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Welcome to Division B Toastmasters 2017 – 2018
Division Theme: “Meaningful Membership”
Division B Director
|Area B1 Director
Dan Collier, ACS, CL
|Area B2 Director
Catrina Paez, ACB, CL
|Area B3 Director
Wendee Smith, ACS, ALB
|Area B4 Director
Ben Swihart, ACS, CL
|Area B5 Director
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“What on earth is Division B Toastmasters and what has it got to do with me?”
Division B Serves the Toastmaster clubs in the Ventura area!
Ralph C. Smedley wrote his first Toastmasters publication in 1928 to provide a small group of club members a framework for learning public speaking skills. He would be proud of the success of the education program offered by the organization today.
It was with the same goal of member support that Toastmasters Pathways development team designed Toastmasters Pathways using the most current research in adult learning. The focus on the future was important, but it wasn’t the only consideration. We also looked back to the origins of Toastmasters and the vision of its founder.
In developing Pathways, much time was spent reviewing current educational content. The team wanted to be sure the wisdom in the current program and Smedley’s vision continued on—well-placed and relevant in the new program. In an effort to understand the full intent of the current manuals, we took the time to review Smedley’s original writing.
With a great deal of pleasure, we discovered how well Smedley’s view of the education program was aligned with the organization’s vision for Pathways. First and foremost, the new education program is for and about you, the member. At its core, it is designed to develop members’ public speaking skills. It is also focused on helping you identify and nourish other, possibly latent, skills and talents.
Smedley believed that by building and practicing public speaking skills, other skills would be uncovered and developed. His hope for all Toastmasters members was that they would go on in their lives with enhanced confidence and leadership, thinking and listening skills. To this end, he included very few parameters around the projects in his manual. His view appears to be that the work of developing topics, speeches and the content belonged to the member.
Being a member of a Toastmasters Club is a meaningful experience for me and has been my entire adult life. For nearly 40 years I have participated in and been the beneficiary of invaluable help from members of Toastmasters clubs in Texas, New Mexico, and California. In my early twenties, it was the relationships I developed and training I was so fortunate to receive from Toastmasters that ultimately led me into a life-altering business and life-long friendships that continue to pay dividends and enhance my life these many years later. Anytime I made a substantial move in my life, I connected with a Toastmasters Club. For me, Toastmasters has been a continual touchstone that always grounds me in the most important ethics and principals I think one should live by – respect, cooperation, and service. This is why I chose the theme Meaningful Membership. When our members experience a positive and supportive learning environment that is relevant to their own lives, they grow and so do we. Membership flourishes in clubs that keep the aims of their members first. I hope you will join me and our outstanding Division B Area Directors, Catrina, Ben, Dan, and Jason in making this year a meaningful one for District 33.
The story above about Ralph Smedley can be found at: https://www.toastmasters.org/magazine/articles/moving-forward-by-honoring-the-past
Looking for a club? Check out the: Division B club page