Keynote Speakers

Paul Chappell

General Session: Friday Lunch

Area of Focus – Maternal/Child Health

Host District(s): 5500

Paul K. Chappell is an international peace educator and serves as the Peace Literacy Director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. He graduated from West Point, was deployed to Iraq, and left active duty as a Captain. He is the author of the seven-book Road to Peace series about ending war, waging peace, the art of living, and our shared humanity. The first six published books in this series are Will War Ever End?, The End of War, Peaceful Revolution, The Art of Waging PeaceThe Cosmic Ocean, and Soldiers of Peace. Lecturing across the United States and internationally, he also teaches courses and workshops on peace leadership and peace literacy.

Chappell grew up in Alabama, the son of a half-black and half-white father who fought in the Korean and Vietnam wars, and a Korean mother. Having grown up in a violent household, Chappell has forged a new understanding of war and peace, rage and trauma, and vision, purpose, and hope. His website is

Mark Maloney, RIPE

General Session: Friday Dinner

Area of Focus – Economic Development

Host District(s): 5320

Mark Daniel Maloney, of the Rotary Club of Decatur, Alabama, USA, is the selection of the Nominating Committee for President of Rotary International for 2019-20. He will be declared the president-nominee on 1 October if no challenging candidates have been suggested.

“The clubs are where Rotary happens,” says Maloney, an attorney. He aims to support and strengthen clubs at the community level, preserve Rotary’s culture as a service-oriented membership organization, and test new regional approaches for growth.

“With the eradication of polio, recognition for Rotary will be great and the opportunities will be many,” he says. “We have the potential to become the global powerhouse for doing good.”

Maloney is a principal in the law firm of Blackburn, Maloney, and Schuppert LLC, with a focus on taxation, estate planning, and agricultural law. He represents large farming operations in the Southeastern and Midwestern United States, and has chaired the American Bar Association’s Committee on Agriculture in the section of taxation. He is a member of the American Bar Association, Alabama State Bar Association, and the Alabama Law Institute.

He has been active in Decatur’s religious community, chairing his church’s finance council and a local Catholic school board. He has also served as president of the Community Foundation of Greater Decatur, chair of Morgan County Meals on Wheels, and director of the United Way of Morgan County and the Decatur-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce.

A Rotarian since 1980, Maloney has served as an RI director; Foundation trustee and vice chair; and aide to 2003-04 RI President Jonathan Majiyagbe. He also has participated in the Council on Legislation as chair, vice chair, parliamentarian, and trainer. He was an adviser to the 2004 Osaka Convention Committee and chaired the 2014 Sydney Convention Committee.

Prior to serving as a district governor, Maloney led a Group Study Exchange to Nigeria.

He also served as Future Vision Committee vice chair; regional Rotary Foundation coordinator; Foundation training institute moderator; Foundation permanent fund national adviser; member of the Peace Centers Committee; and adviser to the Foundation’s Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene in Schools Target Challenge Committee.

Maloney’s wife, Gay, is an attorney in the same law firm, and a member and past president of the Rotary Club of Decatur Daybreak, Alabama, USA. Both Mark and Gay are Paul Harris Fellows, Major Donors, and Bequest Society members.

The members of the 2017-18 Nominating Committee for President of Rotary International are 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; Anne L. Matthews (chair), Rotary Club of Columbia East, South Carolina, 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.

John T Capps

General Session: Saturday Breakfast

Area of Focus – Peace

Host District(s): 5240

John T. Capps is a local, national and international humanitarian.  He shares his experiences as a keynote speaker with inspiration and humor as a person centered in altruistic opportunities. North Carolina’s Governor Jim Martin,  presented their state’s highest citizen award, “The Order of the Long Leaf Pine”, to John T. for being a good Samaritian in eastern North Carolina.

