FCC Stubble Jumper recognized through Employee Volunteer Draw

Regina Toastmaster Laurel Wingert, DTM, was recently recognized by her employer, Farm Credit Canada, through an Employee Volunteer Draw designed to recognize employees who volunteer.  In this monthly community involvement program, the company holds six (6) random draws and awards donations of up to $500 for Canadian charities, non-profits, and community-based organizations where FCC employees choose to volunteer their time.

Laurel Wingert, DTM

Laurel Wingert, DTM

Employees who volunteer 20 or more hours within a one-year period enter to win $250 for the charity of their choice, while those who volunteer 40 or more hours within a one-year period can enter to win $500 for their chosen charitable organization.

For Laurel’s work as District 42 Finance Manager for the 2016-17 Toastmasters year, she qualified for the draw and her name was drawn this February.  As a result, Farm Credit Canada has donated $500.00 to the Canadian Mental Health Organization.  We interviewed Laurel by email to learn more about her work with Toastmasters and why this donation has been important to her.

1. Why did you choose to donate to the cause you did?
I have supported many great causes over my life. For over 10 years now, I have ridden on the Multiple Sclerosis bike tour. I have raised a lot of money for MS. I also donate to Z99 Radiothon in support of the Neonatal intensive care unit. I had a premature baby, many, many years ago, and all my Regina grandchildren have been guests of the neonatal unit. Owen, who is now five, was only 26 weeks and two pounds. And without the advanced equipment at the neonatal unit he would not be here today.

This year a friend of mine asked me to join her in the Ride Don’t Hide bike tour for mental health. I have suffered from depression and anxiety all my life. There is a huge stigma behind mental illness and its time there was more education and understanding behind mental health and I want to do my part in ending that stigma.

2. How has Toastmasters helped you in your career?
Toastmasters has helped me with my verbal and written communication skills, which has enabled be to be taken more seriously at work. It also been very effective in teaching me how to give feedback and organize my time.

3. What was your last Toastmasters speech project?
I received my Distinguished Toastmaster award in July of 2017; I gave over 40 speeches to earn that designation! While finishing that I realized I was almost halfway through the program again. It is really hard to say what my last Toastmasters speech project was. I sometimes work on one or more projects at the same time. I am currently preparing to speak at the Alberta Association of Assessors at the end of April in Calgary, Alberta. I have been asked to give training on effective public speaking. Maybe I’ll pursue the Accredited Speaker designation in the future — we will see.

4. What was the best evaluation advice you ever received in Toastmasters?
For public speaking the best advice I ever got was, be yourself, speak from the heart. For leadership skills, delegate, delegate, delegate. You don’t have to everything yourself, trust others will be able to accomplish what they are tasked to do.

5. What makes a great Corporate Toastmasters club?
Farm Credit Canada (FCC) is a great company that supports and encourages their employees to succeed. The senior executive recognizes the important of Toastmasters and how it can help people grow and succeed, therefore our Toastmaster Club at FCC has 100% support. That is the key to a great corporate club, Management support.

6. What is your next big Toastmasters goal?
I have two goals. The first – Learn the new educational program – Pathways, inside and out. This way I can mentor and help others in getting the most out of the program. The second is to go outside my comfort zone. I have a financial background and I love doing anything that has to do with numbers or spreadsheets, but when it comes to leading a team or “being in charge” that scares me. I am running for the Division B Director for the 2018-19 Toastmaster year. This position will give me valuable experience leading and team. It will also give me experience in organizing events and continuing the lesson learned of delegation.

Wascana Poetry Contest 2018 – Speak from your Heart

Sophie Rosom has won the Wascana Toastmasters Annual Valentine’s Day Poetry contest four years in a row!  Click on the photo to check out an interview with local poetess and Toastmaster Sophie Rosom, conducted right after the event on February 14, 2018.

Wascana Toastmasters hosts a Valentine’s Day Poetry contest every year.  Distinguished Toastmaster Everett Ritson, known born romantic, hosts this event.  For more information, check out Wascana Toastmasters on Tuesday nights at Knox Met: Toastmasters International Find a Club Profile for Wascana | Club Website

Sophie and Don, Valentines Day Poetry Contest, Wascana Toastmasters, Feb 2018

Local Toastmasters Sophie and Don Rosom celebrating Sophie’s fourth consecutive win at the Wascana Toastmasters Valentine’s Day Poetry contest!

Toastmasters Leadership Institute – Meet the Organizer

The upcoming Division B Toastmasters Leadership Institute (TLI) is coming up on January 20, 2018.  We sat down with Natasha Gallant, the organizer of this event, to discuss High Performance Leadership and her vision for this Club Officer Training event.

