On Saturday, April 16 more than 130 people attended the Toastmasters District 10 Spring Conference held at Malone University Johnson Center in Canton, Ohio. Conference co-chairs were Marsha Friedman and Christina McNutt.
District 10 Director Jenilee Taylor began the day with the District annual meeting, where District business was discussed and voted on. District leaders for the 2016-2017 Toastmasters year were elected. They are:
District Director Dave Wiley, DTM
Program Quality Director Tim Juda, ACG, CL
Club Growth Director Vicky Nann, DTM
Central Division Director Kathy Hammond, ACB, ALB
Eastern Division Director Mark Timm, ACB, CL
Northern Division Director Alicia Smith-Kirk, ACB, ALB
Southern Division Director Kim Krajci, DTM
Western Division Director Rosita Turner, ACG, ALB
Following the business meeting, professional speaker Sheryl Roush, DTM, visiting from San Diego, California delivered the keynote. She also presented “Sparkle When You Speak,” an afternoon session aimed at helping speakers connect better with their audiences.
“Sheryl set the bar high for each of us to give of ourselves,” said Toastmaster Dennis Deegan. “She made me think and laugh. I learned so much from her in such a short time.”
The theme of the conference was Next Generation Leadership. Local speakers who presented education sessions included Ally Elias, Trish Ostroski, Andrea Zwegat, Joanna Butler, Rachel Miller, Kris McGuigan, Srvanthi Vallampati, Katherine Burk, Dan Toussant, Norma Moyer, and Dale Sagen. Visiting Toastmaster Vera Johnson also presented. In a lunchtime keynote, Toastmaster Liz Hersh presented “Inside the Mind of a Millennial.”
Session topics included how to evaluate speeches made by Millennials, ways to reach Millennials to promote Toastmasters, and tips for bridging the generation gap. Other speakers presented suggestions for being a more engaging speaker and ideas for becoming a more effective leader. In a special bonus session held on Sunday, April 17, special guest Sheryl Roush explored ways to break into the world of professional speaking.
Canton-area resident Nick Bollas received the District 10 Community and Leadership Award, which is presented to a non-Toastmaster for exemplary service in the world of public speaking. Mr. Bollas was recognized for his many years coaching high school student speech and debate teams.
“We received tremendous positive feedback about the quality of the conference,” said conference co-chair Marsha Friedman. “The formula for success is simple: Take two parts leaders with vision, add 15 parts high energy committee chairs with a supporting cast of volunteers, sprinkle with collaboration, problem-solving, and enthusiasm, and the result is one awesome, amazing, successful spring conference!”
The District 10 DTM Minting Ceremony recognized five Toastmasters who recently earned the Distinguished Toastmaster award, the highest education award in Toastmasters International. The newest District 10 DTMs are Art Byrd, Mike Garrick, Becky Richardson, Deonna Moore Taylor, and Todd Taylor.
The conference culminated with the District 10 Evaluation speech contest and the International Speech contest. Five contestants, each representing one of District 10’s five divisions, competed in each contest. Maureen Zappala, DTM, took first place in each contest. Maureen will advance to the semi-final competition at the Toastmasters International Convention in Washington, DC, in August.
“Creative, inspiring, and practical describe the spring conference,” said Program Quality Director and conference host Dave Wiley. “It was like being in Disney World without leaving Ohio!”