Keynote Speakers

Each year, we feature Rotary International leaders and other special guests as our keynote speakers. They bring us humor, challenges, and inspiration.

For our 2018 event, the four keynote speakers were:

Portrait of Paul Netzel

Paul Netzel

Trustee Chair 2017-2018, The Rotary Foundation

Paul A. Netzel is Founder & Chairman of Netzel Grigsby Associates, Inc., a leading management and consulting firm specializing in work with not-for-profit organizations and institutions throughout the Western United States. In Culver City CA, Paul has served as Mayor, Council member, Board of Education, and numerous local and national societies and non-profits.

A recipient of the Citation for Meritorious Service, Paul has served Rotary in many capacities over his almost fifty years as a Rotarian. He and his wife, Diane, are members of the Rotary Club of Los Angeles and are ccharter members of the Arch Klumph Society. They reside in Los Angeles and enjoy traveling, community service, reading and are proud of their two grown children, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren.


Portrait of Brad Howard

Brad Howard

Director 2015-2017, Rotary International

Brad, a charter member of the Rotary Club of Oakland Uptown and Past District Governor of District 5170 (California's Silicon Valley), was a member of Rotary International's Board of Directors for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 Rotary years, where he served a one year term in 2016/17 as the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the board.

The eradication of polio has been an area where Brad has spent much of his Rotary energy. He served 10 years as the Zone 26 End Polio Now Coordinator, and has led 26 groups of Rotarians, comprised of over 1,200 people, to participate in polio national immunization days in West Africa and India. He has extensive Rotary leadership training experience, including being a long time trainer at Presidents-elect Training Seminars and Governors Elect Training Seminars (GETS) and five terms at the International Assembly.

Brad is currently president of Howard Tours and managing director of Howard Properties. His prior careers have included working as a Brand Manager at the Clorox Company, and in a variety of capacities musical and theatrical productions. He is past president of the Haas School of Business Alumni Association (University of California, Berkeley), past board member and committee chair of the Cal Alumni Association, and past trustee of the University of California, Berkeley Foundation.

Brad is a recipient of Rotary's Service Above Self Award, and The Rotary Foundation's Distinguished Service Award and International Service Award for a Polio Free World.

Portrait of Nicki Scott

Nicki Scott

Governor 2014-2015, District 6450

Rotary is a way of life for Nicki who considers herself to be a global citizen. The values of Service above Self, Internationalism and building understanding between different cultures and religions resonate strongly with Nicki's own principles.

Having experienced first hand in Zambia and India the incredible good that The Rotary Foundation and our EndPolioNow effort does in the world, Nicki is a strong supporter: a founding member of the PaulHarris Society, a Major Donor and member of the Bequest Society.

Nicki's core passions are professional speaking, business coaching and leadership development. She aims to use these skills in service to Rotary International to help to bridge the gap to the next generation of leaders for our second century of service to the world.


Portrait of David Forward

David Forward

Rotarian and Author

David was born and educated in England and became a Rotarian in 1978 shortly after moving to the United States. He will be familiar to many Rotarians through Frank Talk, the fastest selling book in Rotary history as well as the author of the official history book of Rotary, A Century of Service.

David's passion is volunteerism, and has initiated and led humanitarian work trips across America and to the Dominican Republic and Beirut. He has served his church as deacon, elder, and mission committee chairman. As a Rotarian for 39 years, he served three times as club president, and has been awarded the Citation for Meritorious Service. He served his district as governor 2015-2016 and 2016-2017. David and Chris are Rotary Foundation Major Donors and live in Medford, New Jersey.

In 1991, David founded International Children's Aid Foundation, an all-volunteer foundation that has its own orphanage, dental and medical clinics in Romania and has taught hundreds of abandoned children early childhood education, vocational training and life skills. David hosts several groups of volunteers each year who go to Romania. He has now visited Romania 70 times.