Posted by Jim Forestell on Jan 01, 2019
Under the able direction of DG Elaine, the 2019 Conference Committee has arranged for some outstanding Rotary and business speakers. We think they will wow you with their stories. We have ensured plenty of time in the program to ask questions and interact with each of them.
“The Edge of Tomorrow.” Is title of Sylvia Whitlock Address
Dr Sylvia Whitlock has been in Rotary for nearly 40 years. She was an elementary school principal in Duarte, California when she was asked to join the Rotary Club of Duarte.
Whitlock was the second woman to join the club, and it was because of the membership of women that Duarte lost its status as an official Rotary Club.
At that time, women were not allowed membership in Rotary. Duarte sued Rotary International and won, which changed the face of Rotary forever.
Dr Whitlock went on to be the first female Rotary Club president and was a District Governor in 2012-2013.
Whitlock was born in New York City but educated through high school in Kingston, Jamaica. She earned an international baccalaureate from Cambridge University in England and a bachelor’s of psychology from Hunter College of the City University of New York. She holds master degrees in education (Cal Poly, Pomona) and marriage and family therapy (Azusa Pacific University).
Sylvia is a recipient of the Rotary Foundation District Service Award. She has been the NAACP Woman of the Year and a Distinguished Alumna at al Poly I Pomona. She received the Global Citizen Award from the United Nations Association in October 2013.
Whitlock has participated in Rotary’s National Immunization Days and established an AIDS clinic in Jamaica. She has supported an orphanage in Mexico, sank wells in Nigeria and raised almost $90,000 to educate girls in India.
A multiple Paul Harris Fellow, benefactor and member of the Rotary Bequest Society, Whitlock has spoken at more than 75 district conferences and numerous clubs, institutes and Zone events. She addressed all 530 incoming DGs at the 2013 International Assembly. Currently, Whitlock is a member of the Rotary Club of Claremont.
Sylvia’s presentation will be titled “The Edge of Tomorrow.”
Past RI Director Blount to Address Planning Successful Events Attractive to the Community at Large
Dr John Blount started in Rotary at age 27, was President of the Sebastopol Club at age 32, and the youngest Governor of District 5013 at age 40. In 2009 he became an RI director and had a long and interesting career in RI. As a seasoned Rotarian John lead many changes to Rotary International over the years.
Blount has a long history of training incoming Rotary leaders.  He was previously one of the thirty-six Rotary world leaders selected to train over 500 incoming District Governors. John sits on the RI president Nominating Committee and is an energetic speaker.
John is currently Chair of the organising committee for the 2019 RI Convention in Hamburg and was active in the recent Toronto one as well.
His address at the conference will focus on ideas to help plan and conduct successful events so that they are attractive to Rotarians and non-members.

"Conflict – Finding a Way Forward" is the title of PDG Don Evans address

PDG Don Evans has been active in Rotary for more than 21 years. He is a Past President of the Rotary Club of Vancouver (2002-2003) and has held many different positions with his club. He has been active with District 5040 in Strategic Planning, as a member of the District Foundation  Committee and as a PETS Trainer. He was named Rotarian of the Year for  5040 in 2014 and was District 5040  Governor for 2017-18.
Don is a Paul Harris Society Member and a Major Donor to the Rotary Foundation. Both Don and Deb are also Bequest Society members.
Don is a graduate of Harvard Business School. He established DJE Holdings Ltd. in 1998 following his retirement after 31 corporate years in the telecommunications industry. In the past 20 years, his work in leadership skills and business strategy has taken him throughout North America, to China, much of Europe, and a unique project as part of the peace process in Northern Ireland.  
Active in the community, Don is a Past Chair of the Board of E-Comm 911, and also a long time member of the Vancouver Board of Trade. He has a major passion for railways and railway preservation and is Chair of the Board of the West Coast Railway Association and a Director of Heritage Rail Alliance.
He was awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002 for his active community involvement. Recently, he was awarded the Sovereign's Medal for Volunteers which was presented March 4, 2016, by the Governor General of Canada.
A resident of North Vancouver, Canada, he is married to wife Deb, has two children from a previous marriage and four grandchildren, and enjoys classic cars (one owner 1967 Nova SS!) hiking, photography, cycling and playing the piano.
Don's talk will focus on how to deal with differences of opinion in Rotary clubs, and ways to prevent differences from becoming conflicts that create harm to clubs and their success.
Chief to discuss more effective relationships with the Indigenous communities in Northern Ontario and the Prairies.
Mr Kevin Chief - Passionate and committed to helping maximise the potential of our youth, Kevin Chief is inspiring change and dialogue with people across Manitoba and Canada.
Kevin is always learning from the experiences and ideas of people who have overcome hardship and adversity and draws strength from these stories to help others who want to do the same. This approach brought Kevin into positions of leadership in the non-profit sector. As a former member of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly Kevin had an opportunity to work with leaders in all walks of life.

Having spent his professional career in community service, Kevin brings his expertise to his current role as the Vice President of the Business Council of Manitoba. The Business Council is made up of Chief Executive Officers of leading Manitoba companies committed to the economic growth and community development of our province - making Manitoba a preferred place to live, work and invest.

Kevin is also a sought-after speaker. Drawing from his humble beginning as an Indigenous youth in Winnipeg’s North End, to working alongside business, community and government leaders, Kevin is inspiring the next generation of young people to overcome adversity, mentor others, and achieve their potential.
Audiences who have heard Kevin’s message recognise that he brings a unique voice that can attract diverse crowds into inclusive and healthy conversations about diversity, policy, and social change.
We have asked Kevin to speak about ways D5550 might develop more effective relationships with the Indigenous communities in Northern Ontario and the Prairies.