Steve Itzkowitz

Steve Itzkowitz

I would summarize myself as a driven and determined individual who takes life seriously, but not too seriously, and who believes in the concept of working hard and playing hard. At the end of the day, success isn't about what you have. It's about what you give.

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Photo by Siri PayakapanToastmasters at LACE Jan 14, 2017Marguerite Bonnet Presents 'Structure Your Speech Like a Movie' at LACE January 14, 2017

Over 500 Toastmasters invaded Chapman University on January 14 to attend the Founder’s District Leadership & Communication Experience (LACE) seeking training for their club officer positions, new skills as well as wisdom and truth.

It was the wisdom and truth part that was well-addressed by 2005 World Champion of Public Speaking and the keynote speaker for the festivities, Lance Miller.

Lance’s keynote address proved to be inspiring, irreverent, informative, humorous and passionate. The one thing that stood out about Lance from the very beginning was how much he credits Toastmasters for the skills he has developed and uses to help individuals and companies all over the world.

Tuesday, 01 November 2016 02:05

Robots and Remarkable Results

Photo copyright by A&A Symphony, CaliforniaIMG 7993Evaluation Contest Winners. L-R Marie Hulett, Trey Stroud, Ed Smith, Mark Longanecker, Siri Payakapan

It was bound to happen.

The members that attended the 2016 Founder’s District Fall Conference at the Sheraton Hotel in Cerritos, CA were bound to feel full and satisfied once the festivities were completed.

No, it wasn’t the chicken marsala, caesar salad, vegetable lasagna, steamed vegetables, bread, tiramisu, chocolate-covered strawberries and cookies that filled attendees up, although that didn’t hurt.

Rather, it was all the wonderful benefits of Toastmasters the attendees were reminded of and all the nuggets of wisdom they received from the keynote speaker of the day, Craig Valentine, as well as the Communication and Leadership award recipient, USC roboticist, Maja Mataric.

Saturday, 03 September 2016 16:34

Founder's District Looks Back

Photo by Lawrence CrandallDistrict Award RecipientsLeft to Right: Rose Abbott, Michelle Bender, Michael Alexander, Ligia Molina, Lorrie Briscoe, Jeanne Cassidy, John Barry

In the afterglow of the 2016 Toastmasters International Convention, it was time for Founder’s District to come together for its first District Executive Committee or DEC meeting of the 2016-17 administrative year that took place at the Garden Grove Community Center and was attended by just under 100 members.

There would be the usual discussions of approving meeting minutes from prior DEC meetings as well as the annual budget. Having been part of district boards in the past, budget discussions usually are long and, at times, a little contentious.

SmedBBQ 2Peter Wang and Josephine Lee Pose with Ralph Smedley

It wasn’t just another Tuesday night in Founder’s District.

It was a great summer night to bring Toastmasters together from all over Founder’s District in order to celebrate the spirit of Ralph Smedley with the club that is the epitome of his vision, Smedley Chapter One, as part of their annual Independence Day barbecue.

And, what a celebration it was with dignitaries showing up to contribute their time and talent to the proceedings at hand.

Sunday, 26 June 2016 17:06

Founder's District Gets Audacious

Photo by Jimmy KhathInstallationDinner 20160623 101Richard Snyder, PID, presides over Installation Dinner Meeting.

It was fitting that outgoing 2015-16 Founder’s District Director, Pan Kao, set the tone for a fun and varietal Founder’s District Installation Dinner for the new district council as Founder’s District found itself back at the Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel in the 9th floor ballroom.


He instructed each audience member to fold up blue pieces of paper to ultimately make paper airplanes after instructing everyone to write down an audacious goal that pertains to their leadership position going into the 2016-17 Toastmasters International year. After the folding was done, blue paper airplanes were flying everywhere as if the Blue Angels were part of the festivities. It was as fun as much as it was a great message by Pan to dream big as part of the leadership opportunities all the incoming leaders have going into 2016-17.

Thursday, 12 May 2016 16:25

Founders Gone Cosmic

Pizza Party 1

The free pizza proved to be the 2nd best part of the experience.

Members from clubs that achieved 5 new members during the Talk It Up Toastmasters event in March and February walked in to find pizza from such establishments as Pepz and Valuetina’s among others wondering what else was in store for them.

Then, all the attendees walked into an assembly hall filled with fog machines, laser machines, strobes and 3 projection screens that is equipment usually reserved for a big concert.

However, the attendees were in for something very different.

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