Member News September - 2014

City Centre Toastmasters Club’s 2nd Annual Holiday Season Food Drive

City Centre Toastmasters Club will be launching its 2nd Annual Holiday Season Food among Toastmasters clubs and members in the Cities of Brampton and Mississauga. The Holiday Season Food Drive was initiated in 2013 by Mark McKenzie, Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM), for his High Performance Leadership (HPL) project.

The goal for City Centre Toastmasters Club for this year is to collect at least Fifteen 3.0 cubic feet (18 x 18 x 16) boxes of non-perishable food items to be delivered to the Salvation Army of Brampton on Wednesday, December 17, 2014. Last year the club’s food drive initiative was successful in collecting over 2,000lbs of non-perishable food items for the Salvation Army of Brampton. The initiative was very well supported by members from clubs such as Speak to Inspire, Soar to Excellence, Leaders’ Corner, Leaders In Action, TD Creekside, Trillium, Lamb to Lions, Comfortably Speaking, Chosen Voices, Point of Tale, COMET and City Centre. We also received tremendous generous contributions from the business community specifically President’s Choice and Give and Go Food.

To accomplish our target for 2014 we are encouraging clubs in the Cities of Brampton and Mississauga to engage the support of their members to contribute non-perishable food items to this worth cause. Members are also encouraged to get their families and work colleagues involve by inviting them to club meetings to make their donations of non-perishable food items. According to Mr. Gordon Randell, the director and volunteer coordinator of the Salvation Army of Brampton, the food items that are most needy are canned fish, pasta, peanut butter, macaroni and cheese dinners and coffee (instant and perk) as well as other non-perishable food items to help feed the hungry. The general public can also participate in the food drive by visiting City Centre Toastmasters Club on Tuesdays at noon at the Mississauga Central Library or contact Mark McKenzie at 647-406-4622 or by email Please note that while the project is being conducted to fulfill a requirement for credit in the Toastmasters programme, the project is not endorsed by Toastmasters International which one of the world leading provider of communication and leadership development programmes.

In addition to the goals outlined above, this year the project is being structured into three sub-projects in order to give three highly enthusiastic and motivated Toastmasters members an opportunity to successful execute their High Performance Leadership Project (HPL). The three sub-components of the 2nd Annual Holiday Season Food Drive are:

1. PR and Communication

2. Logistics, Collections and Inventory Management

3. Event Planning and Bookings

If you are a Toastmasters looking to put your PR and Communication skills to the test this is an opportunity for you to build a vision and a set of goals that are congruent to the 2nd Annual Holiday Season Food Drive objectives. If you have an interest in honing your logistics, collections and inventory management skills there is role for you too. If you are interesting in event planning there is also an ideal role for you too. This is a unique opportunity to set your own goals and lead your own team for a project outside of your club while making an immeasurable contribution to those in need our communities.

City Centre Toastmasters Club is very excited about the launching of the 2nd Annual Holiday Season Food Drive. We see it as an opportunity for Toastmasters members in Clubs in the Cities of Mississauga and Brampton to work in the community. It is an opportunity to demonstrate our communication and leadership skills for the benefit of the Salvation Army of Brampton. This will enable Toastmasters members to contribute to feeding the needy and be a transforming influence in their communities.

For more information, please contact City Centre Toastmasters Club or Mark McKenzie, DTM at 647-406-4622 or

Mark Mckenzie DTM

Food Drive

District 86 PRO Corner Call with Mark McKenzie, DTM

City Centre Toastmasters Club will be launching its 2nd Annual Holiday Season Food Drive among Toastmasters clubs and members in the Cities of Brampton and Mississauga. The Holiday Season Food Drive was initiated in 2013 by Mark McKenzie, Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM), for his High Performance Leadership (HPL) project.

Check out Mark and Vitaliy on YouTube 

VP Public Relations by Cindy Stradling DTM

Cindy-Stradling DTMWhen I was considering becoming part of the executive of Northern Lights Advanced Toastmasters club, my immediate first thought was “I’m too busy.” I am sure most of my fellow Toastmasters have had the same thoughts.

In the past I have served as President, VP Education, VP Membership and Area Governor, but never VP Public Relations. Once I committed, I was excited. It’s funny how that happens, once you choose to move forward in a particular direction, your energy aligns and provides you with the fuel to move forward. Sitting on the sidelines one cannot experience the same growth as when they are involved. I know that if something doesn’t challenge you it can’t change you and I knew I would be challenged.

I met with our new President Louisa Steele so she could show me how our website worked. After I left our meeting I was really delighted that I had stepped up to the plate. I had lots of great ideas to use Social Media and to hold an Open House. Although I am somewhat technically challenged I was able to get the support I needed from District 86 Public Relations Officer Vitaliy Fursov and we now have presence on Facebook and Twitter. LinkedIn to follow.

