Join Us for the District 53 Toastmasters Annual Conference – May 10-11!

Dear Fellow District 53 Toastmaster,

As Program Quality Director for District 53, I’d like to extend a personal invitation for you to attend this year’s District 53 Toastmasters Annual Conference on May 10-11 at the Heritage Inn & Conference Center in Southbury, CT. The Conference Committee has put together an amazing program and the theme “Breaking Barriers” is something we can all relate to, whether it is a barrier in the way we network with others or a barrier to our own personal growth.

You will have the opportunity to experience two special workshops with a world-class Toastmaster and Accredited Speaker, Sheryl Roush. Her engaging, heart-centered keynote message will make you feel re-energized and inspire you even beyond your Toastmasters journey.

There will also be two additional morning breakout sessions led by outstanding District 53 Toastmasters. These interactive sessions will provide great tips on how to take your presentations to the next level as well as more advanced and cutting-edge topics. Plus, celebrate this year’s Communication & Leadership Award winner Alisa Klein with an all-inclusive luncheon. We close the conference with the fourth level of competition in the International Speech Contest – come see some of the best speakers in the District!

As Cathy K., a 2023 conference attendee, said “At first, I wasn’t sure I wanted to spend a whole day, traveling to another state for the District conference but I’m SO glad I did! It gave me an opportunity to enhance my Toastmasters experience, and meet cool, new people, and I was blown away by the speech contest participants. It was a fun day- well worth it!”

Ticket prices go up on April 27th to the At Door rate, so please register to join us for this exciting opportunity to meet new people and invest in your own personal and professional development. Looking forward to seeing you there! There is a club rate, three or more people from the same club get a 10% rebate. Bring your fellow members and share this experience!

Additionally, don’t miss out on the FREE Friday night District Evaluation Speech Contest and socializing gathering on, May 10th at 7 pm. Click here for directions

Yours in Toastmasters Service,

Bettyann Peck, DTM
Program Quality Director 2023-2024

Toastmasters District 53 | Region 9
Serving Connecticut, Western Massachusetts, and Eastern New York
“We build new clubs and support all clubs in achieving excellence”

Club Officer Training Ends 2/29/2024!

Hello Fellow Toastmasters!

Club Officer Training ends soon — 2/29/2024!

While District 53’s offerings are now over, there are upcoming COT sessions from across the world that remain in order for anyone needing this Club Officer Training before the Feb. 29th deadline. This is part of Goal #9 in the Distinguished Club Program (DCP) to recognize clubs of excellence — and we’d love to see your club achieve that distinction.

It will take communication, a little bit of time, and maybe even a telephone call or two, but if your clubs are not seven-of-seven officers trained, please encourage each untrained officer to attend one of these sessions!!    Trained officers make stronger clubs, stronger areas, stronger divisions, and a stronger district, which makes Toastmasters a better place for every member!  4/7 trained should be an absolute minimum — and you can check which officers are trained in your club!

Please remind officers that, if they are going to attend another district’s COT, to have them fill out the survey with the details of the club officer’s name, club, division, and role and date trained.

Yours in Toastmasters service,
Bettyann Peck, DTM
District 53 Program Quality Director 2023-2024

November Greetings

Greetings fellow D53 Rock Stars,

The weather is getting colder, and sunsets are coming way too early now, but bright and exciting things in our District continue to unfold for our members when it comes to Program Quality.

BREAKING NEWS on our SC2024 Conference; Co-Chairs Richard E. Peck, DTM, PIP and David Freedman, DTM have been visiting site locations throughout Connecticut and Eastern New York to find the perfect location and dates that work best for our members for an epic conference, and we are very close to a final decision! Stay tuned for official announcements to come VERY soon in the district newsletter as well as on our website. For up to the minute news on what has occurred up to now with past conferences, take a peek on our website here.

Our second round of Club Officer Training (COT) sessions begin this month and unlike our Summer COT sessions, the winter COT sessions are focused on club leaders sharing their experiences and ideas to help others benefit from what you are learning about your role. These trainings will continue up to February 29, 2024. Register here

Speech Contest season, featuring the Evaluation and International Speech Contests is in full swing with our District Chief Judge Beth Van Kempen leading the charge with a fabulous team presenting deep dives into Contest Training for all members of our district. These sessions are a great opportunity to learn how to run AND judge a contest! Join the Judges training session on Nov. 13th at 8pm here.  For more specific questions or volunteering at an Area, Division or District contest, reach out to Beth directly at: dcj@d53tm.org

Yours in Toastmasters Service,
Bettyann Peck, DTM
Program Quality Director 2023-2024

Greetings from Nassau!

