Pathways – May 2018

Pathways Coming to District 65 in May 2018

By Sam Mehta, DTM, PDG

Sam Metha

Per the recent announcement (Oct. 10, 2017) by Toastmaster International, the Pathways rollout in Region 9, which include District 65 and five additional districts, is estimated to take place in May 2018.

There are eight separate Regions that plan to have their respective roll-outs, starting December 2017 through April 2018. Regions 8 & 9 are the last two Regions that will have their roll-outs planned in May 2018.

Some of you may know, that District 57 in Northern California along with District 27, in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. area and District 51 in Khulna Lumpur, Malaysia, were among the first “pilot” districts where Pathways was rolled out in Feb., March and May 2017, respectively. The pilot program in these three districts was successfully completed in September 2017 and a large number of Toastmasters are already using Pathways in these three districts.

The selection and appointment process of ‘Pathways Guide” will begin approx. 3-1/2 months before the district roll-out date. The club visitation visits and virtual support session will begin approx. 6 weeks before roll out.

There are numbers of Pathways related materials and videos available on TI’s website. Toastmasters in D-65 are encouraged to visit TI’s website and see the latest information and videos posted by fellow Toastmasters who are already experiencing the Pathways educational programs and their benefits.

Here are some of the testimonials from fellow Toastmasters, sharing their personal experiences.

There are several other pertinent videos available on TI’s Pathways website, showing for example “How to download your Pathways Manual.”

The Base Camp: The tools for your learning experience, including on-line assessment and tailoring your learning and meet your interest.

Visit and watch COO, Sally Newell Cohen’s 5-part videos on Pathways.

Also please review the FAQs on TI’s website. They are frequently being updated by TI, as new questions and concerns are being addressed.

Once the Pathways roll-out date for D-65 is finalized (currently planned in May 2018) members perusing various educational awards will have a 2 year transition period (through June 30, 2020) to complete. All new members joining D-65 after the announcement of the roll-out date will automatically go into Pathways educational program.

Pathways is finally coming to District 65 and I hope everyone is excited to receive and embrace it.

Sam Mehta, DTM, PDG

Chief Ambassador – Pathways

District 65

October 20, 2017

Big Distraction Meeting

Fun Meeting Ideas

By Keith Maderer, Club Growth Director

The Big Distraction Meeting


While most toastmasters meetings are orderly and welcoming, in real life, speaking to groups can be more challenging. Dinner meetings, meetings with children in the audience, meetings with construction going on outside, cell phones going off, people talking in the back or even hecklers can all be disruptive to a speaker’s “flow”.

But the reality is… it happens.

So if you want to prepare your fellow members for the potential distractions they could encounter, a Big Distraction Meeting can be a lot of fun.

Download some random sounds, noises, crying babies and other potentially distracting noises which can be played back during the meeting.

Appoint a couple of members to deliberately have a side conversation, mildly heckle or otherwise distract the speakers, evaluators and others during their presentations.

Watching members handle distractions can be humorous and entertaining, but will also be a great learning experience for everyone involved.

Be sure to warn each member before the Big Distraction Meeting and make sure to inform any guests that this will be happening on purpose.

As long as the distractions are thought out in advance and properly planned, everyone should have a fun time, learn a little more about tolerance and truly appreciate that “positive and mutually supportive environment” of your regular meetings.

Toastmasters Volunteerism

Toastmasters and Volunteerism

by Sam Metha, DTM, PDG

Sam Metha

It is said that “if you can’t stand the heat, leave the kitchen.” A great majority of club and district officers take their job-responsibility seriously and execute them responsibly. I applaud them. However, from time to time, we have seen a handful of club officers and some district officers, attempt to take cover behind the term “volunteering” and/or serving in a “voluntary organization” etc., especially when things don’t fit-in their timetables and/or have some personal ongoing conflicts.

From time to time, they abdicate their officer responsibilities. Especially when they do not “feel” like complying with the Toastmasters International’s published policies and procedures and district’s directives. They tend to pick and chose what they like or dislike. In other words, they take shelter behind “volunteerism” and the “volunteer” part of Toastmasters organization, thereby covering-up their personal shortcomings and/or lack of personal commitments.

