March is Women’s History Month. Women are active participants in Rotary, serving their communities in increasing numbers and serving in leadership positions in Rotary. The 1989 Rotary Council on Legislation vote to admit women into Rotary clubs worldwide remains a watershed moment in the history of Rotary. The vote followed the decades-long efforts of men and women from all over the Rotary world to allow the admission of women into Rotary clubs.
By June 1990, the number of female Rotarians worldwide had skyrocketed to over 20,000! The number of women members reached 195,000 in July 2010 (about 16% of Rotarians) and surpassed 277,000 in July 2020 (about 23%).
The Rotary Club of Asbury Park inducted its first female members in the 1990-1991 Rotary year. It was a decade later that the Club appointed its first female president: Rosalie Murphy. Over the years, the Club has appointed eight (8) female Presidents. Continue reading below to learn about a few of the great women in Rotary. 
Traudy Grande, President, Rotary Club of Asbury Park (2015-2016)
Traudy Grande was born and raised in Austria and has lived in the United States since 1974. She is a graduate of the Sports Academy of Vienna, Austria and a graduate of Rutgers University. Traudy is a certified financial planner and is partners with her husband John J. Grande and her stepson John S. Grande in Grande Financial Services, Inc., a comprehensive financial planning firm in Oakhurst, New Jersey. Traudy is a member of the Rotary Club of Asbury Park, New Jersey. She was the club’s president in 2015/2016. In addition to being a committed runner (including two NYC marathons), Traudy is trained in classical piano and enjoys playing piano/violin duets with John at their home. She is an enthusiastic traveler, not only to Austria to visit her family, but also to new destinations including developing countries where she and her husband John helped establish eye banks to reverse corneal blindness.
Why did I join Rotary?
Being committed to reversing corneal blindness in the world, I gave presentations to Rotary Clubs along the East Coast to make them aware of a program called Rotary Eye Rescue. The Asbury Park Rotary Club welcomed me with such open arms and warmth and, before the end of the meeting their then president Tom Price asked me to join and I simply said yes. I saw the benefits of being a member and the opportunities that we have as human beings to help those in need and not only the corneally blind.
Has Rotary lived up to my expectations?
Rotary has exceeded my expectations. This is a group of dedicated, high integrity people, who are committed to making the world a better place. Where else could you go, ask someone to either do something or help out and know that the answer would be YES. It doesn’t get any better than that!
What do I feel would help our club in the future?
If Covid ended and we could get back together in person again.
What was the highlight of my years as president?
Every week, when I welcomed our club members from the podium and looked out at their open, beautiful faces. That was my weekly highlight.

Gail Matarazzo, President, Rotary Club of Asbury Park (2017-2018)
Gail Matarazzo is married 33 years to Christian & is the proud mom of Harry age 28 & Haydn age 25 this year! Currently, Gail is NJ & PA licensed in Life, Health Insurance, Annuities and Real Estate in the state of NJ.  Gail Is part of the management team at Retirement Income Solutions, Oakhurst, serving as the Financial & Administration Director. Gail is also the managing partner of Parkview River HH,LLC & CAM2030 LLC, Real Estate Investment Companies that she & her husband own with properties in Pennsylvania & South Carolina. Previously, Gail owned & operated Scents of Colour Florist for 18 years in the Bradley, Avon area before selling the business in 2006 after thousands of proud weddings, parties & even funerals. Gail enjoys spending time with family & friends on the weekends, & this new found hobby called Pickle Ball!!
Little Known Fun Fact:
 I was very proud along with Harry & Haydn to be a part of the grand opening of “The Public Vaults” a permanent exhibit in The National Archives of The United States in 2004. After being invited we took a trip together to Washington D.C. to take part in all the ceremonies including the ribbon cutting. The reason for all of this was because I along with my 2nd grade classmates wrote a letter to President Ford requesting a “KIDS DAY” in 1973 & although it did not work, the letter was kept in the archives all this time & it was chosen as one of the letters to be displayed in the DEAR UNCLE SAM section of this new exhibit!! I have not been back to see it since, but I’m assured it will remain there, now part of the fabric of our permanent history along with many other records connected to our history!
Why Did I Join Rotary?
I joined Rotary because someone asked me!!! We need to encourage & ask people to join us!!!
What was the highlight of my years as president?
The Veteran’s Bus Trip to Washington, D.C. (The Vets loved it!).

Rosalie Murphy, President, Rotary Club of Asbury Park (2001-2002) - FIRST FEMALE PRESIDENT
Rosalie Murphy was born in the original Fitkin Hospital in Neptune and grew up in Asbury Park. In her own words: The older I get, the more I appreciate what a wonderful childhood I had there. I attended Bradley School on Third and Pine and had outstanding elementary school teachers. My family moved to Neptune in 1953. I attended St. Rose High School and began my college studies at Chestnut Hill College near Philadelphia. After three years I transferred to Rutgers College of Arts and Sciences in Newark for my final year and was awarded a BA in Chemistry with a minor in English. I received my masters in science and administrative certification from Montclair State College. I spent my entire professional life as an educator in the Neptune Public School System, first as a science teacher. Then I served as a science department chairperson, district supervisor, elementary school principal and finished my career as principal of Neptune High School.
Why Did I Join Rotary?
It has always been important for me to give back to the community. I was appointed by the Freeholders to serve on the Monmouth County Board of Drug Abuse Services and became vice chairperson. I also served on the board of the Institute for Arts and Humanities Education, receiving the NJ Governors distinguished award for leadership in the arts. I was fortunate to be recognized by the Nu Tau Chapter of Kappa Delta Pi for dedication to education and service to the Monmouth University.
Joel Popkin, a member of the Rotary Club of Asbury Park, appeared in my office at Ridge Avenue Elementary School. He asked me if I was interested in becoming a member of Rotary. I thought it was a great opportunity to serve in a club named for the town where I grew up! It was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. What an amazing group of professional people dedicated to improving life and opportunities for so many people!
What do I feel would help our club in the future?
There is nothing specific that I would recommend to help the club at this time. Each year the club establishes its goals based on the needs of the local, national and international community and the talents of its members.
What was the highlight of my years as president?
There were three highlights of my year as president. 1. Membership had fallen off and with the help of Membership Chairperson, Boyce Overstreet and the entire membership of the club, we increased membership significantly. 2. I was also able to attend the Rotary International Conference in Barcelona, Spain. 3.At the conclusion of my year as president, we were recognized by Rotary International as a Distinguished Rotary Club.


Rotary Club of Asbury Park (Female Presidents) 

Rosalie Murphy (2001-2002)
Robin Platt-Lacey (2005-2006)
Joan Desmarais (2006-2007)
Sarah Penny McDaniel (2012-2013)
Traudy Grande (2015-2016)
Brenda Skinner (2016-2017)
Gail Matarazzo (2017-2018)
Jaclyn Boruch (2021-2022)
Photo of Past Mesdames Presidents of the Rotary Club of Asbury Park (photo taken in 2019)
(Left to Right: Robin, Brenda, Joan, Gail, Penny, Traudy, Rosalie)