Looking for a good speaker?

It's not always easy to come up with ideas week after week! If you need a speaker, listed below are some who have already presented to at least one club in our district. The best part is that each speaker comes with a recommendation from one of our clubs, and has already indicated a willingness to present to other clubs.

Add to the list!  If you have enjoyed a presentation from someone who was spoken to your club, please share that information with me so that we can include that speaker here. Be sure to indicate whether or not that speaker has shown a willingness to present to additional clubs.  Please include the:

  • Name and title of the speaker
  • Organization that the speaker represents
  • Subject of the topic
  • Is the speaker willing to present to other clubs?
For more information, contact our Webteam through webteam@rotary7910.org
Eastern States Student ExchangeTopic: ESSEX (Eastern States Student Exchange)
To schedule an ESSEX Speaker contact Jane Schroeder, Rotary Club of Milford    jane.schroeder@comcast.net
The Rotary Youth Exchange Program with Eastern States Student Exchange (ESSEX) encourages young people ages 15-18 years old to live and attend school in another country for one academic year. An Outbound Student is sponsored by a local Rotary Club. An Inbound Student is hosted by a Rotary Club where he or she will be living. A Short Term Exchange Program offers students an opportunity to live with a family in another country for one month and then to bring their host sibling to the US for one month. Rotary Youth Exchanges provide an opportunity for young people and their Rotary Club members to build bridges of international understanding.
Contact: Meryl Glassman, Development Director, meryl@dignity-matters.org

Dignity Matters’ mission is to assist homeless women and girls by providing underwear and menstrual products when they need them most. Through our action we support women in regaining self-confidence and dignity by helping them stay healthy and clean.  Redistributing gently used bras is also good for the environment by keeping these items out of landfills.

Impact In 2022 alone, Dignity Matters distributed almost 3,000,000 items to Massachusetts’ women and girls in need. We serve over 14,000 women/girls each month providing them with all the menstrual care they need as well as bras and underwear. Our support helps women manage their period with dignity, and feel clean, healthy, and comfortable. 

Dignity Matters supports women by providing free menstrual care products, underwear, and bras to over 170 Massachusetts nonprofits.  

Unfortunately, as the rate of homelessness and income disparity is growing in Massachusetts, so does the demand for our services. Every month, Dignity Matters expands geographically and adds new community partners to our distribution network.

Dignity Matters partners monthly with:

  1. food pantries
  2. public schools, state universities and colleges, and after-schools programs for children/teens in need
  3. homeless shelters, domestic violence centers, scattered sites, transitional housing units etc
  4. medical centers for the homeless
  5. clients directly at community organizations through our bra fitting service
Topic: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass & Metrowest 
Contact: Penny Modzelewski, Match Support Specialist    Penny.Modzelewski@bbbscm.org 
Founded in 1963, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass & Metrowest has supported children in our community through individualized mentoring programs for 60 years. They reach the children who need them most through strong partnerships with local schools and youth development programs, and with the support of community volunteers, many coming from local colleges and corporations. Volunteers serve as mentors (Bigs) to children (Littles) who are living in poverty, come from single-parent households, or face other types of adversity. BBBS' community-based program matches youth aged 6 to 12 years old with volunteer mentors from 42 cities and towns in Central Massachusetts and Metrowest

Topic: Affordable and Sustainable Housing

Contact James Kostaras, President and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Greater Boston, jameskostaras@habitatboston.org

Habitat for Humanity is a charitable nonprofit organization dedicated to building low-cost homes by forming partnerships with low-income families in need of decent and affordable housing. Building strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter, Habitat for Humanity has been helping low-income families in Greater Boston since 1987. Hundreds of low-income families live in Habitat homes in local communities such as Belmont, Malden, Needham, Newton, and many Boston neighborhoods including Dorchester, Roslindale, Roxbury, and South Boston. 

