Southwest Rotary PETS

Save the Date

February 8 – 10, 2019

Los Angeles Airport Marriott

5855 West Century Boulevard  Los Angeles  California  90045  USA 

DG 5300 Luciano deSylva 2016-17

Hospitalty Party

General Sessions District

Classroom Training

Preparing for General Session

Barry Rassin selected to be 2018-19 Rotary President


Barry Rassin

Barry Rassin, of the Rotary Club of East Nassau, New Providence, Bahamas, is the selection of the Nominating Committee for President of Rotary International for 2018-19. He will be declared the president-elect on 1 September if no challenging candidates have been suggested.

As president, Rassin aims to strengthen our public image and our use of digital tools to maximize Rotary’s reach.

“Those who know what good Rotary clubs do will want to be a part of it, and we must find new models for membership that allow all interested in our mission to participate,” he says. “With Rotary more in the public eye, we will attract more individuals who want to be part of and support a membership organization that accomplishes so much good around the world.”

Rassin earned an MBA in health and hospital administration from the University of Florida and is the first fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives in the Bahamas. He recently retired after 37 years as president of Doctors Hospital Health System, where he continues to serve as an adviser. He is a lifetime member of the American Hospital Association and has served on several boards, including the Quality Council of the Bahamas, Health Education Council, and Employer’s Confederation.

A Rotarian since 1980, Rassin has served Rotary as director and is vice chair of The Rotary Foundation Board of Trustees. He was an RI training leader and the aide to 2015-16 RI President K.R. Ravindran.

Rassin received Rotary’s highest honor, the Service Above Self Award, as well as other humanitarian awards for his work leading Rotary’s relief efforts in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake there. He and his wife, Esther, are Major Donors and Benefactors of The Rotary Foundation.

Rassin’s nomination follows Sam F. Owori’s death in July, just two weeks into his term as Rotary International president-elect.

The members of the 2017-18 Nominating Committee for President of Rotary International are Anne L. Matthews (chair), Rotary Club of Columbia East, South Carolina, USA; Ann-Britt Åsebol, Rotary Club of Falun-Kopparvågen, Sweden; Örsçelik Balkan, Rotary Club of Istanbul-Karaköy, Turkey; James Anthony Black, Rotary Club of Dunoon, Argyll, Scotland; John T. Blount, Rotary Club of Sebastopol, California, USA; Frank N. Goldberg, Rotary Club of Omaha-Suburban, Nebraska, USA; Antonio Hallage, Rotary Club of Curitiba-Leste, Paraná, Brazil; Jackson S.L. Hsieh, Rotary Club of Taipei Sunrise, Taiwan; Holger Knaack, Rotary Club of Herzogtum Lauenburg-Mölln, Germany; Masahiro Kuroda, Rotary Club of Hachinohe South, Aomori, Japan; Larry A. Lunsford, Rotary Club of Kansas City-Plaza, Missouri, USA; P.T. Prabhakar, Rotary Club of Madras Central, Tamil Nadu, India; M.K. Panduranga Setty, Rotary Club of Bangalore, Karnataka, India; Andy Smallwood, Rotary Club of Gulfway-Hobby Airport (Houston), Texas, USA; Norbert Turco, Rotary Club of Ajaccio, Corse, France; Yoshimasa Watanabe, Rotary Club of Kojima, Okayama, Japan; and Sangkoo Yun, Rotary Club of Sae Hanyang, Seoul, Korea.

To learn more about Barry Rassin, read this interview and vision statement outlining his goals for Rotary.


23-27 June 2018
Toronto, Canada

Southwest PETS Chairperson 2017-2018


Elsa Gillham


Club: Wilshire

Elsa Gillham is a proud member of the Wilshire Rotary Club of Los Angeles since 1998. She served in many positions including Club President in 2008-2009.

