PETS Speaker Bios
PRESIDENT ROTARY INTERNATIONAL
R. Gordon R. McInally is president-elect of Rotary International. He was educated at the Royal High School and later at the University of Dundee, where he earned his graduate degree in dental surgery. He owned and operated his own dental practice in Edinburgh until stepping back from full time practice in 2016. Gordon was chair of the East of Scotland Branch of the British Paedodontic Society, and he has held various academic positions. He has also served as a Presbytery elder, chair of the Queensferry Parish Congregational Board, and commissioner to the general assembly of the Church of Scotland.
A member of the Rotary Club of South Queensferry, Scotland, Gordon joined Rotary in 1984 aged 26. He has served as president and vice president of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland. He has also served RI as a director and member or chair of several committees, including as an adviser to the 2022 Houston Convention Committee and chair of the Operations Review Committee.
Gordon says he looks forward to working with members on building new style Rotary clubs and groups. “My vision is that Rotary should exist everywhere in a style to suit everyone who has the desire to be part of us and to help us do good in the world,” he says.
Gordon is a patron of Hope and Homes for Children and led a partnership between that organization and RIBI during his presidency to lift orphans of the Rwandan genocide out of poverty and into stability. He recalls a moment of epiphany about Rotary’s power to transform lives while in Rwanda when he met a 16-year-old girl who had previously never owned shoes.
He is also a patron of Trade-Aid, an initiative of the Rotary Club of Grantham Kesteven, England, that provides sustainable humanitarian aid to individuals, families, and businesses in the developing world, as well as being an ambassador for Bipolar UK.
“No matter how long I live, I will never be able to give back to Rotary what Rotary has given to me,” says Gordon.
In his free time, Gordon enjoys rugby, good food and wine, and stick dressing — a tradition in the part of Scotland where he resides.
Gordon strongly supports The Rotary Foundation, which he describes as “the fuel that provides the energy to do Rotary service.” He and his wife, Heather, also a Rotarian, are Paul Harris Fellows, Major Donors and Benefactors of The Rotary Foundation. They are also members of the Bequest Society.
A proud grandfather, Gordon wishes to dedicate his presidency to making the world a better place for his granddaughters, Ivy and Florence, along with children everywhere to live and thrive.
RI Director 2022-24
Drew Kessler is Senior Vice President of the Commercial Real Estate division at M&T Bank, where he manages a large loan portfolio of real estate and commercial ventures with major businesses in the New York City area.
Kessler has led numerous professional real estate organizations, serving as president of both the Rockland County Board of Realtors and the 10,000-member Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors (HGAR) as well as director for both the New York State Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors. As a sign of his stature in the real estate community, Drew regularly appeared on Fox Business News from 2008-2013 for his expertise on the finance industry and the real estate market.
While At HGAR, he launched the HG Realtor Foundation. A passionate fundraiser, Kessler has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for organizations including The Rotary Foundation, Habitat for Humanity March of Dimes and Feeding Westchester.
Kessler joined Rotary in 2001, at the age of 20. He went on to serve as President of the Rotary Club of North Rockland at age 25 – at that time the youngest president in the club’s than 80-year history. At age 32, he served as District Governor for Rotary District 7210. “For anyone who says that you have to be retired to serve in these positions, I’d like to show that there is another path,” says Kessler.
He has served Rotary International on the Young Past District Governor’s Committee as well as representative to the Council on Legislation and RI president’s representative. Kessler also has served in numerous Zone leadership positions, including general chair of the Zone 28/32 Summit & Symposium, assistant Rotary coordinator for Zone 32 and general chair for the Mid-North East president’s elect training seminar. Committed to continuity and collaboration, he is a member of the District 7210 Executive Board, a committee he helped establish that is made up of both past and present district leaders that collaborate to the lead the District.
As a husband and father to five children, Kessler prioritizes finding a way to incorporate family into Rotary events, projects, and meetings whenever possible; all of his children have been touched by Rotary either through Earlyact, Interact, RYLA and Rotary Youth Exchange. Kessler and his wife, Vicki – also an Active Rotarian – reside in Hopewell Junction, New York.
Martha Peak Helman
Rotary Foundation Trustee 2022-26
Marty Helman is president of the Otto and Fran Walter Foundation, a nonprofit that has helped build schools in developing nations, provided scholarships for at-risk youth, and supplied humanitarian aid to Holocaust survivors, among other initiatives. The Walter Foundation made history in 2021 when it announced plans to completely fund a new Rotary Peace Center in the Middle East or North Africa, which is expected to welcome its first class in 2026.
She worked as a writer for business executives and as a magazine editor at McGraw Hill and the American Management Association.