Motivated by the belief that homeownership is a vital step to helping families break the cycle of poverty. As an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, Habitat Greater Boston commits to donating 10% of annual proceeds to international projects and organizes construction service trips abroad, most recently to Cambodia and Guatemala.

The cost of the housing is reduced by volunteer labor under the direction of Habitat's professional construction managers. Key projects for this year: four passive solar homes to be built in Roslindale.

Jim recently made an excellent presentation to the Needham Rotary Club in association with Liz Henke from the Rotary Environmental Sustainability Action Group about a project completed with Habitat For Humanity in North Carolina that installed solar panels on houses that they built.

Subject: Self-sustaining water projects in rural Uganda
Speaker: Ned Morgan, Executive Director, WaterCompass
ned@watercompass.org; 857-207-5732
Water Compass has founded four water systems in villages in rural Uganda. Ned Morgan, who has 15 years of experience developing water and hygiene projects in Africa, differentiates the management of Water Compass’s water systems from more typical systems.
Normally, an outside organization funds the capital cost of a water system, then leaves its administration to the local village leadership. Charging a price for access to the water is not rigorously enforced and maintenance is unfunded. Systems fall derelict after a while. In contrast, Water Compass charges cost for the water and uses the funds to build a skilled staff and maintain and expand the system.
He is also building local governance for Water Compass systems. The key benefit of all these systems is the provision of clean, safe water close to where people live, so reducing the travel and carry time for people fetching water.
Ned hopes to expand the existing systems within a clustered administrative unit to nearby villages, reaching 30,000 pople over the next 5 years for $30,000 cost. He’s looking for partners to share that cost. At some point thereafter, he expects the system to become self-sustaining.
The Board of Needham Rotary Club was so impressed with Ned’s presentation that, after donating $500 (we have several other international water projects that we’re supporting), I was asked to facilitate introductions to other Rotary Clubs to support his mission. I am happy to do so! 
-Don DeVeuve, President, Needham Rotary Club, ddeveuve@verizon.net, 781-493-2257
Steve Fine, Founder and President, Melanoma Education Foundation

The American Cancer Society has predicted nearly 200,000 new U.S. melanoma cases this year.
Melanoma is usually fatal when detected late but is easily curable without chemo or radiation when found early. 

I have devoted full time to this mission for 20 years, focusing primarily on educating high school and middle school teachers and their students. Prior to the pandemic I conducted over 250 in-person melanoma presentations at New England high schools and middle schools; over 1700 schools in all 50 states have used our free lessons to educate their students. Lives of students, teachers, and their loved ones have been saved because of the lessons.

The only requirement for Rotary Clubs is to have a Zoom membership and a member who is willing to act as administrator and invite club members to participate.
Steve Fine, Founder and President, Melanoma Education Foundation
Tel: 978-545-3080; https://www.skincheck.org
Matt Robinson, Writer/Editor/Communications Manager
Matt Robinson has 25 years of experience as a writer, editor, and communications manager. He has also taught writing and entrepreneurial communications for decades as well. He has also published a book about the Ivy League (www.lionstigersbulldogs.com) that he has presented in an international series of events  that also discuss the process of writing and publishing.
From page to published
Matt Robinson has been a writer, editor, and communications administrator for over 25 years. In addition to composing, editing, and publishing thousands of pieces in hundreds of international publications and helping hundreds of clients reach more customers by creating website copy, newsletters, blogs, and press releases, Matt has published a book entitled Lions, Tigers, and…Bulldogs? An unofficial guide to the legends and lore of the Ivy League (more information about which can be found at www.LionsTigersBulldogs.com).

In this presentation (which has consistently attracted new guests to the host venues, including the Braintree Rotary), Matt discusses his writing career and the multi-pronged path he took to publishing his book. Along the way, Matt offers insights and advice that have inspired many guests to share their own stories.

