Rose City Toastmasters 20th Anniversary


On Thursday February 8, Rose City Toastmasters celebrated their 20th Anniversary. Established in 1997, Rose City Toastmasters has proudly served the city of Welland and South Niagara. Current and past members celebrated with some of the founding members Dianne Yungblut, David Smith and Charmaine Grace. President Greg Lewis DTM led the meeting with aplomb culminating in a General Evaluation by Area Director, Eve MacDonald. Rose City is looking forward to another 20 years of promoting growth in communication and leadership in Niagara.

Charlie Kennedy ACG, ALB
Rose City Toastmasters

Spring Conference Workshops - Sneak Peak!

Professional Development Workshops

Mallika Sothinathan DTM – Communicating Through Video
Friday Night

Mallika SothinathanBio
Mallika has over 7 years experience in production and direction for private and government Television Channels in India and Canada. The prominent stations are Zee TV, Doordarshan India and ETV. In Canada, Mallika worked with Rogers TV and Deepa Mehta films. Currently she is working on her own home production, New Horizon Media Arts, writing, directing and producing the Documentary film 'Crossing the River of Life'.

Mallika has a Masters in Mass Communication from Mass Communication Research Center majoring in direction for film and TV. She specializes in doing corporate films, infomercials, documentaries and news reporting having produced several radio documentaries for All India radio as well. Mallika is currently the Division C Director.

Video is a powerful medium of communication. It is the most effective way to communicate in today’s very visual world. Technology has made this easy and simple. A cell phone, a tripod and a lapel microphone can do wonders for a video presentation. This is also an effective tool to evaluate one’s own speech. With the International Speech Contest requiring video submissions at the Regional level, now is a great time to learn how to video tape your presentations like a pro.

Zlata CC and Mike Proudlock DTM – From Speaker to Author
Saturday AM

Zlata and Mike Proudlock3Bio
The Proudlock team is a dynamitic duo with a lifetime history of success. Zlata Proudlock has over 30 years’ experience in education as a teacher; she recently self-published her first book. Zlata has been a Toastmaster since 2015. Mike Proudlock, retired from his career with Peel Region, has been active in Toastmasters since 2003, serving in roles at all levels, including at the District level, most recently as Program Quality Director.

Want your message to reach thousands? – write a book. Self-Publishing your work can be very intimidating, but the rewards in the end are worth it. Give yourself he best chance at succeeding by attending this workshop. Here you will not only learn 'one way' to self-publish a book but, also, how to set attainable goals, the process of working with an online publisher, marketing your book, use of social media and more... By publishing your own book, you can empower hundreds, even thousands of readers with your inspirational message; achieve your goal of becoming an author; and publish on your own terms and on your own schedule. Who said you can't have it all?

Penny Tremblay ACG, CL – Give and Be Rich in Workplace Relationships - Tapping the Human Side of Business
Saturday AM

Penny TremblayBio
Founder of the Tremblay Leadership Center, offering training and keynotes, internationally, for 20+ years. Thousands have benefited through developing skills and confidence to be productive, play nice in the sandbox and climb the ladder of success. Penny’s Advanced Meditation certificate from Harvard, combined with years of conflict resolution facilitation in workplaces, bring stories, experiences and guidance for productive, peaceful and profitable business. Penny joined the Toastmasters Program in 2003.

Workplace and business culture rooted in human connection is more challenged than ever in this digital era. With millennials tipping the workplace population scale, relationship strategies to build productive, peaceful and profitable teams that are engaged with their corporate purpose are critical.

Penny’s message is backed by her best-selling book, Give and Be Rich, which invites us to look deeper into our own authentic inventory, and find more within to give. Suitable for all who work with people, this inspiring workshop helps the audience reach new potential, realizing that relationships are the most valuable asset for business. When we leverage the power of connection and relationships, we earn loyalty from our members, clients and work teams.


