Friday, 09 April 2021 22:21

2021-2022 District Officer Nominations

Written by

Founders Banner DLC2

 

In accordance with Article VII, Section (b) of the District Administrative Bylaws, the District Leadership Committee, comprised of one representative from each Division (in order, A through G):

  • Division A - Daniel Cossack, DTM
  • Division C - Minh Le, DTM
  • Division D - Diana Garofalo, IP3
  • Division E - Amy Shih, DTM
  • Division F - Vijay Chidambaram, DTM
  • Division G - Sherry Tomasula, DTM

The committee has nominated the following candidates for 2021-2022 District Officers, in order by office, and then alphabetically by last name if there is more than one candidate for an office:

District Director

2020 0825 Bio Picture

 

Scott Friedman, DTM

Program Quality Director

Julie Murphy Headshot

Julie Murphy, DTM

KenSpears

Ken Spears, DTM

Club Growth Director

For Club Growth Director, the Nomination Report is incomplete as the District did not nominate the required number of candidates. Qualified candidates will run from the floor and must notify the District Director, Christine Brady, seven (7) days prior to their intent to run from the floor.

Division A Director

Paul Fay Photo 1

Paul Fay, DTM

Division C Director

GKiser Headshot

Gordon Kiser, PI4

Division D Director

Angie Ding1024 1

Angie Ding, LD4

JunaidiTjen

Jundai Tjen, LD3

Division E Director

TOlson Headshot

 

Thomas Olson, LD2

Division F Director

SBatchu Head Shot

Shiva Batchu, IP4, PM5

Division G Director

IKennedy Headshot

 

Irene Kennedy, PM4

 Respectfully submitted,

Lori Shapiro, DTM, IPDD
District Leadership Committee Chair

 

Tuesday, 06 April 2021 21:48

Scott J. Friedman

Written by

2020 0825 Bio Picture

Candidate's Office: District Director
District: Founder's
Toastmasters member since: I joined Toastmasters on 1/1/2014, but wish I joined 20 years earlier.
Education: 

I graduated with an MBA (concentrations in Accounting, Finance, and Operations) from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Prior to the MBA, I earned a BA (concentrations in Political Science and Economics) from the University of California, Irvine.

Toastmasters offices held and terms of service

A few months after joining Toastmasters, I began filling leadership roles. During the past seven years, I served in the following club, area, division, and Trio roles:

  • Area Director from 10/1/2020 to 6/30/2021
  • Treasurer and Sergeant-At-Arms from 1/1/2021 to 6/30/2021
  • Program Quality Director from 7/1/2019 to 6/30/2020
  • Club Growth Director from 7/1/2018 to 6/30/2019
  • Division Director from 7/1/2017 to 6/30/2018
  • Area Director from 7/1/2016 to 6/30/2017
  • Club President (President's Distinguished) from 1/1/2016 to 6/30/2016
  • Club Vice President Education from 7/1/2015 to 12/21/2015
  • Club Vice President Public Relations from 7/1/2014 to 6/30/2015

Toastmasters honors and recognition

I received the following honors and recognition:

  • Distinguished Toastmaster (several)
  • Triple Crown (several)
  • Toastmaster of the Year
  • Quality Speaker
  • Excellence in Club Growth
  • Roy D. Graham (several)
  • Contest Participant (several)
  • Club, Area, Division, and District Contest Functionary (several)
  • Sponsor
  • Mentor

Relevant work experience and how it relates to Toastmasters and your role as a District Officer

KPMG, BearingPoint, and Process Design Group (all of which are business-consulting firms) employed me after graduate school and prior to joining Toastmasters. My years in consulting combined my educational understanding with real-world experience in the fields of operations, teamwork, collaboration, recruitment, marketing, forecasting, customer service, sales, financial reporting, and efficiency.

Prior to my years in consulting, I worked at Siskin Steel in operations, sales, logistics, accounting, and purchasing. The work at Siskin sparked my interest in business efficiency, growth, and success.

I also attended the following professional courses that enhanced my skills in collaboration, project management, quality, as well as decision-making and risk management:

  • Stanford University | Stanford Strategic Decision and Risk Management 
  • Project Management Institute | Project Management Professional (PMP)
  • American Society for Quality | Certified Six Sigma Green Belt (SSGB)
  • American Society for Quality | Certified Software Quality Engineer (CSQE)
  • American Society for Quality | Certified Quality Auditor (CQA)
  • Manufacturing Skill Standards Council | Quality Practices and Continuous Improvement

What experience do you have in the area of strategic planning?

As a consultant, my team and I wrote strategic plans for several clients. I also participated in writing plans for Toastmasters clubs, areas, and divisions.

What experience do you have in the area of finance?

