I interrupt my usual bi-monthly schedule to report some sad news.
Sam Young, DTM, and distinguished member of the District 53 community — a frequent flier among District officers including serving in the present term as Area 43 Director in Division D, the long-serving District Parliamentarian, a Club Mentor and Sponsor or Coach for several clubs, a regular voice and face at District conferences and officer training events — has died unexpectedly at home after a brief illness.
Sam was a great soul and mentor to many of us, and it’s a great loss to this organization and to our community. Sam was an anchor and a rock of support to so many District leaders in the last few years, and he will be deeply missed.
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.
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 Toastmasters.org 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 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).
As we have come close to the end of Toastmasters year 2021-2022, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate your achievements and thank you for your hard work and commitment to the District 53 Toastmasters. I am fortunate to serve as the District 53 director with enthusiastic leaders and members and make this year a success. Now, I am excited to turn the gavel over to the new team and support behind the scenes. I wish you a Happy New Toastmasters year and strive for new goals and achievements, and get a lot of new experiences.