John Angiolillo receives awardPast District Governor and Distinguished Toastmaster, John Angiolillo, receives the Spirit of Excellence Award. Current Founder's District Director, Diana Dee, presented the award at the District Executive Council meeting on Februrary 14, 2019.

Angiolillo recognized the crucial need to keep club and district officer contact data current and, for many years, has volunteered to maintain the District Directory and update vital officer training data throughout the Toastmaster year. For example, the day after club officer training at the Leadership And Communication Experience (LACE) event last January, John swiftly compiled the officer training data and made it available to the district leadership. Those in district leadership positions know that John is consistently dogged in pursuit of the data needed for the District Directory.

John's positive, proactive spirit goes above and beyond expectations by providing outstanding service to the district. We thank John for his hard work and dedication.

The Spirit of Excellence Award is given to recognize a member who has had a big impact on many members throughout the District. Recipients embody the qualities of mentoring, leadership, service, outreach, and most of all, a Toastmaster's heart.

The District Directory and Calendar is painstakenly updated twice a year and hard and soft copies are provided to district leaders and chairs. The club officer training results are published on the Founder's District web site and updated in near real-time during the two training periods each year.

Saturday, 09 February 2019 03:49

A Moment In History

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Anniversary Icon

Founder's District celebrates 75 years of producing leaders and enriching the lives of members from around the world. It all started in Orange County, California on July 1, 1944. As the birthplace of Toastmasters, Founder's District is the first of nearly 130 districts founded across 143 countries worldwide.

In 2019, Founder's District serves as the creative catalyst, preparing members for their future with seven divisions, supporting 135 clubs, and serving over 2500 members across Orange and Los Angeles County. Toastmasters' long-term success and sustainability reflects the effectiveness of our hands-on, experiential learning as envisioned by Dr. Ralph Smedley, "Toastmasters is a laboratory where members experiment with words, ideas, voice inflection, body language and emotional connections."

With a collaborative and communicative mindset, our leaders and members continue to engage, expand and evolve Toastmasters into an inclusive and interconnected network of members infused with creativity and positivity. Toastmasters is a human connection ecosystem that enables people from different cultures, backgrounds and professions to converge weekly or bi-monthly in a fun, friendly and supportive atmosphere. A club meeting or district event is where members can "turn fear into opportunity" and "strangers turn into friends". With opportunities to lead and collaborate throughout the organization, members gain as much energy as they exert. Members choose to co-create with each other or co-develop a special project to elevate themselves, the club, and/or the organization. As a result, everyone rises together.

Looking ahead, John Kotter, author of Leading Change states, "The rate of change is not going to slow down anytime soon. If anything, competition in most industries will probably speed up even more in the next few decades." The rapid rate of change can be intimidating for any one person. Toastmasters can ease the rapid transformation pressures by providing a relaxing and fun environment in which members can experience:
1) personal transformation 2) professional development and 3) social skills to improve themselves and ultimately, 4) to be of service others.

As a member since 2016, I have observed the transformational powers of the Toastmasters process. I've grown first from the inside, and Toastmasters has left an indelible mark in my life. Over the next few months, I will interview and share stories from visionary leaders and members within and outside of our district to cast a net of ideas, thoughts and actions with you. By sharing our stories, we can uplift, inspire and become the creative catalyst for others. Happy 75th Anniversary, Founder's District!

Contributed by: Gisele Nguyen, President
Sensational Salesmen Toastmaster, Club 417

Sunday, 18 November 2018 16:37

TEDx vs. World Champion of Public Speaking

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Just like there are different genres of dance, like jazz, ballet or hip hop, there are different genres of speeches. There are fun and heartfelt wedding toasts, inspiring 45 minute keynotes, persuasive campaign speeches and countless others.

Each speech genre has a different tone depending on the audience, content and performance. I've given speeches to audiences of various sizes, cultures and ages. I remember all of them, but there are 2 that stand out to me the most: the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking and TEDx.

In 2016, I surpassed 35,000 contestants to place 3rd place in the World Championship of Public Speaking. Since then, I have been invited to speak all around the world including, India, 4 countries in the Middle East, China and Russia.

