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Have you heard the expression, “Power behind the throne?” Can you name someone who for several years has been a “Power behind Opportunity Drawing Fundraising?” Who do you know that is able to mount that project, and make it fun for everyone while doing it? The answer is: Charlotte Drake; she is an “Opportunity Drawing Master.” Charlotte volunteers her service at speech contests, setting up the gift tables, donating prizes, describing the prizes, and selling the drawing tickets that off-set contest food and venue costs. When the contests are over, it's Charlotte and her team who have earned solid returns to cover the expenses of producing speech contests.
Whatever the event, Charlotte is known for her generosity of service: she arrives earlier and stays later than anyone else. She sets up, cleans up, and brings abundant portions of hand cut fruit. She is chef of the gourmet crafted foods she brings.
Whether it is a formal meeting or a casual gathering, once she has arranged and set up the room with gifts, food, and learning materials, you will find Charlotte, at the back of the room looking out for the needs of every person, whether there are two or two-hundred people in the audience. Charlotte handles problems before others even notice them.
Charlotte has had more than her share of challenges. What sets her apart is her resilience, her sunshine attitude and the way she transforms obstacles into opportunities. She triumphs over tragedy. When confronted with the struggles of both of her parents dealing with Parkinson's Disease, Charlotte founded what became an international support group known as PEP: Parkinson's Educational Program. What started out in Newport Beach, at Charlotte's Park Newport residence, quickly grew from 4 to 300 people and proliferated into satellite support groups in every state in America, then expanded into 13 countries and five languages.
Charlotte provides the same “obstacles into opportunities” resourcefulness in Toastmasters. Her club, HarborLites, is all about supporting members’ needs. She sees HarborLites as a “safe harbor” where individuals grow and develop in the presence of mutual nurturing and mentoring.
In 2014/2015, Charlotte's personal excellence earned for her the DTM – Distinguished Toastmaster, which is the highest educational award. She was also recognized as Toastmaster of the Year and received the Area Governor of the Year Award. In 2015/2016 Charlotte was awarded 4 Triple Crown Awards, an unprecedented record.
For her indomitable spirit, on March 22, 2017, Charlotte Jayne Drake, DTM, was awarded Founder's District Spirit of Excellence Award, presented to her at the District Executive Committee meeting, by District Director Siri Payakapan, DTM.
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.
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where the more you work, the less is being accomplished? To maintain and increase our productivity level and expand our horizons, we need to take time to renew, refresh and rejuvenate. We freshen our perspectives and stimulate positive changes. We rejuvenate our relationships by networking and sharing ideas with others.
Two days prior to the Toastmasters International (TI) Convention, all the trios (District Director, Program Quality Director, and Club Growth Director) of 100+ districts from 13 regions (nearly 16,000 clubs in 142 countries) were vigorously trained, by TI staff and International leaders.
In January, midway through the term, all trios from each region travel to a specified Midyear Training location, to assess the progress and strategize the second half of the term, with another region.
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.
For his accomplishments and years of loyal, creative, and dedicated service to the Toastmasters program, Founder's District has recognized Michael Alexander with the “Spirit of Excellence” Award at the District Executive Council Meeting on August 31, 2016.
Michael is an accomplished and award winning public speaker, coach, and trainer. He is a member of ACTS Toastmasters Club #416 in Division B and is interested in becoming a professional public speaker.
Toastmasters is reaching out to all members and offering new Pathways to learn communication and leadership skills. This exciting new educational program has been under development since 2010 and will begin its rollout in 2017 with a gradual flow throughout the world.
The modernized learning experience is the result of years of planning and expertise by a large team, including the Board of Directors, World Headquarters staff, and member volunteers. The program’s wide-ranging benefits include:
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.
PASADENA, Calif., Aug. 22, 2016 — With a speech titled , "I Will Be There," Josephine Lee, a 28-year-old entrepreneur from Santa Ana, California, placed third in the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking on Saturday, Aug. 20. Josephine, along with nine other finalists, reached the championship level after several elimination rounds that began six months ago with 30,000 participants from more than 100 countries.
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.
Welcome to the 2016-2017 Toastmasters year, an extraordinary year with a diverse and dynamic team of 15 District elected leaders! In addition, we have 5 managers, 50 area directors, dozens of District Chairs and many assistant roles offering a uniquely combined set of knowledge, experience, and talents. The new Founder's District leadership team is listed below for your information.
My vision for Founder’s District this year is to:
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.
Time flies! You are probably curious about what I have learned this past Toastmaster year as the first District Director of the Founder’s District. I’ve learned that in order to become a successful communicator and leader, one needs to “be a practitioner, not a theorist.”
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.
Kate McKay said in an essay:
“It is not pleasant . . . to be criticized. . . (but) we really ought to congratulate ourselves every time we learn of a new fault . . . To know of a fault . . . should be instantly to challenge its continuance.”