Keynote Speakers

Each year, we feature Rotary International leaders and other special guests as our keynote speakers. They share with us tools for personal growth; they challenge and inspire us; they bring to us a moment of humor.

For our 2022 event, the keynote speakers are being confirmed and will be posted in December.

For our 2021 event, our keynote speakers were:

Portrait of Shekhar Mehta

Shekhar Mehta

President 2021-2022, Rotary International

Mehta, an accountant, is chair of the Skyline Group, a real estate development company he founded. He is also a director of Operation Eyesight Universal (India), a Canada-based organization.

Mehta has been actively involved in disaster response and is a trustee of ShelterBox, UK. After the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, he helped build nearly 500 homes for families affected by the disaster. He pioneered a program that has performed more than 1,500 life-changing heart surgeries in South Asia. He is also the architect of the TEACH Program, which promotes literacy throughout India and has reached thousands of schools.

A Rotary member since 1984, Mehta has served Rotary as director, member or chair of several committees, zone coordinator, training leader, member of The Rotary Foundation Cadre of Technical Advisers, and district governor. He is also the chair of Rotary Foundation (India). Mehta has received Rotary's Service Above Self Award and The Rotary Foundation's Citation for Meritorious Service and Distinguished Service Awards. He and his wife, Rashi, are Major Donors and members of the Bequest Society.

Portrait of Virpi Honkala

Virpi Honkala

Director 2020-2022, Rotary International

Virpi Honkala worked as head of surgery at Raahe Hospital until her retirement in 2014 and was the hospital's medical director from 1989 to 2010. A founding member of the Finnish network within the World Health Organization's International Network of Health Promoting Hospitals and Health Services, she served as the group's chair and national coordinator, and as an international board member. For her service as a doctor, she was conferred an honorary title by the president of Finland in 2015.

Honkala joined Rotary in 2001, shortly after attending the International Assembly with her husband, Matti, who was a 2001-02 district governor. One of her proudest achievements as a Rotarian occurred during a return visit to a community near Pune, India, that uses rainwater harvesting systems made possible by a long-term, multidistrict global grant. The system had helped lift residents out of poverty. "When we went back five years later, it was such an amazing transformation that I didn't recognize the village anymore," she says.

Honkala has served Rotary as a Council on Legislation representative, RI president's representative, RI training leader, regional Rotary Foundation coordinator, and Leadership Development and Training Committee member. She has received The Rotary Foundation Citation for Meritorious Service and The Rotary Foundation Distinguished Service Award. She and Matti are Major Donors and members of the Bequest Society and Paul Harris Society.

Portrait of Jeffrey Cadorette

Jeffrey Cadorette

Director 2018-2020, Rotary International

A Rotarian with the Rotary Club of Media, PA since 1977, Jeff served as Governor of District 7450 in 1998-1999. He is current vocation is real estate after having retired from healthcare in 1999 after a 25-year career as a physical therapist. Jeff has served on the boards of YMCA, Springfield College, Tyler Arboretum, and more.

Jeff has served Rotary through many areas: Fellowships, Zone Institutes, RI Administration Committee, International Assembly Seminar Leader, COL delegate, more. He has received The Rotary Foundation Citation for Meritorius Service, PolioPlus Partners Leadership Award, and Service Above Self Award.

Currently serving RI on the Communications Committee and Pandemic Response Task Force, Jeff is a Rotary Foundation Benefactor, a charter member of the District 7450 Paul Harris Society, a Rotary Foundation Major Donor and a multiple Guy Gundaker Fellow of District 7450's Gundaker Foundation.