|“YES, TOGETHER WE CAN!” An Open House Reflection by Monlee Quach
Saurabh Tailang, President of Talk and Thrive, recently shared a message with the club that ended with “YES, TOGETHER WE CAN!”. He consistently empowers his leadership team to plan, collaborate, and drive ideas to successful execution. This was our call to action when we were planning our second open house at the end of 2021 without a VP of Public Relations and Secretary role on our leadership team.
Planning a virtual open house is a huge undertaking, requiring teamwork and collaboration, and we needed everyone to lean in
especially when we were short on staff. Marc John Barredo, Talk and Thrive VP of Membership, suggested that we move the open
house to January to capitalize on the “New Year, New Confidence” theme. Everyone agreed and he jumped into action to secure two
speakers and even rolled out our first flyer to tease one of our guest speakers.
Lilit Arevshatyan, our VP of Education, pulled together a series of events for the New Year promotion with pathway training,
mentorship, and New Year, New Level Speakathon. Our Sargent of Arms, Cecilia Oduwolde, suggested using a webinar-style meeting
that allows us to track registration as well as attendance. We had to meet the District 57 Open House Chair requirement of tagging
potential open house guests that resulted in membership to earn district buck credits.
I volunteered to help with open house public relations even though I had no experience. Thankfully, Nancy Moscardini, our
immediate Talk and Thrive Past President and District 57 Public Relations Manager offered to mentor me. She shared her past
experiences, what worked for her, and suggested countless tips that were so valuable. Marc and I created flyers using Canva, and we
started promoting the open house on our internal social network platform on a weekly basis starting the third week of December
2021 to the day of our open house on January 25, 2022. Nancy even wrote a newsletter that went out to all of Kaiser IT entitled
“Lights, Action, Camera” just days before our open house date.
The entire leadership team worked tirelessly and came to the open house with hopes and anticipation. We had 79 registered
participants in total and 68 attended the open house. Our two guest speakers amazed the audience with their inspiring speeches. I
chaired Table Topic and we had fun with questions and answers to show potential members what they would expect at a typical
Toastmasters meeting. Everyone had a great time.
During and after our open house, we had many questions from potential members. Marc was active in following up with each of our
guests’ questions and reminding potential members of Toastmasters’ benefits. To our surprise, two open house guests signed up to
become members the first week and two more the following week. An additional two new members joined at the end of February
and our club is thriving with 28 members. All officer roles are backfilled, and our leadership team is stronger than ever as I embark
on the role of VP of Public Relations for Talk and Thrive.
As a corporate club, we strive to bring value to employees and contractors working for Kaiser Permanente. IT Develop Our People, a
team supporting IT employee development, saw the benefits of Toastmasters after I pitched Pathways professional development to them, offered to publicize Talk and Thrive on their internal websites soon after our open house. “YES, TOGETHER WE CAN!”