This especially holds true for a handful of club officers who voluntarily or involuntarily hold an office, year-after-year. This is unfortunate. They need to learn to step aside and encourage newer Toastmasters to take up the club officer responsibilities and support & mentor them in their efforts.

Toastmasters is an organization of policies, procedures, rules, regulations, protocols, mandates, compliance, and structure. These have been carefully developed over a period of years for a purpose and benefit of all Toastmasters. Non-compliance of these established policies and procedures is a violation of the very purpose in becoming a club or a district officer and impacts the integrity of the organization.

Strictly speaking, the only volunteers in a Toastmasters organization are its members. Once a member chooses and/or accepts to become an officer at clubs or district levels, he or she ceases in-part to remain a volunteer. As an officer, he or she now has duties and responsibilities to discharge; assignments to undertake and perform, and leadership to execute and deliver. The fact that he or she is not financially rewarded for the officer position becomes irrelevant.

My personal opinion on the subject-matter of “volunteering” and holding elected/appointed offices at club and district levels are as follows. If an elected/appointed officer is unable to commit reasonable amount of time, energy, interest levels, and resources, towards performing the job as required and adhere to the by-laws and constitutions of TI, the district and the club; the officer in question, is not only doing a disservice to himself or herself, but also to the fellow Toastmasters, who depend on him or her for providing the service and leadership.

The key word in all volunteer organizations is “commitment.” Naturally, there are degrees and levels of commitments. Club and district leaders are consistently required to provide service and leadership during their term in office. That is the primary reason why they have been elected/appointed. Officer positions are not ceremonial or default positions. Officers cannot “volunteer” to serve when they feel like it and “not volunteer” when they don’t feel like it. In other words, they don’t have a choice. They have made their choice of commitment to serve for a specific period of time.

Commitment is not like an electric switch, that one can be turned on and off arbitrarily and discretionarily. It seems that when things become dark and problematic, the switch is turned off and when there is light and things are going well, the switch is turned on. I believe that as a club or district officer, the switch of service and leadership must stay on; clear and bright, for the entire term in office.

I congratulate all those who have stepped up to-the-plate and volunteered their services at club and district levels. I also congratulate all those Toastmasters who plan to become club and district officers, going forward. Your commitment and hard work are admirable as are the rewards that you receive in form of self-enrichment, fellowship, and personal success.

Sam Mehta, DTM, PDG

Just Say Yes

Just Say Yes!

By Keith Maderer, Club Growth Director

For many of us, our toastmasters journey started with fear, anxiety, dry mouth and sweaty palms. We knew we needed help, we knew we were uncomfortable in our own skin and we knew that to overcome it, we would have to step outside our comfort zone.

Caroline Organ

Recently my mentor, Caroline Organ, gave her final speech in her journey to reaching her DTM – Distinguished Toastmaster. She shared how she would panic in High School and College when it was time to get up and speak. She shared how her job required her to train groups and give presentations, but she dreaded the process.

Then she saw a flyer for a new Toastmasters club in her office building. She decided to give it a try and said YES when they asked her to join. It took 6 months for her to give her Ice Breaker and she confessed that she became the best timer at every meeting until then.

When Dennis Gauda and Kevin McCue nudged her along and “Volun-told” her it was time to give her Ice Breaker, she finally said YES.

Then several months later, the club lost some members due to a corporate restructuring. They needed club officers badly and they asked if she would help out. She said YES.

After filling several officer roles, she was asked to be an Area Governor (Director). You guessed it… she said YES. Then she was asked to be a Club Coach… She said YES.

Since then, Caroline has mentored and helped so many people throughout Western New York that she forgot to receive credit for all the seminars, workshops, speeches and roles that she completed, or helped others to complete.

Shortly after I met her in 2012, she got married, gave birth to 2 handsome young boys and became a great mom. This took her away from her pursuit of that elusive DTM for several years. But when we needed her… she always said YES.

Late last year, I asked her what she needed to finish her DTM? We took a look and found out it was only a few more speeches and roles. I asked her to prepare a few pocket speeches, just in case a speaker backed out at the last minute, and of course… she said YES.

At a recent meeting, we had 3 speakers scheduled. At the last minute, each of them had a conflict and were unable to attend. Caroline walked in the door 5 minutes before the meeting was to start. I asked her if she could quickly prepare a speech… she said YES. It was funny, entertaining and had a great message.

