You are a leader in your own life! As a leader you are continually faced with surprises that lead you willingly,or not so willingly, into adventure. Come and experience a weekend with a focus on honing your ability to treat your experiences as an adventure, and meet surprises with composure.

Spring Conference 2015

Gail and Frank Co Chairs

Thank you from the Conference Chairs

Have you ever had the good fortune to be a part of a team that plans together, pulls together and performs together? We have! Our fabulous team of volunteers did a remarkable job of preparing everything, ensuring every challenge was met, and ensuring that every wrinkle was swiftly smoothed out. Co-Chairing the Spring'15 Conference was indeed A Surprising Adventure. It was a big job, but a wonderful leadership opportunity, and a chance to make some great friends!

Frank and Gail Gustin
Spring 2015 Co-Conference Chairs

Spring Conference 2015 - A SURPRISING ADVENTURE!

A Surprising Adventure program for  Friday April 24 to Sunday April 26 at the Sheraton Parkway Toronto North Hotel & Suites

Friday | April 24th

Information & Help
located in the Foyer near Grand York A, upper level...
Registration: (3:00 pm - 6:45 pm)
Credentials: (3:00 pm - 6:45 pm) 
Authors Corner: (3:00 pm - 6:45 pm)

Hospitality: (3:00 pm - 6:45 pm)

Time Event / Location
3:30pm Network Break - Coffee/Tea served
5:00pm Workshops #1 - see speakers and rooms >> 
5:45pm Comfort Break
  ** Wine reception (Outside Grand York A, upper level)
6:00pm First Timers and all Distinguished Toastmasters Meet & Greet (Thornhill, upper level)
6:30pm Comfort Break
  Line up for Banner Parade (Hallway beside Grand York B & C, upper level)
7:00pm Opening Ceremonies (Grand York A, upper level)
  Parade of Banners (parade in from hallway beside Grand York B & C, upper level)
7:30pm DTM Recognition Dinner (Grand York A, upper level)
  DTM medal presentations (Grand York A, upper level)
9:00pm Dance - Let's Go Fly A Kite! (Grand York A, upper level)


Saturday | April 25th

Information & Help
located in the Foyer near Grand York A, upper level...
Registration: (7:00 am - 2:15 pm & 5:30 pm  - 7:00 pm)
Credentials: (7:00 am - 7:50 am & 1:00 pm - 3:15 pm)
Hospitality: (7:00 am - 1:00 pm & 4:15 pm - 7:00 pm)
Early Bird Sign Up Fall Conference: (1:00 pm)

Authors Corner: (7:00 am - 1:00 pm & 4:15 pm - 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm - 9:30pm)

Time Event / Location
7:00am Breakfast Buffet - Breakfast Brag  (Grand York A, upper level)
8:00am District Keynote - Merri Macartney, DTM PDG  (Grand York A, upper level)

"Get Out of Jail Free"

8:45am Comfort Break
9:00am Workshops #2 - see speakers and rooms >> 
9:55am Network Break -  Coffee, tea served 
10:15am Workshops #3 - see speakers and rooms >> 
11:10am Comfort Break 
11:30am Communication & Leadership (C&L) Luncheon  (Grand York A, upper)  
12:30pm M.M.A.D. award presentations (Member Making A Difference)
1:00pm Comfort Break
1:15pm Educational Workshop - Craig Valentine, MBA 1999 WCPS (Grand York A, upper level)

"Present with Impact and Persuade with Ease"

1:55pm Comfort Break 
2:10pm International Speech Contest  (Grand York A, upper level)
4:10pm 5 minute break - Coffee, tea served 
4:15pm Business Meeting (Grand York B & C, upper level)
6:30pm  **  Wine reception (Foyer near Grand York A, upper level)
7:15pm Governors Banquet (Grand York A, upper level)
  Swearing in of District Officers, Presentations, DG's Keynote
8:50pm Governors Ball (Grand York A, upper level)


Sunday | April 26th

Information & Help
located in the Foyer near Grand York A, upper level...
Hospitality: (7:00 am to 8:00 am)
Registration (8:00 am to 10:00 am) 
Early Bird Sign Up Fall '15 Conference (All day)

