PETS Speaker Bios

Valerie Wafer          

Rotary International Director 2020-22
Rotary Club of Collingwood South Georgian Bay


Valarie had a 27 year career as a restaurant owner in Toronto. The brand, Tim Hortons, is the most recognized and iconic franchise in Canada. The Wafer’s operation was best known for its inclusive hiring practices and accessibility, especially in the area of employment.

Valarie was governor of District 7070, which covers the greater Toronto area, in 2013/14. Now residing in Collingwood, her home club is the Rotary Club of Collingwood South Georgian Bay, District 7010. Valarie has continued to serve Rotary in a number of international roles. She is an international trainer, a member of the international convention committee, representative of the Rotary International President, and most recently has been elected to serve on the board of Rotary International 2020-2022

During Valarie’s tenure as a Rotarian she has participated and led many initiatives including a recent mission to Kosovo with Gift of Life International. She has also served as the Vocational Training Team leader to Australia in 2010 focusing on youth mental health, a national immunization day in India in 2012 and has travelled to Kenya and Tanzania to audit long term Rotary Foundation grant activity.

Valarie, and her husband of 33 years, Mark are Paul Harris Fellows, Bequest Society members and Major Donors to The Rotary Foundation.

Brenda M. Cressey          

Foundation Trustee 2017-21
Rotary Club of Paso Robles, CA


Brenda joined Rotary in 1989 and is currently a proud member of the Rotary Club of Paso Robles, CA. USA in District 5240. She is retired as the CEO of Office Support Systems, a telecommunications business in Maine.

Brenda served in several key roles for Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation over the years including District Governor in 2001-02, a Regional Membership and Foundation Coordinator, an Endowment Major Gift Advisor. In 2018-19 she was honored to serve as the first female Vice Chair and later Chair of The Rotary Foundation. She will continue her term as Trustee through 2021.

Most of Brenda’s assignments have focused on successful Fund Development for The Rotary Foundation, specifically in the areas of Peace and Polio Eradication. However, she shares the importance of supporting the Annual Fund, Endowments and Major Gifts. She has enjoyed witnessing several successful outcomes with Clubs and Districts with their own Rotary Foundation fundraising efforts as well as the full engagement of many passionate Rotarians who successfully implement foundation projects in each of the six Areas of Focus.

Her passion is and has always been to see the end of Polio and is her mission and the very reason she joined Rotary. Having participated in several Rotary humanitarian projects around the world, she is a proud Rotary Foundation Alumnus. Brenda has seen and experienced, first-hand, how our gifts to the Rotary Foundation greatly impact the lives of others and will someday 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 Paul Harris and new Legacy Societies and have established the Brenda and Richard Cressey Endowment for Peace.

She is the recipient of the RI “Service Above Self Award” and The Rotary Foundation’s “Citation for Meritorious Service,” and the Foundations highest recognition, The Distinguished Service Award.

Brenda resides in Templeton, California, USA with her husband Richard, who is retired from a long career as a Vice President in manufacturing. They both enjoy spending good times with their three grandchildren and family.

Jeffry Cadorette          

RI Director 2018-20
Rotary Club of Media, PA


Jeffry Cadorette, Rotary International Director-elect (RID 2018-20) retired from healthcare in 1999 after a 25-year career as a physical therapist. He had been President and CEO of Physical Therapy Associates of Delaware County in Pennsylvania until merging his practice with Riddle Memorial Hospital to form the Riddle Rehabilitation Institute and Riddle Sports Medicine. He now serves as Associate Broker and Executive Vice President at Media Real Estate Company where he is active in all phases of commercial real estate sales and leasing, tenant representation and new project development.

He received a bachelor’s Degree in Science and a Master’s Degree in Education from Springfield College and a post graduate degree in physical therapy from the University of Pennsylvania.

He is a past Trustee on the Springfield College Board of Trustees and is a member of and Past Co-president of the Springfield College Philadelphia/Wilmington Alumni Association.

He served on the Board of Directors of the Rocky Run YMCA for 14 years, 4 as Chair of that Board. He was Honorary Chair of their Phase 11 and Phase 111 Capital Campaigns for Rocky Run.He is a past Board member of the Philadelphia Freedom Valley Y where he was Chair of its Branch Operations Committee.

He has been named Volunteer of the Year twice by both Rocky Run Y and Springfield College.

He served for 9 years on the Board of Trustees at Tyler Arboretum and was President of that Board for 3 years.

He is currently Advisor to the Building Committee of the Providence Animal Center (formerly the Delaware County SPCA) and also sits on their capital campaign steering committee.

He has received the Benefit Auction Specialist designation from the National Auctioneers Association, one of 350 auctioneers in North America to have received that designation, helping dozens of charities to raise millions of dollars over the past 20 years.

A Rotarian with the Rotary Club of Media, PA since 1977, Jeff served as Governor of District 7450 in 1998-1999. In September of 2016 he was the selection of the Zones 24/32 Nominating Committee for Director to serve on the Rotary International Board of Directors in 2018-2020.

Active in international service projects, he traveled to South America as part of a Rotary Foundation Matching Grant project to set up a Village Bank in Lima, Peru. Operating on the principles of micro-credit, it was a joint project of the Rotary Club of Media and the Rotary Club of El Rimac in Lima.

