* Please visit our Calendar page
for a full list of upcoming events!

  • October 18, 2017 6:00 pmDivision L Humorous and Eval Contests
  • October 21, 2017 9:00 amDivision Q Humorous and Eval Contests
  • October 21, 2017 9:40 amDivision R Humorous and Eval Contests
  • October 21, 2017 10:00 amDivision P Humorous and Eval Contests
  • October 21, 2017 12:00 pmDivision O Humorous and Eval Contests
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District 56 would like to thank the following corporations for their dedication to Toastmasters over the years.

Each of the companies below has been the proud recipient of our Toastmasters Recognition Award:

* Anadarko Petroleum Company
(Spring 2017)

* Citgo Petroleum Corporation
(Spring 2017)

* DeVry
(Spring 2015)

(Spring 2015)

* ExxonMobil Corp.
(Fall 2012)

* Wood Group Mustang
(Fall 2012)

* Shell Oil Company
(Fall 2011)

* JPMorgan Chase
(Fall 2011)

* American National
Insurance Company
(Spring 2011)

* CB&I
(Spring 2011)

* MetroNational
(Fall 2009)

Meet the 2016-2017 District Officers

District Director:

Martha Elias, DTM

Program Quality Director:

R.W.  (Bill)  Sullivan, DTM

Club Growth Director:

Nagaraja Basappa, DTM

Division Directors:

Division L Director: Elly Hard, DTM
Division M Director: Keith Romaine, ATMS, CL
Division N Director: Sydney Mark, DTM
Division O Director: Dorothy Hudson- Jenkins, ACS, CL
Division P Director: Lisa Harkrider, ACB, CL
Division Q Director: Sheryle Warren, ACS, ALS
Division R Director: Frank Jackowski, ACG, ALB

During the election process, each Director was asked the following two questions:

Question #1: What skills do you think you could bring to District 56?

Question #2: What are your goals as [Leadership Position]?

Here are their replies…

District Director:

Martha Elias, DTM

Question #1: What skills do you think you could bring to District 56?

First, I bring toastmaster leadership skills gained at the club and district levels. I have diligently served in a number of club officer positions. Serving as club president, I learned to be a strategic thinker, develop a vision, and map out a plan of action to achieve team goals. My leadership skills were enhanced while serving as Area O-12 Governor providing guidance and support to clubs in their quest for distinguished status or better. Secondly, I bring marketing skills which were developed to a higher level while serving as Lieutenant Governor Marketing which enabled me to successfully charter new clubs. Next, I bring training skills acquired in training coaches, mentors, and sponsors and in helping train club officers in my last position as Program Quality Director. Lastly, I possess the necessary management skills to oversee the day to day operations of the District.

Question #2: What are your goals as District Director?

One of my goals as District director will be to Inspire Excellence, which is my campaign theme. I feel that Inspiring Excellence will ultimately lead District 56 to become President’s Distinguished. Mentors will play an important role in inspiring members to stay focused and goal-oriented. My goal is also to help our clubs meet the needs of their members to ensure member growth and retention. Once member needs are met, our clubs will be stronger, more viable, and able to withstand adverse circumstances. On the other hand, I want to motivate those clubs that are struggling and help them utilize all the toastmaster tools available. In order for our organization to remain a leader in the quest to helping persons improve their communication and leadership skills, my team goal is to continually expand our network of clubs. Focusing on the member first will help District 56 achieve its goals.

Program Quality Director:

R.W.  (Bill)  Sullivan, DTM

Question #1: What skills do you think you could bring to District 56?

Toastmasters – I have been in Toastmasters, this time, since late 2008 and have achieved DTM twice. I have been the member of 5 different clubs, mostly simultaneously, and have served in every club level officer role, and as Area and Division Governors both achieving Select Distinguished. I was elected District “Sargent at Arms for the Year”. My home club, of which I am a charter member, has been Presidents Distinguished all eight years since chartered.

Professionally – I have worked in Project Management for over 40 years.  In leading project and departmental teams; I am known as a strong, fair accomplished team builder.  I have held full Profit & Loss managerial positions for projects as large as $3 Billion and completed them on time within budget and schedule.

With 8 years in various Toastmaster Leadership Roles and over 40 years of managerial leadership in my career, I bring a solid foundation of leadership to serve District 56 as a member of the TRIO.

Question #2: What are your goals as Program Quality Director?