He is the founder of the Bald Headed Men of America that is seen on national television.  A Certified Emergency Disaster Volunteer with The Salvation Army, he served at Ground Zero World Trade Center after 9/11.   He is a mentor at the Boys and Girls Clubs, a driver for Meals on Wheels and presenter at Rotary Conferences, Youth Leadership Camps, and RYLA/Interact programs.  Additionally, he is a past-president of Hope Mission Christian Ministries serving the forgotten, homeless, working poor, recovering alcoholic and drug addicts.

A third generation Rotarian, John T. has attended 36 International Conventions, an alumni of The Rotary Foundation and for ten years a volunteer in India for Humanitarian and Polio Projects.   The 2011 May issue of The Rotarian Magazine featured  an article and cover story on John T.

He is a recipient of The Rotary Foundation’s Meritorious Service Award, Distinguished Service Award and International Service Award for a Polio-Free World.  Additionally, John T. has received Rotary International’s Service Above Self Award.  He and Jane are Major Donors and Benefactors of The Foundation.

He is a Third Degree Master Mason and Deacon in the Presbyterian Church.  He and Jane have six ‘sons’, from India, Bangladesh and Philippines.


Mathias Sundholm

General Session: Saturday Lunch

Area of Focus – Disease Prevention

Host District(s): 5340

Mattias Sundholm is currently working as Strategic Communications Officer at the United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), advising the Assistant Secretary-General and Executive Director of CTED, based in New York. In this function, Sundholm focuses on countering terrorist narratives online and offline, working closely with Governments, major Internet companies, and civil society organizations. Previous to this, Sundholm helped establish two new UN offices from the ground up; one under the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, and one in the Department of Public Information. In addition to being Communications Adviser to the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Sundholm from 2010 to 2013 served as Special Adviser on Communications and Advocacy to the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict.

Prior to his UN position, Sundholm for four years served as Deputy Spokesperson and Deputy Head of Press and Public Diplomacy, the largest operational department of the European Union (EU) Delegation to the United States, based in Washington, DC. In this capacity, he was the face and voice of the EU in the US, charged with promoting the EU’s positions and policies throughout the United States, a central plank in the EU’s public diplomacy strategy for the country. As Communications Officer on Development with the European Commission Headquarters in Brussels, the executive branch of the European Union (the world’s biggest development aid donor), Sundholm worked for the EU Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid.

From 2002 to 2004, Sundholm was a Swedish diplomat serving with the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. At the Ministry in Stockholm, he followed the Ministry’s Diplomatic Training Programme. He also worked as Spokesperson for the Ministry, and as Desk Officer for the Western Balkans. In the latter capacity, he was briefly posted to the Embassy of Sweden in Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina). He was also posted to Zimbabwe as Second Secretary at the Embassy of Sweden in Harare, where he was reporting on political and economic issues, including media, parliamentary affairs and the controversial so-called land reform.

A Consultant for French consultancy firm FI System, based in Brussels and focusing on European Affairs and public relations, Sundholm for three years worked as a journalist for Scandinavia’s biggest daily in print and on the web, Aftonbladet.

He has a M.Sc. and a B.A. in Political Science and Government from Uppsala University and the Institut d’études politiques (Sciences-Po) in Paris, and an M.A. degree in European Political and Administrative Studies from the College of Europe in Bruges (Belgium). He is fluent in Swedish, English and French, with a proficient level of Spanish.

Johrita Solari, RIDE, Zones 25-26

General Session: Saturday Dinner

Area of Focus – Education

Host District(s): 5300 and 5330

Johrita Solari joined the Rotary Club of Anaheim East Anaheim, California, USA in 1993. She served in many positions including Club President in 1995-96. Johrita is currently a member of the Rotary Club of Anaheim and has served in many capacities in the District including District Governor (2010-2011).

Johrita was selected as Rotarian of the Year 2006-2007. Johrita chaired the 2013 Multi-District Southern California/Nevada President Elects Training Seminar (PETS). She held the first District 5320 Million Dollar dinner for the Rotary Foundation raising $1,100,000. Under Johrita’s leadership the District became the second District in the world to become 100% Paul Harris Club District.

