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District 26 - Serving Colorado, Wyoming and western Nebraska

Newly Elected Officers

Elected Officers

District Trio

District Director: Victoria Cox

Biography

“Next year I want to focus on helping everyone reaching out to each other for support and guidance. We need a village but we are also a part of the village. We all need to identify our goals for next year could be personal, career focused or related to Toastmasters. Then choose the direction you need to go and lastly design your plan for success. Most importantly share it with someone to get the support and accountability needed to reach your goal. Reach out and mentor someone as well, so that we all can have a successful year. I am looking forward to helping everyone find their special skill to help them grow. ”  

 

 

 

 

 

Club Growth Director: JP Bachmann

Biography

“Toastmasters has helped me grow in ways I never imagined. I am passionate about this organization because of the confidence and skills we provide to our members. Because of what I’ve learned here, I’ve gained the confidence, training and mentorship to be a leader in my career. In the years since joining, I’ve not only changed careers, but progressed into a management path that may not have been open to be otherwise.

As my journey continues, the goal is to keep learning and progressing as a leader so that I can be more effective in my career while helping others do the same. The decision to run for Club Growth Director is to help every member reach their goals, just as I’ve been able to realize mine.

My vision is simple: Rebuild and re-invigorate the clubs throughout our District and provide training to the members supporting our clubs so they can truly give excellence to struggling and new clubs. We’ll do these things by the following means:
• Teach techniques about how to have engaging and fun virtual and hybrid meetings
• Strengthen our relationships with local organizations to build sustainable corporate clubs
• Educate Club Mentors, Coaches, and Sponsors to support every club, new and old
• Build a strong relationship with Rotary to bolster both organizations

For fresh ideas, vision, passion, and determination to make your experience better than ever, please vote JP Bachmann for District 26 Club Growth Director, 2021-22.”

Program Quality Director: Jeff Scott Ruiz

Biography

“When I first considered running for elected office in the Trio as Club Growth Director for 2020-2021, it was during a time of pandemic and uncertainty in the world. Members were unsure what was happening with their clubs’ ability to meet anywhere, and we all had to figure out a new way to conduct our Toastmasters business. I witnessed a significant drop in membership throughout the organization and was saddened to watch my own District’s membership decline due to the restrictive government lockdowns. Having been a member in District 26 for four-and-a-half years at the time, I was fortunate to be associated with many great communicators and leaders. These de facto mentors inspired me to want to make a difference; so, combined with their influence and faced with a challenging membership loss, I chose to volunteer to help out as best I could.

Now, as my Club Growth Director term approaches its pinnacle, I’m seeking a new office—one of fundamental educational training as Program Quality Director. For the clubs that have remained, and for the new ones that will soon be chartering, it is my intention to preserve the flame and to re-determine our collective “why”. Throughout my membership in this District I’ve participated in several TLIs, COTs and conferences. These experiences would be beneficial in my role as PQD; and I’m looking forward to setting up our events for great success. Here’s to an awesome 2021-2022 program year!”

 

District Director: Victoria Cox

Biography

“Next year I want to focus on helping everyone reaching out to each other for support and guidance. We need a village but we are also a part of the village. We all need to identify our goals for next year could be personal, career focused or related to Toastmasters. Then choose the direction you need to go and lastly design your plan for success. Most importantly share it with someone to get the support and accountability needed to reach your goal. Reach out and mentor someone as well, so that we all can have a successful year. I am looking forward to helping everyone find their special skill to help them grow. ” 

Program Quality Director: Jeff Scott Ruiz

Biography

“When I first considered running for elected office in the Trio as Club Growth Director for 2020-2021, it was during a time of pandemic and uncertainty in the world. Members were unsure what was happening with their clubs’ ability to meet anywhere, and we all had to figure out a new way to conduct our Toastmasters business. I witnessed a significant drop in membership throughout the organization and was saddened to watch my own District’s membership decline due to the restrictive government lockdowns. Having been a member in District 26 for four-and-a-half years at the time, I was fortunate to be associated with many great communicators and leaders. These de facto mentors inspired me to want to make a difference; so, combined with their influence and faced with a challenging membership loss, I chose to volunteer to help out as best I could.