Authors Corner: (8:00 am to 2:00 pm)

Time Event / Location
7:00am Breakfast Buffet - Breakfast Brag (Grand York A, upper level)
8:00am Presentation - Revitalized Education Program - Justin O'Donnell DTM (Grand York A, upper level)
8:30am Education Workshop - Uri Galimidi (Grand York A, upper level) 

"The Neuroscience of Willpower"

9:30am Network Break - Coffee, tea served 
9:45am Evaluation Contest (Grand York A, upper level)
11:15am Comfort Break
11:35am Champion Luncheon (Grand York A, upper level)
12:45pm Douglas Barclay Award Presentation
1:25pm Keynote - Craig Valentine, MBA 1999 WCPS (Grand York A, upper level)

"The Surprising Secrets to Getting Remarkable Results in Leadership and Life"

 2:15pm Wrap - up

Spring Conference 2015 - Speakers

Craig Valentine | Toastmasters World Champion of Public Speaking 1999

Present With Impact And Persuade With Ease
  Craig Valentine MBA | World Champion of Public Speaking 1999

International Keynote Speaker 

Educational Workshop | Saturday April 25, 1:15 pm

Join Craig Valentine and get the top tools to keep your audiences on the edge of their seats and persuade them to take your next desired step. Whether speaking to an audience of 1 or 1000, you will pick up tools to…

  1. Hook your listeners into your presentation from your very first words
  2. Motivate and influence your audience to take action when you are finished
  3. Craft, deliver, and sell your message effectively
  4. Present in a confident, assured, and engaging manner
  5. Make your message memorable
  6. Breathe life into your presentations, bring your audience to you, and build a message that sticks!

This is one interactive workshop you can’t afford to miss. Build your confidence and your competence and have lots of fun in the process!

"I learned more from you in one hour than I have in years of giving speeches. Thank you for inspiring me to find my own voice and greatness as a speaker!! Thank you!" - Pele Raymond Ugboajah, DreamBanc, L.L.C

“I got feedback that my class was inspiring, that I was phenomenal, and I was asked if I speak outside the Learning Annex. So, I just want to thank you and let you know that your teachings DO WORK.” - Isaak Gelbinovich, President, Speaking to Succeed

“I gave the speech last Monday and everyone raved about it. Thank you so much for your help. I went in very confident, knowing it was a very good speech… In fact, they hope to get me back again..." - Christine Duvivier Managing Director, Impact Partners

Craig Valentines Biography 

Craig Valentine, MBA, an award-winning speaker and trainer, has traveled the world helping people get remarkable results through leadership, communications, and change. Known as the Champion of Change, he is a professional speaker and has spoken in the United States, Taiwan, Canada, Jamaica, Qatar (Doha), England, Bahamas, Hong Kong, China, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Australia, India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, South Africa, and Japan giving as many as 160 presentations per year.

Craig is the author of the Amazon.com #1 Bestseller, World Class Speaking In Action.  He is also the 1999 World Champion of Public Speaking for Toastmasters International, winning out of more than 25,000 contestants in 14 countries.  He has used his success formulas to:

  • win Salesperson of the Year (3 times) for Glencoe/McGraw-Hill’s Mid-Atlantic Division
  • become an award-winning management trainer for one of the most prestigious and largest seminar companies in the United States (averaging an industry-leading 5.85 on a 6.0 rating scale)
  • produce sales years of 233%, 157%, and 152% of goal for Glencoe/McGraw-Hill
  • sell more than $8 million in educational resources in a single year
  • win the Rising Star salesperson award as a rookie with Glencoe/McGraw-Hill
  • direct a highly-successful employment academy for homeless men in Baltimore City and achieved a 100% job placement rate for the program’s graduates
  • win Events Manager of the Year for the National Small Business Council
  • win a Congressional Achievement Award from the United States Congress for excellence in communications
  • earn the Distinguished Alumni Award from Johns Hopkins University
  • receive hundreds of speaking awards from Toronto to Taipei
  • help the United Way of Central Maryland exceed its $45 million fundraising goal in the year 2000 by training their Loaned Executives to present with influence

