May 28, 2020
Dear Club Officer,
There is cause for celebration. As Toastmasters clubs around the world adapt to the effects the coronavirus crisis is having on in-person events and meetings, Toastmasters International is taking note of the overwhelming positive energy and resiliency. With year-end approaching, many of you have risen to the very difficult challenge of continuing to achieve membership and education goals, despite what is going on around you, and for this, you and your clubs are an inspiration and deserve special recognition.
The Board of Directors is sensitive to those clubs that have been dealing with membership challenges brought on by the current crisis; in fact, the Board and World Headquarters has received much feedback requesting a modification of the Distinguished Club Program (DCP) or even postponing the program year-end date to a later time. After careful consideration, the Board determined that any recognition program change to lower the qualifying requirements or goals would be unfair to those of you going above and beyond—and amazingly, still striving toward achieving Distinguished status!
To ensure all clubs, Distinguished or not, are recognized for their outstanding efforts, new club-level awards have been created for the 2019–2020 program year only. They were designed with the same enthusiasm so many of you displayed to earn them:
Online Ovation/Education Award Silver, Online Ovation/Education Award Gold
Clubs will qualify for these awards by meeting both of the following criteria by June 30, 2020:
The Great Revival Award
This award will be presented to clubs that were suspended by April 1, 2020, then reinstated between April 1 and September 30, 2020.
Membership Consistency Award, Membership Resiliency Award
Based on a club’s membership base as calculated on July 1, 2019, the first award is presented to any club that experienced no net member loss; the second award is presented to any club that experienced a net member gain by June 30, 2020.
You can find descriptions of these awards and check your progress by visiting the Recognition Awards tab on the COVID-19 page of the Toastmasters International website www.toastmasters.org/covid-19. Recognition for a club that achieves any of the awards described above would be listed in Club Central under Club Awards. For any questions on how your club can achieve any or all of these awards, please contact our Club Quality and Member Support team at email@example.com.
Toastmasters International admires and appreciates the truly extraordinary efforts of club officers who are diligently supporting club meetings and actively encouraging members to achieve their year-end goals in these unprecedented times. If you can achieve this today, there is no telling what you will accomplish tomorrow—and we look forward to continuing to recognize you.
District 65 – End of the Year Incentive
As we approach the end of the year, it’s important that we keep sight on making our clubs Distinguished or Better. By being Distinguished, we’re working together to build and keep clubs that are fun, provide learning experiences, and also help us attract new members.
The District is offering an end of year incentive to ALL clubs that are Distinguished or better by providing you with name badges for all of your club members, as identified on the TI web site on June 30, 2018.
We plan to have these badges with the name only, unless the member is a Distinguished Toastmaster. This way, the badges can continue to be used through the new Pathways Program but also will continue to be usable. In many instances, members discontinue wearing the badges, once the credentials no longer apply.
We hope you all have an exciting two months working toward your Distinguished Club status. If you are already a Distinguished Club, we congratulate you for your club leadership.
We’d like to challenge our Distinguished club officers to help one of your local clubs become Distinguished and learn those skills that helped you become a strong Toastmasters club.
Thank you for all your support and energy as we finish out a great year.
Ellen, Lillian and Keith
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 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Julie Ricchiazzi, DTM – email@example.com
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)
- 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: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/district-65-winter-officer-training-super-saturday-session-bcbs-syracuse-tickets-40750222011
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: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/toastmasters-winter-tli-at-gcc-tickets-42275222328
Local Make-Up TLI’s:
- 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
- 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
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
- 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.
- Division E:
- 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
- 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.
Happy New Year Fellow Toastmasters
Ellen Pieklo, DTM
District 65 Director
As we approach this year, I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and welcomed in the New Year with dreams, hopes, and visions of making every part of your life a little bit better.
District 65 has many ongoing events to help you in your own journey of communication and leadership.
Your District has given out close to $2,000 of incentives for completing Club Success Plans, increasing membership by 4 new members, and hosting open houses. We hope that these efforts have helped your clubs both in terms of club strength and providing you money from the TI store to purchase banners and/or club supplies that you may need. There is still time for your club to earn any of our incentives. The Club Success Plans are being accepted until January 31, 2018.
We continue to have new clubs in our charter process and our new members are excited to help build strong clubs within their corporations and communities.
District 65 has a roll-out date for Pathways, providing us with new and exciting technologies to help us build individual paths for our own growth. While new members will be able to start this program from its inception, longer-term members will be able to reassess some of their earlier skills and have the opportunity to make these even more memorable.
District 65 is halfway through the year and already we are looking for District Leaders for the next year. If you have not already served as a District Officer, it’s really the journey of a lifetime. You’ll get excited about contests, visiting clubs, meeting new members but you’ll also test some of your skills in terms of patience and observing clubs when you’d like to jump in and “fix” things, and meeting others like you, who are serving is district leaders. If you haven’t already submitted your name, think about this unique opportunity.
