Thursday, June 14, 2018

Meet the Candidates: Mitch Holmes for State Scribe

Convention is not to far away, so lets get to know the rest of our candidates for Elected State Office. We have two candidates for the office of State Scribe. Our second is Bro. Mitch Holmes of Templar Chapter.

Hello everyone. My name is Mitch Holmes and I am running for the Elected Office of State Scribe. I joined Templar Chapter almost 4 years ago, and since then, its been the best decision I made. The sense of Brotherhood and long-lasting relationships have kept me intrigued and interested in the organization since I have joined. Currently being an Appointed State Officer and Past Master Councilor, I want to get more involved on the state level by becoming an Elected State Officer.

What is your greatest DeMolay experience or accomplishment?
This is a hard question, as there are so many things I can say, but it would have to be when I became Master Councilor of my Chapter. Before I became Master Councilor, our Chapter had two active members, and we were very inactive. Of course, I was sort of nervous because I did not know much about DeMolay and I took a high leadership position with my Chapter. When I took this position, I learned several things about myself. I learned that I was a leader and wanted to do all I can for my Chapter to help it succeed.
 I got heavily involved with DeMolay to help make it better. With the help of my Advisors and my parents, I was able to bring in members and help revive my Chapter. This drive I have, to do better and help others, is what I want to do for PA DeMolay. Becoming Master Councilor was the reason why I am so intrigued with the organization.

Who are some of your DeMolay influences?
I have several influences that have inspired me in this organization. When I first joined, it was when PSMC Isaac Holtzer was SMC. The first E-town weekend I went to was Grand Master’s Class and I must say that I was impressed with everything. Between the friendly atmosphere, brotherhood, and unification, everything about that weekend influenced me to become more involved with DeMolay. I look at the state officers then, and even now as well, their actions and hard-work make me want to become more involved in DeMolay by helping others to succeed. My other influence was when I first went to KeyMan. It was the 2016 Conference when I first attended, and I did the Ritual and Performance Track. Since that KeyMan, my friends and Advisors who taught that course inspired me to do better and become more involved. Just an FYI, I did not know what ritual was until I attended KeyMan (thanks “Dad” Schaeffer!) These are just some of the influences, but they are the major ones.

What are your goals if elected to serve as a State Officer?
There are several things I wish to accomplish if I were to be elected as State Scribe. Besides working with the State Officer Corps and doing my duties, I want to push all state aspects such as programs and incentives. More recently, the Squire’s program has been approved in Pennsylvania and I would like to personally work with the chapters to help set up a Manor. I also want to help DeMolays with the Knighthood Program and influence others to become actively involved with our state programs issued by the SMC. I also want to work with Chapters and actively help plan prospect events around the state to help boost membership ratings and activity within the chapter level. With my leadership skills and experience of being part of the State Officer Corps, I feel that I can influence and help PA DeMolay to flourish within my term of office. I want to support our Chapters and DeMolay in PA in anyway I can and make others feel what I have felt in DeMolay as well as accomplish everything that I have accomplished. That in the future, PA DeMolay can grow and develop in the future.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Meet the Candidates: Andrew Caroselli for State Scribe

Convention is not to far away, so lets get to know the rest of our candidates for Elected State Office. We have two candidates for the office of State Scribe. Our first is Bro. Andrew Caroselli of Friendship-Bray Chapter. 

Hello, my name is Andrew Caroselli and I am running for the Office of State Scribe. I joined Friendship-Bray Chapter over 3 years ago and after my first weekend at Patton Campus I fell in love with DeMolay. My experience with DeMolay has been amazing and joining this organization has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. I still have a good amount of years left until I age out, and having already served as Master Councilor on the chapter level, I want to stay involved and serve on the state level. I want to help give to the members, what DeMolay has already given to me, and then some.

What is your greatest DeMolay experience or accomplishment?
I have had so many great experiences in DeMolay it is hard to count, but one of the best has to be KeyMan University. I have attended KeyMan three times and each one has been very rewarding. I learned how to raise awareness about DeMolay, plan successful events, be an effective leader and so much more. I also got the opportunity to make friends with people that live all over the country and Canada. In just one week, I made relationships that will last a lifetime.

Who are some of your DeMolay influences and how have they inspired you?
There have been many people that have helped me throughout my time in DeMolay, but one of the biggest has to be “Dad” Dennis Hunter. “Dad” Hunter was the Chapter Advisor when I first joined and he guided me through my first couple years in DeMolay and has always been there to help. He convinced me to stick with DeMolay when it wasn’t easy because I was busy with other things, and I'm glad that I did. He inspired me to run for the state line, and if it wasn’t for “Dad” Hunter I would not be where I am today.