Entrepreneurial communications

Matt Robinson has run his own businesses as a freelance and contracted writer, editor, and communications administrator for over 25 years, in which time he has published thousands of pieces in hundreds of international publications and helped hundreds of clients reach more customers by providing website copy, newsletters, blogs, and press releases. Using an entrepreneurial communications curriculum he first designed for a department head at Babson College (for whom he was also ghostwriting a column for Forbes), Matt also helps fellow sole proprietors and startup starters with such vital elements as personal and professional biographies, mission statements, website copy, and other means of messaging. 

As he has used and taught these skills in a wide range of scenarios and venues, Matt would like to bring some of his most productive lessons to Rotary chapters to support members who have their own businesses but need help telling others (including potential clients) about them. He is also available to support any members in need with writing and communications. 

Matt Robinson, The Robinson Reporter
Doug Brendel, NewThing ~ Humanitarian-aid distribution operation in Belarus.
Doug Brendel is a popular speaker, writer, and actor, but his heart beats for humanitarian work in the former Soviet Union.
For more than 20 years, he and his wife have led NewThing.net, the largest continuous humanitarian-aid distribution operation in Belarus.
Since the beginning of the Ukraine conflict, with the people of Belarus caught in the middle between Russia and Ukraine, the dynamics of Doug’s work have zigzagged dramatically — and the opportunity for Americans to help people in need has shifted in surprising ways.
Doug shares insights, stories, and images from the former Soviet Union — and opens the floor for a freewheeling Q&A after his brief talk.
Doug is also an award-winning humor writer — and he always brings an amusing free gift for each individual who attends in person.
You can see the Belarus humanitarian work at NewThing.net, and check out Doug’s other endeavors at DougBrendel.com.
Clubs that have hosted Doug as a speaker: Newton
Alan Pearlmutter,  music director of Kammerwerke would love to tell you about the double wind quintet chamber music society.
Kammerwerke brings professional musicians together to read, rehearse, and perform both known and lesser known musical works. Chamber music encompasses everything from a chamber orchestra of thirty players to small groups of winds or winds and strings. Known musical works are always enjoyable for musicians and audiences alike. The exploration of lesser known classical music serves the multiple purposes of educating seasoned musicians, sustaining worthy music that is either rarely or never performed, and educating audiences in the unfamiliar. To learn more, visit https://kammerwerke.org
Contact Alan to speak to your Rotary club at alandoc@pearlinda.us

Sara Marks, Starting from Failure.
Sara Marks is a librarian at UMass Lowell. She has two masters degrees, has earned the title of Distinguished Toastmaster twice, and has published two novels, three short story collections, and three novelettes. Her third novel and fourth novelette come out this fall. She is a certified project manager and teaches workshops about writing, bullet journaling, and public speaking. She also failed out of college and had to return home in shame after four years at her first university. Today she’ll be talking about how that failure shaped her life and why she wouldn’t be the success she is today if she hadn’t been through the experience. You’ll understand why failure is a better teacher than success can ever be.
Contact: Sara can be reached at librarygurl@gmail.com.
Noj Zachariah.  Effective Communication
Noj earned his MBA, is a member of the International Association of Facilitators, and a member of the National Speakers Association. 
As you may have noticed, there haven’t been many effective conversations in the public domain for quite some time. Unfortunately, the lack of positive, public role models seems to have had an impact on the conversations we have within our personal and professional relationships.  The Priority 3 of the Rotary Strategic Plan is “Enhance Participant Engagement” and is described as “People of Action strive to understand the needs of others”. 
Noj shares some insights into how to have an effective conversation that may help us in our relationships with fellow Rotarians as well as with our relationships in our personal and professional lives. Noj can also talk about facilitation. 
Contact: Noj can be reached at nojzactm@gmail.com

