Club Spotlight: Toastmasters of Westfield

Club: Toastmasters of Westfield

Charter Date: March 1, 1961

Club Members In Their Own Words:

“I joined the Toastmasters of Westfield to help me advance my career. At that time, my direct supervisor at NBA Properties informed me that in order to get promoted to the Director level I needed to feel more comfortable speaking at staff meetings and doing presentations to large audiences. I developed the skills I needed and earned the Director position. Toastmasters has helped me in many aspects of my life professionally and personally. 20 years later I’m still an active participant and mentor.”- Anne Goldman Swartz, DTM

“Toastmasters ‘Keeps Me Coming Back’ – Our Westfield Group had been consistently supportive, warm and dear to me for over 23 years. I joined to become more confident, go after a higher level position in the Auto Industry and later to become a Motivational Speaker for a Major Weight Loss Company.  Communication is the key – never stop!”- Noel Crawford, DTM

“I joined Toastmasters so I can learn to craft my message and deliver it in a meaningful way. The aspects of leadership development were not even something on my radar until I realized they were available to me. Using the communications track as well as the leadership track, I am more confident in personal and business situations. The fact that I have met so many great people who are now my friends is just the icing on the cake.” –Lou Bonanno


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3 Reasons to Join Toastmasters

We all have our reasons for going to our first Toastmasters meeting. Usually, they are some variation of “my boss made me come” or “I want to become a better speaker.” However, those statements don’t explain the benefits of Toastmasters.

Here are 3 reasons to join Toastmasters:

Reason 1: To boost self-esteem. Toastmasters is a friendly environment, which makes it the perfect place to overcome your fear of public speaking and become a confident leader.

Reason 2: Toastmasters rewards milestones and helps you set personal and professional goals. Recognition is earned after your first 5 speeches, after certain leadership roles are completed, and that’s just the beginning. You also get satisfaction from knowing you play an important role in your club.

Reason 3: To meet different people, network, and be part of a community. You’ll make lifelong friends in Toastmasters.

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Meet the District Officers: Willie Markert

Name: William Markert        

Willie’s always busy. Here he is setting up timing lights for a district conference.

Position: Finance Manager

Club(s): Open Door Toastmasters, #681602

Other positions: Treasurer (4X), Area Governor, Division Director, Sergeant-at-Arms, and Club extension chair

How long have you been in Toastmasters? About 13 years

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Meet the Newsletter Team: Janette Alexander

Name: Janette Alexander           

Position: District Newsletter Editor

Club(s): Solix Toastmasters

Other positions: Area 22 Governor, Division A Director

How long have you been in Toastmasters? 7 years

What are your plans for the district/area/division?

I’m looking forward to another exciting year and my aim is to publish informative and interesting stories in the newsletter!

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Meet the Division H Team: Tonia, Bruce, Monica & Alton

Vision: To inspire all Toastmasters of Division H to attain their educational and leadership goals for 2017-2018, through mentoring, recognition and training. Division H will be a distinguished division.

Mission: To ensure every club knows how to create and implement a club success plan. Members will create clearly outlined and goals to earn their communication (CC, ACB, ACS, ACG) and leadership goals (CL, ALB, ALS, DTM). 

Objective 1: We will achieve success by providing the training for VPEs to track member goals using a “VPE notebook” for members who may not have their manuals at club meetings.

Objective 2: We will expand mentoring opportunities both (member to member within clubs) and (member to member from other clubs) within the Division.

Objective 3: We will maintain a base 20 members for each club.

Objective 4: We will add four new clubs to the Division.

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Register for the Fall Conference

Are you ready for the Fall Conference? If you haven’t registered yet, click here to do so. Currently, the price for early registration is 65 dollars, but act fast because the price goes up 5 dollars on September 1st. 

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From Challenge to Opportunity: A Rebrand Gives a Club New Life

In every challenge there is something to be learned and if you can make it out to the other side there are rewards to reap. Rockland Toastmasters is an example of that.

Rockland Toastmasters of Rockland County NY was founded in 2010. At that time it was called Nyack Toastmasters, after the small town the club met in. Throughout the years as the club changed and evolved, the constant was the location, a local library, a favorite to those who walked through the doors as it boasted year round views of the Hudson River and it’s charm reflected the villages vibe of art and community. In 2016, after much thought and consideration, it was decided the club would be changing locations.  

Rockland Toastmasters’ officers at training.

As Toastmasters is a non profit organization, members pay a minimal yearly fee to cover costs and take pride in volunteering their time as officers and filling other various roles within their chapter to ensure the success of their club and personal progression in public speaking. Yearly fees are used for a variety of things- materials for marketing, resources for members, contests, and open houses are typical and needed to make clubs feel well resourced. In the case of Nyack Toastmasters, starting in 2015, these fees were going solely to paying rent for the bi-monthly meetings. With only a small bank account balance, soon it became apparent that the fee was no longer maintainable.

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Club Spotlight: Rockland Toastmasters

Club: Rockland Toastmasters

Charter Date: May 5, 2011 (Formally Nyack Toastmasters)

Distinguished Awards: 2016-2017 Distinguished Club Award

Club Members In Their Own Words:

“I joined Toastmasters because I wanted to improve my public speaking skills and my confidence. I have found the members and leaders very friendly and welcoming for which I’m grateful!” – Isabel Ebrahimi

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Secrets to a Successful Toastmaster Year

How was your last Toastmasters year? Were you able to achieve the goals you set for yourself?

Let me give you some tips and tricks I used to achieve and exceed my goals which made a difference in my past year as a Toastmaster and gave me the opportunity to be one of the 6 speakers in the New York Spring Conference 2017 (Page 20).

    • Write down your goals and set dates to achieve them. Would we ever submit assignments if our teachers didn’t give us deadlines? Turn your inner critic to an inner coach and use the inner critic to guide you to keep to your promises to yourself.
    • Have a mentor/coach. It always helps to have a coach/mentor to guide you. All successful people constantly learn.
    • Visit other clubs and have maximum face time outside your club – get to know people and network with them in Toastmasters settings. The more doors you knock give you a better chance of having more doors being opened for you. Your potential is too big to be confined to your club alone.

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Meet the District Officers: Paula Markert


Su Brooks roasts Paula at the 2017 Hail and Farewell.

Name: Paula Markert

Position: Immediate Past District Director

Club(s): Open Door and GSK Speakeasy

Other positions: Almost everything, except PR and Treasurer.

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