End of year report from District Director, Vanessa King

Fellow Toastmasters,

I can hardly believe it, but the 30th of June 2017 is finally here and it’s time to celebrate all that we’ve achieved.

Vanessa King
District Director

Our figures are not yet final, but at the time of writing we welcomed the following:

New clubs to the District

Infineum Milton Hill Speakers, Hungerford Speakers, Tottenham Speakers Club, Bristol Central Speakers, Google UK Speakers, Clapham Connectors, Wellington Management London Toastmasters Club, Central London Toastmasters, Horsham Toastmasters, Yahoo UK, db Toastmasters – Canary Wharf and Master Speakers.

We hope to also to welcome Blue Fin at Telstra to our D91 family, and we have a further 15 clubs in the pre-charter stages. Our clubs welcomed over 2000 new members during the year, 45 members registered 3 or more educational awards this year, and more than 750 educational achievements logged with Toastmasters International.

The following members achieved their Distinguished Toastmaster award:

Laurent Nicourt, Jill Segal, David L.P. Salamons, Lyn Roseaman, Stephen Richard Birch, Samir Malak, Brian Skelton, Florian Bay, Paul Walsh, David Marks, Jorge Garcia-Chiesa, Steve Brewer, Duncan Bhaskaran Brown, Sayara Beg, Eric Skates, Gavin C. Meikle, Chris Howell, Jay Surti and Rose Marie Starkey-Calder.

Club Awards

We have 25 Distinguished clubs, 30 Select Distinguished Clubs and an incredible 52 Presidents Distinguished Clubs.

At the time of writing we officially need 8 more payments to achieve Distinguished District – it’s a nail-biting finish, but the numbers are only a small part of the story of District 91 in 2016-17.

Every educational achievement registered represents someone who has taken a risk and tried something really hard for the first time (in most cases!). Every new member is a person who is starting a journey of personal transformation. Every Distinguished Toastmaster is a member who has stretched themselves and in the process helped others around them to become more than they thought they could be.

I truly believe that our organisation makes a difference in the world. There is a magic in our clubs that I’ve not seen anywhere else. It has been my privilege to serve as your District Director this year, and I thank all of our incredible volunteers for their invaluable service: our 7 Division Directors, 35 Area Directors, 800+ Club Presidents, VPEs, Treasurers, Secretaries, VP Memberships, Sergeant at Arms and VPPRs, and a very special thank you to the uncountable mentors, coaches, sponsors and supporters. Thank you for your service to our members.  We wouldn’t be who we are without your hard work. I hope you have an opportunity to reflect on your experiences this year, to learn and to grow and to consider what your next steps might be.

As for me, I want to take this opportunity to thank my incredible team on the District Leadership Team. Pedro and Andy have been steadfast and full of enthusiasm for serving our members. I’ve seen them both grow so much over the course of the year and I’m positive they will do an outstanding job in their new roles. Saying “thank you” doesn’t really cover everything I’d want to say to our supporting team – Meg ensured member funds were used for the good of the district and our leaders were supported in carrying out their duties. Under Helena’s guidance our PR reached a whole new level (have you seen the videos?!) and without Paul we would have been holding council meetings in park somewhere and no-one would know where we were supposed to be, who was supposed to be doing it nor what happened! Thank you so much, team. You made this year fun and rewarding.

I’m looking forward to serving the incoming District Leadership Team as a mentor and guide, and perhaps a wise owl too.

With very best wishes,

Vanessa King

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