New District 65 Finance Systems

Changes to District 65 Finance Systems May Impact Incentives

By Ellen Pieklo, DTM – District 65 Director and

Julie Ricchiazzi, DTM – District Finance Manager

Toastmasters International (TI) has recently migrated their finance systems so that all of the Districts are controlled centrally rather than by individual District bank accounts. As a result of this move, District 65 has closed their M&T checking account and no longer has the ability to write checks for reimbursements, payments, etc.

Financial reimbursements and payments are made using the Concur system, a system that has been used for years in government agencies and has been revised to include other organizations.

How does this impact you? If you recently conducted an open house, the District is no longer able to reimburse you by having the finance manager write a check. Instead, a club officer will need to establish a Concur account to obtain the reimbursement.

In seeking guidance from TI, this is what our finance officer guidance: “We have a few districts that have a similar incentive and are currently using Concur to issue the reimbursement. We are most commonly seeing the districts will request for the club president or club treasurer to be set up in Concur. Once they have a login, they will set up their Concur account and enter the club’s banking information as the account to receive their reimbursements. They will then submit expense reports similar to how district officers do. The district can instruct them to code their incentive reimbursements as they were budgeted for and to include the supporting documents that the district normally receives to honor these incentives.”

Please note: the Club is responsible to reimburse their member(s) who purchase refreshments, copies, etc. directly from their Club bank account.

Should you have any questions, please reach out to me and/or Julie Ricchiazzi, D65 Finance Manager at the emails below.

Ellen Pieklo, DTM

Julie Ricchiazzi, DTM


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Who Introduced You To TM

Who Introduced You To Toastmasters… And Why Do You Stay?


By Lillian M. Knight Faison DTM – District 65 Program Quality Director

Fellow Toastmasters and District leaders I take fun seriously. If your club is having fun, potential members will see it and they will want to have fun too. It has been said that we learn best in times of enjoyment. As a professional clown Sunny Hope I truly take my fun seriously.

I have experienced the positive collective effort of the Toastmasters core values Respect, Integrity, Excellence and Service. When they are consistently put into action we will achieve our goals. Our World needs Leaders with excellent Communication and Leadership skills.

I did not obtain my Leadership and Communication growth on my own. Mrs. Gloria Langston, DTM my mentor and friend invited me to a Toastmasters meeting in 1991. I constantly strive to identify the tools to achieve my most authentic and best self. Toastmasters has been one of the vehicles I have used to achieve this goal. In my journey I have had the tremendous support of many Toastmasters, too many to name. Thank you!!!!

District Leaders and members let us continue to strive to train 100% of our officers. When four club officers are trained in both in the summer and winter, a club receives 1 point toward the Distinguished Club Program.

District Leaders thank you for holding successful TLI’s in your Divisions. Better trained officers contribute to a better member experience and meeting their needs.

Our Chief Pathways Ambassador Sam Mehta has all Pathways Ambassadors and Guides on board and assigned to their perspective clubs. Pathways is scheduled to roll out this May and our guides are contacting our clubs with roll out kits for their visits.

Yahoo!!! It’s Contest season. Contestants you are all winners!! Some of you have chosen to step outside your comfort zone to compete. Kudos to you!!

Our Spring Conference Theme is SATIS SUPERQUE (Enough and Beyond). My journey in Toastmasters has definitely helped me learn that I am just enough and I have grown to my surprise beyond my own expectations. Conference planning team your effort is appreciated in organizing our Conference in Binghamton, New York on April 20th and 21st. I look forward to seeing you all. Please attend and invite someone. Our Spring Conference is an opportunity to meet our ID Radhi Spears, support our contestants, network, meet new people, learn and have fun.

Members as I have said before we need your energy, passion, leadership and enthusiasm. When District 65 works together as a Team including our core values and positive action we will accomplish our goals. Toastmasters is a program where Leaders are made.

Where do we want to go and how do we plan on getting there? Our world needs leaders more than ever today!!

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Fresh New Table Topics Twist

Fresh and New Table Topics Twist

Jennifer Kaite - Larkin

By Jennifer Kaite – Larkin Leaders – Buffalo, NY

This being my first time doing the table topics role I wanted to do something that everyone would enjoy.

I’m honestly not sure where the idea came from but I know it took some time to develop. It started with quotes and what they meant to the person speaking, which turned into movie quotes, which turned into the movie character that said them, which turned into what would you ask this movie character if you could, which turned into my final table topic idea.

