Steve Leeper has spent about half of his 72 years in Japan. He has a master’s degree in clinical psychology and has worked as a family counselor (10 years), management consultant (14 years), translator (30 years to present) and peace activist (16 years). He believes, until he encounters facts to the contrary, that he has translated, edited, or interpreted more A-bomb survivor stories than anyone in the world except his wife. He began working for Mayors for Peace in 2002, which led to his appointment in 2007 as chairman of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation. He stepped down in 2013 and currently is visiting professor at Hiroshima Jogakuin University and Nagasaki University. His publications include Hiroshima Resolution (bilingual), Nihon ga Sekai wo Suku (Japanese) and Hiroshima wo Tsutaetai America-jin (Japanese).
Edwin Ngoi is a serial entrepreneur with rich experience in the fields of healthcare, sports and education. He is Founder and CEO of NHC Health International Innovation Center (Suzhou) Co.Ltd. and heads also NHC Capital (Shanghai) Co. Ltd. and Venture E (Shanghai) Co. Ltd. He is a member of the Shanghai Singapore Business Association in Shanghai and also a member of the International Education Expert Council of Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences in Finland. He enjoys working in philantrophy projects and is a member of the We Rotary, E club of District 5000.
Prior to this, he held senior management positions at multinational companies such as Teradyne Singapore, BHP Lysaght Taiwan and China (Carrier, Whirlpool, Sara Lee and Lion Nathan China) and Singapore Tee Yih Jia (Baoding) Dairy Food.
He holds an EMBA from the University of San Francisco, an MBA from the University of Texas at Arlington, and a BBA in MIS from Idano State University.
Inspired by a mother from Hiroshima, Ray has devoted his professional career to unofficial diplomacy, cross-cultural exchange and peacebuilding. He is the Director of the Oleander Initiative that brings peacebuilders from around the world to Hiroshima, Japan for life changing study tours
President of Rotary International 2012-13, his theme – “Peace Through Service”, inspirational “father” of We Rotary, believes that everyone can do something to make this a more peaceful world, endowed a peace fellowship with the Rotary Foundation.
Genesis Leong is a program & special events coordinator for large scale events focused on cutting-edge technology, social change and community development. Her ambitions in 2015 includes; Graduate Studies in Disability & Diversity; President of We Rotary D5000 eClub; Organizer/Lead Curator for TEDxHonolulu; Educational-Researcher at the University of Hawaii.
I am passionate about empowering youth with their visions for peace, connecting people globally, Rotary fellowship, fishing in Alaska, living in Hawaii, our granddaughter in San Francisco, doing Rotary health fairs in exotic places, traveling to natural places.
I am a past district governor, started 6 clubs in Russia, chaired the Rotary Global Peace Forum in Honolulu, Hawaii in 2012…I have traveled the world for Rotary.
I’m passionate about Great March for Climate Action, President Obama, Earth’s wilds, Alaska’s waters, California coasts & desert, Colorado Rockies, beautiful writing, sanctuaries, sustainability, and TEDxVail. Talk to me about WILD places/people, renewable energy, emerging environmental leaders, 1988 aerial ski jumping, TEDxHomer.
Jamil Simon, president and founder of Spectrum Media, is an award-winning producer and director of documentary films and educational media. He began working in the field of conflict resolution education in 1996 in Jordan, and since then has become passionate about using media to promote peacebuilding and accelerate teacher training in conflict resolution skills.
“To promote peace, we must promote peacebuilding, and to do that we must give peacebuilders the tools to shine a light on the transformative stories of their work.”
Multilingual, Fulbright scholar, graduate of Leningrad State University. mother to Alexandra, served as secretary of one of the first Russian NGO’s “Russian-American Women’s Lovett’s Center” and as the first secretary of Avachinsky Rotary club. Paul Harris Fellow
I joined Rotary because this is an International organization uniting people from all over the world, not alienating people; because its principles are equality, compassion and help to people in need; because it is not about power and supremacy, but about development of potential and peace.
Elsa Soto Beljean, International Business graduate. MBA student. Youth Exchange to France in 2004. Rotaractor for 7 years in Mexico and founder of the first club in California’s Imperial Valley. Promotes Rotary during workshops at UN Headquarters. Guest Speaker at our International Assembly in 2015. WE Rotarian with her husband Beau Beljean.
Beau Beljean, Project Development Associate with ZGlobal in El Centro, CA, assists California utilities to meet the Renewable Energy Standard by 2020, replacing 33% of fossil fueled power with renewable energy. He engineers and cross functionally coordinates all phases of utility scale energy solutions or renewable energy developers. Through Rotary, he and his wife met and married.
Retired DOD Facilities, Maintenance & Management Officer for Marine Corps. Specializing in international construction & logistics.
