Speaker Biographies

Keynote Speakers

Marco Marquez

Marco Marquez

Wisconsin State Director, Action for the Climate Emergency (ACE)

Keynote Presentation #1

“ACE Presents: Our Climate Our Future”

Marco is the State Director in South-Eastern Wisconsin where he works to educate, inspire, and support youth to become agents and leaders of change in the fight for climate justice. Marco has over 5 years of experience mentoring students of all ages through civic engagement efforts.

Marco graduated from DePaul University in Chicago, IL with a degree in Political Science. While in Chicago, Marco worked inside Cook County jail to facilitate book clubs with college students and residents of the jail, he collaborated with non-profit organizations in the little village neighborhood to tutor and learn from adult students learning English as a second language, and he engaged college students in political discussions and civic rights seminars as a Resident Advisor.

Marco also participates in the Wisconsin Badger Boys State Program as a Counselor and Recruitment Associate where high school boys going into their senior year are mentored and trained in leadership development programs to become active and engaged citizens in their own communities.

Marco was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI but now lives in Waukesha, WI. In his free time, Marco enjoys rock climbing, playing soccer, playing guitar, hanging out with family and coaching a 9 year old girls soccer team.

Paul Mugambe

Paul Mugambe

Mayor of Nakawa City Division, Kampala, Uganda and past Rotary Assistant Governor D9211

Vanessa Nakate

Vanessa Nakate

International Climate Activist and Author

Katherine (Kata) Young

Katherine (Kata) Young

Natural Climate Solutions Manager, Clean Wisconsin

Keynote Presentation #2

“Activism, Action, and Natural Climate Solutions: A Transnational Conversation”

Paul Mugambe is a lifelong Rotary member. As president of the Rotary Club of Bugolobi in 2017-18, Mugambe helped coordinate a five-year project, Mission Green, in which clubs in District 9211 (Uganda and Tanzania) planted trees in communities across their district.

Vanessa Nakate is a climate activist from Uganda . She was the First Fridays For Future climate activist in Uganda and founder of the Rise up Climate Movement, which aims to amplify the voices of activists from Africa. Her work includes raising awareness to the danger of climate change, the causes and the impacts. She spearheaded the campaign to save Congo’s rainforest, which is facing massive deforestation. This campaign later spread to other countries from Africa to Europe. She is working on a project that involves installation of solar and institutional stoves in schools.

She holds a degree in Business Administration in Marketing from Makerere University Business School. Vanessa was one of the young climate activists who were chosen to speak at the COP25 gathering in Spain, and she was one of 20 climate activists who penned a letter addressed a letter to the participants of the World Economic Forum in Davos, calling on them to stop subsidizing fossil fuels. 

As the Natural Climate Solutions Manager for Clean Wisconsin, Kata Young is responsible for the organization’s emerging work on nature-based solutions for climate change mitigation and adaptation, and policy development in Wisconsin. Kata is passionate about multi-stakeholder engagement, coalition-building, strategic planning, science-based evidence, monitoring and evaluation, and opportunities for transitioning and scaling up economically viable, climate-smart agriculture in the state of Wisconsin. Kata is committed to elevating both traditional ecological knowledge and science-based evidence to advocate for and catalyze bold policy commitments to strategically address and plan for the impacts (and opportunities) of climate change realities on diverse stakeholders across Wisconsin.  Prior to joining Clean Wisconsin, Kata worked on climate change mitigation/adaptation measures via integrated landscape management and agro-ecological intensification for over 15 years, particularly in areas of the world disproportionally affected by climate change and freshwater quality burdens: Central and South America, south-eastern Africa, and southern Asia. Kata seeks to apply her experiences to help forge a clear pathway towards opportunities in climate resiliency and a more hopeful, bountiful future for the diverse stakeholders in her home state of Wisconsin.

Kata holds a joint Masters in Forest Science from Yale University’s School of Environmental Studies and The New York Botanical Garden’s Institute of Economic Botany, and a B.S. in Agriculture & Rural Development from Cornell University.

Click Here to Read More.

Nels Huse

Nels Huse

Menominee Tribal Enterprises, Market Specialist/LEED Green Associate

Keynote Presentation #3

“The Menominee Forest-Based Sustainable Tradition: The Forest Keepers”

Nels is one of the family owners of Milwaukee Millwork, a millwork company he’s been part of for more than 40 years. For the past two years, he’s been employed by Menominee Tribal Enterprises and has helped set up a millwork program of cabinets and moldings that can be marketed throughout the Midwest. Nels is a certified LEED Green Associate with extensive knowledge in LEED building strategies. He was involved with the Platinum rated Aldo Leopold Center and the Solar Decathlon with University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee that was exhibited in Washington D.C. Nels has a complete understanding of the FSC process and certification of wood products and how to use them on today’s projects.