Which led to an invitation to TEDx on January 2018.

The two genres are drastically different and I had to adjust my speaking style and writing in each.

Here is a breakdown of the main differences.


Audience: U.S. The TEDx was set in Culver City, CA. An audience of about 120 that consisted of mostly native English speakers. They shared my culture and humor and I didn't have to adjust my jargon to be understood.

Content: Research based. Credibility should be established through research. Although, I included a personal story to emphasize my pointe, the subject should be rooted in solid arguments.

Structure: Simple. I used an easy to follow structure that had 3 examples to support my argument.

Humor: Not essential but appreciated. There are a few sprinkled here and there but I didn't bury the content under humor.

Type: Inspirational/Educational. The audience should walk away with a new piece of knowledge.

Performance Style: Casual. Much more conversational and intimate.

World Championship of Public Speaking:

Audience: International. There are about 2,000 members in the audience from 142 countries. I had to focus on a common human experience (friendship, appreciation, work ethic etc) that speaks across all cultures.

Content: Story based. I used stories from my own life to support a single message.

Structure: Artistic. I used many literary tools like foreshadowing, call backs and metaphors in my speech. At this level of competition, there must be some technical skills that go beyond just a message.

Humor: Frequent and well timed. Humor is an unwritten requirement in a Championship speech. I averaged at about 7 laughs per minute.

Type: Entertaining/Inspirational. The audience should walk away uplifted and inspired.

Performance Style: Dramatic. Facial expressions, acted out dialogue and staged choreography. Championship speeches have evolved into an almost theatrical performance.

Although there are many types of speeches, if you can master one, you can master them all. Just like dancing, you can learn all the tools, but the most important part is to actually practice them.

And that is exactly why Toastmasters is so valuable.

Josephine Lee is an industry leading entrepreneur and an award winning public speaker.

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At your service,
Josephine Lee

The Pointe Shop
200 E. 3rd Street
Santa Ana CA 92701




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Saturday, 17 November 2018 18:26

Toastmasters Changed My Life

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After 20 years with the same company, it sold, and I was out the door; 60 years old, out on the street, resume in hand, looking for work. My self-esteem gone.

When I was about at my lowest, a good friend asked me to attend a Toastmaster meeting with him. I told him, 'I need a job, not a meeting.' But he kept asking. Finally, I decided to humor him and gave in. That morning changed my life.

When we got to the meeting, I found the room bursting with positive energy. These people seemed going somewhere in life. I left that meeting with a membership application in hand and my heart was beating again.

I joined, and jumped in with both feet, achieving my Competent Communicator pin in short order. As I did, my self-confidence began to return. And something else: an old ambition of mine was awakened. I had always wanted to start my own business, applying some of my own ideas and using my new Toastmasters skills.

After a year with Toastmasters, and my wife's total support, I begged, borrowed from our IRA and a good friend, and started my own Company.

I had to get out and sell people on my idea and convince them to buy it and become part of my company. I held meetings all over California. I spoke everywhere and anywhere I could get in the door - service clubs, chambers of commerce, - sometimes 3 times a week.

My Toastmasters experience was pushing me forward!

Once I recruited franchisees, I had to go back to their offices and train their sales team using all the skills I learned at Toastmasters. Where did I get the courage and confidence to do it? You got it: Toastmasters!

One thing I know: Whatever your ambition, if you want to be the best you can be, you will never outgrow your need for Toastmasters.

Sunday, 29 April 2018 14:11

Harry Yan Receives Gene Beckwith Award

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The Gene Beckwith Memorial Trophy was established at the Founder’s District Fall Conference in 1981. The Founder’s District Director selects the Toastmaster who best exemplifies the humor, wisdom and leadership qualities of Gene Beckwith, DTM, PDG. The first recipient of this award was Roy D. Graham, DTM, PID.

I've never met Gene Beckwith so I have no idea how to compare his humor, wisdom, and leadership qualities. Our only option is to compare such qualities with those of recent past recipients of this award. This is the most prestigious award the district will bestow on a member so this selection is not taken lightly. Not one, but multiple years of contributions are considered.

