Our Award Winning Year

Presidential Distinguished

Sault Ste. Marie’s oldest Toastmasters club, Algoma Toastmasters Club 2648, has a big announcement to make. This week we celebrated the end of our year and a big accomplishment, our new status as a Presidential Distinguished Club! As a club, we are incredibly proud of this accomplishment as it is the first time that we have achieved this status in our known history, at least 26 years. How did we manage to succeed this year?
The pandemic was a scary thing for our club. We had just secured a beautiful new meeting space in our Civic Centre, and soon after we moved in, we needed to stop meeting in person. With the quick thinking and adaptability of our Club President, Matthew Lance, we were able to quickly take our meetings online via Zoom. Although there have been challenges, we think that this move was an overall success for our club. Not only have we gotten guests to attend, but we have also been lucky enough to have had new members sign up while we’ve been completely virtual.
Our 2019-2020 VP of Education, Ryan Walker, is an expert in the Pathways system and has been instrumental in encouraging our members to start on their paths. Due to his efforts this year, we have had 4 members finish their level one and 3 members finish their level two. Our President, Matthew Lance, also deserves major kudos for his outreach to potential members and guests. We have been so successful with recruiting new members this year, 12 to date! Our club Treasurer, Rosanne Chan, also needs a shout-out for getting all of our membership renewals and dues in on time.
Another big reason for our success is that two of our long-standing members received their DTM’s this year, as they pushed to finish up their legacy programs to begin with Pathways. Kudos to George Mcvittie DTM, and Ryan Walker DTM, for reaching that amazing milestone! Not only are we proud to have two Distinguished Toastmasters in our club, but we are very grateful that they gave us the points we needed to push us over the edge and make Presidential Distinguished status.
On the evening of June 24th, during our regular scheduled meeting, we celebrated with a Presidential Distinguished theme, and encouraged our members to wear something fun. We had three special guests in attendance, Colleen and Phil from the North Bay and Area Toastmasters club in North Bay, and our current Area Director, Andrea Reibmayr. Their support was instrumental in our success, and we are so glad that they came to celebrate with us on this amazing occasion, and to share their kind words! We enjoyed a full meeting including 2 speeches, and ended off with “Post Toasties”, a chance for us to socialize and to toast to another award winning year ahead!

OTM Oakville TM Virtual Open House & 2019-20 Year End Celebration


Own the Moment (OTM) Oakville Toastmasters held a very successful multi-purpose meeting event on June 18th. It was a unique, global virtual meeting, delivered through the ZOOM platform. It was billed as a Virtual Open House & 2019-2020 Year End Celebration. Truly, it was a night to remember down the road. The Meeting theme was: A Celebration of Club & Members Excellence.

The planning started more than a couple of weeks ago, under the watchful direction of President Josephine Mballa. Most Club Members were on deck, either during the planning, implementation and execution of our extravaganza event. This very much contributed to enhance the friendship and team spirit that permeate throughout our members, who are coming from diverse background and professional affiliation.


The Meeting Agenda had all the aspects of a regular meeting, namely one Prepared Speech (TM Sasha-Li Chinloy), Table Topics, and Evaluation for the speech, by Dr Farzana Chohan, DTM, Region 5 Advisor (from Missouri). Dr Natalia Lishchyna, Ward 6 Town of Oakville Councillor presented OTM with a congratulatory letter on behalf of Town of Oakville Council. TM Florina Hogiu made sure that all participants were able to think on their feet. Games Chair TM Elvis Gregov had all participants fully engaged in an online version of Jeopoardy.


The June 18th Special Event met multiple objectives:

  • Open House Showcasing Typical Meeting to Potential Members
  • Recognition of New Members (including TB Joining During Pandemic)
  • Recognition of Members Educational Successes
  • Recognition of Past Club Executives
  • Celebration of OTM President’s Distinguished Club Award
  • Celebration of OTM Gold Online Ovation Education Award
  • Transition Phase and Handover to Incoming Club Executives


  • Sasha-Li Chinloy, Area D83 Director
  • Katia Miropolskaia, Area E03 Director
  • Sasha-Li Chinloy, Organiser of Happy Oakville Interclub Summit for Toastmasters
  • George How, Chief Judge at District 60 Area G63, Judge at District 60 Online Division G
  • George How, District 86 Public Relations Team, Social Media Chair


