The Toastmasters Journey

Ralph Smedley youngToastmasters began as a series of speaking clubs organized by Ralph C. Smedley during his time working for the YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association) in Bloomington, Illinois, United States. As director of education at the YMCA, Smedley saw a need for the men in the community to learn how to speak, conduct meetings, plan programs and work on committees.

Smedley decided to organize a club where they could learn these skills in a social environment. He named the group the Toastmasters Club; "toastmaster" was a popular term that referred to a person who gave toasts at banquets and other occasions.

The first unofficial Toastmasters meeting was held on March 24, 1905. Much like Toastmasters meetings today, the participants took turns leading and speaking at each meeting. Smedley and the older, more experienced men evaluated short speeches, while the younger men were invited to join in the evaluations. However, as Smedley was offered positions at other YMCAs in Illinois and later, in San Jose, California, the fledgling clubs lacked leadership and did not flourish.

The Forming of Toastmasters International

Ralph SmedleySmedley began working at the newly organized YMCA in Santa Ana, California, in 1922, and for the first two years, his time was spent building a home for the organization. However, his passion to help others learn to speak and lead remained. Once the new YMCA building was christened in April of 1924, he was able to introduce the idea of Toastmasters to his colleagues, and organize the Toastmasters club that eventually became Club No. 1 of Toastmasters International. The first meeting was held at the YMCA building on October 22, 1924. Word spread about Smedley's Toastmasters clubs and soon people in surrounding communities and other states were asking how they could start their own clubs.

To save time replying to the many letters and inquiries he was receiving, Smedley wrote the "Manual of Instructions" and "Ten Lessons in Public Speaking," which he had printed and bound in paper covers. On October 25, 1928, he secured copyrights on the publications and trademarked the name "Toastmasters Club."

By 1930, nearly 30 Toastmasters clubs had formed, including a club in British Columbia, Canada. To reflect expansion outside of the United States, the newly formed association was re-named “Toastmasters International”. Two years later, in 1932, Toastmasters International was incorporated as a California non-profit organization; Smedley took the positions of Secretary and Editor of the new association.

He resigned as YMCA Secretary in 1941 to devote more time to Toastmasters. Through the war years, he operated the organization out of a small office. When the war ended, a new Secretary, Ted Blanding, replaced Smedley and remained active as Educational Director for the rest of his life, as well as a permanent member of the Board of Directors.

The Growth of Toastmasters International

Toastmasters InternationalA series of rented office spaces in Southern California served as Toastmasters International's headquarters until 1962, when the staff moved into the first World Headquarters building in Santa Ana, not far from the YMCA where the first Toastmasters club met.

Ralph C. Smedley died in 1965. In 1970, Toastmasters International admitted its first female member, Helen Blanchard, under the name Homer Blanchard. In 1973, Toastmasters began officially admitting women, and in 1985, Helen became Toastmasters' first female international president.
Terrence McCann, an Olympic wrestler, was chosen in 1975 to serve as the Executive Director of Toastmasters International, a position he held until 2001. He was replaced by Donna Groh (2001–2008) and then Daniel Rex (2008 to present).

Establishment of District 86

On Feb. 18, 2007, the Toastmasters International Board of Directors approved a recommendation to reform (split) District 60 into two smaller districts. Effective July 1, 2008, District 60 and the new District 86 operated as two separate districts. On July 1, 2018 District 86 will celebrate its 10th Anniversary.

District 86 now serves over 5000 Toastmasters throughout southwestern, central, and northern Ontario, Canada.

Past District Leadership

2017-2018 District Director, District 86 - Cathy Herschell DTM

Cathy Herschell DTM

Theme: Reach for the Stars

Program Quality Director: Kristina Johnston, DTM
Club Growth Director: Jacklyn A. Payne, DTM
Public Relations Manager: Matthew Ogbulafor, ACS, ALB

Achievements:  Pathways launch

Milestones:  242 clubs and 10 years for District 86

 

 

 

 

2016-2017 District Director, District 86 - Vitaliy Fursov DTM

District Director D86 Vitaliy Fursov

Theme: Lead With Love 

Program Quality Director: Cathy Herschell DTM
Club Growth Director: Glynis D'souza DTM
Public Relations Manager: Dennis Bartel ACG, ALB

Achievements: Distinguished District

Milestones: 247 clubs

 

2015-2016 District Director, District 86 - Janice McDonald DTM

District Director District 86 Janice McDonald

Theme: S – T – R – E – T – C – H  !

Program Quality Director: Mike Proudlock DTM
Club Growth Director: Vitaliy Fursov DTM
Public Relations Manager: Cathy Herschell DTM

Achievements: First District 86 Director

Milestones: District title changes (District Director, Program Quality Director, etc.)

 

2014-2015 District 86 Governor  - Carolyn Hoxie DTM

Immediate Past District 86 Governor Carolyn Hoxie

Theme: KEEPING THE SPIRIT OF DISTRICT 86 STRONG!