What is TLI?

Toastmasters Leadership Institute (TLI) provides the opportunity to offer training sessions concurrently. In addition to club officer training for specific roles, additional educational sessions are offered. This format is more flexible because it allows club officers to choose additional educational sessions that are of special interest to them.

What makes this event special?

One of the exciting parts of this event will be the introduction of Pathways! Toastmasters’ new education program will allow Toastmasters to develop the competencies that they need to communicate and lead. The Toastmasters learning experience will be tailored to your personal and professional goals. The skills you’ll develop will be relevant to the global marketplace. I think this TLI will allow Division B Toastmasters to better understand Pathways and how they will be able to succeed through this new program.

Explain your vision for this event.

We would like to empower club officers to help other members within and beyond their clubs. We want to provide a professional and valuable learning experience. We also want members to meet new people and deepen existing relationships with others.

What have you learned as a leader so far?

I have learned to have a clear vision from the start. It’s easier to share my vision to my team if I have a detailed picture in my mind of my vision. I think it’s important to share this vision with your team as soon as you take on a leadership role. Being open to feedback about your ideas, however, is also essential. Your team members will become more engaged in the project and motivated to carry out their tasks.

Why should a person attend this event?

Toastmasters who develop their leadership skills are able to foster personal and professional growth. This growth is what we are looking to facilitate at the TLI taking place on Saturday, January 20th, 2018. When you become a better leader, you are then able to help Toastmaster members within and beyond your club.

Why did you choose to take in this project?

I believe in the value of Toastmasters in developing leadership and communication skills. I’ve been a member of Toastmasters for over 5 years and I have seen the benefits for myself and others that I have known. Strong club leadership usually facilitates this personal and professional growth. I chose this project because I wanted to provide a valuable learning experience for club officers so that they could help members in their club develop their own leadership and communication skills.

UR Toastmaster on competing in the D42 Humorous Speech Contest

Congratulations to Justice Daka, a member of the UR Toastmasters club, who placed 2nd in the District 42 Humorous Speech contest held at the District Fall Conference in Medicine Hat, AB on November 12, 2017.  In this interview, Justice describes his experience preparing for the contest and the difference that Toastmasters has made for him.

UR Toastmaster wins District 42 Table Topics Contest

Brad Smart, a member of UR Toastmasters, recently won the District 42 Table Topics contest in Medicine Hat, AB, during the Fall 2017 District Conference.

Brad is a graduate student in the Johnson-Shoyama of Public Policy pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree.  He hopes that his Toastmasters skills will help him get a job in government.

Check out the interview with Brad on Youtube here:

Everett Ritson Mentorship Award – “Lie Like a Sidewalk”

By Veronica Schroder, CC, ALB & Marilyn Flegel, CC, ALB

Civil Speakers Toastmasters, Regina, SK


It is with great pleasure that the executive of Civil Speakers Toastmasters Club in Regina, Saskatchewan Canada announces the creation of The Everett Ritson Mentorship Award.

Mr. Ritson has been involved in Toastmasters since 1964, where he first joined Forest City Toastmasters in London, Ontario.  He has been an active member of Wascana Toastmasters since 1974, Weekend Wordmasters since 2014 and helped charter Civil Speakers Toastmasters in 2014, of which he is a lifetime member.

Everett Ritson, DTM, with the new award created in his honor

Over the years, Mr. Ritson has achieved the following:  in 1981 he served as Division B Governor (District 42); 1982-1983 as District 42 Governor (that year the District placed 9th in world standings); and he achieved his DTM award in April of 1983. Over the years, Everett has completed his Competent Communicator (CC) manual at least eight additional times and has participated in countless High Performance Leadership (HPL) projects, Speechcrafts and Youth Leadership Programs.

It is evident to all new and experienced Toastmasters that Mr. Ritson’s fifty-plus years of experience in this organization is invaluable.  His encouraging personality is appreciated by new members and demonstrates effective leadership to all.  Everett is a dynamic speaker who is known for his dramatic talks, entertaining stories, fearless Table Topics and colorful jokes. Beside his exceptional speaking abilities, Mr. Ritson is truly at his best when developing and mentoring new Toastmasters.

Mr. Ritson embodies all that Toastmasters International requests from its members:  Respect, Integrity, Service and Excellence.  His guidance and expertise was instrumental to the successful chartering of Civil Speakers Toastmasters.   The creation of The Everett Ritson Mentorship Award is reminder to practice and pass on the knowledge that Mr. Ritson continues to share with us – a legacy we are proud to honour.

Remember Everett’s tip for success in Table Topics: “Lie Like a Sidewalk”



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