904-813-8162
Tim O’Donnell
District Grant Chair
Topic: District Grants
Dr. Marcus De Carvalho
A Medical Doctor who specializes in addiction medicine and psychiatry. He is board certified and is a diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and is also a member of the American Board of Medical Specialties.
Topic: "Untangling the Opioid Epidemic-A Hijacking of the Brain"
Mickey Ulmer
District 6970 • RLI Director
District 6970 • Assistant Governor/Foundation
Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise • Past-President 2018-19
Kathy Stark
A Jacksonville native and resident, Kathy specializes in watercolor and oil painting. A member of the Southlight Gallery in downtown Jacksonville, Kathy’s work has been collected both privately and corporately and has been shown in museums and galleries in Northeast Florida.
Kathy graduated from Bartram School in Jacksonville, now part of the Bolles School. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from Furman University in Greenville, SC, and continued her post baccalaureate education at the University of Florida.
Stark combines her expansive watercolor paintings with sketches, historical facts and maps to create an exhibit that is a unique blend of art and education, serving as a tribute and guide to the great unspoiled stretches of our region.
Ellen Blasi
District 6970
Eliminating Malaria
Ryan Backmann, Exec Dir, Project Cold Case
Dan Janson, Supervisor, Sheriff's Office Homicide/Cold Case
Project: Cold Case is a non-profit group serving families of unsolved homicide victims. They
work together with the Sheriff's office to follow up with families of unsolved cases. In the era
DNA technology, more crimes have the potential to be reviewed and possibly solved.
A very interesting presentation!
Billy Wagner
Brightway Insurance Agency Owner
RC of Ponte Vedra Beach
Past President 2017-18
District 6970
Learn how to save time and simplify life. Learn how to save 20 hours of time each week through a unique set of strategies. Learn how to create an ideal schedule, how to organize giving back to our community, and many other tips on how to simplify your life so you can spend time on the things that truly matter.
Bryan Franks, Ph.D.
Asst Prof of Marine Science, JU | 904-256-7976
Mike Darragh, Past District Governor 2019-20
Zone 34 Rotary Coordinator
(904) 412-1478
Topic: How to develop a Membership Action Plan for your club
The new Membership Action Plan has great tools that allow clubs to analyze their club, then take concrete steps to improve it. If you want happy, engaged members, find out how to use M.A.P.
Alan J. Bliss, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Jacksonville Historical Society | 904-665-0064
Credentialed and accomplished in academic and public history, Alan Bliss is noted for his strong community engagement.
Alan has a background in real estate development and property management, as well as in the maritime industry. He is a sought-after public speaker and is closely engaged with matters of urban and transportation policy, downtown investment, city and regional planning, and infrastructure.
Alan is skilled in Strategic Planning, Historical Research, Oral History, and Project Management. He has a University of Florida Ph.D., with studies focused on Urban History and Economic Geography.
Michael L. Huyghue
President, Michael Huyghue & Associates, LLC | 904-813-6340
Former General Manager for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Michael offers a unique perspective into the world of the NFL. Very engaging and entertaining!
Kevin Van Dyke
Owner, Anastasia Fitness Club | 904-910-2623
A practice focused on preventing disease via exercise, nutrition and other lifestyle habits. This presentation is focused on the cause of our exploding cost of health care and how it relates to a similar epidemic with obesity.
Dr. Gretchen L. Espinetti
CART Fund, Chair
CART Fund - Coins for Alzheimer's Research Trust
Learn more about Rotary's CART Fund providing dollars for innovated research to fight Alzheimer’s disease. | 330-998-1955
Ruth Bowling
Looking to partner for Global Grants to fund projects that will bring hope and healing to many children throughout the world.
Sarah Lawlor Troup
Manager of Connectable
Connectable raises awareness within Northeast Florida about what people with intellectual and developmental differences (IDDs) can bring to our community through hard work and friendship.
Stephanie Brown
Hubbard House,
a full-service certified domestic violence center
904-354-0076 ext 209
Kirby Wedekind
Proetective Security Advisor
Dept of Homeland Security
program about Cybersecurity and the many programs available from the US Govt for assistance with Active Shooter and what to do
Jacob A. Rush, Esq
(904) 419-3050
Civil Rights Lawyer, Former Sheriff's Deputy - Overview of Law Enforcement and Civil Rights challenges in America.
Jennifer Mitchell, Ph. D.
Water Less: Reducing outdoor irrigation
Office of Communications
St. Johns River Water Management District
Office: 904-730-6283
Giselle Carson, Atty. Marks Gray
U.S. Immigration & Compliance
Office: 904-398-0900
Bill Jameson - Culture Index
Topic: Getting the Right Team On The Bus To Sustainably Scale Your Business.
Phone 1-904-439-1198
Lisa Rinaman, speaker about the St. Johns River
Pete Langlois, President/COO at Ascendo
Topic: Host of the Pete The Job Guy Radio Show to discuss current trends in employment especially with the work at home trend.
Phone 904-999-4878
Center for Clinical Research
Topic: Medical Research
Vicki Helow
Barton and Lori Chelf
Founders of Beyond90
Topic: Helping legal refugees in Jacksonville reach self-sufficiency after their 90 days of government funding is over.
Phone: 904-509-9388
Michael Ray FitzGerald
Topic: Jacksonville and the Roots of Southern Rock
Danae' Bunso is the Duval County Program Coordinator for the non-profit organization called Isaiah 117 House. Isaiah 117 House provides physical and emotional support in a safe and loving home for children awaiting foster care placement. Duval County Program Coordinator
423.518.3760 ext. 106
Madison Edwards
Students Against Child Trafficking
SACT Programs Director
Office: 512.410.8080