President’s Induction Speech Induction Ceremony of Kiwanis Club Kendall South Dade September 23, 2014
• Governor, Chuck and first lady Emilia
• Governor Elect, Dr. Celia Earle
• Lieutenant Governor Lisa Felisiano
• Presidents and former Presidents of the various Kiwanis & Key clubs representing
• Leaders of our community
• Distinguished ladies and gentlemen
I am truly honored and immensely humbled to be standing before you this evening as the new President of the Kiwanis Club of Kendall South Dade. I am extremely touched by the kind words from all those I have come in contact with this evening and over the last few weeks. I am also honored by the thoughtful introduction from our distinguished President Errol Saunders. Most of all, I am grateful for the privilege of celebrating this momentous achievement with you – my fellow Kiwanians, my family, Friends, Key Clubbers as well as past members of our club. I thank you all sincerely for gathering to celebrate this significant occasion in my personal career, and for bearing witness to the official induction of the 13th President of the Kiwanis Club of Kendall South Dade.
In preparing my message for this evening’s ceremony, I found myself grappling with a problem that I do not believe I have ever experienced in recent memory. This problem manifested itself neatly in several seemingly easy, yet incredibly complex questions, the answers to which I am still seeking. These questions are:
• How do I live up to the undeniably substantial and long-lasting contributions of my predecessors?
• How do I sufficiently outline my ambitions for this outstanding club as its new leader?
• And most importantly, for all of you sitting in front of me with bated breath, how do I answer these questions in less than 10 minutes, without the inevitable glance downwards to your watches, or at your cell phones?
Let me begin by first acknowledging the most laudable contributions to the founding President of the Kiwanis Club of Kendall South Dade - Distinguished Lieutenant Governor President John Clemetson and all of my distinguished predecessors, each of whom crafted unique styles in leadership that are worthy of emulation.
I am looking forward to working and collaborating with the new Board of Directors, - inspirational club leaders such as Directors DP Errol Saunders, Directors Portia Gowdie, Wayne Jones, Dr. Keith Williams, district Chair Dawn Campbell, Secretary DP Diana , Treasurer Dorette Deleshia, DLG John Clementson, PE Duckworth Daley, and of course our outgoing President Sherell Simmonds. In the words of Governor Kantrell- “As we look forward to the future we must always remember our commitment to the weak, lonely and unwanted.”
I shall not claim any ambition to becoming the best President of the Kiwanis Club of Kendall South Dade. However, what I will promise you is that I will take on this leadership challenge with a determination to do my best, to strive for excellence and to make a significant and positive impact for the good of the KCKSD’s continued development in the area of Service & Growth. I will do the very best I can to continue and initiate efforts towards making the Club not just one of the premier service organization in division 26 , but one that has recognition on the national stage.
To this end, I will also embrace the sage words of an exceptional leader in the banking industry, Dee Hock, Founder and CEO Emeritus of Visa, who once said, “Control is not leadership; management is not leadership; leadership is leadership. If you seek to lead, invest at least 50% of your time in leading yourself—your own purpose, ethics, principles, motivation, and conduct. Invest at least 20% leading those with authority over you and 15% leading your peers.”
In recent weeks I have been repeatedly asked the question, “what are your plans for the Kiwanis Club of Kendall South Dade?”
We are a Service Organization first and foremost and therefore we will be continuing to do our many service projects within the community.
We will continue feeding the homeless in downtown Miami on the 1st Sunday of each month in association with Old Cutler Presbyterian Church
We will continue our Thanksgiving Project this year. When we started this project some years go we were able to deliver 25 baskets that each fed a family of 5 to the needy within our inner city. The Need has grown over the years and I am happy to report that this year we will be delivering over 350 baskets to needy families in the Overtown, Gouls, Perrine and the surrounding areas. This will feed and ensure that over 1,500 people enjoy a happy Thanks giving.
We will visit the Coral Reef Nursing Home every 4th Saturday of the month to spend some time with the residents there. They look forward to seeing us. Some of them are left there without a visit from family or a familiar face. We talk, sing and pray with them. When ever I leave the nursing home I always feel a sense of fulfillment and a joy within my heart knowing that we were able to bring a smile to their face,
We will continue with Kiwanis International Initiative -Literacy for Kids, Reading around the world. This is where we encourage parents to read to their children. We will expand our involvement in this initiative by increasing the number of schools we serve. We will continue to provide them with books, spend time reading with the children, sponsor Christmas Programs and have Christmas toy drives for their benefit.
If you have ever participated it the JDRF walk at Zoo Miami or the March of Dimes walk at Tropical Park you would have noticed that the members of the Kiwanis Club of Kendall South Dade play an integral part in the success of their main fundraising projects as we assist in the registration of walkers and T-Shirt Distribution.
We serve over 500 high school students within our community by sponsoring Key Clubs at Coral Reef Senior High School, Felix Valera High School & our newest club at Terra Environmental Research Institute. At The College Level we sponsor the Circle K club at Florida international University (FIU) with the kind support of club advisor Dr. Yvonne Parchment.
Last year we started a 2 weeks summer Basket Ball Camp in Homestead which was well received. Parents and Children alike are begging us to do it again this summer. We will not only do it again but we intend to expand the growth of this camp to benefit close to 100 children.
We do many other projects in an around the community but time does not permit me to list each and everyone of them at this time.
On the International Level we will fulfill our promise to Kiwanis International to be a MODEL CLUB in their global campaign to help ELIMINATE Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus (MNT) from the face of the earth.
Let me give you some quick Facts about this cruel killer
1 baby dies every 9 minutes from tetanus
160 babies die each day from tetanus
A series of 3 doses of tetanus vaccine = immunity from Tetanus
US$1.80 protects 1 woman and her future babies
The ELIMINATE project saves or protects 61 million women and babies
I do believe we will need all hands on deck to fulfill our service goals. To this extent we intend to increase our membership by 20 % this year. It therefore means our Membership drive starts Right Here, Right Now. My question to you this evening is “Do you know why I did not join the Rotary Club?” The simple answer is that no one invited me to a meeting. This evening I am extending an invitation to all our non Kiwanis visitors to come share an evening with us at one of our meetings.
Each year the President is afforded the opportunity to choose a project that is near and dear to the heart. This year for my President’s project we will have a Humanitarian Mission trip to Jamaica.
We have been there before and we have seen and we know the need. So in conjunction with the Jamaica Nurses association of Florida and spearheaded by our own Kiwanians, Distinguished President Dr.Caroline Raffington, Director Dr. Keith Williams and Chair Dr. Beverlin Allen along with approximately 45 other Doctors, Nurses & other health professionals, we will be traveling to Jamaica to fulfill some of those needs. We will host medical and dental clinics, feed the homeless, donate medical supplies, school supplies, care packages, and computers to schools.
Finally I thank my wife and children for their love and support as I embark on this Journey. Without their love and support I would not be able to undertake this task. Thank you for putting up with me.