COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: As president of the Fresh Pond Crematory & U.S. Columbarium Co. and the Kiwanis Queens West lieutenant governor, J.P. DiTroia helps all the people of Queens, in life and even in death.
This year marks DiTroia’s 10th year with the Kiwanis, where he has held various positions over his decade of service.
One of those positions was chair of the New York State membership with the Kiwanis. As chair he helped bring over 1,000 new members to the organization in 2014, helping its growth tremendously.
As lieutenant governor of Kiwanis Queens West, DiTroia oversees the 17 Kiwanis clubs of Queens.
“I have to lead the division, which includes membership growth, carry on the events that are presented to us,” DiTroia said.
MOTIVATION: “It’s an outlet for me to do good in the community,” DiTroia said. “The salary we get is from the smiles that we receive from those that we’ve helped.”
The gratitude from the people the Kiwanis has helped in various ways, whether through special events, fundraisers or projects, is the real prize for DiTroia.
OCCUPATION: Working as the president of the Fresh Pond Crematory & U.S. Columbarium Co., located at 61-40 Mt. Olivet Cres., is “a tough job because you’re dealing with bereaved families,” DiTroia explained. “If I can make it a little bit more comfortable for them to deal with the loss by providing services … it’s gratifying.”
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: One of the hardest challenges DiTroia faces as Lt. Gov. of Kiwanis Queens West is growing the membership.
“To gain the confidence of individuals, to make them understand the value of being a Kiwanian,” is a hurdle to overcome in gaining new members, DiTroia said.
Being lieutenant governor is a big challenge on its own, DiTroia explained.
“There is a lot of responsibility. I have to see all the clubs, meet with the clubs, I have to bring in new members, and bring in new clubs, and have divisionals and we put out a newsletter,” DiTroia said.
ACHIEVEMENTS: When it comes to achievements and awards, DiTroia is not lacking. He has amassed awards and recognition for his work with the Eliminate Project, which he began. The Eliminate Project works with Kiwanis International and UNICEF to help bring an end to maternal and neonatal tetanus.
In June the Kiwanis will be turning 100 years old. At their celebration they will be honoring DiTroia with an award for his service with the Eliminate Project.
PERSONAL LIFE: DiTroia has lived in Queens for most of his life and is a graduate of I.S. 73 in Maspeth. He is the father of four children and the proud grandfather of five grandchildren. DiTroia said the loss of one of his children led him to participate in the Eliminate Project.