Nikita Parks – Candidate for Division Director

Nikita Parks – Candidate for Division Director

Why are you running for this District Leadership Role? Why now?

Nikita Parks, ACS, ALB

When I joined Toastmasters to recover and develop my confidence and public speaking skills during my divorce, I did not anticipate that I would also develop leadership skills. These are precious and integral to becoming the best person I can be following my extraordinarily challenging life and eventual gender transition. I feel deeply grateful to and passionate about Toastmasters where I have received almost total acceptance in stark contrast to the adversity I experienced at work and from close relatives. That’s why I am determined to serve to the best of my ability.

I am volunteering for Division Director as progression from Area Director and Club President. I wish to keep on stretching and developing my leadership skills by taking on new challenges. I am highly motivated and enthusiastic, so it does not make sense to take a break. I also want my skills and experience in Toastmasters to be relevant to and be trusted by other District Leaders by the time district realignment occurs, to be of service when needed.

What is your vision for the role?

My vision as Division Director is to cultivate a sense of community within my division through delivering valuable activities. Toastmasters has a great deal to offer, yet due to the introspective nature of many clubs, there is a perceived ceiling on personal development which is misconceived. Through fostering inter-club mentoring, I want members to look beyond their clubs by default in future, to embrace all that Toastmasters can offer and to take the initiative to make things happen. Leadership skills come from committed active leading, not from mere attendance.

How will you go about achieving this vision?

To achieve this vision, I need to provide members of clubs with useful and relevant leadership and speaking experiences at club, area, division and district level. It’s not enough to entice a small minority of members to a remote district conference. I have already started at club level by seeking to replicate London’s successful general evaluator and speaker exchange in the west of our district. My vision would need to be shared and articulated by my Area Directors consistently in all their engagements with their clubs and delivered by organising and holding events. Toastmasters needs to think globally but act locally.

How do you plan to achieve Distinguished status?

Besides using tools like Moments of Truth, the Success Plans and Area Director visits, I will achieve distinguished division status through my vision. Cultivating community will improve membership retention because members will recognise that there is tangibly more on offer to them than the regular routine of their club meetings. Establishing, chartering and nurturing new clubs with effective mentoring and coaching provides continuous leadership development opportunities for those who embrace them.

What is the greatest challenge you may face as District Leader?

The greatest challenge I would expect to face as Division Director is inertia, that tired members remain in leadership positions within clubs and don’t identify and nurture their successors. In my present role as Area Director I am implementing a cross-club mentoring programme to provide mutual support and encouragement and to overcome inertia and foster creativity. My Area Directors will be on the front line confronting this inertia and my role is to support them and ensure that their motivation does not falter by recognising the nature of their leadership challenge and remaining persistent and determined throughout their term.

How will you work with others to achieve success?

Success in my role as Division Director would be dependent on working effectively with others and leading them to deliver my vision for our Division. I recognise that my allies are not only my Area Directors, but also our District Director, Club Growth Director, Programme Quality Director and fellow Division Directors. Leadership is not an individual activity, it is a team sport. I would be as open to the ideas and suggestions of others as determined to deliver my vision. I would engage effectively with our district leadership trio to help them achieve their goals. Collectively, we need to identify recurring themes across our clubs, nurture strengths and confront weaknesses. I will help change attitudes, so club visit reports become recognised as valuable actionable intelligence.

I hope my enthusiasm is infectious and that you will share my vision for Division J Director. Please vote for me in person or using your proxy vote on 4th May in Ashford.

One Response to Nikita Parks – Candidate for Division Director

  1. Nikita Parks says:

    I’d love to hear from you! Please contact me via nikita@joydivision.org.uk, through LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/nikitaparks/) or telephone 07770 661 453.

    Please look at my election flyer here http://tiny.cc/NikitaD91Jflyer or simply continue reading to see my supporting nomination statement and commendations.

    NOMINATION

    Ann McCormack, Immediate Past President & VP Education, Ascot Speakers

    Nikita is currently Area 22 Director and Club President at Ascot Speakers. I have known
    Nikita since we both joined Ascot in 2015. In that time, she has been instrumental in growing and developing our club, serving as Treasurer, and President. She was particularly effective in helping to retain membership and recruit new members. Chief amongst these efforts was her pivotal role in the running of a Speechcraft event in 2017. It was Nikita who recruited most of the participants, as well as leading some of the sessions and contributing to the overall running of the events. In October 2018 Nikita was the organiser of Division J Conference. Nikita has embraced the Toastmaster philosophy and is very knowledgeable about organisation. She has also been helpful in forward planning at our club, and her skills in IT, finance and EasySpeak have been invaluable, as she helped to train several committee members. She has a good rapport with all club members and her proactive approach has been instrumental in the running of our club. Her willingness to stand for Division Director is a further indication of Nikita’s commitment to Toastmasters.

    COMMENDATIONS

    Denise Huxtable, President, Abingdon Speakers

    Nikita was a huge support to our club in her role as Area Director. Whenever we had questions, concerns or desperately needed someone to help fill a vacant role, somehow she always managed to lend a hand calmly and efficiently. Our Club and Area contests were definitely better organised and ran more smoothly under Nikita’s leadership. I wholeheartedly support Nikita to become Division Director although we shall be very sad to lose her as Area Director.

    Carrie Baker, President, Thamesdown Speakers

    Nikita in my opinion has been an outstanding Area Director, her dedication to supporting the clubs in her area has meant she has gone above and beyond, dedicating her time and sharing her experience and knowledge. With Nikita as Division Director, our Division will continue to build on the great foundations laid this last year and take Joy Division to the next level.