Month: September 2017

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“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” – By Theodore Roosevelt

 

The beginning of a new program year is always filled with so many exciting activities that time seems to have slipped away so quietly without us realizing it. Two months have passed and perhaps it’s time for us to review what we have done, what we have achieved, and what lies ahead of us.

 

District Executive Committee (DEC) Meeting

The 1st DEC meeting was held on 1 July 2017, the very first day of the new term. The focus of the meeting was to plan and strategize for achievement of District 80’s key performance indicators, namely new club growth, membership payment growth and Distinguished Club Program (DCP) growth.

 

Club Growth Director Pradeep Kumar DTM has published the “necessities” (i.e. incentives) for new club growth and membership payment growth for program year 2017-2018.

 

District 80 Mobile App Launch

We launched District 80’s first ever mobile app on 1 July 2017. The mobile app was primarily designed to replace the printed copy of our district directory, which the district has been printing in the past. The mobile app offers advantages such as lower costs, ease of use, real time updates and richer content formats.

 

It took a while for the directory information to be made available on the mobile app due to the fact that the information was only released by Toastmasters International towards end July, and time taken after that to seek listing consent from our members for compliance with Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA). Most of the information, if not all, is available on the app now.

 

The mobile app will continue to be a work in progress as we continue to add new features to the app.

 

District Officers Training (DOT)

A DOT was conducted immediately after the DEC meeting on 1 July 2017, and a make-up DOT was subsequently held on 3 Sep 2017. 92% of district officers were trained.

 

Club Officers Training (COT)

COT sessions were organized by the respective divisions as follows:

  • Division A on 15 July 2017
  • Division B on 15 July 2017
  • Division D on 15 July 2017
  • Division E on 8 July 2017
  • Division G on 29 July 2017
  • Division L on 8 July 2017
  • Division S on 29 July 2017
  • Division T on 16 July 2017
  • Division U on 15 July 2017
  • Division V on 24 Jun 2017
  • Division Z on 22 July 2017

A make-up COT was held on 27 Aug 2017. A breakdown of COT attendance is as follows (the number of active club base is 241):

  • 194 clubs (80.5% of active club base) with 4 or more than 4 club officers trained
  • 6 clubs (2.5% of active club base) with 3 club officers trained
  • 5 clubs (2.0% of active club base) with 2 club officers trained
  • 8 clubs (3.0% of active club base) with 1 club officer trained
  • 29 clubs (12.0% of active club base) with 0 club officer trained

 

District Leaders Training (DLT)

District trio attended DLT on 21-22 Aug 2017 in Vancouver. In addition to a better and more in depth understanding of Toastmasters International (TI) operations, changes in TI policies and procedures, as well as roles and responsibilities of the district trio, exchanges of experience and ideas with other district leaders from across the world were particularly valuable.

 

86th Toastmasters International Convention

District trio attended the international convention held on 23-26 Aug 2017 in Vancouver.

 

The following important announcements which would directly affect District 80 were made during the Board of Directors Briefing:

  • Pathways rolled out in Region 14 on 26 Jul 2017.
  • From 2018-2019 program year onward,
    • district speech contests to be held only during the district annual conference. International speech contest quarterfinals are to be held at region level, possibly on video, before the semifinals and final at the international convention,
    • only one physical District Council Meeting (DCM) is required to be held, the other DCM may be held virtually.
    • District 80 will be realigned to Region 13. Current Region 14 will be split.

Congratulations to Manoj Vasudevan for winning the World Championship of Public Speaking 2017 with his speech titled “Pull Less, Bend More”. This is the second consecutive year that a representative from District 80 winning the championship.

All in all, the international convention was very well organized. A couple of technical glitches, mainly due to email communication failures, resulted in some confusions during the international convention, e.g.:

  • convention event registration
  • assignment of national flag bearers for the convention opening ceremony.

It was unfortunate that the technical glitches, together with some human errors, resulted in 44 club proxies (i.e. 18.26% of potential district proxy returns) not picked up to vote during the annual business meeting. Feedback has been given to TI in their survey.

 

Pathways Rollout

Pathways was officially launched in Region 14, the very first region to roll out Pathways in TI’s global phased approach in launching the new education system, on 26 Jul 2017. District 80 achieved more than 70% of its clubs trained in the new system before the launch, thanks to the dedication and effort of Pathways Guides, who also helped train our members during the COTs. The launch was a huge success judging by the enthusiastic response from our members.

 

A couple of teething issues surfaced during the initial period after the launch, almost all the issues were technical in nature and were quickly resolved by TI when they were notified of the glitches. We are also aware of the challenges faced by some of our members, particularly members who are less technology savvy and members who are constraint by their preferred use of languages. The district conducted Pathways education workshops for these members so as to alleviate some of their difficulties and ease their adoption of Pathways.

 

 

New Club Growth

One club has been officially chartered, i.e. GE Aviation Toastmasters (6637897) under Division E Area E5.

 

There are two prospective clubs, i.e. Toastmasters @ Courts (6627295) under Division A Area A4, and S&P Global Toastmasters Club (6642836) under Division S Area S5. Both prospective clubs have submitted their charter papers and awaiting their official charter pending confirmation of payments.

 

Club Growth Director Pradeep Kumar DTM and his team, together with some division directors are working very hard on a number of very promising leads. We are confidently optimistic that these leads will be materialized soon.

 

However, we expect a number of clubs to close come September dues payment. It is highly likely that we will see a dip in terms of the number of active clubs in October before we build more new clubs.