This year's recipient began his venture into leadership by serving as a simple club coach for a struggling club. Ten years ago this club had 7 members and on its last leg. Through hard work and perseverance he helped the club grow its membership year after year up to 37 members and is consistently Presidents Distinguished every year. He remains a member of the club today.

He found his passion in pursuing leadership positions that involved coaching clubs, teaching others to coach clubs, building new clubs, and especially youth leadership programs. As Lt. Governor of Marketing, a position we now call the Club Growth Director, he was largely responsible for building enough clubs to achieve distinguished district status, a rarity in Founder's district for the last 20 years. Two years later as district governor, leading his team under the theme "Pursue Your Passion", he incredibly achieved for the first and only time in the history of the district, select distinguished status.

His leadership skills and wisdom are incontrovertible. As far as humor ... well, if you've ever heard him speak and tell the story about the tortoise and the hare, you would agree that he has no problem with humor. And even more importantly, he is inspirational.

Congratulations Distinguished Toastmaster, past district governor, Harry Yan.


In accordance with the Article VII, Section (d) of the District Administrative Bylaws, the District Leadership Committee, comprising of Bob Hudack, DTM, PDG, Cliff Shimizu, ACS, CL, Frannie Stein, DTM, Harry Yan, DTM, PDG, Kathy Hughes, ACS, ALB, Linda Robinson, DTM, Norm Stein, DTM, and Randy Kleinman, DTM, has nominated the following candidates for the 2018-2019 District Officers, in order by office and then alphabetically if there is more than one candidate per office.


District Director

Diana Dee, DTM

Program Quality Director

Lori Shapiro, DTM

Club Growth Director

Christine Brady, ACB, ALB


David Hosmer, ACS, ALS

Division A Director

John Christopherson, ACS, ALB

Division B Director

Brent Felsted, ACS, ALB

Division C Director

Minh Le, ACB, ALB

Division D Director

Mike Sato, ACB, ALB

Division E Director

Julie Murphy, CC, ALB

Division F Director

Steve Saffell, CC, ALB

Division G Director

Ann Shimizu, DTM


Reported by Siri Payakapan, DTM, PDD, Chair, District Leadership Committee

Sunday, 04 March 2018 23:34

Karen Lucas - Spirit of Excellence

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Karen Lucas joined Toastmasters as recently as 2007 and has accomplished quite a bit in the last nine years. She is a charter member of Caltech Toastmasters, reviving the club as the sole remaining member and awarded the Caltech Toastmaster of the Year in 2011. She simultaneously served as an Area Director in two districts, completing her DTM in 2015, and became a Qualified Speaker of the District 12 Speakers' Bureau and the District 100 Speakers' Bureau. While serving as an Area Director in Founder's District, she was a powerful force in the club building effort assisting other area directors across areas, divisions, and even districts. Her reach into the inner workings of Toastmasters International finds her building key relationships into the upper echelons of the organization. She is currently serving as the first Director of District 100 and we would not be surprised to one day see her serving as the International President, but we suspect her ambitions are much higher than that. Outside of Toastmasters she is a maverick in her community. For the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, she was selected as a White Suiter on her first try, served on the Street Committee, and is the youngest member to be appointed to the Heritage Committee. She is a former Board Member of the Pasadena branch of the United Nations.

In planet Toastmasters, her approach to leadership is novel, sometimes controversial, but definitely innovative. Above all, her dedication to enriching the lives of every Toastmaster member is worthy of recognizing her has having a Toastmaster's heart. Founder's District proudly recognizes the February 2018 Spirit of Excellence Award recipient, Distinguished Toastmaster, District 100 Director, Karen Lucas.

The “Founder’s District Spirit of Excellence” award was set up by past District Governor, Linda Ulrich, to recognize and thank some of our members who have made the biggest impact on the greatest number of members throughout our District and the organization.

The first recipients of this award were Richard Elliott, Chris Gregory, John Latin, Ed Mihalka, and H. Al Richardson. These persons embody the qualities of the "Spirit of Excellence" -- mentoring, leadership, service, outreach, and most of all, a Toastmaster's heart.

