Sunday, 19 April 2020 22:18

2020-2021 District Officer Nominations

Written by
Founders Banner DLC2

In accordance with Article VII, Section (b) of the District Administrative Bylaws, the District Leadership Committee, comprised of one representative from each Division (in order, A through G):

  • Stephanie Richards, CC
  • David Moore, DTM
  • Randy Kleinman, DTM
  • Mike Sato, ACB, CL
  • Mary Berg, DTM
  • Marc Church, ACS, ALB
  • Linda Robinson, DTM

has nominated the following candidates for 2020-2021 District Officers, in order by office and then alphabetically by last name if there is more than one candidate for an office:


No Candidate
No Candidate
No Candidate

The Committee has also interviewed Kathy Hughes, DTM, for the position of Program Quality Director. [Note: The Committee is allowed to nominate a candidate for only one office.]


Respectfully submitted,

Diana Dee, DTM, IPDD
District Leadership Committee Chair

Thursday, 12 March 2020 13:03

Coronavirus 2019 Important Notice

Written by

Important Notice to Founder's District Club Members and Leaders

What a wild time this is. The Coronavirus situation has been escalating the past few weeks. I have been in touch with Toastmasters International, and our leadership team to discuss what the District should do for our upcoming contests and events. The Governor, Gavin Newsom, called for a moratorium on large gatherings over 250 attendees. None of our scheduled events will be that large.

We have decided to proceed as scheduled – for Area, Division and District events (which you can find on the district calendar at

However, there are precautions that all of us need to follow:

  1. If you are feeling sick – ANY symptoms at all – PLEASE STAY HOME.
  2. Wash your hands – frequently, in warm water, with soap and for at least 20 seconds.
  3. Do not touch your face, as that is how the virus is transmitted.
  4. Masks are not needed unless you are already sick.
  5. Keep your distance from sick people.
  6. Regularly clean surfaces, cell phones, door handles with antibiotic wipes and other products.
  7. We are asking anyone over 65, or anyone with threatened immune systems, to consider NOT attending events, as you are the most susceptible to having more serious outcomes if you are infected with the virus.

The District is discussing ways we can live stream the contests for those who need to stay home, to watch the contests (we have to prepare a plan and get the technology in place). We are also building a contingency plan for the District events, should we have to eventually cancel the live events.

The District Leadership team values our members and wants to provide safe and interactive events, without risking your health. Please use your best judgement when deciding whether to attend the live events. We are continuing to monitor the directives of our Toastmasters International leaders, and our government officials.

We will continue to keep you informed if the situation should change.

Bottom line is that we will be holding our events as scheduled, until further notice.

Thank you valued members. Be safe out there!

Monday, 01 July 2019 17:50

Happy 2019-2020 Toastmasters New Year

Written by

LoriShapiroHello fellow Founder’s District Toastmasters!

July 1st, 2019 is the beginning of the 2019-2020 Toastmasters Year. It’s time to celebrate our successes and plan for our future. We finished strong, with 73 of 138 clubs distinguished. We had 15 Distinguished, 9 Select Distinguished and 49 President’s Distinguished. WOW that’s over 50% of our clubs. Congratulations to all of you.

This year, through the Magic of Collaboration, we will focus on building strong new clubs, supporting our 138 existing clubs by offering a lot of training opportunities for the new club officers. Pathways adoption by clubs and members will be a key focus. This is the last year that those working through the legacy manual system will be recognized for completion of those education awards. If you want a DTM, then you must complete all requirements by June 30, 2020. We want to provide support for clubs that want to strengthen their membership and grow their clubs. Stay tuned for more information on new and exciting incentives and recognition programs.Our goal will be to bring Founder’s District to Smedley Distinguished by June 30, 2020. Let’s work together as a district TEAM to make that happen.

Today is Founder’s District’s 75th Anniversary! Founder’s spun off from District 1 on July 1, 1944. We will be celebrating on Sept 7th, 2019, in Irvine. Save the date!

Photo by Lawrence Crandall2019SpeechContestWinnersDaniel Midson-Short (left), David Moore (middle), Cliff Shimizu (right)

Fierce, yet friendly competition in the District contests showcased talented Founder’s District Toastmasters representing the best in all seven divisions. Their impromptu and prepared speeches took the audience on an emotional ride; laughter, tears, heartbreak and inspiration.

The district speech contest was held on May the 4th, 2019 at the Business Expo Center in Anaheim, California. The conference theme was "Harness the Force".

Congratulations to Founder’s District International Speech contest winners! Finishing in first place was 5 time winner, Daniel Midson-Short, from Coastmasters Toastmasters Club in Division G with his speech titled "Not My Problem." The second place trophy goes to David Moore with his speech "Impossible". David is from B Braun Toastmaster Club in Divison D. Cliff Shimizu representing MeridianMasters in Divison B with his speech "Don't Do It To Win" took third place.

Daniel Midson-Short advances to the region quarterfinal round of the contest, vying for one of 14 spots in the semifinals, to be held at the Toastmasters International Convention Thursday, Aug. 22 in Denver, Colo. From there, six contestants will advance to the World Championship of Public Speaking,® which take place at the convention Saturday, Aug. 24.

