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Marty Russo Joins ILS Board
The Institute for Leadership Studies proudly welcomes Marty Russo to serve on the institutes the board of directors.
Russo, a retired nine term veteran of the U.S. House of Representatives (D-IL) is the founder of Russo Capital Strategies and a former CEO of one of Washington’s largest and most prestigious government relation firms. Russo brings new enthusiasm, energy and leadership to the institute. To read more about, Russo click here.
Congratulations to Leadership Institute Director
Dr. Michael A. Genovese’s book , Leadership Matters: Unleashing the Power of Paradox, was recognized as the most Outstanding Leadership Book of the Year by International Leadership Association. Genovese and his co-author, Dr. Thomas E. Cronin receive the award at the annual meeting of the International Leadership Association on October 31in Montreal, Canada.
Below is a speech by Joseph Cari, the Chairman of the Board of the Institute for Leadership Studies at Loyola Marymount University.
I am delighted to be with you today, as the concept of rebirth is central to being Italian, central to my life and I believe central to living a life of meaning and purpose. Ludivica, thank you for your very kind invitation to share my life experiences with this very amazing group.
Rebirth is a road undertaken at all levels. Countries go through this process, companies go through this process, families go through this process and individuals go through this process. I would like to share with you my story of rebirth, at both a professional and personal level as it is an allegory for the Italian story, the story of a country my grandparents came from. My story is not unusual, I share it with you as it underscores that rebirth really means new beginnings, shedding the past and present pain, disappointment and confusion and coming into a new state of reality.
All of my grandparents came to the United States from Italy, with a dream of a better life and a hope that the next generation would have better opportunities. It was an absolute leap of faith on their part. They were uneducated, did not speak English and were traveling to a country where they literally did not know anyone. This was a rebirth of significant dimensions … a shedding of the past and a hope for the future.
Because of my grandparents rebirth, my father was the first one in his family to finish grammar school, high school, college and medical school. He became a successful physician and surgeon. My mother was the first one in her family to finish high school and college. For a woman of my mother's generation … she is now 88 years old, this was unheard of!
My parents gave me every opportunity, I was educated at one of the best schools, University of Notre Dame for undergraduate and legal studies and later in my life, I completed a fellowship at the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. My personal life was blessed with a great marriage to a wonderful woman and a daughter who I love to the moon!!! On a professional level, my life was fulfilled. I was the leader of a prestigious law firm, sat on several corporate boards and in 1995, President William Clinton appointed me Chairman of the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, a part of the United States government that works on foreign policy issues. In 2000, I was the National Finance Chairman for the Democratic National Committee for Al Gore' campaign for President.
I was certain of my place in life. The stars and the moon aligned perfectly for me and I never considered all of this would end. Rebirth???? NO! I thought this would all go on forever. What hubris of me to think that life would not turn, that I would not have to change.
In 2002, I lost my wife to cancer, she was a young woman … filled with beauty, intelligence and love. To say I was devastated was an understatement. I was reeling with pain and loss, trying to figure how to go on, to stay focused to continue being a good father to my daughter, Nicole. Three years later, as I was trying to put the pieces of my personal life together, another painful death occurred … the death of my career. Without going into the searing, painful details, I was involved with a knockdown fight with the Bush Justice Department that was settled very painfully 7 years later. In three years, I lost my wife, lost my career as I knew it and felt completely, utterly with no sense of purpose, meaning or sense of belonging.
Just as I went through loss and uncertainty, so did the beautiful country of Italy … many times in its history. Two of most glaring examples were the Dark Ages and the Second World War.
But as time went on, I went through a rebirth, a new beginning that now fills my life with joy, dreams and love that I thought I would never feel again. And so did Italy, the Renaissance replaced the Dark Ages and the pain of the Second World War was replaced by an Italy that fed the world through its economic and cultural growth in the 1950s.
Today, I am Chairman & CEO of an international merchant bank, Chair the Advisory Committee for the World Policy Institute, active in teaching and volunteer work. My life has also been blessed with family, friends and a new, wonderful woman in my life. Why do I share this with you? Because we Italians have an innate sensibility for rebirth … for new beginnings, to boldly and passionately move on in life. Our history teaches us this indisputable fact … we have lifted humanity through our art, music, food, wine, design, fashion. The prevailing common view is that this Italy of dreams, of passion, of creativity in the arts and business is gone. I am here today to say unequivocally, NO. The Italy of tomorrow is going through a rebirth. Just as on a personal level one must go through pain, loss and uncertainty … so must a country ... The basic elements of being an Italian are still with us all … and they will always be present.
Share this with your family, your friends, your business associates … Life is meant to be a series of rebirths. If history is our guide, the best is yet to come if we embrace a rebirth as a people. Thank you for letting me share my thoughts with you today. Take care.