From Dark Secrets to the Lions: a life of Success. An exclusive interview with Suzzanne Troiani Piccolo
L’IDEA: You went from President of a local club to vice District Governor, and then to District Governor. Did you find it difficult to adapt to the different duties or was it for you a natural flow situation?
Sue Piccolo: I was actually nervous until I realized I have run a business for so long I should just use those skills I have learned from owning my own business. Plus, the Lions offer fantastic training in Leadership not just for the Lions but, for everyday life that you can carry through into your personal life.
L’IDEA: What were the goals you are in mind when you became District Governor and do you feel you have achieved them?
Sue Piccolo: My goal was to not let the Lions stay the best-kept secret anymore. That actually proved to be true when Harvey hit Texas. I called upon the Lions and the community and it went viral. We were on the news, which was amazing, showing the world what we are all about. I can actually say we are the best humanitarian organization in the world and it was proven by what we did and have done all around the world, not just catastrophic emergencies, but also diabetes, pediatric cancer, eyes, measles shots and just so much more…
L’IDEA: I understand you will continue your activities in the Lions after July, when you will leave your position as District Governor. What will your new duties be?
Sue Piccolo: Your duties as a past district governor is just as important as a sitting governor. We continue to be mentors for the lions and the community. I have actually taken the position of Global Membership Leader. I help clubs recruit members and I train the new and seasoned members and give them the complete foresight of what our duties are as humanitarians. I do tell members it doesn’t matter if you give one hour of your time or many hours. You’re making a difference in your community and around the world, one Lion serves 70 people and that is huge. I am so Thankful to the Lions I have met around the world and in my own district. To see the dedication that the Lions have impresses upon me to keep humanity a priority. For that, I thank them all.
L’IDEA: You have received many awards from the Lions throughout the years for your efforts in the community. Most recently, though you received a special award connected to the Sandy hurricane. What was it? Why was this award different from the others?
Sue Piccolo: Yes, it’s true I have received many awards, but getting the International President’s Award is unheard of as a sitting governor. It was for giving up my everyday life, turning my store upside down and sending over 220,000 pounds of supplies to Texas, 15,000 pounds to Puerto Rico and gift certificates to Florida. I was honored to receive it, but I dedicated it to everyone who worked so hard to complete our mission. When you work as a team, you can accomplish anything. That’s what we did and that’s why the award is for everyone.
L’IDEA: You also contributed as a columnist for our magazine and wrote a novel, “Dark Secrets, The tale of a Shaman” Do you think that after this hectic period you will find time again for your writing endeavors? Regarding “Dark Secrets”, I was told by you that it is book one of a trilogy. Are you working on the second novel yet?
Sue Piccolo: Well, it’s my first novel and it’s aimed mainly at the young adults’ audience and the lovers of fantasy stories. It is the first book of a trilogy and I have started already on the second book, I’m trying to write again but, with all the tragedies happening, it’s hard to not answer the call of duty. But I have set a goal to write again by November.
L’IDEA: Without giving away the story of your novel, could you tell our readers what inspired you to write it?
Sue Piccolo: I always loved stories and poems especially ones that a dear friend of mine wrote. They always hit me in a way that always kept that intrigue in me and that inspired me to put a pen in my hand and just do it.