Pedro Casillas, District 91 Immediate Past President inspires us with his story
1. What has been your journey with Toastmasters?
I joined Grosvenor Square Speakers, (the first TI club to be set up in London), TI in 2002. During my time with TI, I have taken on many roles, (some more than once), from VPM, VPE, Treasurer, President, through to Area and Division Directors, through to being District Director last year. This year I am supporting the District in my role as Immediate Past District Director as well as helping my home club as Treasurer.
Over the years, as one would expect, I have learned to speak well in public; lead various teams; lead workshops and mentor many members.
2. Congratulations on the awards that District 91 were presented in Chicago. Tell us something more about it.
Each year, TI challenges every Club, Area, Division and District to be the best they can be and to deliver exceptional benefits for ALL members. One way to measure this is the District Success programme, which measures how well the District is doing (the programme is broken down from District to Division to Area and Club level). Districts are judged on the number of new clubs created, the number of payments received and number of Distinguished clubs. Last TI year, 2017-18, D91 achieved the second highest award, ‘Select Distinguished District’ award. D91 finished 11th in the world out of 118 District, which is a fantastic achievement. In addition, D91 finished second in the world, with 80% + of our clubs having more than 20 members. What makes me most proud, is looking back on how well EVERYONE across the District contributed to our success and have helped to lay the foundations for continuing success.
3. How does it feel being Immediate Past District Director(IPDD) and looking back on the year 2017-18?
I am very happy in the role of IPDD. The new team are great and doing a fine job. I have taken over the ICT Chair role, which includes updating our D91 website. In addition, I am District Leadership Committee chair, which will be looking to interview the next leaders of our District prior to the elections at Spring Conference.
4. What are the goals and challenges that you have set for yourself this year?
1. I will be running the Speaker to Trainer programme later this year aimed at helping our Area Directors with their COT preparations next year;
2. Revamping the D91 website;
3. Creating a comprehensive Pathways guide
…and many personal goals, including playing a classical guitar recital!
5. Please share your message for toastmaster members who are not sure about taking up leadership roles.
If you want to be a success, then get involved in leadership. It teaches you to be able to craft your message so that members will want to follow you and help you and them achieve their goals. By taking on the leadership goals, you will learn grow your self-confidence and it will have a BIG impact on your career prospects: it will help you with job interviews; organisational skills; project management; conflict management; problem solving. Quite simply, it’s the best decision I have made.
6. Do tell us something more about yourself outside the toastmaster world.
This year, I turned 60! And still feel as young as I did 20 years ago. I am married (26 years and counting) with 2 wonderful young adults, who have taught me a lot about leadership; I work as a freelance Project Management, specialising in Microsoft products and corporate roll-outs. I enjoy playing classical guitar (and am challenging myself to learn to play a 20-30 minute recital by memory – a tough ask!!); I practice Pilates and play Badminton. I read a lot and have an extensive music collection (including original vinyl records from the 1970’s!).