Speaker Date Topic
Rae Ortal Dec 11, 2020
"Global Poverty - The Borgen Project"
"Global Poverty - The Borgen Project"

Regev (Rae) Ortal is a university student majoring in Political Science at Tel Aviv University, Israel. She served in the International Cooperation Unit of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) which is responsible for communications with UN Peacekeeping forces on the Israeli borders. Recently she’s been working on monitoring government effectivity in Israel through Citizens Empowerment Center (CECI) and she’s currently interning at the Borgen Project, a national advocacy organization campaigning to prioritize global poverty in US foreign policy.

This year will be the first with a rise in extreme poverty since 1998. In this presentation she’ll discuss the international efforts to fight poverty, the recent setbacks, and the American position.

Check out this webpage for information about the Borgen Project...



Pavel Reppo & Diane Messamore Dec 18, 2020
"Community Mental Health Services and Economic Development in Uganda"
"Community Mental Health Services and Economic Development in Uganda"

Diane & Pavel will discuss the Rotary Global Grant entitled, "Community Mental Health Services and Economic Development in Uganda". They'll share about the project activities, describe the eventual impact, speak to the incredible collaborations, and charm you with their vision. Specifically, they'll explain the power of community mental health workers in offering effective mental health services in post-conflict Northern Uganda and the significance of conducting empowerment skills training for successfully discharged women to improve the social determinants of mental health. 

~MERRY CHRISTMAS~ Dec 25, 2020
~HAPPY NEW YEAR~ Jan 01, 2021
Mike Conklin Jan 08, 2021
"Sentinels of Freedom"
"Sentinels of Freedom"

Before founding Sentinels of Freedom, Mike Conklin was a successful Real Estate Developer in San Ramon, California.  As a father of three Army Rangers, Mike was inspired to establish a non-profit that would support post-9/11 wounded or injured veteran’s following the combat injury of his eldest son, Kris, who was wounded in Iraq in 2003. While visiting Kris at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Mike was impressed by the level of care his son received during his stay.  Between his son’s surgeries, Mike had the opportunity to observe and meet other wounded soldiers by their bedside showing deep concern for them while they were without their families or community.  His conversations with these soldiers lead to the realization and stark reality of the tremendous physical and emotional hurdles they were facing when transitioning back to civilian life.

Thus, began the birth of Sentinels of Freedom (SOF), a unique San Ramon, California based non-profit providing resources nationally for severely wounded veterans that go beyond what the Veterans Administration can provide.  Helping to “fill the gaps” so veterans can look beyond the permanent challenges they face and begin to achieve success in their post-military journey. 

Sentinels of Freedom was established to meet an entirely new social need.  The mission; provide severely wounded post 9/11 veterans with comprehensive personal support and financial assistance as they complete their higher education and achieve success in their post-military careers. The team is by their side as they journey from the military to school to becoming successful and independent individuals.  Our program participants are called “Sentinels” in honor of their sacrifice in guarding America’s freedoms.  

Mike’s vision has been honoured by military and community leaders ranging from Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. He was awarded the Department of the Army’s Outstanding Civilian Service Medal, and he became one of CNN’s “CNN Heroes” for everyday people changing the world.

As over 200,000 military members will retire or end their enlistments in 2020, 16,000 of these new veterans will be coming home to communities across the nation, medically retired due to injuries making them unable to continue their military service.  Of this group, 6,000 will be rated at above 50% or higher permanently disabled by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The need is greater than ever.

To learn more about our effort in making a difference in the lives of wounded post-9/11 veterans visit http://www.sentinelsoffreedom.org.




Charmas B. Lee Jan 15, 2021
"Achieving Competitive Excellence in Education"
"Achieving Competitive Excellence in Education"

Today’s teachers are faced with a variety of challenges. The obstacles faced by our youth today are overwhelming. The results have become catastrophic resulting in behavior challenges, lower academic achievement, faulty thinking, low self-esteem, self-doubt, and condemnation.

Meet Charmas Lee, Co-owner of Building Champions and Co-founder of Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE), a social, emotional developmental model that improves emotional intelligence, emotional regulation, self-efficacy and the skills of focus and concentration.

Using his proven coaching model, Charmas seeks to create an equitable educational experience for each student, disrupting systemic cycles of impoverished faulty thinking, thus creating a new generation of  student champions; highly disciplined students, with disciplined thoughts, followed by disciplined actions.