I worked in finance at Siskin Steel, earned an MBA from the University of Minnesota with a concentration in finance, and I worked with clients of KPMG, Bearing Point, and Process Design Group to help them overcome the financial challenges of their clients. In addition, some of the challenges faced by Toastmasters clubs, areas, divisions, and districts require financial solutions.

What experience do you have in developing procedures?

There is no doubt in my mind that I gravitated to an MBA, career in consulting, and Toastmasters because I enjoy fixing problems as well as developing and documenting procedures to eliminate future challenges.

What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?

I first learned the difference between management and leadership at Siskin Steel from a warehouse worker who could neither read nor write.  When his dad died, he dropped out of elementary school and began working to ensure his mother and siblings could keep the family farm and afford to eat. During one of our short breaks, he explained, “managers tell you what to do and leaders help you accomplish what managers tell you to do. A few days later, a different warehouse worker walked up to me and said, “Boy, this is a warehouse, you can’t wear them fancy jeans and t-shirts here.” He then handed me a bag of overalls and torn shirts. The second event enhanced my understanding that managers are not necessarily leaders. Even though the employees were not managers, they lead the warehouse team to success year after year by treating their managers and peers with dignity and respect. A few years later, I left Siskin Steel to continue learning about management and leadership at the University of Minnesota.

 

Educational training at the University, experience at Siskin, plus a significant number of aptitude tests guided me toward a career in consulting during which I did my best to combine the tools of management and practice of leadership.

Why do you want to serve as a district officer?

During the past several years, I frequently heard the statement “Toastmasters is the best kept secret.” I have the interest, confidence, training, and experience to lead a team that changes the narrative. My team and I will work together to ensure Founder’s District is a Smedley Distinguished District by adding clubs, increasing members, and providing quality training. I credit Toastmasters for significantly enhancing my life. I wish to say “Thank You” by serving as a District leader. I believe my contributions to Founder’s District will benefit the District and its members.

In your opinion, what are the district mission's major objectives and how would you work to achieve them?

Based on the district’s mission “We build new clubs and support all clubs in achieving excellence” and the fact Founder’s District needs more clubs, more payments, and more Distinguished clubs, my opinion is that the district’s major objectives are to:

  • Add new clubs
  • Add new members to existing clubs
  • Increase the course offerings by subject matter experts
  • Teach people how to succeed rather than the purpose of their job
  • Strengthen the value of training by ensuring trainers are subject matter experts
  • Think outside the club, area, and division: visit clubs, participate, observe, and share

 

 

I am not suggesting we can reach the objectives through simple action, but I am suggesting Founder’s District modify its thoughts and actions to increase the likelihood Founder’s District will be a Smedley Distinguished District. Leaders need to contact previous clubs and members, contact local businesses that do not have a Toastmasters club, improve training, visit clubs more often, and create a successful environment.

Additional information about yourself:

During the past seven years, I actively served Toastmasters in district, division, area, and club roles.

As the Program Quality Director, my team and I planned, scheduled, and implemented quality training for groups and individuals through seminars, learning labs, and club visits resulting in 561 trained club officers during the first term, 100% of District officers trained during the first term, and 32.6% of district clubs were Distinguished or better.

 

When I was the Club Growth Director, my team and I increased the number of district clubs by 4.6%, increased payments by 1.8%, and ensured approximately half of district clubs were Distinguished or better. The numbers clearly show I am an accomplished leader with success in team building, collaboration, communication, conflict-resolution, club growth, collections, and district success.

A few months after joining Toastmasters, I began filling leadership roles. During the past seven years, I served in the following club, area, division, and Trio roles:

-          Area Director from 10/1/2020 to 6/30/2021

-          Treasurer and Sergeant-At-Arms from 1/1/2021 to 6/30/2021

-          Program Quality Director from 7/1/2019 to 6/30/2020

-          Club Growth Director from 7/1/2018 to 6/30/2019

-          Division Director from 7/1/2017 to 6/30/2018

-          Area Director from 7/1/2016 to 6/30/2017

-          Club President (President's Distinguished) from 1/1/2016 to 6/30/2016

-          Club Vice President Education from 7/1/2015 to 12/21/2015

-          Club Vice President Public Relations from 7/1/2014 to 6/30/2015

Sunday, 04 April 2021 19:46

Julie Murphy

Written by

Julie Murphy Headshot

Candidate's Office: Program Quality Director
District: Founder's
Toastmasters member since: August 1, 2014
Education: 

  • Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing - Brandman University
  • BA in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations - California State University Fullerton