 I know from my own experience having the more in-depth evaluations have helped me tremendously grow as a speaker. I could see firsthand the difference our evaluations were making with the other members of our club too. Now I want other Toastmasters to have the same experience. We are all excited to hold our open house on November 20, 2014 so our fellow Toastmasters can see and experience the difference in our format and evaluations. We are a dinner club and it really is a great way to not only learn and practice, it is a way to connect on a more personal level.

I am always reminded of the saying by Wayne Gretzky “We miss 100% of the shots we don’t take.” I am thrilled that I am took this shot and am very much looking forward to growing our club over the coming year.

Toastmasters Members Elect Ross Mackay to International Board


Congratulations to District 86 Toastmaster - Ross Mackay - for being elected to the Board of Directors of Toastmasters International.

See the press release at PRLog - Sep. 4, 2014

Member News - August 2014

London resident is semifinalist in the world’s largest speech contest!

Posted on PRLog - Aug. 14, 2014 - LONDON, Canada -- Rene Vander Pryt of London, Ontario outshined more than 650 local participants to win the District 86 level competition of the Toastmasters International Speech Contest April 5th, 2014 representing South-Western, Central and Northern Ontario.  Mr. Vander Pryt has qualified to advance to the semifinal round of the contest being held at the Toastmasters International Convention Thursday, August 21 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and is vying for one of nine spots in the World Championship of Public Speaking final to be held Saturday, August 23 at the same venue.

Visit this PRLog post!

Congratulations Jude Heather - Distinguished Toastmaster Award Recipient!

Jude Heather

Congratulations to our D86 Distinguished Toastmaster Award Recipients!

Karim Premji, Dianne M. Yungblut, Carolyn Bray, Charmain Grace


Member News - July 2014

Mount Forest Motivators' Tall Tales Contest

July 29 in Mount Forest Motivators' contest winners
Winner: 1st Place Jafar Mirjalali
Winner: 2nd Place - Dorothy Reid


District 86 SAA and Area 13 Governor Mr. Al Steele achieves his DTM

Al-Steele DTMCongratulations to our own District 86 Sergeant at Arms and Area 13 Governor Mr. Al Steele on becoming a Distinguished Toastmaster! Job well done, Al!










John Ribeiro achieves his DTM

A newly promoted Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) John Ribeiro shares his story of achieving a pinnacle award in the Toastmasters educational program. Congratulations John!

Check out John's story on YouTube


The Travelling Toastmaster

BudBrownWhile on vacation in Nova Scotia, I was looking for an iconic background at which to get my picture taken holding my Toastmasters magazine. While touring the historic site of the fortress at Louisbourg I was looking for that backdrop scene when I walked into a barracks where three people, dressed in french uniforms of the period were sitting around a table (behind "the rope") as if waiting to go on duty. I told them that I am a Toastmaster and that we do this thing of getting our picture taken with the magazine around the world and that these pictures are on occasion published in that same magazine. "Would it be OK if I stepped over the rope and had my picture taken with all of you?" They said "of course!"

After several shots had been taken, the 'soldier' across the table from me asked "what is this Toastmasters" . . . . Of course, I said, "I'm glad you asked" and gave them my elevator speech about the best place in the world to learn both communication and leadership skills. If I hear about a Toastmasters club beginning in the town of Louisbourg, Nova Scotia I want the credit for planting the seed.

Bud Brown - Area 61 Governor/Incoming Division W Governor


Excellence is not a Skill, it is an Attitude ................................................................................................. by Riya Chatterjee

Most of us are aware of the difference between positive thinking and negative thinking. To make this point clear, I share a small story with you.

Many years ago, two salesmen were sent by a British shoe manufacturer to Africa to investigate and report back on market potential.

The first salesman reported back, “There is no potential here, - nobody wears shoes.”

The second salesman reported back, “There is massive potential here – nobody wears shoes.”

This simple story explains to us how a single situation can be viewed in two different ways.

The secret of joy in work is contained in one word –“ Excellence”. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it. Excellence should be MORE about fun, than about mediocrity. So friends, it is the approach or mindset that matters and the topic I present today is Excellence is not a Skill, it is an Attitude.

Excellence lives in the present. We must maximize what we are doing now. Do not live in the glory of the past, drop your ego, accept criticism to expand and stretch to take up challenges. Excellence is doing things outside the box. Learn from your mistakes, and move ahead. Isn’t that Attitude?

I also believe excellence is about being lucky. You all may ask me how? What is luck? Luck is about making things happen for yourself. It is a combination of preparation and recognition so you can be ready for the opportunity when it comes. My coming to Canada and joining Toastmasters and connecting with the right people, isn’t it being lucky? I now know that Toastmasters will lead me to my Vision of being a Leadership and Management Trainer.

So Excellence is not a skill, it is an Attitude. I leave you with a thought to ponder-
Raise your level high and challenge yourself and you will be filled with a bountiful future.

Riya ChatterjeeRiya Chatterjee, new member/ Tangri Toastmasters

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

join your colleagues on our social media channels:    District 86 Facebook   District 86 LinkedIn   District 86 YouTube   District 86 Twitter