2014 Installation Address - President Bill Allin
June 26, 2014
Good evening everyone. I’d like to begin by thanking all of you for coming this evening—especially our District Governor, Brian Hall; our Assistant D G, Elizabeth van Sant; and two of my family members, Eddie and Elizabeth Exposito. Unfortunately, my niece Michelle was unable to attend.
Lastly, I want to thank the officers and board members I’ve served with this past year, particularly our President Steve Saux and those who will be stepping down: Ed Goodwin, Kathy Smith, Sandy Gallo Gibson, Russ Penzato, Boyd McPhail, and Justin Greenleaf. In addition, one officer deserves special recognition: Larry Burch, who will remain on the board, but has decided not to continue as Treasurer, has carried the weight of this responsibility with dedication for as long as we can remember. He is largely responsible for the strong financial condition we find ourselves in today.
I am honored to serve as the 42nd president of Mandeville Rotary, along with a great team of officers and board members. As Vicky Magas mentioned at our 40th anniversary celebration, I have tall shoes to fill. It has been my pleasure to serve under the leadership of five presidents, since becoming a member in 2009: John Bryan, Mike Bradley, Tom Quinn, Sandra Gallo-Gibson, and Steve Saux. All have contributed in their own way to make our club successful and highly regarded. I, too, hope to make a significant difference in moving the club forward.
My vision is for Mandeville Rotary to become the premier service club on the North Shore. We are, already, among the top clubs--with innovative community projects, excellent speakers to inspire us, and a strong financial position, which allows us to contribute over $50,000 a year to help improve our community in many different ways.
At the same time, we have areas in need of attention to ensure future success. I will have more to say about these at our first club assembly on July 31st. In short, we need to:
As your new board and I address these issues, we hope we can count on your support.
To become the premier service club on the North Shore, it is essential that more of us become engaged in service and that we all strive to be the best that we can be, as members. Not everyone has the time or desire to become a club leader, but almost all of us can make some meaningful contribution. Service is a self-fulfilling prophecy, which is realized one, small step at a time. It begins with asking ourselves what a Rotary club is, why we joined this club, and if we are getting what we want and originally intended.
In the next month, we plan to ask you those questions, as well as your views on club activities and priorities. Each of us has different interests, skills, and points of view. The board wants to understand what these are for you, so that we can help enhance the value of your continued membership.
People rarely invest their time, without the hope of getting something in return. I’d like to offer myself as an example. I was born in New Orleans, but raised in Boston and New York. In 2002 I moved back to Louisiana after thirty years of living in California. I joined Mandeville Rotary, because I wanted to give back and connect with others interested in community service. But, like many of us, I didn’t know what I wanted to do in and for this club. I became involved, when President Mike Bradley asked me to chair the Foundation Committee, which he thought suited my skills and corporate experience. After answering his call, I discovered it was hardly as difficult or time consuming as it first appeared.
This led to my serving on the board, where I saw a need to enhance the club’s public relations and offered to take on that assignment. I did so, because I had a background in public affairs and enjoy writing, but had never dealt with the press before. It was an opportunity to grow and hone my skills in a new area. That was the value proposition for me to serve.
Eventually, I was asked to be president-elect and gradually decided to take on the responsibility I’m assuming tonight. It was not an easy decision, since despite my being retired, I am actively involved in other community organizations--most notably the Leadership St Tammany Alumni Foundation. Like me, many of our members are retired or near retirement; others are still running businesses and raising families. But most of us can give a little bit more, by doing something meaningful we also enjoy. That’s the proposition I’m asking us all to entertain, as we explore this year’s theme: “enhancing the value of being a Mandeville Rotarian”. I look forward to a great year together. Let’s get started! Thank you.