PETS Speaker Bios
PRESIDENT ROTARY INTERNATIONAL
Jennifer is the Founder and President of Media Street Productions Inc., a twenty-five-year old, award- winning media company in Windsor, Ontario. She is a proud member of the Rotary Club of Windsor- Roseland.
Her talents have strengthened Rotary reach and impact, through many roles including as Trustee of the Rotary Foundation, RI Vice President, and co-chair of the End Polio Now: Make History Today campaign, raising funds alongside Bill and Melinda Gates and their Foundation.
Jennifer is a leader in cultivating “experiential fundraising” opportunities such as Rotary’s Polio Golf Day with Jack Nicklaus in Jupiter, Florida, USA, which raised over $5.25 million for polio eradication in one day. Or, the innovative, virtual COVID-19 #RotaryResponds event that raised money for COVID-19 relief projects and showcased Rotary’s response across the globe.
Working alongside political figures, celebrities and global leaders, she uses her voice to raise awareness and hundreds of millions of dollars to eradicate disease, support peace and provide clean water and sanitation in developing areas of the world. Her skill as an expert storyteller inspires hope and promise and motivates people to take action.
She has received many honours and recognitions including Rotary’s Service above Self Award and the Citation for Meritorious Service, the YMCA Peace Medallion, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, and Wayne State University’s Peacemaker of the Year Award – a first for a Canadian.
Jennifer is married to Rotarian Nick Krayacich, a local family physician. They share a love for many things including travel, cycling, golf and relaxing at their family cottage; and they share a thirst for adventure, which has included cresting the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa.
Rotary International Director 2020-22
Valarie Wafer joined Rotary in 2005 in order to fuel her passion for making an impact that matters. Valarie was District Governor of RI district 7070 covering the Greater Toronto Area in 2013/14. Now residing in Thornbury, her home club is the Rotary Club of Collingwood South Georgian Bay, RI district 7010.
Valarie’s journey as a Rotarian has involved a number of international roles. She is an International Trainer, a member of the Host Organizing Committee for the Toronto 2018 Rotary International Convention. She has represented Rotary International Presidents in the Us, Norway and Nigeria. Currently she is an elected member of the Rotary International Board of Directors for 2020-2022.
During Valarie’s tenure as a Rotarian she has engaged in and led many initiatives including a mission to Kosovo with Gift of Life International. She was 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.
In her non-Rotary life, Valarie had a 27-year career as the owner of 14 restaurants 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.
As the chair of the Rotary International Global DEI Task Force, Valarie brings a strong background of learned and lived experience to this important topic
Valarie, and her husband of 35 years, Mark are Paul Harris Fellows, Bequest Society members and Major Donors to The Rotary Foundation.
RI Director 2018-20
Jeffry Cadorette, PRID (Rotary International Director 2018-2020) is Associate Broker, Commercial Realtor, and Senior Advisor to the Commercial Division at Media Real Estate Company
He served on the Board of Directors of the Rocky Run YMCA for 14 years, 4 as Chair of that Board and was Honorary Chair of their Phase ll and Phase lll Capital Campaigns.
He is a past Board member of the Philadelphia Freedom Valley Y where he was Chair of its Branch Operations Committee.
He is a past member of the Board of Trustees of Springfield College. (Mass.)
He served for 9 years on the Board of Trustees at Tyler Arboretum and was President of that Board for 3 years.
He is a 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.
He has represented the President of Rotary International at 15 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.
In 2010 and 2011 he served as one of 40 International Training Leaders at the Rotary International Assembly in San Diego.
In January 2015 and January 2016, he served as one of two Seminar Leaders at the International Assembly in San Diego. Seminar Leaders train the 40 International Training Leaders who then in turn train the 547 incoming District Governors for the upcoming Rotary year.
He is currently Chair of the RI Communications Committee, was an Advisor to the Shaping Rotary’s Future Committee, and was Chair of the Pandemic Response Task Force from April-October 2020.
He was appointed to the Board of Directors of ShelterBox USA in May, 2021.
He is a Charter Member of the District 7450 Paul Harris Fellow Society and a Rotary Foundation Major Donor.
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 Media Rotary Foundation Distinguished 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
In 2001, he was the recipient of the Rotary International Service Above Self Award, Rotary International’s highest honor for individual Rotarians.
