EDISON, NJ - Five Rotary Districts from throughout the State of New Jersey honored five exemplary Rotarians at the New Jersey Vocational Service Assembly, a state-wide convocation held at the Pines Manor in Edison on October 4, 2010.  This award is presented to a person in each of the local districts who best exemplifies using his or her profession to serve others, demonstrating Rotary International’s motto of Service Above Self.

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Those receiving the award included: Kenneth B. Flatt, District 7500, Rotary Club of Forked River, police chief of Ocean Township (Waretown) Police Department; Michael Gregory Blackwell from District 7510, Rotary Club of New Brunswick, Superintendent of recreation for the city of New Brunswick; David P. Schad, District 7640, Rotary Club of Vineland, a certified public accountant and the treasurer of the Vineland Rotary Charities foundation for the past 16 years; John B. Wilson, District 7470, Rotary Club of Newark, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Association of independent colleges and Universities in New Jersey and the Independent College Fund of New Jersey, and Brent Edmonds, Rotary District 7490, a Saddle River Resident and member of the Bergen Highlands/Ramsey Rotary Club, and CEO of Edmonds Contracting, Inc., as well as an active volunteer with Community Food Bank.

Keynote speaker at the conference was Dr. Monty Audenart, Rotary International Vice President, 2008-2009 and the founder of Rotarian Action Group of Dental Volunteers. Additional speakers included Dr. George A. Pruitt (Thomas Edison State College), Kevin Cummings (President, First Investors Bank, Livingston); Michael Colasurdo, Sr. ((former Treasurer and Director of Rotary International), plus a performance by Johny Patillo, vocalist, song stylist and comedian.

The event was chaired by Dr. Gary Siciliano, District 7510, a dentist from Allenhurst, New Jersey.  Dr. Siciliano headed a group of twenty Rotary volunteers from throughout the State.  Dr. Siciliano explained the importance of this award, “We were proud to honor these five men who have demonstrated their abilities to extend vocational service through their business and professional endeavors. As T.A. Warren, President of Rotary International in 1945-46 said     ‘The only unique feature of Rotary is vocational service.  Everything else that we do is repeated by some other organization.  If we are unique, if we have a special message or mission in the world that is unique to ourselves, it lies only in the realm of vocational service.”       

Rotary International is the oldest service organization in the world, with more than 1.2 million members in 207 countries around the world.  For information on Rotary, visit the organization’s website at www.rotary.org.