Marty and her spouse, Frank, both joined the Rotary Club of Boothbay Harbor in 2003. She has served Rotary as chair of the Peace Major Gifts Initiative and has was on the diversity, equity, and inclusion task force.
A keen fundraiser for The Rotary Foundation, Marty put together a group to support the Sakuji Tanaka Rotary Peace Fellowship, which raised $1 million for the Rotary Peace Centers.
Frank, who died in 2022, and Marty chose to support the Foundation as Major Donors, Paul Harris Society members, and inaugural members of the Legacy Society of The Rotary Foundation.
April Downing is the Executive Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Dauphin County Pa where she supports, educates, advocates, and provides resources to individuals with mental health conditions, their family and friends, and the community. She completed an MBA in Human Resource Management with a minor in Human Services at Elizabethtown College. In 2019 she became a certified life coach to further her skills in helping individuals reach personal life goals.
April has worked with non-profit organizations for over 20 years with a passion for underserved individuals to help build her community. She has worked as a director of parent engagement for those living below the poverty level. April also has experience working with incarcerated mothers to reunify with their children once released from prison. She was integral in forming a male involvement group called Connect with HIM to get males more engaged in the education of their children.
Beck Moore serves as CEO at Community Action Association of Pennsylvania (CAAP), working with the 42 Community Action Agencies across the Commonwealth. Having a deep-rooted appreciation stemming from personal experiences, Beck is devoted to examining intersectionality of the social determinants of health and identity to the correlation of poverty in Pennsylvania. This has inspired the initiatives at CAAP to lead through a DEI and Racial Equity lens.
Beck has served in nonprofit leadership roles over the past 19 years and has a passion and commitment to value-based leadership. Beck’s experience shines in member-based organizations, with expertise in membership growth and program development. He served in various roles across multiple Girl Scout councils, leaving an impact of membership stabilization and growth through creating valuable programs, gaining national recognition. In addition, Beck also saw success in growing volunteer bases by providing exceptional support to volunteers through data driven strategies. Even through the COVID-19 pandemic, while many youth serving organizations struggled, Beck’s leadership helped stabilize Girl Scout membership and continued to provide virtual and hybrid experiences to reinvigorate membership value and engagement.
Beck is now bringing those same skills to the members of CAAP. Quickly increasing the value of CAAP membership through providing resources and support for success in workplace culture to influence and drive recruitment and retention efforts. Beck’s leadership has also propelled the CAAP team to grow and innovate over the past year with an organization rebrand and most recently holding the CAAP Conference, hosting members from across the Commonwealth with raving reviews.
Beck is currently authoring his first book about his journey of authenticity and holds a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education from Penn State and a master’s degree in Human Resources from the University of Scranton. Beck serves on the Board of Directors of the Keystone Business Alliance, as well as several board committees at United Way of PA, County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania, and Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations.
PDG, District 7430
Herb joined Rotary in 2011 and is a member of the Allentown West Rotary club near Allentown, PA. He is currently the 2021-24 Zone 32 Rotary Coordinator which covers the Northeast United States and is responsible for promoting membership growth. Herb was the 2019-20 District Governor and the 2016-18 District Membership Chair for District 7430. He played a key role in developing and implementing a strategic action plan to grow their district membership. From 2016-19, District 7430 increased its membership in 3 of the 4 years, added 4 new clubs, 4 satellites and had a net gain of nearly 100 members.
Herb is a retired chemical engineer and a charter member of Engineers without Borders – Lehigh Valley Professionals and has been actively involved in partnering with Rotary on global and district grant projects in Sierra Leone, Africa, and the Dominican Republic. He has traveled to both locations on multiple occasions.
Rotary District 6400
Devankar Mukhi, a Detroit Rotarian in District 6400 and has been the Zone 28 assistant public image coordinator since 2020. This is a team of 9 other public image experts to provide clubs and districts within the zone whatever they may need to better their public image. Devankar focuses on how to bring more attendees to your events, digitizing your club, and reaching a younger demographic. In addition, Devankar is the chair for the environmental committee for the Detroit Rotary, founder of the District 6400 Peace Committee member, and is the creator of the International Arts and Peace Festival.
Professionally, Devankar is results and people-driven with an established record of strategic planning, project management, and non-profit organization development success. Key talents include aligning organization strategy and objectives with established team leadership and operations coordination paradigms to achieve maximum operational impacts with minimum resource expenditures. He is a detail-focused professional with the ability to carry out the organization and coordination of events and conferences, lead and collaborate with individuals and teams, and operate with a strong focus on driving organizational growth and development. He is an exceptionally dedicated professional with keen interpersonal, communication, and organizational skills, as well as a strong passion for social justice, youth empowerment, world peace, the environment, and more.
During MAPETS, Devankar will be sharing how to tell your next event’s story, your club’s story, and your story.
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