District 35 Toastmasters

August 2020 Newsletter

In This Issue:


  District Director, Kris Pool, DTM


I can’t believe one month has already passed in the 2020-2021 year!  So much has already happened this year and we’re just getting started!

Your district Trio, consisting of District Director Kris Pool, DTM, Program Quality Director Teri McGregor, VC5, and Club Growth Director Jennifer Kibicho, DTM, have been working diligently since the May election, planning and strategizing for this year. Together, we developed our 2020-2021 Vision of District 35 Leadership, and it all starts with the HUGS!

Helping Us Grow Stronger
by providing the support and resources
for our members and clubs to thrive in District 35
and achieve distinguished status.

How will we do this? By providing additional opportunities for you.

  • Early officer training to start the year off on the right foot
  • Training sessions to help you in your officer role
  • Training sessions to help you as a club coach
  • Training for starting new clubs (club sponsor and mentor)
  • Continued Pathways training
  • And more!

The District will offer these various options, but it is still up to you, our members and club officers, to take advantage.  Attend an extra training session a month.  Partner with another club for a joint meeting to learn ideas.  Try something new for your own personal development and see how it can also benefit your club.

94% of our district leaders (Area and Division Directors) have been trained. This training helps them be in a better position to offer support and guidance to our clubs and members. We are still looking for a few Area Directors in Central and Northern Division and would love your help! Reach out to Robin Cosgrove (Central) and Karen Polege (Northern) if interested.

Want to know who your district leaders are? Just visit the District Leadership tab on our website. For just a list of names and the office held, visit the “unsecured” page (https://district35.org/district-leaders-unsecured/). For the contact email addresses, you will need to register and log in to the district website. This is for security purposes, mainly due to a scammer emailing all our district officers last year trying to convince us to buy gift cards for one of our fellow leaders. It’s an extra step, but is needed for security. Also…. if you’re logged in, then you can access the Forums section of the website and post questions and/or answers. 

Be on the lookout for updates on the district website, Facebook, email, and LinkedIn. We want to know your concerns and your successes. This is a year for recognition of all that we do.

Remember, it’s all about the HUGS – Helping Us Grow Stronger. And we can only do this by collaborating and working together as a district.  And by working together, we will succeed together and become distinguished – as individuals, clubs, areas, divisions, and as a district.



The success of the district hinges on the success of our members and clubs. The district’s specific metrics are Paid Clubs, Membership Payments, and Distinguished Clubs. The District Executive Committee (DEC) has already begun planning the strategies and tactics to help us achieve our district goals.

Just as the district has specific metrics, so do our clubs. The goals of each club start with the Club Success Plan and the Distinguished Club Program.

Clubs are encouraged to develop a Club Success Plan and refer to it throughout the year to see if they are on target to meet their goals. Remember, your Club Success Plan is more than just the 10 Distinguished Club Program (DCP). Your club can develop and plan additional goals – perhaps having a certain number of members earn a Triple Crown, develop a social media plan for Facebook and club website, start a mentoring program for new members, offer Pathways training for members. There are so many opportunities for club goals – you just need to discuss and plan for those goals with your club officers and members – get everyone’s input and support which leads to success.

For those thinking about the DCP, the education goals this year have changed from previous years because we are all in the Pathways education curriculum now. The remaining four goals remain the same.

In addition to a membership prerequisite of 20 members or a net growth of 5 new members from your base membership number, 5 of the 10 goals need to be achieved for Distinguished status, 7 for Select Distinguished, and 9 for President’s Distinguished.

Talk with your members. Find out what they want to accomplish this year. Offer ideas on how Toastmasters can help them achieve their goals for personal and/or professional growth. When the club helps meets the members’ needs, the members in turn help the club meet their needs. It’s a win-win situation.

Clubs can also reach out to their Area Director for help or suggestion on completing their Club Success Plan and ways to achieve Distinguished status.



