Special Guests

Jorrita Solari, RI Director  Zones 26-27


Johrita became a Rotarian in 1993 and club president in 1995.  She is currently a proud member of the Rotary Club of Anaheim, California.  She served as District Governor for District 5320 in 2010-11 and has been selected to serve as the Rotary International Director for Zones 25/26 for the years 2019-21.

As District Governor, Johrita held the first District 5320 Million Dollar dinner for The Rotary Foundation. Under Johrita’s leadership District 5320 became the second district in the world to become a 100% Paul Harris Club District.

Johrita is the co-founder and Chief Visionary Officer of Solari Enterprises, Inc., a full-service property management company employing 300 team members specializing in the management of more than $1B of affordable multifamily housing. She works together with her husband and daughters to create a working environment where a high level of ethics and integrity is maintained.  

Rotary plays an important role in the Solaris’ lives. Johrita, her husband Bruce, and their two daughters, Gianna and Tressa, are all past club presidents and active supporters of The Rotary Foundation.  

Johrita and Bruce are Paul Harris Fellows, Major Donors, and members of the Bequest Society, the “White Hat Society” and the Arch Klumph Society.

They currently live in Villa Park, California U.S.A.

Brenda Cressey, Trustee


A Rotarian since 1989 Brenda served as District Governor in 2001-02. She is currently a member of the RC of Paso Robles, CA. Brenda served two terms as a Training Leader for the 530 incoming Governors around the world and keynote speaker at the Rotary International Assemblies in 2009-10 held in San Diego.

She was a member of the 2010 International Assembly Executive Committee for Rotary President Ray Klinginsmith and also served as Moderator for the Governor Partners Program and a speaker/trainer for the Future Vision Pilot Training.

Brenda also served twice as a District delegate to the Council on Legislation and consecutive 3-year terms as RI Regional Membership Coordinator and Regional Rotary Foundation Coordinator.

James R. Damato, Jr. (Jim)

Supervisor, Club and District Support, (North)


Jim was born and raised in the Chicago area and is a graduate of Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, with a degree in Administration of Justice and History.  He joined the Club and District Support department in August 1999. Jim enjoys Chicago’s cultural offerings, including Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and reading history, historical fiction and novels of global intrigue. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Chicago Lakeview, having served as the clubs 2011-2012 and 2016-17 president.

Sophie Wolff Dangerfield
Coordinator  |  Club and District Support, The Americas


Sophie Wolff Dangerfield is a Coordinator with Club and District Support, The Americas, representing Zones 21(b), 28, 29 and 32.

A staff member of Rotary International since July 2016, Sophie is part of a team that offers personalized service, training and guidance on: Rotary resources and services, administrative procedures, Board Policy and Rotary constitutional documents, and navigating rotary.org for conducting business online.

A native French speaker, Sophie obtained a Baccalauréat A1 in Mathematics, Languages and Philosophy in Paris, France, a BA Honours in Theatre Arts & English Literature from Goldsmiths’ College, University of London, and an RSA Cambridge teaching certificate, in London, England. Born in Casablanca, Morocco, she is French, English and Canadian.

Sophie lives in Chicago with her husband and two cats, is an avid Lake Michigan swimmer. In her spare time, she runs a school for vintage dances, offering instruction and choreography for charity events.

Nicole Jones
Manager of Regional Membership Development for Zones  25  and 26


Nicole Jones is a Manager of Regional Membership Development at Rotary. She supports zone and districts leaders in Zones 25 and 26 (Western US and Canada) with their membership development efforts by focusing on relevant membership attraction, engagement, and retention strategies. Nicole also manages the Regional Membership Officer (RMO) team, which is made up of four membership officers. Together, the team supports Rotary leaders in North America, Central America, and Australia/New Zealand. Utilizing a regional approach, the RMO team works to provide guidance, help train membership volunteers, provide clubs with innovative ideas and resources to encourage club flexibility, foster Rotarian engagement, improve membership diversity, and strengthen clubs.

After working for Northwestern University, Nicole joined Rotary in 2011 as a Senior Coordinator working to create and enhance Rotary membership resources. In 2015, she transitioned into a new role as a Senior Regional Membership Officer. In this positon, she worked to build and hire the Regional Membership Officer team, dedicated to utilizing regional membership strategies to help clubs provide positive membership experiences. Nicole was promoted to Manager of Regional Membership Development in November 2017.

Nicole received her B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in International Studies and Political Science, and her M.S. in Public Service Management from DePaul University.

Steven Solomon

Senior Annual Giving Officer for Zones 25 & 26

As the Senior Annual Giving Officer for Zones 25 & 26, Steven is privileged to work with Rotarians in 23 districts in the western region of North America to raise money for The Rotary Foundation.  During his Rotary travels, he assists with training seminars, district conferences, club presentations and other special events to promote The Rotary Foundation.  Steven was responsible for orchestrating Dr. Jane Goodall’s participation at Rotary’s 100th International Convention and serving as the primary contact for Archbishop Desmond Tutu at the Rotary World Peace Symposium in England.  He believes in the power of Rotarians to use their skills to responsibly better communities at a grass roots level and is honored to make a living doing something he believes in- supporting The Rotary Foundation.

Before working for the Foundation, Steven was an Interact Club member and an Ambassadorial Scholar in South Africa. He is an honorary Rotarian with two Rotary clubs in Illinois. He earned a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management with a concentration in Fundraising Management from Spertus College in Chicago, a Certificate in Fund Raising Management through the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, and was awarded the Association of Fundraising Professionals Chamberlain Scholarship.


Roy Smith

Co-Founder of Multi-district PETS



Jim Vanderburg

Co-Founder of Multi-district PETS

As Governor Nominee/Nominee, January 1977, I accepted an invitation to the Past Officers Zone Institute. The Institute was designed as a reunion and training session for the Governor Elect.

Innocent question – “What are you doing to train the Club Presidents?” Well, nothing. It was from that response the seed of an idea called President Elect Training took root.

I met with the Southern California Governors and they agreed, “PETS is a good idea – it’s Vanderburg’s idea, his responsibility”.

Rotary became like oxygen – necessary to life.

I got lucky! Joe Jordan, PDG 5260 and Carl Schwab, PDG 5320 agreed to work with me. It was their brain power, their Rotary knowledge and talent that made PETS possible. Carl was smart in the office, Joe was smart in the street.

Best example – Joe and Carl knew Rotarians love to complain. We taught eight classes, the Presidents could attend only five. They returned home complaining wanting more classes. We turned a negative complaint into a positive.

Past Club Presidents designed and taught the classes: Mr. Rotary In 60 Minutes; Budget & Finance; Building A Team; It Must Be Fun; Motivation; Communication; Time Management; How To Memorize Names & Faces.

I talked with the Service Manager at the Secretariat about PETS, he wrote a letter quoting the Manual of Procedure – “The voting delegates from the six districts need
to approve a multi district event”.

I solved that proble.m – Hosted by District 5320.

The first PETS program was born January 1978 and became an official program in 1989 when I served on the RI Board and Chairman of the Program Committee.