Happy New Year fellow District 29 Toastmasters!
July 1 marked the beginning of the new 2019-2020 program year and I am proud to have had the opportunity to serve as your District Director during a period of significant changes.
Some of these changes we experienced last year included:
· 1st full year with the Pathways Education Program
· 1st year without a Fall Conference (we had a mid-year recognition gala instead)
· 1st year having a virtual District Council Meeting during the Fall
· 1st year with a regional quarter final for the International Speech Contest.
Other firsts we experienced were:
· Migrated out website to WordPress with much more social media support
· Our Program Quality Director implemented the policy to allow up to 2 contestants per club in Areas with 4 or fewer clubs.
· 4 district contest finals at the Annual District Conference we had the past May
· District sponsored marketing events for club and membership growth
· District sponsored workshops
· Our Club Growth Director introduced new incentives:
o Club incentives for members added during the annual membership drive campaigns (Smedley Award, Talk Up Toastmasters, Beat the Clock)
o Club Angel Award for members who went outside of their club to help another club.
o Club Coach Program with regular virtual coach sessions
o Club Growth Program with a demo meeting and sponsor/mentor coordinators
The above examples are not intended to be all inclusive but, as you can see, we introduced many innovations that stretched us beyond our traditional norms in order to address the evolving requirements of Toastmaster International and the needs of our members.
I am very appreciative of the support and cooperation from our club officers and members. Through your support, our number of distinguished or better clubs increased from 38% to 43% with 31 President’s Distinguished, 14 Select Distinguished and 11 Distinguished clubs (56 total). There were some phenomenal club turn arounds that we will highlight separately. Plus, our Pathways adoption rate was very respectable Internationally, especially for club officers.
Our members proved to be overachievers with a mind blowing 788 education awards including 23 DTM and 458 Pathway awards. Wow!
All in all, it was an amazing year thanks to our District 29 family, our clubs and its officers. We clearly demonstrated our theme of “Never Stop Learning” and we are on an upswing. I will look forward to supporting our District in the year to come as we “Find our Path” and continue to achieve more.
Thank you all once again for living the Toastmasters values and keeping the Toastmasters promise.
Dwight Yamada, DTM
Immediate Past District Director
District 29 (2019-2020)