Andra Watkins  -  Why I Walked 444 Miles to Make a Memory
Featured in January 2017’s Rotarian Magazine, New York Times best-selling author Andra Watkins chose a crazy way to launch her debut novel. She's one of the only living persons to walk the 444-mile Natchez Trace as the pioneers did, and she did it with an unconventional wing-man, her 80-year-old father, a Dayton, TN native. Her life-changing adventure inspired her New York Times best-selling memoir Not Without My Father, which chronicles their experience. Andra is also the author of four other successful books, and is an active and celebrated Rotarian, having served in a number of leadership positions at Eastern South Carolina area clubs.  Andra is a Rotarian and has given this talk  to some of the surrounding clubs.  She can be reached through her publicist,  who like to return to this area, Rhiannon D'Angelo, at  publicity@andrawatkins.com.

Scoliosis and Kyphosis - Amy Sbihli  has been a therapist for over 25 years.  The last 15 years, she has focused on non-operative treatment of scoliosis. Amy has traveled the world to learn various skills and methods, spoken at national and international conferences, educated other physical therapists about how to treat scoliosis and has helped local clients understand their body.  She loves most working with clients to teach them how to exercise with their condition through all ages and stages of life so that they can experience life at their highest level. (Note that  Amy has trained other physical therapists for these conditions. One of the patient highlighted recently in the Emerson Hospital news used this method.  Amy can be reached at amy@OrthopaedicsPlus.com)

Citizen's Cimate Lobby.  If your club would be interested in hearing about a solution to climate change, CCL is a great place to start.  Founded by Rotarian Marhall Saunders (click HERE to read about him on Rotary.org), CCL reflects many of Rotary's values and cooperative, collaborative ways of doing things.  Contact Sue Peghiny at suef0503@gmail.com to arrange a speaker.

Stephen Kirk will present about about honeybees and beekeeping.
Contact info: steve@esicomputing.com, 978-369-8499
Video available too!  https://vimeo.com/329097261

Phyllis Cohn, Director of the USO for New England
Contact information: pcohn@uso.org or 617-720-4949; also: www.uso.org/newengland.  Referred by Framingham, 11/2019

This workshop was designed to create a high performing team that blends perfectly with your company’s goals. You will be able to manage your team to their full potential and set goals your employees will buy into. Help take your team from good to Great.
Coach Ellie Marshall    Concord, MA  978-341-8860   cell 978-844-6379

A full-service public relations agency based in Boston which provides strategic public relations counsel and results driven communications programs. Alexandra Cohen (617) 536-8695

A college planning coach who also has a passion for making American history relevant. Paul wrote the book Gettysburg Lessons in the Digital Age. It contains 88 short stories to help answer “How can I benefit from what this person did at Gettysburg?
Paul resides in Norfolk, MA and can be contacted at ph@gettysburglessons.com

 The Bruce Freeman Rail Trail is sharing information about the Rail Trail, which opened in 2009 with the first 6.8 mile segment in Lowell, Chelmsford and Westford, and now expanding to Carlisle, Acton, Concord, Sudbury and Framingham.
Emily is the Secretary and Westford Board Member of the Friends of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail, Inc. She can be reached at home (978) 692-6968 or on her cell (978)-884-4473 or www.brucefreemanrailtrail.org

Less than 2 years before scaling Africa’s tallest mountain, Gayle was hospitalized with a rare blood and bone marrow cancer that weakened her immune system. A long time Hudson, MA resident, gayle hopes to serve as an inspiration to those currently undergoing cancer treatment.
To read more about Gail’s climb, visit http://lifeafterleukemia.com/2017/04/the -answer-is-yes/.

The mission of Cultivate Care Farms is to operate, maintain, and expand Care Farming for humans and animals  to heal and grow therapeutically through mental health, wellness and community outreach programming. This non profit uses animals as a therapeutic tool for treating adults and adolescents dealing with an array of emotional, developmental and psychological challenges.
Located at 401 Main Street in Bolton, MA. They can be reached at (978) 440-0763

Rwandan Genocide Speaker: Carine Boggis
I recently had the pleasure of enjoying a speaker named Carine Boggis while attending a class at Harvard. She is a younger woman from Rwanda who at the age of eight experienced the genocide first hand. 

