In this issue…

Fall Conference replacement comes to an advisory vote

Toastmasters International has mandated that Districts no longer hold Fall Conferences so as to ensure greater focus on the District Mission. In addition, District level contests are not allowed during the fall time period and no contests can be held that do not lead to a District contest. The fall business meeting must be virtual and conducted prior to September 30.

Because of the historical importance that the Fall Conference has had in our District, we have been soliciting options to fill this gap. An all-member survey was conducted in December, a brainstorming session was held at the January DEC meeting and an online discussion forum has been open on the District website since early February.

During the District Council meeting May 5, voting members will be asked to cast an advisory vote on three options for a Fall Conference replacement.

  1. Early December TLI (similar to the Monona Terrace event of the past three years)
  2. Live webinar – online education presentations, keynote speeches, etc.
  3. Division events – Education sessions, networking, keynote speakers, etc.

If you are voting member of the District Council or carrying a proxy to the meeting, please discuss these options with your club members and provide guidance to next year’s district leadership team.

Keith Cumiskey, DTM
District Director

Helpful hints for the next two years

Now that Pathways has launched in District 35, the planning for those looking to complete additional awards in the program everyone used prior to February 13th has been more frantic than ever. Below are some ways that may help you more efficiently complete some awards in the world of CCs, ALBs, ACSs and so forth. These have been verified with the Education Services team at Toastmasters International’s World Headquarters.

Q: If I am a speaker for a particular evening, may I earn credit in the Competent or Advanced Communication manuals (CC or ACs) as well as earn credit for the Speaker role in the Competent Leadership (CL) manual on the same evening?

A:  While Toastmasters generally does not permit “double dipping” for the same assignment; this is one time where you can earn credit in two different places in the same evening.

Before I asked the World Headquarters staff this question, I thought it strange that we should take the Toastmasters promise saying all projects should be from the Competent Communication and Advanced Communication manuals and then have a role labeled “Speaker” in Project #4 and Project #5 of the Competent Leadership manual.

A possible alternative is that if your club has an alternative speaking role that lasts longer than a short report (for example Southwest Toastmasters has the “Toastmaster Minute” which actually is 2-3 minutes on some tip for the club) this could also qualify for the Speaker credit.

Also see: Question #6

Q:  May a member receive credit for mentoring someone through the first three speeches for Project #9 in the Competent Leadership (CL) manual and for the Advanced Communicator Gold (ACG) at the same time?

A:  I was curious about this question because there may be some smaller clubs where it is more difficult to find multiple people to mentor. Unfortunately, you cannot receive credit for the mentoring requirement for the ACG and have the same person evaluate you for Project #9 in the CL manual at the same time.

In discussing the situation mentioned, the Education Services team did offer an alternate suggestion. If you are only able to mentor one person, you should mentor them for the first three speeches to fulfill the ACG requirement. Project #9 in the CL manual also allows you to mentor an existing member for the next three speaking or leadership projects beyond the first three speeches and you should work with that individual to receive credit for this project with this evaluation.

Q:  May a member present the same module from the Better Speaker Series, Successful Club Series or Leadership Excellence Series more than once to earn credit for either an Advanced Communicator Silver (ACS) or Advanced Leader Bronze (ALB) award?

A:  Given that we are not allowed to repeat advanced manuals as we have to work our way up through the three Advanced Communicator awards (an ACG has done six different advanced manuals) I was curious about this question, as I would have thought we would have had to done four different modules to earn credit for the ACS and ALB.

I was surprised when asking the Education Services team to receive the answer that YES you can present the same module twice to earn credit twice toward the ACS or ALB awards. The only requirement for this scenario is that the presentations must be done on different dates.

Since only the Successful Club Series modules can be applied to either the ACS or ALB, I asked the further question of whether or not two of the same Better Speaker Series module could be applied to the same ACS or two of the same Leadership Excellence Series module could be applied to an ALB. I stumped the Education Services specialist I was on the phone with and they had to obtain confirmation from a team lead that YES this is permissible.

     Also see: Question #10

These tips should provide some helpful guidance in planning to meet the traditional program award requirements. Being able to strategize better should allow you to better meet your individual educational goals as well as assist your club in laying out its goals within the Distinguished Club Program (DCP).

