I begin by sharing something very personal to me. I am typing this letter from the DaVita Dialysis Center in Norwich, Connecticut. For the past four years, I have been managing a diagnosis of end stage renal disease. This requires me to spend approximately four hours, three days a week, connected to a machine, known as a dialyzer, to remove toxins from my blood, and excess fluid from my body. What is needed to manage the disease is a transplanted kidney.
I am scheduled to receive a donor kidney from my elder son, Greg. This surgery will be performed on May 2 in Hartford. There are many moving parts to this process, and Greg and I have created powerful teams of family, and others who love us, to manage the myriad details.
I cannot join you, if you’re not there. I urge you to register for the in-person spring conference experience. We are providing masks, if you care to wear one. We are providing color coding for your nametags (G, Y, R) for your physical contact preference. Green? Handshakes and hugs (if you are comfortable with being hugged). Yellow? Let’s keep it to fist bumps or elbow bumps. Red? Social distancing please. We will have hand sanitizer. The Sheraton has upgraded the ventilation system with improved filtering and more rapid air exchange. David Freedman and his committee have prepared a stellar program. Presenters and many District 53 Toastmasters will be there. Please go to the District 53 website now, click on the conference link, register, and join them in Springfield.
Club Officers: There are several clubs who have not submitted dues for the renewal period of April 1 through September 30. There are other clubs who are not in good standing because they have not submitted dues for at least eight (8) members for the same renewal period. I urge you to attend to this immediately. Check your club’s status using the Toastmasters dashboard. Additionally, your Area Director stands ready to assist you. If you have difficulty in reaching your Area Director, your Division Director is also available. If you are still stuck, contact me. We’ll get your club moving in the direction of Active Status very shortly.
Annual Business Meeting:District 53’s Annual Business Meeting (ABM) is Thursday evening, April 27. The starting gavel is at 7:00 pm, and we shall complete by 9:00. The ABM is on-line, so there is no need for you to travel away from home to participate. Club Presidents and Vice presidents – Education are voting members of the District Council. Your participation is vital. Be on the lookout for a “Call to Meeting” from District Administrative Manager Norm Thibodeau. I look forward to seeing you.
District Speech Contests: This year, the International Speech Contest and Tall Tales Contest will be conducted at the spr ing conference in Springfield, MA, and they will be conducted in a hybrid manner. Be sure to join us in cheering on the best of the best in your divisions who have moved to this level of competition. PQD Patti Walter has much more to communicate on this topic, so I shall leave it to her to do so.
District Director’s Coffee Hour: Every second Saturday, through June, I am on Zoom from 8:30-9:30 am. Join me for an informal visit. There is no agenda beyond your curiosity.
Yours in Toastmasters service, John J. Hogan, DTM District Director 2022-2023
My family and I wish you the very best, YOUR very best life in 2023!
I find myself amazed that half of the 2022-2023 program year is written in the past. Immediate Past District Director Ishii told me that this year as District Director would occur as passing quickly.
He was spot on!
Nevertheless, there is much to come in the next six months! Your Club Speech Contests are in full swing. Area and Division Speech Contests will follow, culminating with District Speech Contests, conducted at the Spring Conference in May. Club Officer Training events are happening too, throughout January and February. FebFest 2023 planning for February 4 is in the works! Program Quality Director Walter is busy with her conference (“SPRINGBoard Into Action!”) and contest committees, putting together the high quality programs that District 53 Toastmasters cherish. Club Growth Director Peck is making great strides with placing Club Coaches, and supporting new clubs through the chartering process.
And finally, fellow Toastmaster, what is YOUR personal goal that will be realized through your participation in one of our 11 Pathways educational opportunities? I’ll share mine in my next newsletter.
First and foremost, I am grateful to the members of the District Council: District Executive Committee and club Presidents and Vice-presidents: for their participation in the Fall Business Meeting of October 27. Participation was so robust that we easily met quorum. Well done! All business items, including annual budget, District Success Plan, 2021-2022 audit report, and the roster of appointed officers, were adopted with comfortable margins.
The District 53 Trio recognizes and thanks the functionaries who made the meeting run so smoothly and on time. These functionaries include Timekeepers Selina Tourjee and Silva Abadjian, as well as Zoom Masters Steve Lanning and Rick May. District Administrative Manager Norm Thibodeau kept us all on track with displays, meeting scripts, and ballots. Without these engaged Toastmasters, the meeting would not have been possible.
I am instituting a monthly “Coffee Hour with the District Director.” This will be every second Saturday, November, 2022 through June, 2023, from 8:30 to 9:30. Here is the link to copy and paste in your browser:
Finally, this is a great time of the year to revisit, review, and revise your Club Success Plans (CSPs). Are your goals for your club realistic? Do they reflect your members’ interests? Do they support your club’s growth and vitality? Club officers can work with their Area Directors in creating or modifying a CSP that will result in a vibrant program for your members. Be sure to reach out to your Area Director for their support. They are anxious to assist you in succeeding.