May 2024 Vol. 43

“Building good teams depends on our ability to encourage. This is more than giving a compliment, to encourage means to inspire with courage, hope or resolution.”
-Larry E. Davies

Encouragement Echoes Everywhere!

Reflection: A Journey of Rediscovery

It feels like just yesterday when I contemplated leaving the Army ROTC program, overwhelmed by the prospect of presenting a basic first aid course to my fellow cadets.

After retiring from the Army Signal Corps and undergoing open-heart surgery, I found myself grappling with newfound timidity, a stark departure from my former self—a change even my wife found startling.

Toastmasters became my beacon, reigniting the essence of who I am—The Real Sam Otto. Through this journey, I've learned to quiet my inner turmoil, braving the surge of adrenaline as I stood before you, feeling as though my heart might leap out of my chest. Yet, as I faced the daunting lectern, your warm smiles and receptive hearts buoyed me.

Each of you played a pivotal role in my growth, and I'm deeply grateful for the opportunity to have served and learned from you. You all hold a cherished place in my heart, shaping me into the leader I am today.

The Real Sam Otto

Sam Otto, DTM
District Director
Dear District 65 Members,
On April 23, 2024, at the District Council Meeting, the District Council elected the 2024-2025 District 65 Toastmasters Leaders.

Non-council members may view the recording here until May 15th.
The meeting minutes will be posted on the district website.
The members of the District Council are the Club Presidents, Vice Presidents Education, and the members of the District Executive Committee: District Director, Program Quality Director, Club Growth Director, the Immediate Past District Director, Public Relations Manager, Administration Manager, Finance Manager, Division Directors, and Area Directors.
I am honored to announce the 2024-2025 elected leaders:
Position          ...................Elected Candidate
District Director..................Avis Brodie, DTM, PDG
Program Quality Director...Gillian Sheldon, DTM
Club Growth Director.........Brianna Wichowsky
Division A Director..............Karen Stewart
Division C Director.............Scott Schaefer
Division D Director.............Warren Musselman, DTM
Division E Director..............Matt Flanigan
Kind Regards,
Samuel Otto, DTM
District 65 District Director
Important This Month!

Club Officer Elections

Toastmasters recommends elections take place at your 1st club meeting in May, for officers starting their role on July 1st. That way, club officer lists are submitted in May, and new officers can attend Club Officer Training in June. Toastmasters International gets bogged down in June with end-of-year tasks, and submitting your list in May is a very good idea.

1)  Hold Club Officer elections in May.

2)  Notify Toastmasters International of the new officers by logging in to Club Central after the election and choosing July 1 as the start date.

3)  Attend Club Officer training in the June to August training period.

Pathways Base Camp Completion and Approval Success

1)  Have you marked your projects complete? Check your path - If you’ve completed any projects that are not showing as complete on Base Camp, mark them complete. (They can’t be approved until you do this).

2)  Have your projects been approved? If you’ve completed any Levels or Paths that have not been submitted on Base Camp, submit them for approval now and make sure your Vice President of Education knows they’re ready to be approved.

3)  Belong to more than one club? If you are a member of more than one club, make sure you submit your Levels or Paths for completion with the club that you wish to receive the Distinguished Club Program credit. How to do that? When you go into Base Camp, your clubs will be listed. Choose the one for the credit, and then go to your Path. When you sign out of Base Camp, leave it on that club until the achievement has been approved.

4)  Check your achievement board -Confirm that all Level and Path completions you’ve achieved are recorded in Club Central by checking your Education Awards in the Achievement Board section of My Home.

5)  Get credit for club roles - Remember to log in to your Pathways “My Account” profile in the upper right corner of your Base Camp main page and enter the dates you’ve held club roles, such as Evaluator, Toastmaster, and Table Topics Master.

Avis Brodie, DTM, PDG 
District 65 Program Quality Director 2023-24
Final Four: Membership Madness! Incentive

  • Add four or more new members to qualify

  • Receive a $25 Toastmasters gift certificate

  • Contact Rachel Dowling ( receive your gift card when your four new members have been added
Speechcraft Incentive

Speechcraft is an abbreviated Toastmasters experience, like a mini college course on speaking. It is designed for non-members, run by experienced club members. It can be 4, 6, or 8 weeks long. Speechcraft is also an excellent membership building tool.

Our District team would be happy to help you get you started! We’re offering free Speechcraft ($50.00 value) to all District 65 clubs that run a Speechcraft between October 2023 to May 2024.

Please send your questions to PQD Avis Brodie or CGD Rachel Dowling and be sure to contact one of us to register your purchase.