I decided to combined the usual table topic questions from the toastmaster website with the movie character idea. How would these characters answer table topics?

So, I created a list of famous movie quotes and the character that said them and then printed out a list of traditional table topic questions and had each person randomly pick one from the character’s pile and one form the questions pile.

There was also a “bonus” challenge to see if they could include the famous movie quote in their speech. They would then have to give their Table Topic as the character, taking a brief moment to think about the movie and personality of each person.

I think at the end of the day this table topic makes the idea of speaking a little less scary. After a few brave volunteers it shrinks the fear of presenting. I also think it may be easier for many shy speakers to go up there and be someone other than themselves for a moment.

Here is an Example:

  • Movie Character: Don Vito Corleone (The Godfather)
    • Bonus Point if used: “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse”
  • Question: What’s a belief that you hold with which many people disagree?

Potential answer (in character accent): When someone doesn’t believe in something I do… I make them an offer they can’t refuse and after that, they start to believe what I believe.

After each presenter is finished, ask the audience if they can guess who the character is? It will make for a very interesting, enjoyable and humorous table topics session.

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Four Ways To Spice Up Your Meetings

 Four Ways to Spice Up Your Toastmasters Meetings

Eddie Kasprzyk

By Eddie Kasprzyk –  Marketing Committee Member

· Relate the theme to a current event. As we all know, the 2018 Winter Olympics has just wrapped up. In our last club meeting, we did have a Winter Olympic theme. Random Olympic trivia was asked throughout the meeting and whoever answered a question correctly received a plastic Olympic Medal ribbon to proudly wear around their neck (kudos to Wendy Miller of Westwinds!). It was such a fun meeting and we even got to keep the Gold Medals that we “won”.

· Invite other clubs. Having a group of new faces in the room may prompt you out of your comfort zone and you’ll be able to work on fine tuning your public speaking skills that you usually don’t get to work on. Example: Evaluating someone’s prepared speech that is a total stranger.

· An All Table Topics Meeting. Who doesn’t love table topics? Break out of the norm and allow every member to have a speaking role and possibly speak multiple times. This is a great way to get those fellow members, who are a bit shy, to come out of their shell.

· Change up the location of your meeting. By having new surroundings, you’ll get the opportunity to practice in a setting that you may not be used to. Example, if you generally meet in a classroom, try having your next meeting in a restaurant around the table. This is a great way to practice giving a toast for your next dinner party.

Remember….this is your club. Try something new for one of your upcoming meetings and have fun. Having fun is what Toastmasters is all about!

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Educational Presenters Wanted

District 65 – 2018 Spring Conference

Educational Session Presenters Needed

If you have an interesting topic that you would like to share during our Spring conference, please take not of the details below and download the PDF application for submission.

Location: Holiday Inn Arena

2-8 Hawley St., Binghamton, NY 13901

Date: Saturday, April 21, 2018

Call For Education Workshop Presenters

Submission Deadline: March 9, 2018

Submit To: Tony Poole, Education Committee Chair


Conference Theme:

Satis Superque — Enough and Beyond

The Education Committee for the Toastmasters District 65 2018 Spring Conference is seeking one (1) workshop presenter and one alternate to lead workshops designed to offer members information and skills they can use to strengthen and improve their Clubs and enhance their personal lives, i.e. Beyond Toastmasters! The sessions are 45 minutes, including introductions, wrap-up and evaluations. Attendance at the Conference is projected to be 140.

Click here to download the PDF Application:

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Winter 2018 – TLI Dates

Officer Training TLI Dates

By Lillian M. Knight Faison DTM, Program Quality Director

Club Officers… Great news.

Now you can begin planning your schedules for the upcoming Winter TLI and Officer Training sessions. The district has decided to offer you multiple training sessions to attend. This is a great way to help educate your existing officers on the Pathways program, officer roles and best practices of highly successful clubs.

It is also a great opportunity to start recruiting new officer for next year. It is free to attend these training sessions.

  • If you have a member who is thinking of becoming an officer… ask them to join you.
  • If you think a new member is an up and coming leader… ask them to join you.
  • If you know a member that is looking to grow… ask them to join you.

Here is the current lineup of Winter TLI and Officer Training sessions:

(TLI stands for Toastmasters Leadership Institute)

  1. Super Saturday TLI’s:Saturday, January 20th, 2018 from 8:30am to 2:30pm @ Excellus Blue Cross/Blue Shield – 333 Butternut Dr, Syracuse, NY 13214. 