Her story is powerful and she's a compelling speaker focusing on restorative justice. I believe at this time in our country when there's so much turmoil around diversity, her story needs to be told. 
Dan Fenn, former aide to JFK
I'm reaching out to you to suggest you contact her and invite her to speak in your district and at your Rotary Club. She is in the Boston area – otherwise, I'd have her come to my club!

Recommended by: Corinne Cavanaugh
Member, Rotary Club of Seattle
Office: 206-802-9660
Cell: 425-232-9730

Positive Results Hypnosis: Bob Martel
Bob, who is a board-certified hypnotist at Positive Results Hypnosis in Holden, speaks on “Achieving Business Potential With Self-Hypnosis.”
What is hypnosis and why use it?
Hypnosis is a heightened sense of awareness. It is a habit change. An electric signal - a neuron in the brain - we become what we think about. We need to think differently to rewire the brain so that new thoughts take over the previous ones allowing the mind/body to work together. With hypnosis, you go into the future and pretend that by using a form of method acting with your imagination.  Hypnosis is also used by advertisers who want to get into our heads in order to get us to buy their products.
Benefits of hypnosis in everyday life: By using auto suggestions, it can improve athletic accomplishments and academic performance. People can stop stuttering by going back in time to when it began. Hypnosis can help golfers with their game, and is used with Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association.
Benefits of hypnosis in business: Hypnosis can stop procrastination, as it is a symptom of something they are afraid of. It can help with delegation, as that is usually due to being afraid to trust someone. It can reduce stress so you can stay calm, relaxed, in control and keep greater focus. Using hypnosis at work can mean happier employees being more productive with fewer sick days, and salespeople’s confidence going up leading to more sales.
Bob Martel can be reached at bobmartel@comcast.net or 508-481-8383. His website is www.positiveresultshypnosis.com.
Recommended by: Cheryl Rosen
Member, Hudson Rotary Club
Office: 508-791-9283
Cell: 508-615-0339

Elevator-Pitch Tips: Andy Winig

Andy Winig is not only a member of the Needham Rotary Club, but also an exceptional speaker on the art of the "elevator pitch" and presentations! His recommendations are spot-on for both general business use as well as promoting Rotary! To learn more, click here.

Recommended by: Karen Wetmore
Member, Needham Rotary Club
Assistant Governor, District 7910
Office: 781-444-8161
Cell: 339-223-0632

Differentiation And Game-changing Simplicity: Stephen Melanson
Stephen Melanson is president of Melanson Consulting, which was founded in 2004. He is a management consultant, trainer, speaker, Verbal Branding expert, and the originator of the only “business simplicity” platform of its kind. In the concept of Verbal Branding and the simplicity platform, he explains the short attention span of people below age 40, and how to get your message down to the absolute, most convincing basic that can be imparted in five seconds or less – the attention span of the under-40-year-old.  As this is our primary target market for Rotary membership, the concept – and how to use it – is invaluable.
Melanson can be reached at 781-443-5051.

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston: Mary Burke
Mary Burke is a senior economist in the Research Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. She holds a Ph.D. in economics from Johns Hopkins University. Her primary research field is applied microeconomics, within which she has studied social-multiplier effects in the rise of obesity in the U.S., peer effects in education, and how individuals form inflation expectations, among other topics. Her research has been published in scholarly journals, including American Economic Review and Journal of Labor Economics. She also produces regular briefings on the New England economy for audiences both within and outside the Boston Fed.
Speaking arrangements may be made by contacting Darcy Saas at darcy.sass@bos.frb.org  or 617-973-3177.
Mary spoke at the Rotary Club of Needham.