Ira Helfand, MD is co-President of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War.
I enjoy helping people make a difference in the lives of others and the well-being of our planet—through my work as a philanthropy professional and my passion for writing & storytelling. From my home on California’s far north redwood coast, I’ve had opportunities to travel and connect with families in developing areas of the world. Enabling those living in poverty and conflict to pursue their own life potential, within a diverse, healthy ecosystem, is one reason I’ve joined WE Rotary.
Bianca Neff is the daughter of an American father and a Basque mother from the ethnic conflict-ridden region of northern Spain and has been active in global humanitarian work for over 20 years.
Bianca has an academic background in Conflict Resolution (MA) and Cultural Anthropology (BA) along with professional expertise as an ICF-certified humanitarian coach.
Bianca is the founder & CEO of Petra Peacebuilders, an NGO dedicated to providing resilience support and resources for global peacebuilding and international development professionals to prevent burnout and overcome trauma and critical incidents in the field.
Her passion is to assist local leaders in the developing world, particularly those working in conflict transformation and reconciliation, in being the most authentic and resilient version of themselves so that their peacebuilding work is not unduly affected by the negative effects of trauma, secondary trauma and other occupational illnesses common to peacebuilding.
In 2012, in keeping with her commitment to reduce her carbon footprint, she moved into a beautiful eco-friendly yurt! For fun, she loves cycling, tennis, DIY home projects, playing with her rambunctious canines Ninja & Neska, spending time with TCKs (third-culture kids), and curling up with any book by Ahmed Rashid or Henri Nouwen. Her Myers-Brigs profile is INTJ.
Bianca has lived in Kyrgyzstan, Kenya, Morocco, the United Kingdom and Switzerland and has worked in many others including Mongolia, Egypt, Jordan, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic. She is a dual citizen of Spain and the United States. She lives in Malaga, Spain.
As the 2018-2019 Club President, let me tell you a little about myself. I was born in Vladivostok, a maritime city situated in the Russian Far East. I was raised in a family of scientists as the only child. My father worked on an oceanographic ship, and my mother was a meteorologist. I was going in for competitive gymnastics for ten years, and at the age of 14 I accomplished a class of Master of Sports of the USSR.
After graduating from the Far-Eastern State University, linguistic department, and getting married I moved to Sakhalin, a native place of my husband. My first working place was a small firm specializing in fishery. Then I got an offer to work as a regional office director at the British Council in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. The British Council is the United Kingdom’s international organization for international relations and educational opportunities. It was a very successful cooperation between Cultural Section of the British Embassy and British Petroleum based on Sakhalin for oil and gas exploration and development, in promoting British arts, science and education. At that time I got my extra education in the field of marketing at the Manchester Metropolitan University and in the field of management at the Moscow Institute of Economics. Then I decided to start my own business in tourism and in 2008 set up a company called “Orange Sun”. It will turn 10 years old next year. My company was awarded a number of times by local administration as one of the best companies in the city in the sphere of hospitality.
I heard about Rotary International from a Bahamas Rotarian when attending “Global Women in Management” training program in Washington, DC, in 2006. Upon coming back to Russia I was invited to join Rotary Club of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. It was chartered on 23 October 1997, and it was a part of the biggest Rotary district 5010 that comprised Alaska, Yukon (Canada), and a huge part of Russia from the Ural Mountains to Kamchatka Peninsula.
I served as President of the club in 2010-2011 with Jane Little (Homer, Alaska) as our 5010 District Governor. We had an outstanding and memorable year. My club was recognized as the best giving club to Polio Plus among 86 clubs of the district. The club became almost 100 per cent Paul Harris club. I am Paul Harris Fellow too. Besides, we were successful in two matching grants for local hospitals and highly appreciated by local Government as one of the best donating organizations. Next year I served as District Governor Assistant. Then my varying service capacities in District 5010 included Ambassadorial Scholarship Committee, International Committee, Convention promotion, etc. As International Committee Chair of District 2225 I was in charge with all international programs like Friendship Exchange, VTT, ICC, sister relations with international clubs and districts (for example, in 2006-2007 a sister district relationship was set up between Korean District 3730 and Russian District 5010, and in June 2007 the ICC was formed at a special meeting in Evanston; later those ties had being maintained between Korean Rotarians and newly organized Russian District 2225). I traveled to South Korea as a part of our District’s team a number of times. I traveled to Taiwan as a part of our district’s first Friendship Exchange Team. I attended District’s conferences and other events on a regular basis, Peace Forum in Hawaii, GETS in Philadelphia for Zones 24&32 as an interpreter-volunteer, Rotary International Conventions in Thailand, Portugal and South Korea.
