Online Candidates Corner

The following candidates were found to meet the qualifications for office and recommended as nominees in the 2021 District Leadership Committee Advisory Report.

If elected, the candidates would serve for the 2021-22 Toastmasters program year, beginning July 1. Elections for these roles will be held at the District 31 Toastmasters Annual Business on May 15, 2021. Only current District Council members may vote, but anyone may attend. Register to attend as part of CLCON, the District 31 Conference.

You can find an overview of Toastmasters District Executive Committee Roles and Responsibilities here.

Trevor Crippen, DTM, Program Quality Director

Candidate for District Director

The coming year is an exciting time to be a leader and a massive opportunity for us to define the future of Toastmasters.

As venues re-open, it will be exciting to get back some of the elements of in-person meetings that we miss. However, we will not throw away the global connections, convenient lack of travel, and creative opportunities that online Toastmasters has given us. Instead, we will create a new, hybrid Toastmasters experience that will leverage the best of in-person and virtual connections. It will be stronger and more vibrant than either of those experiences on their own. We won’t be going back — we’ll be moving forward.

What will your Toastmasters club look like in a hybrid world? What kind of new and exciting clubs will be born out of a hybrid world? What will it mean for District conferences, contests, and officer training?

In supporting you and your club as District Director, I will prioritize consistent communication, creative events, and building connections — both within the District team and between the District and its clubs. Just as a club’s mission is to build a positive and supportive environment for members to thrive, a District should foster a culture of positivity and support for clubs and for those who have stepped up as leaders to thrive.

Together, we’ll take D31 Toastmasters from its in-person past and virtual present into a vibrant new future that serves our members wherever they are.

Carly Cox, DTM, Division B Director

Candidate for Club Growth Director

When I first joined Toastmasters as a charter member of my corporate club in 2016, it took me 9 months to gather the courage to give my ice breaker speech. Since that first speech, I have grown my communication and leadership skills both through the formal education programs and by serving in club and district leadership roles. Beyond my own growth, I have discovered the joy that I feel when I am able to help someone grow.

Over the past three years, I have volunteered at several sample meetings, served as a club sponsor, club coach, area director, and division director, and participated as a member of the club coach support team. The club I coached went from less than 5 active members to 20 members and President’s Distinguished in less than 16 months. I would now like to take the next step in my Toastmasters leadership journey by becoming Club Growth Director so that I can extend the benefits of my past experiences to even more current and potential Toastmasters clubs and members.

My goal as Club Growth Director would be to help ALL clubs to grow, whether corporate or community, newly chartered or experienced, struggling or strong. I would build a support team of diverse Toastmasters to serve the different types of clubs in District 31, offering resources and training to help address the various challenges experienced around membership. Let’s work together to make District 31 the best place to become a better communicator and leader!

Bethany Hashway, ACS, CL, DL3, Division G Director

Candidate for Public Relations Manager

I’m Bethany Hashway, a nominated candidate for the Public Relations Manager position for the 2021-2022 year. A little background about myself, I have experience in public relations as I’m currently in the role of Vice President of Public Relations in the Rhode Island Active Toastmasters club and assisting on the Public Relations team this year. I previously held this role in my former club, where my responsibility was to make newsletters.

I’m excited to share with you all what I plan to bring to the table if elected to the Public Relations Manager role next year. A few of my priorities include office hours on Zoom where I will be showing the Vice Presidents of Public Relations and members interested in how to create newsletters and press releases, and what to include in a press release. My second is to support and help the clubs build up their social media presence to help them gain more publicity and gain more members. My third goal is to have monthly Facebook Live Videos to go over how Facebook can be helpful to the clubs including how to create a Facebook event for upcoming meetings and also explain how taking pictures can help clubs promote themselves as well as making flyers for meetings.

If elected as the Public Relations Manager I plan to have a public relations team in place to help me support these clubs throughout the year.

Thank you all for your time and consideration!

Beri Recher, ACB, ALB, PI4, Division I Director

Candidate for Public Relations Manager

I’m Beri Recher, current Division I Director and nominated candidate for Public Relations Manger in the 2021-2022 Toastmaster year.

As a Division Director I’ve heard from many people who struggle to either retain or gain new members for their club. Longing for the time when we can once again meet in person and shake someone’s hand. I’m here to tell you we don’t need to wish for the past. We, as Toastmasters, need to look to the future and discover new ways to inspire our current and future members.

Over this past year, I along with my guidance committee were able to double our club membership. How were we able to do this? Using social media and working with other groups we inspired others to join our club and start their Toastmasters journey.

Many changes are coming. Whether your club remains virtual or moves to a hybrid meeting. In either case, Public Relations plays a key factor in the success of your club. I look forward to serving you and our District as your Public Relations Manager. Vote for me, Beri Recher to be your next Public Relations Manager for District 31 and allow me to inspire you!