Her final 3 speech projects were scheduled well in advance and I was thrilled when I heard the title of her final project. You guessed it. It was called – Just Say YES.

She delivered a moving, inspirational and motivational presentation that encouraged everyone of us to “Just Say YES” the next time we are asked.

Your life, work, career and family can all be enhanced when you step outside that comfort zone… and Just Say YES.


Become a PlaNETWORKER at the Fall Conference

by Carina Paton


Have you challenged yourself to push past your safety net and graduate from a safety networker to a cabinetworker? At my club meeting this past week, one of my fellow toastmasters beamed with pride as she told us a story of her doing just that.

Normally, when this Toastmaster attends external meetings for work, she sits with others from her organization—keeping well within her safety net. But at the most recent meeting, this Toastmaster built up the courage to sit next to people that she didn’t know, away from her colleagues. Not only that, but this Toastmaster initiated a conversation with one of them, using the tools in her cabinet: she asked this person standard questions about themselves.

To her surprise, the person sitting next to her grew up just 10 minutes away from her parents! Had this Toastmaster not worked up the courage to sit next to this person and strike up a conversation, she would have missed the opportunity to learn of her connection to this person, and they would still be strangers to one another.

My fellow Toastmaster attributed her ability to do this to Toastmasters. It would be an understatement to say that our club is proud of her courage and achievement. This is just one story of many about networking skills growing due to Toastmasters. What is your story so far? What do you want it to be?

The upcoming District 65 Final Fall Conference is an ideal place to continue to build your networking skills. If you are a notworker, aim to be a safety networker at the conference. If you are comfortable in your safety net, aim to be a cabinetworker. If you think you’ve got that down pat, it’s time to move on to the next level: be a planetworker!

Planetworkers use things in the world around them as conversation pieces. The following are just a few of the many items in the environment you can talk about.

Weather and Seasons: This is the classic planetworker go-to.

  • Isn’t this weather beautiful?

  • Do you know if it is supposed to rain all day?

  • Have you had a chance to look at the fall leaves yet this year? Where did you go?

Food and Drink: This is good to use when you are at a catered event.

  • Have you tried the salmon? It’s delicious.

  • What kind of beer do you drink?

  • That looks good. Would you recommend I try it?

Speakers and Program: Good for an event with a set agenda and speakers.

  • What did you think of the keynote address?

  • Which workshop has been your favorite?

  • Which session are you going to next?

Meeting Location: This can be used anywhere, but is particularly good when you’re in a special location.

  • Didn’t they do a wonderful job decorating this room?

  • I’m just amazed by the renovation. Did you see the ceiling in the main foyer?

  • What else should I do while I’m in town?

Note that all are in the form of a question. Questions are wonderful conversation starters – it gives the person that you’re talking to a chance to talk. And we all know that Toastmasters love talking any time they’re given a chance!

What are you waiting for? Sign up for the conference if you haven’t already, and give those networking muscles some exercise. Just like any other form of exercise, it gets easier the more you do it—I promise!

Fall Conference Agenda 2017

District 65 – Fall Conference 2017

November 10th – 12th, 2017

(Subject to Change)

Click Here To Register

Friday Agenda

3.00  Registration opens –                                           3rd Floor

5.30  Meet & Greet with Jim Key

6:15   Contest briefings

7:00  Contest begins  –                                                 –Delaware Suites

8:45  Entertainment

Saturday Agenda

7.00     Breakfast doors open

7.30     Breakfast program begins                                –Grand Ballroom EFG

8.00     Keynote                                                             –Regency B&C

9.05     Workshop set  – 5 presentations

9.50     Workshop set  – 5 presentations

10.35   Workshop with Jim Key                                    –Regency B&C

11.40   Lunch program begins                                      –Grand Ballroom EFG

12.30   Panel discussion                                                –Grand Ballroom EFG

1.45     Business meeting                                               –Regency B&C

3.30    Contest Briefings                                               -Niagara

3.50    Contest doors open

4.00    Contest – Humor                                              –Regency B&C

6.30    Banquet doors open                                          –Grand Ballroom EFG

6.45  Banquet begins

Sunday Agenda

6.30  Breakfast on your own (hotel b’fast $12.95)

8.00 – 9.30 Workshop with Jim Key “Maximize Value – Getting the Most out of Your TM Membership.”                                     -Delaware Suites

10:00   DEC Meeting begins                                        -Ellicott

Click Here To Register

Contest Photos – Fall 2017

Contest Photos

Fall Contests 2017

We will post photos from your contests herePlease submit a photo from your Area or Division contest and we will post them on this page. If Possible, please include a short message with names, winners, etc.  Email photos and message to –   Thank you.

