The RCAT Network maintains a Presenters List available to address your club on any one of a number of climate specific issues, or to provide general background as your club strategizes on where to put your attention.  The most up-to-date list of presenters is a starting point.  Feel free to ask for suggestions by contacting us at [email protected].

Alan Anderson
Climate Activist and Rotary Club Support

Alan got his degree in Wildlife Management from Oregon State, ran a small business and then spent the rest of his work life as an executive with the Boy Scouts of America.  After retiring in 2012 he started working on climate issues and giving public education talks. His motivation was and is his five grandchildren.

Alan has been a Rotarian for many years and is the program co-chair for his Northfield Club of 130 members.  He is a Paul Harris Fellow, a member of Rotary International’s Environmental Sustainability Action Group, and he started a Rotary Climate Action Team in his club.  He has presented on climate change to 34 Rotary clubs in his area, as well as to many other church, school, business, fraternal and senior organizations.

Topics: 1) Basic Climate Science, Impacts & Solutions; 2) Rotary’s work in the world & the Challenge of Climate Change; 3) Ocean Acidification, Impacts & Solutions; 4) How a “Revenue-neutral Carbon Fee and Dividend” decreases emissions while growing the economy; 5) How and Why to start a Rotary Climate Action Team in your club

Rotary Club: Northfield MN, District 5960

Contact: [email protected]

Gary H. White
Rotarian, Climate Reality Leader, Extinction Rebellion San Mateo Founder

Gary White is a Climate Activist trained by Former Vice President Al Gore and his Climate Reality Project (CRP). Gary’s role with the CRP Bay Area chapter is to educate and motivate people living in the Bay Area to address climate change. Mr. White has given 240 presentations to over 13,000 people to date.  Mr. White is also the Group Leader of the newly founded San Mateo chapter of Extinction Rebellion. XR uses non-violent direct action tactics to call attention to the increasing severity of the climate emergency and demand a comprehensive response by the U.S. government and the business community.

Currently retired, Mr. White spent nearly 30 years as a Human Resources Executive in the Silicon Valley with Apple, Intuit, and Palm. In addition to HR, Mr. White took on responsibility for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at his workplaces over the past 15 years of his career in high tech.

Gary holds a B.A. from Stony Brook University, a Masters from UC Berkeley, and an Executive Education Certificate in CSR from the Harvard Business School. He lives in Belmont, CA with his wife of 20 years and is an active member of the Rotary Club of San Mateo.

Topics: General Climate Crisis Overview, Climate Solutions, Climate Change for Teachers

Rotary Club: San Mateo, District 5150

Contact: [email protected]

Yavuz Atila
Rotary’s Seventh Area of Focus

Yavuz is the current member, founder, and Charter President of the Rotary Club of Monterey Cannery Row since October 2011. He joined Rotary in April 2005 as a member of the Rotary Club of Monterey Peninsula Sunrise and served as the club President in 2010-11 and Assistant Governor in 2011-12. He served as the District 5230 Governor in Central Coast California in 2016-17 and the District Trainer for 2017-2018 term. Yavuz joined the Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group (ESRAG) in August 2019 and currently serving as the ESRAG Western North America Regional Chapter leader.

Yavuz founded the annual “The Rotary Foundation/End Polio Luncheon” in November 2010 bringing Rotary clubs together to celebrate the Rotary Foundation Month and promote the END POLIO NOW campaign, which became a district-wide event over the years. In May 2009, he founded the Sunnyvale STAR (Silicon Valley Turkish American Rotary) Club and the Rotary Club of Carmel Sunset in June 2017. He attended the Leadership Monterey Peninsula Class of 2013 and started the “Ocean for Youth” project to bring students from inland areas to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Yavuz was born in a Black Sea town of Sinop, Turkey. He graduated from the Turkish Naval Academy in 1984 in Istanbul, Turkey. During his 8-year Naval career, he served on Turkish frigates that operated in the Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea. In December 1990, he received his M.S. degree from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey. He worked as the Information Systems Director for the Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey for 12 years. In 2003, he founded Monterey Bay Technologies, Inc., providing IT solutions, sales and services to small and mid-size businesses and organizations.

