Speakers 2022-2023

Rotary Year 2022-2023

Dr. David Legates
Former DE State Climatologist
“Climates Change in Delaware”
July 14, 2022

David Legates received a B.A. in Mathematics and Geography (double major) in 1982, a M.S. in Geography-Climatology in 1985, and a Ph.D. in Climatology in 1988, all from the University of Delaware. His climatology of precipitation continues to be widely used as it is still the only global climatology available that addresses the gage measurement bias problem.

Upon receiving his Ph.D., Legates became a Professor at the University of Oklahoma and was the Chief Research Scientist for the Center for Computational Geosciences. In 1998, Legates moved to become a Professor at the Louisiana State University as well as a research scientist with the Southern Regional Climate Center. Legates then returned to the University of Delaware in 1999 and retired this past January. While at Delaware, Legates served as the Delaware State Climatologist (2005-2011) and was the Director of the Center for Climatic Research (2001-2007). Recently, he was on leave at NOAA where he was the Assistant Deputy Secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observation and Prediction and was detailed to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy as the Executive Director of the United States Global Change Research Program.

Legates has been invited to speak to the US Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works on three separate occasions as well as both Pennsylvania House and Senate Committee meetings focusing on climate change. He also participated in the historic joint USA-USSR protocol for the exchange of climate information in 1990, won the 2002 Boeing Autometric Award for the Best Paper in Image Analysis and Interpretation by the American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, won First Place in the International Statistical Institute (ISI) and ESRI Paper Competition in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He was awarded the Courage in Defense of Science Award in 2015 and the Petr Beckmann Award and the Frederick Seitz Memorial Award in 2021. He has received over $7M USD in grants over his career and has published more than 80 refereed articles. He has made more than 250 professional presentations.

July 21, 2022Less

Stacey Inglis accepted the position of Executive Director for Delaware Safety Council April first of this year. Stacey met Sam Waltz when she was a communications major at the University of Delaware, and he was her Public Relations professor back in the early 1990’s. Stacey returned to UD in 2010 to earn a certificate in Non-Profit Management which she is putting to good use now at Delaware Safety Council. When she was 10, Stacey received that Safety of the Year Award at Lincoln Elementary school in Emmaus, Pennsylvania. So perhaps this was fate?

She brings to the position 30 years of experience in marketing, communications, and public relations. She has held leadership positions with several Fortune 500 companies in the food and consumer package goods industries. Her responsibilities included acting liaison with Coca-Cola, Kraft Foods, and other major foods companies on co-branded products. Stacey has won numerous industry awards over the years including those for Global Packaging Design, New Product launches and successful Advertising Campaigns.

Stacy Inglis
Executive Director
DE Safety Council
“Keeping Delaware Safer”

Stacey had one daughter, Aynsley, who is an Ursuline and University of Delaware alum. Aynsley recently retired from a career as a professional ballerina having danced all over the world on stages in Moscow, to South Africa, Korea, Japan, and other countries. She performed here for Wilmington Rotary, in the Gold Ballroom back in 2010 when she was leaving for an international ballet competition in Korea.

In her spare time, Stacey has an insatiable appetite for travel. She has been to Paris 27 times, all major cities in Spain, Ukraine, Poland, Morocco, Turkey, Austria, The Netherlands, and many others. She has a love of art, and her favorite instrument is the cello. To listen to, not to play. Stacey learned early on that she has indeed no musical talent.

Anthony Albence
Commissioner, DE Department of Elections
“Behind the Elections Office Scenes”
July 28, 2022

Anthony is a Delawarean through and through whose professional and personal lives have had a positive impact on his community. A graduate of Salesianum, with a B.A. from Catholic University in Politics signaled his early interest and development of his present career path. An M.A. from the University of Delaware in Urban Affairs & Public Policy and time spent interning for the City of Wilmington’s Mayor’s office led him to gaining several years of corporate experience with Sun Bancorp before returning to his U of D roots as a Program Manager for Public Allies. Anthony also spent time as Program Director for the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington before returning to the University of Delaware. Anthony then spent 12 years as the New Castle County Director of Elections before being appointed as the State Election Commissioner for Delaware in 2019. Though he came prepared with plenty of tools and experience, Anthony would navigate unique challenges and the effects of the pandemic on the election process.

In addition to his professional accolades, Anthony’s commitment to community service is readily apparent. He has served as a volunteer and Board member of organizations such as the Bloodbank of Delmarva, Salesianum Alumni Association, St. Anthony of Padua Church, Kiwanis Club, Franciscan Spiritual Center, Catholic University Alumni Association, DE Italian American Education Association, and Catholic Charities. 

