Recognising Excellence in 2022 – 2023

On 30th July this year, we hosted your District’s Hall of Fame over a social event on London’s Southbank. The full list of those individuals and clubs recognised at this event can be found here.

For several years, we’ve recognised individual clubs with the ‘Club Excellence’ award; a recognition that goes beyond the dashboards. Clubs are recognised for some of the more intangible elements that show success aside from membership and training numbers. Examples here are contributions of members beyond the club such as in leadership positions, conducting wider Toastmasters education programs and the overall ‘feeling’ someone gets if they visit such a club.

Why not visit one of the clubs listed and discover the magic?

We also recognise clubs who have suffered a little but bounced back over the course of a Toastmasters program year with the
 Phoenix Award.

Due to the nature of our organisation, we celebrate milestones and length of service largely through education achievements. For example, to become a Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM), individuals must complete several projects and leadership service over a period which make it quite a milestone when achieved. I know this year’s team have a renewed emphasis on length of member service and anniversaries.

Reflecting on my own Toastmasters career journey, I got stuck in very early on simply due to a combination of my own curiosity and others opening doors for me. As a result, I wanted to pay this forward by recognising
 new members who had dived straight in and added value outside of their club in their first 12-18 months of membership.

After the May elections, many individuals start to wind down. This year, we felt compelled to recognise a District Officer who kicked it up a gear in the final stretch with the
 District Mission Award. This year, to the best of my knowledge, was the first time District 91 issued the Communication and Leadership Award. This award recognises someone who has made significant impact in a community under these categories and need not be a Toastmasters member.
Spreading the footprint of what we do is a collective responsibility. Two members were handpicked by our Public Relations Manager for their consistency of effort. A key function or mission of the district is to ‘build new clubs’ and as we stepped out of the pandemic 6 new clubs (all corporate!) were recognised with the
 Pioneer Award. This is testament to the fact that companies see the value of our program for their employees.

Every now and then we get asked if there are criteria for the main awards i.e.,
 Toastmaster of the YearDivision Director of the Year and Area Director of the Year. The simple answer is – yes! There are checklists that act as a guide for these and often it is quite clear at some point in the year who the recipient will be. In some cases, the deciding factor may be because of something an individual has contributed (often quietly) to the cause or overall mission.

In my deliverance speech at the May Hall of Fame, I referred to the fact that I searched high and low for the checklist for the
 District Director’s Award. This one is understandably quite subjective, and you can find out why here.

I didn’t get off Scot free, though. There’s a certain type of speech known as a roast in which the subject matter is often someone leaving a role. When it became clear that this was about to happen, I was incredibly nervous however couldn’t help but choke up at the affection that came through not one but four roasts! One was delivered by immediate past District Public Relations Manager, Chris Arning and can be watched back here.

I once again thank the 2022-2023 District Leadership Team for their service, commitment, secret scheming to put this on, and for their friendship – a lovely byproduct of working intensively in a team for 12-15 months.

As ever, thank to event photographer Chris Bovell from
Blaqpix for capturing special moments. You can view the photos here Password: Limin

Rupa Datta
Immediate Past District Director 2023-24

Hall of Fame 2022/23

People of the Year

Area Director of the Year  Alistair DriscollAlastair Driscoll J10 (P)
  • Voice of Wales Speakers (S)
  • Cardiff Toastmasters (P)
  • Valleys and Vale Speakers (P)
  • Wye Knot Speakers (P)
  • Toast Titans (Chartered 23rd June 2023)

Division Director of the Year Emily McQuillenEmily McQuillen (Division C) (S)

  • Area 2 (S)
  • Area 5
  • Area 34
  • Area 58 (P)

Toastmaster of the Year – Chris Boden

  • Maidenhead Speakers (D21)
  • Sustainable Speakers (B9)

District Director Award Amy Jones Amy Jones, DTM


Communication & Leadership award – Dr. Samantha Tross


District Mission Award – Bonnie Wong


Club Growth Awards

New Clubs (Pioneer Award)

  • Dr Martens Toastmasters
  • PA Consulting London
  • LHH Toastmasters
  • KPMG Kommunicators
  • Wealth CDIO Toastmasters
  • Toast Titans

Phoenix Award

  • Winchmore Hill Speakers
  • Bank Street Speakers (now named JPMC – London-Glasgow Toastmasters Club)

PR Awards

  • Christina Plamadeala
  • Marijana Bosnjak

New Member Recognition

  • Laura Autumn Cox (Best Newcomer)
  • Stephen Saunders
  • Gabriel Cedismondi
  • Maud D’Agostini

Club Excellence

  • Bloomberg London Toastmasters (Corporate Club of the Year)
  • City of London Toastmasters (Community Club of the Year)
  • The Speakers of Croydon
  • Kent Speakers

Hall of Fame 2020/21

The Most Glorious Moment of The Year

Our members and clubs received Appreciation and Exceptional Contribution Awards, District Awards (Toastmaster, Area Director, Division Director of the year), Club of the Year and other recognition!

