Reprinted with permission of Bob Montgomery.
Three times a year, the Bristol Sports Hall of Fame holds its “Leadership Council Breakfast” at Nuchie’s, a gathering of future team captains and leaders identified by their schools, along with coaches, school administrators and Hall of Fame directors. The gathering is to help these athletes learn to become leaders.
The most recent program took place two weeks ago and the program was overseen by Bristol attorney Mark Ziogas, a Hall of Fame director, and assisted by retired Bristol educator Mark Redman, also a Hall of Fame director.
The invited speaker was Bristol Fire Department Deputy Chief John Ziogas, a former Bristol athlete himself. He discussed the similarity of one’s job as an athletic leader to one who is now a leader in the working world.
“Everyone hopes when they become a leader they can do a good job,” said Ziogas. “As deputy chief I’ve had fun at times, been disgusted at times and down. Few are born to be leaders. It’s hard work that’s needed to achieve greatness. It’s a common denominator with the people around you, they got there because of hard work.”
He talked about staying true to one’s responsibilities and that included times when a friend you’ve worked with a long time now works under your command. It’s not easy, especially when you have to handle a problem they have and where they’ve been wrong.
“It’s not easy, you just have to know you are doing your job,” said Ziogas. “If they can’t understand or take it, you have to realize you are just doing your job.”
He also talked about one’s role models and trying to emulate those who have been successful. There were other leadership qualities he discussed, including being a team spokesman for teammates with regards to the coaches, setting an example of oneself, treating everyone with respect, giving others authority, being motivated and a bold speaker.
The athletes in attendance were:
Bristol Central — Lauren Bossi, Cynthia Bukowski, Melissa Cummings, Jodi DiSanto, Gretchen Edelman, Breanna Gagnon, James Glowa, Sean Heiser, Jonathan Jankowski, Spencer Johnson, Shane Kearney, Mitch Lipka, Cy McIntosh, Emily McKenzie, Nick Prentiss, Hannah Oakes, Monica Palmieri, Alexandrea Peabody, Tevin Sampson, Matthew Tabak and Evan Tavera;
Bristol Eastern — Kyle Caron, Ryan Chiasson, Nick Crowley, Beth Cucka, Samantha Czertak, Stephanie D’Angelo, Alyssa DeSena, Lee Estrellado, Morgan Goodrich, Jessica Hubina, Gabriel Kurasz, Mariah McPhee, Amy Ozga, Nick Plachno, Nick Roberts, Diondrey Sapp, Karissa Smith, Payton Soucy and Kayla Violette; and
St. Paul — Julia D’Abramo, Kyle Dube, Jackson Etting, Nick Iacovelli, Callie Laderoute, Simone Morin, Hailey Morneault, Geun Park, Tristen Petit, Matt Santovasi, Christina Scurto, Nick Shemkovitz, Mike Skorupski and Kimberly Szabo.