Club Excellence Workshops

Dennis Bartel DTM – Meaningful Meetings
Friday Night

Dennis Bartel

Dennis is a Graphic Designer and Software Developer who focuses on the User Experience where rules and procedures guide the process. He credits being “that rule and procedure guy” with his success in business and Toastmasters. Dennis has been a toastmaster for 10 years, serving as a President’s Distinguished Club President twice. He is a current President and Founder of a newly chartered club and has been a District Officer for 7 years. 

Been to a meeting where the Chairperson stumbled through; where there was no order, respect for rules, time, or members? This interactive workshop will give you tools to make meetings meaningful through knowing and using Parliamentary Procedures and dispelling the myth that rules mean less fun, less productivity and less confusion.

Unfortunately, clubs tend to shy away from following and using Parliamentary Procedure. This can cause ineffective meetings, misuse of power by the President or Chairperson and lack of respect to the member. Dennis will explore the responsibilities of the Chairperson/Presiding Officer and of the member. The members have an obligation to help and direct the Chairperson throughout the meeting. This workshop is about how to do this with respect, order and fun.

Carol Todd-Skuce DTM – Excellence is a Choice
Saturday AM

Carol Todd Skuce

Carol has had a successful career as an Educator and as a Real Estate Agent. Carol is a self-proclaimed Toastmasters 'Junkie' and refers to herself as a ‘Lifer’. She has served as Area Governor for 2 different Areas, District Marketing Ambassador, and is a past Division Governor. Carol is the Sponsor of a strong, supportive and creative club that has just celebrated their 5-year anniversary. This club has achieved President’s Distinguished every year since it’s inception. Learn how Carol and her team successfully built that club and overcame membership challenges in many other clubs.

Do you look forward to Toastmasters every week? Do you feel pumped after a meeting? A Toastmasters meeting should have friendship, laughter, ideas, helpful suggestions and a sense and purpose. Let’s share ideas to improve our clubs, our collective experiences and, with fresh eyes, explore what works.

Diane Gordon DTM – The Pathway to Excellence
Saturday AM

Diane GordonBio
Diane is successful Realtor of 38 years, owner of London Living and an Etiquette Consultant since 2011. It was while attending the Protocol School of Washington that she realized the need to improve her confidence and public speaking skills. Diane Gordon joined Toastmasters in 2012 and hasn't looked back. Diane has filled many leadership roles in Toastmasters, successfully, with passion, commitment and style.

This workshop will motivate and empower you in your life’s path to be your personal and professional best in all your opportunities inside and outside of Toastmasters. Through role-play, “incorrect way - better way - best way”, experience the difference as we all learn by doing. Be inspired to take your Club meetings, using professional practices, from ordinary to extraordinary in the pursuit of club, personal and professional excellence. Through the interactive workshop Diane will use practical examples and breakout sessions to reinforce a path to excellence in club meetings, careers and personal development. In the words of Diane, “Excellence is not an option; it is a way of life – a path. Elevate with Excellence.”


Leadership Workshops

Shawn Salokannel DTM – Eating the Elephant
Friday Night

Shawn Salkokannel

Shawn has worked in the insurance industry in a variety of leadership positions, from customer service to training and accounting. With a Bachelor of Commerce program from Concordia University in Montreal, he is bilingual. Shawn has been active in district roles as area, division director and most recently Conference Co-Chair. Shawn was Club Coach of the year in 2015 and won a Spirit Award in 2016. Shawn is a strong believer that, within every problem, there is a solution.

Can you eat an Elephant?  Have you wanted to take on a leadership challenge that seems too big to sink your teeth into? Don’t let that stop you.  Shawn recently took on the challenge of Conference Chair, a role that petrified him but through which he grew in ways he had not anticipated. Shawn is here to share his personal leadership journey with the conference (and work) and to inspire you to overcome your own fear and face your own elephant!

John Wang DTM – Mentor So You Both Win
Saturday AM

John WangBio
John is currently a lecturer at George Brown college, teaching a course on information security where he actively encourages students to seek mentorship. He has over a decade of mentoring experience with a variety of organizations, Public, For Profit and Not for Profit and has seen the value in both having a mentor and being a mentor in your life. John Wang has been with Toastmasters for a decade where he has served as both a member mentor and a club mentor successfully.