Ed Thelen, DTM
Program Quality Director



Spring is the time for club growth!

I am excited to tell you about three awesome new clubs joining the District:

  • Water City Speakers – Community club, Oshkosh
  • Pro Speaks – Specialty club focused on professional speaking, Brookfield
  • The Best U – Utopian Church club, Milwaukee

It is great to know that seven new clubs in our District are taking advantage of the Pathways Learning Experience; Pathways has been a great selling point with corporations and community clubs.

What is even more exciting is that we also have on the books four scheduled demonstration meetings in April. These include three corporations that are excited about having a corporate club, and one community club. Also in April we await the charter of Harley-Davidson’s fifth club at their manufacturing facility.

Thank you to all those who provided leads. We are still working diligently to penetrate new markets and expand our footprint even more.

As we are approaching the end of this Toastmasters year, I ask all clubs to continue marketing and have an open house or guest night. I ask all Toastmasters to continue to invite friends, family and other people to join so they can benefit from the Toastmasters experience. One thing that will help is to ensure that your club website is current and updated continuously.

Let’s keep the momentum going.

We are in the final stretch and we can all do this together. The International Convention cannot get any closer; in August it will be in Chicago. I want as many District 35 members as possible to go to the International Convention so we can all stand proudly on the world stage to be recognized as a Distinguished District.

Thank you for the time and efforts you’ve put in this year and let us keep the momentum going.

Yours in Toastmasters

Rozaline Janci, DTM
Club Growth Director

Toastmasters wear many hats
Spring Convention – May 4-5, 2018

As details come out, excitement builds for the Convention next month!  A world champion keynote speaker, candidate discussion, Friday Fun Night and more all await members at the Crowne Plaza in Oak Creek, near the airport.

Educational session applicants are being notified of their acceptance and will be publicized on the District Convention page as well as on the District 35 Facebook page.  Marketplace tables will also featured to help you plan your quest for outstanding information — leadership, communication and educational information will prepare you for leveling up in Pathways during your membership!

To enjoy this plethora of excitement and education, you have to register!  If your club registers, your cost is only what you choose to order for meals, but either way, register before the early bird prices terminate!  Did your club register? Scroll to the bottom of the Convention page to find out!  Information about a block rate at the hotel is available on the Registration form.

Presidents, Vice Presidents Education and District Executive Council members — Plan on attending the Business Meeting Saturday afternoon.  The agenda for the meeting will be published in the first week of April (and this article will be updated with a link).  If you are unfortunately unable to attend the convention, make your club’s voice heard by using a proxy form!  You can delegate a member of your club to represent your vote at the business meeting, but we must have the form completed.  If you have questions about proxies, please reach out to our Immediate Past District Director Cindy Laatsch for more information.

We’re offsetting some of the costs of publishing and other expenses by selling advertisements in the Convention program.  This booklet will be seen by about 300 Toastmasters from throughout the District; publicizing club events, announcing accomplished goals and advertising member and friend businesses — especially online opportunities and events — will support the District event as well as share goodwill among membership.  For ad information, please contact Theresa Flynn.

Share the wealth with your next officer committee

In each club, the Vice President Education (VPE) serves as the primary Base Camp manager, with support from the club president and secretary. The VPE is responsible for conducting several tasks in Base Camp to ensure members are fully supported on their Pathways journey.

To help Base Camp Managers with their roles, and to provide support to the clubs in the district with the transition to Pathways, we have a full team of Pathways Guides providing Virtual Support Sessions.

Pathway Guides are only required to conduct 15 sessions during their term, which is scheduled to end in mid-May. We encourage club officers who may step into leadership roles for 2018-2019 to attend the Virtual Support Sessions (VSS) with the current Base Camp Managers.

Base Camp Managers have several responsibilities:

  • Verify level completion requests (online paths)
  • Verify project, level and path completions for members using print materials.
  • Approval or denial of external training requests
  • Approval or denial of external training completions
  • Track progress of members working toward goals in Pathways (helps with Club Success Plans)
  • Print certificates for members who complete a level on Base Camp (when club policy is set to do so)


  • Welcome members who chose their learning path via feedback feature
  • Develop club tracking progress for approval process

Remember, Pathways Guides serve only through mid-May. Take advantage of the learning and support they have to offer! Contact your Guide to learn the dates of their VSS if you do not already know them.

