District Leadership 2015-16


One month after the end of the Toastmasters Year, outgoing and incoming district leaders got together for an end of the year party in London.Jean_Gamester_1200px We were celebrating all the hard work and great fun of 2015 16.  We were celebrating becoming a Presidents Distinguished District again, coming 4th in the world out of 100 districts and leading the world when it comes to having clubs with 20 or more members. Read More

District 91 PR Contest 2015-16

Clubs throughout UK South Win PR Awards in the District 91 PR Contest!Toastmasters Where Leaders Are Made


Congratulations to the following clubs which were awarded District 91 PR Awards for 2015-16 at the recent Division Contests.  Clbs were nominated by the Division and Area Directors.

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Excellence in the Face of Adversity! Leadership challenges

From Samir Malak, Area Director, K35 

Celebration of Excellence

Area K Contest, April 16As we were preparing for the Area Contest, a boy approached me, his face awash with consternation.  “When are you going to be finished?”  I advised we would certainly be done by 10pm.  “But we are having Karate at 8pm in that room.”

“Let me look into that.”  I responded, with a smile.

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Welcome Meg Heyworth to the role of D91 Finance Manager

Meg Heyworth, District 91 Finance Manager 2015-16

Meg-HeyworthWe warmly welcome Meg Heyworth DTM to the District 91 Leadership Team as Finance Manager with immediate effect.  Meg is a Distinquished Toastmaster (DTM) – twice! and a member of Worthing Speakers Club, Eastbourne Speakers Club and 104 London Debators.

Meg replaces Adnan Lateef who has decided to step down due to increasing work commitments.

Jean Gamester, District Director, thanks Adnan for all his support and work since the beginning of the Toastmaster year:

“It has been great working with Adnan – he is collaborative, focussed on results and helps make things happen.  One of the best finance professionals I have worked with – combines the technical and people skills beautifully.  I hope we get the opportunity to work together again.”

Please email Meg from now on with any district expenses or finance queries.

Vanessa King DTM Program Quality Director 2015-16

Vanessa KingIn late April 2009 I walked through the doors of Woking Speakers Club. Little did I know that an entirely new world of learning, opportunity and growth would open up to me. I just thought I was going to a little club in a village hall!

At the time I was a part-time teacher and I went along to meet new people. I stayed because I saw that it could be really useful in helping me to understand how I came across as a teacher and, most importantly, help me improve. Most importantly though, Toastmasters showed me that I had something to say and that people were interested in hearing it. This was an eye-opener for me.


I got onto the leadership track quite early in my Toastmasters career. I offered to help, if it was needed and the reply was swift – “you can be the secretary if you like.” I thought that sounded pretty easy so I agreed. It turned out to be ensuring that the president didn’t drink too much wine before the start of the committee meeting – otherwise we’d never reach the end of it!

2009 was to prove a tumultuous year for me. I lost my job, moved house and separated from my husband within the space of a few months. I’m sure I wouldn’t have been able to cope with all that without the support and fun that I had at my fortnightly Toastmasters meetings. Toastmasters showed me that I had more to offer than I was doing at that time.

I progressed through the roles of Vice President Education and President, after moving to Guildford Speakers Club. I have also served as Area Governor, Division Governor and Lt. Governor Marketing, as the titles were at that time.

At every stage I have felt unqualified for each role, yet there were always friends and mentors on hand to guide and encourage me on. Each role has had its own rewards and challenges, but overall I’m proud of the support I’ve been able to give to many of the clubs in our District.

This year as Program Quality Director, I hope to ensure all of our clubs become Distinguished. I want to share the Educational Program as much as possible, because so many members only scratch the surface of it.

There’s a very simple reason why I want to do this.

Toastmasters changes lives.

The Toastmasters International program has made an incredible difference to my life. It could be said that Toastmasters ruined my life as it was, because now, six years later, I am not at all like the woman who walked timidly through the doors of Woking Speakers in April 2009. Now I can speak confidently to large groups, contribute meaningfully to discussions with leaders in many different spheres, and share my experience with individuals to help them on their journey.

Toastmasters changed my life for the better, and now I want to ensure that the opportunity for growth and change is available to others. I won’t promise that your life won’t be turned upside down when you embrace Toastmasters, but I can assure you that there will be many friends to guide and support you as you travel.