August 4, 2022Less

Cliff Berg is a native of Doylestown, PA. He is a graduate of Juniata College, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics. Cliff later received a Master of Science in Financial Services from the American College. During his career in the Financial Services Industry, Cliff obtained the Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), and Accredited Estate Planner (AEP) professional designations.

Upon graduation from college, Cliff spent five years with the Boy Scouts of America as a professional Scouter which brought him to Wilmington, DE. He then served in the Financial Services industry as a Financial Planner for 38 years. Cliff served in several leadership positions within his professional industry, including serving as the National President of the Society of Financial Service Professionals in 2009-10. Cliff retired at the end of 2012 as a principal and partner with the Financial House, a financial planning firm located in Centreville, DE. Cliff and his wife, Donna, then relocated and currently live in Ocean Pines, MD.

Cliff Berg
Cliff Berg
District Governor
Rotary District 7630

Cliff has been active in his community his entire lifetime. He has been an active Rotarian for more than 50 years, starting with the Steelton Rotary Club in Steelton, PA in 1969 and then as a member and Past President of the Brandywine-Naamans Rotary Club, and is currently a member and three term President of the Ocean City/Berlin Rotary Club. He has remained active as volunteer with Scouting and has served in several leadership positions with the local Council and Region Boards. He was awarded the National Distinguished Eagle Scout Award and Silver Antelope Award. Cliff also serves as a volunteer with the American Cancer Society and has served in leadership positions on the Division and National levels, including having served on the ACS National Board. He is active with his church, Atlantic United Methodist and has served as Chairman of the Finance Committee.

Cliff and Donna have two children, Jennifer and Michael and four grandchildren, Stella, Tess, Malaya, and Mason.

Thomas R. Carper, Jr.
Thomas R. Carper, Jr.
U.S. Senator
State of Delaware
August 11, 2022Less

Senator Tom Carper was born in West Virginia and raised in Virginia. After attending The Ohio State University on a Navy R.O.T.C. scholarship and graduating in 1968 with a B.A. in economics, he went on to complete five years of service as a naval flight officer, serving three tours of duty in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, and continued to serve in the Naval Reserve as a P-3 aircraft mission commander until retiring with the rank of captain in 1991 after 23 years of military service. Tom is the last Vietnam War veteran serving in the U.S. Senate.

Tom Carper moved to Delaware in 1973 where he earned his M.B.A. at the University of Delaware. In 1976, at the age of 29, he was elected to the first of three terms as Delaware’s state treasurer. At the time, Delaware had the worst credit rating of any state in America. Six years later, with that credit rating restored to a respectable “AA,” he ran for—and was elected—to Delaware’s at-large seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Tom went on to serve five terms as a U.S. Congressman.

He then served two terms as governor of Delaware beginning in 1993. Tom’s tenure as Governor led to eight balanced budgets—with tax cuts in seven of those eight years—record growth in employment, and a reduction in state debt, all of which led to Delaware earning AAA credit ratings for the first time in the state’s history. During his second term as governor, he was selected to serve as Vice-Chairman, then as Chairman, of the National Governors’ Association (NGA).

On January 3, 2001, Governor Carper became Delaware’s junior senator. He was reelected in 2006, and when Senator Joe Biden stepped down to become Vice President in January 2009, Tom became Delaware’s senior senator. With his reelection in November 2018, he has been elected to state-wide public office in Delaware a record 14 times.

In the Senate, Tom has been a leader on improving our health care system and protecting our environment. As the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Senator Carper helps lead the fight to address the climate change crisis. Senator Carper was a key author of the largest infrastructure investment in U.S. history. He led the Senate to pass the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, historic legislation to strengthen the nation’s water, transportation, and broadband infrastructure.

As a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Carper helped craft key provisions in the Affordable Care Act. Tom is also a leader in the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC): he served as the panel’s Chairman in the 113th Congress, then Ranking Member in the 114th Congress. Now, as a senior member of HSGAC, Senator Carper is a leading voice on efforts to protect our country from national security threats and curb waste in government spending.

Every day, Senator Carper takes the Amtrak train to work in Washington, returning each night to Wilmington, where he lives with his wife, Martha. He is the proud father of three sons.

August 18, 2022Less

Todd has been with McCrery & Harra since 2004. A graduate of Unionville High School and Elon University, Todd graduated summa cum laude from the American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service where he was the recipient of the prestigious Dr. John McAllister Memorial Award. Todd is a member of the Academy of Professional Service Practice, having earned the Certified Funeral Service Practitioner designation. Todd received certification in Advanced Post Mortem Reconstruction from the Fountain National Academy of Professional Embalming Skills. Additionally, he is a NFDA Certified Crematory Operator, and licensed in the state of Maryland. Todd is the president of the Delaware State Funeral Directors Association and a member of the National Funeral Directors Association where is he a participant of the National Emerging Leaders Program and part of the Workforce Development Task Force.