 

Outlook and Plan for Achievement of Distinguished District Status

The outlook will remain very challenging given the health of the district as inherited, with a couple of clubs initiated their closure in early July, when the new term just began.

 

We set our goal to be at least a Distinguished District by end of the term, and we stress the importance of achieving our goal by doing the right things right, upholding the core values of Integrity, Respect, Service and Excellence. We may have to go through a stage of consolidation to build a strong and solid foundation for the district to scale new heights and achieve even more.

 

The main focus will be on building more new corporate clubs, and Pathways has proven to be a very useful tool in attracting corporate clubs to sign on. The steady recovery of the macro economic conditions should also be a boon to us in building more new corporate clubs.

 

For clubs facing challenges in terms of their membership strength, “necessities” provided by CGD’s incentive schemes, as well as district support provided through division and area directors, should empower these clubs to strive and recruit new members. CGD and I will be attending separate division council meetings in September, and will work directly with division and area directors in this regard.

 

We have plans to attract more millennials into our fold. We will announce more details once they have been worked out. Developing a District 80 mobile app is the initial part of the plan. Once the district directory features of the mobile app have stabilized, we will start adding marketing features to the app, and make it an easy and convenient tool for club building and membership recruitment. There are plans to include Pathways resources in the app to facilitate member adoption of Pathways.

 

District 80 Rocks!

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” – By Theodore Roosevelt

 

And what we have is a team of very dedicated and enthusiastic Toastmasters, who are willing and able to make District 80 great again. Kudos to our District Administration Manager, District Public Relations Manager, District Finance Manager, all our Division Directors and Area Directors, and not forgetting the various committee members, council members and members of the Toastmasters community, who put in so much time and effort for the past two months. Well done!

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Dear District 80 Toastmasters,

 

This week, with sadness, we had lost a stalwart and a pillar of our District. Past District Governor (2010-2011), Distinguished Toastmaster Aziz Mustajab, had left us on 28 August 2017.

 

 

DTM Aziz, affectionately known as the “Rocker” in District 80, joined the organization in May 1992. And, as with most who signed up to become a member, two of the main reasons he cited are: to further develop his public speaking skills; and hone his effective listening and quick thinking abilities. Over time, aside from having achieved his goals, he observed that his membership has given him not only greater self-confidence but a much heightened stage presence as well. He reached the zenith of the leadership ladder at District 80 when he became the District Governor in 2010-2011. After his stint, he continued to be visible at District events and still held positions at various levels too. He said that he will definitely recommend membership to Toastmasters to anyone who aspires to be an effective public speaker because he or she can never find a better training ground to develop those skills than with this well-established, non-profit organization called Toastmasters International. He further asserts that the real awards and benefits he received from the group are worth their weight in gold and they are: be a life-long Toastmaster, be a life-long benefactor.

 

DTM Aziz will be sadly missed by us all in District 80.

 

Appointments Held:

Term 2011/2012 – Immediate Past District Governor

Term 2010/2011 – District Governor (DG)

Term 2009/2010 – Lieutenant Governor Education & Training (LGET)

Term 2008/2009 – Lieutenant Governor Marketing (LGM)

Term 2007/2008 – Division Z Governor

 

Achievements:

Toastmasters International Excellence in Marketing Award (2008-2009)

Toastmasters International Excellence in Education and Training Award (2009-2010)

 

Fondly remembered by friends in District 80…….

 

You always hear that in death, the Dearly Departed, has gone to a better place.  My Friend and Brother Abdul Aziz Bin Mustajab DTM, District 80 PDG, made life a better place for himself and all those who were acquainted with him.

Abang Aziz never had a harsh word for anyone and he would laugh away any trouble or problems that came his way.  He was devoted to bring joy and fun wherever he went, even in time of sickness, and that was how he established himself as a District 80 Senior District Officer from 2008 to 2012.  His service to the District was all about having a wonderful time and spreading the fun around.

Aziz is sadly missed by all, Friends, Toastmasters and acquaintances.  I miss him greatly because he taught me that life is about enjoying the time we have, nothing is more important than making it fruitful and spreading the joy. I always said that my Friend would have a long and stressful life and how much I envied him.  But now he is gone, he has left behind a void in my life which is going to be very trying to refill.

My Friend and Brother, I don’t know if you are in a better place but I know that you have left me with a wish to find out and see you when it is time for me to join you.  Is it a Better Place Abang?

Adios, Abang Aziz, berjumpa-lagi, until we meet again.

Mike Rodrigues

District 80 Past District Governor (2010-2011)

 

Shortly after I joined Toastmasters in 1994, DTM Aziz became the first Division B Governor when Singapore split from 1 Division to 3 Divisions.

We were involved in organizing many activities. He has no airs in him.

DTM Aziz was a soft spoken guy with a lot of friendly naughty zest in him. Always enjoyed his jokes.

A nice leader who I will miss. Take care Aziz.

Patrick Oei

Past International Director, Region 14 (2014-2016)

 

DTM Aziz was the pivotal influence behind the setting up of Jauhari Bilingual Toastmasters. He initiated the project in 2013. We finally found the club in June 2014, with him being one of its charter members. He was made the club patron in 2015.

Mohamad Hijazi

District 80 Public Relations Manager (2016-2017)

 

Aziz was a nice and jovial person. Whenever he was around, you wouldn’t feel bored.

Edward Ma

District 80 Past District Governor (2009-2010)

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