Communication & Leadership Award 2024

Session 1 Workshops Conference PageSession 2 WorkshopsKeynoteC&L Award

Coming in late March 2024

Communication & Leadership Award
The Communication and Leadership Award

The Communication and Leadership Award is given to that non-Toastmaster individual or organization that best exemplifies successful communication and leadership in a district. It is the highest award that Toastmasters gives to non-members. Read more about the award


2024 Conference: Keynote Sessions

Session 1 Workshops Conference PageSession 2 WorkshopsKeynoteC&L Award

About Sheryl Roush

Sheryl Roush, DTM, PDG, AS, shares insights from over 35 years of as a professional speaker and top-rated international trainer. She is CEO of Sparkle Presentations, Inc., based in New York, “Bringing Out Your Brilliance!”  

She has given well over 3,500 presentations on-site in 13 countries. The National Speakers Association honored Sheryl with “Member of the Year” in the San Diego and Los Angeles Chapters, plus LA’s Golden Microphone Award. As a trainer and speaking coach, her clients include: Deepak Chopra’s lecture team; Intuit’s TurboTax® executive sales team; Southwest Airlines; NFL cheerleaders; and started the Speakers Bureau for the U.S. Olympic Training Center working with 30 Olympians. As a conference speaker, Sheryl has opened on stage for Dancing with the Stars Marie Osmond, keynote closed for Geena Davis, and presented on programs with Olivia Newton-John, and John Maxwell, to name a few. 

Sheryl Roush

Session 1: “Heart of a Toastmaster:
Breaking Barriers”

Why did you JOIN Toastmasters? How are you “breaking barriers” in your life?  What’s NEXT for you?   Attend this engaging heart-centered keynote message and feel re-energized to continue your journey! 


Session 2: “Sparkle When You Speak!”

Want to connect better with your listeners?
Need to gain credibility with your audiences?
Could your presentations be more engaging?

Build instant rapport, credibility and confidence! Explore effective ways to design and deliver engaging presentation… that even work in speech contests!

Break barriers with others!  Authentically connect with anyone… boost your interpersonal communication skills, and be Brilliant!

C&L Award 2023: Patricia Nicolari

The 2023 District 53 Communication and Leadership (C&L) committee is pleased to announce that Patricia Nicolari has been chosen as the recipient for this year’s District 53 Communication and Leadership award which will be to be presented at the C&L Luncheon during our annual District Conference on May 6, 2023 in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Toastmasters District 53 Communications and Leadership Award recipient for 2023, Patricia Nicolari (she/her pronouns), founder and Executive Director of PROUD Academy, Inc., in a black & white checked blazer over a dark blue or black blouse, with a gold pendant on a chain at her throat.
Patricia Nicolari, 2023 Communications & Leadership Award recipient

Patricia Nicolari (she/her) is the Founder/Executive Director of PROUD Academy, Inc. PROUD Academy has been Patty’s vision for LGBTQ+ youth and their allies after working with youth in education and nonprofits throughout her 40-year career. Patty has four degrees from Southern Connecticut State University – a BS in Physical Education, an MS in Community Health, a Sixth Year in Educational Foundations, and another Sixth Year in Administration/Supervision, and presently holds an 092 certificate in Educational Leadership. 

Patty has always been actively/progressively involved in her community and that passion escalated after coming out publicly as a teacher in 1997, alongside the brave move of Ellen DeGeneres. She was featured in the New Haven Register article, “Ellen is Out and so is Ms. Nic.” Patty even received a call from Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts, then a host of 20/20, for consideration to be featured on the TV show as an “out” teacher.  The freedom to be authentic became the catalyst for Patty to create change in the educational environment for LGBTQ+ students, teachers, and staff. The most powerful part of coming out as a teacher was the outpouring of students who now felt safe enough to disclose their own sexual orientation/gender identity (SOGI) or that of a relative. 

