Remembering Blake Kurisko

Blake Kurisko – An Appreciation

area66directorIt is great to see such a good turnout this evening – but there is one person missing who, had things been different, I know would have been here. I’m referring, of course, to BLAKE KURISKO who, as many of you now know, passed away last Saturday as a result of injuries received in a fall. Therefore I would like to take a few minutes to remember and pay tribute to our Toastmasters colleague, Blake.

I first met Blake when he became a member of Town & Gown Toastmasters and from the beginning he took an active role in our club. He was always willing to learn; quickly became a Mentor to new members and then provided guidance and leadership when needed. He was an excellent and thorough Speech Evaluator and many times represented our group in the annual contests at the Area, Division and District levels. His speeches ranged from serious to very funny. On one occasion, at our early Wednesday morning meeting, Blake treated us to a demonstration of Zumba Dancing. At another he was talking about “exercising and keeping fit”. Instead of having power-point to support his remarks, he simply held up a photograph of himself as a young man – standing next to some guy called Arnold Schwarzenegger! Good examples of how to get and keep the attention of your audience!

He was very passionate about Toastmasters and this was obvious since he was also a member of a second club – Guelph Public Speakers. At the time of his death he was the Area 66 Director and I understand in June, upon finishing his term of office, he would have completed all the requirements for his Distinguished Toastmaster designation. Hopefully that is still possible, albeit, posthumously.
Despite dealing with health challenges Blake always had a positive outlook. Last autumn when he asked me to help organize the Area 66 contests I got to realize just how focused and meticulous he was in his role as Area Director. After the contests I spent an hour the next day deleting his numerous emails!!! He really was a pleasure to know and work with.

Blake was not only a contestant in Toastmaster contests but consistently volunteered for other roles too. Just a few weeks ago he was the Chief Judge at the Area 66 event. He hadn’t been able to attend our Town & Gown meetings for the past couple of months, but when I met him at the Area 66 contests he told me he was planning to return to our club on the 30th March. Sadly, that would not happen.
Blake contributed greatly, not only to both his clubs, but the Toastmaster “family” in this Division. He will be remembered and very much missed.

Thank you, Blake.

Spring Conference 2016 Communication & Leadership Award Recipient

Jonathan Hood

Congratulations to Jonathan Hood, Communication & Leadership Award Recipient

The Communication and Leadership Award is by the District to a non-Toastmaster in the community who is an outstanding communicator or leader - and who best exemplifies Toastmasters values. The recipient for the 2016 Spring Conference is Jonathan Hood, former CFL athlete, motivational speaker, youth mentor, and corporate goal coach.

Jonathan began his professional football career with the Edmonton Eskimos in 2009. Later, he went on to play for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 2010, and finally the Toronto Argonauts in 2013. He retired in May of 2015 and has since been focused on shifting his on-field experiences to developing and inspiring people off the field.  

Read more about Jonathan and Spring Conference 2016 

District 86 Treasurers - Club Membership Dues Are Due!

Treasurers - You are performing a vital supporting role in helping your club achieve its club mission, DCP goals, and success plans.  For those clubs submitting membership dues semi-annually - it is time start planning to submit dues to Toastmasters International.
  • Community Clubs – please start collecting dues in February from individual members.
  • Corporate Clubs – please also begin processing membership payments now. We know it can sometimes take several weeks in large corporations to get approval / process payments.
The final due date for payments is March 31, 2017.
  • However - to save yourself time and anguish (and be a District 86 Hero), it is much better to pay the dues in early March before the Toastmasters International’s systems get incredibly busy
  • To pay dues, log into Club Central and follow the instructions
  • Please remind your club members in writing and at your next club meeting that dues are due now to you - so you can pay them by March to Toastmasters International
  • All clubs MUST submit a minimum of eight (8) memberships to remain in good standing
  • All clubs MUST have three (3) of the eight (8) members be renewing members

What does the status mean?