So, you are now a mentor. So what do you do next? Mentoring can provide a lifetime of rewarding experiences. Through a series of anecdotal stories, John will share both his successes and failures as a mentor. The stories will provide lessons on both what to do as well as, what not to do as a mentor. This interactive workshop will provide you with tips and secrets to build a relationship that is fruitful to your mentee and satisfying to you.

Bob Moore DTM – Getting to Yes
Saturday AM

Bob Moore2Bio
Bob is a thought leader within his industry. He has appeared on CTV, ABC, and City News. He is published in various security industry magazines and the Globe and Mail. Bob is also the Treasurer of CANASA, Canada’s security organization. He is currently the Country Manager with Axis Communications. Bob completed his DTM within 27 months.

Bob Moore credits his success in Leadership to understanding the role of influence. His early International business experience taught him the value of influence in developing cohesive teams. Today he will share the critical lessons learned in leadership that serve him today as Country Manager with Axis Communications.

The workshop will feature highlights of wisdom gained from an international business career. Complete with discoveries and lessons as Bob developed his teams goals and strategies, he will interject how these same approaches can work for you.


Speaking Skills Workshops

Jonathan Siegel DTM – Find the Funny!
Saturday AM

Jonathan SiegelBio
By profession a psychologist, Jonathan has been told that his mind is a dangerous neighborhood, that he shouldn’t go in there alone! A Distinguished Toastmaster, Jonathan has done some amateur acting, both inside and outside his home. Jonathan came in first place in the 2017 Fall District 86 Toastmasters Humorous Speech Contest.

Wouldn’t it be great to know how to uncover humour in any of your speeches? In this workshop you will learn the ten basic principles and four `attitudes’ for building your bit of comedy. Come to laugh and learn! You will pinpoint your premise and discover how to mine the underlying magic for finding the funny.

Gina Kennedy DTM – Lost in Translation
Saturday AM

Gina KennedyBio
Living vicariously through herself in this adventure of life, Gina is a mother of two amazing adults. A toastmaster, a friend and a person with a hearing loss – Gina is battery operated. As Secretary to the Board, Academic Council and Joint Senate Committee of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, her areas of expertise are in governance and policy administration where clear communication is essential in dealing with complex ideas and various skills. Gina’s past 8 Toastmasters years have been filled with amazing milestones in mentoring, leadership and speaking.

“Communication gone wrong – what was the message?”
The world is wired for miscommunication and it’s especially problematic when we cross cultures or use shorthand social media and e-mail to communicate. But this is not a new problem. Every time we meet someone and every time we talk or write, we must ensure we communicate positive intent to build trust and understanding. Through sharing anecdotes from the trenches, the group will discuss communication challenges and how to overcome them. Participants will get into the shoes and the mindset of the person opposite them.

John MacDonald DTM, PDG – Authenticity
Saturday AM

John Macdonald

John is the owner of Mac 1 Industries Ltd and IT Measures Ltd. The companies are involved in fire protection and business performance management including online training. Outside of work, John has been involved in the Canadian Fire Alarm Association as chapter president and National Education Chair. He has served in numerous District roles including D60 Governor during the reformation process in which D86 was formed. During that year, John led a double team of Lt. governors of marketing and a double team of Lt. governors of education and training, overseeing more than 300 clubs.

The next year John had the unique position of being the immediate past governor of both D86 and D60, each with their own completely different culture. John credits being authentic in your communication and leadership as making the difference in leading such an enormous team and succeeding in your professional life.

Authentic communicators are in high demand today. Their ability to project open-mindedness, understanding and confidence helps them create worthwhile ideas by being true to their principles and involving others. They are powerful listeners. Authentic communicators understand themselves and know that you have to be believed to be heard. Discover the joy in uncovering your own authentic voice and the difference it will make in both your Toastmasters and professional path. Speaking authentically is a trait of excellence.


The Simple Finesse of Very Effective Evaluations!

