2019 PETS Instructors

Julie Aubry

Julie Aubry is the Regional Membership Officer on the Membership Development team for Central and Western United States (Zones 25, 26, and part of 27). She supports zone, district, and club level volunteers with membership growth through strategic planning, membership engagement and retention initiatives, and promoting membership tools and resources.

Julie got her start with Rotary in 2012 as a Coordinator for the Club and District Support team. In 2015, she joined the Regional Membership Officer team in its infancy and helped support the team throughout its 3-year pilot. She worked with and supported volunteers in the Central United States (Zones 21b and 27), Australia, New Zealand, and Pacific Islands (Zones 7b and 8) until July 2018.

Julie earned her Bachelor of Arts from Dominican University and has a background working in theatre. She enjoys traveling, hiking, designing, and volunteering in her spare time.

Friday February 9

Course: Membership It’s Priority 1!

Time: 9 am

Room: Imperial D, E F

PDG Randy Brooks

Randy is a Past District Governor (2012-13) Rotary D-5500, a past president and member of the Rotary Club of Marana, AZ. He was the Rotary Regional Assistant Coordinator, Chair of the Arizona Tri-District PETS committee (2016), served as the District Vice Governor (2015-18). Randy is president of the Rotary District 5500 Foundation (2017-2018) and  a board member of The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona (2016-19). He is on the steering committee for the newly named Southwest PETS (2017-2020) and is an Assistant Rotary Regional Foundation Coordinator Zone 26, (2017-2020). He has attended a Rotary Peace Conference in Paris, and the Rotary Day at the United Nations. Randy attends Zone Institutes and Rotary conventions. He has worked  on many community and international projects and a facilitator and graduate on the Rotary Leadership Institute. Randy is a graduate of the Arizona Rotary Leadership Academy and a facilitator with the Visioning” process in Arizona. He’s also is a facilitator for the Rotary Leadership Institute. He Randy is a major donor, Paul Harris Society and Bequest Society member. Randy is Vice President  of the International Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation (1997-2018).

Friday February 8

Course:  Conflict Resolution

Time: 9 am, 10 am, 11am

Room: Washington

PP Ray Bushnell

Ray is a member of the Arcadia Rotary Club, District 5300. Served as President in 1997-98. Ray has worked with the Rotary Rose Parade Float Committee for over 20 years raising awareness for Rotary on a global scale. He was Chair for the 2008 parade. Ray has served on non-profit boards and fundraising councils including Red Cross and Methodist Hospital. Ray owns and operates RBI Systems, currently focused on helping organizations with marketing and fundraising. The firms focus is on better communications to increase market share and fundraising potential. He lives in Glendale California with his wife, Barbara and their two chocolate labs. Between them they have two grown children. Ray and Barbra are Paul Harris Fellows.

Friday February 8

Course:  Fundraising

Time: 9 am, 10 am, 11am

Room: New York and Miami

Geoff Laforteza

Bio coming soon

Friday February 8

Course: Maximizing ClubRunner

Time: 9 am, 10am, 11am

Room: Houston

PDG Wade Nomura

Wade has attended 12 consecutive PETS and is a charter member (2002) of the Rotary Club of Carpinteria Morning. He served as the District Governor in 2011-2012. He is a Level 2 Bequest Society member, Major Donor and recipient of the Rotary International “Service Above Self” Award. Wade has been on 31 international trips for Rotary, including an NID to India, where he has a special passion, having had polio as a child. Wade serves/served as a GNATS Instructor, Zone Trainer, Zone Institute Marketing and Registration Manager, Zone Training Cadre Administrative Chair, Rotary Foundation Cadre for Water and Sanitation, and Community and Economic Development in English and Spanish speaking countries, 2015-2017 Rotary International Director Nominating Committee, Rotary International President’s Representative for Presidents Tanaka and Burton, the 2013-2014 Rotary Rose Parade Float Committee Chair, 2016 Rotary International Council on Legislation delegate, and the 2017 So. Cal/Nevada PETS Chair

Friday February 8

Course: Club Culture

Time: 9 am, 10am, 11am

Room: Dallas and Denver

PDG Joe Ramos

Joe joined the Rotary Club of Lake Arrowhead in Southern California in 2004 after retiring in 2001 as Associate Director of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards AFB, California. During his 34 year service he also held senior positions at the Pentagon, Air Force Flight Test Center, and an Adjunct Professor for 10 years at 3 Universities teaching graduate and undergraduate Engineering and Management courses.

