Greetings District 57 Members! Thank you for allowing me to serve as your District Director. The year started with Stroke of Genius chartering in Fremont, the southern-most part of District 57 and included a weekend in the northern-most part of our district, Eureka with Sue Finch, John P. McHugh and the fine members of Area G-11. I was inspired by District 57 Toastmasters reaching their goals from every corner of our district.
Our theme this year has been to jump out of our comfort zone and change the world. That’s the genius of Toastmasters. Whether you’re a new member feeling butterflies about your upcoming Ice Breaker Speech or competing in the District Speech Contest; Whether you’re serving as a club officer for the first time or taking that step of becoming a district officer, Toastmasters offers the moving target that nudges you out of one comfort zone and into the next. You experience that positive anxiety that makes you stronger. As a Toastmaster, the comforting part of stepping out of your comfort zone is the support you get from your fellow members. This support is also the comforting part of serving as District Director. The first thing I learned when I stepped into the position was that everyone wants the District and our officers to succeed.
Personal shout-outs go to my two partners in the Trio; Randie Ellington and Dilek Alkaya. Randie not only presided over fantastic conferences and TLIs, Toastmasters International invited Randie to step out of his comfort zone by selecting District 57 as the first district to launch Pathways. Randie, George Marshall and the Pathways Team produced a highly professional launch. Dilek brought enthusiasm to the Club Growth position with a passion for the Toastmasters resources such as Speechcraft, Moments of Truth, and now Pathways. Dilek is also a great organizer and cheerleader for club sponsors, mentors, and coaches. The “boots on the ground” were our Area Directors who built relationships with club members and officers and developed a new generation of leaders. I would also like to acknowledge Teri McDonald and Tod Henry. They both provided positive mentorship during my first two years on the Trio and were very supportive during this past year.
The greatness of Toastmasters comes from our diversity. Toastmasters has over 300,000 members from 15,000 clubs in 142 countries. Our membership consists of people from of all walks of life, from every part of the world who have come together to build unique skills. In a world where communication has become very complicated, Toastmasters is the example. We’re able give our speeches, deliver our messages, and give and take respectful evaluations. The world is in desperate need for what Toastmasters has to offer.
District 57 is in great hands moving forward. Randie, Dilek, and Karen have big plans for the upcoming year and will make a fine Trio. Please come to District 57’s annual Installation/Awards/60th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday July 22nd at the Fratellanza Club in Oakland. The great officers that served this year will be thanked and the 2017-2018 officers will have the honor of being installed by our Past International President, Michael Notaro. Many awards will be given to the Toastmasters throughout District 57 who helped our members reach their goals. We’ll be dressed in a 1950’s style as we celebrate District 57’s 60th anniversary. The Installation/Awards/60th Anniversary Celebration promises to be a fun and exciting event. You can find more information at www.d57tm.org.
Thank you again for giving me this opportunity to serve. I wish you much success in your Toastmasters journey.
Steve Taddei, DTM
District Director 2016-2017
Louis DeNicola is a freelance personal finance writer who joined Toastmaster to practice and improve his public speaking skills before teaching a personal finance class. The class went off without a hitch! Louis credits Toastmasters with helping him become comfortable giving and receiving feedback, approaching strangers to strike up a conversation (thanks, Table Topics), and learning how to organize and run a group. He has served as Treasurer and President of Toastmasters Leadership Club in downtown Oakland
Tips for Success as a Division or Area Director
By Karen Moirao, ACS, ALB
Division F Director 2016-2017
District 57 Club Growth Director 2017-2018
We all want to be successful. We want our clubs to be strong, with energetic, effective club officers. We want club members to be actively pursuing their educational goals and getting the most from their Toastmasters experience. We want new clubs to form so more people have the opportunity to grow their communication and leadership skills.
I have served District 57 as an Area and a Division Director and completed a High Performance Leadership (HPL) project on my Division Director role. I highly recommend doing a HPL as Area or Division Director. I learned so much about effective leadership through the process.
I’ve been thinking about lessons I have learned along the way that might be valuable to you, the new Area and Division leaders. Here are a few nuggets gleaned from my experience that I believe will help set you up for a successful year.
- Know your role. Read the District Leadership Handbook and refer to it often. It will help you understand your roles and responsibilities. The District Timeline will help you prepare for tasks ahead of time. Be sure to have a turnover meeting with your predecessor. They have valuable insights and information to get you off to a good start.
- Division Directors, schedule and hold your first Division Council meeting with your Area Directors early. Together determine the highest priority items for each of you to work on and begin to develop action plans with timelines and due dates. It will keep everyone accountable.
- Area Directors, engage with your Area clubs early and establish your Area Councils with the Presidents and Vice Presidents Education of each club. This is where you will build relationships and develop a collaborative network among your Area clubs. You are the link between the District and the clubs. Find out what they need and what the District can do to help.
- Promote club building activities early in the year. New members bring new energy into the clubs. Adding members early will keep the clubs strong. The District and Toastmasters International offer incentives, make sure the club leaders know about and take advantage of them.
- Strongly advise club officers to attend training. Strong, trained leaders make for strong clubs. Four officers trained each period earns the club one DCP point. Have a goal of at least 4, but also a stretch goal of all 7club officers trained!
- Visit clubs early and as often as you can. Offer to install new club officers, give an educational talk, or fill a meeting role. Be seen as a resource for your clubs, someone they can trust and count on. Club visits are the responsibility of Area Directors, but the Division Director can help out too. It is important to be there when clubs hold speech contests, open houses or other special events.
- Network with the Division and Area Directors from other Divisions. Learn from each other and support each other.
District leadership will prepare you for success in your personal and professional life and in your community. I am looking forward to a fantastic Toastmasters year in my new role as District 57 Club Growth Director. Together we will build new clubs, help existing clubs achieve excellence and inspire club members reach their goals. Welcome aboard!
Every month, we will be putting out a newsletter with information about what is happening in District 57, tools for success, club member spotlights, and more. Look out for the Toast Post newsletter in your inbox!
Check out the last few editions here: