Last updated: August 25. 2013 3:24AM - 59 Views

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LESLIE RIGALI, LimaWhen I became the first female president of the Lima Rotary Club, there were naysayers who vowed to resign if a woman ever took that leadership position. They didn’t resign. In fact, some of those who most resisted that “change” became some of the strongest supporters and best team members we had during my tenure. That came about because the ability to lead and accomplish is not gender-defined; rather, leadership is about having a vision that supersedes personal agenda, the ability to appreciate the needs of all contingencies and an unwavering dedication to work hard to reach goals that benefit all.As the important primary election draws closer, we will play a crucial role in directing the future course of our country. While the vast majority say they want change, the extent of how much change they want will be defined by how they vote.I like Barack Obama. I love his enthusiasm, the poetry of his message and that youthful idealism he injects into the national discussion. When I was in Italy in September it was interesting to hear the Italians comparing him to John F. Kennedy.But, I believe that, if this country wants true change, then it is time to elect a woman to lead this country. Men and women are different. Women who have served in leadership positions, run companies, worked as managers and executives know women manage differently, problem solve differently, interact, engage and communicate differently than men. I am not saying better. I am simply saying women and men have different management styles. So, if we want true change in this country, it is time to elect a woman.Do I believe citizens should vote for Hillary just because she is a woman? No. But, with Hillary we not only have a strong, intelligent female candidate, but we also have a candidate who has been an agent of change from the time she left law school. She has a solid history of working to improve the lives of children, women, families and communities for 35 years. My hope is that we can realize that, not only do we have a chance to create a new chapter in American history, but we also have the unique opportunity to contribute to real change in this country. It is time we elect a woman.

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