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From TROWEL, Spring 2007, Page 10:

Rt. Wor. Joseph S. Mozzone brings a wealth of experience in financial and executive management, strategic planning and policy development to his Grand Lodge leadership position.

During the Feast of St. John, the president and treasurer of Mozzone Lumber Co., Inc., spoke of the need for Worshipful Masters to engage their members in the active affairs of their lodges. Bro. Mozzone is a graduate of Stonehill College and a member of the Rehoboth Congregational Church. He has served as a director of the Mechanics Co/operative Bank, Taunton, and the Taunton YMCA.

A trustee of the Masonic Education and Charitable Trust since 2004 and a director of the Overlook Masonic Health System since 2002, Bro. Mozzone is active throughout Freemasonry. He previously served as Grand Steward in 2000 and Grand Sword Bearer in 2005-2006.

Bro. Mozzone was raised in Charles H. Titus Lodge, Taunton, where he served as Worshipful Master in 1992, and was Master of King David Lodge in 2004. A charter member of J. Philip Berquist Lodge, Foxborough, he is also a member of: the Scottish Rite Valley of Boston - serving as Lieutenant of the Guard in Mount Olivet Chapter of Rose Croix; the York Rite - serving as Junior Warden of St. Bernard Commandery No. 12, Boston; and Aleppo Shrine and Massachusetts College, S.R.I.C.F. - the ‘Rosicrucians.’

The Deputy Grand Master and his wife, Michelle, live in Rehoboth with their three children, Lydia Marie, 15, Meredith Rose, 11, and Catherine Ann, 5.



From Proceedings, Page 2006-255:

Greatness by Generation

Most Worshipful Grand Master, Distinguished Guests and Brethren All:

What a fantastic year it has been for Freemasonry in Massachusetts. The Overlook Communities celebrated its Grand Opening, The Commitment to Masonry has pledges of 2.2 million dollars and the amount is rising. The membership initiatives have proven to be a great success, in excess of fifteen hundred candidates being raised, a total that almost doubles the previous year. Grand Lodge has and will continue to move forward with programs that will change the way we think of the fraternity. Our Brother Benjamin Franklin once said, "When you're finished changing, you're finished."

If we are to continue the growth of the fraternity, the next significant changes must be within the lodges themselves and the membership must be the initiator of these changes, if they are to take hold and carry Masonry well into the twenty-first century. What should these changes be? You may not like the answer, but it is really up to you and the membership of your lodge to answer that. What I hope to outline is a process that will get you to "think outside the box" and bring about the changes to your lodge that you never imagined could happen.

What is "thinking outside the box"? Quite simply it is questioning the status quo. How do you know when you are "thinking outside the box"? Have you ever walked into your lodge with a great idea and walked up to the Master, Secretary and Treasurer, as they are talking to each other, and told them about it. Has the response been, "you can't do that in this Lodge"? Then you have just "thought outside the box". Typically anytime an idea means changing the status quo it will meet with some resistance. You cannot blame the top officers of a lodge for being resistant to change, because it usually means more work for them. But what if it did not?

For years Masonry was resistant to change because it could afford to be. Candidates were plentiful; attendance was phenomenal. There was little competition from outside influences, but all that has changed. It is only recently that Grand Lodge has fostered an environment of change. Only the "Ancient Landmarks" are considered sacred, as they must be in your Lodge as well.

Let me tell you about a hypothetical Lodge. This Lodge has 200 members. Thirty percent live out of the area, mostly in Florida. The Lodge meets once a month; usually they perform degree work and have a dinner. About thirty people show up each month, but numbers have been falling off lately. The Master blames outside events for this, but last month he and his officers stumbled through their work. Most of the officers missed rehearsal because they forgot. On the District Deputy visitations, they are usually one or two members from this Lodge, and often none of the top three Officers show. At the Lodge of Instruction, this Lodge had four members show and four candidates. Last year they had fourteen new members, seven were raised in the One-Day class. Out of the seven, only two shows up to lodge regularly, and the only reason any of them were contacted by the Lodge was so they could sign the by-laws. Has this Lodge done anything wrong? The answer in the traditional sense is no. The only thing they are guilty of is not changing with the times. They have not recognized that delivering the same product to the membership, which worked in the 1940's and 50's, is not working for them today. So, how do they change that environment? The first step is to come up with a strategic plan for the Lodge. The plan must lead to action; it must build a shared vision that is value-based. It must be an inclusive, participatory process in which the membership takes on a shared ownership. The plan should be externally focused and sensitive to the Lodge's environment and, most importantly, it should be open to questioning the status quo.