Toastmasters offices held and terms of service

  • Founder's District Public Relations Manager - Jul. 01, 2020 to Jun. 30, 2021
  • Founder's District Administration Manager - Jul. 01, 2019 to Jun. 30, 2020
  • Division E Director - Jul. 01, 2018 to Jun. 30, 2019
  • Area E2 Director - Jul. 01, 2017 to Jun. 30, 2018
  • Le Gourmet Toastmasters Vice President Education - Jul. 01, 2020 to Jun. 30, 2021
  • Grub N Gab President - Jul. 01, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2020
  • Le Gourmet Toastmasters Vice President Membership - Jul. 01, 2019 to Jun. 30, 2020
  • Grub N Gab Vice President Membership - Jul. 01, 2019 to Jun. 30, 2020
  • Le Gourmet Toastmasters Vice President Membership - Jul. 01, 2018 to Jun. 30, 2019

Toastmasters honors and recognition

  • Founder's District 2019-2020 Toastmaster of the Year
  • Founder's District Spirit of Excellence Award
  • WD Voice Mentor
  • Pastime Pursuits Sponsor and charter member
  • Distinguished Toastmaster

Relevant work experience and how it relates to Toastmasters and your role as a District Officer

I have extensive experience working with cross-functional teams to launch new vehicles.  I am also the go-to resource for my team in leveraging technology for enhanced collaboration.  As Program Quality Director it will be important to work with Division and Area Directors to understand our member's training needs so we can deliver the tools they need to be successful.  Being tech-savvy, I will be able to help our club's navigate Hybrid meetings and activities.  I also have extensive experience tracking large project milestones and the resources needed to complete the project.  As Program Quality Director, it's important to track our District's progress to understand our member's needs.  Strong collaboration and communication skills also will help me communicate with my team so we can run efficiently and deliver high-quality programming.

What experience do you have in the area of strategic planning?

  • Organized Founder’s District LACE at Chapman University, recruiting qualified trainers for officer training and recruiting speakers to deliver a well-rounded program that helped member’s grow both professionally and personally
  • Built the framework for hosting a virtual LACE and shared my key learnings with other Districts as they prepared their programming. I took key learnings from what workshops resonated with our members during the previous cycle and which topics our members wanted to explore further. The program was so unique that we had members and presenters join us from around the world.
  • As Public Relations Manager I have built a comprehensive program to not only keep members informed, but also recognize member and club achievements as well as provide useful tips for members to enhance their public speaking and leadership skills.

What experience do you have in the area of finance?

  • Manage multi-million dollar Corp. Comm. budget for Kia, including reviewing purchase requests, accruals and monthly forecasting
  • Developed 2020-2021 Public Relations budget for Founder's District analyzing required resources and forecasting projected month-by-month spending
  • As a Division Director oversaw costs of training and contests, purchasing required materials while also analyzing projected attendance to minimize waste
  • As Area Director, I oversaw costs for contests, purchasing required materials while also analyzing projected attendance to minimize waste

What experience do you have in developing procedures?

I have a passion for organization and process.  One of my core responsibilities at Kia is developing and enhancing procedures.  I serve as my Department's Business Continuity Liaison, documenting procedures.  I also look for opportunities to enhance collaboration with other teams to help the organization run more efficiently.  I also was a part of the 2019-2020 Founder's District operations manual team, helping review the document for updated policies and procedures.  In addition, I built the framework for hosting virtual training events.

What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?

As a District Leader, I have learned how important it is to work together as a cohesive team.  It's also extremely important to communicate with your team so everyone is working together efficiently.  As a leader in a volunteer organization it's extremely important to provide recognition for your team as well as work provide mentorship.  But as a Leader, it's also important to learn from others.  Each person brings a unique skill set and it's an opportunity to share knowledge.

Why do you want to serve as a district officer?

I am passionate about helping others and I want to inspire our members to continue working toward their professional and personal goals. As Program Quality Director I want to leverage my passion for technology and creative problem solving to deliver the best value for our members.  This will be achieved through educational workshops and recognition programs.  Working together we can help Founder's District become Smedley Distinguished!

In your opinion, what are the district mission's major objectives and how would you work to achieve them?

The District Mission is to build new clubs and support all clubs in achieving excellence.   One of my goals as Program Quality Director is to help all clubs achieve excellence through training and support.  Founder's District now has members from around the world and those that have never attended a meeting in person.  I look forward to the opportunity to build Hybrid programs to help clubs keep their members engaged.  Similar to the fully online transition, it will be important to help clubs navigate the unchartered territory.  I have built relationships with District leaders worldwide and will work with them to understand best practices.  To help our clubs achieve excellence, it's important that they retain current members and recruit new ones to bring fresh ideas.  Working with my team we will organize officer training and offer ongoing workshops to help members gain a competitive edge in the workplace through improving their public speaking and leaderships skills.  Recognition also is a key component to retention.  I plan to work with the Club Growth Director to reward clubs for meeting education goals, retention and new member growth. Working as a cross-functional team will help Founder’s District reach Smedley Distinguished!