Todd appeared on the cover of the 2008 Men of Mortuaries Calendar, a fundraiser for the KAMM Cares breast cancer foundation. He is a member of the Brandywine Hundred Rotary Club, where he is a past president, and president of the Devon Civic Association, and is a member of the Wilmington Writers Group.

Todd Harra
Todd Harra
VP & Author
McCrery & Harra Funeral Home
“Last Rites: The Evolution of the American Funeral

Todd is an Amazon bestselling author having authored several books about the funeral profession. His next book from Sounds True Publishing, Last Rites: The Evolution of the American Funeral, is due out in the summer of 2022. He is an associate editor/staff writer for Southern Calls magazine and has written pieces for Delaware Communion Magazine.

Todd resides in Wilmington with his family.

Colleen Perry Keith
President, Goldey-Beacom College
“History & Continuing Success of GBC”
August 25, 2022Less

Colleen Perry Keith, Ph.D. is the14th president (and first female president) in the 135-year history of Goldey-Beacom College. Keith assumed this role July 1, 2019.

With more than 30 years of higher education experience, Dr. Keith served as president at Pfeiffer University in North Carolina from 2015-2019 and prior to that served as president of Spartanburg Methodist College from 2009 – 2015.

Dr. Keith currently serves on The Partnership Board of Directors, the education affiliate of the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Directors of Campus Compact Mid-Atlantic. CCMA mobilizes the collective commitment and capacity of higher education in the Mid-Atlantic region. In 2020, she was elected to a six-year term on the Division II President’s Council of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and serves on its Planning and Finance Committee.

Dr. Keith holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from State University of New York, University Center at Binghamton; Master of Education Degree in Education Counseling from University of Pittsburgh; and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Higher Education Administration and Student Affairs from The Ohio State University.

She lives in Wilmington, DE with her husband, Barry, a licensed clinical social worker, and two English bulldogs: Daisy and Charlie. Her son, Tim Hogan, lives in the greater Washington, DC area and works as a digital media strategist.

September 8, 2022Less

Chris Buccini is Co-President of The Buccini/Pollin Group, Inc. (“BPG”) a privately held, real estate investment, development and management company. BPG develops and acquires hotel, office, residential, retail, and parking properties, and sports and entertainment venues throughout the United States. Chris lead’s the firm’s investment management platform, Corten Capital, and its commercial management affiliate BPG Real Estate Services, LLC; and is a director of PM Hotel Group, Inc, a hotel management company with over 3,500 rooms under management. In addition, Chris co-founded and is co-owner of Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union.

Chris is the Chairman of the YPO Intercontinental Chapter, a member of the Board of Trustees of Wilmington Friends School, a member of the University of Delaware President’s Leadership Council, the Delaware Business Roundtable, and Hagley Museum and Library Council of Advisors.

Chris received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Princeton University.

Chris Buccini
Co-Founder Buccini/Pollin Group
“Wilmington Development Update
John Nanni
District 7630 PolioPlus Chair
“Polio Update”
September 15, 2022Less

“I take the attitude that there is very little I can't do, I just have to find a different way of doing it.”

Our speaker’s own words speak volumes about the man and the Rotarian. A few months before the Salk Vaccine became available, public, John was paralyzed from the neck down with Polio for six months, he began walking a year later.

At the age of 40, John began to experience weakness and pain in his legs, indicating Post-Polio Syndrome (PPS). This led to the need for a wheelchair for most of his mobility. 

A breakthrough in John’s life occurred in September of 2010, when he was asked to speak to a local Rotary Club about his Polio and PPS experiences. Mainly because of Rotary International's efforts since 1985 to eradicate Polio worldwide and the feelings of warmth and welcome – John joined Rotary in October 2010.

John has given over 150 Polio & PPS talks to Rotary Clubs throughout the Northeast US. He was appointed to Rotary District 7510's PolioPlus Committee in 2011 and upon his move to Delaware, was appointed to the Rotary District 7630 PolioPlus Chair serving all 40 Rotary Clubs in Delaware & Eastern Shore Maryland.

John’s hope is to play a role in Rotary's future efforts to eradicate Polio worldwide and to help Polio Survivors and their doctors to learn how to cope with PPS.

John is also a proud Platelet Donor, starting with American Red Cross and now with the Blood Bank of Delmarva. As of 3/21/2019, he has donated Platelets 283 times for people who need platelet transfusions, including cancer patients. (This equals to 35+ Gallons).