In 2006 he received The Rotary Foundation Distinguished Service Award, the Foundation’s highest distinction.
Assistant Rotary Coordinator
Drew Kessler is a Vice President and Relationship Manager of the Commercial Real Estate division for M&T Bank. He currently is responsible for a portfolio of loan and deposit relationships with major businesses within the metro New York City area; while increasing the bank’s business in established and developing markets. His leadership positions in the industry date back to 2003. Drew has built his career as one of the leading bankers in New York. Drew prides himself on his commitment to client service and his comprehensive knowledge of the real estate and financing industry as well as his dedication to community service.
Drew values the relationships he has built with other professionals in the real estate industry; particularly the Realtors with whom he works hand-in-hand to make sure that their clients have a great experience. In 2008 Drew obtained his Real Estate license and became a Realtor to better serve the Realtor community. He was named President to the Rockland County Board of Realtors for the year of 2010 and served as the 2015 President for the 10,000-member Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors which covers Rockland, Westchester, Orange and Putnam counties in New York. 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.
A Rotarian since 2001 at the age of 20, Kessler has served the North Rockland Rotary club in all levels of leadership and at the time became the youngest president in their 91-year history at the age 25. Drew is a past District Governor of Rotary District 7210 which is made up of 1600 members in 55 clubs serving the 9 counties of the Hudson Valley in New York. Most recently served as the District’s Rotary Foundation Chair, an Assistant Rotary Coordinator for Zone 32 that encompasses New England, General Chair for the Mid North East President Elect Training and was 1 of 8 members internationally to serve on the Young Past District Governor’s Committee that serves the Rotary International President. On December 1, 2020 was Drew nominated to join the 2022-24 Rotary International Board of Directors. Rotary is an organization that fosters and encourages the idea of Service in both the local and worldwide community. He lives by the motto “Service above Self”.
IPDG Thomas A. Gump
Innovative Club Advocate, Zone 29
Tom is passionate about growing Rotary Membership through forming new and innovative, cause-based Rotary, Rotaract and satellite clubs. He founded the first ever Rotary Club to serve veterans and co-founded the world’s first Rotary club to end human trafficking. He helped form the Rotary Club of Network for Empowering Women and The Kaleidoscope Rotaract Club, to serve those with Autism and their families. He also helped form the Rotaract eClub for the Environment – the first ever cause-based, international, Rotaract eClub focusing on the environment, which was the innovative club example used by Rotary International General Secretary and CEO John Hewko in his closing remarks at the 2021 Rotary Virtual Convention. Tom is now helping form The Rotary Club of Minnesota Pride.
Tom was one of only 20 North American Rotary leaders selected by Rotary International Past President Mark Maloney and Rotary International Membership Staff to participate in a New Club Development Summit and was subsequently named as a Zone 29 Innovative Club Advocate. Tom is also one of only 500 Rotarians in the world to be named to The Membership Society for New Member Sponsors for bringing in more than 50 active members into his club, which puts him at the Gold Level of the Society, and that does not include the members he has referred to other clubs he has formed. He also serves as a Zone 29 Assistant Rotary Coordinator for membership.
Tom now inspires others around the world and helps them form their own new and innovative Rotary clubs. He speaks regularly on the topic of membership at Rotary club, district, multi-district and zone events and as a breakout panelist at the 2020 and 2021 Rotary International Virtual Conventions. He will be speaking at the 2022 International Assembly on the topic of forming new and innovative clubs. The North American Rotary magazine and other Rotary regional magazines have written about Tom and the new and innovative clubs he has formed and his membership techniques; and, Tom’s tips for attracting and retaining members have also been featured as part of a cover story.
Connie Spark is a graduate of Duquesne University with a B.S. in Music Education. She currently owns two medical retail optical offices: Designer Family Eyecare in York and Designer Eyeglass, LTD in Selings Grove, PA. Connie has one child, James Spark who also lives in York. And one grandson Adian, now 17.
Connie began her career in Rotary in 1996 when she joined the Rotary Club of York–East. Her desire to join Rotary was prompted by a GSE trip in the 1994-1995 Rotary year to Rotary District 1440 in Denmark.
She is a 2006 graduate of the Rotary Leadership Institute and has attended the last 16 International Conventions. In 2002 and 2003 she was a presenter and attended the Rotary International RIBI Conferences in England. Since joining York-East, Connie has been very active at the Club and District level.
