2023 District Conference & Foundation Dinner
Our Featured Speakers
|Nicki Scott served as the Vice President of Rotary International in 2022-23. She is a member of North Cotswolds Rotary in North Cotswolds, England. Nicki describes herself as “A global citizen with an infectious passion for living to my full potential to make a difference and inspiring others to do the same so we can leverage our impact worldwide. “ She is the founder of Lead4Good, an executive coaching business dedicated to closing the gap between For-profit and Not-for-profit organizations.
|Jeff Korzenik is the Chief Economist for one of the nation’s largest commercial banks. For more than 30 years, Jeff has been known in the investment management industry for the clarity and originality he brings to complex challenges. A regular guest on CNBC, Fox Business News, and Bloomberg TV, his insights into the economy, markets, manufacturing, and the workforce are frequently cited in the financial and business press. Jeff is the author of the book on the business case and best practices for hiring people with criminal records, Untapped Talent.
|Dr. Jennifer Staats is the director of East Asia and Pacific Programs at the U.S. Institute of Peace. She joined USIP in 2016 as the director of the China Program, and she continues to lead USIP’s work on China. She also oversees United States Institute for Peace’s programs in Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. Dr. Staats received her doctoral degree from Harvard University, her master’s from Princeton University and her bachelor’s from the University of the South (Sewanee).
|Moh Eid is a Program Officer at the Rotary International World Headquarters, Peace Centers Program where he supports peace fellows and staff at the Rotary Peace Center located at Makerere University in Uganda. He also contributes to the establishment of the new peace center at Bahçeşehir University in Istanbul. Prior to arriving in the US in 2017, he served as a Humanitarian Response Specialist for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in the Gaza Strip, Palestine. Before joining Rotary, he worked as a Visiting Lecturer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, teaching various subjects including Middle East politics, conflict analysis, history, civil society, and non-governmental organizations. As an alumnus of the Rotary Peace Fellowship, Moh completed his master’s degree in Global Studies and International Development from the Duke-UNC Peace Center.
|James Carothers Jr. has served the Illinois Department of Corrections for over 23 years and is the Warden at Kewanee Life Skills Re-Entry Center. In this role, he is responsible for the operations staff as well as the programs staff of the facility. The staff he supervises provides individuals in custody with real-world experiences through education and vocational skills training, including adult education and college courses, resume and interview preparation, job matching and placement with community partners, and even personal financial planning, these individuals are encouraged and provided the tools to make permanent changes to their lives as well as enable them to reconnect with family.
|Mark Lohman is Chairperson, Justice-Impacted Employment Workgroup, and Co-Leader, Career Pathways for Targeted Populations (CPTP), Illinois Workforce Innovation Board (IWIB). He has been a workforce professional since 2011, and served as executive director of a local workforce investment area in the federal workforce system. Previously in the private sector, he consulted for national associations, not-for-profit organizations, and government. He began his career pathway as a union meat cutter and then graduated from the University of Minnesota. Mark is a member of Rotary Club of Galva and participates with Rotary Community Corps, Kewanee Life Skills Re-Entry Center.
|Steve Evans has served as the Chief of Police for the Collinsville Police Department since 2013. Prior to this appointment, Chief Evans served the City of Fairview Heights for 26 years. He served as a patrolman, auto theft investigator, bicycle officer, Patrol Sergeant, Detective Sergeant, Patrol Lieutenant, and Administrative Lieutenant before being hire as the Chief of Police in Collinsville. Chief Evans is a 1982 graduate of Belleville East High School. He holds an Associate’s degree in Administration of Justice from Southwestern Illinois College, a Bachelor’s degree from University of Louisville, and a Master’s degree in Management Practices from Greenville College.
|Dr. Sonia Persaud is a Rotary Peace Fellow and holds the post of Professor of Communications at Sheridan College in Oakville. Her Ph.D. studies at McMaster University on the language and culture of water were augmented by her fellowship at the Rotary Peace Center at Chulalongkorn University in 2022. Her professional interests are in Human Rights, Environmental Justice, and the intersections of peace, conflict and water. Presently, as a Rotary Peace Fellow, Sonia continues her studies on water with the goal of facilitating positive, peaceful, relations. She lives in Hamilton, Canada.
|Olusina Ajao is a Peacebuilding and Conflict Management Professional. He has over ten years of experience in security, conflict prevention, disaster management and community development. He currently serves as the Assistant Head of the Gender Unit at the Nigeria Security & Civil Defence Corps, and his roles include working with the relevant stakeholders to build capacity in gender equity, women empowerment and response to Gender-Based Violence cases. Olusina was awarded a Rotary Peace Fellow (Makerere University, Uganda) in 2022. He is an alumnus of the Hague Academy for Local Governance (Netherlands) and Koffi Annan International Peace Center (KAIPTC), Ghana. He possesses a master’s degree in Society and Development Studies and belongs to the Society for Peace Studies and Safety Practice (SPSP). Olusina has served in a voluntary capacity as an Education Officer with the FCT Secondary Education Board (Abuja) and as a mobilization officer with a Faith-based NGO, Mission Supporters’ League in Nigeria. He is passionate about initiatives and projects that target youths, gender equity, development and peacebuilding.
|Dr. Salla Nazarenko is a journalist, journalism trainer and a writer from Helsinki, Finland.
She has lived and worked in many countries of the former Soviet Union, including Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Kazakstan, specializing in the role of journalism and media in peacebuilding. Her PhD looked at patriotic narratives in Russian and Georgian television. She is currently involved in a project that tackles disinformation and fake news through peace journalism in Somalia.
Salla Nazarenko works as International Affairs’ Specialist at the Union of Journalists in Finland. She is author of multiple non-fiction and fiction books, including the first handbook on corruption in Finland.
“District 6460 is composed of people who Live, Love, and Laugh. In short, I find District Conference and Rotary Foundation Dinner a refreshing, fun-filled event. It’s a means to learn and get energized with new ideas.” – Marge Ogle, MEC Club, Edwardsville
- Saturday, October 28, 2023
- Student Union at University of Illinois in Springfield
- District Conference – 9:30 to 4:00
- Rotary Foundation Dinner – 5:00 to 7:45
- Registration is closed
Frequently Asked Questions
- Who is invited? – All Rotarians and guests. Non-Rotarians asked to attend when they learned of the theme and speaker line up. They’ve registered, so should you!
- What’s the attire? – Business casual
- Is there a cost to park? – No, provided you follow provided instructions.
- Is the Rotary Foundation Dinner new? What is it or who is invited? – Yes, this is the first year for the Dinner. It is a celebration of The Rotary Foundation. In addition to the featured speaker, Moh Eid, the Dinner will honor and recognize clubs and individuals that continue to contribute to The Rotary Foundation. The event is for everyone, Rotarians and guests!!