Lieutenant Governor Education: Janice McDonald DTM
Lieutenant Governor Marketing: Mike Proudlock DTM
Public Relations Officer: Doreen Hillier DTM, Vitaliy Fursov DTM

Achievements: Distinguished District, Excellence in Leadership, Last District 86 Governor

Milestones: 233 clubs

 

2013-2014 District 86 Governor - Tony Bratschitsch DTM

Tony Bratschitsch DTM

Theme: MEMBERS FIRST!

Lieutenant Governor Education: Carolyn Hoxie DTM
Lieutenant Governor Marketing: Janice McDonald DTM
Public Relations Officer:  Heather Talons, Cher Cunningham ACS ALB 

Achievements: Distinguished District

Milestones: 224 clubs

 

2012-2013 District 86 Governor - Carol Dowell DTM

Carol Dowell DTM

Theme:  

Lieutenant Governor Education:  Jim Foster DTM
Lieutenant Governor Marketing:  Carolyn Hoxie DTM
Public Relations Officer:  Orest Nahacziwec CC ALB

Achievements: Select Distinguished District

Milestones:  212 clubs

 

2011-2012 District 86 Governor - Avis Brodie DTM

Avis Brodie DTM

A Heart for Service

Lieutenant Governor Education: Carol Dowell DTM
Lieutenant Governor Marketing: Jim Foster DTM
Public Relations Officer: Justin O’Donnell ACS ALB

Milestones: 193 clubs, TI branding change August 2011, TI dues increase October 2011

 

2010-2011 District 86 Governor - Merri Macartney DTM

Merri Macartney DTM

Theme: Soaring to Excellence

Lieutenant Governor Education: Avis Brodie DTM
Lieutenant Governor Marketing: Jim Foster DTM
Public Relations Officer: Katie Chida CC ALB

Achievements: 

Milestones: 195 clubs

 

2009-2010 District 86 Governor - Doreen Hillier DTM

Doreen Hillierkey to succes

Lieutenant Governor Education: Merri Macartney DTM
Lieutenant Governor Marketing: Avis Brodie DTM
Public Relations Officer: Karen Reese DTM

Achievements: Distinguished District

Milestones: 191 clubs, Last Regional training and speech contests

 

2008-2009 District 86 Governor - Lori Lococo DTM, PID

lori

d86 logo

Theme: Creating a New Tomorrow

Lieutenant Governor Education: Doreen Hillier DTM
Lieutenant Governor Marketing: Merri Macartney DTM
Public Relations Officer: Jonathan Spiegel DTM

Achievements: Distinguished District, International Director 2012-2014, First District 86 Governor

Milestones: 185 clubs

Past Award Winners

Toastmaster Of The Year

2016 - 2017 Jocelyne Vezina, DTM
2015 - 2016 Mohammed Zackria, ACG, ALB
2014 - 2015 Leizyl Sobrinho, ACB ALS
2013 - 2014 Vitaliy Fursov, ACG,ALB
2012 - 2013 Al Steele, ACB, ALS
2011 - 2012 Rubi Talavera, DTM
2010 - 2011 Karim Premji DTM
2009 - 2010 Andrea Petch, ACB, ALB
2008 - 2009 James Noble

Club of The Year

2016 - 2017 Confidently Speaking Toastmasters, Division C, Area 45
2015 - 2016 Meadowvale Toastmasters Club, Division C, Area 45
2014 - 2015 Port Credit Toastmasters Club 
2013 - 2014 Confidently Speaking (#5456) President Rebecca Castelino, CC,ALB

(Above and Beyond Challenge prior to 2013 - 2014)

President Of The Year

2016 - 2017 Yun Annie Bai, ACG, ALB
2015 - 2016 Roger Caesar, ACS, ALB
2014 - 2015 Amanda Russon, CC ALB
2013 - 2014 Kristina Johnston, ACB, ALB
2012 - 2013 Louisa Steele, DTM
2011 - 2012 Heather Skoll, CC, CL
2010 - 2011 Eric Chan CC
2009 - 2010 Dennis Bartel, CC, ALB
2008 - 2009 Cindy Stradling

Education Leadership of the Year

2016 - 2017 Confidently Speaking Toastmasters, Division C, Area 45
2015 - 2016 Meadowvale Toastmasters Club
2014 - 2015 Riverspeak Club
2013 - 2014 Port Credit Club (#1474) President: Kristina Johnston, ACB, ALB

(started in 2013)

Membership Leadership of the Year

2016 - 2017 Confidently Speaking Toastmasters, Division C, Area 45
2015 - 2016: Meadowvale Toastmasters Club
2014 - 2015: Brampton Club
2013 - 2014: Confidently Speaking - President: Rebecca Castelino, CC, ALB

(started in 2013)

Division Director Of The Year

2016 - 2017 Saima Amirzada Malik, DTM - Division A 

2015 - 2016 Jacklyn A. Payne DTM – Division A
2014 - 2015 Cathy Herschell, DTM - Division D
2013 - 2014 Karim Premji, DTM - Division A
2012 - 2013 Rubi Talavera, DTM - Division A
2011 - 2012 Tony Bratschitsch, DTM - Division L
2010 - 2011 Melanee Jessup, DTM - Division W
2009 - 2010 Janet Johnson, DTM - Division A
2008 - 2009 Eva Britton - Division B