Division A:

Div A - Fall 2017

Division B:

Div B - Fall 2017

Division C:

Div C - Fall 2017

Division D:

Div D - Fall 2017    Div D - Fall 2017 - 2

Division E:

DivE- Fall17 Humor    DivE-Fall17-Eval

Area 11

Area 11 contest

Area 12

Area 12 contest

Area 13

Area 13 Contest

Ellen Pieklo, D65 Director; Gina Bellavia, 2nd pl Humorous, 3rd pl Eval; Aric Gaughan, 1st pl Humorous; Andrew Warta, 1st pl Evaluation; Hilary Diodato, 2nd pl Evaluation; Susan Willavize, Area 13 Director”

Area 14

Area 15

Area 15 contest -Fall 2017

L – R: Melisa DeBoth, Chelsea Maderer, Juden Bliss, Kirk Wilson, Ashley Dietrick – 1st Place Evaluation Contest, Ryan Galazka – 1st place Humorous Speech Contest, Shawn Smith, Debbie Hunt, Debbie Bolt, Trish Bateman, Ashley Engl – Area 15 director 

Area 21

Area 21 contest

Area 22

Area 23

Area 23 contest photo


Area 24 contest

L to R: Divakar Singh, Humorous Contestant 2nd Place, Diana Irizarry, Area Director, Penne Vincent, ContestMaster, Christopher Tumminelli, HumorousContestant, First Place, Ashley Larracuente, Evaluation Contestant, 1st Place, Sam Otto, Division B Director

Area 31

Area 32

Area 33

Area 33 contest

Area 34

Area 41

Area 42

Area 43

Area 44

Area 44 - humor  Area 44 - Eval

Humorous Contest Winners Left photo (L-R): Burt Beebe (2nd place – Carpe Diem), Alejandro Aguilar (1st place – Shut Up & Speak) and Antonia McMullan (3rd place – Speak Up – CNY)

Evaluation Speech Contest Winners Right Photo (L-R): 1st place: Lori VanWhy (Speak Up – CNY); 2nd place: Elaine Waloshin (Barrier Breakers)

Area 51

Area 52

Area 53


Area 54

Area 55/Area 56

Area 55-56 contest

Fall Contest Corner 2017

Your Fall 2017 – Contest Corner

Contest Judges

Here are the Dates, Times and Locations of your upcoming Area, Division and District Contests. If you do not see your contest listed, check back. We are adding details as soon as we receive them from your Area and Division Directors.

Division A: Oct. 21st, at 9:30 am – BPC – Butler Aud.- 400 Forest Ave, Buffalo, NY 14213

Division B: Oct. 21st, at 4:00 pm (Registration 3:30 pm) – RIT – 1 Lomb Memorial Dr, Rochester, NY 14623 – Building Institute Hall – Conference room 1180

Division C: Oct. 21st, at 1:00 pm (Registration 12:30 pm) – R.I.T. – 1 Lomb Memorial Dr, Rochester, NY 14623 – (Parking lot E) Room A190 – Lower Level

Division D: Oct. 28th, at 11:00 am (Registration 10:30 am) – Binghamton University – 4400 Vestal Parkway East, Binghamton, NY 13902 – University Union – Room W324

Division E: Oct. 21st, at 9:00 am (Registration 8:30 am) at Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield, 333 Butternut Drive, Syracuse, NY13214

District 65: Nov. 10th-12th, at District 65 Fall Conference – Buffalo Hyatt Regency – 2 Fountain Plaza, Buffalo, NY 14202

Evaluation Contest – Friday – Nov. 10th, 2017 – time tbd – check back

Humorous Speech Contest – Saturday – Nov. 11th, 2017 – time tbd – check back


Area 11: Oct. 4th, at 6:30pm (Reg. 6:00pm) – Daemen College – Rosary Hall – 4380 Main St, Amherst, NY 14226