Additional information about yourself:

I joined Toastmasters at the suggestion of my manger to improve my communication skills.  I quickly realized that Toastmasters clubs are a family and a fun environment to practice your communication skills and become a better leader.  As Program Quality Director, I am excited to share my passion with our members to inspire them to take on new challenges!

Sunday, 04 April 2021 19:26

Ken Spears

Written by

KenSpears

Candidate's Office: Program Quality Director
District: Founder's
Toastmasters member since: June 2014
Education: 

  • University of Califonia, Irvine, History, Social Ecology
  • Wine and Spirits Education Trust
  • Court of Master Sommeliers

Toastmasters offices held and terms of service

  • Club VPE, san clemente toastmasters 2 times
  • Club VPE, Cocoa Vino toastmasters, 2years, 2018, until june 2020
  • Club president, san clemente toastmasters, 2017-2018,2020-
  • Area G2, Director
  • Division G director
  • Current founders district club growth director
  • LACE/TLI chair 2018-2019
  • Confeenrnce chair 2020
  • Presidnet dnaa harbor toastmastrs 2020-
  • Wine n Wednesday VPPR-2020-
  • Newport Beach Pacific Life club mentor

Toastmasters honors and recognition

  • Select Distinguished Area Director
  • Presdients Distinguished Division Director
  • All of my member Clubs achieving presidents distinguished

Relevant work experience and how it relates to Toastmasters and your role as a District Officer

Own and operate a wine distribution businsess: manage a sales force, infrastructure, accounting, finance and customer relations. Work as a wine educator. All skills that interlock and use Toastmasters skills.

What experience do you have in the area of strategic planning?

Planning for club, area, division and district success. Each year looking for better growth opportunities. Also planning for growth in my business. Constantly looking for ways to increase awareness and growth in all endeavors.

What experience do you have in the area of finance?

First job was in bookkeeping. Responsible for my companies finances. As a disivion director, I turned money back to the district to help it manage their overall finances as my division fared extemely well in capturing and containg costs. Fiscal responsiblity is very important.

What experience do you have in developing procedures?

I was the first to help move the district conference online due to the pandemic and set procedures to make that happen. Helped recognize the value of a two-tiered LACE training system offering the same class two times in a day to accomodate schedules. Encouraged the creation of the Pathways clinic. Set standards for division council meetings. Plus implementing procedures in my businesses. The list is too long.

What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?

That when you empower people, lead with vision and example, good results develope.

Why do you want to serve as a district officer?

To help others grow and to further test my own abilities as a leader.

In your opinion, what are the district mission's major objectives and how would you work to achieve them?

To help forment the creation of clubs, helping those in the surounding communities to gain with the Toastmasters experience. To help existing clubs members gain the most they can as Toastmasters

Additional information about yourself:

As I move up in the leadership cycle, I realize that the leadership track is the most valuable aspect of the Toastmasters experience. This is where the real growth starts, from a club level leader to a district leader. Perhaps beyond.

Sunday, 04 April 2021 18:07

Paul Fay

Written by
Paul Fay Photo 1
Candidate's Office:Division A Director
District: Founder's
Toastmasters member since: April 2012
Education: BA, University of London England, 1976

Toastmasters offices held and terms of service

  • President, Well Said - 2019-2020
  • Division Director - 2017-2018
  • Area Governor for A1 - 2013-2014
  • Area Governor for A5 - 2014-2015
  • Area Director for A3 - 2020-2021

Toastmasters honors and recognition

  • DTM - 02/04/2016
  • Triple crown - 2016 and 2017

Relevant work experience and how it relates to Toastmasters and your role as a District Officer

District Manager Blue Cross of California, Los Angeles Region - 85 employees.

What experience do you have in the area of strategic planning?

Blue Cross District Manager, lead strategic planning for sales force.

What experience do you have in the area of finance?

As district manager for Blue Cross, I oversaw and planned annual budget for the Los Angeles budget.

What experience do you have in developing procedures?

I developed policy and procedures manual for the Los Angeles district of Blue Cross.

What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?

Higher people smarter than myself.

Why do you want to serve as a district officer?

Toastmasters has changed my life. I choose to give back.

In your opinion, what are the district mission's major objectives and how would you work to achieve them?

The district mission's major objectives are to continue to lead, build new clubs and to lower attrition in membership.

Additional information about yourself:

I have always been a leader - pushing people up. My goals have always been to see member to achieve their goals.

Sunday, 04 April 2021 17:54

Gordon Kiser

Written by

GKiser Headshot

Candidate's Office: Division C Director
District: Founder's
Toastmasters member since: 2016
Education: 

  • B.A. degree Vanderbilt University, Major History. 
  • Various certifications from IBM and Oracle related to their technology as required in the information technology space as career progressed.

