Contest Winner Announcement


Our Spring Conference on April 27-29 2018 was filled with fantastic speech competitions. On Friday night we had the Evaluation chaired by Clinton Springer and on Sunday morning we had the International Speech Contest chaired by Jose Alejandro Vivar (2017 District International Speech Winner). The competition was fierce and every competitor did an amazing job. The room was filled to capacity for each contest and the energy in the room was infectious.

A big thank you goes to the Contestant Chair Nancy Parkhill, the Judges Chair Dragana Vulpic-Bork, and our Chief Judge Deborah McGrath for coordinating the contestants, judges, and all 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:

1st: Ross Cunningham, Division S | 2nd: Roger Caesar, Division B | 3rd: Greg Lewis, Division L 

Evaluation Contest 2018

International Speech:
1st: Roger Caesar, Division B | 2nd: Jonathan Richardson, Division M | 3rd: Ross Cunningham, Division S

International Speech contest 2018

Distinguished Toastmasters Award Recipients

Distinguished toastmasters

Congratulations on all those who achieved their Distinguished Toastmaster Award from the 2017 Fall Conference to the 2018 Spring Conference. There were 24 people who earned their medal during this time. The medals were presented at the Friday DTM Dinner. Each recipient then celebrated their achievement with the High 5 line.

 Albert Chang  Leona Wilson
 Carl J. Naus  Lorna Miller
 Cher Cunningham  Mary Lou Di Paolo
 Daniel Canelea  Michael Proudlock
 David Jeremiah Speicher  Michael Whitehead
 Dennis J. Bartel  Mikael Gatje
 Diana L. Parker  Patricia Burness
 Diane P. Gordon  Richard Kitney
 George How Pak Hing  Satinder Chane
 Gloria Carol Schimmel  Sue Faludi
 Jean E. McAllister  Suzette L. Leeming
 Karim Premji  Tracy Chan

D86 2018 Members Making A Difference Award

This award is awarded to a District 86 Toastmaster member who volunteer their Toastmasters communication and leadership skills to better the lives of those in their community in a significant and notable way. Here are this year's recipients:

ShishirLakhaniDTMShishir Lakhani DTM

Shishir Lakhani, a Distinguished Toastmaster and a serious heart patient, volunteers as a member of the Board of Directors at the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Lakhani uses his Toastmaster skills to raise awareness, improve education and wellness as well as fund-raise for a cause that is dear to his heart. He received the Heart and Soul Award, in 2009 and the Heart of Gold Award in 2014. He is also a recipient of government awards for this contributions in his community, including the Ontario Volunteer Services Award in 2013 and the Canada Governor General Sovereign Award in 2018. He is a long standing member of Destiny Toastmasters Club, Markham. 

LenaShawDTMLena Shaw DTM

Lena Shaw, a Distinguished Toastmaster, member of Brampton Toastmasters and Raising Champions Advanced Toastmasters in Brampton, is recognized for her contributions in helping youths develop their communication and leadership skills over the past 6 years in the Youth Leadership Program. Shaw spent 13 years in the non profit organization Knights Table helping the less fortunate within the Brampton Community. Shaw uses her Toastmasters skills to meet, great and recruit volunteers, she manages over 200 volunteers a month.  Shaw helps clients with their resumes, cover letters and help them to find a home. She uses her event planning skills to outreach and help raise awareness and funds to further support the homeless in Peel Region.

HuldaMullingsDTMHulda Mullings DTM

Hulda Mullings, a Distinguished Toastmasters, a Business Executive and a  Registered Chaplain of Canada, has been using her Toastmasters skills helping Inmates and Residents in the Ontario Correctional Institute improve their communication skills. In 2017, Mullings was presented the Community Award for volunteering 17 years at the OCI Toastmasters (Ontario Correctional Institute) in Brampton. Her volunteer work also includes providing Free Income Tax services in Mississauga and Brampton for 7 years under the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program and the delivery of Health related presentations with the Heart and Stroke Foundation for 6 years. She is a member of Hershaw Toastmasters and Raising Champions Advanced Toastmasters in Brampton, Ontario.

CandiceKirkbrideCandice Kirkbride

Candice Kirkbride a member of Greater Sudbury Speakers Toastmasters Club since 2006 was a victim of an impaired driving accident in March 2001 that left her with a catastrophic brain injury. She currently shares her experience to teenagers across North Ontario and the importance of forgiveness. Kirkbride actively delivers presentations and delivered speeches on the risk of drunk driving and surviving from brain injury and stroke at many organizations across Ontario including the Ontario Provincial Police, The Red Ribbon Campaign, The PARTY program (Prevent Alcohol Risk Related Trauma in Youth and the Timmins Brain Injury and Stroke Clinic survivors. She is the recipient of the Rolly Rousseau Award at ACTION Sudbury and authored a book entitled "Changed by the Rain, Life after a Brain Injury".


Wali Shah wins 2018 Toastmasters District 86 Communication and Leadership Award

Wali Shah, renowned spoken word poet and public speaker from Mississauga, Ontario will be honoured by District 86 Toastmasters for his achievements in the field of communication and leadership. The event will be held at the Communication & Leadership (C&L) Luncheon on Saturday April 28, during the 2018 District 86 Spring Conference at the Hilton Meadowvale Mississauga, ON, Canada

wali shahThe Communication and Leadership Award is awarded by the District to a non-Toastmaster in the community who is an outstanding communicator or leader - and who best exemplifies Toastmasters values.

Toastmasters District 86 recognizes Shah’s numerous contributions in improving the lives of people in poetry and social change in Ontario and across Canada. He has delivered many poetry workshops to schools across North America and has performed at poetry events for many corporations including Microsoft Canada and the Canadian Football League.

Wali Shah is a South Asian spoken word poet and public speaker and an alumni of Canada’s Top 20 Under 20. His experiences range from being a TEDx speaker to performing poetry for 15,000 Microsoft Partners at the Air Canada Centre. Wali focuses on youth engagement and has conducted poetry workshops and keynote assemblies at hundreds of schools across Canada. His work has been featured in media outlets such The Toronto Star and MTV.

Toastmasters District 86 Director Cathy Herschell congratulated Shah for winning the award. “His communication and leadership skills as a poet and an advocate for social change resonates with Toastmasters International’s values: integrity, respect, service and excellence”, she mentioned.

He is currently studying at the University of Toronto Mississauga and advocates for social change through his work.

Please visit to know more about Wali and his amazing profile.

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

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

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