Craig Valentine | Toastmasters World Champion of Public Speaking 1999

The Surprising Secrets to Getting Remarkable Results in Leadership and Life
Craig Valentine MBA | World Champion of Public Speaking 1999

International Keynote Speaker

Keynote Speech | Sunday April 26, 1:25 pm

Leadership and Life By Craig Valentine, MBA; 1999 World Champion of Public Speaking 3-time Mid-Atlantic Salesperson of the Year (Glencoe/McGraw-Hill) What does it take to get remarkable results in leadership and life? Is there one secret to success? No. There is not one secret; there are four. In this powerful and interactive keynote, Craig Valentine will share the 4-step cycle that helps you become the leader that others want to follow and inspires you to live the life you desire and deserve.

Discover the tools that will help you...

Build great relationships that bring greater rewards  
Understand the number one obstacle to becoming a great leader
Motivate your team to be on the way and not in the way
Experience less stress and much more joy as a leader
Inspire people to change and constantly improve
Exceed your goals in business and in life!

This is one keynote speech you cannot afford to miss!

“You are truly the best speaker I have ever heard, and my first day back in my sales territory, I was charged.  I let everyone know how you changed us with you dynamic inspirational speech.  Your message…is tailored to the spirit that is required to motivate yourself permanently, and ensure personal growth.  We broke a district record by selling 154 registrations. All of us realize that this success was a direct result of our keynote speaker." - Bob Sloan Fall Conference Chair 2001 Cornwall, Canada

"I cannot express enough thanks for your presentation.  I believe that your presence…challenged our office to make significant changes and accept the year ahead. My Chief, was highly impressed by your presentation and not only laughed throughout your speech, but used some of your speech to make his presentation about upcoming changes in the year ahead."  - Tamika L. Baxley United States Probation Office

"You were WONDERFUL!!!  Everyone is STILL talking about you!!! I am even trying to practice your tips! You made me aware of practicing and putting my learning to use daily!"  - Suzy G. Johnson Meridian/Lauderdale County Tourism Director


Get Out of Jail Free - Merri Macartney, DTM |  Past District  86 Governor

Get Out of Jail Free

Merri Macartney, DTM
Past District 86 Governor
District 86 Keynote Speaker

Keynote Speech Saturday April 25, 8:00 am

Merri Macartney has been designing and implementing educational materials for nearly 20 years.  Whether it was for her students as a high school teacher, adult learners in Continuing Education Centers or for the corporate world, Merri has presented keynotes and seminars on a variety of topics.  Her persistence in the face of adversity, matchless sense of humour and endless belief in the power of positive thinking enabled Merri to overcome the challenges of being a high school drop-out to high school teacher to becoming a sought-after speaker, workshop facilitator, author and certified coach.  She has learned how to change the channels in her life in order to realize many of her dreams.

Merri has published four books and was a regular contributor for Sun Media Corporation with her humourous slice of life column Note to Self for over four years.

She has earned the status of Distinguished Toastmaster, the highest award from Toastmasters International.  Merri also earned the Excellence in Marketing Award, 2008-2009, and the Excellence in Education & Training Award for 2009-2010 and served as the District 86 Governor 2010-2011.

Merri is a wife and the mother of four sons and a proud grandma to 6 year old twin boys.  She says she has been blessed with many surprising adventures.

The Neuroscience of Willpower - Uri Galimidi

The Neuroscience of Willpower

Uri Galimidi MSc, MBA

Guest Speaker

Education Workshop Sunday April 26, 8:30 am

As human beings we all share one trait; we all want to improve our lot in life.  Scientists tell us that there are two key virtues that influence our success in life: Intellect and Willpower. Unfortunately, there is little we can do to change our IQ during the course of our life. But we can strengthen our willpower. Imagine what your life will be like if you could double the strength of your willpower. What would become of your career, your family, your business?