The Incoming Club Executives have their work cut out for them. OTM Oakville Toastmasters have achieved President’s Distinguished Club status three years in a row, since chartering on April 11, 2017. They need to have a strategic plan that maps out the drive towards continued club excellence, service to the Club and its Members so that OTM continues to inspire and motivate Toastmasters in the community. For further information on OTM, visit www.oakvilletoastmasters.com


OTM Oakville Toastmasters Virtual Global Open House & 2019-2020 Year End Celebration was a highly successful event. Kudos to Organising Committee, led by President Josephine Mballa. OTM exceeded what we aimed for in terms of Key Success Factors (KSF). The Blue Ribbon Guest List included Dr Natalia Lishchyna, Town of Oakville Ward 6 Councillor, and Tom Adams, PEng, Councillor for Town of Oakville Ward 6, and Councillor for Halton Region. It is worth noting that Dr Lishchyna was at the Club Inaugural Launch Meeting on February 9, 2017, and at our Club Charter Party on June 22, 2017.

District Leaders attending included amongst others (a) Angela Ho, DTM, District 60 Division G Director; remaining all from District 86, (b) Som Bhattacharjee, Former PRM (c) Albert Chang, DTM, Former Area Director (d) Renata Noronha, Former Area Director (e) Sasha-Li Chinloy, Area D83 Director (f) Katia Miroploskaia Area E03 Director (g) George How Pak Hing, DTM, Former Area Director.

We are grateful for the continued support of TM Lily Wang (MCEBT), TM Olga Lagounova (Horizon), TM Lin Tian, Former OTM Member, Sharon Kaur, Former Charter Member, Guests Philip & Carol Wong, and Guest Dr Anil Dev Chiniah (Mauritius).

We acknowledge the tremendous support of our fellow Toastmasters from the many Clubs (Great Minds Advanced, Horizon, Miracle Chinese English Bilingual, Port Credit), and non-Toastmasters that came in to our Special Event.

George How Pak Hing, PEng, DTM
OTM Oakville Toastmasters Founder
Submitted June 21, 2020


Hilltop Toastmasters Presents

Audience Choice Humourous Speech Festival

How long has it been since you've had a good laugh?

Eight Amazing Speakers | Absolutely Free | You Pick The Winners

Check out the festival Speakers!

Alexandre Matte is one of those rare storytellers that can transport you to the time and the place he is describing.
Two-time District 86 champion at the international Speech Contest, Alexandre finished 2nd place in the world semi final in 2012.
After 15 years managing finances of cultural organizations, most recently as Director of Finance of the oldest cultural centre in French Ontario, he transitioned from counting to speaking.
At home, Alexandre practices the art of storytelling with his most difficult audience, his 2 seven-year-old girls.



Certified World Class Speaking Coach
District 86 Speakers Bureau
District 86 2019 International Speech Champion
Region 6 2019 International Speech 2nd Place winner
District 86 2016-2017 President of the Year Award Recipient
Founder and Club Counselor of Mississauga Gavel Club, a youth public speaking club affiliated with Toastmasters 



Cal Lockhart is retired, or as he prefers a “Gainfully Unemployed” Professional Engineer. He worked in private industry for 18 years, mostly in Mechanical Engineering. He joined the federal public service and practiced Civil Engineering for 22 years with Indian & Northern Affairs Canada.
He attended his 1st Toastmasters meeting in the spring of 1960 and his 2nd in the spring of 2012. Immediately he realized the greatest mistake of his life – the waste of those 52 years.
He is a member of 3 clubs, Speak to Inspire, Brampton Alpha and Raising Champions Advanced Toastmasters club.



Kim Bernard loves to talk! If she can put a smile on your face for just a bit with her stories then, as she says, her job is done! Laughter is the best medicine and we sure need it during these trying times.
Kim has been in Toastmasters for over 2 year and helped start the new club at William Parkway Operations Centre. She is currently the VP Education…..for the 2nd term now…. she didn’t get it right the first time….. twice a charm as they say!




He joined Toastmasters in March 2014 to improve his communication skills and quickly discovered Toastmasters also had leadership training. In July 2014, he accepted a club officer role and benefitted both as a communicator and leader. In 6 years as a Toastmasters he has served as Sergeant at Arms, VP Public Relations, VP Education, Club President, Area Director, Spring Conference Photography Chair, District 86 Photographer, New Club Mentor and Club Coach.
He has received his Triple Crown for the past 3 consecutive years. When Pathways rolled out in District 86, he embraced the change. He is Visionary Communication proficient and is working on Level 4 of Innovative Planning and Presentation Mastery.


