Dear Members and Friends of District 91
It is my pleasure and honour to let you know I have received a call from International President Jim Kokocki in Canada. He congratulated all of us in District 91 on our achievement in coming fourth in the world out of almost 100 Districts, a President’s Distinguished District. So well done all!
It is a testament to our leaders and members all across our clubs, areas and divisions. We have used our heads, our hearts and our efforts to grow and be strong.
I would like to highlight just a few examples of the achievements from 15 16.
- 45 of our clubs were President’s Distinguished, 39 Select Distinguished 26 Distinguished. We had an 85% distinguished club rate, 4th in the world.
- 10 areas were President’s Distinguished, 10 were Select Distinguished and 2 were Distinguished.
- 4 out of all 5 divisions were President’s Distinguished, and the 5th was Select Distinguished
- We had 18 new clubs, with a club growth rate of 12.4%, 6th in the world.
- Our membership grew by 10% and we achieved a membership retention rate of 66%
- 18 people were awarded credit for achieving new club sponsor or mentor, including Sayara Beg, who achieved awards for two clubs – Barings and Deutsche Bank.
- We have another 16 clubs in our official pre-charter club list to be supported to achieve charter status in 16 17.
- At least 43 clubs who achieved 5+ members in the membership competitions – Smedley Award, Talk Up Toastmasters and Beat the Clock (there may be a few more in the final year processing). That includes Canary Wharf, Athenians and London Business School who achieved in all three competitions.
- Five of our newly chartered clubs were distinguished within their first year – Deutsche Bank, Data Science, CB&I, Kings Cross, Porthcawl.
- 89% of our clubs had 20+ members, 2nd in the world.
- All of our clubs are in good standing.
- 665 educational awards were achieved, and 35 people achieved Triple Crowns (3+ awards). Special congratulations to Marc Lottig for achieving 8 awards and Florian Bay, Meg Heyworth and David Salamons who achieved 5 each.
- 7 people achieved DTMs – Jennifer Chalmers, George Chiesa, Phil Barber, Alan McMahon, Coralie Frances, Andy O’Sullivan and Marc Lottig.
- 3 people achieved club coach awards, which is awarded when clubs that did have 12 or fewer members grow to achieve charter strength.
- Duncan Brown who worked with Club President Don O’Neal of Oxford Orators
- Caroline Brewer and Linda Parkinson-Hardman who worked with Club President David Hassall of Ferndown Speakers
I know that this list doesn’t highlight every achievement – we have 4350 members and 144 clubs and there are amazing things happening every day. That includes all those personal victories like your first ever table topic, first ever evaluation and delivering your icebreaker. It includes giving back to lead your club and mentoring other members to achieve personal goals.
Most importantly, you will be able to think of people who have truly lived all of our values of integrity, respect, service and excellence. These people are fantastic role models – let’s learn from them as we move into our third year as a District.
I encourage every one of you to find your own examples of great achievement and celebrate them. Who is your club’s Toastmaster of the Year? Who is the person in your club, your team, who grew the most in the year? It is through constantly watching out for achievement, and acknowledging it that we maintain the energy and passion to develop and to serve.
And now to thank people;
Firstly, my district leadership team. Vanessa King, the great educator, for her great heart and loving leadership. Dorothea Stuart for being such a powerhouse – skilled, hard working and wise. Sue Fish for making monthly communications a reality and for creating the fishbowl series of videos. Helena Brewer for her unstinting support and ability to make me laugh when she knew I needed to. Meg Heyworth for her determination to get the job done even though she was up against it from the start and for seeking to say “Yes” whenever she could. And Hilary Briggs, a tough act to follow, especially for rolling up her sleeves to get stuck in as we sprinted to the President’s Distinguished finish line. I could not have hoped for a better team that pulled together, drove results together and had fun together. If you know any of these people, if you are in a club with any of these people, please congratulate them on a great job well done.
Thank you to all of the people who served as area directors, division directors, REP ambassadors. Those of you who drove us forward in formal committees and informal teams. Thank you to all of those past District Governors and international leaders who provided guidance and encouragement when I needed you most. And most of all, thank you to all the club officers, mentors, sponsors and coaches. You created a strong net that raised our district and members high and I wish you all the best as you move onto the next stage of your Toastmasters journey.
Having shared our international president’s congratulations and my thanks, I’m signing out now. I have learned so much from being your leader and am so proud of what we have achieved together. I wish you all every success, every opportunity to grow.
Grow and be strong.
Immediate Past District Governor
District 91 – UK South