Meet John Hogan, the 2022-2023 D53 District Director! Get to know John and learn about his Toastmasters and leadership journeys. He openly shares why he considered embracing district leadership and his motivations behind support not only her friends and colleagues but all the clubs, areas, and divisions within our District.
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.
There are three things that I wish to communicate with you. Interestingly, they are interrelated.
Of immediate urgency is a phishing scheme that is currently being perpetrated on some other districts across the globe. I have posted a screenshot of the phishing letter at right. This communication purports to be sent by District Directors to the Toastmasters of their districts, soliciting funds through the purchase of gift cards. To be absolutely clear, if you receive one of these solicitations, do not respond to it. Do not forward it. Delete it. Do not purchase gift cards in response to it. Additionally, know that Districts are not permitted to spend your funds on gift cards other than to the Toastmasters store.
We do have other resources to access, though, and you as members have a say in how they get used! At the District 53 Fall Council Business Meeting, we’ll be examining the budget of District 53 for the 2022-23 program year. The Business Meeting will be conducted on Thursday, September 22, 6:30-9:30pm. Due to technical difficulties with the budget software and the District Success Plan, the Fall District Council Business meeting has been rescheduled to October 27, 2022, from 6:30 – 8:30 pm. All Club Presidents and VPEs, and all DEC members (Division and Area Directors, and senior team) are expected to attend as voting representatives. The meeting is open to interested Toastmasters. On the agenda are the following items.
Approval of the May 2022 District Council meeting minutes.
Approval of the final 2021-2022 Financial Audit.
Approval of the 2022-2023 District Budget.
Approval of the 2022-2023 District Success Plan (DSP).
Confirmation of appointed 2022-2023 District Officers.
How do we get money for the District Budget? A portion of your bi-annual dues come back to the District to pay for the programs, services, and incentives that we offer to each member and all clubs in our District. When you pay your dues on time, it helps us maintain the services your club’s officers draw on to fulfill your club mission, and the mission ff the whole organization! The October 1 Membership Renewal Campaign helps make sure Dues arrive at World Headquarters (WHQ) by this date. Club Growth Director Bettyann Peck has put together an exciting incentive package to reward those clubs who attain certain paid membership levels by the Earlybird date of September 15. Check the District Newsletter that was sent out on August 29. If you are a gmail user, and cannot locate the newsletter in the Inbox, check the Promotions folder.
In Toastmasters service, John J. Hogan, DTM D53 District Director 2022-2023