Charmas B. Lee, Author, Vistage Speaker 

ACE Co-Founder

Owner Building Champions 





Bill Morris, Co-Founder Jan 22, 2021
"Blue Star Recyclers"
"Blue Star Recyclers"
Bill Morris co-founded Blue Star Recyclers in 2009 after discovering people with autism and other disabilities possess innate skills for tasks involved in the recycling of electronics.  Based in Colorado Springs, Blue Star is a nonprofit social enterprise with a mission of recycling electronics to create jobs for people with disAbilities.

Bill was named Colorado’s Social Entrepreneur of the Year, Small Businessperson of the Year, Employer of the Year, and Recycler of the Year.  Blue Star was named Colorado Nonprofit of the Year, Social Enterprise of the Year, and has received the Samaritan Award and Colorado’s top 24-Karat Environmental Award.  

Email:  bill@bluestarrecyclers.com

Website:  www.bluestasrrecyclers.com

Direct phone:  719.494.4436

Tilyian Phannenstiel Jan 29, 2021
"Peace Corps Experience in Costa Rica"
"Peace Corps Experience in Costa Rica"

Peace Corps and Rotary have a partnership agreement that started in 2015 as an initiative to continue to connect our networks and foster collaboration among Rotarians, Peace Corps Volunteers, and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers.  Learn about the ways that Rotary has partnered with Peace Corps on projects abroad and how our Club can support international initiatives that make a difference.  Plus, it’s never too late to volunteer!  This presentation will briefly cover Peace Corps’ programs, requirements, and benefits and how we can make an impact as a volunteer at any age.




Masah SamForay, Esq. Feb 05, 2021
"Rotary Project with Sierra Leone"
"Rotary Project with Sierra Leone"

Masah S. SamForay is the 2020-2021 President of Rotary Club of Chicago Southeast. Finally, as a first-generation American, Atty. SamForay is the Founder of Villages Youth and Family Services 501(c)(3), a non-profit that focuses on childhood hunger and education in Sierra Leone, West Africa. She attributes her drive to her family’s humble beginnings and strong emphasis on the value of education.

The hallmark of Ms. SamForay’s Rotary year will be a focus on childhood literacy and the gift of a school library in Sierra Leone. With one of the lowest literacy rates in the world, Sierra Leone has a illiteracy rate of over 40%. In 2017 National Geographic declared the country to be “The worst place in the world to be born a girl.” Ms. SamForay originally planned on taking a delegation of Rotarians and friends to Sierra Leone in December 2020 for the library project. Due to COVID-19 precautions the trip has been postponed to December 2021.

Professionally, Ms. SamForay’s classification is attorney. She is Founder of The Foray Firm, a boutique family law firm. She is a double alumna of Indiana University– Bloomington. With over a decade spent protecting families, Atty. SamForay has earned national recognition and many awards. After having opened three offices in the Chicagoland area, Atty. SamForay acquired another firm in 2018. Then in 2019, Atty. SamForay merged with yet another firm and expanded operations to the Greater Houston area. This is a part of a strategic expansion plan which will make The Foray Firm the largest African-American owned family law firm in the nation. 

Atty. SamForay is currently the youngest African-American appointed to the Board of Governors of the Illinois State Bar Association, which is the largest volunteer bar association in the country with a membership of nearly 30,000 attorneys.  She was the 2019-2020 chair of the Racial and Ethnic Minorities in the Law Committee. She was the 2018-2019 treasurer for the National Bar Association Young Lawyers Division. Atty. SamForay is a Co-Founder of the Black Bar Association of Will County. She is a past board member of the Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago, and served as the 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 Co-Chair of the Small and Solo Firm Committee. And, she is active in the Cook County Bar Association, where she is currently serving in her fourth term as the Chair of the Family Law Section.

Aside from bar membership, Atty. SamForay is active in her beloved Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority,  Incorporated. She was appointed by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner to the Board of Trustees of Governor’s State University in 2017-2019. And she is the mother to three amazing children.

Krista Morine Feb 12, 2021
"Mozambique Rotary Project"

Information and details to follow.

Joel Bacon Mar 12, 2021
"C-SPAN: Make Up Your Own Mind"
"C-SPAN: Make Up Your Own Mind"


  • Following the Government's response in this unprecedented time?
  • Looking for balanced and unfiltered coverage of issues?
  • Eager to be a part of the national conversation?
  • Interested in history and nonfiction books?


Learn how C-SPAN provides a window into Washington with access to public officials working on the issues facing our nation - like the coronavirus pandemic and the volatile economy.  C-SPAN will also share how its nonpartisan mission guides its coverage of the political process, and how its TV, online, and radio resources can help you stay informed.  And, of course, there'll be a chance for Q&A!