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  • Writer's pictureSheryl Barlow

Keynote Speaker for 2024 Rotary District Retreat Announced - Jenny R. Stotts, Assistant Rotary Coordinator, Zone 30

BIO: Jenny Stotts volunteers as an Assistant Rotary Coordinator in Rotary International Zone 30 and as the Public Image Chair in her local club. She is a major donor, a benefactor, a member of the Paul Harris Society, the Polio Plus Society and the Bequest Society.

Each member of her family, including her two children, are Paul Harris Fellows. She is a charter member and past president of the Rotary Club of Athens Sunrise, a past Assistant Governor, and previously served as the Membership Chair in District 6690, creating several resources and toolkits that are now used worldwide.

In 2023, she spearheaded an effort to train Rotary members across southern Ohio in Mental Health First Aid. Her favorite Rotary activities include RYLA and Paddle for Polio Plus, an annual event featuring kayaks.

Professionally, Stotts was appointed in 2022 by Governor Mike DeWine to serve as Ohio’s first Youth Ombudsman. As Ohio’s Youth Ombudsman, she is responsible for investigating and resolving complaints and concerns submitted by foster youth, including suspected

violations of Ohio’s foster youth bill of rights. She previously served for 9 years as the Executive Director of the Athens CASA/GAL Program and the Regional Coordinator of Southeast Ohio CASA, supporting the development of three new court-based child advocacy programs in Appalachia.

She developed a hybrid volunteer training program that has been scaled and implemented nationwide. Prior to that she worked as a children services investigator and worked in higher education at Ohio University’s Department of Social Work.

She is a licensed social worker, a trauma specialist, and a trained forensic interviewer. Notably, she has taught courses on evidence-based communication, conflict resolution, and trauma-informed care. Stotts holds a black belt in Lean Six Sigma and is a graduate of Leading in Appalachia.

She has devoted her career to serving foster children. This work is near to her heart as she was adopted from the Ohio child welfare system and grew up in a foster home. She and her husband, also a Rotarian, continued the tradition, building their family through foster care adoption, as well. She is an outspoken advocate for youth voice and youth rights. Stotts is also a certified yoga instructor and regularly leads sessions to benefit local charities. She is currently studying trauma-informed yoga.

Stotts also spends time training and speaking on child welfare, trauma and resilience as well as leadership development. She has presented at national and international events on these topics and has provided congressional testimony on youth rights. Her work has been published in multiple peer-reviewed journals. Her work on resilience and “listening with

kindness” has been shared in numerous international publications. In Rotary, she is often asked to speak on inclusion, building resilient organizations, and a special twist on member engagement she calls “Rotary Happy.”

She has been featured in articles in Rotary Voices, Rotary Leader, and Rotary Magazine.

Stotts was recently recognized in her community and region as the 2018 Young Professional of the Year; the 2020 Woman of the Year; Ohio's 5 Under 35 Featured Alumni in 2019; the 2021 Community Leader of the Year by Boy Scouts of America; the 2022 Mary Ellen Social Worker of the Year; the 2022 Triad Advocate of the Year by the Adoption Network; and the 2022 “Rotarian of the Year” by Athens Sunrise Rotary. She previously served as the chair of the federally mandated Child Welfare Review Panel on Permanency and was served two year terms with the National Leadership Council and the Rural Leadership Council for CASA. Prior to accepting her current statewide appointment, she served on the advisory board of the Appalachian Children’s Coalition.

In addition to Rotary, Stotts volunteers her time with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Child Conservation League.

Rotary District 6940 Wellness Retreat & Conference - Get Ready for the Adventure!

Get ready for an unforgettable experience at this year's 2024 Rotary District Conference and Wellness Retreat, taking place at the stunning Hilton Pensacola Beach from April 12-14. With a theme focused on family fun and Rotary inspiration, there's something for everyone to enjoy. 

From the exciting Jungle Jamboree Welcome Reception & Dinner to the informative sessions featuring special guests like RI Rep Alice and youth participants from Africa, RYE, Interact, and Cordova SAA. This retreat promises to be both enriching and entertaining. 

Choose your own adventure with activities ranging from personal wellness workshops to club development sessions, all aimed at empowering individuals and communities alike. Don't miss out on this opportunity to connect, learn, and make a positive impact – join us at the Rotary District Conference and Wellness Retreat!

Use this link to register or sponsor.

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