For newly chartered clubs, Chief Ambassador Kathy Shine weaves additional learning related to Base Camp, navigation, and tutorials into her sessions, and members as well as Base Camp Managers are welcome to attend. Kathy’s VSS are held most Sunday and Thursday evenings beginning at 7:00 pm. Dates, links, and previously recorded session are available at

Kathy Shine, DTM
Chief Ambassador, District 35


Friday night at Spring Convention to feature Candidates’ Showcase

In an effort to allow our members to make the most informed choice of district leaders, we will offer a moderated Candidate Showcase at the Spring Convention on Friday, May 4. The format will be similar to that used at the annual Toastmasters International convention.

Participation at the showcase is open to all district officer candidates for elected positions, both those nominated by the District Leadership Committee and those intending to run from the floor. Participation by candidates is optional, not mandatory. Attendance is open to everyone.

The showcase will be led by a moderator. Each candidate will be allocated time for a 2 minute prepared statement which can be delivered before interviewer questions, after interview questions, or split before/after interview questions. Unopposed division director candidates will have a 3 minute interview, trio and opposed division director candidates will have a 6 minute interview.

We will continue to offer a Candidates Corner at the convention in which candidates may display campaign literature and staff a table. The Candidate Showcase does not replace the 2 minute campaign speech during the District business meeting.

If you have questions that you would like asked of candidates, please submit them to District Director Keith Cumiskey by April 29. Please specify if a question is to be directed to a particular office or to all candidates. Candidates will be prepared on the showcase format, but not the specific questions, in advance.

Happy 60th Anniversary to Spectacle City!

In 1958, District 35 was much smaller and only about five years old when Spectacle City was chartered on January 25 of that year.  Last month, the current members celebrated their 60th anniversary with former members, District officials and guests at Klemmers Banquet in West Allis.

On March 9th, the club celebration, themed “Happy Days,” included the award of the Andy Mazzucco Lifetime Achievement Award to District leader Kathy Shine. 
“I was surprised to be selected and most honored to be presented with the Andy Mazzucco Memorial Award. The first time I met Andy was during a speaker exchange event between my home club, Southwest Toastmasters, and Spectacle City. I listened to Andy’s grammarian report and thought how impressive he was while giving feedback to everyone in the room. He was a dedicated Toastmaster and role model for new members,” said Kathy.

The award is named after long-tenured Toastmaster Andy Mazzucco, DTM, who won the T-Award while a member of Spectacle City in 2009; he was also the District Governor for District 6 in 1976.

Deadline looms for media contest

Is your club GREAT at PR? Compete with other clubs in the annual Public Relations Contest. There are three types of entries: club newsletter, website, or social media presence. Submit your entry for any of these that you consider to be top notch into the District 35 PR CONTEST. This fun and friendly competition will give your club some exposure and the opportunity to win awards in the categories of:

The deadline for submission into the contest is April 21, 2018. A panel of contest judges will determine the winners with first and second place awards being presented at the Spring District Convention in May. If you have any questions about the contest contact Jackie Breezer, District 35 PR Manager at

Tosa/Medical Toastmasters turns 35!

In 1983, the average price of a car was $5,500 and a gallon of milk was $1.35. This put in perspective the economy at the time Tosa/Medical Toastmasters, Club #5010, was in its early stages of birth as a Toastmasters club.

Current Tosa/Medical member and past Area Governor for the club, Linda Cobbs, provided this perspective to over 20 Toastmasters and guests at the Tosa/Medical 35th anniversary celebration held on Wednesday, March 21st at Alioto’s in Wauwatosa.

Those present at the celebration were treated to several delightful and entertaining presentations to highlight the proud history of Tosa/Medical.

Newest club member Carlos Litovich read a brief history of the club detailing its beginnings on Highway 100 and the move to the Medical College of Wisconsin in 1991 through the efforts of Jane Ellis. Carlos enlightened the audience with some of the great accomplishment of the club and its members including winning the Governor’s Award (now Director’s Award) in 2000, having a World Champion Public Speaker (Jerry Starke – 1988) as a club member and two Distinguished District Governors (Jerry Starke and Dick Koehler).

