Monday, April 10, 2017

What Does Rotary Mean to You? Mike Sutta's Rotary Story

Mike Sutta, is our past president for the 2015-2016 Rotary year, and he was given the Paul Harris Award by the club on February 14, 2017. Mike's commitment to community service, and to his family, is truly inspiring! Mike, who is the life of any party and takes the most entertaining selfies, is, also without a doubt, a perennial candidate for Rotarian of the Year!

This former mechanic with Brahman Honda, who moved on to work with PageNet Beeper, and then a staffing company, where he found jobs for people, (which, Mike described as very rewarding), eventually got involved, through a friend, with Merchant Services (credit card processing). Mike did very well in this industry until 2006 when he had to start over shortly after the Great Recession.

Now through SuperSwipe, Mike not only helps restaurants with their credit card processing, but also partners with non-profit organizations, such as RU Charitable whose goal is with helping other charitable organizations!

"I found out in life, at the end of the month, it really doesn't matter the size of your check, what matters, is what you have done to give back. " - Mike Sutta

RCSM, "What or who brought you to Rotary?"

Mike Sutta, "John Sorgie, who was involved in another networking group with me, (Profit Inc) invited me to this other group ( Rotary Club of South Miami), and treated me to lunch at Carrabbas. I didn't talk to many people that day, I did enjoy the speaker and the people there. I decided to come back a couple more weeks and then joined right away as the Arts Festival was coming up. "

RCSM, "Tell us about John Sorgie."

Mike, "John Sorgie was one of our past presidents, who was involved with the Christmas Parade in downtown South Miami, and he was the owner of Sunset Quick Print for many years, he passed away recently.

Because of John, and the people who were involved with the club then, is why I'm here now. This opportunity to get involved with the community, to get my hands dirty, especially with the Arts Festival, and really start to understand what this group is all about, and just to learn the meaning behind what we say at the end of each meeting, this four way test. That is what got me to come back again and again."

RCSM, "What's your favorite Rotary memory?"

Mike, "My favorite Rotary memory. In my first year in Rotary, I would always get to meetings early, because I wanted to meet and get to know the people of the club, especially those who have been with the club for awhile.

New Facebook Friends

One of those meetings I met Marcos, who was from Brazil who visited our club before his trip to Chicago. Marcos found our club through an online search, sat next to me, we traded business cards and I never saw him again after that meeting, but, we became Facebook friends. Through the next year and a half, we kept in touch texting about Rotary through Facebook. And, during my club presidency, I went to Brazil for the convention, and so, I contacted Marcos, through Facebook saying, "Hey, let's meet up!"


This convention was HUGE, talking about over 5,000 people, HUGE you could see it, especially when I checked the convention stage where, from this big screen monitor, you could see rows and rows of people, and I was basically in the last aisle. I had jumped over a pair of seats to work my way in to an open seat, and as soon as I sat down, guess who turns around, Marcos! It was like a reunion of old friends! This was the biggest Rotary connection I had ever made, and we really only met once! With Marcos, I was more comfortable, I felt un-scared, texting and emailing about the fundamentals and advice about Rotary, more so, than reaching out to someone here locally.

Rotary Camaraderie

And then, after we met in Brazil, Marcos took me everywhere, he introduced me to everyone in the convention, and I ended up delaying my flight back home by a day so I could go to a Rotary meeting in Brazil. When I went to one of their Rotary meetings, it was different than our lunch because they would drink before the meeting, and this was at a Brazilian Steakhouse with all you can eat steak! So... I had about 5 or 6 Scotches in hand before I even went to sit down because everyone bought me drinks! It was just this close camaraderie that impressed me and I also met the incoming president and we're still Facebook friends today. Although, the camaraderie we have here, is just exceptional!"

RCSM, "What would you like to see Rotary do going forward?"

Mike, "I would like to see the local professionals, who are my age and younger, contribute back to the community, in Rotary's whole theme. It's not hard, it's just time consuming. And, once you learn how to structure your schedule to allow Rotary into your life, then you dedicate that part of your time.

That's how I want to see our club develop, engaging our members with their talents and abilities because everyone comes to the table with something! Just being able to tap into those things they do naturally, they might go, and realize, 'Oh that wasn't too hard!' "

Thanks again for your service, your leadership and your Rotary enthusiasm Mike!

Interview by Jeff McNabb