Growing the Club Growth Team

Fellow Toastmasters,

I am happy to introduce you to the Club Growth Team I’ve assembled over the past several months. The  Club Growth Team helps me to carry out the District Marketing Plan with the support of District Director Patti Walter, DTM and Program Quality Director, Bettyann Peck, DTM.

Kate Scarcella is the Club Extension Chair. In her regular work, she is a Project Director in Renewable Energy at GE Vernova.  She is currently serving as the Vice President of Education for Talk It Up Toastmasters in Windsor, CT and has a passion for Continuous Improvement.  Toastmaster Scarcella has been appointed as the Club Extension Chair to provide guidance over the Club Sponsor Program and Club Chartering Process to ensure that prospective clubs are chartered successfully and that interested D53 Toastmasters are matched with appropriate Sponsor credit opportunities.

  • The Club Extension Chair oversees our District’s objectives for growing new clubs, and mentoring them to success. In addition to providing sponsors for prospective clubs, the club extension committee arranges club sponsor credit opportunities for members who seek it.
  • You can reach Kate at if you want to help.

Liz Keeling is now serving as the Club Demo Chair. She joined Toastmasters in November 2017. She is a Project Manager at the New York ISO (NYISO). She is currently serving as Division E Director for the 2023-2024 club year. She is a member of NYISO Toastmasters club and a dual member of the Capital Advanced Toastmasters club. She was awarded District 53 Toastmaster of the Year in 2022-2023 at the Spring District 53 conference. She put together a strong team and organized a Demo Meeting for the prospective members of a new club prior to the club charter.

  • The Club Demo Committee is responsible for one of the most important aspects of the District’s marketing strategy—qualifying, managing and tracking leads. It also plans and executes the Demo Session prior to chartering a club. 
  • You can reach Liz at if you want to help sponsor or mentor new clubs.

      Steve Lanning is serving as the Club Quality Chair. He has been a Toastmaster since 2014, served as Club President six times, Area Director five times, Division Director twice, and District Administrator once. He is currently a member of three clubs, and all made Distinguished status last year. Steve is currently the District Club Coach Chair with six assigned Coaches, all of whom are working to get their assigned Clubs to Distinguished status this year. Steve’s motto is, ‘Always do the next hard thing, whatever that is for you.”

      • The Club Quality Committee focuses on establishing a club mentor committee to provide this service through the club mentor program. Club mentors are the advisors and tutors for new clubs and have a great effect on the degree to which a new club succeeds. The Club Quality Committee also helps pair interested coaches with clubs having 12 members or less.
      • You can reach Steve at if you want to be a Club Coach

      Jackie Kessler is serving as the New Source Research Chair through June 2024. She lives near Albany, NY and joined Bethlehem Toaastmasters in January 2016. She has served the club as Vice President Public Relations, Vice President Membership, Vice President Education (two consecutive terms, as D53 transitioned from our legacy learning program to Pathways), President, Immediate Past President, and most recently as Secretary. In addition, she was a charter member of New York State Forum Toastmasters (#6606749). 

      • The Club New Source Research committee works closely with the Club Growth Director to develop the District’s marketing plan, which is a series of steps to help the District grow healthy new clubs. In addition to assisting with the marketing plan, the club new source research chair generates new club leads at the District level.
      • You can reach Jackie at if you have an idea of where to market and advertise our organization.

      I hope that, by building teams for Club Growth and Club improvement, we can make our club growth programs successful in the rest of the 2023-2024 program year, and build on that success in 2024-2025. We always must remember that, whatever we do as Toastmasters, we never achieve success alone — it is always in partnership with others.

      Yours in Toastmasters Service,
      Mohan Padamati, DTM
      Club Growth Director 2023-2024.