For those of you who do not have a DTM – Distinguished Toastmaster award, now is the time to work on that transition period to complete the program – if you’re halfway there. We have a Path To DTM Working Group here to help you.
If you have your DTM, we’re looking for mentors to help others obtain their DTM, before the Pathways transition period.
The Pathways program offers opportunities to serve as a Pathways Ambassador, Pathways Guide, or to help the Pathways Chief Ambassador in other areas.
The International and Tall Tales Speech Contests will be held this spring, with the District 65 International Speech Contest winner competing in Chicago, Illinois during August of 2018.
The Spring Conference will be held April 20-21, 2018 in Binghamton, New York. We’re looking at providing opportunities to bring our new members to the Conference and see some of our incredible speakers, meet our Region 9 International Director, Radhi Spear, and learn more about the Pathways program.
Whatever your aspirations are, Toastmasters continues to provide plenty of opportunities to learn, grow, and mentor others. It’s up to you to take that next step and commit to doing even more, as a member of District 65.
Wishing you a memorable year!
Ellen Pieklo, DTM
District 65 Director
District 65 Incentives for 2017-2018
August 1, 2017
Dear District 65 Toastmasters,
The incentives this year will be in place throughout the year. As with every year, it is important that we end out all of our incentives by June 1, 2018 to enable the finances to be closed out and able to be turned over to the next District team. We hope you understand our need to incentivize the District but also to enable a smooth transition to the next team.
In order to bring in new members, it is important to showcase our clubs and to have open houses. In the past, record keeping has become an issue on how money was spent, etc. For every open house hosted by a club, the club will receive up to $50 from the District for reimbursement of expenses incurred. To be eligible, the club officer must submit the date and time of the event, and a general assessment of the event in terms of success and/or failure, including a short lesson learned and receipts for up to $50 worth of food, printing, drinks, etc. This incentive can be used once in the summer/fall, and once in the spring. The incentive will not be reimbursed for any open house taking place after June 1, 2018.
Lessons learned have showed that clubs developing a club success plan perform better. The plan must also be developed and implemented in a timely manner, if it is to be effective. For this reason, every club that develops a valid club success plan, submitted by December 31, 2017, the District will provide a $25 TI Gift Certificate to the club.
The District has had membership retention and membership challenges, yet consistently strong clubs outperform weaker clubs, in terms of numbers. For every club that recruits and brings in 4 new members, the District will provide a $25 gift Certificate to that club for the TI store. To be eligible, the club officer must submit the date and time of the event, and a general assessment. This must be a new member to District 65 and not a dual member. It can be a reinstated member, if the member has been out of Toastmasters for the past year or more. A member can also be a transfer, if the member is transferring from another geographical region.
District Pride Cup Incentive:
This year the District Pride Cup has a new set of criteria. We believe that this is a way for even struggling clubs to be able to win this award. Click on the link below to take a look at the new criteria and start planning your club success plan to help achieve it.
Notes regarding collecting the incentives listed above:
1) The District will place an order to TI once per quarter. Your club may choose to spend any earned District Bucks by sending your supply order list to the District Director, up to the amount you have earned. Any amount greater would need to be paid to the District prior to the order being placed. The dates an order will be placed will be noted on the District 65 calendar, accessible via our webpage. Shipping and handling will be taken into consideration when placing the order. Our goal is to ensure clubs spend the bucks and that having to come up with the money up front is not a hindrance to earning and using the incentives.
2) All expenditures for reimbursement greater than $50 must be approved PRIOR to the expense being incurred or the District will not reimburse it.
3) A completed voucher and corresponding receipts must be submitted within 30 days of incurring the expense. We plan the budget, by month, for when we believe the expenses will be incurred.
4) The District Director and Finance Manager will meet a minimum of once per month to review/sign Reimbursement Voucher requests and checks. One checks are signed, they will be mailed to the Club per the information on the voucher.
5) Payments will NOT be made to individuals for club expense reimbursement without PRIOR approval. The only exception will be in situations when the club is prohibited from having a bank account (corporate sponsors may not permit the club to open an account due to presumed tax liability or corporate policy).
Please reach out to the any member of the District Trio if you have questions about the incentives described above. Also note, the incentives as stated may be subject to change during this Toastmaster year, without prior notice, as deemed necessary to meet the District Success Plan and Financial goals. Any changes made will be posted promptly on the District website and noted in District Leader email/social media communications. Awards earned prior to a change will be honored.
Your D65 Trio
Ellen Pieklo, District 65 Director
Lillian Knight-Faison, Program Quality Director
Keith Maderer, Club Growth Director
Where Leaders Are Made
For questions, please contact the District Trio at D65Trio@gmail.com