Now, as my Club Growth Director term approaches its pinnacle, I’m seeking a new office—one of fundamental educational training as Program Quality Director. For the clubs that have remained, and for the new ones that will soon be chartering, it is my intention to preserve the flame and to re-determine our collective “why”. Throughout my membership in this District I’ve participated in several TLIs, COTs and conferences. These experiences would be beneficial in my role as PQD; and I’m looking forward to setting up our events for great success. Here’s to an awesome 2021-2022 program year!”

Club Growth Director: JP Bachmann

Biography

“Toastmasters has helped me grow in ways I never imagined. I am passionate about this organization because of the confidence and skills we provide to our members. Because of what I’ve learned here, I’ve gained the confidence, training and mentorship to be a leader in my career. In the years since joining, I’ve not only changed careers, but progressed into a management path that may not have been open to be otherwise.

As my journey continues, the goal is to keep learning and progressing as a leader so that I can be more effective in my career while helping others do the same. The decision to run for Club Growth Director is to help every member reach their goals, just as I’ve been able to realize mine.

My vision is simple: Rebuild and re-invigorate the clubs throughout our District and provide training to the members supporting our clubs so they can truly give excellence to struggling and new clubs. We’ll do these things by the following means:
• Teach techniques about how to have engaging and fun virtual and hybrid meetings
• Strengthen our relationships with local organizations to build sustainable corporate clubs
• Educate Club Mentors, Coaches, and Sponsors to support every club, new and old
• Build a strong relationship with Rotary to bolster both organizations

For fresh ideas, vision, passion, and determination to make your experience better than ever, please vote JP Bachmann for District 26 Club Growth Director, 2021-22.”

Elected Officers

Division Directors

Metro Division Director: Ron Pierre

Biography

“My name is Ron Pierre and I am your 2021-2022 nominee for Metro Division Director. As a Metro Division Director, I will lead the Metro Division by example. I find that leaders with a well-articulated direction, a guiding principle, moral code or mission always have a basis for strong, understandable decision making. As a leader, I will always conduct myself in a way that makes people feel like I would never ask anything of them that I wouldn’t be willing to do myself.

I believe that communication is a key component to effective leadership, which is why I will focus on listening to feedback and fostering honest communication between my team members. I will lead with integrity and support my Area Directors as they work toward their common goals.

I will develop meaningful relationships with my team members so that I can encourage and inspire them to reach their full potential. Using empathy, communication, and positivity. I will create a Metro Division that is both fun and effective.”

Urban Division Director: Ruth Prentice

Biography

“As Urban Division Director, my goal is to recruit new Area Directors who want leadership experience – but are concerned about the time commitment. Indeed, many potential leaders have family and career priorities that limit the amount of time they can give to Toastmasters. I want to streamline the activities – making the role of an Area Director a realistic challenge and a great experience! Together we can build on the success that the current Urban Division and Area Directors are handing over to us.”

Southern Division Director: Deborah Horowitz

Biography

“Deborah Horowitz is the nominated candidate for Toastmasters District 26 Southern Division Director for the 2021-2022 year. She has held board roles in other non-profit organizations, and has degrees in business. She joined Toastmasters in 2013, and received her Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) award in 2017. From 2013 on, she has held one or more officer roles in her clubs, including being president in her 3 different clubs: Top Class (1155833), 21st Century (4829), and S-Peak Leaders (4002183) – the advanced Toastmasters club. She is currently VP of Education in all 3 clubs.

Her experience includes most every club officer role, being an Area Governor (2014-2015) and Area Director (2019-2020). She had been recognized for assisting the Southern Division Director for many years. She has been a club coach more than once, has organized Toastmasters Leadership Institutes (TLI) and Club Officer Trainings, and has presented at District events.

Her passion is the leadership side of Toastmasters, enjoying helping people achieve their goals and getting the members involved with club contests, TLI’s, and education events. Getting members signed up for Pathways has been key to her, giving them the inspiration, encouragement, and confidence to embrace their pathways experience. She finds herself naturally using her toastmaster skills at my current job, when training new people at the store. She sees that communication with her Area Directors, other Division Directors, and other leaders in the district is key. She will be working with her Area Directors for their personal goals and growth as well as all the clubs they support.

