2011 Float Riders and Outwalkers

The Rotary Rose Parade Float Committee Inc presents our 2011 Float: “Building Communities, Bridging Continents” the theme of 2010-2011 Rotary International President Ray Klinginsmith. Eight bears—actually seven bears and one koala—are outfitted to represent the continents, as in “Bridging Continents.”

Nine Rotary Club members will be riding on the float, and eight will be walking with the float. Each one—wearing the traditional costume of their country of origin or the USA–represents one of the continents where 33,000 Rotary clubs form a global network of community volunteers, more than 1.2 million strong!.

Our Float Riders and Outwalkers have been selected by the District Governors of the seven southern California and southern Nevada Rotary Districts whose clubs and members provide seed money to start building the float. Funding is completed by donations from Rotary clubs and members across the USA and Canada,


Rotary District 5240 – Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Kern Counties

Daudi Kaliisa

Float Rider Daudi Kaliisa, a native of Uganda, is the founder/President of Project A.C.E. a California nonprofit Corporation focused on empowering the peoples of East Africa. He has an M.A. in international development from the University of Iowa and a B.A. in economics and Finance from Wartburg College in Iowa.

Daudi worked as the Uganda Country Director for USAID funded programs which sent professionals from the United States to provide technical assistance in developing nations. He has also worked for CARE International and for Lifewater International, where he developed Lifewater’s relationships with African partners and networked with others in the field to identify new funding sources.

Daudi has been a Rotarian since November 1994 and has served on boards of three Rotary clubs. Daudi joined the Los Osos club (District 5240) where he is the Immediate Past President 2009 -2010. He is the Water Resource chair of Los Osos Rotary Club and currently serves as the co-chair of district 5240 STEPS, formerly known as the Poverty Conference.

Cheney Caldwell

Outwalker Cheney Caldwell, President, Ventura Rotaract

Cheney Caldwell is President of the Rotaract Club of Ventura. Her club, serving the city of Ventura, chartered in June 2010 with 23 business professional men and women in their twenties and thirties. As a start-up club, their local priority is providing assistance to the less fortunate in the community. Their international priority is supporting Rotary’s “Race to End Polio.”

Cheney has been working in sales, but is returning to college to finish her Bachelor’s Degree. She became involved in Rotary through a dear friend and Rotarian who knew of her desire to do humanitarian work. She tries to live by the words of Ghandi: “Be the change you wish to see in the world”, and believes if more people lived by those words, the state of humanity and the earth would be better off.

She is excited to be a Rotary Rose Parade Float outwalker, representing thousands of younger members of Rotary, Rotaract and New Generations clubs across the country.

Rotary District 5260 – San Fernando Valley, Antelope Valley, Eastern Sierra

Janet Hartley

Float Rider Janet Hartley, President, Rotary Club of Granada Hills

Janet is winner of many Rotary recognition awards. She and DJ Sun of Koreatown Rotary will be representing Korea/East Asia on the float. Both will be wearing traditional Korean Hanbok.

Currently her club is running a Blood Drive and Health Fair with the participation of several community hospitals. Janet is also an active member of North Valley YMCA and Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley. Professionally, Janet is Manager of the US Bank Westlake Village Office. She specializes in the commercial banking field.

Janet and her husband Jim live in Westlake Village with their Siamese Cat. They love to travel, be with family, and spend time on their boat.

Dr. Richard Cortes

Representing Honduras, Dr. Richard Cortes currently serves as District 5260 Rotaract Chair and is an active member of Glendale Sunrise Rotary. Before joining Rotary in 2009, Richard participated in the Rotary Foundation’s Group Study Exchange program between District 5260 (California) and District 1790 (France).

Professionally, Richard serves as an academic counselor at Glendale Community College. He was born and raised in New York City, then moved to Los Angeles, California in 1986. Both Richard’s parents emigrated from the Central American Republic of Honduras in 1971.

Academically, Richard earned both his Master of Science degree in Counseling and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology at California State University, Northridge, and received his Doctor of Philosophy in Education degree from Claremont Graduate University. He has published several articles for peer-reviewed education and psychological journals relating to higher education and immigration issues.

Richard and his wife, Mirna, lives in Los Angeles, and have been married for 4 years.

Siranoush Tokatlian

Outwalker Siranoush Tokatlian, representing Armenia, is Immediate Past President of the Rotary Club of Burbank. Siranoush has been a Rotarian since 2006.

