Call to Meeting: September 21, 2023

Hello fellow D53 officers:

Thursday, September 21, 2023, 7:00-9:00pm

Online via Zoom

All Club Presidents and VPEs and all DEC members are expected to attend.

Note that the Zoom information and the .ics calendar file have been corrected since the “Save the Date” email on 08/06/23.

Zoom Info

If neither Zoom link works by clicking it, copy and paste it into your web browser address bar.

Meeting Details

In accordance with District Bylaws, this is the official call to hold the next District Council Business Meeting online at 7:00 PM on Thursday, September 21, 2023.  

The District Council consists of the District Executive Committee and the President and VP Education from each active club in the district. The District Executive Committee consists of all Area Directors, all Division Directors, District Director, Program Quality Director, Club Growth Director, Public Relations Manager, Administration Manager, Financial Manager and Immediate Past District Director.

The District Council meets twice annually, in the Fall and Spring.  The fall meeting is always online and the spring meeting is typically held in-person during the District 53 Annual Conference, but may be held online on a date prior to the Conference.

Participation at this meeting is one of the responsibilities of all District Council members, and it is especially important that every club participates so that we can achieve quorum.  Since proxy votes are not allowed at District Council meetings, your club can only be represented if your President and/or VPE attends.  Either officer can cast both club votes if only one is present.

The District Council is the governing body of the Toastmasters District and conducts all business of the district including district officer elections, officer appointment confirmations, club, area and division alignment, district budget approval, conference location approval, and other matters important to effective district operations. The business items for discussion and approval at this specific meeting will include:

  • Approval of the April 2023 District Council meeting minutes
  • Approval of the Year-End 2022-2023 Financial Audit;
  • Approval of the 2023-2024 District Budget;
  • Approval of the 2023-2024 District Success Plan (DSP);
  • Confirmation of appointed 2023-2024 District Officers;
  • Decision on 2023-2024 Area and Division contest format (in-person, online, or hybrid)

We will also have reports from the District Sr Staff, with time for questions and feedback.


Links to supporting meeting information:

Emails with additional details, such as the Meeting Info Kit and your voting credentials, will be sent on:

  •  August 21 – Official Call To Meeting (CTM) Invitation
  • September 7 – Two-week reminder and draft Meeting Info Kit
  • September 14  – Final Meeting Info Kit, voting credentials and ballot links
  • September 19 – Final reminder including any late-breaking info

Please refer any questions to &,

Thank you.

Sent by:

Norm Thibodeau, DTM, PMP
District 53 Administrative Manager 2023-24

On behalf of:

Patti Walter, DTMBettyann Peck, DTMMohan Padamati, DTM
District 53 DirectorD53 Program Quality DirectorD53 Club Growth Director

Call to Annual Business Meeting: April 2023

Notice of the Annual Business Meeting of Toastmaster District 53!

The official Call To Meeting for the District Council Business Meeting was emailed to all delegates on 03/27/23.  If you are a delegate but didn’t get your copy, please contact

The entire Meeting Info Kit can be viewed at

About the District Council Annual Business Meeting

The District Council, consists of the District Director as presiding officer, plus the District Program Quality Director (PQD), the District Club Growth Director (CGD), the District Public Relations Manager (PRM), the District Finance Manager (DFM), and District Administrative Manager (DAM), plus the five Division Directors (DVDs) and the Area Directors (ADs) of District 53, plus the President (PRES) and Vice President of Education (VPE)of each club in good standing in the District.

The District Council holds two meetings a year: one before September 30 to finalize and approve the annual budget; and the Annual Business Meeting in April or May, to elect officers for the program year beginning on July 1. Quorum is one-third of the Club Presidents and Vice Presidents of Education. A majority of the votes cast is required to pass most motions.

In the event that any business is transacted at a District Council meeting when a quorum is not present, the action shall be deemed as valid as if a quorum were present if it is thereafter expressly approved. Approval can be granted by affirmative vote of a majority of the Member Clubs in the District on the basis of two (2) votes per club in writing, personally, by mail, fax, e-mail, electronic transmission, or by any other reasonable means. 