What are your goals if elected to serve as a State Officer?
Aside from working with the State Master Councilor and other Elected State Officers which is a given, there are a few goals that I would like to accomplish if I am elected. The first is that I would like to talk to the new members as much as possible and make them feel welcome. To a new guy, simply sitting with them at lunch can go a long way. After I first joined, when I still didn’t really know anybody, I was at my first KeyMan and one of the State Officers at the time sort of took me under his wing. This made me feel welcome and comfortable so that I could meet even more people. On top of this I would like to make sure that DeMolay continues to be a fun organization where everyone can be involved whether you like to play sports or video games. Lastly I would like to visit all the chapters and help in any way that I can. Whether it be by giving ideas on how to improve membership or helping out at an installation. I want to be there to support them.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Meet the Candidates: Brandon Whited for State Junior Councilor

Convention is a little over a month away. Our second of two candidates for State Junior Councilor is Bro. Brandon Whited of Northeast Chapter.

My name is Brandon Whited and I am running for State Junior Councilor. I joined DeMolay at the age of 14 while attending Grand Masters Class in December of 2014. About a year after I joined DeMolay, I was given the opportunity to serve as Master Councilor for three consecutive terms. During my last term as Master Councilor, I received the PMC-MSA and DSA. My home chapter is Northeast and I am currently Senior Councilor. I plan to continue being a valuable asset to my chapter, helping every member in any way possible, and bring my knowledge and experiences to State Office.

What is your greatest DeMolay experience or accomplishment?
Throughout my years as a DeMolay, my greatest experience is receiving PMC-MSA. Receiving this award was an extremely humbling experience and I realize that without my brethren and advisors I could not earn this award. I was very excited when I received the PMC-MSA because I know that I and my chapter have worked extremely hard to complete the various tasks that were necessary. I will continue to work hard with my chapter and help all Master Councilors to the best of my ability, hoping that they too will receive this award.

Who are some of your DeMolay influences and how have they inspired you?

Dad Joe Pullin and Dad Alexander Swift have inspired me in various ways during my time in DeMolay. Upon meeting them I saw a brotherly bond, formed in DeMolay, that would be impossible to break. During every event, they emphasized the importance of teamwork and communication. When I started my first term as Master councilor, they were constantly helping me plan my events and assisted me in the execution of those events. Dad Pullin and Dad Swift are both great role models that have inspired me to always do my best. What are your goals if elected to serve as a State Officer?
If I am provided the opportunity to become a State Officer, I will work tirelessly with the other State Officers as a team to ensure that we will have a productive and successful term. I would like to help other chapters plan joint events together outside of the state weekends to strengthen their brotherhood. I would also focus on having more fun learning activities at Patton Campus and hopefully make learning fun for everyone. Lastly, I would want to focus on membership and the importance of getting new young men involved in DeMolay.

Registration for Convention is due June 10th. Make sure you are there for a chance to vote for the Elected State Officers to represent PA DeMolay for the 2018-2019 year.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Meet the Candidates: Kody Anderson for State Junior Councilor

Convention is soon approaching, and we have more candidates to get to know. We have two candidates for the office of State Junior Councilor The first is Bro. Kody Anderson of Elizabethtown Chapter.

Hi, I'm Kody Anderson and I'm a candidate for the office of State Junior Councilor. I joined Elizabethtown Chapter on September 21, 2014. After serving in several appointed offices and as Junior Councilor and Senior Councilor, I served as Master Councilor from January 7, 2017 to June 24, 2017. Following my term, I was appointed Assistant Scribe through the rest of 2017, and as Scribe for 2018. I've earned my Representative DeMolay Award, was a finalist in the RD of the Year Competition in 2017, and earned the LCC Lamp of Knowledge. Elizabethtown Chapter has a special DeMolay of the Year Award that is presented to the member who has provided the most hours of service to the chapter and after two years of being first runner up, I was named the Elizabethtown DeMolay of the Year in 2017 with over 120 hours of service. For the past year, I have been traveling to chapters in the area to help on Installing Teams, often serving as Installing Officer. At Convention, I was appointed Region E Representative, working with Elizabethtown and Riverside Chapters. I'll be a Senior at Donegal Area High School in the Fall. After High School, I plan to go to college to study Accounting. 

