On June 29, Jill Cranney-Gage was inducted as Key West Rotary’s 103rd president. But her hats are ever-changing. As the assistant finance director at the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, administrator of the Lower Florida Keys Hospital District Board, and District 1 commissioner for Florida Keys Mosquito Control District, she’s always running around busy doing something. That’s not to mention that her weekends and evenings are filled with as she puts it “hashtag softball life” with her three daughters, Tavyn, Lilee and Maicee.
As a Key West High School graduate, class of 2000, she stays in the Keys because there is no other place in the world she would rather raise her girls. “Key West is a tightknit community that pulls together in good times and in bad,” she said. “My girls are Conch girls and there is nowhere else we would rather call home.”
This year’s Rotary slogan is “be the inspiration,” and as a Rotarian of the Year in 2013, she follows suit from many of her family and friends. Her grandmother, the late Carol Rogers, is her inspiration going into this year. “She always told my sister and I how proud she was of our accomplishments,” she said. “Her heart was full seeing us involved in charities and giving back to the community.”
Her list is packed this year starting with the Fourth of July picnic at Casa Marina and other events like Bacon and Blues Fest, golf tournament, Casino Night, concerts and community cleanups. We wanted to know what makes this year’s Rotary president tick, so we asked…
How did you get involved with Rotary?
I got involved with Rotary in 2011 and at the time my boss was a Rotarian and introduced me to Rotary and my club.
Working at the MCSO, what’s one of the craziest things that happened?
Hurricane Irma; I don’t even need to elaborate.
What are the biggest challenges at the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District?
Keeping up with the increasing cost of chemicals and advanced technology. We are fortunate to have the best mosquito control in the nation and our team is great at what they do.
How are spending your Fourth of July this year?
Fourth of July is the first big event of my presidency. We have a 5K race in the morning and also the Rotary Club of Key West is hosting the picnic at the Casa Marina this year.
Favorite part of being a mom?
I love all aspects of being a mom and my daughters bring more joy and happiness to my life than I can explain. When you become a mom you no longer are living life for yourself, you start living for another breathing human being and that is the biggest reward one can have. My girls are my world.
Coming off the Fourth of July, what does it mean to you to be an American?
Being an American means being able to live in the greatest country in the world. I am proud to be an American and want to thank our servicemen and women who fight to keep us free.
What does success look like?
Success comes from hard work, and by becoming stronger when you get knocked down.
When you’re at work, what are you really wishing you were doing?
Sitting in a chair on the balcony of a tiki hut in Bora Bora.
Favorite Keysy thing to do?
What would your superpower be?
Best piece of advice you ever received?
My grandmother always told me that patience was a virtue. As I get older, I have really started to realize how true it is.
If you could take one item on a deserted island, what? why?
A private plane, to get to and from the deserted island for more necessary items.
What was your first thought this morning?
How blessed and thankful I am for all that I have in my life.
Favorite guilty pleasure?
Nacho Cheese Doritos with white American cheese melted on top.
If you won the lottery, what’s the first thing you do?
Build my dream home.
If you could change the world, what would you do?
Favorite place you’ve traveled to?
Girls trip to Nashville. What happens in Nashville …
What did you want to be when you grew up?
My own boss.
Finish these sentences…
My daughters would describe me as … wrapped around their fingers.
Rick Ramsay would describe me as … a dedicated and loyal employee.
My autobiography would be titled… “Stubborn.”
Key West is like … a gem on the map.
I live by the motto … live each day to the fullest ’cause you just never know when it could be your last.