District  Conference

Join the DISTRICT STARS as We Celebrate a Year of DREAMING BIG!

April 27 – 30, 2023

Callaway Resort & Gardens

Fast and Furious Car Show

The Birds of Prey Presentation

The Butterfly Effect Garden

Chariots of Fire Fun Run

Jaws Polio Plunge

CaddyShack Golf Tournament

 District  Conference Speakers


Phil Bonelli

Phil is a Senior Vice President of Middle Market Banking at Regions Bank, where he partners with large businesses and municipalities to meet their financial needs.  Phil has worked in Commercial Banking since graduating from The University of Georgia in 2007.

Phil is also a professional speaker, covering topics such as leadership, career success, and financial management for a wide range of groups. 

In 2019, Phil and his family started Hopewell Farms GA, a 43 acre regenerative farm, raising grass fed beef, and pastured chicken, eggs, turkeys, pigs, and goats.  Aside from selling their products, they are passionate about preserving agricultural lands and improving the environment through ag.

In 2017, Phil was selected for GA Trend Magazine’s 40 Under 40 list for the state’s most influential young leaders in business, politics, and community service. In 2020 he was selected as the Gainesville JayCee’s Young Man of the Year. He is a 2012 Graduate of Leadership Hall County, and a 2022 Graduate of Leadership Gwinnett.

Phil sits on the Board of Directors for Elachee Nature Science Center, Junior Achievement of NE GA, where he was named Volunteer of the Year in 2015, the United Way of Hall County, where he was the Campaign Chairman in 2019, the Hall County Farm Bureau, and the John Jarrard Foundation.

Phil is an ultra-marathon runner – having run numerous marathons, 50-mile, and 100-km trail races.

He and his lovely wife Lindsay have 4 children, ages 4 to 10 years old. They have called  Gainesville, GA home since 2008.  Phil and Lindsay enjoy traveling, although these days they mainly just travel to Kroger and the Home Depot!

Brenda M. Cressey

Brenda M. Cressey

Brenda joined Rotary in 1989 and is currently member of the Rotary Club of Ogunquit, Maine, in Rotary District 7780.  She served as District 5240 Governor in 2001-02 and is the retired CEO of Office Support Systems, a telecommunications business in Maine.

Brenda served in several key roles for Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation and recently completed a four-year term as a Trustee from 2017-21.  She was honored to become the first woman Vice Chair and then Chair of The Rotary Foundation in 2018-19.

Most of Brenda’s assignments have focused on Fund Development for The Rotary Foundation, specifically in the areas of Peace and Polio eradication.

However, she shares the importance of supporting the Foundations Annual Fund, Endowments and Major Gifts.

Most recently she’s been inspired by the amazing projects being carried out around the globe addressing local and critical needs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brenda has seen and experienced, first-hand, how our gifts to the Rotary Foundation greatly impact the lives of others and how these gifts will someday bring peace and understanding around the world.

She and her husband Dick are

  • Members of the prestigious Arch Klumph, Legacy and Bequest Societies
  • Major Donors, Paul Harris Society Members
  • and have established the Brenda and Richard Cressey Endowment for Peace, supporting Peace Certificate Fellowships.

Brenda is the recipient of the

  • Rotary International “Service Above Self Award”
  • The Rotary Foundation’s “Citation for Meritorious Service,”
  • And, The Rotary Foundations highest recognition, The Distinguished Service Award.
  • As well as holding numerous public awards and recognition as well.

Brenda currently resides in Wells, Maine with her husband Richard, who is retired from a long career as a Vice President in manufacturing.


Tiffany _Ervin

Tiffany Ervin

Tiffany is an award-winning keynote speaker, commercial spokesperson, sideline reporter and television personality. She is an avid sports fan and enjoys attending games at her alma mater, the University of South Carolina, where she earned a BA in Broadcast Journalism in 1992. She is a solopreneur who teaches social media and operates an online boutique on Ebay.

Tiffany believes true happiness comes from giving back to others, and she is often heard saying, “Work is a four-letter word. Volunteer is not.” She has served on the board of directors for her local Chamber of Commerce, Gamecock Club, Rotary Club, Salvation Army and United Way Campaign Cabinet, among others. She was named Communicator of the Year for the Media Women of South Carolina in 2015.

Known worldwide as the “Rotary Geek,” Tiffany has been on two international Rotary service trips, served Rotary District 7670 as Public Image chair, district conference chair (three times), Membership Chair, Assistant Governor, and District Govenor in 2019-2020. She is past president of the Four Seasons Rotary Club (in Hendersonville, NC) and a Paul Harris Fellow +2. Tiffany currently serves as the Executive Director for The CART Fund.

Tiffany was selected to lead breakout sessions at the 2015 & 2017 Rotary International Conventions in Brazil and Atlanta, as well as more than 125 other Rotary district conferences and seminars around the United States. She manages three personal websites and blogs, as well as social media accounts on every major platform, including a growing channel on YouTube.