Rowan Faludi has been a Toastmaster for over 10 years. He has competed in speech contests, multiple times on the District Stage. He loves giving humorous speeches and has compiled material from all over the world. He is also an accomplished Scuba Diver and underwater photographer and enjoys sharing his experiences with his audience.
When he is not diving or engaging in Toastmasters activities, he is an economist and urban planner, and helped to start a well known land economics firm in downtown Toronto. 



Stephen Elliot has been with Toastmasters for 7 years. He is a member of Port Credit Toastmasters and Great Minds Advanced Toastmasters. Stephen feels blessed to have discovered Toastmasters as the organization as given him so much.
Stephen is the proud father to Derek and James. Being a Dad brings him joy and wonder and the occasional grey hair. Stephen has been told he has a face for radio and has recently been pursuing becoming a voice over talent.
Stephen lives in Mississauga and is the co-founder of e3 Toronto, a company that helps youth and professionals find their voice.




Tuula Redditt has been a toastmaster for 13 years and is presently the President for Speak to Inspire Toastmasters Club #972044. In 2018-2019 she was awarded the Toastmaster of the Year award for District 86 and looks forward to giving back in any way she can throughout the District.
Tuula is on Level 2 of her Engaging Humor Path.

Toastmasters Branding Advanced CANVA Workshop


Toastmasters District 20 and Resources for Toastmasters (RTF) Facebook Group hosted a first and unique Toastmasters Branding Workshop from Kuwait City on Wednesday, 27 May via the ZOOM video conference platform. On the heels of that very successful workshop, Training Team conducted an Advanced CANVA Workshop on Thursday, 11 June. These passionate CANVA Trainers were: DTM Cajetan Barretto, TM Roshan Lewis, TM Naram Alaradi, and TM Bijal Karia. One interesting feature was the inclusion of Jess Ruyter, London-based CANVA Product Design Manager to ensure CANVA was used appropriately. The audience were fellow Toastmasters from Toastmasters Districts, in a Public Relations role and function at the Club level, at the District level worldwide.

Workshop Learning Objectives include: (1) CANVA Elements (2) CANVA in Action (3) CANVA Tools (4) CANVA App in Mobile (5) CANVA Hands-On. The entire workshop was conducted using tools from the basic free CANVA. Even though there are far greater tools, features and storage with the subscription CANVA PRO, it is not essential to go for that expensive option. The Learning Objectives for the Experienced Users includes: Start creating branding program for participant own District, and respective Clubs.

Training Team continued with their novel learning model by getting the participants to join a specially created WhatsApp Group 10 days prior to the workshop. There were such interest that the number was limited to a maximum of 256 participants, a feature of WhatsApp upper limit. The participants were users with some exposure, experienced users, and those in between. There were many opportunities for the group to share thoughts and experience in Toastmasters branding, content creation, and everyday challenges. The WhatsApp Group Members benefitted greatly from the feedback that the trainers provided to the participants individual attempts or submissions. Training Team went beyond the call of duty, by being available before and after the workshop!

All in all, the Training Team displayed leadership by providing exceptional initiatives and services to the Toastmasters Community. So proud to be experiencing first hand - Toastmasters Helping Toastmasters, previously in a basic CANVA Workshop, and now in the Advanced CANVA Workshop. We can all learn and aspire to become a better brand ambassador, to strengthen the brand and be compliant. To summarise on the impact of the Basic CANVA Workshop and Advanced CANVA Workshop - It has ripple effects on Toastmasters Branding worldwide.

For those who miss the workshop, as well as those who were at the workshop and want to go back and try the hands-on, there is indeed opportunity to learn from watching (and re-watching) the 2-hour workshop, that was recorded (https://youtu.be/h7R-9v71ngo).

Acknowledgements: (1) Trainer DTM Cajetan Barretto, Division F Director Elect, District 20 (2) Trainer TM Roshan Lewis (3) Trainer TM Maram Alaradi (4) Trainer TM Bijal Karia (5) DTM Ali Shabaz Region 11 Advisor, Past District Director 20 (6) DTM Noor Mohammad, Resources for Toastmasters Facebook Group Administrator (7) DTM Wafaa Salman, District Director 20 (8) DTM Mohamed Saleem, District Director 20 Elect (9) TM Priscilla Dias, Workshop Chat Monitor & Quality Assurance (10) Jess Ruyter, CANVA Product Design Manager, based in London, UK.

George How Pak Hing, PEng, DTM
OTM Oakville Toastmasters, Club Founder
Area Director of the Year, 2016-2017
Blog Submitted June 15, 2020

President's Distinguished ... so close!

