Everybody Counts

Hello members,

Val here, your District Finance Manager. I am excited to finally be able to let you get to know me a little bit more.

I call 3 countries my home (Belarus, Lithuania, UK), I speak 4 languages (Russian, English, French and Italian) and have countless interests. I am a former swimmer who dreamt to be an actress but ended up being a marketing professional and sustainability project manager.

I have been in Toastmasters since 2019 and took on roles of a President, VPE, VP PR on the club level, Area Director on the district level and the table topics district finalist on the speaking level. I am a member of a corporate club – Moody’s Europe and a community club – London Olympians.

When I am not working, making projections and calculations, or spending hours in the gym, you can find me improving my focus and patience at a Kung-Fu class. I am passionate about fashion and make sure to show it off when I am out enjoying a newly opened restaurant in London or attending the latest art exhibition dedicated to impressionists. Outside of Toastmasters I volunteer in a local school every week teaching disadvantaged kids English and Maths.

You might say that is the reason I got the role of the Finance Manager – I love numbers (and I am so good at sticking to a budget when I have no money). But I am equally driven by challenges. We are facing a year of uncertainty with the increased supplier costs, VAT added to the UK goods, and membership fees up. And it is rather hard to say what the future holds. But with the ongoing support from the members, encouragement from the District Leadership Team I am honoured to help navigate through financial hurdles and solve the puzzles.

I am looking forward to getting to know as many of you as possible. If you want to find out more about the District finance, do calculations together, expand your network, etc. Please reach out. And who knows, maybe by the end of the year life will put me face-to-face with someone so influential that I can still fulfil my dream of becoming an actress (keep it a secret).

But for now, Welcome to the Finance Department, where everybody counts!

Valerija Slavina

Finance Manager 2023-24

P.S. Some of you have asked about VAT being added to Toastmasters’ joining fees. I am clarifying the situation with both Toastmasters and a British Accountant, as we have received conflicting information about when and to what it should be applied. When we know more, we will inform all clubs by email.