Toastmasters District 53 2023 Conference
“SPRINGBoard to Success”
Saturday, May 6, 2023

Join us in Springfield, Massachusetts for a day of communication, leadership training, networking and social re-engagement, as you renew your in-person experience with Toastmasters District 53!

Register Here!

SpringBoard into action - logo for 2023 Annual Conference
8:00 amFirst-Timers Session
8:15 amOpening Session – How To Get The Most Out of Today

Morning Keynote Session:   Joe Grondin, DTM, AS “Developing Your Signature”
9:30 amBreakout Sessions #1 (choose one at registration)
Captivate Your Listener With Compelling Signature Stories” – Mary Cheyne CC
Growing Relationships Within Our Clubs” – Ann Canfield, LD5
Choosing How You Respond to Change” – Heather LaPierre, CC

10:45 amDistrict 53 Tall Tales Contest
12:00 pmCommunication & Leadership Award Luncheon
Honoree:  Patricia Nicolari
1:45 pmBreakout Sessions #2 (choose one at registration)
Success in Pathways: Complement, Not Complicate” – Stephanie Roy, PI5 PM4 VC4
Setting Professional Boundaries & Actionable Steps for Setting Them” – Heather Turner, DTM
Intentional Change will Reboot your Toastmasters Club” – Steve Lanning, DTM

3:00 pmAfternoon Keynote Session: Joe Grondin, DTM, AS “Mrs. Elliott’s Lessons”
4:00 pmDistrict 53 Hall of Fame
4:30 pmDistrict Officers Installation
5:00 pmSocial Time
6:00 pmDinner Banquet
8:00 pmDistrict 53 International Speech Contest

Closing Session
9:00am-10:30amBonus Workshop & Breakfast: “Speak to Reach” with Joe Grondin, DTM, AS (Separate registration)


Joe Grondin, DTM AS

Morning: Developing Your Signature

This session will focus on how to develop our unique signature voice and encourage you to develop your unique presentation style.

Afternoon: Mrs. Elliott’s Lessons

Mrs. Elliott, Joe’s favourite teacher, taught him four lessons on leadership at a time he needed it the most. Toastmasters further helped Joe to hone those lessons. This presentation combines leadership with wellness and are lessons about finding what shines within us, finding the possibilities, finding the strength within, and finding the positive.

Joe Grondin, DTM, AS is a retired educator and is now, with the guidance of his Toastmaster family, fulfilling his dream of being an international inspirational speaker. He is the author of the books “Living in Harmony With Our Children” and “Speak to Reach” and has been asked to speak throughout North America on these topics.   

Joe has been busy traveling the globe to pursue his passions. Destinations include Malaysia, Washington D.C., and Las Vegas to participate in the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking. Having qualified seven times for the world championships, he has successfully placed in the top 10 on two occasions. Joe is a three-time TEDx speaker and earned the prestigious Accredited Speaker designation from Toastmasters International in 2017 becoming one of 90 people in the world who hold this distinction. Joe does admit that his biggest accomplishment is getting hugs from his grandchildren.

Joe is a “FEEL GOOD” type guy and takes any opportunity to sing and dance in public, much to the dismay of my family. The last time Joe did his song and dance in public his children ran for cover.

Joe is a proud Toastmaster and he believes that Toastmaster audiences are the best audiences in the world. It is truly an honour for Joe to present in front of his toastmaster family because it matters not where you are in your journey, you are dedicated to self-improvement so that you can make a difference in this world. Joe is hoping that in some small way he can help you on that journey.


 “Captivate Your Listener With Compelling Signature Stories”

Mary Cheyne, CC

The way to connect with any listener, for example in a job interview, or speaking to a business, is for the audience to confidently share your signature story. Why? Because when your listeners can relate to your story they’ll more easily trust you, they’ll certainly respect you, and they’ll clearly see how your talents and skills are valuable to them. In this fun and interactive session, you’ll walk away with: 

  • The clarity to know which story is your BEST story to create connection with your listeners fast.
  • The SWIRL framework to create your own compelling Signature Story in this very session! A story so compelling that it will keep your listeners at the edge of their seats.
  • An understanding of what makes one’s story a total “snooze-fest” and what to do instead so you leave your listeners wanting more.

Mary Cheyne, MBA, began her career as a socially awkward computer programmer who hid behind her desk because she was too self-conscious.  Today, as a World Champion of Public Speaking first runner-up, out of 25,000 contestants from 14 countries, she’s proof that transformation is possible. She got there by understanding that becoming GREAT at public speaking isn’t just about techniques to be a good speaker, rather it starts with discovering how to trust yourself first, even in situations that would typically feel intimidating. Guided by this philosophy, Mary created processes to help individuals communicate in a way where they feel seen, heard, valued, and respected. Through her training and coaching, she has taught this curriculum to over 30,000 people in over 30 cities internationally. This has allowed her to powerfully serve her mission of developing heart-centered, confident professionals who lead with empathy, not ego. Her unique approach to presenting is what got Mary invited to speak on a TEDx stage. The video of her talk currently has over 537,000 views. Mary is the best-selling author of the book “Present” Yourself in Public Speaking: Tell Your Inner Critic to Shut Up & the Real You To Speak Up.

“Growing Relationships Within Our Clubs”

Ann Canfield, LD5

The objective of this workshop is to understand our influence and how we can build effective relationships within our club. We will discuss the elements of small talk and communicating to collaborate. We will also address how to ask effective questions, presenting ideas inside your club and building credibility with officers and members. You will leave with strategies for nurturing relationships inside and outside of your club.