Mississauga Sales and Marketing TM

Muktha Tumkur, ACG, ALB delivered a workshop on the Art of Effective Evaluations on December 1. There was a terrific turnout of 25 Toastmasters all eager to elevate their speech evaluation skills many levels up. Many thanks have to be given to Mississauga Sales and Marketing Toastmasters Club # 4353901, for providing the venue at no charge.

Although this workshop is part of a series of prepared presentations, Muktha added life and depth to the material by adding her perspective, making it interesting. From the beginning she made it very clear that this workshop is for speakers and evaluators and how we as individuals as speakers have a lot of power to control the quality of our clubs.

Two test speakers were in attendance to deliver speeches from which the workshop activities were based. The evening included a lot of “hands on” exercises where we had the ability to complete evaluations in real time. There were “ah-ha” moments for many of us when we completed the survey on how effectively our own clubs handle evaluations.

The workshop stressed that the relationship between the speaker and the evaluator begins days before the speech is delivered, not just minutes before. When the speaker contacts their evaluator in advance, the speaker can identify if their evaluator is even attending the meeting. This gives time for course correction and improves the quality of the meetings.

The role of the evaluating the evaluators was also stressed and how this individual is key to further elevate any speech evaluations, but most importantly, to draw attention for needed improvement on any of the evaluations. At the end, Muktha challenged us as speakers and evaluators to use the tools from the evening’s workshop to help elevate the quality of our speech evaluations. We need to ensure that each speaker is left uplifted! After all, if we don’t leave speakers eager to present again, we have not done our jobs.

George How Pak Hing, P.Eng., ACS, ALS

What on Earth is a Gavel Club?



If you have ever heard about Toastmasters clubs, you probably know they are clubs in which adults have the opportunity to grow their confidence by developing public speaking and leadership skills in a friendly and supportive environment. I have been a Toastmaster for almost ten years, and although I had heard the term, “Gavel club”, I had no idea until a few weeks ago what on earth they are.

Gavel clubs are a way of providing the Toastmasters experience to groups who may be ineligible for regular membership due to age, inability to pay dues or other circumstances. Following similar Toastmasters club meeting protocols, Gavel clubs use club officer titles and education manuals. However, Gavel clubs are only considered an affiliate of Toastmasters International and their members are referred to as “Gaveliers”. Imagine that! Toastmasters Clubs for youth! Gavel clubs truly are the hidden gem of Toastmasters International….

To form a Gavel club, a group must not be eligible to charter as a regular Toastmasters club or must include members who are under 18. Since youths are typically involved in Gavel clubs, Toastmasters International does not promote the names of Gavel clubs to protect the safety of children.

There are only five Youth Gavel Clubs in the GTA and they are run by volunteers from the adult Toastmasters clubs. These clubs bring so much value and benefits to their members who learn valuable communication and leadership skills that they can take with them to become leaders within school and local community today and become the global leaders tomorrow. These clubs offer so much value that there is a waiting list almost as long as each gavel club membership list for new kids to enroll.

Running a Gavel club requires a lot of commitment since the clubs typically hold weekly meetings, but it is a very fulfilling experience. They provide regular Toastmasters members and clubs with an excellent opportunity for community service. It is also a great way to put the leadership skills you learned through Toastmasters to good use. Moreover, mentoring a Gavel club can also be used towards fulfilling your High Performance Leadership project.

Amparo Cifuentes (Junior Masters Gavel Club), Annie Bai (Mississauga Gavel Club), and Ryan Belluz (Brampton Gavel Club) are Toastmasters District 86 members who have been involved for a number of years as the main adult coordinators of their respective Youth Gavel Clubs. In addition, they have been organizing Inter-Youth Gavel Club speech contests together since the spring of 2016. They intend to continue supporting their own clubs and these contests because they believe the earlier our youth gets the chance to grow their confidence, leadership and communication skills, the greater the positive impact they and their communities will experience. These contests give the Gaveliers a greater chance to further develop those skills through healthy competition. It is indeed a labour of love and dedication that many youth in the GTA can benefit from. However, more awareness and interest needs to be created among Toastmasters club members, to organize additional Youth Gavel Clubs.

