March 3, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Santa Monica’s Carol Ann Emmitt – A Lion For The New Century

By Kathryn Boole

 

“Where there’s a need, there’s a Lion!” Lions Clubs International is the largest service club organization in the world. With 1.4 million members in 210 countries and geographic areas, Lions are everywhere – families, friends and neighbors who reach out to help wherever needed. They share a core belief: “community is what we make it.” With community, the good work that they do is magnified and becomes more powerful.

The Lions Clubs mantra is nowhere better characterized than in Santa Monica’s Carol Ann Emmitt, who has risen step by step through her 30 years in the Lions organization to reach the lofty position of District Governor for District 4-L3. Her installation in that post took place at the Lions Clubs International Convention in Fukuoka Japan in July 2016. Emmitt has proven to be one of the most dynamic leaders in the club’s history. It is interesting to note that she was one of the first women members ever to be inducted. She joined the Santa Monica Lions Club in July 1987, the same month that the LCI voted to amend their then 70-year-old constitution to admit women to this formerly “men only” organization.

The events of Emmitt’s life seem to draw full circles. She grew up in Easton CT, and traveled to California each summer to visit her grandparents, Anna and Joe Ruseski, in Santa Monica Canyon. She often accompanied her uncle to his job at the Jules Stein Eye Institute. She was fascinated with the scientific advancements they were developing to help the blind. She eventually moved to Southern California and has been an active member of the Santa Monica community since 1981. Becoming a Lion was a natural fit for Emmitt, as Helen Keller had challenged the Lions Clubs in 1925 to become “knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness,” so the organization often focuses their support efforts on vision.

In her District Governor’s Message in March 2017, Emmitt states, “Lions across the globe have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to service in their own communities for 100 years. It began with a narrow focus, vision, in response to Helen Keller’s challenge. We have evolved over the years and now provide many services that were neither identified nor understood a century ago.”

“Legacy and Leadership for the next Century” has been Emmitt’s motto for her term as District Governor. To accomplish this goal, Emmitt used her extraordinary power of communication and her talent for management to grow the Lions Club’s presence exponentially in her 4-L3 district. This district comprises 53 clubs in Southern California, including the Santa Monica Club. She recruited new members. She used her strength in public speaking to inspire current members to become more active. She visited businesses in areas where the organization was under-represented and established new clubs. She now has six new clubs in development, embracing 120 to 130 new Lions. And, she helped the current clubs in her district boost their collective membership by 80 to 100 members.

Emmitt developed a style that was approachable for each geographical area that she identified for a new club, bringing people together based on their culture and common interests. Then she spotted the movers and shakers in each group and encouraged them to lead. Her new clubs include the Inglewood City of Champions Lions Club (with a sports focus), the Los Angeles Dagachi (Korean word for Togetherness) Lions Club, the Los Angeles Empowering Lions Club, the West Hollywood Pride Lions Club and the Beverly Hills Lions Club. Emmitt identified talent and challenged people she knew would rise to the occasion. She believes the “the best leader is the one who inspires others to get the job done.”

Emmitt’s position as District Governor has spanned the year leading up to the Centennial Anniversary of Lions Clubs International. Her term as District Governor will end on June 30th of this year. LCI turns 100 years old the next day, July 1st. That’s the same day Emmitt celebrates her 30th Anniversary as a Lion. As her term as Lions Clubs International District Governor for District 4-L3 draws to a close, this inspirational and dynamic leader is just getting started. She will continue to spread her influence to all the clubs in her district and beyond, as she lives and breathes the compassionate spirit of “Lionism.” This concept of benevolence is a model the world needs desperately right now.

in Opinion
Related Posts

S.M.a.r.t Column: Gelson’s Looms Large

February 22, 2024

February 22, 2024

Our guest column this week is by SMCLC (the Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City). SMCLC is a well-established...

S.M.a.r.t Column: Top Toady Town

February 18, 2024

February 18, 2024

Throughout history, from the ancient Romans and Assyrians to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, siege warfare has served as an...

S.M.a.r.t Column: The Sunset of Home Ownership

February 11, 2024

February 11, 2024

We are watching the sunset of our historical and cultural American dream of home ownership as we now are crossing...

SMa.r.t. Column: B(U)Y RIGHT

February 4, 2024

February 4, 2024

“By Right” state housing laws that give developers, in certain projects, the ability to ignore codes ‘by right.’ Well, that...

S.M.a.r.t  Column: Serf City

January 28, 2024

January 28, 2024

Homelessness is a problem in California, and nowhere is this more evident than in our fair city, where the unhoused...

S.M.a.r.t  Column: Bond Fatigue

January 22, 2024

January 22, 2024

Last week’s SMart article,  described two critical problems faced by our Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD): the declining...

S.M.a.r.t Column: Peace on Earth

December 27, 2023

December 27, 2023

We are all, by now, saturated with jingles, holiday cards, “ho ho ho’s,” countless commercial advertisements, and exhortations to feel...

S.M.a.r.t Column: On the Clock with Mayor Brock

December 17, 2023

December 17, 2023

I became Santa Monica’s Mayor on Tuesday, December 12, 2023, following a simple “switch of the chairs” transition with outgoing...

S.M.a.r.t Column: SANTA MONICA CITY COUNCIL 2024

December 10, 2023

December 10, 2023

Position:Seeking Santa Monica City Council Candidate(s) Introduction:Exciting opportunity for the right candidate(s) to work with like-minded Council members committed to...

S.M.a.r.t Column: ARB (NOT Ready to Build!)

December 3, 2023

December 3, 2023

Santa Monica City’s Architectural Review Board (ARB), established in 1974, acts “…to preserve existing areas of natural beauty, cultural importance...

SMa.r.t. Column: We are thankful for….

November 27, 2023

November 27, 2023

SMa.r.t. would like to wish you all a great Thanksgiving with friends and family and also to thank its readers...

S.M.a.r.t Column: Make the City New Again

November 19, 2023

November 19, 2023

When the COVID crisis struck, it cut the city’s income in half, demolishing many businesses and causing widespread layoffs and...

S.M.a.r.t Column: Four Futures

October 29, 2023

October 29, 2023

As well described by Paul Krugman, all cities have a core competency: things they do well or better regionally or...

SMa.r.t column: Beautiful Quartz Countertops Are Hurting Workers and Should Be Banned

October 9, 2023

October 9, 2023

Quartz countertops are super popular because they’re tough and can handle stains, scratches, and heat. But there’s a big problem:...

S.M.a.r.t Column: Architect’s Son Reflects On Civic Auditorium

October 2, 2023

October 2, 2023

Welton (David) Becket (1902-1969), pictured above, backed by a picture of our Civic Auditorium, was the designer of that famed...