by Lion George Salpietro
District 23-C Vice District Governor

The time is now, we’re ready and we have the candidate that is perfect for the job. Past International Director (PID) Lion Carolyn Messier is not only the right candidate, but she is the right candidate as we move forward into the next 100 years. “Our campaign is up and running and rolling forward to Chicago in 2017”, PID Messier stated.

The journey is a long one that started when PID Messier stepped into the international spotlight as International Director. The process in the undertaking of the endorsement of a candidate for the office of International President is one that MD23 hasn’t taken in a long time. We haven’t had an International President from Connecticut for 38 years when Joseph McLoughlin from Stamford served as International President in 1977-1978. Since Lions International was formed in 1917 a lot has changed:

In 1917 not only did we not allow women in our organization, women didn’t even have the right to vote in our country; that didn’t happen until 1920. In fact, we didn’t even recognize women as Lionesses until 1975 — 58 years after Lions were formed!! The world is constantly evolving, changing, and improving and the inclusion of women in Lions has allowed clubs to be more versatile in their fundraising and service project efforts. With the Lions International 100th anniversary taking place in Chicago in 2017, this is the perfect time to bring not only a United States member in as a Vice President, but someone from our proud State of Connecticut! By then it will be 40 years since our own Joseph McLoughlin of Stamford had that honor and it is certainly time for Connecticut to be honored with another International President.

Our candidate has been busy in recent months throughout New England attending Midwinter Conferences and spreading her message of Making a Difference. “We have been so warmly received in our travels as we visit old friends and make new ones” states PID Messier.

Anyone who has ever had the opportunity to hear PID Messier speak at a convention or a club meeting always leave having a deeper understanding. They understand not only how passionate she is about what we do as Lions, but leave with a newfound sense of direction and purpose. They leave knowing how important each one of are to our mission and to our International organization. So let’s hear directly from our candidate in her own words:

I became a Lion to make a difference. I stay a Lion because we do! When I became a Lion, nearly twenty-six years ago, I had no idea that the “difference” would be so positive and so profound, impacting so many lives, including my own.

The reasons I stay a member and a leader today has changed since the first day when I received my pin. As a member, I have evolved because there was always a leader that gave me an opportunity to try new things. Most importantly, they trusted me with responsibilities and allowed me to run with my ideas.

I believe that Lions join our Association for a variety of reasons. We, as a global organization, need to be cognizant of the expectations of our members. We need to recognize their talents and in doing so, guide them to the activities in our clubs that will engage them. We need more men and women working shoulder to shoulder developing sustainable projects and programs.

We need to review our programs and service projects on a regular basis to determine relevance in today’s changing environment. We need to bridge the generation gap, ensuring that our senior members and our younger members can find common ground and in the process, strengthen our clubs.

Being positive in all our responses will encourage innovation. We need to embrace change, recognizing that traditions will evolve as new members create their own traditions. I see the leaders of our association approachable, listening to our members.

In our next 100 years, my vision for making a difference is to continue to partner with other foundations to meet the growing needs of those around the world.

I envision the Lions logo, as the first to appear on the evening news when a disaster occurs. I see us visible and recognized in every community. I see us providing the tools that can make that happen.

I expect our Lions KidSight program to be utilized in every country identifying and correcting problems that can cause permanent vision loss. I see preventable blindness eradicated and our continued support for those whose vision loss needs rehabilitation.

I also see us growing our support globally for those in need, whether it is disaster relief, micro financing, providing refugee support, supporting the environment or feeding the hungry. We will motivate and inspire our members to greater innovative service.

I see us continuing to sit at the table with the United Nations. I envision Lions impacting the political climate on Capitol Hill by lobbying for change when necessary.

I see us educating and developing the leadership that we expect to lead us. We will be identified as the “go to” association offering professional development for the cost of our dues. We will be an army of “Servant Leaders” streamlining our programs for more efficiency to reach those in need. Our Lions will belong to traditional and non-traditional clubs depending on their lifestyles and obligations.

I see us cycling into a continuing growth period as our members continue to be knowledgeable and satisfied with the benefits of membership.

I know each of us will “Make a Difference” in the lives of so many, including our own.

Yours in service,
Carolyn A Messier, PID
Life Member, Lions Clubs International

Her message demonstrates her commitment, her passion, and her vision for the future. Every thought is a message of hope, of growth, of caring and her belief in the future of our organization going forward in the next 100 years. Her every thought on every waking day is for the betterment of Lions International as they continue to evolve with the times. These are clearly outstanding qualities in someone aspiring to be International President of our great organization.

Join us in supporting Past International Director Carolyn Messier in her quest for International President. Her commitment, dedication, experience and expertise will certainly be an asset to Lions of Connecticut and throughout the world.

Visit her Facebook page (click here) and “like” her page. Thank you for your support!