Stephanie Mancuso, DL5, Area 12 Director

Candidate for Division A Director

My purpose for joining Toastmasters was to help enhance and grow my leadership skills which would in turn help prepare me for the next step in my professional career. When I joined Toastmasters in 2019 I came in with very little knowledge about the organization and the benefits it had to offer. Without much experience or knowledge of the organization, a few short months later I decided to go “all in” and become president of my club, Toastmasters of Ballardvale. My purpose for becoming president early on was to gain everything that Toastmasters had to give while also giving back to my club at the same time. Going into the next Toastmaster year I decided to continue on my journey and move on to the role of Area Director. I felt that this role would continue to help me in my desire to enhance my leadership skills, but I could also help more clubs in expanding my role. As a Division Director, I believe I would be able to share my unique experience of joining a struggling club, becoming president early on and helping it grow to a President’s Distinguished club. I look forward to the challenge of working with Area Directors to help them grow and develop so that they can in turn support their clubs growth. My intention is to continue to embrace these opportunities as they come, give back as much as I can to Toastmasters and in turn grow my leadership skills.

David Lintz, ACB, ALB, DL5, Immediate Past Area 31 Director

Candidate for Division C Director

I’m honored to have been nominated, and I’m looking forward to the challenge of serving, as Division C Director, if elected. My qualifications include having served as the President of an advanced club, an officer in two Division C clubs, an Area Director and a Mentor for two new clubs, as well as having organized speech contests at the club and Area levels and having led three Capture the Traveling Gavel Raids.

It’s obvious we are about to start a pivotal year for District 31 as we transition back (hopefully) to in-person meetings at some point during the year. Too many people who were members of clubs at the start of the 2019-2020 Toastmasters year decided that they were not interested in participating on a virtual basis. By the time we get back to in-person meetings, the people who dropped out when we went virtual will have been away for at least eighteen months. They will be out of the habit of attending meetings and they may have found other activities to take the place of Toastmasters.

To return to a vibrant path, our club officers will need to make the Toastmasters experience so compelling that current members will want to remain, former members will want to return and new members will want to join. Working with the outstanding team of Area Directors that I expect to recruit, I see our role as proactively (but not overbearingly) giving the Division C clubs the support and encouragement they need to thrive.

Veera Raghavendra Sriram, DTM, Area 31 Director

Candidate for Division E Director

As Division E Director I would like to work on three main focus areas, membership retention, membership growth, and club growth.

Membership Retention
A major driving point to retain members would be to enhance and improve evaluations. We will be conducting bi-weekly workshops on evaluations. This will help our members get constructive feedback which will help them see value in continuing Toastmasters.

Membership Growth
I strongly believe membership growth is a shared responsibility, and every member needs to work towards membership growth. To help facilitate membership growth we will introduce a program called “Each One Bring One”; each member needs to invite a friend or family member to the club. For corporate clubs, we would request our members to invite peers.

In addition, we will be conducting a relay Youth Leadership Program (YLP) in each of the 5 areas in our Division, to give young leaders the opportunity to hone their leadership and communication skills. This will create a pipeline for future members. This will also give parents an opportunity to join Toastmasters. We aim to add 50 new members via our YLP program.

Club Growth
Our Division will only grow if we are able to add more clubs. We aim to add 5 new clubs in our Division. To help facilitate club growth we will be conducting a relay Speech Craft sessions in our Division, to give leaders in our community to hone their leadership and communication skills and later join any of our 20 clubs.

Marlene Clapp, IP3, Area 61 Director

Candidate for Division F Director

I have greatly valued serving as Area 61 Director this past year. It has allowed me to build my planning, leadership, and communication skills. Moreover, I have really enjoyed getting to know the members of the clubs in my area. It gives me great satisfaction to feel that I am helping to boost their clubs’ success. I would like to continue to advance in my service as Division F Director.

This past year, I brought the clubs in my area together for a joint virtual area open house. Because I know the power of building trust through building relationships, as Area 61 Director, I also visited each club in my area at least twice during both the fall and spring terms. I enjoyed the chance to contribute to the meetings during visits. For example, during spring contest season, I helped a club by compiling a tips sheet for holding online contests and then serving as timer at their club contest.

It gives me great satisfaction to support others to meet their goals. My professional work as an institutional effectiveness director involves data analysis and the tracking of success in meeting goals. I also appreciate and seek out feedback in the spirit of continuous improvement.

Thank you for your consideration of me as a candidate for Division F Director!

Jesse Welty, DTM, Immediate Past Area 84 Director

Candidate for Division H Director

My fellow Toastmasters,

The last year has reminded us that we can’t dictate a timeline for challenges, only whether we are willing to rise to them. Embracing the pivot to online meetings has taught us skills the Toastmasters Educational program could never have foreseen—and let us reimagine what our Toastmasters clubs can be.

In 2020, I saw firsthand the power of leaders to set the tone for our organization. Indeed, with the constraints of geography removed, your club’s culture has become all the more important.

As I encouraged my members to consider a club office, I found myself encouraged to run for District office. The idea of declining but expecting my club’s members to accept the call bothered me. I decided to run because it’s the right thing to do, and because I know that I am qualified. Even so, I have been so touched to hear words of support from many of my Toastmasters colleagues. I am honored to accept the nomination for Division H Director. As a District leader, you will find in me someone who believes in equity, respect, self-awareness, and above all, an openness to opportunities in the year to come.

It’s tempting to think that the coming year will be dedicated to recalling our lapsed membership from the diaspora—but that ignores the possibilities we’ve uncovered through the last few months. I am asking you to join me in saying “yes” to possibilities. Vote Jesse Welty for Division H Director on Saturday May 15th.

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