The first in a series of Presidential Profiles - Charter President, Ralph Montesanto
Ralph Montesanto                Charter President, 1999 – 2000       
A person wearing a suit and tie smiling at the cameraDescription automatically generated                                                District Governor, 2008 - 2009
Ralph Montesanto may be the best investment Rotary has ever made. Born and raised in Dundas, Ontario he attended Parkside High School.  Upon graduation, he received a bursary from the Dundas Rotary Club to support his tuition at McMaster University where he completed a degree in Natural Sciences.  He graduated from Hamilton Teachers College and began his educational career at Mary Hopkins (Waterdown) and later Dundas Central.  He “moved up” to secondary school and taught mathematics at both Highland (now Dundas Valley Secondary) and Ancaster. He was vice-principal in three schools – Highland, Saltfleet and Scott Park, and used his skills as a mathematics teacher to write textbooks and have a consultative role with the school board. 
Ralph first joined Rotary in 1992 like many others – through an invitation from a friend.  Two years later he was transferred to Stoney Creek and resigned from Rotary … but joined again in March 1999.  
In July 1999 the Dundas Rotary Sunrise club received provisional status and Ralph presided as president for the charter year.  On January 1st, 2000 the club received its charter from Rotary International.  That year Ralph opened each meeting with a speech recognizing fellow Rotarians’ work and reviewing the club’s goals and future plans.  The new club focused on service for youth, the environment and those in need.  Through fundraising, they grew their budget to $15,000, and planned a new community event, Art in the Park.
Since his presidency, Ralph has been involved in countless Rotary projects.  He served as an Assistant Governor, then District Governor from 2008-2009.  He travelled to India twice for the Polio campaign and still has a picture of a man he served there as the background of his phone.  As a Rotarian, he traveled to Australia, China, Haiti, Nepal and New Zealand and has hosted international Rotarians and exchange students.  He attended Rotary International Conventions in Toronto, Montreal, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Birmingham, and Osaka.  For the last 11 years he helped the district as a president-elect trainer, director of training, and a facilitator for the Rotary Leadership Institute, club visioning and various district conferences - while still serving this club as director of membership or public relations for many of those years.
A picture containing person, indoor, man, holdingDescription automatically generatedIn 2018 Ralph celebrated his 50th anniversary to his wonderful wife Barb - an active supporter of several Rotary projects.  They have 2 children, Steve and Michelle as well as 5 grandchildren.  In addition to Rotary he loves playing golf and traveling the world. The COVID-19 pandemic cancelled Ralph and Barb’s visit to Hawaii (for the RI Convention and a holiday); an African safari may be in the works for 2021.