In 2004 a small group at Nestle Purina was looking to form a corporate Toastmaster’s club. Since I’d been a member of the South County Club in the late 90’s, I thought it would be fun to rejoin Toastmasters and an opportunity to help get a new club off the ground. Additionally, Terry Rolan (Solae Club) wouldn’t let you out of the room until you agreed to become an officer.
What’s the greatest benefit you’ve received from Toastmasters?
Toastmasters has provided myriad opportunities for personal growth and has improved my self confidence. Prior to joining I was considered the quiet accountant in the corner. Being Toastmaster of the Evening, especially for corporate open houses to attract new members, allowed me to hone my creative theme skills. I went from a constant state of trepidation to one of looking forward to crafting a fun meeting in each role that I performed. As I grew in confidence I became more interested in leadership roles – club officer and then Area Governor. It was my way of giving back to so many people who had helped me on my journey.
Speaking of roles, what’s been or continues to be the most difficult role for you as a Toastmaster?
I continue to struggle with impromptu speaking. I generally prefer to be prepared. However, after hearing a recent speech by Barb Sapienza, I think I have some ammunition in my arsenal to deflect the next Table Topics bullet.
What are some of your interests outside of Toastmasters?
My family and I have spent the last 20 years exploring the outdoors of the West. Hiking, backpacking, and camping are high on our list. It’s exciting to bump into the history of early Native Americans or pioneers. It’s an education and a window into a much tougher way of life. It certainly gives you an appreciation for all the comforts of the 21st century.
What’s one of your favorite quotes?
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by things you didn’t do than by the things you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”—Mark Twain
Tell us something we don’t know about you.
I get high on the smell of sagebrush.