As Program Quality Director my goals are simple:

  1. Be an integral part in making District 56 – President’s Distinguished for 2016.
  2. Train all the club, area, and division officers for their positions in District 56.
  3. Make the TLI’s more FUN, Interesting and Beneficial for each officer, whether they are new or a repeat officer.
  4. Fall & Spring Conferences
    1. Increase attendance
    2. Add more educational sessions.

I am not as much about the numbers as it may seem.  I feel that we need enthusiastic, motivated members, and all the numbers will work out for us. To have members enthusiastic and motivated about Toastmasters we need:

  1. We need to have Club Officers to be enthusiastic and motivated.
  2. To raise our enthusiasm & increase our motivation , our membership has to:
    1. Have FUN in their Participation at Toastmasters events.
    2. Show our Members how Toastmasters is beneficial to their lives.

Let’s all work together and raise District 56’s spirits, expectations, and level of FUN.

Club Growth Director:

Nagaraja Basappa, DTM

Question #1: What skills do you think you could bring to District 56?

My career spans more than 20 years, serving as manager and software engineer at multiple Fortune 500 companies. Managing and leading teams in major global information technology corporations made me an efficient leader and manager. Being a member of Toastmasters International and Project Management Institute helped me to become an efficient leader and effective communicator. I have been recognized for strong leadership, organizational skills, effective communication, problem-solving, and decision-making abilities. In addition, I have excellent strategic planning, budgeting, and goal setting skills for accomplishing the vision. As a servant leader, I coach, motivate, and delegate for empowering the team members to achieve goals and objectives.

Question #2: What are your goals as Club Growth Director?

My primary goal is to make the district president’s distinguished by building new clubs. By creating a marketing plan with district and club leaders, initiate new portfolios, programs, and projects to meet membership and club growth objectives. With the help of district leaders, build club growth committees and appoint committee chairs to develop and implement the projects to aid in the formulation of new clubs. In addition, appoint club sponsors and mentors for new clubs and club coaches to support struggling clubs. Train, motivate and supervise a strong club-building team, sponsors, mentors, and coaches to help clubs achieve a recognition in the Distinguished Club Program. Attend all district executive meetings to provide the status of club visit reports, submission of club officer lists, paid clubs, and new clubs.

Division Directors:

Division L Director

Elly Hard, DTM

What skills do you think you could bring to District 56?

Organizing, Delegating, Mentoring, and Achieving Proven Results with Skillful Knowledge, Elegance, and Humor.

What are your goals as Division L Director?

To reach Distinguished Division Status by effectively training judges and contest officials, and working closely with my team of dedicated Area Directors.

Division M Director

Keith Romaine, ATMS, CL

Question #1: What skills do you think you could bring to District 56?

As an engineer trained in Project Management, I understand the importance of planning and organization to achieve specific objectives. As someone who has been active in Toastmasters for over 20 years, I am familiar with the challenges Area and Club leaders will face when striving to achieve their respective goals. I believe that my experience can be a valuable resource for those Toastmasters who are ready to develop and challenge their leadership skills.

Question #2: What are your goals as Division M Director?

My goals for Division M are to achieve Select Distinguished Division – 45% of clubs are distinguished and zero net loss of clubs. The reason I targeted this level and not President’s Distinguished is because the next level requires a net gain of one club in the Division, along with 50% of clubs being distinguished. Actually, I think 50% of clubs being distinguished is highly achievable. However, before I focus on adding clubs to the Division, I want to focus on helping building membership within existing clubs. Too many of the clubs in the Division have memberships levels that are too low and not conducive to achieving distinguished club status. I believe we need to work with getting the membership of these clubs up to at least 20 members and preferably more. Then, if we do add a new club that achievement will be all the sweeter.

Division N Director

Sydney Mark, DTM

What are your goals as Division N Director?

Ensure that all Division N club officers attend both the winter and spring TLI training.
Ensure that each club achieves its mission and fulfills its responsibilities to its members.
Ensure that all Division N Area Governors attend all the DEC meetings.
Ensure that all Division N Area Governors submit all Area Governor Reports on time.
Promote the Conference to all clubs in Division N.
Add at least 2 new clubs in Division N.
Support all the TLIs held in Division N
Hold successful Area and Division Speech contests in Division N.
Hold monthly Division N Council meetings
Conduct a Division-wide Moments of Truth for Division N.

Division O Director

 Dorothy Hudson-Jenkins, ACS, CL

Question #1: What skills do you think you could bring to District 56?

