It may have been winter outside, but in the auditorium the beach balls were flying during the opening session with the playing of the video: Baby Shark! What a fun way to start the meeting and get everyone up and moving and singing along. Donica Hopkins and Dave Blum, co-chairs for TLI-North are masters at interjecting a little levity into training.
Members were warmly welcomed by District Director, Diane Pleuss. She gave an inspiring and encouraging message. She said when she attended her first TLI, she came to it not knowing anyone, and left having made a few new friends. She came not knowing the jargon and left feeling more comfortable with the Toastmasters model. She came a bit skeptical and apprehensive, and left wanting to give the organization a chance. While she said the audience wouldn’t learn everything, she hoped members would make a major dent into learning about the wonderful world that is Toastmasters and all the resources available. She hoped today would lead to a long and prosperous association.
Up next was Bett Bollhoefer, Club Growth Director, who shared the three secrets to a super successful Open House. Bett’s improv background showed as she easily interacted with the audience, even calling a new member on stage to give her “why.” Bett’s tips included 1. Market the event. 2. Organize it with one speaker and ask everyone to write one thing they’re proud of an index card. The Table Topics master reads a card and everyone has to guess who wrote it. Then the actual person goes up and can easily talk about their accomplishment. It works like a charm! Finally, Bett encouraged everyone to 3. have membership forms already filled out and to allow plenty of time for guests to answer how Toastmasters would help them.
Region 1 Advisor and past District Governor, Tod Henry, had just returned from a training session in Washington and asked our members, “where would you be now if someone hadn’t started your club?” He reviewed the successes he had building new clubs and the thrill of being recognized as a Distinguished District. He encouraged members to attend the International convention in Denver in August and if we hit our goal, he said everyone attending from D57 will be up on stage basking in the limelight!
Next on the agenda was, “Pay it Forward as a Mentor,” a practical and personal advanced leadership session led by Abraham Daniels and Christina Andrade of Kaiser Communicators. They talked about their personal journeys and how their corporate club mentors new members. This hard-working club even created a Mentorship booklet.
Now it was time for the all-important, individual officer training. Thanks to the following knowledgeable and well-prepared instructors and the positions they taught: Joan Linney, President; Katrina La Force, VP-Ed; Harry Holland, VP-Membership; Naomi Takeuchi, VP-PR; Erik Anderson, SAA; Raj Sodhi, Secretary; and Cathy Taylor, Treasurer.
We reconvened in the auditorium for final announcements including a request from Harry Holland for volunteers for the new bilingual Spanish-English club he is forming. If you would like to help, please contact Bett Bollhoefer, Club Growth Director or Kevin Markl, Program Quality Director. We missed Kevin on Saturday as he was attending a funeral out of state.
Trying to provide as much value as we can, there was an optional Pathways panel discussion led by Stani Peycheva with Brooke Renna and Jenny Liu. Many questions were answered, notes written, screen shots captured, and after a full hour, significant progress had been made. The TLI-North at Santa Rosa Junior College was another very successful event.
We also want to acknowledge and thank the following volunteers:
Toastmaster: Will Carter
Catering: Terri Boudreaux
Registration: Janice Oakley & Leslie Neal
Eventbrite: Renee Hawk & Greg Kaufman
Parking angels: Carlos Rivera, Bill Walters & Charlie Gesell
Timers: Sam Cena, Joy Regan & Sally Rondio
Masters of fun: Greg Carter & Dave Blum TLI Dean: Dennis Neary