Siranoush is Associate Director of Alumni and Events at Woodbury University where she earned her undergraduate and MBA degrees. She is responsible for maintaining relationships with Woodbury alumni who are spread across all 50 states and 49 countries.

Siranoush has used her information technology background to develop integrated approaches to the philanthropic giving necessary to support higher education. She also uses her technology expertise on behalf of Rotary, serving as the webmaster for Rotary District 5260.

Rotary District 5280 – Los Angeles Basin

DJ Sun

Float Rider DJ Sun President, Rotary Club of Koreatown

In 1989, DJ Sun joined the Koreatown Rotary Club in Los Angeles. He was elected President in 2007–2008 and for second term in 2009-2010. He is a District 5280 Assistant Governor for 2010 – 2011.

DJ contributed to the growth of Koreatown Rotary Club’s international projects. Operation Smile is known for providing surgeries for children around the world who have cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities. DJ and Koreatown Rotary Club members led a successful Operation Smile mission to the Philippines in 2008, operating on and giving 50 children their smiles back. In 2009, Koreatown Rotary Club and Munhwa Rotary Club in Seoul, Korea, sponsored another mission to Hai Phong, Vietnam in which 137 children received their smiles back.

DJ, the Koreatown Rotary Club, and the Geumjeong Rotary Club of Pusan, Korea worked with Tissue Banks International to provide cornea tissue transplants and restore sight for 28 people in Pusan. DJ and the Koreatown Rotary Club are currently working with Operation Smile in arranging and organizing operations for cleft-lip children in Nepal and with TBI for cornea transplants for 20 people in Jeun-Ju, Korea.

Sergei Belokonnyi

Outwalker Sergei Belokonnyi, representing his native Ukraine, is president of the Rotaract Club of West Los Angeles. In Spring 2006 he became involved with the Rotaract Club of Santa Monica College, followed by the Rotaract of West Los Angeles, followed by a position on the Rotaract District 5280 board of directors. That year he was a part of the 2008 Rotary International Convention Rotaract host organization committee and chaired Rotaract’s 40th Anniversary Luncheon at the Los Angeles Convention center. In 2009, while remaining active in Rotaract of West LA and being a full-time student, Sergei become a Rotaract Vice-Governor for District 5280 followed by Rotaract Governor in Summer 2009.

With the help of his dedicated and trusted team, Sergei spearheaded variety of service initiatives and social events and concluded his year by leading a large group of Rotaractors to Ecuador. The trip to Ecuador was a fruition of many projects District 5280 Rotarians and Rotaractors carried out through that year and was a great success. Rotarians of District 5280 awarded Sergei a Paul Harris fellowship at the Ciao Dinner – a year-end banquet traditionally held by out-going board of directors. That same Rotary year, Sergei received RI Presidential Citation for “outstanding service as District Rotaract Representative”. Currently Sergei is president of his Rotaract Club of West Los Angeles.

Sergei has just received his diploma in Operations Management from California State University, Northridge and enjoys his internship with a manufacturing company in Culver City. In his spare time Sergei likes to run, play tennis, lift weights and read. He enjoys a variety of performing arts, including ballet and musicals.

Rotary District 5300 – San Gabriel Valley, San Bernardino County, Southern Nevada

Tatiana Shabelnik

Float Rider Tatiana Shabelnik, President, Rotary Club of Pico Rivera

Tatiana Shabelnik is President of the Rotary Club of Pico Rivera. She was born in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, and grew up under the former Soviet Union. After completing her BA and Masters degrees from the Belarusian University of Culture in Library Science, she taught at the same university, working with students from Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Tatiana’s connection to Rotary International goes back to 1992 when she was a Rotary exchange fellow in the city of Weert, Holland, with an internship at the Weert Public Library. Her host Rotarians became an inspiration in Tatiana’s life.

In 1994, she came to the United States as a graduate exchange student at Louisiana State University. She subsequently completed all the coursework for her PhD and 2001 became web manager for Whittier College.

Tatiana joined Rotary in 2006 after speaking at the Rotary Club of Pico Rivera to share her ideas about a student exchange with Belarus. While attending a Rotary meeting in Minsk, she learned about “Project Baby Heart” which helps children with a condition known as “Chernobyl heart,” a heart with multiple holes. Her Pico Rivera club is now a sponsor of “Project Baby Heart.”

