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Rotary Adventures 

Leaders and Chaperones

The chaperones volunteer their vacation time and in some cases take time away from work without pay to chaperone this trip.  They put in very long hours and work very hard to keep you safe and make sure you have the best trip you can have. They also like to have fun and love to do this trip. Here are their biographies.  All chaperones have to go through background checks per Rotary International RYE Rules.

 

Bill McMurray

Group Leader

17th Year, 39 trips 

Western & Eastern 

Bill is a professional tour operator who has been creating and escorting group tours all over the world for over 35 years. Bill has been a Rotarian for 25 years and is very active in his community. He active in RYE for District 6690.  Formerly  Kiwanian, he has in the past served  on the Boards of the Chamber of Commerce, and other organizations.  He started his career as a newspaper reporter, editor and travel writer. A graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, he trained as a teacher and historian. He was in the U.S. Coast Guard during the Vietnam War where he served as a photo-journalist. Bill spent 12 years as a working journalist and travel writer including jobs on Daily Newspapers and travel publications. He began his career as a radio stringer for his local radio station covering city government meetings at the age 13.  He has traveled to six continents and has family in England, France, Australia, Venezuela and Belgium. Bill and his wife of 41 years,  Jeanne, are the parents of two daughters. Lexi (see below)  and Liz (former exchange student and teacher in Turkey).  The pride of his life is his Granddaughter Aria who is the smartest 2 year old in the world. He has a a great memory for trivia, but can't remember anything recent. He also promises he will mispronounce or forget everyone's name. His favorite sport is motor racing. Once he was the worst player on the Nation's worst university soccer team. Bill lived in New York for 4 years and knows the city very well.  He has been on practically every highway in the western USA.   He also has driven a large van in London and small cars in Italy, Turkey, and Mexico and he has done these trips for 17 years, so he might be crazy. 

Juliana Barker 

Eastern & Western Trip

6th Trip

 

Juli is an artist, wife and mother of two girls. She lived in Washington DC, Germany and Ohio as a child, majored in art at Asbury University in Kentucky, where she met her husband, Martin (who grew up in Tokyo, Japan). Martin and Juli have lived in Kentucky, Ohio, Florida, and Alabama. They have settled in central Ohio for the last 20 years where they work together as graphic designers at the aptly named Martin Barker Design in Lancaster. Martin is a dedicated Rotarian. The Barkers have had the privilege of hosting two RYE students. They have also organized and chaperoned numerous Habitat for Humanity work trips taking local Rotary Interact students to New York City. Juli has traveled to various places to do volunteer work: Orlando FL, Paraguay, Kenya, New York City, and most recently Japan for tsunami relief work. Juli has volunteered for over 30 years working with youth and children in her church. Since the Barkers' girls flew the coop, they have filled the void with Mika, a very precocious Weimaraner, who also volunteers as a therapy dog in the local schools and library. Juli and Mika love to hike, whether it is the rolling hills of Lancaster or summiting a peak in the Rockies. Juli also loves using her creative skills in various ways: pottery, knitting, interior design, graphics, and especially making good food! A couple of fun facts about Juli are that she was a skateboarding champion and basketball all-star in her younger days.

 

Heidi Geller 

Western Trip 

2nd Year

From Sandy, Oregon, a 30 year educator, Heidi has volunteered in the Peace Corps in  Tunisia for 2 years, She has volunteered her time in many important events, including the, World Games, Red Cross Disaster Team, Canine Companions Puppy Raiser(10 years) , Guide Dogs for the Blind-Puppy Raiser and Campus Volunteer( 2005- Current), Current Volunteer Chaperone for Trips, Inc ( trips for adults 16 and older with Intellectual Disabilities) , Current Volunteer at Portland Airport (Assist International Passengers with Connecting Flights and special events), currently trips to Haiti yearly with a medical team doing rural clinics, currently volunteer with International Relief Teams.  

Dave Saho

Western Trip

11th Year

Dave is a retired steelworker who has a degree in accounting.  Bill and Dave have been friends since childhood and have traveled together frequently (including sleeping in a car in Edinburgh, Scotland on a whirlwind tour of the UK in the 1970s, and hiding from Bill's daughter and her friends on another trip to the UK in 2000.    Dave is married and he and his wife Irene have traveled extensively. Dave has a dry sense of humor and is quick with a quip.   A terrific golfer, he once made a living playing golf .  His earliest job was working on a golf course and he spent many hours doing following his avocation.    Bill and him once built their own golf course in an old field. Dave also likes to wear strange hats and t-shirts. Of Hungarian - Irish heritage,  although he looks grumpy he normally isn't and has an engaging laugh. Dave spend a large amount of time volunteering in his community of Amsterdam, Ohio and coordinated recycling for their Library fund raising as well running the food pantry for the disadvantaged.   Although he has email and knows how to use a computer he refuses to own one.  He lives in one of the few places in Ohio where there is no internet or cell phone service. We went into shock last year when he got a cell phone.