How to Run a Club Election

You may be wondering:

  • Must club elections be held at the first meeting in May?
  • Can members nominate themselves?
  • Do members have to be present to be elected?
  • Who runs the club election?
  • What needs to be done after the election?
Bring all of your club election questions and learn how to conduct a club election at this upcoming workshop.

Learn about establishing quorum, how to run your club election, officer installation, submitting officer lists to Toastmasters International, and the other key factors to be aware of when conducting a club officer election, whether in person or on-line.

Trainer: Parliamentarian, Bill Kirby, DTM.
Wednesday May 1st
7:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Welcome to Toastmasters

Just joined? Get off to a strong start! An introduction to Toastmasters for all new members and members who joined in the past year.

Tuesday May 7th
7:00pm - 8:00pm 

Followed by...

Pathways 101

For anyone who has not yet started Pathways, whether you’ve been a member for a while or just joined us, this step-by-step guide to the interface is for you.

Tuesday May 7th
8:00pm - 9:00pm

Attend one or both!
Members and More

Building strong club membership. Do you want to increase your group with new members? Do you want to have strong membership retention? This workshop is for all clubs!

Monday May 20th
7:00pm - 8:00pm
Club Officer Training

Summer Session - get the new program year off to a strong start!

Saturday June 8th
9:00am - 12:00pm

Tuesday June 11th
6:00pm - 9:00pm

Program Dates: May 1 – June 30

Toastmasters are taught to run meetings on time, finish speeches on time and reach membership goals on time. In that spirit, Beat the Clock is a great motivator for finishing the year on schedule—on time and with record numbers! 

Make it your club’s goal to earn the Beat the Clock award and encourage every member to take part. Clubs adding five new, dual, or reinstated members with a join date between May 1 and June 30 receive a Beat the Clock ribbon to display on the club’s banner. Qualifying clubs also earn a special discount code for 10% off their next club order.

Applications and payments for members with a join date between May 1 and June 30 must be received at World Headquarters or online no later than June 30. The addition of transfer and charter members does not count toward Beat the Clock credit. 

May Club Anniversaries

476...........Rochester Club 476.......................5/1/1947
4524.........River City Toastmasters.................5/1/1981
4350.........Downtown Toastmasters................5/1/1984
6898.........Frederick Douglass Toastmasters .5/1/1988
6839259...Visions Toastmasters Club.............5/30/2018

District 65 History

The Pat Panfile-Ben Luce Memorial Award
The Pat Panfile-Ben Luce Memorial Award is considered by many to be the most prestigious award given to a Toastmaster in District 65.

While only a handful of longtime members of District 65 may remember John "Ben" Luce today, his leadership, dedication, and communications skills were a model for District leaders who followed him. A member of Kodak Park Toastmasters and a manager at Eastman Kodak Co., he was District Governor in 1966-67.
Patrick "Pat" Panfile, while working at Xerox, helped start the Postprandial Toastmasters Club in 1966. He rose through the ranks quickly, serving as Postprandial Club President three times, District 65 Governor in 1970-71, an International Director from 1972-74, and Toastmasters International President from 1980-81.

The Ben Luce award was first given posthumously to the widow of Mr. Ben Luce, DTM, PDG, in 1975. A year later in 1976, the Ben Luce award was given to Mr. Pat Panfile, DTM, PDG, PID, PIP. In 2005, it was renamed the Pat Panfile-Ben Luce Memorial Award.

The award continues to be presented annually to a Toastmaster who has shown exemplary leadership in organizing, communicating, executing, and spreading the benefits of the Toastmasters program, both within as well as outside the Toastmasters organization. In addition, the award recipient must demonstrate excellent communication skills in all aspects of the Toastmasters program. A great majority of the recipients are either DTMs or Past District Governors/Directors, or both.
The winner of the 2024 Pat Panfile-Ben Luce Memorial Award is Brion Keller, DTM, PDD (pictured left, being presented with the award by last year's recipient Dan Ferens, DTM).

Brion served as District Director in 2015-2016. Among his lasting accomplishments, Brion created the Pride of the District Cup. The Cup was created to encourage pride in our District and incentivize clubs to help the District in various ways. This includes participation in speech contests, bringing in new members, and supporting district activities. The Cup continues to be awarded annually.

After leaving District Leadership, Brion has continued to stay active, serving on various committees and helping his home Club, Morning Knights, remain successful. Brion was commended for always saying "yes" when asked to help.

For the complete list of Pat Panfile-Ben Luce Memorial Award winners, please visit our District website.
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