Toastmasters offices held and terms of service

  • Vice President Membership
  • Vice President Eduction
  • Club President

Toastmasters honors and recognition

  • Competing and winning at Area level in Table Topics and Evaluations.
  • While VPE of Surf City Speak N' Lead, club was an inaugural member of the Magnifient 5. This was recognition for early accomplishment of DCP goals. Surf City achieved 7 DCP goals before October.

Relevant work experience and how it relates to Toastmasters and your role as a District Officer

For over twenty five years I've worked in the Information Technology industry. My work was  in the capacity of Sr. Account Executive for companies involved in large enterprise systems integration.  I've had to coordiante teams that included project managers, developers, system engineers to complete projects. I had to sell the implementation just as we need to sell Toastmasters to those that are not familiar with the opportunity.

What experience do you have in the area of strategic planning?

Extensive SWOT analysis experience in 2018 when working for Boeing subsidiary, Insitu.  Worked on new go-to-market whereby a new department was created for software sales.  Resources had to be allocated; a marketing strategy put in place: and execution on that strategy.

What experience do you have in the area of finance?

Worked with Toastmaster Treasurer to develop budget.  Worked on budgets for numerous IT projects over 20 years. I've had to allocate budget for a new department at one company for which I worked.

What experience do you have in developing procedures?

I initiated a new training program at my club that was very well recieved.  These were workshops of 1.5 hrs.  After the first workshop, members wished to have them every six weeks. The program was a work in progress and required numerous procedures be put in place to have the workshop run smoothly.

What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?

Managers and leaders are different.  Managers use metrics to 'drive' employees to goals. Leaders incite excitement for a vision and mission.  Pushing leads to numerous dissatified employees. Leaders create excitement and work to align goals between the company and the employees.

Why do you want to serve as a district officer?

I would like the opportunity to grow membership.  Growing membership is a reflection of how the Toastmaster methodology is supporting its members.  I enjoy seeing people get excited about what they are pursuing in regards to personal goals and growth.

In your opinion, what are the district mission's major objectives and how would you work to achieve them?

THE MISSION OF THE DISTRICT: We build new clubs and support all clubs in achieving excellence. An idea I had for new club growth is working hard to reach out to corporations that might find great value in improving leadership and communications for their new hires.

Additional information about yourself:

In a year and a half span as President and VPE for my club, Surf City Speak N' Lead,  I missed two meetings.  That is a commitment to having a positive affect on a club.  It involves understanding what works and what might be changed.  I allowed us to lead the District in number of goals achieved by the end of fiscal year 2020.

Sunday, 04 April 2021 17:41

Yu (Angie) Ding

Written by

Angie Ding1024 1

Candidate's Office: Chinese Irvine Toatsmaster
District: Founder's
Toastmasters member since: 2019
Education: 
  • B.A degree in Chinese at UC Davis
  • Current Master students at Loyola University and study in Montessori Education

Toastmasters offices held and terms of service

  • Served as VPE for the year of 2019
  • Served as President for the year of 2020
  • Served as D4 Area Director from July 2020-June 2021

Toastmasters honors and recognition

  • Finish Strategic Relationships Pathway
  • Current working on level 4 in Leadership Development Pathway
  • During the time I served as President, Chinese Irvine Toastmaster Club has good
    standing and become President Distinguished Club

Relevant work experience and how it relates to Toastmasters and your role as a District Officer

I am operated my own business as Montessori Preschool. From Leadership to Strategic Relationship, I can relate it to my career. Be a leader in the club and working space, it has so many common areas.

What experience do you have in the area of strategic planning?

From the expenses of my work, I apply It to Chinese Irvine Toastmaster club. It works well and has great improvement from 5 or 6 members to 20+ active members. I also finished pathway of Strategic Relationship. It gave me more ideas and planning on how to operate and work with people.

What experience do you have in the area of finance?

I started up my own business, so I have experience with finance for new business. I can plan to get an idea for each project and work on each part of it. Right now, I am doing accounting for my own business.

What experience do you have in developing procedures?

I guess it has the same contact with how I am doing for my preschool. I know each teachers’ strengths and weakness. When I am planning procedures, I will make it suitable to them and develop for next procedures. Of course, I also need to have ability to change/switch anytime if needed.

What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?

I learned from each member or people I work with. I like to learn and apply to what I use it for myself. I don’t be afraid of giving it a try. After I try it, I can tell if it works for me or not.

Why do you want to serve as a district officer?

I love to be Toastmaster member. It’s my honor to serve as VPE, President, and Area Director. I do my best to make each role/duty better than I thought. I would like to learn more and work with more people/ different roles to see how far I can go. Giving and receiving, I love both of them.

In your opinion, what are the district mission's major objectives and how would you work to achieve them?