Topics: Environment: Rotary’s 7th Area of Focus; ESRAG Purpose and Organization

Rotary Club: Monterrey Cannery Row, District 5230

Contact: [email protected]

Allen Stockbridge
Climate Activist and Industrial Waste Innovator

Allen is active in the community and nationally with The Friends Committee on National Legislation, the American Friends Service Committee, The Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival, Leadership Skagit, Transition Whatcom, and the Climate Reality Project, and has served as Charter President of several non-profits and community organizations in Baltimore and Park City, Utah. In his spare time Allen owns and operates Kulshan Commercial Investment Real Estate, and has recently formed the Thermal Energy Battery Company. TEBCO is a national distributor of container-sized “waste energy” batteries that capture wasted heat from industrial facilities and large-scale boilers and chillers at hospitals, data centers, office buildings, airports, which decrease fossil fuel consumption and reduce operating costs.

Allen lives in Bellingham, WA and is a member of the Rotary Club of Pacific Northwest Passport, a new district-wide Rotary Club.  Allen first joined in Baltimore in 1985 and has served in many capacities, from Charter President of two new Rotary clubs, the Towsontowne Rotary Club and Rotary Club of Park City Sunrise, to establishing RYLA in Utah, the District Zone Rep, and Assistant District Governor for Membership.

Allen served on the District 5050 Foundation Committee in 2017-2019 and spoke to clubs and District events on the PolioPlus program. Allen and the Passport Club have undertaken to begin a Green Bag Food Bank program starting in Whatcom County which collects Green Bags of food from donors six times per year and delivers them to the local Food Bank. The Ferndale Rotary Club is cooperating in starting collections for the Ferndale Food Bank this October.

Topics: ESRAG/RCAT, Climate Solutions, the Climate Reality Project, Citizens Climate Lobby, Project  Drawdown, The Transition Movement.

Rotary Club: PNW Passport, District 5050

Contact: [email protected]

Richard Stedman
Air Pollution Control

Richard is the Air Pollution Control Officer for the Monterey Bay Air Resources District.  From January 2001 to February 2009, Richard served as Executive Director of the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency (ORCAA) in Washington State.  Prior to his job as ORCAA’s Executive Director, he was the Manager and Principal Investigator of the Washington State Department of Health Cooperative Agreement Program with the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.  Richard started his air quality management career as a Senior Air Quality Engineer for the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District in California.

Richard serves on several Boards of Directors including the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, the California Air Pollution Control Officers Association, Breathe California Central Coast Chapter (BCCCC) and the Monterey Institute for Research in Astronomy.  He is also President of BCCCC.  In addition, Richard is Vice Chair of the Monterey Bay Community Power Project Development Advisory Committee, a community choice power project.

In 2005, Richard founded and directed Clean Air Northwest, a non-profit organization advocating for clean air in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia.

Mr. Stedman holds a Master of Science degree in Public Health/Toxicology from the University of Hawaii and a Bachelor’s degree in Geography/Biology from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Topics: Air Pollution and Climate Change

Rotary Club: Monterrey Cannery Row (past founding member)

Contact: [email protected]

Elizabeth Bagley, PhD
Project Drawdown

As Director of Drawdown Learn at Project Drawdown, Dr. Elizabeth Bagley connects people with the most impactful climate change solutions. Through a diverse portfolio of programming, Bagley creates relevant, researched, and relatable sustainability content and initiatives that inspire audiences to take action to help people and the planet thrive together.

Before joining Project Drawdown, Bagley directed sustainability efforts at the California Academy of Sciences and designed the science content for video games at LeapFrog. Bagley has experience studying coral reefs, sea turtles, and butterflies in Kenya, and has worked as a naturalist in Glacier National Park. An experienced environmental educator, she has taught middle and high school science in Louisiana, K-12 science pedagogy to teachers, and science communication to graduate students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Elizabeth holds joint PhDs in Environment & Resources and Educational Psychology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where she studied how video games can encourage systems thinking about complex environmental topics. She earned joint Master of Science degrees in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development and Educational Psychology and Bachelor of Science degrees in Zoology and Biological Aspects of Conservation.