What are you worth? Is your professional and personal growth worth at least 25¢ a day? Because that’s what membership costs at $90 per year with Toastmasters. Yes, it may be little more with local club dues, but Toastmasters truly is a low-cost option for all the educational and experiential learning that is available to you if you choose to utilize all that is offered. Think about this when you are asked to renew your membership dues..…because it’s already time to start thinking about the fall membership renewals.

Usually by mid-August, Toastmasters will open the option to submit renewals online. Renewal payments for at least 8 club members should be made by the end of September to remain in good standing (but of course, we would love to have all members renew by this date).

As an incentive, District 35 will reward all clubs that submit membership renewals for at least 8 members for the full year (rather than just the regular six months renewal) with a $25 Visa gift card. We are still waiting for confirmation from Toastmasters if they will open up the option for all clubs to submit annual dues or if each individual clubs will need to contact Toastmasters with the list of 8+ members that paid for a full year’s dues prior to submitting payment.

Additionally, each member that pays a full year of membership by September 30 will earn a “leap frog” pin.





In honor of the founder of Toastmasters, Dr. Ralph C. Smedley, build your club membership during the Smedley Award as one of three membership campaigns promoted by Toastmasters International. Organize a special event, encourage members to invite guests, talk to those who could benefit from the challenges, rewards, increased confidence, and success that Toastmasters can bring about in improving their communication and leadership skills.

Add five new, dual, or reinstated members with a join date between August 1 and September 30, 2020.  If you accomplish this goal, your club will qualify to receive a Smedley Award ribbon, named in honor of Ralph Smedley, which can be displayed on your club’s banner. Qualifying clubs can also earn a special discount code for 10% off their next club order. (The discount code expires six months from the date of issue and is not valid with any other offer.)

Applications and payments for members with a join date between August 1 and September 30 must be received at World Headquarters or online no later than September 30. Transfer and charter members do not count toward Smedley Award credit.

The winning clubs will be revealed online within a few weeks of the submission deadline. Winning clubs should allow up to 10 business days to receive their award.



Registration for the International Convention is now open at https://www.toastmasters.org/events/2020-international-convention.

If you’ve never had the opportunity to attend in the past, then 2020 is your year! Held virtually from August 24-29, 2020, this is a no charge event that you can attend via computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone (Android or iOS). Events listed on the agenda are in Greenwich Mean Time, which is five hours ahead of us in Wisconsin, so plan accordingly.

My personal recommendation is to attend the Opening Ceremonies and Keynote Presentation on Monday, August 24 from 1pm to 2pm CST.  Review the agenda and decide what you will attend: https://www.toastmasters.org/events/2020-international-convention/agenda

If you can’t attend a session live, it will be available on demand 24 hours after the conclusion of the live event. Simply log into the On Demand convention platform and press “Play” on the video within that session’s page. But remember – you will have to be registered to view these!



The deadline to assign (or reassign) your club’s proxy is Tuesday, August 18, 2020. The goal is to have 100% participation from our clubs.

The Club President or Secretary must follow these steps:

  1. Log in at Toastmasters.org
  2. Go to Leadership Central, then Club Central
  3. Select the club you wish to conduct business for to access the Club Business menu
  4. Click on Club Proxy

The club can then assign its proxy in one of three ways:

  1. Designate a delegate from the club to cast your club votes
  2. Designate the 2020-2021 District Director to act as your club proxy (This is the recommended action; combined, the District Trio has spent over 60  hours interviewing the candidates and preparing for the Annual Business Meeting)
  3. Designate another active member to act as your club proxy

There are two types of proxies – Instructed and Uninstructed.

  1. For an Instructed Proxy, the club has indicated a preference for particular International Officer and Director candidates and for the proposals; the proxy holder must vote as instructed.
  2. For an Uninstructed Proxy, the club has not indicated a preference for particular candidates and for the proposals. The proxy holder must vote as they believe is in the best interest of the organization.