Dr. Joy Ngobi, MD, MPH

Dr. Joy Ngobi, MD, MPH

Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, University of Minnesota

Keynote Presentation #4

“The Impact of Climate Change on Public Health in Africa”

Dr. Joy G. Babuwe-Ngobi is an anesthesiologist in Janesville, Wisconsin and is affiliated with M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Medical Center. She received her medical degree from Makerere University Medical School Faculty of Medicine and has been in practice for more than 20 years.

Click Here to Read Her Story “Healing Through Helping” (external link)

Young C. Kim

Young C. Kim

Executive Director, Groundwork Milwaukee

Keynote Presentation #5

“Using GIS Mapping to Pinpoint Climate-Related Risk”

Young Kim is the Executive Director of Groundwork Milwaukee, a nonprofit organization that facilitates the transformation of vacant lots and brownfields into green spaces. By partnering with residents to turn unused properties into public assets like community gardens, pocket parks, and outdoor performance spaces, Groundwork Milwaukee strengthens neighborhoods and builds climate change resilience. He is the recipient of the Wisconsin Hunger Hero Award, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Doug Janssen Leadership Award, and was named Outpost Natural Food Cooperative’s Owner of the Year in 2013.

Future Cain

Future Cain

Educator/Leadership Coach/Founder, Future of SEL

Keynote Presentation #6

“Self-Awareness: The Bridge to Climate Change Action”

Future Cain is the Founder and CEO of Future of SEL, who recently served as the Statewide Project Coordinator for Social and Emotional Learning and Mental Health in Wisconsin. As an equitable social emotional leader and workplace wellness expert, she works with organizations, institutions, and individuals to enhance the culture, health, and well-being of others. This Healing Our Future LinkedIn Live host helps individuals see how they can heal and positively impact the world by starting with their own self-awareness. 

With over two decades of experience in education and leadership, her career expands across several industries including the private behavioral sector, education, small businesses, and large corporations. Future has partnered with many organizations such as, Linkedin, The North American Network Operators’ Group (NANOG), Saint Joseph University, American Association of School Administrators (AASA), Reebok, Mental Health America, and Forever 21. 

This CEO sits on the executive board for Rotary’s World Affairs Seminar for high school students and is a winner of the Northshore Milwaukee Rotary Rotarian of the Year and Northshore Milwaukee Rotary Presidents Cup. Future is an international speaker whose topics include social emotional leadership, workplace and employee mental wellness, equity and belonging, and living well to lead well ™.

Future is a mom of two who has been featured in the New York Times, Forbes, and Harvard Business Review for her equity work and has several published pieces with the most recent piece on the generational divide which can be read on Blinkist Business. This certified yoga instructor loves listening to music, being one with nature, spending time with loved ones, running, and creating content that calls people to sit with themselves. She continues to center courage, authentic accountability, and peace as she intentionally supports others through their healing and internal work that will have a lifelong impact on individuals and the systems so that all people can be seen, heard, valued, and feel they belong. 

Future is hopeful that everyone will be more mindful, fill their buckets up with joy, and center rest in this continued mental marathon.

Dr. Jame Schaefer

Dr. Jame Schaefer

Professor Emerita, Theology, Marquette University

Additional Reading:

Keynote Presentation #7

“Are Christianity and Other World Religions Capable of Motivating Action to Mitigate Human-Forced Climate Change?”

Jame Schaefer (Ph.D., Marquette University, 1994, Systematics/Ethics) focuses on constructively relating theology, the natural sciences, and technology with special attention to religious foundations for ecological ethics.

She worked with faculty of other disciplines to develop the Interdisciplinary Minor in Environmental Ethics for which she served as Director on behalf of the College of Arts and Sciences 2001-2017, and advised Marquette Students for an Environmentally Active Campus 2002-2017. She involves faculty of various sciences in her courses, team-teaches with Physics an occasionally offered seminar on the origin and nature of the universe, and co-steers the Albertus Magnus Circle–an interdisciplinary faculty discussion group on religion-science issues. For her interdisciplinary efforts, she received a Religion and Science Course Award from the Templeton Foundation and a Quality and Excellence in Teaching Science and Religion Award from the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences.

