District 53’s Spring Conference Committee for 2024 will be headed by David Freedman and Richard Peck. David has been leading conferences all through the pandemic years, and Richard brings years of high-level experience at the highest levels of Toastmasters International to this effort.
The District 53 Spring Conference Committee for 2024 is looking for eager members to serve on this year’s committee. It’s a great learning opportunity and will add great leadership skills. Serving on this committee can also be used as a High-Performance Leadership project or DTM Project in Pathways. We have many possible positions within the committee. If you’d like to be part of the dynamic team that brings a quality event to the members of District 53, please email conference co-chairs David Freedman & Richard Peck at: firstname.lastname@example.org
As you may or may not have heard there was a phishing attempt made against me that affected the senior team.
Someone posed as me from two outside email accounts and asked the leaders to respond when it was a good time to chat. If they responded to the email they were asked to go and purchase gift cards for a secret recognition program. Once I was notified of this senior team members were notified to not respond and delete the emails. We thought that was the end of it.
A few days later some of our clubs’ executive committee members received the same email this time with the hackers posing as the club’s president. The emails appeared to be coming from them through Free Toast Host. We have notified them of this. To date we are not aware of any one purchasing any tickets. We took these attempts very seriously and made attempts to contact all club presidents so that they could share with their members.
Founded in 2009, Capital Advanced Toastmasters Club is proud to be the Capital District’s only advanced club. The Executive Committee and club membership has recently voted and would like to announce that the club has decided to embark on a brand-new journey as an open, community club with no membership restrictions.
We are focused on communication and leadership skills, both basic and beyond the basics offered by most clubs! Let us help YOU with Level 4 and 5 & DTM projects or we can help you get started as a brand-new Toastmaster. Our next meeting is Monday, October 2nd at 6:30pm Eastern Time.
Wednesday October 4, 2023 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET Zoom (See below)
Join keynote speaker Joe Audet and District 53 officers for this workshop on understanding the risks and types of cyber-fraud that either you or your club may be subjected to. An ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure! You’ll learn about some of the major types of internet-based schemes that are used to separate you from your money, including phishing, gift-card scams, fraudulent voicemails, malware attacks, and more. Your best protection isn’t to rely on just one method of defense on the internet — you’re better off knowing the risks yourself, and taking steps to avoid them. Come and educate yourself to protect both yourself and your club!
Keynote Joe Audet, CC CL, has been a member of Toastmasters for ten years. He’s been an IT professional for 27 years, operating as a systems administrator, website manager, programmer, and security engineer. He resides in western Massachusetts.
The District is offering this workshop immediately after a spate of cyber-fraud efforts deliberately targeting District Officers, Club Officers and Members. Know the risks, understand how YOU can protect yourself, and teach your fellow club members and families! Put it on your calendar and plan to attend, today!
Mark your calendars because the Club Contest season is just around the corner, starting from October 15, 2023, and running through to December 10, 2023. This is your chance to showcase your communication and leadership skills on a club level. Our two contests this year are theInternational Speech Contestculminating at the World Championships of Public Speaking at the annual Toastmasters International Convention in August 2024; and the Evaluation Contest, culminating at our own District 53 stage.
Here are some important dates to keep in mind:
Club Contests 🏆 (October 15, 2023 – December 10, 2023): Clubs will kick off the contest season, providing members with a platform to shine and compete.
Area Contests 🌐 (December 11, 2023 – February 10, 2024): Winners from the club level will move on to compete at the area level, taking their speeches to a broader audience.
Division Contests 🌟 (February 11, 2024 – March 31, 2024): The competition will intensify as the best from the areas face off. It’s all about leveling up!
District Contests 🌍 (Date to be determined): The ultimate stage, where champions from each division will compete. Stay tuned for the date announcement, tentatively targeting the 3rd weekend in April!
You can follow the development of the contest season by bookmarking the Contest Schedule Page — and if you’d like to list your own club’s contest dates, please contact our webmaster!
We’ve adjusted the contest calendar to ensure that Division Contests are wrapped up before April 1st, avoiding any conflicts with dues renewals.
The Club Contest format is entirely up to each club’s discretion. You can choose to hold your contests online, in-person, or even opt for a hybrid format. Flexibility is key, so adapt to what works best for your club.
Please note that all Area, Division, and District Speech Contests will be held in-person.
Get ready to embark on this thrilling journey of self-improvement, competition, and growth. Stay tuned for more details and instructions on how to participate in these contests.
Join us in-person on October 14th to get to know your fellow Toastmasters and create connections that will help you and your club flourish! There will be ample time for socializing, helpful information, and table topics fun with light lunch provided.
Date: October 14th, 2023
Doors Open: 10:30am for Networking & Division A Director Coffee Chat
District 53 would like you to know that we’ve had a spate of both spam and phishing attacks on members and on District officers. The messages purport to come from District Director Patti Walter, DTM, asking you to buy gift cards to prominent businesses, and then to text or email the activation codes to a phone number or email.