With all the experience she brings to the role, she is confident to be outstanding as the next Southern Division Director.”

Foothills Division Director: Jonathan Kolber

Floor Candidate

Biography

“I want to continue the pursuit of seeing more clubs balance having fun and learning, as presciently advocated by Ralph Smedley, long before the research showing that fun supports learning.

In my time as an AD, I’ve seen clubs that are all about having fun, and what that costs them. In previous years, I visited a club that was so focused on protocol that no one smiled during the whole meeting. (I wonder what their retention was.)

I have already enrolled one AD to join me, and may be able to secure a second.

My year as an AD convinced me of the importance of model clubs, which do most things right (as demonstrated in their statistics as well as joie de vivre). In this division, Front Range Toaastmasters (FRTM) is such a club, and while it has room to improve (as noted in my final AD report), I do intend to encourage less effective clubs to visit it and take note.

I understand the importance of encouraging ADs to watch statistics and seek their improvement. I call that the “head” part of club management. I also believe that there is a sense of play and camaraderie that must be nourished. I call this the ‘heart’.”

Denver Division Director: Karen McGrath

Floor Candidate

Biography

“As Denver Division Director, my passion for helping others and my previous experience in leadership and as a corporate trainer have provided me skills that are transferrable to this role. As a former corporate trainer, my skill-set specifically aligns with Toastmasters educational program. Helping others achieve their goals and being able to break complex concepts down into understandable basics has helped me in my role as Vice President Education as well as Area Director. I learned as an Area Director that organization is key. Helping Area Directors remain organized throughout the year to meet the deadlines is another item where I will draw on my past experiences.

Toastmasters has given me so much more than I had expected, and I hope, that I can bring that same spark of passion and enthusiasm to new leaders as they start their leadership journey.”

Western Division Director: James (Jimmy) Dent

Floor Candidate

Biography

“The current COVID-19 situation is a unique challenge for our clubs and members this year. While many clubs have made the transition to meeting online, and may soon convert back to either meeting as a hybrid club or fully in-person, it may still present a challenge with member retention and growing memberships in the clubs. There may still be problems with members adapting to, or adopting, Pathways.

I plan to bring my team of ADs together early in the year, to reinforce the idea that we (the ADs and the Clubs) are “a team” and can work together as a team to come up with solutions to problems in our Division, with a goal of building up the clubs to support the District.

As a Division Director, I feel that my primary connection with the division clubs should be through the Area Directors — they should be the primary direct contacts for their area clubs, and my role should be one of support for those ADs. I feel that the ADs should support, guide, and encourage the club leaders to improve their clubs to the best of their ability, and the DivDir’s responsibility is to support and provide resources to the ADs in those efforts.
I plan on using my past experience as a 4-time AD, to be an AD coach and mentor, and to support them with what they need to grow the existing clubs and build new clubs to meet the District Mission.”

Northern Division Director: Tiaja Pierre

Floor Candidate

Biography

“I am elated to announce my candidacy for Northern Division Director. Not only do I reside in the Denver area but also I currently serve as a D5 Area Director and am the current President of Rocky Mountain Toastmasters, Club 739 (which is the second oldest club in the region). I have held other Toastmasters positions for years, mentored colleagues, led sections of TLI training, helped with contests in various capacities, as well as have competed in contests, too!

My husband Ron Pierre and I eat, breath and sleep all things Toastmasters and I feel I would be a great Division Director as I meet all the Core Competencies of a Toastmasters International Division Director. If elected I would lead and support the division through the support and supervision of the Area Directors. I would coordinate and set division goals and assist in the training of Area and Club Leaders with the ultimate goal of having all clubs reach Distinguished Division Program status.

Myself being a volunteer in various organizations (The Junior League of Denver, Mayoral appointee for Denver Kid’s Head Start and Toastmasters International) is a testament to my ability to lead, motivate and inspire others. Toastmasters International is a great place with amazing people who want to be successful and gain skills to be able to do so.

Thank you for your consideration in electing myself as the next Northern Division Director.”

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