She convened the Theology and Ecology and the Theology and Global Warming interest groups for the Catholic Theological Society of America for several years and maintains membership in the American Academy of Religion, the Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences, the College Theology Society, the International Society for Environmental Ethics, the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, the Society for Conservation Biology, and the Society of Christian Ethics. She worked with an international team of scholars commissioned by the Higher Education Secretariat of the Society of Jesus to draft Healing Earth–an online interactive environmental science text motivated by Ignatian spirituality and oriented toward ethical action for use by seniors in Jesuit high schools and freshmen in Jesuit colleges throughout the world (http://healingearth.ijep.net), spearheaded a three-year project that yielded Guidelines for Interacting with Faith-Based Leaders and Communities: A Proposal by and for Members of the Society for Conservation Biology (2018), and compiled theological rationales for Judaic, Christian and Muslim communities in the Middle East and North Africa to individually and collaboratively address environmental problems under the auspices of the University of Connecticut’s Abrahamic Programs for Academic Collaboration in the MENA Region (2019).

R. Gordon R. McInally

R. Gordon R. McInally

Rotary International President-elect 2022-23

Rotary Club of South Queensferry
West Lothian, Scotland

Keynote Presentation #8

Rotary International President-elect 2022-2023

R. Gordon R. McInally is president-elect of Rotary International. He was educated at the Royal High School in Edinburgh and at the University of Dundee, where he earned his graduate degree in dental surgery. He operated his own dental practice in Edinburgh until 2016. Gordon was chair of the East of Scotland branch of the British Paedodontic Society and has held various academic positions. He has also served as a presbytery elder, chair of the Queensferry parish congregational board, and commissioner to the general assembly of the Church of Scotland.

Gordon joined Rotary in 1984 at age 26. A member of the Rotary Club of South Queensferry, he has served as president and vice president of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland (RIBI). He has also served RI as a director and on several committees, including as an adviser to the 2022 Houston Convention Committee and chair of the Operations Review Committee.

Gordon says he looks forward to working with members to build new Rotary clubs and groups. “My vision is that Rotary should exist everywhere in a style to suit everyone who has the desire to be part of us and to help us do good in the world,” he says.

Gordon is a patron of the UK-based nonprofit Hope and Homes for Children and led a partnership between that organization and RIBI to support children in Rwanda who had been orphaned in the genocide there. He is a patron of Trade-Aid, an initiative of the Rotary Club of Grantham Kesteven, Lincolnshire, England, that provides sustainable humanitarian aid to individuals, families, and businesses in the developing world. He is also an ambassador for Bipolar UK, a national mental health organization.

In his free time, Gordon enjoys rugby, good food and wine, and stick dressing, the traditional Scottish craft of making walking sticks.

Gordon describes The Rotary Foundation as “the fuel that provides the energy to do Rotary service.” He and his spouse, Heather, also a Rotarian, are Paul Harris Fellows, Major Donors, and Benefactors of The Rotary Foundation. They are also members of the Bequest Society.

Gordon wishes to dedicate his presidency to making the world a better place for his granddaughters, Ivy and Florence, to live and thrive.

Click Here to Learn More.

Breakout Speakers

Breakout Session #1
Monday, June 26 at 2:30 PM CDT

Delegates choose from one (1) of the following:

Laura Prado

Laura Prado

Therapist, MSW, LSW

“Transforming Climate Distress: Eco-Anxiety & Eco-Grief as Fuel for the Future”

Peter Murphy

Peter Murphy

Associate, Development, OneEnergy Renewables

“Start Today: Doing the Work to Stay Sane in the Climate Fight”

More Info About Peter: Click Here

Kiara McFarland Caldwell

Kiara McFarland Caldwell

Freshwater Scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD)

“Coastal and Wetland Science, Field Work and Research in Cities and Forests”

Alaina Eckert

Alaina Eckert

Rotary International Global Grant Scholar

“There and Back Again: Conservation with a Shifting Global Perspective”

Bio: Click Here

Allison Heine de Romero & Helen Holtz

Allison Heine de Romero & Helen Holtz

Operations Director, Waukesha County Land Conservancy / Land Management Director, Waukesha County Land Conservancy

“Land Conservation: Local Stewardship Making a Global Impact”

Breakout Session #2
Wednesday, June 28 at 2:30 PM CDT

Delegates choose from one (1) of the following:

Taylor Korslin

Taylor Korslin

Design Architect, FCGA Architecture

“Rethinking Urban Places: Why Replace a Highway?”

Lina Tran

Lina Tran

Reporter, WUWM

Climate storytelling: Digging up stories in your backyard”

Andi Sciacca

Andi Sciacca

Associate Professor, Writing and Humanities, Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (MIAD)

“Data, Dollars, and Direction: Food Waste and Climate Impact”

Alexis Countryman

Alexis Countryman

Water Engineer, MSA Professional Services, Inc.

“Addressing Climate Change through Engineering Design”

Bio: Click Here

Future Cain

Future Cain

Founder, CEO, Future of SEL

“Climate Change Action Through Self-Awareness”

Rotary District 6270 with Rotary Wheel

A Rotary District 6270 Initiative

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