As a result of coming out, Patty started her high school’s first Genders and Sexualities Alliances and organized the first Day of Silence. She joined the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network Board of Directors, became a Stonewall Speaker, facilitated support groups for youth and closeted teachers at the New Haven Pride Center, presented workshops across the country in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, and CT, on the topic of “How to Create a Safe School for all Students Regardless of SOGI”. Additionally, Patty presented a workshop for actor Hill Harper’s nonprofit, “Manifest Your Destiny”, for 8th graders in LA on the topic, “Academic Success Strategies”.

Patty was interviewed by Faith Middleton on NPR, was a recipient of a Dorothy Award for her LGBTQ+ community involvement, and had her story published with other LGBTQ educators in Kevin Jennings’ book, “One Teacher in 10.”

Patty’s experience as an educator ranges from working with marginalized youth as a teacher in an Alternative to Incarceration program in Bridgeport, an administrator of an alternative school for grades 7-12, to higher education as an adjunct professor at Western Connecticut State University. In 2004, Patty was named Teacher of the Year in Ansonia.

Patty’s nonprofit work includes being the director of a mentoring program for youth involved with juvenile probation and State of Connecticut Department of Children and Families foster care. Patty was also a foster parent. She has volunteered on the Governor’s Prevention Partnership LGBTQ+ Advisory Board and presently serves on the New Haven/Hamden Juvenile Review Board.

Patty’s lived experience, “in and out” of the LGBTQ+ family, coupled with her careers in education and nonprofits, have led her to this moment in time. 

Join us at the Toastmasters District 53 2023 Conference on May 6, 2023, at the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place in Springfield, MA and hear Patty’s lunchtime remarks.

REGISTER HERE

SpringBoard into action - logo for 2023 Annual Conference

Register for the D53 Spring Conference!

May 6, 2023

Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place, Springfield, MA & Online

 SPRINGBoard to Success

Conference Registration Is Live!

Get the Early Bird discounted rate for a limited time!  Rate ends April 7, 2023.

Register here.


Call For Presenters is Closed!

Want to get out of your comfort zone? Share your knowledge with your fellow Toastmasters!
Deadline to submit: February 15, 2023

Miss the CFP Q&A Session? Check out the recording here.

Presenters must attend in person.


Stay in touch with conference happenings at the District 53 Conference Page.

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.

Sincerely,
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)

Spring 2023 Conference Call for Presenters

Call for Presenters

Thank you for your interest in presenting at the Toastmasters District 53 Conference. The application for presenters is in the District 53 Conference CFP Directions to prepare for your application and to maximize your chances for selection.  Only members of Toastmasters District 53 will be considered unless specifically invited. Although this conference is hybrid (in-person & online), presenters must attend in-person.

A link to the online submission form is provided at the bottom as well as at the end of the document.  Good luck! 

Submission information:

Deadline to submit: February 15, 2023
Notification Date:  by March 1, 2023


Submissions must be via our online Presenter Proposal Form below.

You can watch a Q&A Session from January 12 about presenting.

Submissions must include a headshot and video.

ABOUT OUR CONFERENCE & EDUCATIONAL SESSIONS

Our theme is “SPRINGBoard to Success”.  While you are not required to incorporate the theme into your presentation, we encourage it.  We are soliciting proposals and looking for topics such as:

  • Insightful Ways to Achieve Educational Goals
  • Embracing Change with a Positive Attitude
  • Creating a Positive Club Environment
  • Engaging Experienced Members
  • Being a Toastmaster in the age of social media, influencing and technology
  • Mentors Matter: The Role of a Mentoring Program
  • Cross Cultural Communications
  • Cross Generational Communications
  • Club Community Outreach
  • Strategies on Rebuilding clubs
  • Hybrid meetings – Technical Challenges & How to Overcome
  • Being A Published Author
  • Podcasting
  • Membership Challenges
  • Pathways.  Topics including:
    • For Officers and Advanced Learning
    • Benefits of Pathways – A Roadmap, Tutorial, etc.
    • Overcoming Challenges of Pathways

Please refer to the Toastmasters District 53 2023 Conference CFP Directions before submitting. The application is in the directions!

Contact Richard May, MS5, VC3, Education Chair at ConfEduChair@d53tm.org if you have questions.