In this presentation I will share six simple, yet highly effective, neuroscience-based interventions that will help you strengthen your willpower, conquer undesirable habits, adopt new beneficial habits, meet your goals with a higher rate of success, and become the best possible version of yourself. If you are striving for a change in your life but are unsure of how to bring it about, if you are frustrated about your lack of progress, if you procrastinate or feel “stuck” then this presentation is for you.


Spring Conference 2015 - Workshops

Workshops Session #1: Friday April 24, 5:00 pm

It's your turn! Three steps to winning Table Topics - Alexandre Matte

It's Your Turn! Three Steps to Winning Table Topics

Alexandre Matte, ACG, ALB

Improve Your Speaking Skills

York B, 2nd floor

Do you enjoy Table Topics or do you hide under the table when it is your turn to speak? In this workshop, Alexandre will share his three steps to creating a great-improvised mini-speech on the spot. When you return to your club, your colleagues will be surprised at your newfound skills.

Your Body Speaks; Who's Listening?  Catherine de Korte, CC

Your Body Speaks; Who's Listening?

Catherine de Korte, CC

Personal Professional Development

York C, 2nd floor

Your body really does speak for you! Find out how the small, seemingly unremarkable movements, gestures or expressions we 'wear' in our personal interactions affect how 'they' feel about us and ultimately how 'they' respond to what we say. Join us for this fun and informative workshop.

Unleash the power of social media - Jinisha Bhatt

Unleash The Power of Social Media

Jinisha Bhatt

Club Excellence

Markham A, 1st floor

This workshop is catered to club leaders and/or individuals involved in Public Relations, Promotions, and Marketing. The focus is on Social Media Management and Marketing and the purpose is to transfer valuable tips and surefire ways to significantly enhance audiences' social media utility.

8 Abilities and 8 Motivations - Deepak Manchanda

8 Abilities and 8 Motivations. What Would You like to be?

(was not presented)

Deepak Manchanda 


Aurora, 1st floor

In this inspiring workshop, you will learn 8 Abilities and 8 Motivations that will enhance your success. Deepak will share his own personal and professional story illustrating how utilizing these 8 abilities and 8 motivations allowed him to bring to life his 35 year old dream of becoming a transformational speaker.


Workshops Session #2: Saturday April 25, 9:00 am

Make Speaking a More Peaceful Experience - Heather Skoll, ACB, ALB

Make Speaking a More Peaceful Experience

Heather Skoll, ACB, ALB

Improve your Speaking Skills

York B, 2nd floor

CONFIDENCE begins with a solid base beneath your feet. POWER comes with an ability to breathe fully. POSITIVITY starts with what you say to yourself. Learn YOGA tips from an expert YOGI. Make SPEAKING a more PEACEFUL experience!

Hot Opportunities in 2015 - Charlotte King, DTM

Hot Opportunities in 2015

Charlotte King, DTM

Personal Professional Development

York C, 2nd floor

One really great idea can be the beginning of something new and innovative that will transform your life. Imagine if you had many. Begin your journey or reinvigorate an existing one with glimpses into "Hot Opportunities in 2015. Do you need a jump-start this year or a NEW start?

"I, Me & My" - Conflicts at the Club Level  - Sharon D. D'Souza, ACG, ALB

"I, Me & My" - Conflicts at the Club Level

Sharon D. D'Souza, ACG, ALB

Club Excellence

Vaughan East, 1st floor

This program is geared to helping you deal with conflicts at the club level more effectively and be successful in your role.

Volunteering Opens Many Doors - Joanne Houston, ALB, ACS & Patricia James, ALB, ACB

Volunteering Opens Many Doors

Joanne Houston, ALB, ACS & Patricia James, ALB, ACB


Vaughan West, 1st floor

Do you have a passion to do something? Where do you start? Gain valuable experience just by Volunteering! Increase your skills, confidence, and networking circle by stepping up and stepping out. The Path of Volunteering will open many doors to future employment opportunities increasing your PSI (Personal Skill Inventory).


Workshops Session #3: Saturday April 25, 10:15 am

Transform Your 1 Dimensional Text Into a 3D Experience! - Kathryn MacKenzie, DTM

Transform Your 1 Dimensional Text Into a 3D Experience!