Ed Thelen gave a “Toast to Tosa/Medical”.   Ed has been a member of Tosa/Medical Toastmasters for 19 years. He talked about the various things he has seen through the 19 years specifically the ups and downs of the club. He pulled out the Tosa/Medical banner with the old logo that was very worn and indicated that even though the banner was time tested with wrinkles and a hole at the bottom, through teamwork, adaptability and continued commitment to the club we would be able to survive some of the current struggles the club is facing.

After dinner everyone was treated to a few words from one of the co-founders of Tosa/Medical Toastmasters, Ellen Starke, that were presented by Mary Maier, wife of Past District Governor and Past International Director, Norm Maier.   Ellen indicated she cherished building a new Toastmasters club from the ground up and watching the development and growth of new Toastmasters was exciting and something she was very proud of.

The final presentation of the evening was given by District Director Keith Cumiskey. Keith reminded us that we should be proud of our past, but needed to focus on the present and the future in order to sustain the legacy Tosa/Medical has created. Embracing Pathways as our new educational program was an important step in maintaining our legacy.

The evening concluded with our annual white elephant auction to raise funds for our Tosa/Medical Treasury. Some of the more interesting items auctioned off were a “Damnit Doll”, a collapsible winter sled and a Hillary nutcracker. Nearly $60 was raised to be used for various supplies and club events throughout the year.

Ed Thelen, DTM
Tosa/Medical Toastmasters Sergeant-at-Arms and Program Quality Director


Looking for some spice in your table topics? Try our Table Topics Unleashed section for some new ideas.



Grab a pen and a handful of index cards. Write one letter on each card. A, B, C, … Z. If you want to make things easier add another set of some common letters like A, E, M, R, S, T.

During Table Topics, the speaker will select 3 cards and create a backronym for it (reverse acronym) and explain what it is.

Example: E X S = Extra eXcellent Sauce – That sauce that makes even the most unpalatable of foods edible and delicious.

If you’d like a professionally made version of the cards, try out ak-ro-nym – The Hilarious Party Game of Made Up Acronyms.


Club Story

We do this one every Christmas and create our very own club Christmas story however it works for any holiday or special event.

The Table Topics Master will start off a story with a few lines to set the scene and initial character. Then each member in turn will add up to 30 seconds to the story continuing from where the last person finished. At the end, the Table Topics Master will wrap up with a quick conclusion.

You can either go around the room in order or allow people to call on the next person to speak.

This one is great for ensuring everyone is involved and gets a chance to speak.


— Kelly Huttelmaier, Division B Director


On to Division!
There’s just one thing between winners of the Area Contests and our District competition at the Convention in May:  Division Contests!  For the latest information, please check the D35 Calendar, but as a handy guide, these are the current scheduled dates for Division competitions.  They’re a great opportunity to hear inspirational speeches, network with fellow Toastmasters, and even publicize your club to guests — bring fliers for club events!
Division City Date
A Sussex Friday 4/13
B Waukesha Friday 4/13
Central Madison Saturday, 4/14
D Milwaukee Friday, 4/20
Eastern Fond du Lac Saturday, 4/14
F Milwaukee Friday, 4/6
Northern Stevens Point Saturday, 4/14
Western Black River Falls Saturday, 4/7

See you there!!


 Check out these winners!

Area contests have produced winners that go on to Division Contests during April!  Contact your Area or Division Director to volunteer at your event!

We look forward to some outstanding speeches!





Toastmasters baseball  basketball Football: the clock is still ticking!

The Brewers may have started their season, and March Madness is over, but Toastmasters Football League is still a competition!  Even if your club isn’t a high-probability candidate for a Lombardi Trophy, a strong fourth quarter can bring many clubs a Subway gift card to celebrate your outstanding efforts!  Mentoring, educational awards and club Open House events all bring you that much closer to that sweet, sweet swag.  You have three months left in this Toastmasters year — bring in new members, complete your educational awards and before long you could have subs the size of a really underinflated Patriots football right there in your club meeting space!  Yards are added every week — check out the standings NOW!