On May 17, 2008, I was elected Division C Governor for the new Toastmasters District 83. From July 2008 to June 2009, I will be helping 30 Toastmasters clubs in the central New Jersey area, along with five Area Governors. My theme for the year will be “Leaders Speak”.
Toastmasters promotes public speaking and leadership, and I have seen the strong link between the two in my own experience as a volunteer and a professional. Toastmasters has inspired me to do more than just think and reflect. In becoming a leader, I got up and spoke, sharing my ideas and reflections. I hope more people in the Division will do the same.
Division Governor is a District Officer role in Toastmasters. The volunteer-based hierarchy puts the member at the top of the organization chart. Members belong to clubs, which have Club Officers. Area Governors support the Club Officers. Division Governors support the Area Governors. The Toastmasters District has several different officers, all of whom help the Division Governors. Districts elect Regional Board of Directors, who ultimately elect the Toastmasters Interntational President. Unlike most org charts, the President is at the very bottom of the hierarchy, except in his or her role as Member, where he or she is at the very top. It is a pleasure to be in middle-management in an organization like Toastmasters.
My hope is to see all the leaders speak in Division C. I hope that the five Area Governors in the Division will all speak often, and inspire those around them. I hope to see them inspire the Club Officers to speak often, which will inspire all the Members to speak and perhaps serve as leaders next year. If “Leaders Speak” then I think the members will be served. I see too many Toastmasters leaders say, “I don’t have time to speak anymore. I want to let the newer members speak.” I think we should all inspire each other to lead and grow by continuing to practice, even after we have gained experience as speakers. If we run the clubs and the meetings well, then we will all have plenty of time to speak — new members and experienced ones.
Toastmasters District 83 includes Northern New Jersey, Staten Island, and a small piece of upstate New York. It was formed when District 46 split along the Hudson River. District 46 used to include New York City, Long Island, and Northern New Jersey.
Division C in District 83 includes 30 clubs along the Route 78 corridor, Hunterdon County, and Sommerset County in New Jersey. It includes the towns around Union, Warren, Bridgewater, and Clinton.