Div K – Emily McQuillen

Nominated Candidate for Division K Director

Candidate Statement

I have been a Toastmaster for five years. I am currently the Area Director for Area K3 and the Immediate Past President for my home club MLP London Bridge Speakers. In the past year as Area Director I have gained a deeper understanding of Toastmasters and my confidence as a leader has grown exponentially. This has given me the impetus to expand my leadership skills and stand for Division Director.  I have developed a strong connection to Division K in the last year and have a passion to take forward its legacy and see it thrive.

Toastmasters has already been a huge influence in my personal development and professional career and I would like to continue to serve its members as the Division K Director. The experience leading the Division will have a direct impact in my day to day role and future career. I work for BPP University Business School managing the Programme Support department. I am leading an expanding team which makes evident the need more than ever to become a strong leader. I recognise that my transition from a ‘manager’ to a ‘leader’ will be critical to the success of the team.

My vision for Division K is firstly to see all members reap the benefits of Toastmasters through effective practice of the Pathways education programme and engagement in their clubs and beyond. Next, to continue to grow our membership and build our community. Division K has a diverse demographic of clubs and I would like to use this platform to celebrate their differences and ensure they are all inclusive in our community through the support and events offered. I would like to see all members energised and inspired to become the next set of leaders.

I will achieve this through high quality officer training and creating an effective Division Council team from the outset. Training will be accessible and relevant to all corporate and community clubs and will leave officers inspired and equipped to lead their clubs. My Division Council team will help me to support the Area Directors carry out their duties and provide their clubs with all the support they need. I will build on the successful processes, hard work and dedication put in place this year and will lead the Division to success in June 2020.

Why are you applying to become Division Director?

I am applying to be Division Director because I aspire to be the next leader of my Division working to build on the foundations and achievements of the previous year and gaining beneficial leadership skills by doing this. Over the past four years I have been committed to my roles in Toastmasters and it has given me an opportunity to practice my leadership. I now want to go to the next stage in this journey and challenge myself more by leading the Division. I would like to continue supporting and serving our Division K members needs and developments.

The experience in this role will help me to develop by taking me further out of my comfort zone and it will directly impact on my current job and future career. I currently manage a large team and by continuing to lead volunteers I believe I will gain a unique advantage whilst I work on improving my leadership skills in the workplace. I will also continue to develop other skills such as prioritising and managing my time effectively.

What leadership roles have you had in Toastmasters so far and when did you serve in these roles?

VP Education (2017-18)

President (2018-19)

President (2019-20 – 9 months)

Area Director (2020-21)

What have been your key accomplishments and what have you learnt from in past leadership roles?

Whilst serving as Vice President Education and President, my club achieved Presidents Distinguished status each year. I learned the importance of having a plan and following it whilst also having the flexibility to change and continuously review throughout the year, and to work together as a team to achieve each part. I have identified the needs of my club members and arranged appropriate workshops – this included an evaluation and pathways workshop. This has taught me the importance of growing a network of people to be able to call on for help.

Before the national lockdown in March 2020 I made the decision to move our club online following District recommendation and I coordinated the transition to meeting on Zoom. I ensured there were clear guidelines available of how to conduct the club meetings online and following up with any members who needed extra support. I have learned through this and through continued virtual meetings that the preparation for online meetings is even more important and key to meetings running smoothly and successfully.

As Area Director I have formed an Area Council which has created a space for the clubs to collaborate and communicate with each other. I created an Area Success Plan that has been approved by the Area Council and engaged all clubs to work together as a team. There are three clubs in my Area with more than 30 members and there have been a total of 28 awards submitted from July 2020 to date. During this difficult time this has been a great achievement and I have learned that it is important to continuously praise and recognise any achievements of the clubs to motivate and inspire the other clubs and members.

I have appointed an Assistant Area Director which has enabled me to delegate tasks and begin my succession planning. I have learned that delegation is important to productivity and efficiency and empowers others to step up and learn more.

What are the main responsibilities of Division Directors that you are aware of?

The Division Director is ultimately responsible for the success of the Division at the end of the year and should create and deliver a Success Plan to achieve this. They lead a large organisation of at least 20 clubs and should serve all members of these clubs through leading and directing the Area Directors. The Division Director supports the District Leadership team in their vision and the District mission. They represent the Division at the District Council and the District Executive Committee. They should promote club growth through supporting new club launches and ensuring club mentors and coaches are appointed where appropriate. The Division Director should ensure that the education programme quality excellence is upheld. They are responsible for organising the Division Contests and maintaining all PR activities. They may appoint assistants to delegate these responsibilities.