James T. Coffey, of Toronto, Ohio, USA, was elected president of The International Association of Lions Clubs at the association's 76th annual convention, held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, July 6-9, 1993.
Past President Coffey is retired from Shell Lubricants (Pennzoil-Quaker State Company) and is manager partner of a real estate company.
A life member of the Toronto Lions Club, Past President Coffey has more than 50 years perfect attendance and has held many offices in the association, including club president, zone chairperson, district governor and two-year term as a member of the association's board of directors.
As president, he served as the association's chief executive officer, chairperson of its board of directors and visited 62 countries as an ambassador for the association. He met privately with the Heads of State in most of those countries, including a private audience with Pope John Paul II at Vatican City and with President Bill Clinton at the White House.
Past President Coffey served on the International Long Range Planning Committee for three years and as its chairperson for one year. He also served on the Board of Trustees of Lions Clubs International Foundation four years and as its chairperson in 1994-95. Past President Coffey was a member of the SightFirst Advisory Committee for eight years and was chairperson 1994-95. He was appointed to the International Board of Directors by President Augustin Soliva for 1996-97, by President Howard L. Patterson, Jr. for 1997-98 and by President Al Brandel for 2008-2009.
For his many contributions to the association, Past President Coffey has received the Judge Brian Stevenson Fellowship Award, the 100% District Governor Award, the District Governor Extension Award, 13 International President's Awards and the Ambassador of Good Will Award, the highest honor granted by the association to its members. He was named a Helen Keller Fellow by the Lions Eye Foundation of California/Nevada; a Milton T. Simmons Fellow from the Lions Center for the Blind, Oakland, California; a William Lewis Fellow from the Lions Center for the Visually Impaired in Pittsburg, California and is a Progressive Melvin Jones Fellow.
Past President Coffey and his wife, Betty, also a Lion who has the Ambassador of Good Will Award and a Progressive Melvin Jones Fellow, have a son, Jim, a Lion, Melvin Jones Fellow and Ambassador of Good Will Award; daughter-in-law, Linda; and a grandson, James, a Lion.