 Is your club struggling to get one last member to achieve the 20 member mark?

Consider being a dual member for a struggling club. Your club might be one of the many clubs struggling to get that one last member to join to achieve distinguished status. It's not too late to call around to see if other clubs can help out and become a dual member.

Membership costs may be lower now with the pandemic without the cost of expensive room rental fees. Consider giving an incentive (bare minimum cost to join) for the month of June. Create a contact list with your executive of past members or members of other clubs who have been visiting your club that might be able to afford to be a dual member. Perhaps a last minute FUN-raiser for a struggling member who cannot afford to renew.

Your club has worked very hard to achieve education awards, training officers and you might even be one member away from receiving President's Distinguished. How unfortunate would it be if your club failed to achieve this last member.

As the VP of membership for our club Speak to Inspire we achieved 2 DTM awards, 16 additional education awards, all officers were trained, officer list was put through on time and over this year we had 4 new members join our club. Our only weak point is we are 3 members away from 20. As a plan of action we have an incentive to join this month with a minimum fee for new members, reinstated members and dual members. A plan to help struggling members to renew is in place with a FUN-raiser to gather funds for these 2 members. We are looking forward to achieving President's Distinguished again this year. As in coming President I have great plans for the future of our club to give our members an opportunity to achieve personal success and be the inspiring mentors that our club produces, and to achieve an amazing success plan for our club. GO Speak to Inspire GO!

Tuula Redditt DTM, MSP, EH1
VP Membership 2019-2020
Speak to Inspire TM

Open Letter to Area D-83

Congrats on meeting your goals this year! You and your club members showed great agility and determination.

  • Horizons is on track for President's Distinguished and achieved the new Silver Online Ovation Education Award (4 Education DCP) - on track for Gold
  • Glen Abbey has achieved President's Distinguished, the new Gold Online Ovation Education Award (6 Education DCP), Membership Resiliency Award (net growth of 1 or more)
  • Sheridan Toastmasters on track to achieve Distinguished status (membership targets to be met soon), on track to achieve Silver Online Ovation (3 out of 4 education DCP goals), and has met the new Membership Resiliency Award (lag in TI updates)
  • Own the Moment Toastmasters has met Presidents' Distinguished, the new Gold Online Ovation Education Award
  • Triple Crown award to ME- Sasha-Li - thanks to everyone for contributing their time to my HOIST event for my HPL- Happy Oakville Interclub Summit for Toastmasters (Lou/ Louis - First Oakville and Trafalgar are interested in participating next year)
  • Area 83 has achieved Select Distinguished Area
  • DTM hopefuls - Katia, Sasha-Li, Prashant

Look at you guys with all your fancy awards!

It's a very busy time of the year. Horizons, Glen Abbey, Sheridan Trafalgar, and Own the Moment are all planning End Of Year Online meetings to recognize the wonderful member and club achievements.
I have visited club online meetings for Horizons, Sheridan Trafalgar, and Own the Moment. I owe Glen Abbey a visit. Celebrate in ZOOM style!

Welcome to the incoming Division D Director - Lou Mulligan and incoming Area 83 Director - Louis Li.

We all appreciate the efforts you have put in to achieve the long list of accomplishments. Please take time to relax. With Louis, I have shared the Area Director reports, Area Success Plan, and Club Success Plans for the 2019/2020 year. With all these resources, Louis has plenty to make his first draft of his Area Success Plan. This is a live document that can be updated. It is understood not to expect progress on the Club Success Plans for the 2020/2021 until after July 14, 2020. Anything before is a bonus.

Congrats to all! Let's celebrate all we have accomplished as individuals, clubs, and as an Area.

TableTopics idea - Sheridan Trafalgar had a great TableTopics where the TTmaster flashed a topic and participants had to come up with conspiracy theory. I thought this was such a fun idea!

Thanks - Area Director, Sasha-Li Chinloy, ACS ALB

Toastmasters Branding Online Global Workshop

George How4District 20 and Resources for Toastmasters Facebook Group hosted a unique and amazing Toastmasters Branding Workshop on Wednesday, 27 March via the ZOOM video conference platform. The Workshop were conducted by Certified Trainer TM Cajetan Barretto from Kuwait, and Certified Trainer TM Verna Bonaby from Bahamas. Why unique Workshop? The audience were fellow Toastmasters from worldwide Toastmasters Districts, in a Public Relations role and function at the Club level, at the District level.