NONE OF THESE EMAILS ARE AUTHORIZED. DO NOT BUY GIFT CARDS ON THE DISTRICT’S BEHALF.
The District’s finances are governed by the Toastmasters Governing Documents, and specifically Protocol 8.4: District Fiscal Management. Part of those rules says,
Expenses that are essentially personal gifts must provide no more than “incidental private benefit” and must have a reasonable relationship to activities that directly support the mission. Examples are tokens of appreciation, expressions of sympathy and modest incentives. These items are appropriate if they promote goodwill and a positive atmosphere for the delivery of the Toastmasters program, but must never be lavish or excessive. Cash and cash equivalents, including but not limited to non-Toastmasters gift certificates, gift cards, or any other stored-value products, are not permitted.
Protocol 8.4.8 – District Fiscal Management, Other District Expenses
In other words, the District cannot own or purchase gift certificates from organizations or companies other than Toastmasters International’s own internal store; and we cannot reimburse members, even District officers, who purchase such cards.
We strongly advise clubs to make their members aware of these rules, so that they are not victimized by this kind of predatory scam.
It’s a great honor to be representing you at the Toastmasters International Convention, and the District Officers’ Training. I’ve spent my time getting to know fellow members from around the world — and I even got to eat with the Past International Presidents!
It was a great feeling to meet with the World Champion of 2023 public speaking — but I became emotional when I watched the third ranked speaker. Most of the leaders were encouraging me to work with you and make our district distinguished during this Toastmasters year of 2023-2024.
I interacted with Club Growth Directors of other Districts from across the world. I also discussed about club building with past international directors. I have returned with lot of energy and confidence to apply my knowledge and experience to work with the team and retain the clubs.
I have so much to tell you, but in the meantime here’s a set of photographs that documented my experiences.
Sincerely, Mohan Padamati, DTM Club Growth Director 2023-2024
It was a busy week for the D53 District Trio on-site in Nassau, Bahamas for District Officer Training and the Toastmasters International Convention. Just like the training our Club officers, Area and Division Directors are required to attend, we too have completed our training as well and it was amazing. I’m super excited to bring back to our district the things needed to help our clubs achieve excellence in District 53!
Member engagement, quality club meetings and education excellence was the forefront of our PQD sessions along with building new clubs. District Conferences were on everyone’s agendas as well during several days of intense PQD training sessions. Meeting with Program Quality Directors from around the globe was immensely helpful to gaining insight on what we all need to do: We build new clubs and help existing clubs to achieve excellence!
Congratulations to the Club Officers that attended the required Summer Club Officer Training (COT) sessions held in June, July and August and a huge thanks to all the facilitators that conducted the sessions over the last three months. As you know, the updated club officers list required by June 31, 2023 is the way officers can be notified about training. We have added makeup COT sessions to assist those clubs that missed it and that can be found on our website d53tm.org. You can also attend in other districts!
I’m thrilled to announce that our SC2024 Conference Co-Chairs Richard E. Peck, DTM, PIP and David Freedman, DTM have already started preliminary steps to provide you with a great District conference and we will provide additional details as things progress. Be on the lookout for “Save the Date” notifications from Public Relations Manager Zahary Fisk in the district newsletter as well as on our website.
Yours in Toastmasters Service, Bettyann Peck, DTM, PQD District 53 Program Quality Director, 2023-2024
Dial in for Audio-Only: +16465588656,, 82344732409#,,,,*848551#
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In accordance with District Bylaws, this is the official call to hold the next District Council Business Meeting online at 7:00 PM on Thursday, September 21, 2023.
The District Council consists of the District Executive Committee and the President and VP Education from each active club in the district. The District Executive Committee consists of all Area Directors, all Division Directors, District Director, Program Quality Director, Club Growth Director, Public Relations Manager, Administration Manager, Financial Manager and Immediate Past District Director.
The District Council meets twice annually, in the Fall and Spring. The fall meeting is always online and the spring meeting is typically held in-person during the District 53 Annual Conference, but may be held online on a date prior to the Conference.
Participation at this meeting is one of the responsibilities of all District Council members, and it is especially important that every club participates so that we can achieve quorum. Since proxy votes are not allowed at District Council meetings, your club can only be represented if your President and/or VPE attends. Either officer can cast both club votes if only one is present.
The District Council is the governing body of the Toastmasters District and conducts all business of the district including district officer elections, officer appointment confirmations, club, area and division alignment, district budget approval, conference location approval, and other matters important to effective district operations. The business items for discussion and approval at this specific meeting will include:
Approval of the April 2023 District Council meeting minutes
Approval of the Year-End 2022-2023 Financial Audit;
Approval of the 2023-2024 District Budget;
Approval of the 2023-2024 District Success Plan (DSP);
Confirmation of appointed 2023-2024 District Officers;
Decision on 2023-2024 Area and Division contest format (in-person, online, or hybrid)
We will also have reports from the District Sr Staff, with time for questions and feedback.