Alyson Holobaugh

Western Trip 

2nd Year

A former exchange student to Germany with Rotary, Alyson is a student at the Cleveland Institute of Art.  She also is a professional baker.  Her hobbies are art, embroidery, reading and traveling. 

 

 

Tod Knott 

Eastern and Western Trip

 

Tod is a computer programmer and this year has been helping Bill McMurray with the trips.  A former exchange student to Colombia and a frequent volunteer for Rotary, especially the Chilly Open and Field of Heroes, Tod is scheduled to graduate from Kent State University this summer.  Tod is also a dedicated gamer and D&D Leader.

Larry Jenkins

Eastern Trip

10th Year 16th Trip 

Larry is from Columbus, Ohio and has a degree in Purdue University in Mechanical Engineering (which he doesn’t use anymore).  He has been in building design and construction industry but now has his own human resource consulting company helping small businesses manage their employees. Larry and his wife Tiffany have two  children Andrew and Katie. Larry is a former member of Westerville School Board, a former  member of city council and is very involved volunteer positions for Westerville Schools & city, many charities and has been in Rotary 10 years.  Larry has be in charge of many different things in Rotary including heading Wendy’s Chilly Open, Interact, I CAN, Club President and served as chair of the RYLA committee for District 6690.  He is a past Assistant District Governor.  Larry has also attended RI Conventions in Chicago, Salt Lake and LA, Birmingham,  Montreal, New Orleans and Portugal. Larry loves  books, music and the outdoors, especially the mountains.  Larry has been playing drums and percussion since the age of five.  In high school he helped to create one of the first indoor drum line shows.   At Purdue, he was part of one of the biggest marching bands in the country with the world’s largest bass drum.  He loves to hike and ride his bike.  He stopped counting when he crossed 10,000 miles on his current bike and he has completed 9 week long bike tours in locations around the US.  He has also hiked the Grand Canyon three times with the Leukemia Society, the last two as the hike leader and coach. Larry has been host Dad to RYE students and now a counselor.

 

Ryan Bodley 

Western Trip

3rd Year

 

Ryan Bodley is six feet tall, likes long car rides and walks on the beach, and  studied Jewelry and Metals at the Cleveland Institute of Art. His favorite food is all of it. He grew up in Westerville, Ohio. Since graduating from Art School he has been pursuing his art and doing several other jobs, including a few months working on the Rotary Trips with Bill McMurray.  He thinks dogs are great. He spent five weeks in Italy as a short-term exchange student, and would go back if he had the chance. He has danced in several musicals, and still sings show tunes in his head from years ago.  From Westerville, Ohio, Ryan attended Westerville South High School. Ryan's specialty is metalwork.  


    

Jane Rose Tracey

 

4th Year

Jane Rose is Bill's English cousin, she has one sister who has lived in Belgium and the South of France for over forty years. Jane lives in the New Forest on the South Coast of the UK. She has two daughters,  a grandson and granddaughter.  One daughter is employed in Zurich, Switzerland and travels internationally. Jane has had a variety of professions including tax inspector, IT teacher and more recently tour manager, travelling with groups to Europe including visiting WW1 sites. Jane enjoys skiing, walking, horse riding and tennis.  Jane is an avid horse person, having owned horses her entire life.

Trip Trainer and Sometimes Chaperone

Lexi Powers 

Group Leader - 18th Year   Trip Trainer

Lexi Powers daughter of  trip leader Bill McMurray and she is a graduate of Ohio University as a Creative Writing Major.  Lexi currently teaches 6th and 7th grade at a school for autistic children and their siblings.  She is attending Graduate School at Ashland University where she is finishing up her masters in education.   Her favorite things include eel sushi, the Get Fuzzy comic strip, all types of music, strange poetry, and the color purple and a tall former chaperone name Dave Powers, to whom she is married.  She and Dave have an adorable daughter named Aria.  She breaks a bone every time she either ice skates or roller skates.   She also once sprained an ankle throwing a snowball.  A traveler from birth, she has been to England, Ireland, Italy, Wales, the Caribbean, Mexico, Canada and almost all of the 50 states.  This is Lexi's 18th year as a chaperone/trainer for Rotary Exchange, so she knows the trip and always looks forward to the excitement (as, well as exhaustion) that comes with chaperoning.  She has an incredibly cute puppy named Bowie and a smart cat named Oliver.  Lexi knows so much about this trip she trains the other chaperones.  

 

 

 

 

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