Proxies for District Council meetings are not permitted. The Club President and/or Vice President Education of any member club may vote on behalf of the club as its representative. Either club officer may carry the club’s two (2) votes or each of these club officers may carry one (1) vote, as determined by the club membership. The representative from any Member Club in good standing is entitled to a maximum of two (2) votes. District Executive Committee members are entitled to one (1) vote and may cast up to two (2) additional votes as a Club President and/or Vice President Education.

District Officer Training Dates

August 25, 2023

Just like Club Officers, your District Officers (senior team, Division Directors and Area Directors) go to training as well! The following is the calendar and brief descriptions of each training that the District Officers are expected to participate in over the next several weeks.

The District Officer Training dates for the 2023-2024 program year have been announced:

Link to event:

What’s in these educational sessions?

  • Area Director Expectations: The role of Area Director is that of visitor, coach and guide to the officers of four to six clubs in a geographical area. For some Area Directors in District 53, this can be five clubs in the same city. For others, it can be widely spread clubs more than two hours apart. In this session, you’ll learn what’s expected of Area Directors in District 53, and how to create a successful experience for yourself and for the officers of the clubs in your care.
  • Effective Area Council Meetings: The Area Director has a team of people to help them coordinate the work of clubs when they work together — the President and the three Vice Presidents of each club are voting members of the Area Council, which decides local matters of importance to those clubs. How can you get them working together where it matters?
  • Effective Division Council Meetings: The Division Director is a “coach of coaches,” lending support and guidance to the Area Directors that make up their division. How can you lead effective meetings for this group, and how can you work together to bring clubs to success, together?
  • Building Successful Teams: If an Area Director or Division Director did everything they were supposed to by themselves… they’d be exhausted. An Area or Division Director needs a team, and as a Toastmaster you have to know how to build a successful team to achieve your objectives.
  • Successful Club Visits: Twice a year, a District officer is required to visit a club and to report on its conformity with the Toastmasters brand, its successes, and its opportunities for growth. This officer is usually the club’s Area Director, who files a written report on the website (under District Central) by the end of November and the end of May. We’ll talk about how to conduct yourself during this visit, and what kinds of things you should be alert to, and report on, to your District’s other officers.
  • Coaching Clubs to Enhanced Quality: Many clubs don’t just want to be clubs; they want to be distinguished clubs, or select distinguished clubs, or even president’s distinguished clubs. We’ll talk in this session about the strategies for achieving that goal.
  • Establishing and Supporting New Clubs: The District Mission is “We build new clubs and support all clubs in achieving excellence.” Creating — chartering — new clubs is the first part of our mission. We’ll learn how that goal is accomplished in this session, and what each officer can do to support this mission-critical goal.
  • Organizing Speech Contests: In order to be a champion, a speaker in the International Contest or one of the other Toastmasters contest cycles (Humorous, Table Topics, Tall Tales, and Evaluation) has to advance from a club contest to an Area Contest, a Division Contest, and a District Contest. In this session, we’ll learn how to create a fun and exciting Speech Contest experience for contestants and functionaries alike.
  • Thriving in the District Recognition Program: Just as clubs have the metrics of the Distinguished Club Program (DCP), District officers have their own metrics for success to be designated as a Distinguished, Select Distinguished, President’s Distinguished, or Smedley Distinguished Area, Division or District. We’ll talk about what those metrics are, why we’re aiming for them, and what we can do on a personal level to help the District achieve these goals locally and regionally, for our own success and the success of others.


If you’d like to be an Area Director, contact the District Director, District-director elect or your Division Director. If you’d like to attend one of these sessions as an observer and for your own learning, you’ll need permission from a member of the senior team (District Director, Program Quality Director, or Club Growth Director).

May 2022 Business Meeting Results

Results of the District Council Business Meeting

May 7, 2022 — 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm EDT

Update: The results of this business meeting were approved by a vote of the clubs during the week following the business meeting — 106 YES, 0 NO, 1 ABSTAIN votes were recorded by the clubs. The minimum number of participating clubs was 96, so the results of this business meeting are RATIFIED.

