D53 had its first successful hybrid conference. SPRINGBOARD to Success. What a great weekend! If you were not able to join us, let me recap what we did.
After a continental breakfast at the Springfield Sheraton — Monarch Place hotel on Saturday 6 May 2023, we jumped right in with our Keynote Speaker Joe Grondin. Joe spoke about developing our signature: how do you develop your own unique voice and presentation style?
Our members then were able to choose one of our three great breakout sessions to attend. Thank your Mary Cheyne, Ann Canfield and Heather LaPierre for your great sessions.
We continued after our breakout with our tall tale contest. Boy do we have members who can tell some tales. Our D53 Tall Tales Winners were:
- Christine Austin
- Poonam Hassija
- Kevin Haven
Then at lunch we presented our Communication and Leadership Award to Patricia Nicolari, founder and executive director of PROUD Academy. Patricia spoke about the work that she does with passion and conviction, demonstrating again why she deserved our recognition and honor.
After lunch we continued on with our second set of breakout session. Again we had great sessions from Heather Turner, Steve Lanning and Stephanie Roy. Thank you all.
After a break, Joe Grondin returned to the stage as he talked to us about Mrs. Elliot’s Lessons. Joe shared with us the four leadership lessons his favorite teacher taught him at a time he needed it most. Joe also shared some great memories he had with his students and family. Both his sessions were educational, relatable and entertaining.
We concluded the afternoon session with the hall of fame awards for both the 2022-2023 and 2021-2022 program years. Congratulations to the following recipients of the awards for 2021-2022
- Division Director of the Year Beth Van Kempen
- Area Director of the Year Elizabeth Keeling
- Toastmaster of the Year Jackie Kessler
We also announce the 2022-2023 award winners. They are:
- Division Director of the Year Chad Babcock
- Area Director of the Year Stephanie Roy
- Toastmaster of the Year Elizabeth Keeling
At the conclusion of the Hall of Fame, our International Director for Region 9, who represents us to the Toastmasters Board, Jeff Sobel DTM, swore into office the following District 53 officers for the 2023-2024 Toastmasters International program year:
- Patti Walter, DTM — District Director
- Bettyann Peck, DTM — Program Quality Director
- Mohan Padamati, DTM — Club Growth Director
- Stephanie Roy — Division A Director
- Ebru Unal — Division B Director
- Selina Torjee — Division C Director
- Mark Wing — Division D Director
- Elizabeth Keeling — Division E Director
Congratulations to all!
A happy hour followed, then a wonderful dinner. Our after-dinner entertainment was brought to you by our Division International Speech Contest Winners, as they competed for the title of District 53’s International Speech Contest championship. These five came to the contest ready to go! Congratulations to all our contestants at club, Area, Division, and District levels.
Our winners were:
- Michael Whitehouse
- Donna Plen
- Craig Moore
We concluded on Sunday with a warm breakfast, out of this park networking and a final keynote from Joe, who left us all dancing in our chairs.
You might be saying, “Oh, I missed you all!” Don’t worry… we were having to much fun to notice you weren’t there. But you can join us in May 2024, when the next amazing conference rolls around! Buy your ticket in February, and I’ll see you there!
In the meantime please join us for some officer training coming up in June and July, or join us for Train the Trainer sessions if you’d like to be a facilitator this year. Psst— you don’t need to be an officer to go to training! It is open to all.
Yours in Toastmasters service,
Patti Walter, DTM —
Program Quality Director, 2022-2023