In my opinion, members especially active members are my major objectives to work on. Once you have passion and hardworking members, all of the test/goals can be achieved. I love to chat and work with people. I am also a good observer and listener. I can find out details which other people may not pay attention. It helps me get closed to other people quicker and improve efficiency too.

Additional information about yourself:

I am not afraid of difficulties. I like challenges and I believe I can finish it well.

Sunday, 04 April 2021 17:27

Junaidi Tjen

Written by

 JunaidiTjen

Candidate's Office: Divsion D Director
District: Founder's
Toastmasters member since: 3/1/2017
Education: 
  • MS, Applied Computer Science and Technology, Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, CA, 2000
  • MA,TESOL(TeachingEnglishtoSpeakersofOtherLanguages),UnitedStatesInternationalUniversity(currentlyAlliantUniversity),Irvine,CA,1994
  • BA,EnglishEducation,SanataDharmaTeachersCollege(currentlySanataDharmaUniversity),Yogyakarta,CentralJava,Indonesia,1981

Toastmasters offices held and terms of service

  • Area Director, E5, Founder's District, 2020 - 2021
  • Club President, SSA Trailblazers, 2020 - 2021
  • VP Education, SSA Trailblazers, 2019 - 2020
  • VPPR, The Market Place, 2019 - 2020
  • SAA, The Market Place, 2020 - 2021, Smedley Chapter one, 2019 - 2020
  • SSA Trailblazers, 2017 - 2018

Toastmasters honors and recognition

Relevant work experience and how it relates to Toastmasters and your role as a District Officer

Back in the 80's I was an ESL (English as a Second Language) instructor in a refugee camp, later in a language institute as well as a school program coordinator. It was a rewarding experience to see students' progress. I'm passionate about Toastmasters and I like seeing progress in fellow Toastmasters' improvement. Currently as a Staff Specialist with the County of Orange, besides handling special projects, I sometimes supervise staff. A district leader needs to be able to work by themselves as well as with others.

What experience do you have in the area of strategic planning?

In a small scale, such as instead of having multiple lists to keep data, combining them into one database and using the data to create lists.

What experience do you have in the area of finance?

Part of my current duties at work is being a contract administrator, which requires some budgeting, requesting payments, developing & maintaining spreadsheets. I'm the treasurer for work's coffee club and also the treasurer for SAC (Staff Advisory Council). I used to audit annual building costs reimbursement requests.

What experience do you have in developing procedures?

I have 'specialty duties' without a back up person. I write procedures to ensure in my absence, someone else can handle my duties.

What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?

I learned that I can get all the support to handle my duties, time management is crucial, practice makes perfect, the process is as important as, if not more important than, the result, and early start is very important to achieve goals.

Why do you want to serve as a district officer?

For self improvement, others' improvement. Toastmasters is a great organization that everybody can benefit from.

In your opinion, what are the district mission's major objectives and how would you work to achieve them?

To continue spreading the word about the organization, especially to places that were overlooked, especially with virtual (or hybrid in the future) means.

Additional information about yourself:

Sunday, 04 April 2021 17:05

Thomas Olson

Written by

TOlson Headshot

Candidate's Office: Division E Director
District: Founder's
Toastmasters member since: 2016
Education: 

  • MFA Game Design, Laguna College of Art + Design 2018
  • BFA Illustration, Art Center College of Design 2000
  • BA English Literature, UCLA 1994
  • AA Military Science, New Mexico Military Institute 1991

Toastmasters offices held and terms of service

  • Speakers by Design (Club 852128)
  • VPE 2018-19
  • President 2019-20
  • VPE 2020-21
  • President 2020-21
  • Area E4 Director 2020-21

Toastmasters honors and recognition

  • Leadership Development LD2

Relevant work experience and how it relates to Toastmasters and your role as a District Officer

Product Director, Broken Circle Studios 2016-present:
-I organize schedules, pitch projects, evaluate contracts and products, and spearhead communication between the studio and our clients, as well as within the studio.
Lead Artist, Backflip Studios 2011-2016:
-Hired, led a team from 3 to 15+ to create an award winning mobile game. Coached junior artists and contributed to design and creative aspects of the game.
Production Manager, Morpheus International 1994-1998:
-I ran a small international publishing house, including operations of it's art gallery. Planned and hosted live events, coordinated all aspects of production pipeline.

What experience do you have in the area of strategic planning?

My experience with strategic planning is mostly as part of a small cadre running projects or "pods" back when those were fashionable. It was a more democratic and consensus building form of leadership. My input on strategy there focused on ensuring the most value making it through the pipeline to the players (minimizing wasted effort) and pouncing on opportunities that presented themselves in the moment (and arranging the pipeline so that that could be done efficiently).

What experience do you have in the area of finance?

I have only really kept the books and managed the distribution of bonus pools and raise pools to my team. I am capable of making a budget, but I have very little professional experience with finance.