Hello, fellow Toastmasters!

It was a busy week for the D53 District Trio on-site in Nassau, Bahamas for District Officer Training and the Toastmasters International Convention. Just like the training our Club officers, Area and Division Directors are required to attend, we too have completed our training as well and it was amazing. I’m super excited to bring back to our district the things needed to help our clubs achieve excellence in District 53!

District 53 Program Quality Director Bettyann Peck, DTM, in front of the Toastmasters logo and holding a portable Toastmasters logo, at the 2023 International Convention

Member engagement, quality club meetings and education excellence was the forefront of our PQD sessions along with building new clubs. District Conferences were on everyone’s agendas as well during several days of intense PQD training sessions. Meeting with Program Quality Directors from around the globe was immensely helpful to gaining insight on what we all need to do: We build new clubs and help existing clubs to achieve excellence!

Congratulations to the Club Officers that attended the required Summer Club Officer Training (COT) sessions held in June, July and August and a huge thanks to all the facilitators that conducted the sessions over the last three months. As you know, the updated club officers list required by June 31, 2023 is the way officers can be notified about training. We have added makeup COT sessions to assist those clubs that missed it and that can be found on our website d53tm.org. You can also attend in other districts!

I’m thrilled to announce that our SC2024 Conference Co-Chairs Richard E. Peck, DTM, PIP and David Freedman, DTM have already started preliminary steps to provide you with a great District conference and we will provide additional details as things progress. Be on the lookout for “Save the Date” notifications from Public Relations Manager Zahary Fisk in the district newsletter as well as on our website.

Yours in Toastmasters Service,
Bettyann Peck, DTM, PQD
District 53 Program Quality Director, 2023-2024

Bring Out our Best

Hello Fellow Toastmasters!

It’s an honor to serve the district as your Program Quality Director for the 2023-2024 Toastmaster year. My team and I are excited and committed to provide training for all District and Club officers, helping them to lead our members and achieve their club goals. I’m thrilled to announce that the Area, Division and District Speech contests this year will all be in-person, and I look forward to an amazing Conference next Spring as we celebrate our successes.

Since joining Toastmasters in 2015, I have served in numerous club officer roles and continue to be an active and passionate member of three clubs. My home club is Park City Toastmasters. I’m also a charter member of New England Advanced Toastmasters. Both are located in in Fairfield, CT. I’m also a member of World Travelers Toastmasters in District 80 (Singapore). Through this I have been motivated to earn Distinguished Toastmaster awards in both the Legacy and the Pathways education programs.

Our founder, Ralph Smedley said “Ours is the only organization I know dedicated to the individual, we work together to bring out the best in each of us and then we apply these skills to help others.” It is my goal to help and encourage our members to engage in Pathways and apply the skills learned. We will strengthen our engagement with the members through increased communication. These efforts will allow us to support all members of our District to achieve excellence throughout their Toastmaster journey.

Remember to get your club officers trained!

With my best,
Bettyann Peck, DTM
Program Quality Director 2023-2024

Episode 3: Patti Walter

Our Members Matter with Patti Walter, PQD

Meet Patti Walter, the 2022-2023 D53 Program Quality Director! Get to know Patti and learn about her Toastmasters and leadership journeys. She openly shares why she considered embracing district leadership and her motivations behind supporting not only her friends and colleagues but all the clubs, areas, and divisions within our District.

Interested in being a guest at one of Patti’s clubs? Find out more information below!
Prospeakers
Blue Chip Toastmasters

Interested in learning more about leadership roles and opportunities, email us at pqd@d53tm.org

From the PQD – 22 May 2023

D53 had its first successful hybrid conference.  SPRINGBOARD to Success. What a great weekend! If you were not able to join us, let me recap what we did.

After a continental breakfast at the Springfield Sheraton — Monarch Place hotel on Saturday 6 May 2023, we jumped right in with our Keynote Speaker Joe Grondin. Joe spoke about developing our signature: how do you develop your own unique voice and presentation style?

Our members then were able to choose one of our three great breakout sessions to attend. Thank your Mary Cheyne, Ann Canfield and Heather LaPierre for your great sessions. 

We continued after our breakout with our tall tale contest. Boy do we have members who can tell some tales.  Our D53 Tall Tales Winners were:

  1. Christine Austin
  2. Poonam Hassija
  3. Kevin Haven

Then at lunch we presented our Communication and Leadership Award to Patricia Nicolari, founder and executive director of PROUD Academy.  Patricia spoke about the work that she does with passion and conviction, demonstrating again why she deserved our recognition and honor.

