District Governor Justin A. Quaranta's Welcome Message 

Someone recently asked me to post a welcome message here, something which I had until now purposely overlooked because I didn't think anyone looked here.  I am curious to see how many people actually look at the website and actually read through this message. If you missed the District Team Installation Dinner on July 1st, here are some highlights:
First let's talk about "my year"- It's not mine it's all of ours! Everyone has a passion in Rotary that they work towards and my passion is facilitating your passion.  As I have traveled around the district learning as much as I can about each club and it's team of "doers" (you know who you are!) I have frequently been asked about what "my big project" is going to be this year and to be frank there is not a glitzy glamorous service project, I intend to focus on infrastructure and leverage technology. What does this mean? Well it means things like overhauling the district e-mail blast process so everyone doesn't get so many e-mails (you don't open them anyway do you?) and when they do it is actually worth sitting down and reading. It means really and truly training Assistant Governors and relying on their network to help clubs in the district. It means more three year plans and less "my year, her year" talk. It means district assistance with Facebook advertising, and it means so much more along those lines. 
Second let's talk about change and how it is necessary to grow Rotary and to keep clubs vibrant (for those of you keeping score "vibrant" is Rotary International speak for "Doesn't suck"). One of the first people I met in Rotary was PDG Fred Notter who taught me an important lesson: Never be afraid to piss people off for positive change. Whew that's catchy, but what does it mean you ask? It means don't be afraid to make waves, bring up out of the box suggestions, or implement new club policies that people may not like at first but will ultimately be better for everyone.  This logic will be heavily applied to the district's three year plan and Jax, Mel, and I are the people on reality shows that everyone loves to hate, you know the type right? They're the ones who say things like "I'm not here to make friends, I'm here to win".  Well in my book "winning" here is growing the district, enabling more Rotarians to work on their passion projects, and creating a continuous environment of upward motion with an eye towards grooming new leaders. 
Last let's talk about what the district actually is.  I was recently reminded by my friend Julia...  At our recent Presidents-Elect Training Seminar there were several "Rotary Senior Leaders" there (read: volunteer big wigs from RI HQ) and Julia is a Trustee of the Rotary Foundation, yes THE foundation.  Now there are only sixteen trustees in the world so being one pretty much makes you an expert.  Well as luck would have it some plans went awry and we needed someone to fill in as the discussion leader for the Foundation training segment.  So I sat in hoping to glean some secret top down nuggets of wisdom and do you know how many times she talked about the board room in Evanston? Exactly none. That's right, she talked all about her home Rotary Club of Amesbury and the wonderful projects they do.  With each project she talked about she spoke with passion, poise, and grace while of course tying them back to a lesson on how the Foundation works for us.  As I sat there I took something extremely important away from the session we are all club Rotarians first, anything else is secondary.  If you are asking for help from "the district" what you are really asking is "who can help me from another club that has done a similar project or has a similar problem"The district isn't another club or some big nebulous entity from the stars, the district is what you make of it, the district is Rotarians from around the island (yes Brooklyn & Queens you are part of the island) coming together to share knowledge and help one another. 
Okay we have reached the end, I know I know I said Last at the beginning of the paragraph before this... Let's see how many of you got to the end AND read the bits above.