What experience do you have in developing procedures?

As stated above, I have developed SOPs and pipelines for game development at several companies with the goal of maximizing the value going all the way through and minimizing the harm to the people doing the work (lots of overtime due to waste in game development). I have a knack for looking past the paper value of procedure or tradition to identify the intent or heart of it, as well as where it is flexible and can be bent to achieve more. For example, in the character art piepline, I saved man months of effort being wasted by changing the way we showed stake holders rough art assets. I also identified a way to pass art assets through to the next department (animation) a week early, so that the art team could get more assets into the game--the trade off being that they were not their final colors for a few weeks longer. My leadership styles tend toward democratic and bureaucratic--I don't like checklists for their own sake, but love them as tools for minimizing mistakes and empowering individuals to check their own work.

What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?

So many. I am much more apt to let results vary from my vision when I delegate. I have accepted that there are things people have to say or do for themselves, and learned to identify which failures can be allowed to happen if need be, and where more coaching or intervention is needed--and how better to set teams and individuals up to succeed without making the latter kind of errors. I have learned to identify less personally with the results, and eliminate a lot of stress from my decision making process. I am still learning how to coach different kinds of people, but I have always loved trying to introduce people to things that they'll enjoy or grow from.

Why do you want to serve as a district officer?

I would like to serve as a District leader because I am actively learning new ways to lead people, and the District level provides opportunities for me to do this in a larger environment than I have done at work. I also feel a calling to step in and help pull the load in any situation, and if I can be helpful to the Toastmasters of Founder's District, I would like to do it. Being an Area Director this year so far has introduced me to new kinds of time management and team building challenges, and provided good feedback on my efforts. I would look forward to helping set a tone and setting the stage for the Area Directors the way Susanna has. I don't have her experience, but a big take away from being part of her team is that her gathering of resources for us has made it easier to do more for the clubs in our Areas. I have been encouraged to apply for this position, and I am humbled, and willing to step out into deeper water among friends and great mentors.

In your opinion, what are the district mission's major objectives and how would you work to achieve them?

In my opinion, the District's major objectives include spreading the very professional tone of some officer cadres to the whole District, raising the profile of the greater organization for our members and for the community, and continuing to provide training and resources to help clubs thrive during quarantine.

For the first, I am starting as an Area Director this officer training period by talking about the responsibilities of being a Toastmaster and an officer, and framing the work we ask of them as part of the program they signed up for to grow! Having excellent members talk at different clubs or events within the District will help this goal, as well as the second goal. To raise the profile to the community, I would explore the idea of having members speak at local schools and community centers--good for the members, and for raising interest and hopefully membership. I would reach out to my personal network more to draw in speakers for Division and District meetings, and maintain the momentum that we have this year in Zoom training and the excellent extended officer training. I would look for a way to have more gamification of the program on a regular basis--the way David has, and perhaps by having more frequent, small speak-offs.

Additional information about yourself:

I am a father of 2, husband to a behavioral health researcher who is an actress and is an excellent example of how the skills we hone here bring huge value to other endeavors--she is one of the only researchers in her group who is comfortable presenting in front of large groups, and her students love her for the way she engages them. Only relevant to TM, in that I steal a lot of ideas from her, and I'm trying to get her to speak at one of our meetings.


I am humbled and feel warmly welcomed in the encouragement people have given me to apply for this position. I do so with the intention of doing my best if I am elected, and being part of helping anyway if I am not. If there is a different role you think I am suited for and needs filling, I am open to considering it. Thank you.

Sunday, 04 April 2021 16:56

Shiva Batchu

Written by

SBatchu Head Shot

Candidate's Office: Division F Director
District: Founder's
Toastmasters member since: January 2018
Education:  

  • Masters of Science in Nursing and Public Health, California State University at Long Beach (CSULB), 2009
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Business Administration, California State University at Long Beach (CSULB), 2005
  • Associates degree, Golden West College

Toastmasters offices held and terms of service

  • Founder’s District E1 Area Director, July 2020 to present
  • President, Newport Center Toastmasters Club (231), July 2019 to Dec 2019
  • Vice President of Education, Newport Center Toastmasters Club (231), Jan 2019 to June 2019

Toastmasters honors and recognition

  • Pathways, Presentation Mastery, completed
  • Pathways, Innovation Planning, Level 3
  • Pathways, Persuasive Influence, Level 1 (free Pathway given by TI)

Relevant work experience and how it relates to Toastmasters and your role as a District Officer

I have been employed in health care for over 15 years where I handle aspects of business operations, quality, strategic planning, some finance, procedures, reporting, collaboration, and leadership to ensure our patients get excellent care and staff are protected as well. My role has been in quality/performance improvement for the past 9 years impacting not only my local hospital, but also our health care system which include multiple hospitals and centers. I love my job and I see the impact that Toastmasters has had in my work role. I am excited to serve using the many aspects I have gained at work to impact our Toastmasters community. 

