Rotary District 5360
2018 Conference

May 4-6, 2018
Hyatt Regency Hotel
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Sylvia Whitlock

Session Title: Edge of Tomorrow

Saturday May 5, 2018

Sylvia Whitlock was born in New York City and educated through high school in Kingston, Jamaica. She joined the Ex-Rotary Club of Duarte in 1982 and has held every office at the club level. She is currently a member of the Rotary Club of Claremont, California. She was the first women president of a Rotary club in Rotary International, and served as an assistant governor and later District Governor in 2012-13. Sylvia is the recipient of the Rotary Foundation District Service Award, and is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow and member of the Bequest Society. Sylvia has participated in NIDS, established an AIDS clinic in Jamaica, supported an orphanage in Mexico, sank wells in Nigeria, and raised almost $90,000 for education for girls in India. She has spoken at more than 30 District Conferences, numerous clubs in the United States and overseas, Institutes and Zone events and addressed the 530 incoming governors at the 2013 International Assembly. Sylvia earned a BA in Psychology from Hunter College in New York City and her Ph. D. From Claremont Graduate School. She is an educator and a psychotherapist. She has been the NAACP Woman of the Year and received the United Nations Global Citizen Award in 2013. Sylvia believes her most satisfying achievement was raising her children who have now gifted her with beautiful grandchildren.

Martin Parnell

Session Title: The Secret Marathon – Running for Freedom and Equality

Saturday May 5, 2018

In 2010, following a 25-year mining career, Martin Parnell started his "Quests for Kids" initiative. Over the next five years he completed 10 "Quests". These included running 250 marathons in one year, setting five Guinness World Records in endurance events and summiting Mount Kilimanjaro in 21 hours. At the end of 2014, he had raised over $1.3m for the humanitarian organization Right To Play and 27,000 children had been given the gift of hope.

Martin's first book "MARATHON QUEST" was published by Rocky Mountain Books and CBC Radio listed him as one of Alberta's top five authors, for 2014. His second book, “RUNNING TO THE EDGE”, was released in November 2016.

Through keynotes and workshops, Martin shares his message of having a “Finish the Race Attitude – Setting goals and overcoming obstacles to unlock your potential”.

He is married to Sue, and has three children and three grandchildren.

Sheldon Kennedy

Sheldon’s awareness contributions are many:

  • He in-line skated across Canada in 1998 to highlight the issue of child abuse and donated 100% of the proceeds ($1.2M) towards abuse prevention programs. During this skate he was presented with the keys to the cities of Ottawa, Toronto and Winnipeg.
  • His life story was made into an Award Winning TV movie.
  • In 2006 he published “Why I Didn’t Say Anything”; a riveting account of the many psychological impacts of abuse.
  • He has shared his story through countless media appearances including Oprah, ABC’s Nightline, W-5, The Fifth Estate, and was named Canada’s newsmaker of the year in 1997.
  • In 2016, Swift Current the documentary featured Sheldon’s story, providing a startling and never before seen look at recovery from childhood sexual abuse trauma.

Session Title: Making the Invisible Visible

Sunday May 6, 2018

Sheldon Kennedy won a Memorial Cup, World Junior Gold Medal and skated for three teams in his eight-year NHL career. He is best known for his courageous decision to charge his Major Junior Hockey league coach with sexual assault for the abuse he suffered over a five year period while a teenager under his care. Through this disclosure, and the important work that Sheldon continues to do, he has become an inspiration to millions of abuse survivors around the world.

Sheldon has been instrumental in bringing governments, public and private sector partners together to work collaboratively to influence policy change and improve the way child abuse is handled. He has influenced changes in Canadian law and has taken his message to the International Olympic Committee and the US Senate.

Sheldon is the Lead Director at the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre, the first-of-its-kind in Canada, offering full wrap-around services for victims of child abuse. He is also the Co-Founder of Respect Group, which provides empowering online abuse, bullying and harassment prevention education to sport organizations, schools and the workplace.

Sheldon has received several awards for his tireless work including:

  • Honourary Bachelor of Business Administration, SAIT, 2016
  • Honourary Bachelor of Child Studies and Child and Youth Care, Mount Royal University, 2016
  • Member of The Order of Canada, 2015
  • Member of The Order of Manitoba, 2015
  • Alberta Order of Excellence 2016
  • Honourary Doctorate of Laws, University of Calgary, 2015
  • Lincoln Alexander Outstanding Leader Award, University of Guelph, 2015
  • The David Foster Foundation Humanitarian Award, 2014
  • Calgary Citizen of the Year 2013
  • Honourary Doctorate of Laws, University of the Fraser Valley, 2012
  • Scotiabank Humanitarian Award, 2012
  • Canadian Red Cross Caring Award, 2007