Kathryn MacKenzie, DTM

Improve your Speaking Skills

York B, 2nd floor

Do you work hard at creating compelling content and setting up solid structures for your speeches? Do you realize that planning dynamic delivery devices is also equally important? Discover the 10 most common delivery mistakes and how to remedy them, in order to connect with audiences and make your speeches more memorable!

From Stressed-out to Feel good! - Rose A. Weinberg, ACS, ALB

From Stressed-out to Feel good!

Rose A. Weinberg, ACS, ALB

Personal Professional Development

York C, 2nd floor

This workshop is highly interactive. Arrive with questions and walk away with one key insight that will help transform your life, professionally, personally and spiritually, from stress to feelgood! 'Your feelgood life is simpler than you think!'

Surprises Adventure SPEECHCRAFT - Caroline Beren, DTM

Surprises Adventure SPEECHCRAFT

Caroline Beren, DTM

Club Excellence

Vaughan East, 1st floor

Caroline has an IDEA to implement a surprisingly successful Speechcraft program that will benefit self, club, and community. Discover how a Speechcraft program increases productivity, business and community. Imagine. Dare. Execute. Achieve.

Mind & Fear - Hariharan Iyer, CC

Mind & Fear

Hariharan Iyer, CC


Vaughan West, 1st floor

Learn and understand your inner being. Change your results by changing your paradigms. You become what you think about.


Let's Go Fly A Kite


Our theme for the Friday night dance at A Surprising Adventure is "Let's Go Fly a Kite" which means to move through the air on wings. YOU are the kite, and Toastmasters offers you the opportunities and teaches you the skills that allow you to learn to soar to your highest heights.

As a leadership metaphor, think of a kite flying in a strong wind. If the kite flyer takes no action, the kite will be caught up in the wind and may go into a tailspin and crash.  If the kite flyer pulls too hard on the string it may snap and again, the kite will crash and break.

A good kite flyer has learned to give the kite a gentle tug, reel in some slack to stabilize the kite as it is buffeted in the wind and will repeat as necessary. Once the kite has stabilized, the experienced kite flyer lets out more string and allows the kite to fly high once again.  They don't reel the kite in and then start running.  They don't yell at the kite, "You had your chance. I'm doing the flying now!"

The good kite flyer gives the help needed, lets the string back out, and flies the kite high once again. This is helpful intervention. This is empowerment. This is the type of useful leadership you can learn in Toastmasters and is augmented by attending District Conference.

At Friday night's "Let's Go Fly a Kite" dance, you are the kite. We invite you to devise and wear a costume appropriate to this theme. Come join in the fun and soar to your highest heights!

Spring Conference 2015 - News

Spring Conference Award Recipients

MMAD Award

Members Making A Difference Award (MMAD) Recipients at Spring Conference 2015

The Spring Conference MMAD recipients. The Madd award goes to members who volunteers their Toastmasters communication and leadership skills to better their communities and lives around them in a significant and notable way outside of their Toastmasters regular duties.

Read more about these three toastmasters on our blog at  Members Making A Difference Award (MMAD) Recipients at Spring Conference 2015

Communication Leadership Award D86Brennan Wong, Communication & Leadership Award Recipient Spring Conference 2015

The Communication and Leadership Award is by the District to a non-Toastmaster in the community who is an outstanding communicator or leader - and who best exemplifies Toastmasters values.  The person must be in attendance at the Spring 2015 Conference to receive the award.  The Communication and Leadership Award is presented at the fall and spring conference each year.  

Read more on our blog Brennan Wong, Communication & Leadership Award Recipient for Spring Conference 2015

Nominations and Requests

Accepting Nominations for the Douglas Barclay Award

Douglas Barclay received a Toastmasters Presidential Citation in 1981. He was a very dedicated Toastmaster who served the organization and the District for many years. He was District 60’s Governor (twice!), and an International Director. He was a tireless contributor and promotor of the organization. 

The District 86 Douglas Barclay Award is awarded each year, at the spring conference, to recognize an active Toastmaster with a history of contribution and continued service to Toastmasters both within and outside the District.

