Speaker Date Topic
Chris Cardona Jul 24, 2017
Peace Corps
Peace Corps

Exploring new cultures is nothing new for Cardona. Born in Goldsboro, N.C., Cardona lived abroad in various countries, including Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, El Salvador, Honduras, Benin and Switzerland. He began his studies at UNCW shortly after returning to the U.S.

Serving as an education volunteer with the Peace Corps was a life-changing experience for Chris Cardona ’14. Not only did he immerse himself in a new culture, Cardona also helped students in China build their confidence in speaking the English language.

Shafi Parekh Jul 31, 2017
Rotary 7710 District Governor
Rotary 7710 District Governor

Retired and enjoying paying it forward with Rotary after over 30 years in the industry with 5 plus years in the executive recruiting field in the US and Pakistan I moved into leadership development via psychological type (MBTI) and psychometric assessment. I am certified to administer Consulting Psycholologist Press of Palo Alto's technologies including MBTI, CPI 260, FIRO-B, STRONG Interest Inventory.

Specialties: Leadership Benchmarking using CPI (California Psychological Inventory) 260 and doing individual gap analysis for training strategy development as well as for hiring decisions.

TBD Aug 07, 2017
Dr. Everett B. Ward Aug 14, 2017
St. Augustine's University
St. Augustine's University

Dr. Everett B. Ward is a respected transformational leader with more than 30 years of national and statewide leadership experience. Dr. Ward was named the eleventh president of Saint Augustine’s University on April 10, 2015, by the Board of Trustees. Dr. Ward is the third alumnus to hold the post in the 148-year history of Saint Augustine’s University.

Benjy Capps, Executive Director, Miracle League Aug 21, 2017
The Miracle League

Benjy, a Raleigh native, attended North Carolina State University on a baseball scholarship. He has a lifelong passion for baseball and has been a coach with the Miracle League of the Triangle and the City of Raleigh over the past 7 years. In addition to being a coach of his son’s team in the Miracle League, Benjy has been Chair Person of the Deacons at Temple Baptist Church, and honored by Easter Seals UPC of North Carolina for his work with the “Ride Without Limits” program. Benjy brings a great blend of passion, professionalism and compassion that will lead our efforts to bring the joy of baseball to many more children with special needs and their families. He currently resides in Raleigh with his wife, Heather and sons, Micah and Noah

Cassandra Deck-Brown, Raleigh Police Chief Aug 28, 2017

A 25-year veteran of the Raleigh Police Department, Deck-Brown was one of three finalists in a nationwide search that drew in 48 applicants to replace former Chief Harry Dolan. He retired last year after leading the department for more than five years.


Deck-Brown worked her way up the ranks as a detective in 1994, sergeant in 1997, lieutenant in 2002, captain in 2003 and major in 2006, when she assumed leadership of the police department's Administrative Services Division. She was promoted to deputy chief in June 2011, after temporarily commanding daily operations of the department's Internal Affairs Unit and several other operations. "She came up through the ranks," Raleigh police Maj. Stacy Deans said. "She knows the personnel. We have shared goals."

Deck-Brown took over as head of the police department when Dolan retired Oct. 1, 2016

Anne Mattews, Ph.D. Sep 11, 2017

Dr. Anne L. Matthews is president of Matthews and Associates, an educational firm in Columbia, SC. She has three earned degrees, including a doctorate from the University of South Carolina. She is an educator by profession, an author of business texts, and a public speaker. She served as president of several national educational organizations and served on numerous boards, including her undergraduate alma mater, Coker College. She is the recipient of several honors including ones from the YWCA, Girl Scouts of America, key to Lake City, SC, Distinguished Alumni Award, Hall of Fame from Florence County School District 3, National Business Education’s Distinguished Service Award, and Leadership SC. She received two appointments from President Ronald Reagan. Anne has spoken and/or consulted in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and 20 foreign countries on educational issues and/or the Rotary Foundation.

Phil Kirk Sep 18, 2017
"The Ten Governors I Have Known"
"The Ten Governors I Have Known"

Phil Kirk began his career in government in 1970 as the youngest state senator elected in North Carolina history. He then served as chief of staff for Govs. Jim Holshouser and Jim Martin as well as U.S. Sen. Jim Broyhill. He also served as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services for two governors.

In 1989, Phil was named president of N.C. Citizens for Business and Industry (NCCBI), the state’s most powerful business lobby and official state chamber of commerce. During his 16-year tenure, Phil was consistently ranked among the top 25 most effective lobbyists in North Carolina. As former Gov. Jim Hunt said about Phil, “If there’s a single person in this state who is more involved and at the center of every issue, I don’t know who it is.” 

Keith Fishburne Sep 25, 2017
Special Olympics --- Celebrating 50 years of Champions!
Special Olympics --- Celebrating 50 years of Champions!

Keith L . Fishburne has been the president and CEO of Special Olympics North Carolina since May 1997. In this role, he is responsible for the overall management of the organization, including oversight of a $6.5 million budget and a staff of 24 full and part time employees.

From February 2002 to February 2005, Fishburne served as chairman of the Special Olympics United States Leadership Council (USLC).

In addition to being chairman of the USLC, he was the elected regional representative of the USLC for the SE United States with a term that ended in Feb 2005. He served as chairman of the Public Relations & Education Committee (PREC) and as a member of the Special Olympics Inc. 

Charles Francis Oct 02, 2017
Squash and Social Mobility
Squash and Social Mobility

Charles Francis is the founder and Managing Partner of The Francis Law Firm, PLLC.  A practicing attorney since 1989, Francis represents a wide variety of clients:  personal injury and medical malpractice victims, landowners whose property is being taken by eminent domain by the government, colleges and universities, housing authorities, cities and towns, insurance companies, businesses of all sizes, churches and non-profits.

Charles Francis has been committed to community service and leadership over the years.  He served as a Raleigh City Council member, Raleigh Planning Commission member, Vice Chairman of the Wake County Democratic Party, Vice Chairman of the Raleigh Wake Citizens Association, a Rex Hospital trustee, a John Rex Endowment founding trustee, a director of the Centennial Authority of the Entertainment and Sports Arena which built and operates the PNC Arena, a YMCA of the Triangle director, a Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce director, a member of the Board of Governors of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice and a Research Triangle Park Foundation director.