Area 12: Sept. 27th, at 6:30pm (Reg. 6:00pm) – Daemen College – Business – Room 107/109 – 4380 Main St, Amherst, NY 14226

Area 13: Oct. 7th, at 6:00pm at UB North Campus, Student Union – Landmark Room

Area 14: Sept. 30th, at 9:00am at OP Sr. Center – 70 Linwood Ave. Orchard Park, NY 14127

Area 15: Sept. 30th, at 9:00am at BPC – Butler Aud.- 400 Forest Ave, Buffalo, NY 14213

Area 21: Sept. 30th, at 12:30pm – Gates Public Library – 902 Elmgrove Rd. Rochester, NY 14624

Area 22: Oct. 7th, at 9:30am – RIT – 1 Lomb Memorial Dr, Rochester, NY 14623 – Room:1180

Area 23: Oct. 4th, at 7:00pm – RIT – 1 Lomb Memorial Dr, Rochester, NY 14623

Area 24: Sept. 28th, at 6:00 pm – Roch. Gen. Hosp., 1425 Portland Avenue, Rochester, NY 14621

Area 31: Oct 10th, at 5:30pm – Penfield Library – 1985 Baird Rd. Penfield, NY 14526

Area 32: Oct 14th, at 4:00pm – Mt. Vernon Baptist Church – Educ. Wing – 351 Joseph Ave. Rochester, NY 14605

Area 33: Sept. 29th, at 6:00pm (Reg. 5:30pm) – 5 Star Bank – 395 Westfall Rd. Rochester, NY 14620

Area 34: Sept. 23rd, at 11:45am – Canandaigua Wood Library – 134 N Main St, Canandaigua, NY 14424

Area 41: Oct. 5th, 6-8:30 pm – G.F. Johnson Mem. Lib. – 1001 Park St. Endicott, NY 13760

Area 42: Sept 30th, at 2:00 pm – WendCentral Office – 27 Central Ave. Cortland NY 13045

Area 43: Sept. 30th, at 10:00 am – WSKG, 601 Gates Rd, Vestal NY 13850

Area 44: Sept. 27th, at 6:30 pm – Arnot Mall, B-7 Community Connection Room

Area 51: Sept. 30th, at 9:00 am – Excellus BC/BS, 333 Butternut Drive, Syracuse, NY

Area 52: Sept. 25th, at 6:30 pm (Reg. 6:00 pm) – the Tech Garden, 235 Harrison St., Syracuse, NY 13202

Area 53: tba

Area 54: Sept. 27th, at Denny’s Restaurant, 103 Elwood-Davis Rd., Syracuse, NY 13212

Area 55: Sept. 23rd, at 9:00 am – Utica National Ins. Group, 180 Genesee Street, New Hartford, NY 13413

Area 56: Sept. 23rd, at 9:00 am -Utica National Ins. Group, 180 Genesee Street, New Hartford, NY 13413



Veteran’s Day Luncheon

Honoring Our Veterans

A Luncheon Panel Discussion on Leadership

US Military 5 branches

On November 11th, 2017 at 11:40 am, the District 65 Toastmasters, a division of Toastmasters International, will honor Veteran’s from each of the 5 branches of the U.S. Military with a luncheon and a panel discussion on Leadership.

We will have local members of the United States Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy. They will share their experiences with the military and how it helped them with Leadership and life.

If you are a Veteran… If you have a family member that is a Veteran… If you have a friend that is a Veteran… Invite them for a great luncheon and a special Veteran’s Day tribute to Leadership.

Their Service for our Freedom is a glowing example of what servant leadership is all about. Join us to hear their stories and share their words of wisdom.

To Register for this Luncheon, Click the Link Below and Select:

[ ] Veterans Luncheon and Panel Discussion $40 per person

Admission Includes: Full buffet luncheon, Veteran’s Celebration, VIP Seating for Veterans and their guests, admission to the Panel Discussion On Leadership, photo opportunity afterwards.

Registration Information – Click Here

 More Information coming soon.

Veteran Bio’s and Photo – for our Panel Participants

Mike Slyck, U.S. Army

Warren Mussleman, U.S. Navy

Dennis Gauda, U.S. Airforce

Michael Budowski, U.S. Marine

Rolf Christensen, U.S. Coast Guard

Toastmasters… Where Leaders Are Made.