  • Verified complete – mm/dd/yyyy: Minimum payments have been made.  Your club is in good standing.  The payments must be post-marked by the deadline for your club to score the DCP goal #10.
  • Low – Minimum Requirement not yet met: Less than 8 payments have been made.  Your club will NOT be in good standing if the minimum payments are not made within the grace period (one month).  If a club is not in good standing for two periods, the club will be suspended automatically
  • Ineligible – Minimum Requirement not yet met: Less than 3 renewals have been made.  Your club will NOT be in good standing if the minimum payments are not made within the grace period (one month).  If a club is not in good standing for two periods, the club will be suspended automatically
  • Renewals not here – No payments have been made.   Your club will NOT be in good standing if the minimum payments are not made within the grace period (one month).  If a club is not in good standing for two periods, the club will be suspended automatically
Thank you for your support and contribution to the success of your club and District 86.
District 86 Finance Manager -

All That and More!

Reflections of the District 86 TLI in Mississauga - Jan 30th, 2016 

What a full program! A variety of training workshops & networking for the small cost of registration. I liked having the two Club Officer training sessions – morning & afternoon. It accommodated those Club Officers who couldn't attend for the full day and still be able to attend another “of interest” workshop – Revitalized Education Program, Youth Leadership, Club Coach, etc. Also, in the afternoon, you have the opportunity to “check out” another Club Officer position that might interest you. The only challenge that I had, was the lunch…speaking from experience – whenever I have pasta for lunch, at 2pm, the “brain fog” sets in and I want to have a snooze. I find it difficult to give my undivided attention to the presenter when my eyes want to close for a brief nap. Perhaps a soup/chili with salad and fruit & cheese trays make for a light & nourishing lunch. For the most part, I believe it was a day well spent! Glad to see a full house.

Margaret Waechter
Waterloo, ON

It Is Election Time!!! - Part 1

Who, What ,When & Why? – Part 1

by Lori Lococo, DTM, PID – District Leadership Chair

(more detailed information can be found in Protocol 9.0 of TI’s Policy and Protocol) The Leader Letter

elections aheadEach year the district leadership committee (DLC) chair is appointed by the district director to ensure successful district elections and long-term district success. The DLC chair appoints the committee as directed by Toastmasters International and approved by the district director.

The District Leadership Committee:

- Has equal representation from each division within the district and committee members have not served on the committee the previous year.

- Seeks out prospective candidates for elected positions for division directors, club growth director, program quality director and district director.
- Evaluates and interviews candidates.

- Nominates one or two candidates each for the offices of district director and program quality director and one or more candidates for the office of club growth director and all division directors.

- As directed by Toastmasters International, once a member has served on the DLC, that member is not able to be approved, elected or appointed for any of the elected positions before or after the Annual Business meeting, even if the district leader position is vacant.

- Provides a complete report of the nominated candidates at the February 27th District Executive Council Meeting.

- The committee chair notifies candidates who were not nominated and advises them of their eligibility to seek office as floor candidates.

- Additional qualified candidates may be nominated from the floor at the district’s annual meeting. The appropriate paperwork must be filed with the district leadership committee chair.

It Is Election Time!!! - Part 2

Who, What ,When & Why? – Part 2

by Lori Lococo, DTM, PID – District Leadership Chair

(more detailed information can be found in Protocol 9.0 of TI’s Policy and Protocol) The Leader Letter

elections ahead skyLet the Campaign Communication begin…

- A campaign mailing is any message, unsolicited by the recipient, which promotes or publicizes a candidate.

- Communications by the district in connection with a candidate’s presentation at a district conference and internal communication among campaign team members are not considered campaign mailings. Unsolicited subscriptions to information by or about a candidate are not permitted.