A Rotary Foundation alumnus, she was the team leader of the Group Study Exchange to the Philippines in 2006-2007. The same year she was selected Rotarian of the Year of District 5280. She has donned many hats in the District chairing various committees such as the Dominican Republic District Humanitarian Trip, District Breakfasts, District Conference, Policies & Guidelines Committee and Finance Committee. She was District Governor in 2014-15. She was one of 14 worldwide District Governors in 2014 selected to visit Taiwan on a friendship tour courtesy of the Taiwan Government and the local Rotary Clubs. She finished her governor year with District 5280 having the highest membership gain in Zones 25/26. She currently chairs the District Charitable Foundation Trust and will attend the 2019 Council of Legislation as the District Delegate.

At the Zone level, Elsa chaired the Zone 25/26 Great American Breakfast at the Rotary International Convention in Seoul, Korea. She was one of the Regional Promotions Coordinators for the Atlanta Convention. Elsa served as Entertainment Committee Chair for the 2016 Zone Institute and is the co-chair of Pathway to Peace for the 2017 Zone Institute. She is the chair of the 2018 Southwest Rotary PETS.

Elsa Gillham was President and owner of Larchmont Data Inc, a business management, accounting and bookkeeping firm founded in 1979. Her husband Larry Gillham is a Certified Public Accountant and also a member of the Wilshire Rotary Club of Los Angeles. After 36 years in practice, they sold their firms and retired in 2015. Both Larry and Elsa are Paul Harris Society members and Major Donors. They have just attended their 16th Rotary International Convention and have registered for the Toronto convention.

Masters of Ceremony


Doug Baker


Club: Downey

Doug  joined the Downey Club in 1989 and was their Centennial President. During that year the Club was awarded numerous distinctions, achieved 100% Paul Harris status and the large Club of Excellence Award.

His service to District 5280 includes  SAG-Membership (2006-07) the SAG-Foundation (2007-08) when as part a dynamic team the District ranked number one in the US for annual unrestricted giving for the year and sixth worldwide.  He also served as the District Breakfast Chair. In 2008-2009 Doug served as the Executive Aide for District Governor Charles Anderson. He has served as Chairperson for the Paul Harris Society and of course, also served as District Governor for the 2010-2011 and 2013-2014 years.  Last year he received the Rotary Foundation Citation for Meritorious Service.

He is a Southern California native, born raised and educated all within a 25 mile area! Doug is the Managing Principal for Silversage Advisors, an Investment Advisory and Management firm with offices in Seal Beach and Irvine.

Currently living in Seal Beach enjoys tennis, reading, travel and the company of friends. His most meaningful Rotary moment was the 96 hours they and their daughter, Kelly spent in El Salvador during a wheelchair distribution event. It underscored that indeed we enhance our own lives by making a difference to others, either next door or in another country, one person to another.

PREP Training Schedule

District 5240


Name: Retreat
Date: September 22 and 23, 2017

Location: Santa Maria

District 5320

Name: Pre-PETS (two sessions)
Date: Thursday, December 7, 2017

Time: 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Date: Saturday, January  27, 2018
Time: 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon

Location: District 5320 Office – 2970 East La Palma Avenue, Suite P, Anaheim, CA  92806.
Refreshments: Coffee and Refreshments

District 5280


Name: PREP
Date: Saturday, January 13, 2017
Time: 8:00 am to Noon

Location: The Proud Bird,  11022 Aviation Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90045

District 5330

Name: PREP
Date: January 13, 2017
Location: Cal State University – Palm Desert

 District 5500


Six regional Pre-PETS sessions will be scheduled by DGE Kirk Reed and Assistant Governors


The DGE with regional AG’s will meet with Presidents Elect during the months of November, December, and January



District 5300


Name: PREP
Date: January 13, 2017

Location: Barstow

District 5340


Name: 2018-19 President’s Pre-PETS Roundtable
Date: October 28, 2017
Time: 8:30 to 12:00pm

Location: Hotel Karlan, 14455 Penasquitos Drive, San Diego, CA 92129

Name: 2018-19 President’s Rally
Date: January 27, 2018
Time: 8:30 to 12:00pm

Location: TBD