What is Your Greatest DeMolay Experience or Accomplishment?

My greatest accomplishment in DeMolay came recently with the opportunity to manage the Dodgeball for Dyslexia 4 Tournament that was held on May 12th. My goal was to grow a program that PMC Evan Crawford, the founder and manager for the first three years, had done a great job with.
 Through the help of many, our platinum sponsors grew from 8 to 12. Registered teams went from 12 to 14.  Funds raised in 2018 grew from $3,154 in 2017 to $3,940.  This was all possible because of the group of volunteers, chapters and Masonic organizations who worked with me with one goal in mind: raise the most money we could for the Children's Dyslexia Centers while having a lot of fun doing it. 

Who are some of your DeMolay influences and how have they inspired you?

One of my biggest influences in DeMolay is Jake Beers. When I was a brand new member in 2014, Jake was one of the guys I met when I went to my first DeMolay activity. Jake has inspired me to be the best that I can be.
 He has shown me that hard work and attention to detail is important in planning and executing programs. He’s shown me how to be a brother to every member. He’s always been available to offer advice, help when I’ve needed it, answer questions and assist me in figuring out things. He’s taught me that it’s important to be understanding and patient, and that it’s okay to have a good time while doing more serious things.

What are your goals if elected to serve as a State Officer?

If elected State Junior Councilor my goals will include:

1)  Working with the other Elected and Appointed State Offices to ensure the highest quality of programming.  Every program, every installation and every project we do should be well-planned, well-executed and the best that they can be. 

I want to live up to the high expectations of those who elected me, always doing my very best. It’s not enough to just get a job done, it’s important to plan in advance, be thorough, to set an example that others will want to follow, and to be someone who inspires others to be and do their very best.

3)  I hope that I am able to help the entire team of state officers become more of a team, working toward common successes that will benefit each and every one of our members.

Registration for Convention is due June 10th. Make sure you are there for a chance to vote for the Elected State Officers to represent PA DeMolay for the 2018-2019 year.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Meet the Candidates: James McKeown for State Senior Councilor

Convention is soon approaching, and we have more candidates to get to know. We have two candidates for the office of State Senior Councilor. The second is Bro. James McKeown of Friendship-Bray Chapter.

If somehow you don’t know who I am, then let me enlighten you; I’m James McKeown and I am running for the office of State Senior Councilor.

I’ve been a member of Friendship-Bray Chapter for three years now, and wow has it been one wild ride. The whole DeMolay experience itself has helped me through the hardships of growing up. While I can heartily say that I’d be almost the exact same man that I am today without DeMolay, it’s that little sliver that wouldn’t be, that I can 100% contribute to DeMolay. It has helped create in me a sense of fulfillment and belonging that I couldn’t find elsewhere. Now I can sit down and recognize that I have a place in this world. That what I do, matters. I’m not the only person who can say this about DeMolay, but I know that I’m extremely grateful for this gift. Because I realize all of what DeMolay has given me, I look forward to making sure that every single DeMolay finds their own sliver.

What is your greatest DeMolay experience or accomplishment? 
My greatest experience in DeMolay has to be going to Arnold’s Family Fun Center with my Chapter. It wasn’t my greatest experience because of the way it was planned or the center itself, but rather because I not only got to spend some quality time with some brothers in my chapter, but it helped me realize something; that DeMolay is supposed to be fun. I don’t mean that we should just make DeMolay fun, but I feel like we need to put more emphasis on the fun aspects of DeMolay. At the end of the day we should enjoy the short time that we have as members.

Who are some of your DeMolay influences and how have they inspired you? My greatest influence in DeMolay, is “Dad” Mike McKee. He has taught me so many life lessons that I could fill an entire book. However, the most important thing he has taught me, by his example, is to be yourself. I probably don’t need to tell you that we live in a time where being fake or disloyal is the norm. “Dad” McKee has helped me come to the realization that being true to yourself is the only correct way to go and live your life.

What are your goals if elected to serve as a State Officer?
If elected, I would like to focus on three main goals. The first and most important goal of them all is pushing the programs and events that the State Master Councilor has put in the term for this upcoming year. The second goal is to make the DeMolay experience more fun without taking from the general purposes of DeMolay. The third goal is to set up an environment that everyone can be comfortable learning in.

The registration deadline for Convention is June 10th. Make sure you are there for your chance to vote for your Elected State Officers. See you in Gettysburg!