Connie also participates in Rotary Resource Groups. She was invited by then RI President Richard King, to participate on the Avoidable Blindness panel, led by PRIP Frank Devlyn at the 2002 RI Convention in Barcelona, Spain. After sitting on the panel, Connie joined the Avoidable Blindness Action Group and the Rotarian Information for Fighting Aids Action Group.
Connie has a passion for Humanitarian Medical Missions. She has either lead or participated in 35 Medical Missions. Besides writing the necessary Rotary International Foundation grants and organizing medical teams and volunteers, numbering 40 to 85, she was the project Director for the following:
Ghana 2002, Ethiopia 2003, Brazil 2004 and 2010, Peru 2006, 2007 & 2010, Honduras 2007, 2008, 2009 & 2013, Kenya 2008, Ecuador 2009, Thailand 2012, Jamaica 2013, 2014, 2015, Ethiopia 2016, Uganda 2017, and Malawi 2018.
Connie also lends a hand and participates in Vocational Service teams lead by other Rotarians in District 7390 when needed. She was a team member for the following projects lead by Dr. Al Alley: Guyana 2000 and Dominican Republic 2001 and also 5 Rotary Medical Humanitarian Eye projects and District grants, sponsored by the Rotary of Lancaster and under Dr. Bob McClenathan, between 2006 and 2013.
Connie returned to Ethiopia with her team in March 2015 for District 7390’s first 2 Vocational Training Team Global Grants and another medical mission and NID. Most recently, Connie completed 3 Vocational Training Team Global Grants to Uganda in March 2017 and Malawi in 2018. These Humanitarian Medical Grants, Global Grants, and Vocational training teams have helped more than 40,000 persons of need throughout the world.
Throughout her Rotary career, Connie has received several Rotary distinctions. She was awarded the prestigious Rotary International Service Above Self Award by PRIP Glen Estess in 2004-2005 and the District 7390 Service Award each year from 2002-2016. In November 2013 she was presented with the Citation for Meritorious Service.
In addition to her Rotary participation, Connie is also involved in several Community Service organizations. She served on the Harrisburg Capitol Beginnings Engagement Committee from 2006-2008 and the Harrisburg Mayor’s Commission on Literacy from 2006-2008. In March of 2008 she received the Champion of Children Award by the Harrisburg Mayor’s commission and Capitol Beginnings.
PDG Bill Gormont
Past Assistant Rotary Coordinator
Bill Gormont is the founder of Motivational Vision, a leadership development company, which has been leading teams out of the corporate and organizational fog for over 20 years. He blends an extensive background of leadership, business knowledge and life experience with his talents as an accomplished Master Magician and sleight-of-hand artist to release the untapped potential within leaders and their organizations. Holding a master’s degree in Engineering Management and Organizational Behavior, Bill has dedicated his career to inspiring Rotary and Fortune 500 Companies to win.
Bill joined the Rotary Club of Greece NY in 2004 and served as District 7120 Governor in 2015-2016. He is currently a Zone 32 District International Service Chair (DISC) Facilitator as well as his district’s International Service Director and Strategic Planning Committee Chair. He is a representative on Rotary’s Council on Legislation, a Rotary Leadership Institute Faculty Member and is a recurring Leadership Vision and International Service keynote speaker and breakout session leader at PETS Trainings, District Conferences, Zone Institutes and Rotary International Conventions.
Bill is a Multiple Paul Harris Fellow, Rotary Foundation Benefactor and Paul Harris Society Member. Other leadership roles include Zone 29 Past Assistant Rotary Coordinator and Zone 28/29 Past Leadership Development Facilitator for District Governor Nominees. He is also Past-Chairperson of the Rochester, NY Visitor Industry Council, a Professional Member of the National Speakers Association and Past-President of its New York State Chapter. Additionally, he is Past Chapter President of both the Society of American Magicians and the International Brotherhood of Magicians.
Bill served in the U.S. Air Force and retired as an Engineering Manager and Global Regulatory Compliance Director after 34 years with Eastman Kodak Company. Bill and his wife Helen (also a Rotarian) enjoy relaxing with their two grown children and grandchildren. They constantly make new friends around the world as they travel and participate with the Rotary Friendship Exchange.
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