Area Director Of The Year

2016 - 2017 George How Pak Hing, DTM
2015 - 2016 Claire Zheng ACS, ALS
2014 - 2015 Kristina Johnston, DTM
2013 - 2014 Rowan Faludi, ACG, ALB
2012 - 2013 Dawna Bate, ACS, ALB
2011 - 2012 Jacklyn Payne,  ACS, CL
2010 - 2011 Stephen Dow ACG,CL
2009 - 2010 Karim Premji, DTM - Area 24
2008 - 2009 Mary Mahadeo, DTM - Area 31

Club Coach Of The Year

2016 - 2017 kelley McIntyre, CC, ALB
2015 - 2016 Caroline Beren, DTM
2014 - 2015 Shawn Salokannell, ACS ALS
2013 - 2014 Paul Lynott, DTM
2012 - 2013 Eric Solowka, DTM
2011 - 2012 Rebecca Anstett, DTM
2010 - 2011 Janice McDonald DTM
2009 - 2010 Philip Lococo, ATMB, ALS
2008 - 2009 Avis Brodie, DTM

Publicist Of The Year

2016 - 2017 Lyndsy Johnson, CC, ALB
2015 - 2016 Yoshith Perera, ACB, ALB
2014 - 2015 Lorna Miller, ACB ALB
2013 - 2014 Bud Brown, DTM
2012 - 2013 Nancy Stokkermans, CL
2011 - 2012 Karim Premji, DTM
2010 - 2011 Iad Abdul-Rahman, ACS,ALB
2009 - 2010 Colleen Cole, ACB, CL 
2008 - 2009 Katie Chida

Communication and Leadership Award

Spring 2018 Wali Shah see blog post
Fall - 2016 Elaine Barnes see blog post
Spring - 2016 Jonathan Hood see blog post
Fall - 2015 Julie Christiansen see blog post
Spring - 2015 Brennan Wong see plog post
Fall - 2014 Chris Moss see blog post Spring - 2014 Michael Lethby, Exectuive Director Niagara Resource Sericeve for Youth
Fall - 2012 Dave Sopha, Artist
Spring - 2012 Reza Moridi, MPP Spring
Fall - 2011 Jane Roy and Glen Pearson
Spring - 2011 Glenn Marais singer / songwriter
Fall - 2010 Betty-Lou Souter
Spring - 2010 Surita Dey, Brampton Library
Fall - 2009 Annabel Slaight, founder of Owl Magazine
Spring - 2009 Joyce Savoline, MPP

Douglas Barclay Award

2018 Carol Dowell, DTM
2017 Karim Premji, DTM
2016 Avis Brodie, DTM
2015 John MacDonald, DTM
2014 Eric Solowka, DTM
2013 Doreen Hillier, DTM
2012 Eva Britton, DTM
2011 Joan Binetti, DTM
2010 Isabel Hershaw, DTM
2009 Jean McAllister, DTM

Members Making a Difference Award 

Spring - 2018 Lena Shaw, DTM; Candice Kirkbride; Shishir Lakhani, DTM; Hulda Mullings, DTM see blog post
Spring - 2016 Amparo Cifuentes DTM see blog post
Fall - 2015 Sandi Emdin, Saqib Cheema see blog post
Spring - 2015 Phillip Chen DTM, Rose Weinberg, DTM, and Osbert D'Souza ACB see blog post

District 86 Speech Contest Winners

Humorous Speech Contest

2017 - Jonathan Siegel
2016 - Patricia Williams 
2015 - Gary Ford, Division B
2014 - Roger Caesar, Division B, Brampton Club
2013 - Michael Orrett Jr.
2012 - Keith Mepham
2011 - Neil Dunsmore 
2010 - Gregory CN Smith 
2009 - Bill Brodie 
2008 - Douglas Burton  

Table Topics Speech Contest 

2017 - Tammy Hunt
2016 - Sean Browne 
2015
- Richard Lewis
2014 - Michelle Koop, Division S, London Western Club
2013 - Peter West 
2012 - Eric Solowka 
2011 - Gabriel Lerman 
2010 - Max Kalles 
2009 - Mike Proudlock 
2008 - Christian Dance M. 

International Speech Contest

2018 - Rogers Caesar
2017 - Jose Vivar
2016
- Roger Caesar, Division B, Brampton Club
2015 - Roger Caesar, Division B, Brampton Club
2014 - Rene Vander Pryt 
2013 - Sheetal Pundir 
2012 - Alexandre Matte 
2011 - Susan Lamb-Robinson 
2010 - Gregory CN Smith 
2009 - Alexandre Matte 

Evaluation Speech Contest

2018 - Ross Cunningham
2017 - Kwesi Millington 
2016
- Brian Brennan
2015 - Neil Dunsmore
2014 - Dan Thrasher 
2013 - Jeremy Tracey 
2012 - John Rich 
2011 - Blake Fleischaker 
2010 - Harry Anasara 
2009 - Peter James

Toastmasters International Values:  Respect • Integrity • Service • Excellence
Our Principles:  Lead By Example • Work / Play as a Team 

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