Devon Rotary 1170
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The GSE Team

The team have prepared well for their visit to Japan, commencing with Japanese language lessons in September 2004. This was supplimented by extensive research into the Japanese culture, food, drink, religion and politics. Regular planning meetings are held when the team uniforms, business cards, badges, leaflets and presentation were discussed.

Nova Fisher



Nova Fisher, Team Leader, Exeter Southernhay Rotary Club
Born in Exeter, Devon, Nova has been a member of Rotary for over 10 years. She is the Chairman of Communications for District 1170 and the Editor of the District magazine. Nova is the incoming President for Exeter Southernhay Rotary club in 2005-2006. She has recently instigated a project to provide books and educational materials to village schools in Tanzania.
Nova has 2 children, Kara, (25) and Julian, (23) and for the last 10 years has shared her life with Charles. Nova’s hobbies include world travel, fitness, walking and skiing, and she has interests in fine wine, wildlife and photography.
At the age of 19, Nova started her first company in the print industry. She then moved into the computer industry in 1985 forming a software company, specialising in Education and CAD software.  In addition, Nova opened a computer retail shop with a business division for the installation of networks.
In 1995, Nova founded Zynet, the 5th Internet Service Provider in the UK. In 1997 Nova co-founded ZyWeb, a website builder that enables anyone to create their own professional web sites without needing any design or computing skills. The company had offices in the UK and USA. ZyNet now wholly owns ZyWeb and it also specialises in Wireless Network and Internet services.
Nova is currently the owner and Chairman of ZyNet Ltd. and also Communications Director of Xara Ltd. a graphics software company. In her spare time she manages her commercial and residential property investments.
As an experienced world-wide traveller Nova is visiting Japan for the first time. She looks forward to meeting many new friends, discovering all aspects of the Japanese culture, experiencing the natural beauty of Japan and sampling the many types of food and drink. She would like to learn about the management styles and the uses of IT, in particular, how the internet and wireless technologies are used. Nova is hoping to have the opportunity to visit and walk in the National Parks.

Simon Hill Simon Hill
Simon Hill is 36 years old and works for Mid Devon District Council, managing the household waste recycling service.  He has lived in Exmouth, in the south-east corner of Devon, all his life and his parents and two brothers all live nearby.
Simon gained a degree in Politics at Leicester University, where he also developed an interest in current affairs and protecting the environment.  He worked for Devon County Council for eight years, where his jobs included traffic management, weather monitoring and waste recycling.  He is keen to find out how public services are managed in Japan.
Simon enjoys outdoor sports and his favourite hobby is cycling.  For 15 years he competed in cycle races with his local club, Cycle Sport Dynamo, and he has toured England, France, Denmark and Holland by bicycle.  He also enjoys playing folk music on the tin whistle and is looking forward to hearing some Japanese music.

Nicola Payne


Nicola Payne
Nicola, aged 26, grew up in Dartington, Totnes in South Devon. This area is abundant with countryside, wildlife and also lies on the coast where there are beautiful beaches. She recently moved from Totnes to East Ogwell, Newton Abbot which is a small rural village close to Dartmoor.
She shares her life with her partner of nine years Andy (32), their hamster and two cats. She has a very large family but her immediate family consists of her Grandparents Dolly (81) and Tom (81), parents Suzette (53) and John (53), and two brothers John (34) and Ashley (31). John and Ashley are both married with two children each.
Nicola graduated from the University of Brighton in 2001 with a BA Honours in Physical Education with Qualified Teacher Status. She works in Torbay as a School Sports Co-ordinator and Teacher of Physical Education. She works in two secondary schools and eight primary schools developing school sport and PE.

Nicola’s primary interest is weightlifting. She is U60kg British Powerlifting Champion. She also enjoys playing hockey for a local team, horse riding, and walking. She is interested in architecture and animals.
Nicola is looking forward to visiting Japanese schools to find out how they organise and develop physical education.

Samantha Smith Samantha Smith
Samantha is 24 years old. She grew up in the seaside town of Torquay and is so fond of Devon that she chose to stay in here and study in the area' capital city, at Exeter University.
Samantha graduated in 2003 with a BA (1:1) hons and an MA (Distinction) in English Literature and Cultural Studies. She then spent a year working in Media for one of the country's largest regional press agencies, Apex. Having watched many fellow graduates struggle to secure jobs within the media Samantha has set up her own company to help students during the transition from study to work.
To relax Samantha enjoys reading, practising yoga and attending live music events.

Dan Strafling Dan Strafling
Dan Strafling, aged 38, was born and raised in the coastal town of Torquay, which boasts fantastic beaches and stunning countryside whilst still affording the amenities and nightlife of larger towns.  He currently lives in the Chelston area, a few minutes walk from the famous thatched village of Cockington and its surrounding country park. Dan lives with his partner of seventeen years Danielle, and their three cats. His father and stepmother live locally.

Having spent sixteen years working in the IT industry, the last eight as a freelance consultant, he now manages a computer-training centre for disabled people in Torquay. The facility enables learners with physical or sensory disabilities to gain access to computers and the Internet, utilising the latest specialist equipment and software.  Dan is currently studying for his PGCE with Exeter University.
Dan enjoys a variety of sports including cycling and kayaking and likes to keep fit with regular visits to the local gym.  He has a varied taste in music, ranging from rock/punk through to hard dance, and regularly attends live music events and festivals. He is also very keen on world travel and has visited a number of Asian countries including Vietnam, China and Thailand and is looking forward to experiencing the diverse culture Japan has to offer.

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