2024 Midwest PETS Speakers

Michelle Bohreer - Midwest PETS 2024 Keynote Speaker

Michelle Bohreer

E. Michelle Bohreer is an attorney with the law firm of Bohreer Law Firm, PLLC and the proud mom of her spectacular son, Luke. Michelle joined Rotary in 1999 and was honored to serve as Club President of the Rotary Club of Houston from 2008 to 2010. Michelle will tell you she became a real Rotarian on January 12, 2010 when she was in Haiti on a Rotary trip and a 7.4 Earthquake hit.  After being their AG, Michelle joined and remains a proud member of the Rotary Club of Houston Skyline, a self-described drinking club with a service problem. Michelle has served the District in numerous ways, culminating in serving as District Governor in 2021-2022.  Michelle has been recognized as District 5890 Rotarian of the Year and Assistant Governor of the Year.  She received the Service Above Self Award in 2017, Rotary International’s highest individual recognition. Michelle is a Major Donor level 2 and Bequest Society Level 3 to the Rotary Foundation.  Beginning in 2022, Michelle has been serving as Girl Empowerment Ambassador for Zone 25b.  She also serves on the Line Star PETS Board of Directors. As Michelle’s theme song, Uptown Funk would suggest, Michelle brings energy, passion and fun in all she does in Rotary and life.

Jennifer Jones - Midwest PETS 2024 Keynote Speaker

Jennifer Jones

Jennifer Jones believes in the power of storytelling to move the world forward. In her vocational life, she is the founder of a media company in Ontario that has helped countless corporations and not-for-profit organizations lead with conviction and credibility. 

Jones served as Rotary International’s president in 2022-23, making her the first woman in Rotary’s history to serve in this role. Her focus on inclusion and equity has helped break down barriers and has opened doors for others to see themselves authentically recognized within the organization. She is a member of the Rotary Club of Windsor-Roseland. Jones has strengthened Rotary’s reach and impact as an ambassador of leadership. She believes in connecting those who are most vulnerable with people of purpose, people of influence, and people of action.  

Working alongside world leaders, celebrities, and international thought leaders, Jones has raised awareness and hundreds of millions of dollars to eradicate disease, elevate education, support peace, and provide clean water, sanitation, and hygiene. 

She is the recipient of Rotary’s Service Above Self Award and The Rotary Foundation Citation for Meritorious Service. She holds a Doctor of Laws and has been recognized with the YMCA Peace Medallion and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. She is also the first Canadian to receive Wayne State University’s Peacemaker Award.  Jones is married to Nick Krayacich, a family physician. They share a love for Rotary, travel, cycling, golf, and relaxing at their family cottage, in addition to adventures such as climbing to the summit of Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.  They support The Rotary Foundation as members of the Arch Klumph Society, Paul Harris Society, and Bequest Society. 

Vanessa Frazier - Midwest PETS 2024 Keynote Speaker

Vanessa Frazier

Vanessa Frazier, a seasoned diplomat, currently represents Malta on the UN Security Council since January 2023. Notable appointments include her role as the UNSC Facilitator for the Iran/JCPOA agreement, Chair of the UNSC Working Group on Children in Armed Conflict, and Chair of the 1267 Sanctions Committee on Al Qaeda/Daesh. In February 2023, she served as the President of the UNSC. Previously, Ambassador Frazier held the position of Permanent Representative of Malta to the United Nations in New York since January 2020 and has been actively involved in various UN committees and initiatives. Her extensive diplomatic career includes postings in Washington, Rome, London, and Brussels, contributing significantly to Malta’s international relations. Ambassador Frazier has received numerous honors, including the Knight in the National Order of Merit by the French Government and the Gran Croce of the Italian Medal of Honor. A distinguished academic, she holds a Masters in Diplomatic Studies and lectures on various subjects at the University of Malta. Outside diplomacy, she is a dedicated mother of two and has a longstanding commitment to humanitarian causes, volunteering with organizations such as the Red Cross and the Mentor Foundation.

Greg Biskagone - Midwest PETS 2024 Keynote Speaker

Biskakone Greg Johnson

Biskakone Greg Johnson is a cultural practitioner and teacher in the Anishinaabe tradition. As a young man, he saw beautiful objects in museums that were attributed to his culture. He was determined to learn how to create them. He sought knowledge from members of his community or, when he could not find a teacher, he taught himself how to engage in many of the craft traditions of the Ojibwe people. He now teaches youth and others the craft making traditions of his culture. Working with traditional materials such as birch bark from the natural environment, the artist creates baskets and containers for functional use in everyday life. He has been making baskets for 15 years and has mastered the crafts of cedar bark mat weaving, beadwork, weaving winnowing baskets, moccasin sewing, and canoe building. He is an instructor at the North House Folk School, teaching the skills and knowledge of his culture. He is also an Ojibwe Language teacher. He states that he is inspired by the Ojibwe cultural traditions that were lost and believes it important to teach these traditions because that is “who we are.”

