Past District Governor Tom Carroll has been selected by the Board of Directors of Rotary International as a recipient of the 2019-20 Service Above Self Award, Rotary International's highest honor. The award recognizes those Rotarians who have demonstrated exemplary humanitarian service, in any form and at any level, with emphasis on personal volunteer efforts and active involvement in helping others through Rotary. A maximum of 150 recipients worldwide may be selected each year.
Tom was born in Seattle, Washington, graduated from the University of Washington and served in the U.S. Navy, retiring as a Captain. He has worked for many years as an information technology and telecommunications consultant and project manager, and he is President of Tiburon Systems, a company under contract to the State of Washington for managing the statewide education network.
Tom’s leadership and management skills have improved the effectiveness and success of countless Rotary humanitarian programs. He led and managing several local and international service projects. He founded the Rotary Club of Gateway – Thurston County in 2011, and he later spearheaded a district-wide project to raise funds to refurbish a bus and send it to Mexico to serve the villagers of El Tuito, Mexico.
Tom is a highly respected member of his community, and he is widely recognized as someone who can be relied upon to solve the most challenging problems. An associate of his once said, “He possess the uncanny ability to break out of the quotidian quagmire and assess issues at the true essence of the problem.” From working as a volunteer for a plethora of local youth-serving organizations including youth sports teams and the Boy Scouts of America to serving in a leadership position on community boards and commissions such as the chamber of commerce, the fire district advisory board, the local Boy Scout Council, a water district board, and as a Regent of Leadership Thurston County, Tom has devoted countless hours to help make his community a better place for people.
He was recognized by Together Thurston County as a Champion for Kids, someone that makes a difference in the lives of local children.
Tom has demonstrated passion for service for decades, spanning a broad spectrum of communities and organizations. His multidimensional service to others ranges from hands-on direct assistance, to the management of major programs. Through his humanitarian service to local non-profits, youth organizations, outreach agencies and his work in Rotary, he has significantly improved the lives of those who come into contact with his commitment, caring and energy.
Days into his governor year, he suffered a near-fatal fall off a roof, breaking his spine, ribs, and shoulder blade, and he experienced a dangerous hemothorax. Rather than resign as governor, he underwent surgery and a painful rehabilitation. Not only did he successfully visit the district's 90 clubs in the U.S. and Canada, he successfully managed a significant youth protection issue that gained international attention and he shared his story and lessons learned as a plenary speaker at Rotary’s 2019 International Assembly.
Congratulations, Tom, and well done!