Tanzania School Foundation - Christine Lott
We began the School of St. Nicholas to educate disadvantaged children who could not afford school fees. We accept bright children born into chronic poverty. Most of our children live with their single mothers or grandmother in a one-room rented hut with no internal plumbing, electricity or toilets. It is through education that we will end the cycle of poverty for both them and their families in the years to come.
We are a group of professionals who volunteer our time, talent and treasures to ensure our mission continues with the heartfelt compassion it began with. The Foundation was founded in 2008 by Christine Lott, who had a dream. She wanted to change the world. Today, she lives that dream; changing lives one child at a time.
Christine is former vice president in middle-office operations at Goldman Sachs, a position she held for more than 25 years. In 2007, she traveled to Tanzania on a volunteer mission using her vacation time. While there, she made a promise that would change her life forever. In 2009, she took on the role of full-time director at The Tanzania School Foundation. She now lives in Tanzania six months of the year; the other six months, Christine lives in Stoughton. She may be contacted through the foundation's website at www.tanzaniaschoolfoundation.org.

Massachusetts Law Reform Institute: Jean Sifleet
Jean Sifleet,  of the Rotary Club of Clinton, presented a program about the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute's Immigrant Family Community Education Program. MLRI  is a non-profit organization that works for social justice and economic opportunity for low-income people. MLRI is a statewide organization that has been around for more than 45 years.
MLRI is a “systemic-advocacy organization,” – which means it works on achieving lasting outcomes through legal action, advocacy, coalition building and information sharing. So, rather than representing individual clients - such as a local Legal Aid office does - MLRI works on large-scale legal initiatives and reforms that address the root problems.
Jean is working with MLRI as a volunteer – and trying to better inform the business community of the issues. This is an informational program – no politics. Jean, who welcomes the opportunity to speak to other Rotary clubs, may be contacted at 508-361-0916.

Biking Across the USA for the Pan Mass Challenge: Chris Spear
Chris Spear is an avid cyclist, has been riding the Pan Mass Challenge since 1989. He has biked over 100,000 miles in 18 countries and 26 states. When forced to work, he teaches engineers how to design and verify computer chips, and is the author of the bestselling nerd book, SystemVerilog for Verification. He was the president of the Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley for 1 1/4 years and is currently the treasurer.
He enjoys speaking to other Rotary clubs. If interested, contact Chris at chrisbspear@gmail.com.

Make Each Day Count: Tyke Crowley
To learn more about Make Each Day Count, visit www.makeeachdaycount.com. You may contact Tyke, a motivational speaker who is recommended by the Rotary Club of Littleton, at 978-660-8130.
Bolton Repair Cafe: Ray Pfau
Ray, a member of the Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley, is employed by the Oracle Corp.  Repair Cafes encourage sustainability, save people money and avoid people throwing things away and buying new ones. You may contact Ray, who is recommended as a speaker by the Rotary Club of Hudson, at ray.pfau@oracle.com.
Jeff's Place, Children's Bereavement Center Inc.
Located in Framingham, Jeff's Place facilitates healthy integration of loss for children, teens and their families by helping them feel connected with each other and less alone in their grief journey.
To arrange for a speaker, call 508-879-2800 or e-mail info@JeffsPlaceMetrowest.org.
How Pro Athletes Leave Sports and Enjoy The Game Of Life: Dave Ostrowsky
Dave, who lives in Natick and grew up in Newton, is the author of Game Over or Game On? How Pro Athletes Leave Sports and Enjoy the Game of Life.
Dave, who is recommended by Rotary Club of Concord, may be reached at 508-651-0897.

Lindsay Morand, great niece of E.B. White, who was author of "Charlotte's Web," and president of E.B. White Memorabilia Inc.
  • Subject: Life history of E.B. White
  • Rotary Club Presentations To Date: Montachusett Area (9/18/14); Fitchburg (9/23/14)
  • Contact: 978-697-7951; Lindsay@EBWhiteNiece.com.