July 1, 2024

Dear D101,

 As we embark on this New Toastmasters Year, we're not just turning a page on the calendar; we're opening a new chapter of possibilities. This is our moment to redefine our goals, reshape our habits, and reimagine our potential. The coming Toastmasters year is a blank canvas, waiting for us to paint it with our aspirations and achievements. The question is: Are you ready to create your story?

Reflecting on my own journey, I vividly recall my hesitant steps into Toastmasters. I was comfortable staying in the background, taking on minor roles. Then came that pivotal day in June, when our Club President reached out with a simple message that would change everything. Suddenly, I found myself thrust into the role of Vice President of Public Relations – a far cry from my comfort zone in engineering. My mission? To promote our club within my company, a task that seemed extremely foreign.

But here's the thing about Toastmasters – it pushes you to grow in ways you never expected. With the support of my fellow members, I dove headfirst into this new challenge. I experimented with digital displays, tried out-of-the-box marketing ideas, and stretched my creativity to its limits. This wasn't just about club promotion; it was about personal transformation. The skills I developed – from public speaking to leadership – began to influence my work beyond Toastmasters, enhancing my contributions to company events and initiatives.

This year, as District Director, I chose the theme “Your Story Matters”. 

Today, I invite you to share in this journey of growth and discovery. Your stories—your triumphs, your setbacks, your lessons—are the threads that weave our community together. What unexpected turns has your Toastmasters journey taken? What challenges have you overcome? Your experiences are not just personal triumphs; they're beacons of inspiration for others in our community. As your District 101 Director, I'm committed to amplifying your voices and celebrating your successes.

Let's make this year count. If you are a club officer, attend that club officer training, and plan for success by completing a club success plan that pushes boundaries. If you are a club member, work with a mentor/friend who can help you stay on track with your goals and please be sure to enroll in Pathways. And if you are an aspiring district leader or are curious about opportunities please contact dlc@d101tm.org, your area/division directors, or me for any questions.We're here to guide you, support you, and cheer you on.

This year, let's share our stories boldly, set audacious goals, and lift each other higher. Together, we'll make this not just a good year, but an extraordinary one.

Your story matters! Share it with us.

Raji Bandanapudi, DTM


District Director, 2024-25

District 101 Toastmasters