Along with his wife, Christine, our talented speaker sings! They have a duet group called "Rhapsody in 2". They perform Cabaret shows mostly for charities.

John truly upholds the ideal of Service Above Self, finding time to have served on 6 Boards of non-profit organizations: mainly dealing with the arts.

September 21, 2022

Linda Jennings joined the CEB in July 2016 bringing 20 years of leadership and management experience in law, education, and accounting services. One of the founders of the high performing MOT Charter School, Linda led MOT Charter first as Chair of the Board, then as Head of School for 11 years.

Prior to her role as the leader of the MOT Charter School, Ms.Jennings was a Senior Executive of the Siegfried Group, where she served as the firm’s General Counsel and Director of Human Resources & Marketing.

Before joining the Siegfried Group, Linda served as a commercial litigator for the Philadelphia based law firm, Duane, Morris & Hecksher after completing a two-year clerkship with the Honorable Joseph J. Farnan, Jr. on the United States District Court for the District of Delaware.

Ms. Jennings holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Health Fitness, received a Juris Doctor from University of Maryland, and Master’s degree in Education Entrepreneurship from UPENN’s Graduate School of Education.

Linda Jennings
Linda Jennings
CEO 
Community Education Building 
Chrissi Rawak
Chrissi Rawak
Director of Athletics & Recreation Services 
University of Delaware
September 29, 2022

Appointed as University of Delaware’s Athletic Director in 2016, Ms. Rawak has made an incredible impact on University of Delaware athletics. Prior to coming to Delaware, she held several positions in the University of Michigan’s Athletic Department, including Executive Sr. Associate Athletic Director, AVP of Talent Management and Development Operations and Assistant Women’s Swim Coach. She was educated at University of Michigan (BS in Communications) and Northwestern University (MS in Management and Communications).  

Oct. 6, 2022

Prior to serving as the chief communicator for DelDOT, CR was the Marketing Director for Manion, Gaynor & Manning, LLP. He also served similar capacities with the State of Delaware, Rodel Foundation, and New Castle County. In the early 2000’s, CR was Executive Assistant to Senator Thomas Carper. CR spoke to the Rotary Club of Wilmington in December of 2020 when the I-95 construction project was beginning. He’ll join us Oct. 3 to give us an update and projection when all the work will be completed. 

Charles R McLeod, III
Charles R McLeod, III
Director of Community Relations 
DelDOT
Robert Whitaker, PhD
Robert Whitaker, PhD
Whitaker Consulting, LLC | Former Chief Science & Technology Officer
ARE YOUR FRESH FRUITS AND VEGGIES SAFE TO EAT?"
October 13, 2022

Dr. Bob Whitaker joined PMA in 2008 as Chief Science & Technology Officer, responsible for food safety, technology, supply chain management and sustainability and retired in January 2020. Bob served on the Center for Produce Safety (CPS) Board of Directors and Executive Committee since its founding in 2007 and was the first chair of the CPS technical committee (2008-2013).

Prior to PMA, Bob spent 16 years in the biotechnology field with DNA Plant Technology Corporation (DNAP) as a researcher and finally as Vice President for Fruit and Vegetable Research and Development. After DNAP, Bob worked 10 years at NewStar Fresh Foods and its subsidiary, MissionStar Processing, in food safety, product development and as Vice President of Process Operations.

Actively involved in produce association activities, Bob has served as a volunteer leader for several national and regional industry trade groups including lending his expertise to the development of the leafy greens GAP (good agricultural practices) metrics and serving on the California Leafy Greens Technical Committee during its formative years. Bob has been honored by several groups for technical achievement and leadership including: International Fresh-cut Processors’ Association (IFPA) Technical Achievement Award (2006), U.S. Department of Agriculture National Advisory Committee on Microbial Criteria for Foods committee member (2013), NSF Food Safety Leadership (2015), CPS Leadership (2018), National Academies of Science Genetically Engineered Crops Review panel (2016), and The California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement Golden Check Mark for contributions to the industry (2019).

Bob holds a doctorate in biology from the State University of New York at Binghamton.

October 20, 2022

Educated at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette, Mr. Gray has been working in film for over 20 year. He is an award-winning director, producer and writer of plays and films in NYC, Hollywood, Louisiana and now Wilmington, DE with Black Angels Over Tuskegee. He received 4 ADA Awards for his play Meet Me At the Oak (Best Playwright, Best Director, Best Play and Best World Premier). He was awarded the NAACP Best Play Award for Black Angels Over Tuskegee.

Layon Gray
Layon Gray
Director, Playwright & Producer
New York, NY