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President Ana introduced Tom this morning. A rotarian since 2004, in Sudbury and in the Victoria Harbourside Club, and recently transferred to Kingston, and happily chose Cataraqui-Kingston as his new club.
Tom began by explaining his full name, Mattyasovszky-Zsolnay, clearly a mouthful! So thought Tom's dad when he moved to Canada, shortening it. Tom's first name is actually Tamas, but please, just use Tom.
Tom then went on to detail his heritage and life;
  • He has deep roots in Hungary and Slovenia, traceable back to the year 1283;
  • His Great-Grandfather Jakab, and his grandfather Tibor helped run a ceramics factory in Pecs, Hungary, until nationalization by the Communists in 1948;
  • The factory produced beautiful ceramics used in churches and for decoration.
  • Tom's father fought in WWII, was a prisoner of war, and emigrated to Canada in 1951. He died in his 101st year.
  • Tom's mother was the daughter of a Baroness, made her way to Canada on the same boast as Tom's father, and had a long career in retail as a buyer for Holt Renfrew.
  • Tom grew up in Montreal with two brothers, and spent years in the air cadets because he wanted to be a pilot.
  • Tom spoke Hungarian (badly he says), French (at school) and English (in his neighbourhood).
  • Tom has a BA in Economics (Concordia), and MBA (Laurentian), and is a Certified Fundraising Executive.
  • He joined the Army Reserve at 20 and retired 34 years later as a Colonel. He did attend the Staff College in Kingston during his career.
  • Tom was deployed to Ethiopia/Eritrea in 2002/2003.
  • His main takeaway from the Armed Forces was the leadership skills he learned and the amazing places he got to visit.
  • Tom got into fundraising by accident after a referral from a friend. He has run campaigns in almost every sector and all across the country.
  • Tom moved to Concordia as a fundraiser, then Laurentian, University of Victoria, to University Hospitals Kingston Foundation (UHKF) at present.
  • He says the secret to fundraising is to align the "rights", involving a combination of art and science!
  • Tom's family has hosted Rotary Exchange students from many countries.
  • Tom has been married to Caroline since 1986 and have 3 boys. They are a true coast-to-coast family - Newfoundland to Vancouver. Two dogs keep them from being empty nesters.
  • Tom also sported an awesome moustache when he was younger!
  • In response to a question, Tom likes morning clubs because of the timing, but since he joined during the pandemic is still feeling his way with our club, although he has taken on the Chair of the Foundation Committee (making your editor happy).
  • Tom also has an interest in classic cars, owing a Mustang convertible, and an old MG. He also likes to work at projects around his house.
Tom was thanked today for his talk by Robert Reid.