These are “at a glance” informal results of the District Council business meeting held on May 7, 2022 from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm EDT. This report should not be considered binding or definitive, compared with the Minutes of The District Council Business meeting which will be issued as part of the meeting packet of the September 2022 meeting.

The full meeting video is also available for viewing at DC 2022-05-07 Video.mp4

  • District Director Akihiro Ishii welcomed members at 3:00 pm, and introduced the meeting functionaries
  • Club Growth Director Patti Walter read the Toastmasters Mission, the District Mission, and the Toastmasters Promise.
  • Registration Chair Norm Thibodeau explained the procedures for online meetings and online balloting via SurveyMonkey.
  • Parliamentarian Sam Young reviewed the District’s Special Rules of Order. They were passed without objection.
  • District Director Akihiro Ishii moved on to the adoption of the Agenda and the Quorum Report at 3:20 PM.
  • Credentials Chair Paul Randolph read the results of the Quorum Vote at 3:25 PM:
    • The Business Meeting did not achieve quorum, with only 61 of 190 possible club votes available; 64 votes were needed to achieve quorum. An additional 20 votes from DEC members (Area Directors, Division Directors, and District leadership) were present, but do not count towards quorum.
    • The results of this meeting will have to be confirmed by a separate vote in the coming week, in which member clubs and District Executive Committee members will vote to ratify the results of this meeting.
  • The District 53 Year-End Audit Report 2020-21, reported by Rich Dirksen, chair of the Audit Committee, passed 76 Yes votes to 0 No votes and 5 abstentions.
  • The District 53 Mid-Year Audit Report 2021-22, reported by Rich Dirksen, chair of the Audit Committee, passed 74 Yes votes to 0 No votes and 7 abstentions. (3:47 pm)
  • The District 53 District Council Business Meeting Minutes of September 2021, assembled by Steve Lanning, were presented for approval by District Director Ishii. The Minutes were approved by 72 Yes votes, 0 No votes, and 9 abstentions. (3:55 pm)
  • The District 53 Realignment Plan for 2022-2023 was presented by co-chairs Mohan Padamati and Amy Chiu. Amy Chiu led the discussion. In summary, the District will remain at five (5) divisions, but will reduce the number of Areas from 25 Areas to 24 Areas. The Realignment Plan was approved by 74 Yes votes, 1 No votes, and 6 abstentions. (4:07 pm)
  • The District Officer Elections for the 2022-2023 program year came next:
    • Immediate Past District Director Andrew B. Watt presented the advisory report of the District Leadership Committee.
    • Nominees presented as floor candidates prior to the April 30 deadline.
    • Unanimous Consent Ballots were cast for the following officers for the 2022-23 program year:
      • John J. Hogan for District Director
      • Patti Walter for Program Quality Director
      • Jacqueline Kessler for Division A Director
      • Chad Babcock for Division C Director
      • Paula Zajac for Division D Director
      • Beth Van Kempen for Division E Director
    • In the contested election for Club Growth Director, each candidate spoke for 1-2 minutes and then the vote was taken.
      • Mohan Padamati received 23 votes, and
      • Bettyann Peck received 42 votes,
      • with six abstentions.
      • Bettyann Peck elected as Club Growth Director
    • In the contested election for Division B Director, Scott Davis spoke for 1-2 minutes, and Norm Thibodeau read a statement on Paul Terman’s behalf since the candidate could not be present due to a prior commitment.
      • Scott R. Davis received 16 votes, and
      • Paul Terman received 49 votes,
      • with 16 abstentions.
      • Paul Terman elected as Division B Director.
    • All votes for District Officers for the 2022-23 program year were completed at 4:55 pm.
  • District Leadership Reports were presented next:
    • Public Relations Manager Bettyann Peck presented the Public Relations Report.
      No questions were advanced from the floor
    • Club Growth Director Patti Walter presented the Club Growth and Membership Report.
      No questions were advanced from the floor.
    • Program Quality Director John J. Hogan presented the Program Quality Report.
      No questions were advanced from the floor.
    • District Director Akihiro Ishii presented the District Report.
      No questions were advanced from the floor.
  • The meeting was adjourned at 5:14 pm.