Monthly Archives: May 2010


Submitted by Toastmaster Donald Knowles

Here is an update to the Competent Leadership Program summary, provided by Bill Bienia.

Another Home Run!

Submitted by Toastmaster Michelle Gillies

Congratulations to all who attended our First Oakville Toastmasters meeting on Thursday May 6th, 2010. Whether you were a member or a guest, you had the time of your life.

This was no ordinary meeting by any standards. There was definitely an energy level unlike any other. In fact, one of our guests when she spoke, pointed out that she had come to the meeting dragging and exhausted and was leaving energized and refreshed.

Marion West lead the way as our Chair and somehow managed to keep everything running smoothly. OK, occasionally she had to rein someone in (you all know who you are). As always it was done with the grace and charm that is Marion’s trademark.

We had a wonderful toast to a Canadian, some great table topics, a funny if not a little risque joke, a slightly awkward word of the day, three wonderful speeches and some fine evaluations.

Toastmaster Peter West aka: The Auctioneer

Why was this meeting so special? The laughter, the fun and the Auctioneer, that’s why. It was our annual clean out the stuff you have at home and come buy everyone else’s stuff auction. On behalf of everyone I would like to thank Toastmaster Peter West for giving us a night to remember. He was funny, he kept things moving as fast as he could, he kept us involved and spending money that I don’t think any of us realized we were spending. Bidding higher & higher on things we weren’t really sure what they were. And enjoying every minute of it. In the end we raised over $500.00 dollars for the club and we were all shocked. Had our ever diligent Chair not finally brought the auction to a close (as I said, with grace and charm) we would probably still be there bidding on the furniture in our meeting room.

It was a wonderful evening for all concerned. Thank you Peter for stepping up to the plate and hitting a home run!

Allow Me To Introduce First Oakville Toastmasters 2010/2011 Executive

This seems likes a good opportunity to introduce you to our newly elected First Oakville Toastmasters Executive for the 2010/2011 season. Thank you to all those who not only seconded their nominations but also allowed me to use their words as their introduction.

President – Donald Knowles from Dale Fisher
Our Toastmaster club is a vibrant club. Having 50+ years of experience, our club is rich with history, accomplishment, depth of membership, and leadership. Our club is in capable hands with Donald to continue this tradition.
I have had the benefit of knowing Donald for approximately 15 years. Our professional relationship pre-dates our Toastmaster relationship. It is no surprise to me to see Donald soaring within the Toastmaster program – not just with his own progress; but, also (and more important to Donald knowing his character), his service to the club. Donald is all about ‘Servant Leadership’. I have always admired his abilities, his service-orientation, and most admirably his uncompromising values and principles.
For new comers to the club who may not know a lot about our incoming President, allow me to share a bit about Donald. He is also a leader in the corporate world. Donald has lead the information management and technology mandate for a number of multi-national organizations, most recently as the information technology leader for Kia Canada.
Donald has been a member of First Oakville Toastmasters for the past 3 years. Each of these years, he has served as an executive member. The first year, Donald graciously stepped in as the Sargent-At-Arms for a member who had to step down from the role. The following year, Donald served as Sargent-At-Arms throughout our Toastmaster year. During this past year, we have Donald to thank for steering our education portfolio as our V.P., Education. Donald has not only lead the educational efforts for over 50 members in our club; but, he has also been a contributor in area, division, and district events, as he works beyond our club boundaries to maintain our club on a broader map.
Our club is certainly in capable hands next year with Donald and his team of executives at the helm.
We have the easy part; but, a no less important part, as we have to commit ourselves to the kind of “followership” necessary to make the entire Toastmaster machine operate.
It is energizing to see such capable leadership in place to take the torch from our competent 2009-10 team of selfless leaders.
Congratulations Donald!

VP Education- Dave Webster from John Smissen
Dave Webster is a dedicated and enthusiastic Toastmaster who wants to give back to the organization. Dave has proven himself to be a remarkable member of the Executive team by doing an excellent job this year as our VP of Membership. He makes a point of attending all training and contributing at all executive and special committee meetings. As a result he has grown in stature as a club member and committee member. Dave’s life away from Toastmasters, as Sales Manager of a large North American sales team who has displayed obvious organizational and managerial skills, has also prepared him to take on this new role as the VP of Education for First Oakville Toastmasters.

VP Membership – Linda Rossi from Loreen Paterick
Linda has not been with First Oakville Toastmasters for a long time, however she has a history as an experienced Toastmaster and chose to join our club because of the excellence she witnessed at our club meetings. Her Toastmaster career has seen her on the Executive in several different capacities including President, VP of Public Relations and Area Governor. Linda is a busy working woman but has always made herself available whenever the club or a fellow Toastmaster needed her. Linda is affable, her enthusiasm is contagious and will be wonderful working with new members.