- District candidates shall only send two mailings, which are only sent to club presidents, club vice presidents education, and members of the district executive committee:

- The first mailing is sent between January 1 and March 31. All candidates can request a Mailing List from the administration manager at:

- The second mailing is sent between the announcement of the district leadership committee results and the district’s annual meeting.

- A candidate may have a website to promote his or her candidacy.

- Candidates’ websites may be linked or referenced only on the candidate’s home club site and in campaign mailings.

- A blog may be included on a candidate’s website. Automatic notices are allowed.

- A district candidate may create campaign profiles on social media for the purpose of promoting his or her campaign.

- Campaign profiles are separate from any existing social media profiles the candidate has.

- Candidates may link from existing social media profiles to their campaign profiles and campaign site.

- Candidates may distribute campaign materials at the district conference and display campaign materials only in the Candidates’ Corner at the district conference.

- At district non-election meetings, such as area and division speech contests, candidates may distribute campaign materials, display campaign materials in a Candidates’ Corner where each candidate has equal access, and be introduced as long as all candidates present are introduced.

- Candidates may not present at any district non-election meeting.

- District executive committee members shall not take any action to endorse or officially support any district officer candidate.

It Is Election Time!!! - Part 3

Who, What ,When & Why? – Part 3

by Lori Lococo, DTM, PID – District Leadership Chair

(more detailed information can be found in Protocol 9.0 of TI’s Policy and Protocol) The Leader Letter

ballotElection Day:

- The district director explains the election rules and procedures to the delegates.

- A candidate speaks on his or her own behalf. If a candidate is not present, an authorized representative may speak for the candidate. A representative speaker may not be a member of the district executive committee, a member of the nominating committee, the credentials chair, or any other meeting official.

- The DLC chair shall present its report. The chair announces the names of the committee members and reads the name and club number of each nominated candidate, in alphabetical order, for each of the offices of district director; program quality director; club growth director and division directors.

- For each office, the district director inquires whether there are additional nominations from the floor.

- Floor candidates or, in their absence, their designees state their eligibility qualifications.

- Floor candidates must be nominated by a member of the district council or their proxyholder.

- Floor candidates must sign the Officer Agreement and Release Form, which will be sent to World Headquarters by the district director.

- When nominations are complete, the district director declares the nominations for that office closed.

- The balloting for each office takes place immediately following the close of nominations for the office and then the winner is announced.

- If there is only one candidate for the office, the district director may entertain a motion to dispense with the secret ballot for the uncontested office or instruct the secretary to cast a single ballot for the candidate.

- The candidates are expected to assign one member to observe the counting of the ballots.

- Each election is completed and the winner announced before moving to the subsequent office.

- Candidates nominated for one office and not elected to the office may be nominated from the floor for subsequent offices.

- Upon adjournment of the district’s annual meeting, all election results are final.

- Results of the election are displayed in the registration area as soon as possible following adjournment of the meeting.

Announcing Jocelyne Vezina, DTM - New REP Chief Ambassador

REP small module dec 2015
Revitalized Education Program Chief Ambassador – Jocelyne Vezina, DTM

We heartily thank Justin O'Donnell, DTM for his leadership thus far in engaging us in this new education program directive from Toastmasters International.

We are excited to announce Jocelyne Vezina, DTM, as officially appointed as the new District 86 Chief Ambassador. Jocelyne has demonstrated her leadership skills as the Co-chair of the Fall 2015 Conference. She and her team of Education ambassadors will be providing constant updates to the District as the Revitalized Education Program is unrolled over the next few years. We look forward to learning when it will reach District 86! We thank Jocelyne and her team for their passion and commitment to enabling us to implement this new education program!

Janice McDonald, DTM
District 86 Director

Revitalized Education Program

In an effort to offer members improved opportunities to learn and grow, Toastmasters is revitalizing our education program. This effort aligns with the directive for a renewed focus on leadership and communication in the Board of Directors' 2010 Strategic Plan.

Read more about the Revitalized Education Program at Toastmasters International>>>

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

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