Written by DG 2021 Dick Hall
At the District Training, Phil Giordano, RC of Scarborough and recent past RYLA camp director, was presented with Rotary's highest honor, the Service Above Self Award. This award recognizes Rotarians who demonstrate Rotary's motto, Service Above Self, by volunteering their time and talents to help others. The award is internationally competitive, and is granted to no more than 150 Rotarians worldwide.

Phil was RYLA camp director for many years.  He stepped into the position with extensive professional experience and leadership development expertise but limited RYLA experience. He spurred a very young staff to make a positive transformation and dedicated incredible amounts of time investing in staff. He created a Leadership Team of veterans to help make major decisions, to train staff, to schedule, to create the programming and to improve curriculum.  All this resulted in a world class RYLA program.

Understanding their strengths and growth areas, Phil guided staff development. He created an “Off-Season” culture to unite staff and continue their leadership journey. As the major coordinator with Rotary, the Boy Scouts and RYLA staff, he built relationships and enhanced communications. Beyond the RYLA program, Phil started the concept of our “New Voices Rotary Club.” He recognized the power of RYLA and RYLA staff to take the SERVICE ABOVE SELF spirit to chartering a new Rotary Club with members aged 17 - 27 years.

Below is part of the application on which Emily Rumble, Samuel Klemarczyk and Dick Hall collaborated.

“The positive transformation Phil has made to District 7780 RYLA is emblematic of how he lives his life. Phil recognizes the special things about RYLA and works tirelessly to improve upon them and introduce them to more people. He is always looking for the best in people and he has a unique way of bringing the best forward.

There are countless young people and young professionals who have benefitted from his private mentoring. He makes his living by coaching people, but he also gives a lot of his time and energy, for free, to helping people get to their full potential. This is true in his Rotary club, in his work, in RYLA, and in every interaction he has with people in his community.”

Phil was presented his pin by Sam to wear proudly and Emily gave him the crystal engraved with the words:

“Service Above Self Award - The Board of Directors of Rotary International bestows this award on Philip Giordano who, through devotion and exemplary efforts, embodies Rotary’s motto of Service Above Self.”

Congratulation, Phil. This is an honor which you deserve.