Hi, I’m Danna Baida, District 31Division H Director
I have been a member of Toastmasters for about 9 years in different areas of the country. What I like most about Toastmasters is the opportunity to meet wonderful people and learn new things from every person I meet.
In my Division H Director role, I would like to help my members and clubs thrive by maintaining open communication between the club, area, division, and district leadership. I also want to provide clubs with the support they need within our Toastmasters community to adapt to the changes in the learning experience brought by Pathways.
I first heard about Toastmasters at an Open House event for a corporate club in Ohio, where I was doing an internship as part of my Master’s degree. After completing my internship, I found a community club where I could continue learning and improving my skills.
I wore many hats in several clubs in Cincinnati. At the Cincinnati Toastmasters club #472, I was VP of Membership, President, and for three years, Treasurer. I was a charter member and club sponsor for the Cincinnati Toastados club and a member of the Seven Hills of Cincinnati Toastmasters club too. In District 40, I was also the Area 53 Governor.
About 3 years ago, I moved to Boston. One of the first things I did after moving here was to look for a new Toastmasters club where I would be able to meet new people. I found my new home and friends at the Sun Life Club.
I now belong to two clubs where I’ve held several roles. At the Sun Life Club in Wellesley, MA, I was VP of Education. At the JP Toastmasters in Jamaica Plain, MA, I’m currently Treasurer and previously was a charter member, club mentor, and VP of Education. In District 31, I have held the roles of Area 81 Director and the District’s Logistics Manager. I have also been a member of the District 31 Leaders club.
My most rewarding experience with Toastmasters has been becoming a District leader and gaining leadership skills beyond my club.
The greatest challenge I have faced in Toastmasters is the realization that people do things differently, and clubs do things differently. When I first took on a district leadership role it was hard for me to come around to the idea that not all the clubs do things the same way as my club. The solution was accepting the differences and learning to enjoy them while supporting club leadership and members in whatever they were doing.
One of the Toastmasters projects that I’m most proud of is when I worked on starting a new community club in Jamaica Plain – JP Toastmasters. I was the club’s initiator and mentor. I have been working with the club’s leadership to bring Toastmasters to the community. I have also been helping our neighbors in Jamaica Plain and surrounding neighborhoods improve their communication and leadership skills.
Toastmasters helped me gain the confidence I needed to leave behind a 20-year career that I no longer enjoyed and to start a brand new career in a new industry.