Sunday, 04 March 2018 23:25

Bob Hudack - Spirit of Excellence

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In 2007-2008 Bob Hudack served as the District Lt Governor and recognized for Excellence in Education and Training at the International Convention in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. In 2008-2009 he served as the District Governor and initiated the electronic distribution of The Founder newsletter and district directories, resulting in thousands of dollars in savings to the the district. Having superior technical skills and district knowledge, he continues each year serving as the alignment chair for the district in what is a very monumental task. In 2015 he served on the District Reformation Committee contributing to a successful negotiation in the heated debate of splitting the district. He has always been an outspoken champion for the Toastmasters member and every decision and action is made with the individual member in mind. When he speaks, you should listen. For his ongoing mentorship, proven leadership, dedicated service, and devotion to transforming members, he is without question, a Toastmaster with a big heart. Founder's District proudly recognizes the February 2018 Spirit of Excellence recipient, Distinguished Toastmaster, Past District Governor, Bob Hudack.

The “Founder’s District Spirit of Excellence” award was set up by past District Governor, Linda Ulrich, to recognize and thank some of our members who have made the biggest impact on the greatest number of members throughout our District and the organization.

The first recipients of this award were Richard Elliott, Chris Gregory, John Latin, Ed Mihalka, and H. Al Richardson. These persons embody the qualities of the "Spirit of Excellence" -- mentoring, leadership, service, outreach, and most of all, a Toastmaster's heart.

Founder’s District is proud to recognize the following members for achieving their Distinguished Toastmaster award. Achieving the designation of DTM requires each member to earn the following education and leadership awards: Competent Communicator, Advanced Communicator Bronze, Advanced Communicator Silver, Advanced Communicator Gold, Competent Leader, Advanced Leader Bronze, and the Advanced Leader Silver (which includes the High-Performance Leadership (HPL) Project).

Please help Founder’s District in congratulating: 

Donald T. Baliaba

Donald BaliabaDonald joined Toastmasters in January 2015 and his journey has been amazing. He initially joined Toastmasters to improve his speaking skills, but with the help (or sometimes push) of his mentor, Chris Gregory, he became more involved in the program. 

He first served as a club officer and then as the Area C1 Director. He became a DTM two and half years after joining the program because he had great mentors who challenged him and provided support. He can't thank them enough! Maybe the best decision he made was to join Helmsmen Club #770 in Huntington Beach, one of the best clubs in the world. 

Donald believes strongly that it's better to teach people how to catch fish rather than feeding them. With the help of several people, including his Founders district family, he started a Toastmasters club in Yaounde, Cameroon in Africa more than 8,000 miles away from here.  Today, many Cameroonians are enjoying and benefiting from this fantastic program.

As a DTM, he is planning to use his newly acquired skills to continue to learn… and more importantly, to assist and help others to succeed, as well. This is just the beginning.


Arnie Lynn Bengo

Arnie Bengo

Arnie was first introduced to Toastmasters by Jeanne Cassidy. Jeanne was the catalyst that began her journey as they chartered the 3030 Communications club at Working Wardrobes. It was at that point that she took on the role of VP of Education. In the year that she served as VPE, she earned her CC and CL in hopes of inspiring other members to achieve both leadership and education awards. She quickly immersed herself in the Toastmasters World after seeing her public speaking skills improve. Arnie then took on the role of President and eventually became the Area Director for J-2.

It took a little over 2.5 years for her to earn her DTM, an award she desperately sought out since becoming a charter member. 



Lou Ann Frederick

Lou Ann FrederickLou Ann is occasionally asked, “Why another DTM?” The answer is about how committed she is to both setting and achieving goals. It is important on an individual level but even more important when she participates as a member of her club to achieve Distinguished Club Status.

This is Lou Ann’s 4th or 5th Distinguished Toastmaster award and while the first one was the most notable, the work done for each successive award is equally important. Every new club that was developed, every speech project she devoted herself to, every relationship as she worked through leadership, it all added a positive dimension to her.