Topics: The latest Climate Solutions, Research and Insights

Rotary Club: El Cerrito CA, District 5160

Contact: [email protected]

Joyce Mercado
Climate Reality Leader

Joyce retired from IBM in 2019 after serving 35 years, most recently as a North American Technical Sales Manager.  Since retiring Joyce has poured herself into her volunteer work.  She joined the Rotary Club of Alameda, CA, serves on the Board of Bike Walk Alameda, acts as an adult literacy tutor, participates in Community Action for a Sustainable Alameda (CASA), maintains a comprehensive Climate Protection Checklist and presents Climate Reality topics to her community after training by former Vice President Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project.  She has given many such presentations at first in person and now via zoom.  Her Climate Reality presentation covers causes of climate change, global temperature increases, impacts of global climate change, solutions available now and developing a personal action plan leveraging her climate protection checklist.  Joyce’s passion is to inspire others to modify their behaviors and to take on projects to protect the climate.

Joyce earned her B.S. in Physics at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, and performed two years of graduate study in Plasma Physics at Princeton University.

Topics: Climate Reality and Personal Action Plan

Rotary Club: Alameda, CA District 5160

Contact:  [email protected]

John G. Mathers
Rotarian, Business Advisor, Author, Climate Advocate

John is a business advisor and personal coach  Mill Valley, California. Over four decades, John has worked with hundreds of Fortune 1000 companies and their management team, as well as thousands of team leaders and individual contributors. The focus of the work has been on enhancing team and individual performance, which equates to workplace equity and corporate sustainability. John has captured his experience in various magazine articles and books about building high performance teams and the crisis of leadership in the 21st century.

John is a past president of the Rotary Club of San Francisco and has held several positions with Rotary District 5150, including Youth Services and OD Specialist. Although John has been a Rotarian for only a little more than a decade, he has been serving the Bay Area community through pro bono consulting services for more than three decades. John’s special interest in climate change is the direct result of being a grandfather and working extensively on Rotary projects with an environmental focus. He has spoken at various U.S. and international clubs on the climate issue and the need for Rotary to step up to address this existential crisis.

Topics: General Climate Crisis Overview, Climate Solutions, Economics of Sustainable Transition

Rotary Club: San Francisco, District 5150

Contact: [email protected]

Mitchell C. Williams
Climate Reality Leader

Mitch is the Owner/CEO of Home Helpers of San Mateo County, which has received numerous accolades, including: Leader in Excellence Award Home Care Pulse; Brand Ambassador Award; BOLD Diamond and CEO Master’s Club Awards, as well as many others. Home Helpers San Mateo makes life easier while helping seniors stay safe at home.  He is active in a number of areas associated with his work and community: Chair of the Northern CA Board of the Home Care Association of America; Chair of Home Helpers Corporate Innovation Council; Chair of the Home Care Association of America Advisory Council; Board Member, Executive Committee Member San Mateo Chamber of Commerce; co-chair Half Moon Bay Adult Day Caregiver Support Group; member BANG (Bay Area Networking Group); member ProVisors San Mateo 1.

Mitch is a recent graduate of Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project Training and an active Rotarian with the Rotary Club of San Mateo, where he is a Board member and a dedicated participant in the Club’s Climate Action Team.

Topics: Climate Crisis Overview, Supporting RCAT Creation in Your Club

Rotary Club: San Mateo, District 5150

Contact: [email protected]

Joey O’Brien
Creating Climate Action Program in Clubs

Joey has lived in Canmore for 17 years with his wife, 5 children and 2 grandchildren. He was one of the first in town to install solar panels (10 KW- 40 panels) on his home and it is now energy positive annually.

Joey is the president of SustainDriven, an innovative provider of environmental consulting and event operations that executes sustainable water, waste, global greenhouse gas and energy solutions. His professional passion is environmental sustainability, mitigation and education.

As a Rotarian and with his clubs 2020-21 mission statement “Rotaries response to the climate crisis” he is leading his club’s programming to educate, engage and develop projects to meet this challenge.  He is eager to share his info and learnings with other clubs.

Topics: Environment: Overview of Climate Crisis, Creating a Climate Program in Your Club

Rotary Club: Canmore Alberta Canada, District 5360

Contact: [email protected]

Rod Diridon, Sr.
Climate Action Committee Presenter

Rod is known for his leadership in mass transportation. He served as chair of the California High Speed Rail Authority from 2001-2003. He currently chairs the advisory board of the United States High Speed Rail Association, and he chairs the National Heritage Area Project for Santa Clara County, California.  The New York Times calls Diridon “a tireless advocate of public transport for the Bay Area.”