Intensive experience in the field of international relations allowed me to become ITHF Vice-President for Eastern Russia. The International Travel & Hosting Fellowship – www.ithf.org – is one of the largest fellowships in Rotary. In the first year I brought 20 Russian Rotarians to ITHF. It was the first time in ITHF history when Russians joined the fellowship. It offered us opportunities to belong to one of the closest “families” in Rotary, enjoying rich friendships on tours, during Conventions and from the many “connections” we made individually. I served as Vice-President of ITHF in 2009-2015 with Steve Yoshida, Phil Komornik, Chang-Hsien Hsu (Medicare) as our ITHF Presidents. Again I am offered to serve as VP of ITHF in 2017-2019 with ITHF President Sheila Hart.
I joined We Rotary E-Club, District 5000, in October 2016. I feel excited about We Rotary club’s peace initiatives and projects. I will do my best to support my new club in its moving forward, and to support my new district in planning Hawaii hosting the Rotary International Convention in 2020.
Being a part of Rotary International makes me live amazing experiences in service and in achieving peace.
Rotary is Peace,
Our Passion, Purpose, Action
For a Better World.
Lee B. Dombroski, Curator Survivor Plant Distribution Center, Hilo, Hawaii
Lee is currently the Director of the Performing Arts Center at the University of Hawaii, Hilo. She has held various positions, from Costume Director and Wig Master to Production Manager and Associate Managing Director in professional and educational theatres on the US west coast and in Hawaii. She has exhibited hair sculptures in galleries in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York, and at the Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Lee holds a BFA in Theatre from the University of Colorado, Boulder and a MFA in Design from California Institute of the Arts.
Liza was born and raised in rainy England. She moved to China in 2010 after
winning a scholarship via her work at the European Union and was featured in
publications such as The Guardian, Financial Times & others. Liza worked for
Arsenal FC & studied Consumer Science in Liverpool & then Marketing at a
business school in Oxford. As a Miss Jamaica UK finalist she promised to work
towards world peace – with actual action. This interest lead her to Rotary.
She is the past president of the Rotaract Club of Shanghai and a director at
FEIY. She moved to Tokyo, Japan with her husband (who is a Tokyo lad) and their
twins. She loves football, tea with milk, ballet and is learning to love baseball.
Rick is a Past President (2015-2016) of the Rotary Club of Quincy (MA-USA) and a Paul Harris
Fellow. As a Rotarian, Rick has enjoyed enduring friendships amongst the membership, as they
all came together for a common cause. Born in the Bronx, NY to teenage parents, life was a struggle. When his parents eventually separated, Rick and his siblings ended up in foster care until their 18th birthdays. Rick considers himself one of the lucky ones, having found a loving family to bring some sense of normalcy to an otherwise difficult childhood. Today, Rick has had a succesful career in insurance and a wonderful marriage to the love of his life, Connie. Rick and Connie have two sons and three adorable grandchildren. In addition to working in the insurance field for 40 years, Rick is a self-taught photographer and videographer. Rick would like to use this talent to collaborate with other Rotarians in a meaningful way.
“Sometimes a photo or a few frames of video can make people stop and reflect, in a way that words alone cannot.”
Peace to All …Rick
We Rotary could create a very colorful curiosity: riveting, captivating, bold. Like a landing on Mars with a thousand things going right before we can deliver on the promise of peace in our time, capture my imagination. We Rotary could make our time together matter. We Rotary could design our gatherings as solution celebrations and scale outs for serious subjects. We Rotary could point to places humanity needs to pay attention and ask is that really where we want to invest our precious life force. We Rotary is positive, grounded, known within and looking out without personal gain in mind. We Rotary is grateful for the possibility of peace in our time, respecting our planet. We Rotary grows our networks as we reach together to scale our our proven local solutions.
Our combined unique genius is looking for an expression. How will we respond? Let’s push past our uncertainty and be all We Rotary suspect we can be. We Rotary knows much from our own life experiences.
What We Rotary knows most is still a story to written, with a beginning, middle, and end. Perhaps our beginning is birthed from another’s end. If this is so, let’s honor our commitment to those rooted ideals and grow deeper with new branches of engagement. We Rotarians can become a tale of broad hope, committed to living peacefully in a more complex world of increasing connected networks of compassion. In our time, in our places We Rotarians recognize the dark and dangerous hopelessness. Unfairness, injustice, inequality runs rampant in places We Rotary has yet to hear the cries of the silenced and powerless. We Rotarians can be brave. We Rotary can be courageous in finding paths forward for those paralized by the worst things they’ve ever done. We Rotary, too, evolves the fireside chats into social media, tweets, posts, hangouts. We Rotary can be trail blazers for a glorious end to our contributionary parable as the next generation steps forward and brings their fresh ideas to bear on humanity.