At Christmas time, we all have that one person who has everything and it leaves you pondering, “What shall I buy?” That’s how I see District 56. The district is diverse and contains extremely talented members. So, I am honored to have this opportunity to be considered for a leadership role, a chance to do my part. My abilities are already in the district. First, the willingness to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty by tackling any given task. Along with that would be objectivity and openness to new ideas, observance, and alertness for club and district building opportunities. I feel optimistic that by utilizing these skills, District 56 will receive the perfect gift for Christmas this year.

Question #2: What are your goals as Division O Director?

Division O is alive and well! However, to make it better, my main goal will be to activate ready, set, action by rolling out a K.E.Y.S. (Keep Enhancing Your Strengths) campaign (more to come). The focus will be taken off of me and put on the members because we are all a part of the same reckoning force. Ready will be accomplished by encouraging, energizing and engaging each member to take an active and personal role in taking Division O and D56 to the next level. Set will be accomplished by going outside of our comfort zones. Some members will do stretches, some will do sit ups, some will do jumping jacks and some will do lunges. Division O, Ready, set, action to exercise and to activate your part of a well-oiled working machine. See you on the court!

Division P Director

Lisa Harkrider, ACB, CL

Question #1: What skills do you think you could bring to District 56?

I am a good communicator, a good listener, and a good leader.

Question #2: What are your goals as Division P Director?

My goals are to strengthen the existing clubs and to build new ones as well as help each area become distinguished (40% of club base distinguished) and to ultimately become President’s Distinguished (50% of club base Distinguished and club growth of one net new club).

Division Q Director

Sheryle Warren, ACS, ALS

Question #1: What skills do you think you could bring to District 56?

I offer a host of valuable skills that include: leadership, empowerment and development, and inspiration and motivation. It is said and widely believed that the greatest among us are servants. I have served as a leader in many venues, including TI as a mentor, President, VPE and Area Director. Leaders influence others in evolving into a greater sense of self-actualization. Empowering and developing Area Directors is to ensure that they have the tools and resources available to serve the clubs. With adequate tools at their disposal, ADs are intentional as they serve the clubs through impactful club visits and interactions with other Area Directors. Inspiring and motivating fellow Toastmasters to pursue educational goals as I pursue my goals validates the significance of self and group development. Leading in goal setting and achievement is paramount in successfully stimulating individual achievements, which is foundational in achieving Club, Area and District goals.

Question #2: What are your goals as Division Q Director?

My primary goal is to develop leaders who are well equipped to impact leaders both at the club and area levels, who will in turn directly impact individual member and club growth. Division Q currently has 31 paid clubs. As we develop leaders, we believe the result would increase paid clubs. Our growth ambitions are based on individual member achievement. To accomplish our member-focused objective, our team efforts rely on the Toastmaster International values: integrity, respect, service and excellence when interacting with fellow Toastmasters. The collective efforts of the Division Q team are creative, knowing where to obtain resources to enhance the spirit of opulence within District 56. My leadership approach is a sincere enthusiastically creative service-oriented commitment to the success and mission of the District 56 family.

Division R Director

Frank Jackowski, ACG, ALB

Question #1: What skills do you think you could bring to District 56?

Education, experience, communications and drive for success are a few of the skills and abilities that I bring to District 56. In 2008 I received a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and followed it up with a Master of Management degree both of which came from the University of Phoenix. I am in a constant pursuit of expanding my skills and knowledge. Experience from being an engineer as well as holding a management position for over 20 years has been enhanced by my organization skills and time management knowledge. Communication is the key to everything. I work hard daily to improve my communications skills in verbal, visual, and written communications. I joined Toastmasters International in January 2013 to identify areas of weakness and to increase my knowledge and skills. A drive to succeed plus assisting others to become better communicators and leaders feeds my personal goal of helping others.

Question #2: What are your goals as Division R Director?

As Division Director there are multiple goals that I will focus on with the distinguished club, area, and district program being a priority. To accomplish this goal I will work closely with the area directors in support of club growth as well as membership growth. My next goal will be to see that all club officers receive training at both secessions of the district sponsored TLI workshops. The area directors within Division R will also receive regular and routine training to improve their skills to meet their and their area club goals. Providing the necessary leadership to support the area and club leaders is another goal. I will assist the area directors to hold area speech contest and on how to help the individual clubs to hold and send representation to the contest working towards 100% participation.