In October, 1999, he spent 8 days in Madagascar participating in a polio NID which was the culmination of The Philadelphia Challenge, a fundraising effort he initiated during his year as Governor. He accompanied a team of 27 who made the trip from District 7450. The Philadelphia Challenge raised record dollars for The Rotary Foundation and allowed District 7450 to lead Zones 31 & 32 in every category of giving to The Rotary Foundation in 1998-99. In December of 2003 he travelled to Yaroslavl, Russia to assist in fund development initiatives for their YMCA. In 2013 he travelled to Uganda to view the substantially completed Global Grant Project to the benefit of Brain Tree Primary School which was completed in cooperation with the Rotary Clubs of Media, Elkton, Maryland, and Kampala North in Uganda.

He is a past Rotary Foundation Alumni Coordinator for Zone 32 and the past General Coordinator worldwide of Rotary Foundation Alumni Coordinators.

He was a delegate to the Rotary International 2004 and 2007 Council on Legislation in Chicago.

In January, 2010 he was one of forty International Training Leaders selected globally to serve at the Rotary International Assembly in San Diego. He was reappointed to that position in 2011.

He facilitated the training at the Governor-elect Training Seminar for Zone 32 at the Rotary Institute in London, Ontario in 2010 and the Rotary Institute in Boston, MA in 2011.

In 2014 he facilitated the training for the Governors-nominee at the Zones 24 & 32 Rotary Institute in Toronto, Canada.

He was Co-Chair of the Pre-Institute Training at the 2016 Institute in Winnipeg, Canada.

In January 2015 he was appointed as one of two Seminar Leaders worldwide at the International Assembly in San Diego. Seminar Leaders are tasked with training, coaching, and motivating the 40 International Training Leaders who in turn train the 547 incoming District Governors for the upcoming Rotary year. He was reappointed to that position for the 2016 International Assembly.

He has represented the President of Rotary International at District Conferences across the country and in Canada and has been the keynote and motivational speaker at numerous district conferences, Rotary Foundation dinners, Rotary workshops, and seminars around North America.

He is a Rotary Foundation Benefactor, a charter member of the District 7450 Paul Harris Society, a Rotary Foundation Major Donor and a multiple Guy Gundaker Fellow of District 7450’s Gundaker Foundation.

He is a recipient of: The Delaware County Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Small Business Person of the Year Award The Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association Humanitarian Award The Springfield College Distinguished Alumni Award The Rose Tree Media School District Service Award The Rotary International PolioPlus Partners Leadership Award The Rotary Foundation Citation for Meritorious Service The Media Theatre, Walter M. Strine Advocacy of the Arts Award Boy Scouts of America, Cradle of Liberty Council, Good Scout Award.

He is a recipient of the Rotary International Service Above Self Award, Rotary International’s highest honor for individual Rotarians and a recipient of The Rotary Foundation Distinguished Service Award, the Foundation’s highest distinction.

Aaron Beverly          

Toastmaster Champion
Keynote Speaker


In August 2019, Aaron Beverly emerged as the winner of the Toastmasters International Speech Contest, an annual public speaking competition that includes over 30,000 competitors worldwide. Performing the speech entitled “An Unbelievable Story,” Aaron provided a humorous take on the heavy subject of race and the importance of “acceptance despite difference.” That speech won him the prestigious title of World Champion of Public Speaking.

An accomplished speaker prior to the 2019 championship, Aaron also earned 2nd place in the International Speech Contest in 2016. Giving a speech that has come to be known simply as the “57-Word Title Speech,” Aaron spoke about the power of using a few words in world that believes “more is better.” Beverly is also, a five-time speech contest semifinalist, and a Moth Story Slam winner.

Oddly enough, Aaron considers himself to be “one of the most introverted people you can meet.” Public speaking and storytelling were extroverted activities he never thought he’d pursue. However, with hard work, dedication and a team of invaluable supporters, Aaron has become proficient in both skills and has learned to balance his innate introversion with flashes of extroversion.

Storytelling and public speaking have not only led Aaron to engage audiences at Fortune 100 companies such as Vanguard, J.P. Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo; notable Universities such as Temple, Drexel and the University of Pennsylvania; but they have also allowed Aaron to travel to countries around the world including: Taiwan, Malaysia, India, and the extremely foreign land known as Canada.

Aaron is living proof, that the art communication can have a profoundly positive effect on the advancement of your professional career and the fulfilment of your life.

John Hannes          

Senior Officer
RI Club and District Support, The Americas


John Hannes is a Senior Officer with Club and District Support, Americas, representing Rotarians in 39 Districts throughout the United States. He and his team members provide personalized service, training, and regional guidance on Rotary’s Resources and Services, Administrative Procedures, Board Policy and Rotary Constitutional Documents, and Navigating and Conducting Business Online.

John graduated from Dominican University (River Forest, IL) with a BA in Theatre Arts and lives in Evanston, IL. He has been on staff with Rotary since November 2010, is a Paul Harris Fellow +2, and current Secretary of the Rotary Club of Chicago Lakeview, Illinois, USA where has held a variety of positions including Club President (2013-14). You can also catch John as the host of the Convention Minute updates found on and Rotary’s social media channels.

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