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Biographies of scheduled Speakers for Zone 30-31 Institute that Rotarians attending the Joint District Conference will have the opportunity to hear.

Ian H.S. Riseley

Rotary International President 2017-18
Rotary Club of Sandringham, Victoria, Australia
TOPIC: Rotary, Making A Difference

Ian H.S. Riseley says that meaningful partnerships with corporations and other organizations are crucial to Rotary’s future.

“We have the programs and personnel and others have available resources,” says Riseley. “Doing good in the world is everyone’s goal. We must learn from the experience of the polio eradication program to maximize our public awareness exposure for future partnerships.”

Riseley is a practicing accountant and principal of Ian Riseley and Co., which specializes in advising local and international businesses, and has a strong interest in international affairs. He received the AusAID Peacebuilder Award from the Australian government in 2002 in recognition of his work in Timor-Leste. He also received the Order of Australia medal in 2006 for service to the Australian community.

“Governments see Rotary as positive representatives of a civil society,” he says. “We should work with them to advocate for peace and conflict resolution, just as we are advocating for polio eradication.”

A member since 1978, Riseley has served Rotary as treasurer, director, trustee, RI Board Executive Committee member, task force member, committee member and chair, and district governor.

He is also a former member of the Australian Polio Eradication Private Sector Campaign and a recipient of The Rotary Foundation’s Service Award for a Polio-Free World. He and his wife, Juliet, are Multiple Paul Harris Fellows, Major Donors, and Bequest Society members.

Ron Burton

Past Rotary International President 2013-14
Rotary Club of Norman, Oklahoma, USA

Burton retired as president of the University of Oklahoma Foundation Inc. in 2007. He is a member of the American Bar Association, as well as the bar associations of Cleveland County and the state of Oklahoma. He is admitted to practice in Oklahoma and before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Active in his community, Burton is a founder and past president of the Norman Public School Foundation, and founder and past board member of the Norman Community Foundation. A recipient of the Silver Beaver Award, he is a past vice president of the Last Frontier Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

Burton believes that Rotary’s promotion of high ethical standards is one of the qualities that sets it apart from other organizations.

“It assures those dealing with us that we can be trusted,” he says. “Most of us are in a business or profession that already has a code of ethics. Vocational service in Rotary just adds to that responsibility. We have an obligation to go above and beyond to make sure that all our actions are above reproach.”

A Rotarian since 1979, Burton is vice chair of the Future Vision Committee and a member of the Polio Eradication Advocacy Task Force for the United States. He has served RI as director; Rotary Foundation trustee and trustee vice chair; International Assembly moderator, assistant moderator, and group discussion leader and district governor.

His other service to Rotary includes chair of the 2011 New Orleans Convention Committee, vice chair of the Investment Advisory Committee, liaison trustee of the Vocational Service Committee, Permanent Fund national adviser, and regional Rotary Foundation coordinator. He was aide to 2006-07 RI President William B. Boyd. Burton has received the RI Service Above Self Award and The Rotary Foundation Citation for Meritorious Service, Distinguished Service Award

Burton and his wife, Jetta, have two children and three grandchildren.


Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Track and Field Athlete

Born on March 3, 1962, in East St. Louis, Illinois, Jackie Joyner-Kersee was the first American to win gold for the long jump and the first woman to earn more than 7,000 points in the seven-event heptathlon. She’s ultimately won three golds, a silver and two bronze, making her the most decorated female athlete in Olympic track and field history. She’s gone on to advocate for children.

Joyner-Kersee attended the University of Califonia, Los Angeles on a full scholarship, and in 1981, at the age of 19, she began to focus on training for the Olympics, specifically for the heptathlon—an Olympic track-and-field event comprised of seven separate events, including the 200-meter run, 800-meter run and 100-meter hurdles. She graduated from UCLA in 1985.

Regarded as one of the greatest female athletes in history, Joyner-Kersee won a silver medal in the heptathlon at the 1984 Summer Olympics, as well as gold and bronze medals in the long jump in 1988 and 1992, respectively. She is currently the heptathlon world record-holder. Joyner-Kersee is also a former long-jump world record holder and  is the U.S. record-holder in the long jump.

Joyner-Kersee’s last Olympic run came in 1996, but she did not compete in the heptathlon that year due to a pulled hamstring.

A sufferer of exercise-induced asthma, Joyner-Kersee officially retired from track and field in 2001 at age 38. Following her retirement, she founded the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Youth Center Foundation, which is aimed at encouraging youth in her underprivileged hometown to play sports. Additionally, in 2007, Joyner-Kersee helped establish Athletes for Hope along with such sports heroes as Andre Agassi, Muhammad Ali and Mia Hamm. This organization supports and encourages athletes “to make a difference in the world,” according to its website.


Chantal Vallée

Head Coach – Women’s Basketball
University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Friday Morning Speaker

Chantal Vallée is in her eleventh season as the Head Coach of the Windsor Lancers Women’s Basketball program.

A native of Montreal, Quebec, Coach Vallée has built one of the top women’s basketball programs in the country here at the University of Windsor, capturing five straight CIS national titles in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.

