D31 History

District 31 Fun Historical Facts

  • District 31 became a recognized District in 1950-51, led by its first District Governor, Leonard Fish
  • District 31 was the first Toastmasters International District organized in New England
  • District 31 has garnered many Distinguished District Awards and Presidential Citations
  • We have supported contestants in the World Championship of Public Speaking Contest
  • Our District is home to the youngest District Governor, Ben Lappen, DTM (24) along with the oldest District Governor, Charles V. Keane, DTM (97), a member from 1953 to 2008.
  • The District 31 web page was introduced in 1995
  • Two of the original clubs are still active: Quincy Club #675, and the Quannapowitt Club #849
  • Nine years after Toastmasters International admitted women as members, District 31 elected the first woman District Governor: Bettye Lewis-Underhill, DTM, served in 1982-1983
  • In 1967, District 31 attained its current geographical area, which includes eastern Massachusetts and the Rhode Island.

World Championship of Public Speaking

Districts around the world send a representative to compete at the annual International convention for the title of World Champion of Public Speaking.

Here are our known representatives who made it to the finals:

  • 2011: Stuart Pink placed third in Orlando, FL
  • 2010: Mary Cheyne placed second in Mashantucket, CT
  • 2009: Katherine E. Morrison, Ph.D. placed third in Calgary, Canada
  • 2007: Vikas Jhingran, while an MIT graduate student working towards his PhD, won the World Champion of Public Speaking in Phoenix, AZ. He represented Humor & Drama Toastmasters (club # 7831).
  • 2005: Mack Mercer was a finalist in Toronto, Canada
  • 2003: David Sanfacon placed second in the world in Atlanta, GA
  • 2002: Terry Schutt, DTM was a finalist in San Antonio, TX
  • 2001: Darren La Croix became the World Champion of Public Speaking at the International Convention in Anaheim, CA. Darren’s win motivated and energized District 31. He has continued to support our members with visits, workshops and training sessions.
  • 1998: Dacia Jones Nickerson, DTM, competed on the world stage in Palm Desert, CA
  • No International finalists 1980-1998
  • 1980: Dan Blake from the Attleboro Club, now named Achievers Club #1625 – convention at Minneapolis, MN
  • Late 1950’s: George Bissel from the old Newton Club

 

Past District Governors and Directors

2017 – 2018 Anna Kaufman, DTM
2016 – 2017 Stefano McGhee, DTM, PDG
2015 – 2016 Rick Winer, DTM
2014 – 2015 Doug Sheadel, DTM
2013 – 2014 Y.S. Kim, DTM
2012 – 2013 Stefano McGhee, DTM
2011 – 2012 Ben Lappen, DTM
2010 – 2011 Bil Lewis, DTM
2009 – 2010 Sherri Raftery, DTM
2008 – 2009 Bash Turay, DTM, PID
2007 – 2008 Cherylle Garnes, DTM
2006 – 2007 Deb Cartier, DTM
2005 – 2006 Tom Weber, DTM
2004 – 2005 Chris Lowe, DTM
2003 – 2004 Charlie Keane, DTM
2002 – 2003 Paul Fisher, DTM
2001 – 2002 Ruth Levitsky, ATMG, ALB
2000 – 2001 Victor Carbone, DTM
1999 – 2000 Allan Schmidt, ATMB
1998 – 1999 Marjorie Schutt, DTM
1997 – 1998 Ulysse Maillet, DTM
1996 – 1997 Stephen Licari, CTM
1995 – 1996 Daniel Jones, DTM
1994 – 1995 Carmen Lowe, DTM
1993 – 1994 David McIlhenny, DTM
1992 – 1993 Chuck Taylor, DTM
1991 – 1992 Carole Downey, DTM
1990 – 1991 Bash Turay, DTM, PID
1989 – 1990 Ted Verdone, DTM

Member and Club Growth

In 1974, we had 39 clubs with a total of 650 members. By 1979, the District membership grew to 926 members in 51 clubs. Membership grew from 1,018 members in 53 clubs in 1980 to 2,076 members in 97 clubs in 1989. As membership increased, the District increased its number of divisions. In 1980, District 31 was organized into four divisions – North, South, Central, and West and subdivided into 12 areas. This growth eventually led to the expansion to six divisions (A-F) by July 1983. In July 2013, the District was aligned into eight divisions with the number of clubs approaching 200. 2017-2018 was the first year with nine divisions.

Special Thanks

A special thanks to Bruce Pyne, who provided much of this historical information from his archives.

 

Toastmasters International History

Click here to read about the history of Toastmasters, from its beginning in 1924 to present day.