If you assigned the proxy to your own club to vote, you will need to check in for “Credentials” between August 19 and August 22 (deadline is 6:59 p.m. CST). This will generate your proxy summary report which you will need for voting.  You will also need to attend a training session on how to use the electronic ballot; a training video will be available during the week of the Convention and there will be live training sessions you can attend.

For those clubs that will be voting as their own delegates, plan to attend the entire business meeting from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. CST.  You are also asked to do your homework and learn about the candidates and proposals so you can make an informed decision. Candidate information is available at: https://www.toastmasters.org/about/board-of-directors

For additional information on the Proxy and Business Meeting, please read the FAQ: https://www.toastmasters.org/about/board-of-directors/proxy%20and%20annual%20business%20meeting%20faq

A District 35 Town Hall is scheduled for Sunday, August 16, 2020 from 6pm to 7pm. This will give the clubs that are planning to vote themselves an opportunity to learn more about the candidates and proposals, as well as the District Director to hear if there are preferences for any particular candidates. The Zoom link is available on the district calendar.

This session is open to all members, not just clubs that will vote on their own behalf. This is an opportunity to learn about what happens at the International Business Meeting as well.



Saturday, September 19, 2020 is our fall District Council Meeting. Along with various reports from the district leaders, we will need approval for the 2020-2021 district budget.

Club Presidents, Club Vice Presidents Education, and DEC members should mark their calendars to attend this meeting. Because this will be a virtual meeting, no proxy holders will be allowed.

Watch your email, the district website, and Facebook for announcements regarding the Zoom meeting link, credential and voting process, the agenda, and the budget.

All members are invited to attend, but only the District Council members (comprised of Presidents, VP Education, and DEC members) will be allowed to vote.

Program Quality Director, Teri McGregor, VC5


Are you looking for new ways to improve the quality of your club meetings?  Do you need help planning and executing special events?  Maybe you are looking to add variety to your meetings but need a little direction.  I am happy to announce the Enhanced Program Quality Series.  This series of training sessions is designed to help you and your members make the most of this year.  Topics include Pathways, hosting virtual open houses, effective online meetings, speech contests, marketing and more.  Check out the district calendar for dates and times and for information on how to register for each session. 

If you have a topic you want to learn more about or share with others, please let me know.  My goal is to support you by offering training sessions and workshops on the topics to you want to learn more about.  



Have fun AND earn rewards for meeting personal and club goals this year!  Incentives play an important role in sustaining high quality of programming in District 35.  Encouraging you through incentives is just one of the many ways we like to say THANK YOU for your hard work and dedication to your clubs, the district and, most importantly, yourself.

New incentives for 2020-2021 include:

Fast 5

  • Clubs that earn 5 DCP Goals + gain 5 New members by November 30 will earn a $50 Visa Gift Card


  • Play Virtual Bingo with your club
  • Fill your card by December 31, 2020 and win $25
  • Contact Teri McGregor for your VINGO Card

Open House Incentive

  • Host an open house and earn a Gold Star Trophy
  • Club must show that an event was planned by providing the Incentive chair with promotional material examples and attendance record for the event

Contest Incentive

  • Attend club contest training (date TBD) and earn a contest kit for your club
  • Contest kit includes:
    • Contest in a Box
    • Trophies for the club contest winners

Area Director Incentives

  • Complete all club visits and submit reports by September 30 and earn a Toastmasters document briefcase
  • Complete second round of club visits and submit reports by February 28 and earn a Toastmasters Executive Calculator Padfolio

Club Mentor Incentive

  • New club reaches distinguished within 12 months of Charter will earn $25

Club Coach Incentives

  • Club coaches who help get their club to distinguished by December 30, 2020 will earn $25
  • Club coaches who help get their club distinguished by June 30, 2021 will earn a Toastmasters Hat
  • ALL Club coaches will earn a branded business card holder

Be sure to visit the incentives page on the D35 website for more information:  https://district35.org/incentives/



As I write this, we just finished our 3rd Summer TLI.  The plans for our summer TLI season began over 6 months ago when Kris Pool and I came together on a vision.  We wanted to offer a consistent training experience by hosting a district-wide summer event for the first time in District 35.  The safer at home order offered us a unique opportunity to add to the list of firsts – virtual.  Members were able to attend the district event without the hassle of travel.  And boy did they attend!  Through the 3 sessions, we were able to train 500 people.