Joe became Club President in 2007-08 and was awarded “Best Club in the District.” As District Governor in 2013-14 he was awarded a trophy for the greatest percentage membership growth in Zones 25/26. This was after years of declining membership and being last place in both zones in membership growth. He also led both Zones in Every Rotarian Every Year, and numerous other records and many “firsts” within his district.

He is currently on the Chair of Administration of Zone 25/26 Governor Elect Training (GETS)/Governor Nominee Training Seminar (GNATS), Southern California/Nevada PETS, Chair of the Rotary Rose Parade Float, 2018 Zone 26 Assistant Rotary Coordinator, and other positions. He has been married to his wife Jeanne for 49 years. They have 2 children and 6 grandchildren. Joe and Jeanne are Major Donors, Multiple Paul Harris Fellows, Members of the Paul Harris Society and Benefactors.

Joe has a BS in Physics from the University of San Francisco, MS in Electronic Engineering from University of Southern California, and an MS in Management from Stanford University as a Sloan Fellow.

Friday February 8

Course: Membership It’s Priority #1!

Time: 9 am

Room: Imperial D, E, F

PP Michael Soden

Michael first joined Rotary in 2003 by invitation and is currently a member of the Rotary Club of Green Valley, Henderson Nevada,  He is a two time President.   First time was in Central Virginia, District 7600, Brandermill (Midlothian), 2008-2009. The second time was for his current club Green Valley, District 5300, 2013-2014. During his year as President of Green Valley, the club was named the #1 medium size club in District 5300, received the RI Presidential Citation with Distinction and the club became a 100% Paul Harris Fellow club. Michael was honored in receiving Rotarian of the year by his respective clubs on three separate occasions.

Michael currently serves as one of the Assistant RPICs for Zone 26,  District Communication Officer (DCO) for District 7600 and District 5300. Is the District 5300 Grants chair 2017-2020. He has been serving on the SWR PETS committee since 2015 as committee chair for the Website/Social Media/USummit Event App.

Additionally Michael is a Paul Harris Fellow +7.

Friday February 8

Course: Maximizing DACdb

Time: 9 am, 10am, 11am

Room: New Orleans

The Panel – Attracting Young Professionals

IPDG Cozette Vergari

Cozette Vergari is a member of the State Bar of California and is also admitted to practice law before the United States District Federal Court for the Central District of California. Cozette established her own law firm in 1996 in the areas of Family Law and Trust and Estates.

In September 1995, Cozette joined the Rotary Club of Westchester (Los Angeles). She has served in numerous positions at the club, district and zone levels, including chairing the opening night event for the 2008 RI Convention in Los Angeles, staring Natalie Cole at L.A. Live. She currently serves as District Governor for RI District 5280.

Cozette also serves on the Board of Directors for 1736 Family Crisis Center and the U.S. Selective Service System, while developing the RI District 5280 Human Trafficking Initiative.

Cozette and her husband Richard Moon met in Rotary and have a blended family of four children, two daughters-in-law, two grandchildren, with another due in March.

Friday February 8

Course: Attracting Young Professionals – Panel Discussion

Time: 9 am, 10am, 11am

Room: Scottsdale and Atlanta

Tori Hettinger

Tori Hettinger is the 2018-19 President of the Rotary Club of Westchester. Her Rotary journey started twenty years ago, when she was a 15-year-old Interactor at El Segundo High School. Starting at such a young age has allowed Tori to experience Rotary at several levels- as an Interactor, Rotaractor, and now a Rotarian. She served as the President of UCLA Rotaract and then moved into the role of Rotaract District Governor (now knows as Rotaract District Rep) in 2005-2006. Tori joined the Rotary Club of Westchester as a Young Professional in 2014 and loves the mix of new and seasoned members that make up the club.

