The Communication and Leadership Award is presented by the District to a person in the community who is an outstanding communicator or leader. Giving this award is a distinct honor for the recipient and is one of the most effective ways to gain publicity for Toastmasters.

The 2024 recipient is Alisa Klein, executive director of Grow Food Northampton.

Following are the criteria used for award recipient selection:

The Communication and Leadership Award
  •  Must be a resident of the geographical area covered by District 53 Toastmasters (Eastern New York, Western Massachusetts and Connecticut).
  • Must be a non-Toastmaster, can be a former Toastmaster.
  • Should have distinguished themselves as a leader or spokesperson for a worthy cause or purpose, especially as it exemplified in their communication and leadership skills.
  • Shall have made a significant contribution to the communities within the district. The impact of this contribution must be community or district-wide.
  • Must be a skilled communicator/speaker.
  • This award may not be presented to a recipient a second time.
  • Must be able to personally accept the award and give a short acceptance address at lunch at the District 53 Spring Conference.

A person who has become a public official, a business leader, an academic leader, a volunteer organization leader, or who is successful in other fields of endeavor would be an excellent nominee. While the District pays for the recipient’s lunch they do not pay for transportation to and from the event. The Communication and Leadership Award Committee is comprised of members representing every Division in the District.

Nominations for the award for 2025 will open in August 2024.

Past Recipients of the Communication and Leadership Award

  • 2024 — Alisa Klein, executive director of Grow Food Northampton
  • 2023— Patricia Nicolari, founder & executive director of the PROUD Academy
  • 2022 — The Reverend Odell Montgomery Cooper – founder & Executive Director of Interruptions: Disrupting the Silence, LLC
  • 2016 — Doe Hentschel – Vice President of Leadership Greater Hartford, director of LGH’s ground-breaking Third Age Initiative
  • 2014 — Ted Carroll
  • 2013 — Kathleen Saucier
  • 2012 — Donna Palumbo
  • 2010 — Diane Alverio

Award Recipient Selection Process

  1. Any District 53 Toastmaster in good standing may submit a nomination for the award. Only nominations submitted by Toastmasters in District 53 will be considered.
  2. The Communication and Leadership Award committee will review all nominations and recommend a recipient to the District Leadership Team who will have final approval of the recipient.
  3. Once the District Leadership Team approves, then the recipient will be notified, and publicity can begin.