To start, it is important to remember to keep the membership involved. The planning process could involve a survey or a general meeting to identify specific issues or choices that the planning process should address. A planning committee should be formed, and an organizational profile should be developed. Once the information from the membership is gathered, then the mission and vision statements can be developed. An assessment of the current situation can be formed and objectives and goals can be identified.

Everything that the Lodge can think of should be addressed: financial status, building and retaining membership, development of the line officers, putting new members to work, new and old programs, building issues, and even an end plan. The plan should project, at a minimum, three years into the future. Now it is time to write the plan, and when it is completed, remember that a strategic plan is always in motion. It should be reviewed periodically and changed based on changing conditions in and out of the Lodge.

So, now you have a written plan and it is time to implement it. But where does the Lodge start? The first thing the Lodge should do is dissolve the strategic planning committee. This should be the last time the Lodge has any standing committee. The committees of the Lodge should be replaced by Masonic Action Teams. Masonic Action Teams are standing terms ready to spring into action on any project assigned to them. They are usually made up of three to four members and/or their wives, and once formed they are waiting to work on a project.

Let's go back to our hypothetical Lodge within the thirty members who attend Lodge meeting each month. Out of the thirty, ten can be counted on to work on projects or serve on committees. The same six members out of the ten serve as trustees of the funds, work on the Service Committee, act as Masonic Home Representative and Proxy to Grand Lodge. The only time anyone is replaced is when they quit or move on to the Celestial Lodge above. This Lodge is in desperate need of adopting a team building philosophy.

Our hypothetical Lodge decided to try something new and work toward a strategic plan. It was brought up at a Lodge meeting and a committee often was formed. Within a month they came up with a twenty-question survey, which was mailed to the membership. Three months after the mailing they compiled the answers and charted them, and then they wrote their strategic plan. Within six months the plan was in the hands of the membership. Some of the highlights of their plan were that the trustees of their Lodge would switch out every two years. The same person would not be reappointed. The Service Committee would be made up of two of the Lodge's Masonic Action Teams and they would change with two other teams after one year. The Proxy to Grand Lodge would change yearly, as would the Masonic Home Representative. A Lodge email list would be compiled by one of the action teams, which would speed communication to the membership. It was also found from the survey that many members wanted a social event, others would like to see a community service event, and so both were added to the strategic plan. There was even a provision for a possible trip to Florida by the Lodge and their families for vacation, and to schedule some type of event with members who reside there.

It was now time to put the plan in motion. The Strategic Planning Committee was dissolved, and the Masonic Action Teams were formed. Utilizing the ten most active members, ten Masonic Action Teams were formed, each having three members. Over night the Lodge tripled the amount of people it had to work on projects.

The whole principle behind Masonic Action Teams is to make the work light and short term so that the team will not burn out. Brainstorming should be encouraged on the teams so that the members feel that they are contributing to the success of the Lodge.

Let's go back to our hypothetical Lodge again. They wanted to have a social event; four Masonic Action Teams were assigned to this. They agreed to have a Ladies' Night, one team headed the event and invitations, another selected the entertainment, a third selected the venue, and the final team selected the menu. The event proved to be a great success, and for the next year's event, one team was revolved off and another was put on, while the other teams switched responsibilities.

The team philosophy will work in your Lodge too. Building teams is critical to any organization. Teams provide the flexibility and the involvement that is critical to your Lodge's success. Most importantly, they allow for the status quo to be questioned and changed. Successful team building will mean that the elected and appointed officers will have more time to do the things that count for the Lodge and for themselves.

Ultimately the success of our beloved fraternity rests not with men at this head table, but with the actions of every member in this room. Do not be the man who does nothing only because he can do a little. Remember every little bit counts.

Most Worshipful Grand Master, I want to thank you for the opportunity to serve Grand Lodge these past two years. I look forward to this next year with great anticipation; I hope that I can help to make your third year in office the best of all.

Brethren, this is truly a humbling experience and one I will never forget. Thank you.

Distinguished Brothers