The costs to set up a gavel club are much lower than the costs to set up a regular Toastmasters club. Many Toastmasters already know about the benefits of the Toastmaster Youth Leadership Program (YLP). However, the YLP is only eight weeks long. A Gavel club, much like a Toastmasters club, does not have an “ending” period. It is the answer to that age-old question that many youth and parents and ask after a YLP, “What’s next? Is there anything offered by Toastmasters?” The invaluable benefits for youth to develop their communication, leadership, and confidence are paramount. There are no other skills that will positively affect a child throughout their lives such as these. Imagine how beneficial such a club could be in your community schools or places of worship. This is a tremendous opportunity to help develop many successful leaders in our communities. If you would like more information about starting new gavel clubs, please visit

Muktha Tumkur, ACG, ALB with contributions from:

Amparo Cifuentes, DTM

Annie Bai, ACG, ALB

Ryan Belluz, ACB, ALB

Congratulations Distinguished Toastmasters and Contest Winners

Congratulations on all those who achieved their Distinguished Toastmaster Award from the 2017 Spring Conference to the 2017 Fall Conference. There were 30 people who earned their medal during this time. The medals were presented at the Friday DTM Dinner & Director Banquet. Each recipient then celebrated their achievement with the High 5 line.

Alvita L. Bennett                                       Mallika Sothinathan
Anthony Delvecchio                                 Mark Hayes
Cheryl D. Bates                                       Muzaffar H. Matloob
Chris Brown                                             Hulda Mullings
Chris Burns                                              Nikita Pchelin
Clifford Robert Graham                           Orest Nahacziwec
David Bruce Bray                                     Richard H. Lewis
David R. Weber                                        Robert G. Moore
Doris Tuckett                                            Steven Karnis
Glen Oxford                                             Tammy M. J. Hunt
Joanne Houston                                      Theresa D. Kennedy
Keith Rabey                                             Tracey L. Harding
Lena Shaw                                              William A. Brodie
Linda P. Rossi                                          Zack Dawood
Lisa Hennessy


Table Topics and Humorous Speech Contest Winner Announcement

Saturday November 11 was a day full of fantastic speech competitions. In the morning we had the Table Topic Contest chaired by Sean Browne (2016 District Table Topics Winner) and in the afternoon we had the Humorous Speech Contest chaired by Patricia Williams (2016 District Humorous Speech Winner). The competition was fierce and every competitor did an amazing job. The auditorium was filled to capacity for each contest and the energy in the room was infectious.

A big thank you goes to the Contestant Chair Carl Naus and the Judges Chair Al Steele for coordinating the contestants and the volunteers. A big thank you also goes to all the ballot counters, timers, judges, and SAAs who helped.

The winners of the Contests were:

Table Topics:
1st: Tammy Hunt, Division T
2nd: Sherrie Sweeney Division W
3rd: Joe Vanderkooi, Division L

Humourous Speech:
1st: Jonathan Siegel, Division C
2nd: Hassan Wadi, Division D
3rd: Mario Keriakedes, Division A


Fall is a Time for Change

The last Fall Conference for District 86 went out with a bang! The Kingbridge Conference Centre in King City was an idyllic venue because it was somewhat 'remote' but close enough to be a reasonably short drive. I have been to this venue for other professional conferences and have formed a lot of fond memories here. Built as a spa in 1989, the buildings have many quiet nooks where I could tuck myself away with a good book or just enjoy the beautiful view outside. The food throughout the weekend was delicious!


I enjoyed the two day layout for the Conference because the Friday evening was 'downtime' for all Toastmasters to rekindle friendships and networking. November 10th was sold out with all of the great events that were planned. The TM Talks was a new event and very engaging and we learned about self-development, the impact of our appearance on first impressions and Pathways. The Parade of Banners kicked off the Opening Ceremonies and it was wonderful to see that we have four new Clubs, namely, Algoma Steel Makers, The Blue Mountains, City of Burlington and Toronto PCL. The DTM Recognition Dinner had 30 new Distinguished Toastmasters getting 'high-fived' by current DTMs. The 'Of the Year Awards' was uplifting to see the people and Clubs be recognized for being committed to the Toastmasters Vision. I had the pleasure of meeting George How Pak Hing earlier this year and was proud and happy to see him receive 'Area Director of the Year'. He has helped countless clubs with one thing or another so this award was well deserved!

