1972–1979 – Growth and Recognition

The Constitution and Bylaws of Toastmasters International were amended at the International Convention in 1972 to permit the induction of women members, a change which had profound and beneficial effects on the membership growth and officer makeup of Founder’s District in subsequent years.

The 1974 Toastmasters International Convention was hosted by Founder’s District, under District Governor A. W. (Art) Hofner, from August 13 through 17 at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim. Past District Governor C.A. (Bud) Welch, ATM and Vance Mingus, DTM, served as Chair and Co-Chair, respectively, for the event. More than 200 Toastmasters from Founder’s District volunteered their services for the five-day event.

Under the leadership of Governor John S. Latin, DTM, Founder’s District received recognition as a Distinguished District in 1975–1976. Past District Governor Latin was elected International Directoin 1977 and served with distinction for his two-year term.

Founder’s District reached the top in 1976–1977 as President’s Distinguished District under District Governor Walt Hamilton, DTM.

Recognition as a Distinguished District came again in 1977–1978 under Governor Howard Clark, DTM. During the same year, The Founder was awarded the distinction of Top Ten District Bulletin, under the editorship of Mary Lee, CTM. Only one year after chartering, the Rockwell Bicentennial Club #3798 became the first club in Founder’s District to be designated as one of the Top Ten Clubs in Toastmasters International.

The Western boundaries of the District were changed and a fifth division was created at the Spring Conference in 1978, under District Governor Howard Clark, DTM. Rich Weis, DTM was the first Division Governor for Division E. The first Administrative Committee was propsed and formed that year by Christos Gratsinopoulos, DTM, Administrative Lt. Governor. The Committee was approved and formed at the August 1978 District Executive Committee meeting.

In 1978–1979, under Governor Don Robinson, DTM, Founder’s District was again recognized as a President’s Distinguished District. The Founder, under the editorship of Diane Gratsinopoulos, became a Top Ten District Bulletin. Club bulletins published by Smedley Chapter #1 and by Westwinds Club #2436 were among the Top Ten Club Bulletins in Toastmasters International. Blue Flame Club #2717 was designated as one of the Top Ten Clubs in Toastmasters International. A new record for the entire international organization was set when 21 new clubs were chartered in Founder’s District with Vance J. Mingus, DTM, PDG as Club Extension Chair.

Its own record for new clubs formed in one year was broken by Founder’s District in 1979–1980 with Chris Gratsinopoulos, DTM as District Governor and John S. Latin, DTM, PDG as Club Extension Chair. Twenty-nine clubs were chartered and active clubs at year-end totaled 164. Rockwell-Anaheim Bicentennial Club #3798’s bulletin, Rab’s Rappings, was listed among the Top Ten Club Bulletins. Founder’s District again received recognition in 1979 when Past District Governor, H. Al Richardson, DTM became the fifth person from Founder’s District to be elected International Director.

During the same year, Division C was realigned with the resulting new division being called Division F. This action was taken at the Spring Conference of 1980. Jerry Weitzman, ATM was elected first Lieutenant Governor for Division F.