Click Here to Register – Syracuse:

2. Super Saturday – Weather Makeup – January 27th, 2018 from 8:30am to 2:30pm @ Genesee Community College (GCC) – 1 College Rd, Batavia, NY 14020. 

Click Here to Register –  Batavia:

Local Make-Up TLI’s:

  1. Division A:
    Wed. – January 31 at 5:30 pm – at the North Park Library – 975 Hertel Ave, Buffalo, NY 14216:  Click here for more information:  Buffalo Training Event
  2. Division B & C:  Irondequoit Library – 1290 Titus Ave, Rochester, NY 14617When:
    Sunday 02/18/18 – Registration at 1:00 pm
    Tuesday 02/20/18 – Registration at 6:00 pm
    Thursday 02/22/18 – Registration at 6:00 pm
    Saturday 02/24 /18- Registration at 10:00 am

    Officer Training:
    02/18 – Session 1: President, VP Education, VP Membership
    02/20 – Session 2: VP Public Relations, Secretary, Treasurer, Sargent-At-Arms
    02/22 – Session 3: President, VP Education, VP Membership
    02/24 – Session 4: VP Public Relations, Secretary, Treasurer, Sargent-At-Arms

    Irondequoit Public Library
    1290 Titus Ave, Rochester, NY 14617


  3. Division D: Saturday, February 24th, 2018 – 10:00am – 2:00pm – WSKG –  601 Gates Road, Vestal, NY 13850. Please contact Leo O’Connor, Amanda Chaffee or Gloria Gibbons. 
  4. Division E: 
    1. Wednesday, January 31st, 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm, Utica National, 180 Genesee St, New Hartford, NY 13413 – in the lunch room. Please contact Joanne Seccurra, Area Director, for all the details
    2. Wednesday, February 7th, 2018 – 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm in Syracuse, NY.
      At Whole-ly Grounds, in the public meeting room and possibly one or two class rooms.  The ROAD, 4845 West Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse, NY 13215

Please make arrangement to attend one of these sessions. Check back for updates and we will try to keep you up to date with any additional sessions.

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February 2018 Newsletter

Here is your February 2018 – District 65 Newsletter

Click Here or the Image Above to Download

District 65 Newsletter – February 2018

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Pathways Roll Out

Pathways Roll-out In District 65

May 15, 2018 ?

TI Pathways

According to ‘Pathways roll-out schedule’ updated recently on TI’s website, Regions 8 & 9 [which includes District 65] is scheduled to roll out tentatively on May 15, 2018. We anxiously await for TI’s formal announcement/confirmation of the roll-out date.

In the meantime, for planning purposes, let us assume that May 15, 2018 will be the roll-out date. Here are the major timeline items that needs to be accomplished in order to have a smooth and successful roll-out of Pathways in District 65.

14 to 18 weeks prior to rollout: [January 1, 2018 to February 1, 2018] DONE & ACCOMPLISHED.

PQD and CA will receive a Pathways Guide Selection Process Checklist and other resources to assist them with screening on Pathways Guide for every 10 clubs in the district.

Two to nine weeks prior to rollout: [March 7, 2018 to May 1, 2018]

Pathways Guides and/or Pathways Ambassadors will contact club leaders to schedule a club visit.

Two to six weeks prior to rollout: [April 1, 2018 to May 1, 2018]

A Pathways Guide and Pathways Ambassador will visit each club to train members on starting their Pathways journey. During these visits, the Pathways Guide and Pathways Ambassador will deliver the Pathways Learning experience presentation and rollout kit.

Six Weeks prior to rollout to 12 weeks after rollout: [April 1, 2018 to August 15, 2018]

Pathways Guides will share their virtual support session with club leaders and collect questions to address during the session.

Cooperation of all club leaderships and especially the VP Education [Base Camp Manager], the club President, the club Secretary and ALL members of the respective clubs are requested to be flexible in scheduling the team of Pathways Guides & Pathways Ambassadors to visit your respective clubs to present Pathways Learning experience presentation and deliver the Pathways roll-out kit.

Lillian Knight-Fasion, DTM, PQD

Sam Mehta, DTM, PDG – Chief Ambassador – Pathways

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Fun Meeting Idea – Backward Meeting

Fun Meeting Ideas

The Backwards Meeting

If your club is up to a challenge, try a Backwards meeting. Make sure that you have experienced speakers because their evaluator will tell them more about what they have to do during their speech. If the speaker can provide their project and evaluation form in advance, the evaluator can add some very interesting twists that they will need to comply with.