As she joyfully ages, she sees the need to step into a new phase of her life:to move out of the way so the newer members can fill roles and enhance their own futures. January will mark her 35th year in Toastmasters. It has been a great journey and Toastmasters helped Lou Ann achieve things in her career that were not possible otherwise.


Connie C. Haddix

Connie Haddix

Connie joined Toastmasters as a charter member of Quote Masters, in January 2009, because she needed a change from a season that was difficult, at best. She had lost her husband three months prior and her father just 6 weeks after that. She needed a way to redirect her grief.

Toastmasters delivered on that promise and then some! She found camaraderie amongst the members, creation of new goals and vision for her life, and an exciting adventure as a Toastmaster. This will never change for her.

Her DTM journey has been intentional and she is very pleased to reach that goal. However, the best part has been engaging with other members, by mentoring and holding each other accountable. Her heartfelt thanks goes to the Toastmasters International leadership and staff for continuing to strive for excellence in all facets of resources, educational platforms, and member engagement. You have served your global community well, with a compassion than lingers. 


Claudia Kabot

Claudia KabotClaudia began her Toastmasters journey eight years ago. At first, it was about improving her own communication and leadership skills. But, as time went on, she gained even more from helping other members.

Claudia became very active in her club by initiating and organizing successful club events; representing her club at area and division contests as a speech contestant; sponsoring and mentoring many new members; and attending all business meeting at District Conferences.  

As an Area Governor, she built relationships with her area clubs. She chaired division contests and brought many of her Tools 2 Lead club members to serve at Area and Division contests.

Earning her DTM marks not the destination of her Toastmasters journey, but the beginning of many more great accomplishments.


Kimberly M. McFee

Kimberly McFee

Kimberly joined Helmsmen Club #770 Toastmasters in May 1995. She joined because during a work performance review she was told that she needed to work on her platform skills. Her goal was to join a club and get through her first ten speeches and get her competent communicator award and then quit. That was over 20 years ago. Her bucket list goal with Toastmasters was to, one day, achieve her DTM. Because of work commitments and life, time got away from her. Fast forward to 2 years ago she pushed herself to run for club president, become an area director, and complete her HPL. Finally, she achieved the DTM in July 2017.  Mission accomplished!




Jodi Rifkin

Jodi Rifkin2Jodi Rifkin has been a Toastmaster since she was a teenager. Back then she was shy but after years with Toastmasters she grown to be more confident and outspoken. She is a proud member of Unimasters and is a Speakers Exchange Coordinator. Her career in E-commerce has been enhanced by the skills she honed at Toastmasters. She enjoys traveling, being a Girl Scouts Brownie Leader and Girl Scouts Trainer. She aspires to fulfill a childhood dream to carry the Olympic Torch.





Olimpo Salmoran Palomino

Olimpo Salmoran Palomino

Olimpo got passionate with Toastmasters when he attended his first contest in 2009. At that contest Olimpo was impressed by the level of engagement and the spirit of service and professionalism of everyone involved! Since that remarkable event in 2009, Toastmasters has been an inspiration for his life!

The thing that he loves most about Toastmasters is that Toastmasters International improves the life of all members in one way or another.

Olimpo’s commitment in the future is to continue to support Toastmasters members in achieving their objectives and to improving their lives.


Anna Shcherbak

Anna Shcherbak2

Anna has been on an amazing 8-year journey to achieve her DTM award. Along the way, she met many remarkable people, established life-long friendships, and gained the confidence to pursue her passion of teaching children. The Toastmasters community has influenced her life in many positive ways and she is forever grateful for the support, love, and encouragement she has been shown by her fellow Toastmasters.









It’s time to hold club officer elections and submit your club officer lists!

For all clubs with semi-annual officer terms, new club officer lists need to be submitted by December 31. Clubs who submit on time receive credit towards their Distinguished Club Program.

You want to be sure to submit club officer lists for the “future term” otherwise you may be updating the current term list.

You can use the instruction link below to submit your list through using “Club Central.”

 Download Instructions



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