District 65 Director – Welcome Letter
by Ellen Pieklo, DTM, CISSP
July 2, 2017
Dear District 65 Toastmaster,
Welcome to the new Toastmasters year. I look forward to meeting with many of you during our time together as we all have much to learn from one another. The 2017-2018 theme for District 65 Toastmasters is: “Make Toastmasters Part of Your Story.” While we want to succeed as a district, what matters more is that we all have much to learn and gain as members and officers within District 65.
Throughout the year, the team and I have heard your concerns and want to address these with you now. Below, you will find some important changes to note, as you start this year’s Toastmasters journey:
- We have identified our District Executive Committee (DEC) and trained nearly 100% of the team during our DEC training sessions in June. While District 65 asks clubs to train their leaders, we feel it’s equally important for the District 65 leadership team to set the precedent by completing their own training, as well.
- Feedback continually suggests that the club contests end much too early to enable all clubs to compete. District 65 has elected to move out the club contest date to September 15 to ensure that each club has two additional weeks to finish the Fall contests. Our hope is to have more participation at each level and by extending the date of the club-level contests, this can be accomplished. To accommodate this change, the Area contests will be shortened to a two-week timeframe, as well as the Division contests. Please work with your Area and Division Directors and identify members, in advance, who will be able to serve as judges and other contest functionaries.
- Toastmasters have expressed concerns over the frequency of email – either too much or not at all – from District 65 leadership. Beginning this month, the District 65 Team will publish a single newsletter every month. The newsletter will have key dates and news that should interest many of you. The information will also be available on the District 65 website.
- D65 is still tallying results of current incentives being earned. As a result, we will be evaluating these incentives and hope to have new incentives ready by the end of the month. At that time, I will also identify the criteria for winning the District Pride Cup.
- Pathways will be rolling out during the 2017-18 Toastmasters year. While the date is identified as “Coming Soon,” Toastmasters International has assured us that the program is almost here. According to districts who have gotten a sneak peek, it will be worth the wait!
June 29, 2017
Each year, clubs have the opportunity to vote on important matters that impact the future of our organization at the Annual Business Meeting. This includes international officer and director elections as well as proposals to amend the Bylaws of Toastmasters International and the Club Constitution for Clubs of Toastmasters International. Clubs in good standing are entitled to two (2) votes for each election and proposal.
The Annual Business Meeting will be held on August 26 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Your voice is important, and you have a significant role to play in this process. Start by learning about the candidates and proposed amendments. At your next club meeting, discuss which candidates best meet the future needs of Toastmasters International and which proposals you are in agreement with. Make it official with a vote to determine how the club’s votes will be cast.
If no one in your club is planning to attend the meeting, you may designate a proxyholder to cast the club’s votes. Proxyholders are required to vote in the manner a club designates; if a voting preference is not designated, the proxyholder may vote in their own best interest.
More information on voting by proxy will be emailed to club presidents, secretaries and liaisons in July. If you have any questions about the voting process, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike Storkey, DTM
In conclusion, I hope that together we can learn ways to “Make Toastmasters Part of Your Life Story.” I look forward to an exciting year and wish the best of luck to each and everyone one of you.
Ellen Pieklo, DTM
District 65 Director, 2017-18