It was exciting watching the registration numbers grow as we got closer to each event!  Even more exciting was learning that we had attracted Toastmasters from across the United States as well as members from Canada, Chile, and Nepal to our events.  Sessions were engaging and offered topics to set our club officers up for success in their year ahead. 

At the first training session Margaret Page asked everyone to share one word to describe their leadership journey this year.  Here are those words: 








My word – Thrive.  I plan to offer training and support to help you and your clubs thrive this Toastmaster year. 

Final attendance is being recorded and will be complete by August 10.  Be sure you check your club’s dashboard.  If you find that the number of officers trained in your club is inaccurate, reach out to me right away to have that corrected.


  Club Growth Director, Jennifer Kibicho, PhD, DTM


Thank you for the opportunity to serve you as your Club Growth Director (CGD). It’s been an amazing couple of weeks since the May 2 elections. Since stepping to the CGD role, I am even more persuaded of the high value preposition of the Toastmasters membership, and very grateful for those who invested in my leadership journey. We are fortunate to have access to such depth of curricula at a very affordable price of $0.25 per day. Amid a struggling economy, Toastmasters can be a beacon of hope for our friends, colleagues, and family who are in-between jobs or simply looking to transition to the next career opportunity. I encourage you to continue investing in yourself and gaining proficiency of and mastery in leadership and communication skills that advance your personal and professional goals.



Did you know that you need to have served as either a Club Mentor or a Club Coach (among other leadership requirements) to attain a DTM in Pathways? Or you have until June 30, 2021 to complete the Club Sponsor/Mentor/Coach requirement to get a DTM under the traditional education program. The challenge is that being a Club Mentor is contingent upon chartering a new club—a factor that is beyond your control. The opportunity is that getting Club Coach credit is more attainable and within your control. The good news is that our District has 44 clubs that need a club coach. That means there are opportunities for 88 individuals (each club can have up to 2 coaches appointed) to fast track their path to DTM.

Whether you are looking to get a Club Coach credit as a requirement under the traditional DTM or looking ahead to complete your DTM in Pathways, I hope that you will take advantage of the Club Coach opportunity to not only advance your Toastmasters journey but also to serve other clubs in our District. To find out more about the Club Coach Program, please visit our D35 Club Coaching webpage.


 CNH Industrial Toast Team Club President, DeDe Obuch, CC, CL


CNH Industrial Toast Team started a new adventure in January 2020.  We had our first Youth Leadership Program, which we called Chatter Heads. To get this program started, we coordinated and got advice from other Toastmasters, both in and out of our district. This network of experienced Toastmasters helped pave the way for our successful workshop.  We even used our Toastmasters network to find the talented artist to draw the fun artwork to represent the workshop.

Since CNH Industrial Toast Team is a corporate club, for our inaugural workshop we invited employees’ middle-school aged kids to take part. Five brave kids stepped up to learn public speaking and leadership skills. Club members collaborated to create weekly programs to teach the fundamentals: speech organization, evaluating, blocking, gestures, and of course: impromptu speaking. Throughout the 8-week workshop, each participant prepared and delivered two speeches. We heard some great topics ranging from someone’s favorite foods to the history of our company founder. Just like at our regular Toastmaster meetings, we had impromptu speaking at each Chatter Head meeting. It was fascinating to see the improvement for unplanned speeches. During our first meeting, some of the impromptu speeches were just a few words long. That grew to full, well-thought out impromptu speeches by the end of the workshop.