Toastmaster Ann Canfield

Ann Canfield has coached in several business settings, helping grow leadership skills for employees and teams. Ann has worked with young adults in several industries including marketing, sales, customer service, accounting and manufacturing. She has created curriculum and taught courses such as: interviewing skills, public speaking and confidence building strategies. Ann has a Master’s degree in Behavior Analysis and Therapy and is a Certified Professional Life Coach through ICF. She is the president of Brass City Toastmasters, a member of Women in Manufacturing and partners with Parent to Parent USA to develop training materials.  Ann currently offers programs for leadership skills, communication skills and confidence building and is a certified Positive Neuroplasticity instructor for Well Being based on Rick Hanson’s Hardwiring Happiness. Ann enjoys nature photography, hiking and exploring the northeast when weather permits. Her mission statement is: “to be better today than yesterday, but not as good as tomorrow.”

 “Choosing How You Respond to Change”

Heather LaPierre, CC

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it,” said Charles Swindoll, pointing to life being more about attitude rather than our circumstances. But, as our personal and professional lives continue to be bombarded with constant change, how do we remain resilient? Heather LaPierre, a Change Enablement Specialist, brings you behind the scenes to describe the reasons why we feel change fatigue and what we can do about it.

Heather LaPierre is passionate about building change competency with individuals and teams. Beginning her role as a change enablement specialist in 2021, she brings the why and how of applying effective change management to reach future-state expectations at her company, Farm Credit East. Heather lives in Freeville, NY, with her husband, Andrew.


“Success in Pathways: Complement, Not Complicate”

Stephanie Roy, PI5 PM4 VC4

Toastmasters (and Pathways) should complement your life, not complicate it. Our clubs are a training ground, it’s members our fellow training partners, and Pathways a guide to discovering and evolving our voice. This can be easy to forget if we get too wrapped up in the details and mechanics of the Pathways platform. Success lies in framing Pathways as a tool to reach your larger goals, both for yourself and your club. This presentation will help set a perspective to motivate ourselves and our club members in the Toastmasters journey.

Stephanie Roy has spent the last 20 years as an entrepreneur and teacher, specializing in building empowering, community-oriented villages within brick-and-mortar business. Driven by an entrepreneurial spirit from a young age, she pursued a career as a professional martial arts instructor and quickly established herself as an integral part in the growth of the business.  For the past ten years, she has brought her integrator and systems building expertise to developing personal and professional consulting programs through Momentum Learning Systems, LLC, as well as founding several complementary businesses. Most notable is Questers’ Way, a brick-and-mortar center that fuses family, fun, learning, and food into an integrated facility that empowers the community to learn and grow together.

“Setting Professional Boundaries & Actionable Steps for Setting Them”

Heather Turner, DTM

What happens when you don’t set boundaries in your business and professional life?   Whether it’s by email, text message, phone call, or in person, what happens?  You end up resentful of managers, bosses, co-workers or clients, and others who demand your time.  Your motivation and energy suffers.  You hit your burnout mark, you might break down, or in modern terms, you have exceeded your bandwidth.  Other parts of your life are suffering: your health, your sleep habits, your eating habits, and more.  What happens when you? Do set boundaries in your business life?  You are more productive. Your mental and physical well-being are generally greater.  You can enjoy the work you do (if you liked it in the first place).  Learn some and practice some techniques and strategies to setting personal and professional boundaries.  

Heather Turner has been a member of Toastmasters since 2010, is a DTM X3 and a member of Cromwell Community Toastmasters in District 53. She is the Merrimack Valley (serving most of NH and part of VT) New Hampshire SCORE Co-Chair, Event Manager and Social Media Manager. She received the 2022 Small Business Champion Award from the New Hampshire Small Business Association for her work with clients and as a workshop presenter. Heather is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and has spent over 20 years prior in the restaurant business. She has owned her own business since 2003 doing restaurant consulting and currently teaches marketing and operations seminars for small businesses and professional groups.

 “Intentional Change will Reboot your Toastmasters Club”

Steve Lanning, DTM

Rebooting your club results in improved morale, less burn out, creation of effective long-term goals, and more camaraderie within your membership. Change itself isn’t the challenge, managing your Change Plan usually is. A properly developed Moments of Truth™ Action Plan, and a carefully implemented Change Plan will raise your Club to Distinguished status.  You will need to present the Change Plan with great clarity, answering the WIIFM questions, “What’s In It For Me?”, and “What’s In It for the Club?”.  Club benefits could be: improved member retention, a better guest-to-member conversion ratio, increased PATHWAYS engagement, increased DCP points, and ultimately reaching Distinguished Club status.  We will review the “Reboot your Club” timeline, analyze a Club’s journey along the Change Curve™, and discuss ways to exit the “Valley of Despair” into which all Change Plans descend before achieving a successful “Change Outcome”. 

Steve Lanning, DTM, has been in Toastmasters for nine years and is highly engaged in leadership and successful pivoting. A retired cabinetmaker, Steve realized he needed Toastmasters to help him learn to sell a niche product he had invented. Early in his Toastmasters career, Steve led programs to simplify the Competent Leadership manual and was an ambassador at the introduction of Pathways in 2018. In 2020, he led the emergency transition from in-person to virtual Zoom meetings for all 3 of his Clubs. Today, Steve serves as an officer in his three clubs and remains a vocal advocate for having all 7 officers trained twice a year. He also serves as the District 53 Club Coaches Chair and plans to finish his second DTM this Spring. He lives in Hatfield, MA with his wife, Anne, and 2 Cavalier pups.


“Speak to Reach”

Joe Grondin, DTM, AS

This presentation surrounds Joe’s book about providing us with tools to help us to become proficient public speakers but also, through self-reflection, enabling us to speak from our hearts to reach any audience. To reach an audience means using our unique heart-connected voice to touch others in a way that inspires them to make a positive change.  

This workshop is a separate registration.