She served Rotary on the Zone level as the 2011 Rotary Institute Plenary Sessions Coordinator, the 2012 Rotary Institute Marketing and Registration Division Chair and the 2013 Rotary Institute Zones 25/26 Program Division Chair. Johrita is the 2015 Institute chair for Zones 25&26 and will serve as the assistant chair for the 2016 Institute.

Johrita will attend the 2016 Council on Legislation as the District Delegate. She served as the 2013-2014 Area Assistant Foundation Coordinator. She was selected to be a training leader for the 2014 and 2015 International Assembly.

Johrita is a Paul Harris Society member, a Major Donor, and lifetime member of the “White Hat Society”.

Johrita Solari is the Co-Founder, Board Chair/CVO of Solari Enterprises, Inc. a full service property management company specializing in the management of affordable multifamily housing. The firm’s corporate office is located Orange, California. She teams up with her husband and fellow Rotarian Bruce to create a working environment where a high level of ethics and integrity is maintained.

Brenda Creasy, Rotary Foundation Trustee Vice-chair 2018-19 (Trustee 2017-21)

General Session: Saturday Dinner

Area of Focus – Education

Host District(s): 5300 and 5330

Brenda M. Cressey is a member of the Rotary Club of Paso Robles, CA. USA in District 5240 and has been a proud Rotarian since 1989.  She is recently retired as the CEO of Office Support Systems a telecommunications business.

She has served in a number of key roles for her Rotary District, Zone and Internationally in the areas of membership, foundation, leadership and training.  These opportunities have allowed her to meet and mentor many fellow Rotarians over the years.

 Since serving as Governor in 2001-02, most of her Rotary assignments have focused on successful Fund Development for The Rotary Foundation, specifically in the areas of Polio Eradication, Annual Fund, Paul Harris Society, Endowments, Major and Legacy Gifts.  She has enjoyed witnessing several successful outcomes with those Districts she has assisted and advised in these efforts.

Her passion is and has always been to see the end of Polio.  In fact, this has been her mission and the very reason she joined Rotary.  Having participated in a number of Rotary humanitarian projects around the world, she is a humbled to be among the many Rotary Alumni, and has seen and experienced, first-hand, how our gifts to the Rotary Foundation greatly impact the lives of others and will ultimately bring peace and understanding around the world.

She and her husband Dick are members of the prestigious Arch Klumph Society, Major Donors, members of the Bequest and Paul Harris Society and have established the Brenda and Richard Cressey Endowment for Peace.

When asked what the highlights in her life might be, she will not hesitate to say that they involve being a Rotarian. Invited to join Rotary 1989 she feels her membership and gifts to The Rotary Foundation have changed her life and the lives of many whom she will never know.  She is the recipient of the RI “Service Above Self Award,” The Rotary Foundation’s “Citation for Meritorious Service,” and the prestigious Distinguished Service Award.

Brenda was honored to be nominated as one of President George H.W. Bush’s “1000 Points of Light,” recognizing those individuals who are making a difference through their volunteer service. She was also awarded Maine Public Broadcasting System’s “Jefferson Award for Meritorious Service,” and bestowed with the “State of Maine Governor Award for Community Service.”

In 1995, with a move to California, she accepted a rewarding volunteer position with the American Cancer Society as the Unit Manager with a newly formed local office to support cancer patients.  She was responsible for setting up the office and volunteer systems, working with the local medical community, public speaking, and volunteer training.  She was a two-time recipient of the American Cancer Society Volunteer of the Year Award.

She resides in Templeton, California, USA with her husband Richard who recently retired from a long career as a Vice President in manufacturing.  They both enjoy spending time outdoors and traveling. She can be reached at Tel. 805-238-4264 or Email:


Doug Baker, PDG

General Session: Sunday Brunch

Area of Focus – Water

Host District(s): 5280

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.