Christie Shu

Representing Kazakhstan, Rotary Float Outwalker Christine Shu was a 2009-10 Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar sponsored by the Rotary Club of San Marino. Christine Shu applied for the Ambassadorial Scholarship through District 5300 while studying abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia during her junior year of college. Three months after graduating from Colby College in May 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, Russian, and Anthropology, she shipped off to Almaty, Kazakhstan for her Ambassadorial Scholarship year. In Kazakhstan, she studied in the Master’s of International Relations program at Kazakhstan Institute of Management, Economics, and Strategic Research (KIMEP). She also did volunteer work teaching English and the concept of volunteerism. Since returning from Kazakhstan, Christine has enjoyed speaking about her experiences abroad.

Christine plans to begin law school next fall, focusing on International Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution, a field that she was inspired to enter thanks to her Rotary year abroad.

Rotary District 5320 – Orange County, Southern Los Angeles County

Roy Jefferson

Float Rider Roy Jefferson is Past President of the Rotary Club of Anaheim Hills

Roy is currently an Executive Assistant Governor in District 5320. Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, Roy moved to Santa Ana, CA when he was 18 and attended Santa Ana College and Fullerton College.

He became a State Farm insurance agent in 1983 and has owned his own insurance business in Anaheim Hills for 27 years. In 1993 Roy was invited to join Rotary by an accountant in his community. In 1995-96 Roy served as president of the Anaheim Hills Rotary Club. During his 17 years in Rotary, has participated in many worthwhile projects including personally administering drops of Polio vaccine into the mouths of children in Caborca, Mexico and also building homes in Mexico.

Roy’s wife of 26 years, Janice and his daughter, Joanna, have volunteered to help decorate the Rotary floats many times over the years. Roy is honored to represent Rotary District 5320 in the Rose Parade and to be a part of this wonderful American tradition.

Russell Kerr

Representing his native New Zealand and the Lands Down Under, Float Rider Russell Kerr is immediate Past President of the Rotary Club of Monarch Beach Sunrise in Dana Point.

He was born, raised and educated in New Zealand. He first came to the USA 27 years ago and became a naturalized American citizen in 2008.

Russ worked for World Vision International from 1975 to 2000 where he was the executive manager of the aid agency’s emergency relief and community rehabilitation program serving refugees & displaced persons with health, nutrition, food & agriculture programs worldwide. He first joined Rotary in 1978 as a Charter Member of the Rotary Club of Makati East, located in the The Philippines. While a member of Makati East, he had the privilege of visiting many clubs throughout Asia and frequently made up at the Rotary Club of Taipei in Taiwan. While living in Africa, he was also involved with the Rotary Club of Nairobi, Kenya.

Russ joined the Monarch Beach Sunrise Club in 2002 and has served as Community Service chair, Club Service chair and as President 2009-2010. He has sponsored three new members so far this year. He loves being a Rotarian and enjoys building his club’s reputation within the local community while supporting service projects all over the world. Currently he is a Financial Advisor with Edward Jones Investments, with his office in Dana Point since 2001. Russ says, “My Kiwi wife of 39 years, Pamela, and I have 2 daughters who have blessed us with 4 grandchildren.”

Chelsea Shioya

Outwalker Chelsea Shioya is current president of Fullerton Community Rotaract Club. She also holds a position as Service Chair on Rotaract District Board for District 5320 and was a RYLA Alumna in 2007. She will be a Rotary Float Outwalker representing Norway.

Her Fullerton Community Rotaract club participates in the city’s Adopt-A-Park program and has “adopted” a section of Craig Park in Fullerton. The club also supports Fullerton Interfaith Emergency Services, an organization that provides transitional housing for the hungry and homeless. and is refurbishing their children’s playhouse.

Chelsea is pursuing a degree in Business Administration with emphasis in Entertainment and Tourism and a minor in music from California State University, Fullerton. She is a member of Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity for Women and plays French Horn in the Southern California Philharmonic.

Rotary District 5330 – Riverside and Imperial Counties

Barry Robinson

Float Rider Barry Robinson, President, Lake Arrowhead Mountain Sunrise Rotary Club

Barry was born and raised in England, where he owned five regional Super-Save-Stores. After coming to the United States in 1976, he continued in the food and retail field, retiring from Sysco Corporation after 25 years. He is now Director of Business Development for Valley Services/Traditions, specializing in Meals for Senior Nutrition Programs.