Tori is also District 5280’s (only!) employee, serving as the District Office administrator. She loves working with Rotarians on a daily basis and has had the opportunity to work with over a dozen District Governors. By far, her favorite part of the job has been attending the District humanitarian trips in Latin and South America. She’s traveled to seven countries in that part of the world, with Guatemala and Ecuador holding special places in her heart.

Tori graduated from UCLA in 2005 with a degree in Art History. In her free time, she loves visiting museums, gardening, and finding any opportunity to swing a hammer. She has a passion for interior design and has worked on several demo/rehab design projects. By far, the craziest thing she has ever done was race in an outrigger canoe from Newport Beach to Catalina Island last year.

Friday February 8

Course: Attracting Young Professionals – Panel Discussion

Time: 9 am, 10am, 11am

Room:  Scottsdale and Atlanta

Jerry Jen

Jerry is proud member of the Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club. He is the principal attorney at the Jen Law Firm, APC, and practices commercial collections and judgment enforcement. As long as Jerry can remember, he has always enjoyed serving his community and helping others. During high school, Jerry was heavily involved with the Interact Club and volunteered outside of school as well. During Jerry’s entire time at Cal, he was actively involved with a community service organization (Alpha Phi Omega), and worked on local and regional projects. As a practicing attorney, Jerry has also volunteered his time at local community legal clinics and served as a volunteer mediator at the Glendale Courthouse. When Jerry is not practicing law and spending time with his Rotary Club, he is currently on a mission to learn how to play the ukulele and bass.

Bryson returned to Loyola Marymount University as the Associate Director of the Fred Kiesner Center for Entrepreneurship in 2013 where the program ranked top 25 in the nation according to US World & News.

Friday February 8

Course: Attracting Young Professionals – Panel Discussion

Time: 9 am, 10am, 11am

Room:  Scottsdale and Atlanta

Matt Schauer

Matt Schauer works in affordable housing development at Clifford Beers Housing (CBH), helping build housing for homeless and low income households. Prior to CBH, he was on the Proposition HHH team at the City of LA’s housing department and on LA Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson’s policy team. An avid movie re-watcher and Mandarin Chinese speaker, Matt loves food, meeting new people, and laughing at corny jokes. 

Friday February 8

Course: Attracting Young Professionals – Panel Discussion

Time: 9 am, 10am, 11am

Room:  Scottsdale and Atlanta

Wissam Takieddine

Wissam Takieddine was born in Los Angeles, CA in 1989. He spent his early childhood in Lebanon on the construction site while his father was managing the construction of hospitals after the war. He studied Construction Engineering Management at California State University Northridge and proceeded to work at The Eden Group where he serves as the Vice President today. Wissam’s experience and knowledge has helped The Eden Group become one of the leading engineering firms in Los Angeles providing services to clients such as Six Flags, JPL/NASA, McDonalds, Urth Caffe, Hertz, Flame Broiler and many more. The Eden Group has completed over 1,700 residential and commercial projects to date throughout Southern California.

Giving back to the community is his highest priority. Utilizing the power of the people and his passion for the environment, Wissam started an initiative in his hometown called Baclean, which organizes community-based events such as nature cleanups and awareness campaigns. In 2014, he was appointed as the US Ambassador to the Shouf Biosphere Reserve which is the largest protected biosphere in the Middle East. In 2017, he was voted to serve as the President of the LA Cedars Rotary club which has implemented a vast portfolio of local and international projects including water filtration for public schools in Lebanon, medical equipment distribution, homeless initiatives, and a community garden in Hollywood. Wissam was the youngest President to serve his club and during his year the club added the most YP’s since they started in 2007.

Wissam enjoys meeting people from other cultures, hiking the mountains that surround LA, traveling to new places, fishing, and crossing items off his bucket list.

Friday February 8

Course: Attracting Young Professionals – Panel Discussion

Time: 9 am, 10am, 11am

Room:  Scottsdale and Atlanta