Last Word Toastmasters: An invitation

Greetings Divisions D & E Toastmasters,

Are YOU a Toastmaster looking for more opportunities to speak?

Hello from the Last Word club! We are the only Toastmasters club in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts. We are doing hybrid meetings, both in-person and virtual. 

  • Would you like to be our guest speaker and wow the crowd?
  • Maybe think of having a dual membership with us?
  • Come visit and see what you think.
  • Last Word is friendly and fun!

We meet at our president’s workspace in Pittsfield, Hi-Tech Mold & Tool. It has a nice meeting room, with a big TV screen for the Zoom calls.

Our next meeting is June 20th. We meet on the first and third Tuesdays of the month, 6:30 to 8pm. We are taking July 4th off and returning July 18th.

Drop us a line for more info, address and link at

And check out our website,

With our best,
— David C, VPPR
— Eric, PRES and TRE

Conference Committee announced

7 November 2022:

District 53 Toastmasters is delighted to announce the names of the members of the District Conference Committee for the Spring 2023 Conference, “SPRINGBoard to Success”, to be held in Springfield, Massachusetts during the weekend of May 5-7, 2023.

More information on the Conference Committee’s members and their responsibilities will be forthcoming on the Conference 2023 tab, shortly.

John J. Hogan, DTMDistrict Director

Committee MemberRole & Title
David Freedman, DTMConference Co-Chair
Janice Dimock, DTMConference Co-Chair
Norm Thibodeau, DTMRegistration
OpenMarketing (contact conference chairs)
Aaron J. Anaya, LD5 MS5Communication and Leadership Award
Richard May, MS5 PM4 VC3Conference Education
Heather SkaaningDay Program
Stephanie Roy, PI4 VC4Facilities & Operations
Christina LaPerle, MS3 PM4 IP4Volunteers
Melanie Lee, PM2Sponsors & Exhibitors
Maya Bahl, DL5 IP5First Timers
openLead Zoom Master (contact conference chairs)

District Director’s Letter, 11/1/2022

Dear District 53 Toastmasters:

First and foremost, I am grateful to the members of the District Council: District Executive Committee and club Presidents and Vice-presidents: for their participation in the Fall Business Meeting of October 27. Participation was so robust that we easily met quorum. Well done! All business items, including annual budget, District Success Plan, 2021-2022 audit report, and the roster of appointed officers, were adopted with comfortable margins.

The District 53 Trio recognizes and thanks the functionaries who made the meeting run so smoothly and on time. These functionaries include Timekeepers Selina Tourjee and Silva Abadjian, as well as Zoom Masters Steve Lanning and Rick May. District Administrative Manager Norm Thibodeau kept us all on track with displays, meeting scripts, and ballots. Without these engaged Toastmasters, the meeting would not have been possible.

I am instituting a monthly “Coffee Hour with the District Director.” This will be every second Saturday, November, 2022 through June, 2023, from 8:30 to 9:30. Here is the link to copy and paste in your browser:

Finally, this is a great time of the year to revisit, review, and revise your Club Success Plans (CSPs). Are your goals for your club realistic? Do they reflect your members’ interests? Do they support your club’s growth and vitality? Club officers can work with their Area Directors in creating or modifying a CSP that will result in a vibrant program for your members. Be sure to reach out to your Area Director for their support. They are anxious to assist you in succeeding.

Thank you for your kind attention, Toastmasters!

John J. Hogan, DTM
District Director, 2022-23

District 53 announces Contests for 2022-23

District Director John J. Hogan and Program Quality Director Patti Walter have announced the following contest program for the 2022-2023 year:

  • The International Contest, leading to the World Championship of Public Speaking
  • The Tall Tales Contest, ending at the District 53 Conference in May

The contests for each level of competition must occur by the following dates:

  • Club Contests must take place by January 15, 2023
  • Area Contests will take place between January 16, 2023 and March 15, 2023
  • Division Contests will take place between March 16, 2023 and April 16, 2023
  • The District Contests will occur as part of the District Conference in May 2023

All contests at all levels must conform to the Toastmasters Contest Rulebook for the 2022-2023 program year. Questions should be directed to Patti Walter as the Program Quality Director.

Sales Tax Info for Toastmasters

It’s come to the District’s attention that changes in the state sales tax law have gone into effect, and clubs in New York will have to be alert to these changes.

  1. Digital products (new paths, banner files, etc) are currently exempt;
  2. physical products from the Toastmasters store

It’s unclear to us at this point that new members or renewing members are required to pay sales tax on their memberships. There is a new Membership Application, and a sales tax calculator, and at the moment we recommend that New York Toastmasters clubs collect the sales tax from new members until we get better guidance. You can return the extra money to the member if it turns out not to be needed.

You can read more about this at the Toastmasters webpage on US tax compliance at the state level, and a Supreme Court case called South Dakota vs. Wayfair, Inc.: Toastmasters Legal and Tax Compliance in US states

At the moment, neither Connecticut nor Massachusetts have laws that extend sales tax to Toastmasters products or digital resources. We’ll let you know if that changes.

— ABWatt, District Webmaster & IPDD, 12 June 2022