Key District Achievements

  • Member engagement: #1 in Europe (L1 completion)
  • Membership strength: Diverse membership from over 30 countries
  • New members:#1 in Europe with 1,774 members joining us this past year
  • New Clubs: 6 new and a pipeline being rebuilt
  • Education: 1952 awards – 0.5 per member
  • Distinguished Clubs: 116 (Smedley Distinguished)

People of the Year

Area Director of the YearAmy Jones, H32 (S)
  • Arun Speakers (S)
  • County Communicators (P)
  • Worthing Speaker’s Club (P)
  • Gatwick Communicators (P)
  • Clever Communicators (Pre-Charter)
  • Sussex Online Speakers (Pre-Charter)
  • Leading by example throughout the year

Division Director of the YearDiane Richardson (Division D)

  • Led newest Division
  • President Distinguished Division
  • Supported District Marketing
  • Supported District PR

Toastmaster of the YearHarminder Dhillon

  • Kings Speakers (B52), Est 2012
  • Visionary
  • Continues to inspire
  • Since Charter, over 200 lives have been transformed

District Director AwardJanet Alkema, DTM

  • Selfless District Alignment Committee Chair
  • Training Support
  • Webinar series
  • Past Division Director
  • Past Area Director

PR Manager of the Year – Ellie Henderson, Worthing Speakers

  • Attracted guests from around the world and motivated current and past members with the outstanding blog
  • Shared numerous #MyWhy stories on Facebook page
  • Helped the club gain 19 new members

Best PR Campaign of the Year – Tim Patmore, Oxford Speakers

  • Lead an exceptional PR campaign for the club’s 60th Anniversary
  • Invited >400 people, incl. Oxford VIPs and politicians
  • ave 2 radio interviews, incl. with BBC radio Oxford
  • Improved reach in social media and YouTube channel

Lead Generation – Varun Sharma

  • Club Sponsor – KBR Toastmasters
  • NHS/Other corporate opportunities
  • On the 2021/22 Club Growth Team

Club Coordinator of the Year – Jim Benn

  • Project Plan
  • Ownership of milestones
  • Worked to a firm timescale

Club Sponsor of the Year – Melanie Edward

  • Professionalism throughout
  • Passionate about developing others (24)
  • Engaged key stakeholders
  • Opportunity for further clubs in the business
  • Seamless charter

Club Coach of the Year – Ruth Ribeiro

  • BMS Uxbridge – 16 > 11 > 24
  • Engagement with the wider D91 community
  • Membership Growth
  • Use of DCP as KPIs
  • Contribution to monthly support sessions
  • Continued support of the club into the new year

Club Growth Awards

Smedley Award

Legacy Speakers Brixton

Shilling Speakers

West London Speakers

Society Speakers

The Speakers of Croydon

Moody’s London

Central London Toastmasters

Solent Speakers

London Business School Public Speaking Club

Spirited Speakers

Talk up Toastmasters

Kings Speakers

Cardiff Toastmasters

London Public Speakers

North Oxford Speakers

1st London Toastmasters

The Speakers of Croydon

London Victorians

Kent Speakers

Manor House Speakers

Clapham Communicators

Holborn Speakers

City Of London Toastmasters

Central London Toastmasters

Covent Garden Speakers

Ace of Clubs

London Business School Public Speaking Club

Beat the Clock

Connected Speakers London

BMS Uxbridge

Shilling Speakers

Kent Speakers

Bristol Central Speakers

Mole Valley

Holborn Speakers

Net Growth +10 (Zeus Award)

Shilling Speakers

104 Debaters

Kings Speakers

GSK House Toastmasters

Mole Valley Speakers

Cardiff Toastmasters

London Business School Public Speaking Club

Membership Resiliency

Berkeley Square Speakers

Holborn Speakers

Kent Speakers

Society Speakers

1st London

City of London

The Speakers of Croydon

Corporate Recognition Awards

GSK House Toastmasters
  • Resilience during turbulent times
  • Helped a new club within GSK to charter
  • Outstanding membership growth

Reading Verizon
  • Sponsoring Club for Verizon EMEA Online Toastmasters
  • Growth within the company – identify opportunities
  • Outstanding member contributions – wider D91 community

New Clubs

  • Wye Knot Speakers
  • KBR Toastmasters
  • Verizon EMEA Online Toastmasters
  • Liberty Speakers
  • BT Enterprise Corporate Toastmasters
  • Lockton Toastmasters

Special Mention – Verizon EMEA Online Toastmasters

  • D91’s first official ‘online only’ club
  • Example of embracing opportunity in a turbulent times
  • Growth within an existing corporate partner

Program Quality Awards

Educational Awards

  • 95 Paths completed in 2020/21, and seven members completed multiple paths. Among them:
    • Roz Etwaria
    • Allan Darter-Bragg
    • Chris Lloyd-Davison
    • Liza Hooks
  • 190 Members achieved the Triple Crown award in 2020/21
  • 59 Members that completed a path or paths and achieved the Triple Crown Award

First Class Award

  • Harrovian Speakers
  • Data Science Speakers

Club Commendation

  • Hamwic Speakers (for the Courtroom Chaos event)
  • Kings Speakers (for the Meet David Seidler event)
  • Cardiff Toastmasters (Highest net growth)

7/7 Club Officers Trained

1st London

Ace of Clubs


Ascot and Bracknell


Berkeley Square


BMS Uxbridge



Canary Wharf Communicators

Canterbury Communicators Club

Citi Criers Club

City of London

Connected Speakers Bromley

Connected Speakers London

County Communicators

Croydon Communicators Club

Data Science







Kings Cross

KPMG Kommunicators

London Corinthians


Milton Park

MLP London Bridge

Moody’s London


Oracle NetSuite




Riverside Communicators


Stratford London


Speakers of Croydon


Toasted Sandwich


Voice of Wales

West London



Woodford Green

Worthing Speakers

Special Mentions

Program Quality Team 2020/21
Liz Hobbs
Andy Hessey
Sam Warner
Neil Coleman
Guler Cortis
Alistair Barton
Chris Boden

Club Growth Team 2020/21
Jacqui Rosser
Mike Burrows DTM
Seema Menon DTM
Janet Alkema DTM
Monika Swiderska DTM
Gagan Singh
Duncan Hammett
Julian Ward
Irina Ursu
Jean Gamester DTM

PR Support
Diane Richardson
Susan Rayner
Adrian Lane
John Drinkwater