  • She says she has “OCD” – Obsessive Christmas Disorder (14+ Christmas trees decorated in various themes each year).
  • She manages 9 different Facebook pages for various businesses & non-profits.
  • She once made the “Not So Top 10” on ESPN after being run over by a football player on the sidelines during a live television broadcast in 2013.
  • She was the first female chairperson for the Board of Directors for Henderson County Salvation Army.
  • She won Talent in the 1991 Miss SC Pageant (as Miss Spartanburg) playing “Duelin Banjos” on the flute.
  • She’s known for her extensive shoe collection, including personalized rhinestone Rotary Geek shoes!

Anne L. Matthews

Dr. Anne L. Matthews is president of Matthews and Associates, an educational consulting firm in Columbia, SC.   Anne has three earned degrees, including a doctorate from the University of South Carolina. She is an educator by profession, a published author, an education accreditation commissioner and a public speaker. Anne served as president of several national educational organizations, including the National Business Education Association, and on numerous boards, including her undergraduate alma mater, Coker College.  She is the recipient of many honors, including two appointments from President Ronald Reagan. Anne has spoken and/or consulted in all 50 states and 30 foreign countries on educational issues and/or The Rotary Foundation.

Anne has served Rotary in numerous capacities. Some of these include: president of the Rotary Club of Columbia East;   governor of D7770 in SC  in 1999-2000; COL delegate in 2004; International Assembly Trainer in Anaheim in 2003 and 2004; Zones 33 and 34  Institute Chair 2006; Zone 33 Regional Rotary Foundation Coordinator  2006-09; International Assembly  Lead Seminar  Trainer in San Diego 2008 and in 2009; D7770 District Rotary Foundation Chair;  RI President’s Rep 2001-14; Future Vision Committee 2009-14; Moderator, Speaker and Panelist  RI Conventions; Chair, Rotary Reunion, New Orleans Convention,  2011; Trustee, The Rotary Foundation 2010-12; and  RI Director 2012-14. In 2013-14, Anne serves as the Vice President of Rotary International, the first woman to serve in this important role. She also is the first woman to serve on both the Rotary Foundation Trustees and the RI Board of Directors.

In addition to serving as Vice President and Director, she serves as the RI Board Liaison to the TRF Board of Trustees, member of the Future Vision Committee,   member of the Polio Eradication Advocacy Task Force for USA, Chair of the Joint Committee of the RI Board and the TRF Trustees, member of the Paul Harris Home Preservation Committee and vice-chair of the Joint RI Board and TRF Trustees Partnerships Committee.  

Anne is a Paul Harris Fellow, Major Donor, charter member of the TRF Bequest Society, Benefactor, and a charter member of the Paul Harris Society in District 7770.

Anne received the Citation for Meritorious Service, the Distinguished Service Award, the Service Above Self Award and was honored by District 7770 in 2006 as Rotarian of the Year.



Sylvia Whitlock

Born in New York City, Whitlock attended high school in Kingston, Jamaica. She returned to New York City and earned a BA in Psychology from Hunter College. She worked at the United Nations as a Statistical Clerk before moving to California to pursue a career in education, having earned a Masters’ Degree in Education from California Polytechnic University at Pomona. She earned her PhD in Education from Claremont Graduate School and another Masters’ Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Azusa Pacific University. She became an elementary school principal in Duarte, California in 1982 and served as an educator for 40 years before beginning a second career as a family therapist.

Sylvia Whitlock is often described as a trailblazer among female Rotarians. She became president of the Rotary Club of Duarte in 1987 making her the first woman club president within Rotary International. The club’s charter had previously been revoked in 1978 after the club had violated Rotary International policy by admitting women. The Duarte club filed suit in the California courts claiming Rotary Clubs were business establishments and subject to regulation under California’s Civil Rights Act. Rotary International appealed the decision to the U.S.

Sylvia served as club president twice at her Rotary Club of Duarte and has held every club level position at various times. At the district level, she chaired the Ambassadorial Scholarship Committee for six years, The Four-Way Test Speech Competition for 6 years, has served as Assistant Governor and District Governor. Sylvia has presented multiple times at International Assembly, multiple Rotary Clubs and International Conventions in the US and around the world.

Sylvia is a recipient of many awards including the Rotary Foundation District Service Award and the Sylvia Whitlock award established and presented at the 2017 Rotary International Convention. She received the NAACP Woman of the Year and Global Citizen Award from The United Nations.

She has participated in National Immunization Day, established an AIDS clinic in Jamaica, supported an orphanage in Mexico, sank wells in Nigeria, and has raised almost $90,000 to support Education for Girls in India

Sylvia is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow, Benefactor, and Member of the Bequest Society

At the urging of many supporters, she eventually wrote a book titled, “Women Also Service,” describing the history of Rotary admitting women to its membership.

Sylvia had three adult children. She considers raising her children the most satisfying and enjoyable job she has ever had, almost comparable to enjoying her first grandson, and now a new granddaughter and another grandson. She enjoys tennis, the Stanford Cardinals Football

Team, the Seattle Seahawks, the Golden State Warriors…especially Steph Curry, and the Los Angeles Angels. She is also a world traveler.