District 10 Toastmasters encompasses the geographic area of Northeast Ohio.
This area includes land all the way from Hardin county in the west to Ashtabula and Mahoning in the east and down as far south as Delaware and Harrison counties.
Within those geographic areas, there are over 2,000 members of Toastmasters and 100 different Toastmasters clubs. (Click here to Find a Club).
How District 10 Started
District 10 began with the formation of Akron Toastmasters Club #151 in 1939.
Lewis (Lew) Turner, while visiting California in the 1930’s, heard of an organization that promoted self-development and the “how-to’s” for more effective communication. Turner was so impressed after visiting the Toastmasters club of our founder, Ralph Smedley, that he vowed to form a club on his return to Akron. He started the first Toastmasters Club in Ohio, which was chartered in Akron in December 1939. Akron became the 151st community in the world to welcome Toastmasters.
The idea spread and by late 1941, there were seven Toastmasters clubs in Ohio. Lew Turner then set in motion the formation of the District, which required a minimum of 10 clubs in order to be officially chartered.
In early 1942, we became the tenth District in the world to be formed, and thus that is why we are known as “District 10”. Lew Turner was appointed by Dr. Smedley to serve as District Governor until the first election was held in 1943.
Lewis Turner also felt strongly about women gaining the same skills that men were receiving through Toastmasters. He learned that Dr. Smedley had been instrumental in forming an organization for women called the International Toastmistress Club. Lewis Turner helped form the first Toastmistress club east of the Mississippi in 1941, “The Akron Club”. In 1973, Toastmasters club membership was opened to women.
Turner’s interest in Toastmasters energized him to become an International Director in the 1940’s and ultimately the 1949-50 International President, overseeing all of Toastmasters International. He is one of two District 10 members to have served as International President. The other was T. Vincent (Vince) McIntire (1956-1957). There have been 12 other members of District 10 who have gone on to become International Directors.
By 1953, there were 63 clubs in District 10 when the clubs in southern Ohio petitioned for the establishment of another district. The new district started operating as District 40 on July 1, 1953, with 39 of the clubs from District 10, leaving us with 24 clubs. By July 2003, District 10 set a new record of 100 clubs.
District 10 Honors and Recognition
District 10 hosted the 1969 International Convention at the Sheraton-Cleveland Hotel, with Eldon Phillips as the Chairman. In 1991, Nate Parries conducted the Memorial Tribute at the International Convention in Atlanta.
We have been honored with visits by the International President of Toastmasters on several occasions:
- 1967-1968: Lothar Salin
- 1975-1976: George C. Scott
- 1981-1982: William Hamilton
- 1985-1986: Helen Blanchard
- 1990-1991: Edward Bick
- 1996-1997: Robert Barnhill
- 2004-2005: Jon Greiner
- 2011-2012: Michael Notaro
We have achieved Distinguished District or better 20 times during our history.
District 10 has had four contestants compete at the prestigious World Championship of Public Speaking:
- 1969: Ed Euland, 3rd Place
- 1982: Terri Kinlow
- 1999: David Caban, 3rd Place
- 2009: Maureen Zappala
District 10 has also had two winners of the Region VI Evaluation Contest:
- 1990: Brent Bowen, 1st Place
- 1999: David Caban, 1st Place
1999 was the last year that the Evaluation Contest progressed to the Regional Level
If you live in Northeast Ohio, and have ever felt the need to improve your personal communication skills, we encourage you to visit one of our member clubs.
Our District is an award winning group of individuals and clubs who can provide you with the support and encouragement you desire to realize your dreams! (Click here to Find a Club Near You).