COVID-19 has been a challenging time for the whole world, including the Toastmasters International organisation. Toastmasters have been resolute and resourceful. Lockdown has been an opportunity for Toastmasters to connect with like-minded Toastmasters around the world via online meetings. Various Districts have already carried out their Annual Business Meeting via online format. It is also an opportunity for Toastmasters to learn something new, something productive when we are in a confined mode. This specific workshop was an opportunity for Toastmasters worldwide to learn about Toastmasters Branding.

Workshop Learning Objectives include: (1) Brand Color Palette (2) Logo (3) Fonts (4) Images (5) CANVA Hands-On. With a diverse audience, the Learning Outcome for the Novice Users includes: Start creating content that gives priority to branding guidelines; the Learning Objectives for the Experienced Users includes: Start creating branding program for participant own District.

Training Team decided to make the workshop a unique learning experience by getting participants to join a specially-created WhatsApp Group 10 days prior to the workshop, where there were some preparatory work. There were such enthusiastic interest that the number was capped to a maximum of 256 participants, a feature of WhatsApp upper limit. The participants were new users, experienced users, and those in between. There were countless opportunities for the group to share information, thoughts and experience in Toastmasters branding, content creation, and everyday challenges. The whole group benefitted from group osmosis and the feedback that the Training Team provided to the participants individual attempts and submissions.

The actual Workshop was well attended by over 200 plus eager participants. One can safely say that it was likely one of the largest group of like-minded members, coming together virtually from different parts of the world, focussed on Toastmasters brand awareness. At the end, there were lively sessions on Q&A on both TM Baretto’s and TM Bonaby’s presentations. The Chat Monitor compiled all queries to ensure that all were addressed. There is so much more to learn and explore by spending time on the Toastmasters International/Resources/Brand Portal Section, and CANVA Design Tool as reference starting point.

All in all, the Training Team displayed leadership by providing exceptional initiatives and services to the Toastmasters Community. So proud to be experiencing first hand - Toastmasters Helping Toastmasters. We can all learn and aspire to become a better brand ambassador, to strengthen the brand and be compliant. To summarise on the impact of the Toastmasters Branding Global Online Workshop - It has ripple effects on Toastmasters Branding worldwide.

Acknowledgements: (1) Trainer TM Cajetan Barretto, Incoming Division F Director, District 20 (2) Trainer TM Verna Bonaby, Incoming District Director 47 (3) DTM Ali Shabaz Region 11 Advisor, Past District Director 20 (4) DTM Noor Mohammad, Resources for Toastmasters Facebook Group Administrator (5) DTM Wafaa Salman, Past District Director 20 (6) Priscilla Dias, Workshop Chat Monitor & Quality Assurance.

George How Pak Hing, PEng, DTM
OTM Oakville Toastmasters, Club Founder
Area Director of the Year, 2016-2017
Blog Submitted May 28, 2020

Une occasion inouïe pour vous en français Sharpen Your French Speaking Skills

Le club Toastmasters Mots du Midi offre par visioconférence un séminaire d'expression orale (Speechcraft) d'une durée de 4 semaines soit du 4 au 25 juin de 12 h à 13 h 15. Ce programme intensif vous permettra de travailler les compétences suivantes: organiser un discours, varier la voix, évaluer un discours et utiliser l'espace et les mains. Alexandre Matte, du club Mots du Midi qui a représenté à deux reprises le District 86 au concours du discours international, se joint à l’équipe des formateurs du District 61 de grande renommée tel que J. A. Gamache, Delphis Babin et Daniel Gélinas pour présenter des ateliers de formation. Vous allez ainsi recevoir des astuces importants afin que vous puissiez parfaire vos compétences en communication. Pour vous inscrire, veuillez remplir le formulaire : http://paroledor.motsdumidi.ca/ Le frais d’inscription de 70 $ vous donne droit à une adhésion au club jusqu’au 30 septembre 2020.


Toastmasters Mots du Midi club is offering by ZOOM Conferencing a 4 week Speechcraft on Thursdays from June 4 to June 25th, 12 :00 pm to 1 :15 pm. This program will specifically address the following points : organizing your speech, vocal variety, speech evaluation and use of space and hands. The team presenting the educational sessions is comprised of our own Alexandre Matte, two time District 86 winner of the International Speech Contest, and formidable Toastmaster members from District 61, J. A, Gamache, Delphis Babin and Daniel Gélinas. They will share helpful tips to perfect your communication skills. Please complete the registration form : http://paroledor.motsdumidi.ca/ The 70$ cost covers the membership fee to the club until September 30, 2020.

Download the PDF flyer

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