The awards ceremonies closed off with the masquerade ball and the DJ had Toastmasters dancing until close to 1:00 am!


Day Two offered more highlights with the day starting off with a Plenary Humorous Workshop presented by NRG (Neil Dunsmore, Roger Caesar and Gregory C N Smith). All three presenters gave us great tips on how to continue uplifting our audiences, but interjected so much laughter. We learned great pointers such as helping your audience feel your story, caring about your audience, personalization, practicing and how being in the moment through your day will help you see that you have many great speech topics right under your nose. Forrest Willett delivered an impactful keynote address and I don’t think that there was one dry eye in the audience… Forrest’s message showed us “how to get from where we are to where we want to be”, showing gratitude, success principles and that in order to get what we want, we need to give it away. Forrest also mentioned how our lives can be very different if we help ourselves, our family and strangers everyday. Fall is a time for change, we have so many opportunities through Toastmasters to improve our communication and leadership skills, embrace it!

Muktha Tumkur, ACS, ALB

Announcing District 86’s 2016-17 “Of The Year” Awards


At the Director’s Banquet on Friday, November 10th at the District 86 Fall Conference, in King City, at The Kingbridge Hotel and Conference Centre, Toastmasters of District 86 and guests applauded 2016 - 2017 Of the Year Award Finalists and honoured 2016 - 2017 Awards Recipients.


Publicist Of The Year: Lyndsy Johnson, CC, ALB - Hershaw Toastmasters Club
Club Coach of the Year: Kelley McIntyre, CC, ALS - Progressive Toastmasters Club
President Of The Year: Yun Annie Bai, ACG, ALB - Confidently Speaking Toastmasters Club
Area Director Of The Year: George How Pak Hing, ACS, ALS - dual member of Oakville Toastmasters Club and Horizon Toastmasters Club
Division Director Of The Year: Saima Malik, DTM - Markham SweetTalkers Club
Club Of The Year:  Confidently Speaking Toastmasters Club Division C, Area 45 - President Yun Annie Bai, ACG, ALB
Membership: Confidently Speaking Toastmasters Club
Education: Confidently Speaking Toastmasters Club
Toastmaster Of The Year: Jocelyne Vezina, DTM - member of Mississauga Sales & Marketing Toastmasters, Comfortably Speaking and Lambs to Lions Clubs

These individuals and their clubs have gone above and beyond in their participation in the Toastmasters program. The efforts of these members have enabled them to shine as leaders in our District. Thank you for your service to District 86!

See more about awards and past winners here

Thank you to the “Of the Year Award” Committee listed below by their 2016-17 role titles.

Alvita Bennett, ACS, ALS, Administration Manager
Dennis Bartel, ACG, ALB, Public Relations Manager
Glynis D'Souza, DTM, Club Growth Director
Cathy Herschell, DTM, Program Quality Director
Vitaliy Fursov, DTM, District Director

Going Beyond Boundaries to celebrate Toastmaster Month

Proclamation Tour900W

In honour of Toastmasters month, Dennis Bartel, provided the City of Brampton with a plethora of information about the positive impact Toastmasters makes for the residents of the City and asked that they declare October Toastmasters Month. Brampton City Council voted to grant this request and provided a framed proclamation which Dennis took on a tour spanning five areas and encompassing all fifteen clubs located in the City of Brampton.

The October 2017 is Toastmasters Month in Brampton tour was launched at the newest, soon to be chartered club, Brampton Talks Toastmasters on September 19th. Over the course of twenty-four days, Dennis visited all the clubs in the city making sure that everyone had an opportunity to celebrate Toastmasters month with the proclamation in attendance. Every visit was documented with photos and commentary posted to Facebook to further promote Toastmasters in the City. He wrapped up his tour at Brampton Speakeasy on October 12th.


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

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