Barry joined Lake Arrowhead Mountain Sunrise Rotary Club in 2008 and became totally immersed in all the wonderful work that Rotary does. With the multi-faceted help of his wife Cheryl (President-elect for the Rim of the World Soroptomists) he was in charge of his club’s annual televised auction, netting $46,000 for their Mountain charities.

In addition to Rotary youth programs, Barry is excited about District 5330’s work with Odoworo Village in Uganda. This multi-year project has brought fresh water, crops, bee hives, education, mosquito nets, solar lighting and above all, the trust and love of the people of this village.

Barry’s other philanthropic endeavors have included Chairman of the Mill Hill Project devoted to physically challenged children in London; Chairman, The Food Service Circle at the City of Hope; Chairman of the Meals on Wheels Association of America Foundation; Advisor to The American Red Cross for Disaster Preparedness and Mass Care/Feeding and Recovery; Board Member of Hearts & Lives; and Board Member of St. Bernardine Medical Center Foundation.

Jeanne McClellan

Representing Mexico, Dr. Jeanne Guerra McClellan serves as an assistant governor and also serves on the district ethics committee in District 5330. She is the immediate past president of the Rotary Club of Temecula and has served as the district peace fellowship chair, producing the district’s first Rotary Peace Fellow.

Born in Mexico City, Jeanne was raised in Los Angeles and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management, a master’s degree in organizational management, and a doctorate in education (Ed.D.) specializing in organizational leadership. She also holds a certificate in management effectiveness from the University of Southern California. Jeanne is retired, having enjoyed successful careers in banking and higher education. She was founding president of a vocational college, and most recently established the University of Redlands campus in Temecula. She continues to be an adjunct professor occasionally teaching courses in leadership, ethics, and management. She is also active in leadership in several community organizations and in her church.

Jeanne lives in Murrieta with her husband, Barry, who is also a Rotarian and past president (twice), and is also an assistant governor this year. Between them they have 5 children and three grandchildren, and their dog, Max. They enjoy RVing all over the country

Chehab El Awar

Outwalker Chehab El Awar is International Service Chair of the Rotary Club of San Bernardino Sunset and Polio Eradication Chair for District 5330. He and his wife regularly participate in the Thousand Smiles program in Mexico.

Shab is president of the Cal State San Bernardino Coyote Athletic Association, Vice Chair of the ASA Charter School and a board member of CIHSS youth build program.

Professionally, Shab is president of Solar Sunny State, owner of AA Affordable Auto, and Above & Beyond Real Estate Investment. He is Chairman of Inland Regional Comprehensive Economic Strategy.

Rotary District 5340 – San Diego County

Fary Moini

Float Rider Fary Moini Board Member, Rotary Club of La Jolla Golden Triangle

She holds a bachelor of science degree in nursing from the University of Tehran, Iran.

She is currently Rotary International’s representative on the U.S. National Commission to UNESCO through 2010.

In 2005, Fary was a Rotary Foundation volunteer at the Don Bosco Boys School in Nairobi, Kenya, assisting in the medical clinic.

In 2002 she volunteered with the Rotary Foundation in Jalalabad Afghanistan, overseeing the development of a Rotary school that now has more than 5,000 male and female students. She was awarded Rotarian of the Year from Rotary District 5340 in 2002-03.

Matthew Guillory

Outwalker Matthew Guillory, President, Rotary Club of Mission Valley Sunset

Matthew Guillory is the Banking Center Manager and Assistant Vice President of Comerica Bank’s Mission Valley office in San Diego.

Matthew graduated in the top of his class while earning his Bachelors of Science in Business Administration from San Diego State University, He is currently working towards his Masters of Science in Finance at San Diego State.

Matthew is the Charter President of the Rotary Club of San Diego Mission Valley Sunset. He is also on the boards of Innovations Academy and Mabuhay Alliance. Additionally Matthew serves as a Board Member and Loan Committee Member at Bankers CDC Loan Program, which works to offer for-profit and non-profit businesses alternative lending options to conventional small business loans.

Matthew has been a resident of San Diego for more than 8 years and leads by example for his three siblings, Antonio, 28, Dianggello, 14, and Cherish-Dion, 3.

The Rotary Rose Parade Float is not an official Rotary International program.