Rod is also active in Silicon Valley in leadership on environmental issues, the arts and culture, higher education, community organizations, and philanthropy.  As past president of the Rotary Club of San Jose, Rod brought the climate crisis to the foreground with the establishment of a Climate Action Committee as a part of the ESRAG structure.  The ESRAG-CAC approach, under Rod’s leadership, has expanded in District 5160 to include twelve clubs.

Topics: General Overview, Fossil Fuels, Climate Solutions

Rotary Club: San Jose, District 5170

Contact: [email protected]

Salvador Rico
International Climate Projects

Salvador’s education and work experience has given him the opportunity to see the current difficulties in the environment stemming from climate change, and to provide solutions focused on the root of the problem through simple, economic and effective processes; working specifically with Rotary clubs to ensure the permanence of programs.

A Rotarian for 13 years, he joined because Rotary had a program to eradicate polio, a disease that had caused great pain in the family growing up.  Prior to becoming president of his club, Salvador participated a project to clean up the Russian River.  Since then he has taken this idea to Mexico and other countries, with special emphasis on the Ameca River (Jalisco, Mexico), where the team has prevented garbage from entering the river.  The reason for the river clean-up projects is simple: various diseases spread through sewage, especially polio, gastrointestinal, kidney disease, dengue and others.  Today this initiative has reached many different countries: Ecuador, Colombia, Mexico, Turkey, Argentina, India, the United States, and Canada, among others.

Thanks to the support of WASRAG (Water and Sanitation Rotarian Action Group) members, the initiative was adopted as part of the challenge of World Water Day and World Day Against Polio. The challenge consisted of presenting a project with the greatest impact and innovation.  As part of the efforts of Rotary Clean the Rivers of the World, we have invited many Rotary clubs to join cleanup projects in their countries.

In addition, Salvador supported the development of a Rotary alliances and participates and lectures at Rotary conferences, including Vancouver 2018, Ontario California 2020) and Washington DC.

Salvador is the Director of International Projects for his club, founder of Cleaning the Rivers of the World, and a member of WASRAG, ESRAG, Rivers of the World, and La Paz Rotary Action Group.

Topics: International Climate Solution Projects

Rotary Club: Rotary Club of South Ukiah, District 5130

Contact: [email protected]

Laura Porter
Plastics Crisis

Laura attended the University of South Carolina, where she completed a Bachelors of Science in Accounting, and received a Masters of Accountancy. Upon graduation, Laura took a job with Deloitte & Touche San Francisco, where she worked with some of the biggest names in retail and sports. After leaving Deloitte, she continued her career in technical accounting and SEC reporting in Silicon Valley at Dolby Laboratories and Guidewire software, and eventually took on the role of Assistant Controller for the San Francisco Giants, where she worked for 6 seasons, including the glorious 2014 World Series Championship.

During this time Laura began to focus her attention on climate change, and on the devastating impact of plastics to our environment and our health. In 2019, believing that the fastest way to bring about change is through making solutions readily available, she founded Byrd’s Filling Station, a refill stop specializing in plastic-free personal care, cleaning and home products. As a member of the San Mateo Rotary Club, she participates in the Climate Change Committee, and is a member of Citizens Climate Lobby and was trained as a Climate Reality Project leader in 2020.

Topics: Climate Crisis Overview, Plastics and the Climate Crisis

Rotary Club: San Mateo, District 5150

Contact: [email protected]

Andrew Gunther, PhD
Climate Advocate

Dr. Andrew Gunther received his Ph.D. in Energy and Resources from the University of California at Berkeley in 1987, and has worked at the intersection of environmental science and policy since 1979. He served as Assistant Chief Scientist for the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Restoration Program, and is working with a broad array of organizations to help prepare the San Francisco Bay Area for our changing climate.

He was recently appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom to the San Francisco Bay Regional Quality Control Board.

Dr. Gunther is a well-respected public speaker who has made over eighty presentations about climate change to a variety of audiences, including many Rotary Clubs. His nonpartisan presentation reveals the surprising history of climate science, discusses the critical events leading to the current climate emergency and offers vivid illustrations of some of our most hopeful solutions – many of which are already underway. Dr. Gunther always leaves time for a vibrant Q&A session.

Rotarians who hear this talk will become more effective communicators about climate issues, and ambassadors for the clean-energy transition that’s needed to give the next generation a more livable future.

Topics: Climate Issues, Clean Energy Transition to a More Livable Future

Rotary Club: Global Network Forum Speaker