This Year's Speakers


Featured Speaker

Ken Blanchard

Management Efficiency and Your Business

Ken Blanchard is among the most sought-after speakers in the country today.  His impact as a writer is also far-reaching. His phenomenal best-selling book, The One Minute Manager, has sold more than 12 million copies and remains on the best-seller list. He has received many awards and honors for his contributions in the fields of management leadership and speaking, including the Golden Gavel Award from Toastmasters International.  When he speaks, he speaks from the heart with both warmth and humor.  He is a polished storyteller with a knack of making the seemingly-complex easy to understand.  


Anne Matthews

A Picture of Leadership

As Rotary continues to promote diversity in its membership, Anne Matthews, from Columbia, South Carolina, has made history. She was the first woman to serve as a Rotary Foundation Trustee, as a Rotary International Director and as its Vice-President.  As a members of Leadership South Carolina, she received two appointments from President Ronald Reagan. An educator by profession, she is a published author and a highly-sought-after public speaker who has spoken in all 50 states and 30 foreign countries. Anne is listed in Who's Who of American Women


Mary French

Founder, "The Dictionary Project"

Mary French is the founder of the Dictionary Project, one of the most popular Rotarian projects in the USA. State.  Through this project, Rotarians donate dictionaries to third graders in each community's schools.  The number of Rotary Clubs in New Jersey who participate in this project is second only to the number of participating Rotary Clubs in Florida.  Mary, a member of the Mt. Pleasant, SC Rotary Club, holds a Bachelor's degree in English with a political science minor from Charleston Southern University. She has been the Director of the Dictionary Project since 1995. She has written and published The Dictionary of Wisdom, The Best Dictionary for Students, A Student's Dictionary,  A Student's Dictionary, Canadian Edition, A Student's Dictionary & Gazetteer, Canadian Edition, and with the help of Karan and Siddarth Rai, A Student's Dictionary & Animal Gazetteer. Mary enjoys reading, walking, and traveling. Her favorite thing about her job is listening to people talk about their experiences implementing the Dictionary Project.



Susan McGahan, Esq.

Volunteer Lawyers for Justice

Susan McGahan, Esq., an intellectual property attorney with AT&T in Bedminster, represents the Volunteer Lawyers for Justice Group, a Newark-based pro-bono group of attorneys.  Established in 2001, VLJ has grown from a grass roots effort of 30 volunteer attorneys in Essex County to a state-wide not-for-profit with five staff attorneys and more than 1,500 volunteer attorneys aiding thousands of clients each year. Its programs include free legal counsel and advice; educational seminars on various legal matters such as consumer law, bankruptcy, family law, and special education; and direct representation for at-risk individuals facing critical civil legal issues. In addition, VLJ's Newark Reentry Legal Services (ReLeSe) assists ex-offenders with civil legal issues serving as barriers to successful community reintegration. VLJ received the "Community Builder Award" from the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice in 2008 and was the 2007 recipient of the New Jersey State Bar Association's "Annual Pro Bono Award."



34th Annual

New Jersey Rotary Vocational Assembly 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014 

Registration: 3:30 pm

Program begins at 4:00 pm

at the Pines Manor, 2085 Route 27, Edison, NJ 08817


History of the Vocational Assembly

It all began 33 years ago, in 1981, when two visionary Rotarians decided to continue a New York Area Vocational Assembly that had lasted from 1978 to 1980 and involved a majority of New Jersey Rotarians.  Past District Governor Bob Pityo and Past Director and Treasurer, the late Carmine Torsiello, initiated and organized the first New Jersey Vocational Assembly.  Upon the approval of the respective state district governors, District 7470 served as first host, followed by District 7490 the next year, and continued annually (and successfully) for the next 30 years with each of the five districts hosting in succession.

The purpose of the Assembly was to afford Rotarians from the entire State of New Jersey the opportunity to come together to celebrate and learn more about the true meaning and purpose of Vocational Service, as well as to clarify Vocational Service so that every Rotarian could enthusiastically pursue its ideals.

Several years later, a significant feature was added to the event—the Vocational Service Award.  Today, a Rotarian, duly nominated and chosen from each district, is individually recognized and honored for exemplifying Vocational Service and for demonstrating high ethical standards through his or her business or profession. This remains an essential highlight of the program at each Vocational Assembly.

RI President T.A. Warren (1945-46) once said, “The only unique feature of Rotary is Vocational Service.  Everything else we do is repeated by every other recognized service organization.”  The late Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, an honorary Rotarian, repeated that statement when he appeared at the 1985 and 1989 Assemblies as the keynote speaker (with more than 1100 Rotarians in attendance).  This is when Rotary International recognized the true significance and importance of this unique event and began to participate.  Since 1985, more than a dozen sitting RI presidents have acted as keynote speakers, signifying a real tribute to what was begun by two individuals in 1981. 

Today, New Jersey is the only state in the Rotary world to sponsor such an Assembly, in which every club in the state participates.  We hope that through the hard work and dedication of many Rotarians, this Assembly will continue for many years to come and that Vocational Service will remain as major an emphasis of Rotary as it was on the day of its founding.

Nominate Your Club's Rotarian for the Vocational Service Award from Your District 

Is there someone in your Rotary Club who has consistently demonstrated Rotary's precept of "Service Above Self" and used his or her vocational skills to help your community, your Rotary and projects around the world?  Nominate him or her for the prestigious Vocational Service Award.  One award winner will be chosen from each District; winners will be honored at the Vocational Assembly Dinner. You can download an application form.  All applications must be sent to the District Governor-Elect for each District by August 22.

DGE Peter Wells, District 7490,

DGE Frank Geraghty, District 7470,

DGE David Forward, District 7500,

DGE Hal Daume, District 7510,

DGEE Dave Zelley, District 7640,

Network with fellow Rotarians

At this year's Vocational Assembly, you will have a wonderful opportunity to meet hundreds of Rotarians from all over New Jersey.  So bring plenty of business cards with you.  As a special bonus, the first 300 pre-registered Rotarians to arrive at the Pines Manor will receive a complimentary business card holder emblazoned with the Rotary logo. 



Powered By Subgurim( Maps ASP.NET