What experience do you have in the area of strategic planning?

As mentioned above, during the last 15 years at both Long Beach Medical Center and Saddleback Medical Center, I have been given many opportunities to lead collaborative teams of people from different roles and backgrounds to meet an objective. I have been able to operationalize the health outcome objectives that has been given to me by leadership to achieve. I am consistent in developing a strategic plan with a team, execute/manage the plan then review/revise the plan at specific intervals. I have been successful to take a goal from a dream to a reality with a compassion and supportive leadership style.  I have changed the way I lead at my Toastmasters club and as Area Director during Covid19 to help support goals and outcomes with compassion.

What experience do you have in the area of finance?

My undergraduate degree is in business administration, so I have experience in finance and accounting, I also used to work for a small business handling many aspects of day to day operations. I handle small budgets at work; therefore, I can ensure we are using our resources well and within budget. When I was in college, I was the Associated Students Finance Commissioner where I handle budget requests, approval processes, financial reports to ensure the Associated Student Body is functioning well. I also led the Finance Committee and attended campus wide committee to address financial aspects. During my undergraduate, I worked as a IT Coordinator for a business dept within my university. I have some IT background due to my current work requiring that I understand how programs build reports and handle data. Due to this background, I would be able to handle financial accounting software easily to produce reports and understand financial data.

What experience do you have in developing procedures?

For over 15 years, I have handled and develop detailed procedures and policies to ensure our patients get excellent care and staff are protected as well. My role has been in quality/performance improvement for 9 years impacting not only our local hospital but also our health care system which includes multiple hospitals and centers. I have used strategic planning and collaboration to develop detailed procedures and policies to meet state and federal regulations. I am currently studying/training for a hospital/healthcare accreditation and regulation certification which would give me further training and experience in developing procedures. I believe skills are transferable, so I can take what I learn in my career to Toastmasters easily. I am also trained as a Lean Leader which helps me use resources well without waste of time or energy.

What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?

From my previous experience in leadership roles, I learned that humility is key in being a servant leader. Humility to accept the mistakes I have, to accept the feedback I am given, to change and admit when I am wrong quickly, and most of all to not allow leadership roles to influence my desire to serve others. I have many mentors at work, at Toastmasters, and in my personal life. They always have encouraged me to be life long learner. I am inspired to engage clubs, their members, officers/emerging leaders to go after their dreams and discover their dreams within Founder’s District by being a learner!

Why do you want to serve as a district officer?

I was deeply inspired from the day I started attending Toastmasters in 2018, Toastmasters changed me from a fixed mindset person to a growth focused person! Attending meeting at club level, division and district level showed me that I too can grow personally, socially and professionally. Since then, my career has transformed, and I am considered a collaborative and helpful leader at my hospital and health system. My director at work told me that I am doing an excellent job as she is always able to give me feedback anytime for big and small items. One of my strengths is that I have positive outlook, simile as I am taking constrictive feedback regularly, so this enables me to continuousness improve 1% a day leading to so much growth in a year or more. I would be an excellent candidate to be considered as an District leader as I will give my 100% to learn, serve and grow. I also have the time in my schedule to meet the demands of being a district leader. Therefore, it’s time to give back to Toastmasters by serving more!

In your opinion, what are the district mission's major objectives and how would you work to achieve them?

The District’s mission is “we build new clubs and support all clubs in achieving excellence.” Based on my experience attending District meetings, the major objectives are to create new and engage existing clubs on Zoom and the upcoming hybrid environment. I will work to build a collaborative team of area directors and division team to focus on serving the District’s and club’s needs. Since 2018 when I couldn’t even speak at my home club when I was scared to death of public speaking and leadership to taking on officer roles then as an area director, I am able to understand the types of guests who come into clubs as well the different needs the club members, officers, and emerging leaders within the club and district have. I will focus on being an available and servant leader who not only helps the clubs but also assists emerging leaders to taken on new roles or start new clubs. I will study my division’s needs, visit clubs and reports as Susanna Wong showed me, meet with division leaders monthly to assist to achieve Distinguished Division Program goals as well as hold regular meetings to invite club members/officers/guests to inspire them to go further in the TI journey and their own growth experience. 

Additional information about yourself:

I am excited and fully committed to giving it my all and learning via a volunteer role as a Division Director. I humbly ask for your consideration of my application. I am excited to give back as Toastmasters has changed my life and continues to every year since 2018!  I know via this learning experience, I will grow into a better person as well via the amazing team of people at Founder’s District. Please see attached CV for my background of leadership, service, and volunteer experience. Thank you for reading!

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