As the workshop coordinator, it was amazing to see everyone step up and make this a successful endeavor. Our club members stepped up to put together weekly workshops to teach topics in fun and energetic ways. Our participants stepped up and took on new challenges which resulted in their confidence growing right before our eyes. We can’t wait for the opportunity to continue Chatter Heads!



The August 2020 online issue of Toastmaster Magazine featured a picture of District 35’s very own, David Reed, DTM!  David brought along his Toastmaster Magazine to Tiberius, Israel along the Sea of Galilee in March of 2019.  

If you would like a chance to be featured in Toastmaster Magazine as a “Traveling Toastmaster,” submit your photo to photos@toastmasters.org . Get Creative! Traveling Toastmaster wants to highlight creativity in quarantine! Take a picture in your home or socially distancing with your magazine or other Toastmasters memorabilia.



Club Growth Director Jennifer Kibicho, DTM had the opportunity to talk virtually with Dick Hawley, DTM Past International Director about how his leadership within Toastmasters helped his professional career. 

Click on the image to watch the video!   


Getting Started in Pathways Webinar – August 19, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

New to Toastmasters? New to Pathways?  Join Steve Wittmann, D35 Pathways Chair on Wednesday, August 19, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. for a Webinar on “Getting Started in Pathways.”  Whether you’re in doubt about picking the Path that’s best for you or navigating your curriculum from start to project completion, you’ll hear hints and tips to help you succeed.  You’ll also be able to ask specific Pathways questions.  

Since Pathways was launched in District 35, many members worked hard on completing their goals in the traditional education program.  Now let’s put the same energy into the Pathways education program.  Spending one hour to get re-introduced to Pathways will not only save you time, and possibly some frustration, but also help you get the most from Pathways.

Additional Pathways webinar dates are planned for September 16 and October 14.  Topics are TBD based on feedback.  Mark your calendar and register at the link below.

 Let’s get started!  Register here: August 19 Pathways Training – Getting Started


Club Coach Training Workshop – August 23, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

If your club is struggling to attract guests to meetings, turn guests into members, or retain members, we are here to help.  If your club has 8-12 members, your club is eligible to get at least two club coaches. We have incentives for both Clubs and Club Coaches that attain Distinguished Status by the end of December.

The CGD (Club Growth Director) team is committed to building new clubs and supporting all clubs in achieving excellence, so that the clubs can foster a conducive positive learning experience that empowers members to develop communication and leadership skills, resulting in greater self-confidence and personal growth. Together, we can self-actualize and thrive even in a tough economy, by taking every opportunity to invest in ourselves and serve our fellow Toastmasters.

Please email Jennifer Kibicho, DTM if you would like your club to get a club coach or if you would like to become a club coach.

The District will be hosting a Club Coach Training Workshop for current and prospective club coaches on August 23 from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Please consider attending the club coach workshop even if you attended the Club Coach training at the Summer TLI.

It takes a village!  Register here: August 23  Club Coach Training Workshop


Effective Online Toastmasters Meeting Training – August 26, 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

You are invited to join Nick Lechnir, District 35 Program Quality Training Coordinator on Wednesday, August 26, 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. for an online training session on “Effective Online Toastmasters Meetings.”  Now that more people are working from home, online presentations using tools like Zoom have started to become the norm. But giving a Zoom presentation is very different from presenting in person. The lack of physical presence and body language can make it difficult to engage and inspire your audience. 

If you’re still getting used to presenting on Zoom, we’ll cover some excellent tips to help you succeed and make a huge impact at your next Toastmasters meeting. These tips not only apply to preparing and running a great meeting, but can also be used when giving your Pathways speeches on Zoom.

While Zoom presentations are different from presenting in person, you still need to be just as confident, make eye contact, stay focused on your agenda, and maximize engagement. As a representative of Toastmasters, whether you are an officer or member, you can put these best practices into place and give your meetings the extra boost of professionalism and excitement that your members and guests expect and need.  

Register here: August 26 Effective Online Toastmasters Meeting Training