Presidential Legacy Spotlight: Bill Gasbarre
Your name: Bill Gasbarre
Occupation: Sales & Marketing Manager, Gasbarre Products, Inc.
Year you were President: 1986
How many years were you a Jaycee: I was a Jaycee for 15 years. From 25 yo to 40 yo
1.) What made you want to join the Jaycees?
I had been involved in local charitable activities such as the March of Dimes and some other local committees. I enjoyed interacting with the people within our local communities and it was rewarding to see the money that was raised to help the needy and it was very humbling. Jim Fragle approached me during a meeting at the Chamber of Commerce and recruited me to the Jaycees. I loved it from that moment on, and dove in with both feet. I made it a mission to be voted in every position and committee within the Jaycees, which I actually achieved.
2.) What was the most memorable moment you had during your tenure in the Jaycees organization?
There were many, but one of the most rewarding is when I was President and handed out the Distinguished Service Award to my good business friend, Don Georgino. Another was the time I won Rookie of the Year, and also Jaycee of the Year. Rookies fought hard for that achievement and had a lot of fun doing it. We were in a real growth mode at that time. Finally, when I was named JCI Senator, it proved to be the exclamation point on my JC career.
3.) What was the most valuable lesson your learned in being a part of the Jaycees?
Definitely and without a question, it provided me with three lifelong valuable lessons: 1) Gave me the need to organize my thoughts and notes, and to be prepared with all questions answered in my report prior to giving it, 2) Give me the confidence to stand and report to a group of people knowledgeable and somewhat intimidating, and 3) Prepared me with the confidence to stand in front of over 1000 business colleagues for dozens of speeches which I did for many years after that. Without the “ability” to do this at a young age and gain that respect and confidence, I know it would have hampered my personal business acumen.
4.) What would you tell those who were interested in the joining Jaycees?
That it is definitely something they can use for their business and personal career if they so choose, and they can make it work to any level they desire. I would be a Jaycee to this day if it weren’t for the age limit. Thankfully, they changed the age limit from 35 to 40 right before I turned 35.
5.) What was your favorite Jaycee event? We were very family-focused within the Jaycees.
My wife and kids were involved, as were many other members’ families, and the Jaycee haunted house was always a wonderful event. Lots of fun and camaraderie.