February 2013 Board Meeting – Highlights
In February 2013, the Board of Directors for Toastmasters International met in Irvine, California, February 21-23, 2013, with International President, John Lau, DTM, presiding. The Board covered a range of strategic topics focused on enhancing the member experience and improving club consistency around the world. It addressed strategies relating to current and future developing markets, updated the Club Constitution and Bylaws to meet current practices and monitored the progress of the 2010 Strategic Plan objectives as well as districts’ progress toward its goals in the new District Recognition Program.
Although the full report can be downloaded at http://www.toastmasters.org/
1. International Conventions. The site location for the 2015 International Convention will be Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. As noted on the Toastmasters International Website, the next International Convention will be at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA on August 21-24, 2013 (registration opens April 2013), and the 2014 International Convention will be in Kuala Lumpur (KL), Malaysia on August 20-23, 2014. Information about the next two Conventions is available at http://www.toastmasters.org/
2. Proposed Resolutions. Pursuant to the Bylaws of Toastmasters International, Article XIV, Section 1, the Board of Directors must review properly-submitted proposed resolutions and determine whether such resolutions should be placed before the voting membership. The Board reviewed two proposed resolutions, and decided not to bring either forward to the membership. The first proposal concerned dues increases and dues payments for dual members. The second proposal concerned voting by proxy at the club level. Also, a petition was submitted the change the District Administrative Bylaws by allowing certain, more liberal proxy privileges at District Council meetings; the Board recommended that the feasibility of such changes be tested and monitored at the petitioning District’s Spring Conference, to set aside the maximum three-vote cap, and allow area governors to carry proxies for clubs in their area.
3. District Reformations. The Committee reviewed and approved requests by six districts, reviewed the current status of four districts currently in the reformation process, and amended Protocol 7.0 (District Structure), Section 4 (reformed or Consolidated Districts) to clarify the reformation process.
4. Foundational Statements. It was recommended that the organization’s mission and other foundational statements be simplified and modernized, as well as the adoption of Policy 1.1 (Mission Statements, Values, and Envisioned Future) to clarify the difference between purpose statements, which are part of the bylaws, and establish mission statements as part of policy. The following statements are to be used in marketing and public relations, in leader manuals and training, and at meetings and events:
a. Toastmasters International Mission. We empower individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders.
b. District Mission. We build new clubs and support all clubs in achieving excellence.
c. Club Mission. We provide a supportive and positive learning environment in which members are empowered to develop communication and leadership skills, resulting in greater self-confidence and personal growth.
d. Toastmasters International Values. Integrity, Respect, Service, Excellence.
e. Toastmasters International Envisioned Future. To be the first-choice provider of dynamic, high-value, experiential communication and leadership skills development.
Article II of the District Administrative Bylaws, is renamed “Purpose” (from “Mission and Purpose”) and the former “mission” of the district is renamed the “purpose” of the district. Therefore, the purpose of the district is “to enhance the quality and performance of extend the network of the member clubs of Toastmasters International within the boundaries of this district, thereby offering greater numbers of people the opportunity to benefit from the Toastmasters educational program by: focusing on the critical success factors as specified by the district educational and membership goals, ensuring that each club effectively fulfills its responsibilities to its individual members, [and] providing effective training and leadership-development opportunities for club and district officers.”
5. Feasibility of Potential Amendments. To allow the Board the flexibility to test suggestions and ideas, Article XVII (Amendment and Other Rules) of the District Administrative Bylaws is having the following language added: “In addition, the Board may test the feasibility of potential amendments to these administrative bylaws by allowing alterations, at specific times and locations, that may conflict with existing provisions of these administrative bylaws.” This sentence permits the testing of, for example, the petition regarding proxies at District Council meetings (see Paragraph 2, above).
6. Proposal–Club Constitution/Bylaws. The Board voted to approve and submit to the voting membership in August for approval the following change: Rather than having both a Constitution and Bylaws for clubs, the bylaw document is replaced with a simplified Addendum of Standard Club Options; when adopting the Club Constitution, the club would fill out the Addendum stating its choices as to meeting days and locations, dues and other fees, etc., and provide that data to World Headquarters. This suggestion was made upon advise of legal counsel, to eliminate the confusion and duplication inherent in having both a club constitution and bylaws, and given that the Club Constitution and Standard Bylaws have not been changed since 1994 and does not contain language to conform precisely to the Bylaws of Toastmasters International, approved in 2009.
Jared Kronenberg, DTM
Lt. Governor Marketing, District 65
Where Leaders Are Made