It was another remarkable season for Coach Vallee in 2014-15, as she led her team to a historic 5th straight CIS national championship. In her tenth year at the helm of the Lancers, Chantal led her squad to an impressive 19-1 conference record and their sixth OUA title in the past seven seasons. Ranked #1 heading into nationals, her team knocked off Laval, Saskatchewan, and McGill to make history and claim their fifth consecutive Bronze Baby trophy as national champions, becoming only the second team in CIS history to do so. The Lancers extended their CIS post-season win streak to 21-0 and Chantal was honoured as the CIS women’s basketball coach of the year for the second consecutive season.

In the playoffs, Windsor became only the fourth team in CIS women’s basketball history to capture three straight CIS national titles. Coach Vallée’s Lancer squad held off Carleton to win their fourth provincial title in five years, and capped off their undefeated season at the national championships with a convincing win over the host Regina Rams in the gold medal game.

In recognition of her outstanding coaching accomplishments, Chantal has captured as many as nineteen coach of the year awards since joining the Blue & Gold including:

–CIS Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year – 2013-14, 2014-15
–OUA Fox 40 Overall Female Coach of Year – 2009, 2011, 2013 & 2015
–OUA West Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year 2009, 2011 & 2012, 2014, 2015
–University of Windsor Gino Fracas Coach of the Year 2008, 2009 & 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015
–WESPY Awards Coach of the Year – 2012, 2013

Prior to going to Windsor, Coach Vallée served as the Head Coach of the Vanier College Women’s Basketball program for three seasons. During that time, she led Vanier to a considerable resurgence, as the team moved from missing the post season to being ranked as high as number five nationally in 2005.

In the off-season, she still works with the Canadian Junior National team as an assistant coach. .Chantal is a certified level 3 NCCP coach and has a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Quebec-Montreal and a Master of Physical Education degree in Coaching and Sport Psychology from McGill University.

Lee Cockerell

Creating Magic…10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies
Friday Morning Speaker

Lee Cockerell is the former Executive Vice President of Operations for the Walt Disney World® Resort. “As the Senior Operating Executive for ten years Lee led a team of 40,000 Cast Members and was responsible for the operations of 20 resort hotels, 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, a shopping & entertainment village and the ESPN sports and recreation complex in addition to the ancillary operations which supported the number one vacation destination in the world.”

One of Lee’s major and lasting legacies was the creation of Disney Great Leader Strategies which was used to train and develop the 7000 leaders at Walt Disney World. Lee has held various executive positions in the hospitality and entertainment business with Hilton Hotels for 8 years and the Marriott Corporation for 17 years before joining Disney in 1990 to open the Disneyland Paris project.

Lee has served as Chairman of the Board of Heart of Florida United Way, the Board of Trustees for The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), the board of the Production and Operations Management Society and the board of Reptilia a Canadian attractions and entertainment company. In 2005 Governor Bush appointed Lee to the Governor’s Commission on Volunteerism and Public Service for the state of Florida where he served as Chairman of the Board.

He is now dedicating his time to public speaking, authoring a book on leadership, management and service excellence titled, Creating Magic…10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies from a Life at Disney. which is now available in 13 languages and his latest book, The Customer Rules…The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service. Lee also performs leadership and service excellence workshops and consulting for organizations around the world as well as for the Disney Institute. Lee has received the following awards;

Lee and his wife Priscilla live in Orlando Florida.


Bethany Lerch

Afghan Education Project

A former Fulbright and Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholar, Bethany is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and the University of St Andrews in Scotland. She founded Rotaract Oshkosh in September 2012, serving as its president for one year. She was invited to Germany to lecture on American Studies at the University of Leipzig for one year then worked as a volunteer English teacher in Palestine during the fall of 2014. There she raised funds for four student groups to cover supplies, trips to an animal welfare charity, and an all-girls soccer game.

In February 2015, Bethany was asked to be a Military Advisor on NATO HQ in Kabul, Afghanistan. She regularly trained multinational military audiences on Gender Integration, Resource Management, Afghan Culture Insider Threat Prevention, and Functionally-Based Security Force Assistance. While there, Bethany facilitated Coalition trips to, and financial support of, a Kabul orphanage with 88 children. She wrote about Afghan women in the Wall Street Journal in July 2015.

Later as an off-base Consultant, Bethany’s Afghan colleagues located families in need. With help from Oshkosh Rotarians and private donors, she assisted four Kabul families—some with food, rent, or a warming stove; others with clothing and school tuition. At that time Bethany also learned the country’s two Rotary clubs could not facilitate scholarships. This led to the Afghan Education Project, with financial backing in large part from Oshkosh Rotary clubs and private donors. The Afghan Education Project brings qualified Afghan women to UW Oshkosh for graduate study, who are then required to return to Afghanistan to contribute to its development and help others in need.

Following 16 months in Afghanistan, Bethany traveled extensively for one year before enrolling as a full-time graduate student of Professional Counseling at UW Oshkosh. Since her return to the US, Bethany has been called on as a public speaker at venues such as TedXOshkosh, where she related how not to help (and why) within the context of flawed government assistance to Afghanistan. Bethany speaks for Rotary groups around Wisconsin, as well as local schools and student group visits. She works at the Winnebago County Literacy Council and continues to write independently.