VP Public Relations – Pat Lore from Matt Wagner
Pat has been a member of the club for eight years now. Pat has served as a secretary and a VP of new membership for the club. But these are not the reasons for why she should be VP Public Relations.
Pat has an undergraduate degree in anthropology and a bachelor of commerce with a major in accounting. But these are not the reasons why she should be VP Public Relations.
Pat is also a writer. This is one of the reasons why she should be VP of Public Relations. She will be able to continue to provide for the excellent communication device our club blog is. The main reason for why we should vote for Pat is that she is a good cook. Also, she knows how to schmooze. One of my fondest memories of being on the executive, the same year that Pat was the club secretary, was when Pat invited the executive to meet at her home. When we got there she had prepared wonderful coffee and tea as well as baked fresh large wonderful cookies for the meeting. The meeting went swimmingly as we were all well schmoozed. You see, Pat is one of those individuals that works at being the mortar that holds an organization together. This type of individual, along with her experience on the executive, is what is required for the smooth functioning of the executive. In closing, Pat will make the executive meetings more enjoyable for all concerned as well as being able to fatten the executive.

Secretary – Norma Ford from Matt Wagner
Norma is uniquely suited to be the club’s new secretary. Although, Norma is a new member to the club she has much to give to the club. After Norma received her under graduate degree from the University of Toronto she went out into the work world. After 10 years she had progress to becoming an executive secretary at a pension company. But this is not the reason why we should vote for her to be our secretary.
Norma had aspirations. These aspirations went beyond the comfortable 9 to 5 and well-paid job she had. She traded in 9 to 546 to midnight. She decided to go back and get a law school degree at U. of T. But this is not the reason why we should vote for her to be our secretary. Norma had the GRIT to return to four years of university. She was able to obtain her law degree. This was followed by one year of articling. All in all Norma dedicated five years to reach your goal. But this is not the reason why we should vote for her to be our secretary.
Norma then returned to the pension company she had worked for as an executive secretary to become a lawyer for the firm. But this is not the reason why we should vote for her to be our secretary. The reason that we should have Norma as our secretary is that for all those years of law school and articling she became an expert at taking notes. In point of fact, Norma also knows shorthand. She can take notes using two hands at the same time.

Treasurer – Daniel Bruch from Michelle Gillies
I haven’t known Dan for long, as a matter of fact I met Dan Bruch right here at Toastmasters, however I feel like he is a lifelong friend. With his icebreaker (and some subsequent speeches) we immediately bonded over the knowledge that only comes from those of us who come from very large families. Last summer we got to know each other better as our paths crossed at various socialnetworking functions while we were looking for our now current jobs. I have come to know Dan to be honest, trustworthy, generous with his time and in general a really decent fellow. Although Dan has been with Toastmasters for under a year, he has already completed five speeches and is progressing quickly through his CC manual. This last winter he jumped n to volunteer to help us put on the annual charter party, even though he had never been to one himself. He is always willing to lend a hand when needed and would like to help support First Oakville Toastmasters by running for the Club Treasurer for the 2010/2011season. In his “real” life Dan has managed large budgets in the past and works for Amex Bank of Canada where he manages channels and special projects with their business development team. I can think of no one better for the job than a man who managed to keep his famiy on track during a difficult time when both he and his wife lost their jobs…at the same time! Although, I am sure the budget was smaller than Amex Bank of Canada, that is no easy feat. That crisis is now over so he will be able to concentrate on First Oakville Toastmasters finances. I am confident that Dan will approach the Club Treasurer position the same way he approaches everything else, with attention to detail, a smile on his face and a kind word.

Sergeant-at-Arms – Beatrice Ten-Thye from Jennifer Czerniak
It is my pleasure to support my new friend Beatrice for Sergeant-At-Arms at First Oakville Toastmasters. Beatrice is new to the club and some of you may know her and others of you may not have had a chance to meet her yet. There are a number of values that Beatrice holds that would make her a great fit for Sergeant-At-Arms. She is very enthusiastic and we discovered this quickly when she came out to First Oakville and decided after one visit to join the club. She is very well organized and always prepared. She has a background in administration as we learned in her recent Icebreaker speech and she will be graduating in a couple of weeks from the Virtual Assistant program where she hopes to partner with small businesses afterward. I believe she is a true team player and would bring her philosophy of partnership in her duties as Sergeant-At-Arms. She is open, honest, and willing to learn, offering the opportunity to seek improvements for more effective meetings. When Beatrice decided to run for Sergeant-At-Arms she told me she wanted to “jump in with both feet” and I believe she will do just that.

NOTE: We will update the photo as soon as we find/take a photo of our VP Public Relations