After lunch we continued on with our second set of breakout session. Again we had great sessions from Heather Turner, Steve Lanning and Stephanie Roy.  Thank you all.

After a break, Joe Grondin returned to the stage as he talked to us about Mrs. Elliot’s  Lessons. Joe shared with us the four leadership lessons his favorite teacher taught him at a time he needed it most.   Joe also shared some great memories he had with his students and family.  Both his sessions were educational, relatable and entertaining.

We concluded the afternoon session with the hall of fame awards for both the 2022-2023 and 2021-2022 program years. Congratulations to the following recipients of the awards for 2021-2022

  • Division Director of the Year Beth Van Kempen
  • Area Director of the Year Elizabeth Keeling
  • Toastmaster of the Year Jackie Kessler

We also announce the 2022-2023 award winners. They are:

  • Division Director of the Year Chad Babcock
  • Area Director of the Year Stephanie Roy
  • Toastmaster of the Year  Elizabeth Keeling

At the conclusion of the Hall of Fame, our International Director for Region 9, who represents us to the Toastmasters Board, Jeff Sobel DTM, swore into office the following District 53 officers for the 2023-2024 Toastmasters International program year:

  • Patti Walter, DTM  — District Director
  • Bettyann Peck, DTM — Program Quality Director
  • Mohan Padamati, DTM — Club Growth Director
  • Stephanie Roy — Division A Director
  • Ebru Unal — Division B Director
  • Selina Torjee — Division C Director
  • Mark Wing — Division D Director
  • Elizabeth Keeling — Division E Director

Congratulations to all!

A happy hour followed, then a wonderful dinner.  Our after-dinner entertainment was brought to you by our Division International Speech Contest Winners, as they competed for the title of District 53’s International Speech Contest championship.   These five came to the contest ready to go! Congratulations to all our contestants at club, Area, Division, and District levels.

Our winners were:

  1. Michael Whitehouse
  2. Donna Plen
  3. Craig Moore

We concluded on Sunday with a warm breakfast, out of this park networking and a final keynote from Joe,  who left us all dancing in our chairs.

You might be saying, “Oh, I missed you all!” Don’t worry… we were having to much fun to notice you weren’t there. But you can join us in May 2024, when the next amazing conference rolls around! Buy your ticket in February, and I’ll see you there!

In the meantime please join us for some officer training coming up in June and July, or join us for Train the Trainer sessions if you’d like to be a facilitator this year.  Psst— you don’t need to be an officer to go to training!  It is open to all.  

Yours in Toastmasters service,
Patti Walter, DTM —
Program Quality Director, 2022-2023

From the PQD’s Desk

November 7, 2022

Fellow Toastmasters,

Can you believe that it is already November?  In less than 2 short months we will be into 2023.  Where did the time go?

I wanted to share what is happening with Program Quality.

Officer Training: (open to all) Thanks to the help of Chad Babcock. Stephanie Roy and Mohan Padamati, officer training dates will be rolled out shortly.  The winter sessions will be 2.5 hours long.  We will be offering shorter lunchtime sessions for those of us that find it easier to meet during the day and not at night or weekends. We will also be including different electives this time around for our longer termed officers.

Conference:  SAVE the Date:  May 6thDavid Freedman, Janice Dimock and their team is busy getting our conference planned out. Be on the lookout for more information regularly, including our great keynote speaker, location, pricing and list of presenters.  This promises to be a great networking and fun-filled program for all Toastmasters in the District.

Contests:  The contest season is upon us. We will be hosting the International Speech Contest as always, and the Tall Tales Contest will be our secondary contest..  Area contests will be held on line between Jan 16h and March 15th and Division Contests will be hybrid between March 16th and April 16th.  Area and Divisions Directors will be sharing dates as they are finalized.  We will also include them on the Contest Page and District Calendar.  Keep coming back to find out more. Division contests will be held during our Conference. 

Also remember we have other monthly events going on such as MMEP and Officer Forums.  Dates and details can be found in our monthly newsletter and on this website calendar. (Note: if you are not receiving our monthly newsletter, please let me know so we can add you to the list. pqd@d53tm.org.

To close all these events are here to help our members and our district.  It takes a village.  Please be a villager and help us grow our district.  There are many volunteer opportunities open and we will work around the time commitment you have to offer.

Sincerely,
Patti Walter
D53 Program Quality Director, 2022-2023

REVITALIZING DISTRICT 53 – OUR MEMBERS MATTER!!!!