District 47 Director

“Today is a good, good day”.   July 1st is the beginning of “Creating a New Legacy”.

Blessings come to those who persevere through adversity.

The District has faced adversity this year with Hurricane Dorian devastating several Bahamian Islands and then the challenge we have faced with the COVID-19.

But good things have come to this District – under the stellar leadership of Leonardo Burrows as our District Director, the District is one of the few 2019-2020 Distinguished Districts in the Toastmasters International Organization.   And our International Speech contestant winner Errol Leandre has moved on to the International Speech semifinals.

We will build on these successes with our incoming District Leadership team.  We are here to support you. As this year begins, the calendar is complete and will be shared soon so you can be proactive in planning and communicating to your clubs.  We strive to bring beneficial educational workshops, webinars, leadership training and most important of all, we want to recognize our outstanding clubs and the shining members who are the backbone of the clubs.  We will do this through award recognition and by providing club incentives.

The CULTURE OF COMMUNITY is our vision this year – the toastmaster members are a family, a community.  But we must pay it forward reaching out to the community by scheduling Youth Leadership Programs, Speech Crafts, supporting organizations such as Junior Achievement, the Boys & Girls Clubs, the YMCA, and the Rotary.   As we show our involvement in these organizations, we will enlighten others to who we are – Toastmasters – this life changing empowerment culture of self-development and servant leadership.

This is a new beginning, a new leadership team, and only one educational program and we will thrive as these changes bring new opportunities working together “Creating a New Legacy”.

Yours in Service,

Barbara B. Strasdas, DTM
District Director, District 47

District 47 2020 - 2021 Success Plan"We work with ambitious leaders who want their future to be successful and help them achieve extraordinary outcomes."

District 47 2020-2021 Success Plan – District Team Charter

As a team of diversified individuals united in one purpose in following the District Mission to build new clubs and support all clubs in achieving excellence, the team operates with these 4 principles.  They include Commitment, Collaboration, Communication and Consistency to be followed in Creating a Legacy Where Members Excel.  The principles are defined by this acronym of Legacy.

L – Leading the new journey of success through the Pathways Educational Program – creating trainer teams to reach out to all clubs to be 100% Pathways enroll

E – Exemplary servant leadership to our members and through Community Outreach by organizing Youth Leadership Programs, Speech Crafts, and involvement with organizations such as Rotary, Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCA, and Junior Achievement

G – Growth in ourselves and in others by providing lessons of self-development and mentoring others to become leaders

A – Acknowledgement of our members and clubs to show their value and successes through recognition

C – Commitment to our members, to our roles of leadership with consistency and communication

Y – YOU – Give the Opportunity to our members for creativity and innovation in turning a membership to a lifetime loyalty

Obstacles can challenge us in many different forms. Specifically, the continuation of the Corona Virus Pandemic is still affecting so many; but what we have witnessed is more connection via zoom meetings.  Physical travel distance is no longer a challenge at this time as meetings are scheduled more often.

This current challenge gives us the opportunity to grow as a District through better interpersonal communication. There will always be conflict, but with our core values as the foundation of this organization; as individuals, we will strive to be respectful of each other and the diversity of personalities.

Toastmasters is an organization focused on communication. We must improve our communication to the members of the clubs, so they understand the breadth of this organization. The Vision of the District is a Culture of Community – start with our own community of our members through valuation and recognition – to regenerate the interest in this visionary organization, to remind each member of their Why, to reach out to former members and reignite their WHY. Most important is to reach out to our community around us by sharing our gift of toastmasters to others. This will increase the knowledge of our Brand and generate membership growth.


Situational Analysis

Challenges that are present include the continuation of the COVID health crisis precluding the in person meetings, the sustainability of club membership due to Zoom attendance only, and to the transition of longtime members from the Legacy Program to the Pathways Program.



Create a member-centric initiative in the District for the 2020-2021 Toastmasters Year through the implementation of incentives for the members, clubs, area, and division directors thereby ensuring club growth, sustainability of membership, and club program quality through education and communication.

The initiatives and incentives were created to motivate, encourage, educate, and recognize the members. These initiatives include the Shooting Star Award, hosting the District Hall of Fame, return of the Sunshiner Newsletter, the focus on Community Outreach, including but not limited to Youth Leadership Programs, Speech Crafts, and presentations outside of Toastmasters clubs. The production and distribution of the District Calendar at the start of the Toastmasters year will support proactive planning. Future District leaders are being cultivated and mentored by Senior Leadership, including Pathways Trainers, Club Growth & Retention Committee Chairs, the Sunshiner and Social Media teams.

Through budgeting of the District funds for the purpose of our members, these goals can be met. Specific budgeted funds to provide the best communication through technology, by providing Toastmaster materials to the benefit of the members and clubs including motivational items, educational materials, and recognition awards.

Recognition this year is of the highest importance. At the Zoom venues, recognition and verbal thanks is given at the event, by all involved. Gratitude postings on the District Facebook are constant and positive. Pictures of the event and event leaders are posted and repeated for recognition. In the budget, incentives and gratitude items are detailed. Physical items such as pins, badges, TI vouchers, branded TI items will be given to show appreciation to the members, the leaders and the teams who are involved in the planning and production of the District events.


Actions to Achieve

  • Launch Shooting Star Campaign to value potential future leaders
  • Cultivate future District Leaders by the creation of teams to support the goals of the District by inclusion of talented members
  • Host the Hall of Fame Recognition Award Events
  • Rejuvenate the Sunshiner Newsletter by expanding to 10 editions and spotlighting the Division members and events
  • Community Outreach to the Communities through Youth Leadership Programs, Speech Crafts, and involvement in organizations such as YMCA,
    Boys and Girls Clubs, Rotary and Junior Achievement