Biskakone is a member of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Ojibwe and lives in Lac du Flambeau, WI.  He is a former editor of the tribal newspaper and today is an artist and teacher.

Michael McGovern - Midwest PETS 2024 Keynote Speaker

Michael McGovern

Mike McGovern has chaired the Rotary International PolioPlus Committee since October 2014. He also represents Rotary on the Polio Oversight Board which governs the global polio eradication initiative partnership and chairs its Finance Accountability Committee.  The Rotary IPPC oversees all elements of Rotary’s polio eradication efforts including annual grants to UNICEF and WHO, relationships within the polio partnership, advocacy to governments, Rotarian engagement, polio communications and fundraising.

He joined Rotary in 1986 as a member of the Rotary Club of South Portland-Cape Elizabeth, Maine, USA. After serving as a club president, he was a district governor in 1999-2000, and has served in many Rotary positions including as a director and vice president of Rotary International and as a trustee and vice chair of the Rotary Foundation. Mike has also chaired the Rotary International Membership Committee, the RI Zoning Committee during the last two rezoning efforts, the RI President Nominating Committee and the Rotary Action Group for Family Health and AIDS Prevention. He was the original author of the board proposed Council on Legislation enactment which gave clubs the right to set their own attendance and meeting frequency policies.  Mike is also wrapping up a four-year term as global chair of the Rotary Leadership Institute.

He served his entire professional career with the Town of Cape Elizabeth, Maine USA beginning as an intern in 1977 and serving as the chief appointed officer (town manager) for 31 years until his retirement in 2016. Mike led Maine’s cities and towns as president of the Maine Municipal Association and served as the president of the Maine Town and City Management Association. He has served on numerous state task forces and on committees relating to transportation, affordable housing, senior housing, human services, environmental protection and youth protection.

Nina Menis - Midwest PETS 2024 Keynote Speaker

Nina Menis

Nina M. Menis serves as CEO & Executive Director of KidsMatter.  KidsMatter is a prevention-based organization that focuses on the overall social, emotional, and academic well-being of kids. KidsMatter works collaboratively in partnership with organizations and resources throughout the area, including individual champions, mental health professionals, hospitals, schools, public safety agencies, faith-based communities, service clubs, and local businesses. Our work focuses on the healthy development of all young people, regardless of race/ethnicity/economic background and requires the action by all residents of the community.

Nina grew up in Naperville, Illinois and spent her summers in Southwest Iowa on their family farm. Nina has worked in advancement for both public and private P-20 educational institutions and area not-for-profits for over 30 years. She directed the Annual Giving program at College of DuPage and previously served as Director of School Advancement for Science & Arts Academy and as the Executive Director of the National School Foundation Association. From 2010-2013 she helped support the A+ Foundation and a collaborative community initiative with West Aurora School District 129, “Aurora Regional Pathways to Prosperity”, in partnership with Harvard Graduate School of Education and Jobs for the Future. She also served as Director of Community Relations at Naperville School District 203 (Oct. 2003–July 2010).

Nina is a graduate of Simpson College, Indianola, Iowa: B.A., 1985; Major: Elementary Education, Mentally Handicapped – Approval 81, and participated in the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Lake Institute on Faith and Giving, Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising, pilot program, 2013-2014. She serves on Western DuPage Special Recreation Association Foundation Board, the Naperville Police Foundation Board and is a member and past President of The Rotary Club of Naperville. She served on the Illinois P-20 College & Career Readiness Steering Committee and the Family & Community Engagement Committee. She also served on the Hub88 Advisory Committee, the Board of the Naperville Public Library (former President), and the United Way DuPage West Cook Community Impact Steering Committee. Nina supports the management of a family business with farmland in Southwest Iowa and Illinois and provides consulting support to nonprofits and foundations.

Ryan Lauterwasser - Midwest PETS 2024 Speaker

Ryan Lauterwasser

Ryan Lauterwasser has worked for Linden Oaks Hospital since 2005 and is currently the Manager for the Adolescent Inpatient and Adult Mental Health and Chemical Detox Units. Ryan began his career working with high risk youth in the wilderness environments utilizing an experiential therapy model to challenge youth to seek healthy alternatives. His work with high-risk youth for the last 25yrs developed into a passion for building hope and helping others believe in the possibilities of change. Ryan received his Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Wheaton College and is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor.  The therapeutic model which guides his practice is grounded in the theory of relationship and aligns with principles from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. By strengthening the quality of relationship between our values and things like self, others, institutions, possessions, or media we can promote balance and healthy life engagement