Here is an overview of a Backwards Meeting. Take your regular agenda and turn it upside down and laugh your way to the end of another great meeting.

Sample Agenda Ideas:

  1. Toastmaster closes the meeting
  2. Toastmaster and General Evaluator hand out Awards
  3. General Evaluator offers their evaluation of the meeting
  4. General Evaluator presents Role Reports
    1. Word of the day – How many times was it used
    2. Grammarian – offer some great suggestions for speakers, table topics and evaluators.
    3. Ah counter – makes it up and tells speakers how many they had of each
    4. Timers Report – make it up and challenge the speakers to comply
  5. Evaluator 3 gives evaluation of speaker 3 – needs to provide CC or AC project/title in advance
  6. Evaluator 2 gives evaluation of speaker 2 – needs to provide CC or AC project/title in advance
  7. Evaluator 1 gives evaluation of speaker 1 – needs to provide CC or AC project/title in advance
  8. General Evaluator introduces Toastmaster
  9. Toastmaster introduces Table Topics Master
  • – TT contestant 3 gives Table Topic 3
  • Table Topic master has to introduce Title of TT 3
  • – TT contestant 2 gives Table Topic 2
  • – Table Topic master has to introduce Title of TT 2
  • – TT contestant 1 gives Table Topic 1
  • – Table Topic master has to introduce Title of TT 1
  1. Table Topics master hands meeting back to Toastmaster.
  2. Speaker 3 gives speech based on Evaluation and Evaluators comments. (uses TT time to prepare what evaluator offered as guidance)
  3. Speaker 2 gives speech based on Evaluation and Evaluators comments. (uses TT time to prepare what evaluator offered as guidance)
  4. Speaker 1 gives speech based on Evaluation and Evaluators comments. (uses TT time to prepare what evaluator offered as guidance)
  5. Toastmaster introduces Roles and Guests
  • Timer
  • Ah counter
  • Grammarian
  • Wordmaster
  • Introduce Guests
  1. TM – Humorist share their laughs
  2. TM – Invocation is given
  3. SAA – TM – Pledge of Allegiance
  4. SAA – Gavel the meeting
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5 Tips For FTH

5 Tips to Help Your Free Toast Host Website…

Help Your Club… Get More Members

By Keith Maderer, DTM – Club Growth Director and many others

The most common place people find Toastmasters is on Google…

They go to – – and hit – Find a Club.

They type in their zip code and look at a few clubs close to them that meet at a time they prefer. Then they look at your club website, members, meeting information and contact us.

Is Your Site Ready?

Take a look at Buffalo Flyers Club – Is this website ready? At the time of this article, they have a few items that they can work on to improve.

1. Your Home Page is Huge – Next take a look at The Larkin Leaders website for a comparison

  • You only have one chance to make a first impression.
  • Photos, announcements and events from your club make it personal and real.
  • Keep them rolling down the screen. Write a brief meeting recap or article

2. Meet Our Members

Have profile photos, bio and social sharing for all members. Unlocked them for all to see. Here is how to fix this.

  • Members >>> Edit Your Profile
  • Admin or Officer >>> Private Member Directory>>> You can fill out for them.

3. Meeting Information/Directions:

  • Spell it out, tell them the details, where to park, use the map, etc.
  • Launch Admin Console >> Meeting Info/Dir -TAB >>> fill out and add map

4. Contact Us:

  • VP Membership and President – make sure to respond to every inquiry.
  • Have 1 or both respond. Two responses is better than none.
  • Launch Admin Console >> Email and contact forms >>> Add members name

5. Photos on agenda: Why??

  • If guest walks in and see member photos on the agenda. Starts the process of getting to know your members.
  • Launch Admin Console >> Meeting Agenda Settings >>> Global Settings
  • >>> Include member photos on agenda – check box.

Bonus Tip: Write a meeting recap/summary with current or next meetings agenda. Email to all members and occasionally to guests and former members after every meeting.

“Miss a Meeting… You Miss A Lot! Bring A Guest… Ask A Co-worker??” from  Paul Justinger – Clarence Toastmasters

I hope you find these tips helpful. If your website is ready when a guest reaches out, you have a much better chance of having them visit your club. Then it is up to you and your members to make them stay.

Here are some great sites to help you learn to make the most of your Free Toast Host Websites.

Free Toast Host Setup:

Free Toast Host Support and Training:

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