Deadline for Submission March 27, 2015, past recipients

 2015 Douglas Barclay Award Nomination.pdf  

Accepting Requests for Author’s Corner 

Our District 86 Spring'15 Conference, A Surprising Adventure! Is just weeks away. We look forward to hearing your educational presentation and are certain that everyone will enjoy and learn from your workshop. We are excited to offer you and other Toastmasters the opportunity to sell your books, CDs and DVDs at the conference.

Deadline for Submission is April 1, 2015. Please remit all your information today!!

The guidelines for the District 86 Conference Author's Corner are:

  • You reap 100% of your profits
  • You are responsible for selling and supervising your own products. Your table in the Author's Corner display will be available from Friday 2:00 pm until Sunday 2:00pm and you must be registered at all times your wares are available for sale. Any other person selling on your behalf must also be a Conference registrant in that time slot.
  • If you wish to participate in this opportunity, we need the following information from you as soon as possible:
    1. The title of your book(s), CDs, DVDs
    2. The subject matter
    3. The dates you are registered for the conference (full or partial registration),
  •  We will have 4', 6' and 8' tables available for displays. Please let me know which size you would prefer (we reserve the right to reduce the size depending on available space.) 

Please email Jale Fancey ACS, ALB, Authors' Corner Chair at jfanceytoastmaster@gmail.com with your information or if you have any questions or concerns.


Spring Conference 2015 Committee - Leadership Opportunities


A successful conference enjoys the efforts of at least 50 eager, committed leaders.

This dynamic team will work with us - the conference co-chairs and the conference committee to put on the best Spring Conference ever. 

There are many areas to choose from.  Put your creativity, organization skills and teamwork to the test by signing up for an area of conference planning and management that you enjoy.

Are you ready for A Surprising Adventure? 

Must be registered for the conference to enjoy the benefits of the leadership opportunities. 

2015 Spring Conference Co-Chairs
Gail Gustin and Frank Gustin

 See the Leadership Opportunities and Join the Team 

Spring Conference 2015 - Accomodations


General Information

Hotel: Sheraton Parkway Toronto North Hotel & Suites
Address: 9005 Leslie Street, Richmond Hill,ON L4B 1B2 (North-east corner of Leslie St. & Hwy. 7 Rd. E.) Google Map

Special Toastmaster Conference Rates
Reservations: 800-668-0101

Even though our block of rooms have been released to the public, the Sheraton will still honour the special rate we have negotiated as long as you tell them, when you call, that you are a Toastmaster.

The room rates we have negotiated are:

Sheraton - $125 + taxes

Best Western – SOLD OUT

There are 2 options at the Sheraton:

  • King Single
  • Standard (two Queen or double beds)

Both hotels come with

  • Complimentary high speed internet in all guest rooms
  • Complimentary indoor and outdoor parking
  • 24 hour Fitness Facility Access
  • Sheraton rooms have a mini refrigerator
  • Best Western rooms have a microwave and fridge.


Reservation Information 

A credit card number is required to make a reservation. There is no deposit required at the time of booking. If you are unable to keep your reservation, 24 hours cancellation is required or you will be charged the full amount.



Book Now! 

The District is able to offer you this exceptional event due to our partnership with the hotel. Booking your stay at the Sheraton Parkway Toronto North helps us fulfill our contract with this beautiful facility. Note the Sheraton Parkway Toronto North customarily is sold out at this time of year.  

Special Offer

Don’t forget to take advantage of this special offer from the Sheraton!

Sheraton & Best Western Parkway Hotel would like to offer a special group rate at our wonderful Caesar Spa. Relax and indulge with 2 difference spa packages;Healing Mist’ or ‘Feeling Relaxed’ See flyer for pricing, contact & reservation information. Remember to pamper yourself while you stay at the Sheraton & Best Western Parkway Hotel.

pdfSee Flyer for further details


Toastmasters International Values:  Respect • Integrity • Service • Excellence
Our Principles:  Lead By Example • Work / Play as a Team 

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