Photo by Lawrence Crandall0235Left to right: District Director Diana Dee, 1st place Diane Baughman, 2nd place Stephanie Courtillier, 3rd place Steve Babyak

The seven divisions of Founder's District also competed in the Table Topics competition. The first place title goes to Diane Baughman of Tools 2 Lead Toastmasters Club in Division A. The second place trophy goes to Stephanie Courtillier of Rancho Speech Masters Toastmasters Club in Division G. Steve Babyak from Newport Center Toastmasters Club in Divison E took the third place trophy.

Thursday, 21 March 2019 22:41

2019-2020 District Officer Nominations

Written by
Founders Banner DLC2

In accordance with Article VII, Section (d) of the District Administrative Bylaws, the District Leadership Committee, comprising of Daniel Cossack, DTM, IPDD, Silvia Swigert, DTM, Vijay Chidambaram, DTM, Steve Itzkowitz, ACS, ALB, Pan Kao, PDD, DTM, Susan De La Portilla, ACS, ALS, Jeffrey Lee, DTM, and John Muse, DTM, has nominated the following candidates for the 2019-2020 District Officers, in order by office and then alphabetically by last name if there is more than one candidate per office:


Lori Shapiro, DTM
Christine Brady, MS3
David Hosmer, DTM
Ann Shimizu, DTM
Gisele Nguyen, ACB, ALB
Lillian Copeland, ACB, ALB
Patrick Bui, CC, ALB
Joel Sax, VC3
Jean Tanquary, PL2
Sherry Tomasula, DTM
Reported by Daniel Cossack, DTM, IPDD, Chair, District Leadership Committee

John Angiolillo receives awardDiana Dee (left) presents award to John Angiolillo (right)Past District Governor and Distinguished Toastmaster, John Angiolillo, receives the Spirit of Excellence Award. Current Founder's District Director, Diana Dee, presented the award at the District Executive Council meeting on Februrary 14, 2019.

Angiolillo recognized the crucial need to keep club and district officer contact data current and, for many years, has volunteered to maintain the District Directory and update vital officer training data throughout the Toastmaster year. For example, the day after club officer training at the Leadership And Communication Experience (LACE) event last January, John swiftly compiled the officer training data and made it available to the district leadership. Those in district leadership positions know that John is consistently dogged in pursuit of the data needed for the District Directory.

John's positive, proactive spirit goes above and beyond expectations by providing outstanding service to the district. We thank John for his hard work and dedication.

The Spirit of Excellence Award is given to recognize a member who has had a big impact on many members throughout the District. Recipients embody the qualities of mentoring, leadership, service, outreach, and most of all, a Toastmaster's heart.

The District Directory and Calendar is painstakenly updated twice a year and hard and soft copies are provided to district leaders and chairs. The club officer training results are published on the Founder's District web site and updated in near real-time during the two training periods each year.

Saturday, 09 February 2019 03:49

A Moment In History

Written by

Anniversary Icon

Founder's District celebrates 75 years of producing leaders and enriching the lives of members from around the world. It all started in Orange County, California on July 1, 1944. As the birthplace of Toastmasters, Founder's District is the first of nearly 130 districts founded across 143 countries worldwide.

In 2019, Founder's District serves as the creative catalyst, preparing members for their future with seven divisions, supporting 135 clubs, and serving over 2500 members across Orange and Los Angeles County. Toastmasters' long-term success and sustainability reflects the effectiveness of our hands-on, experiential learning as envisioned by Dr. Ralph Smedley, "Toastmasters is a laboratory where members experiment with words, ideas, voice inflection, body language and emotional connections."

With a collaborative and communicative mindset, our leaders and members continue to engage, expand and evolve Toastmasters into an inclusive and interconnected network of members infused with creativity and positivity. Toastmasters is a human connection ecosystem that enables people from different cultures, backgrounds and professions to converge weekly or bi-monthly in a fun, friendly and supportive atmosphere. A club meeting or district event is where members can "turn fear into opportunity" and "strangers turn into friends". With opportunities to lead and collaborate throughout the organization, members gain as much energy as they exert. Members choose to co-create with each other or co-develop a special project to elevate themselves, the club, and/or the organization. As a result, everyone rises together.

Looking ahead, John Kotter, author of Leading Change states, "The rate of change is not going to slow down anytime soon. If anything, competition in most industries will probably speed up even more in the next few decades." The rapid rate of change can be intimidating for any one person. Toastmasters can ease the rapid transformation pressures by providing a relaxing and fun environment in which members can experience:
1) personal transformation 2) professional development and 3) social skills to improve themselves and ultimately, 4) to be of service others.

As a member since 2016, I have observed the transformational powers of the Toastmasters process. I've grown first from the inside, and Toastmasters has left an indelible mark in my life. Over the next few months, I will interview and share stories from visionary leaders and members within and outside of our district to cast a net of ideas, thoughts and actions with you. By sharing our stories, we can uplift, inspire and become the creative catalyst for others. Happy 75th Anniversary, Founder's District!

Contributed by: Gisele Nguyen, President
Sensational Salesmen Toastmaster, Club 417

Sunday, 18 November 2018 16:37

TEDx vs. World Champion of Public Speaking

Written by

Just like there are different genres of dance, like jazz, ballet or hip hop, there are different genres of speeches. There are fun and heartfelt wedding toasts, inspiring 45 minute keynotes, persuasive campaign speeches and countless others.

Each speech genre has a different tone depending on the audience, content and performance. I've given speeches to audiences of various sizes, cultures and ages. I remember all of them, but there are 2 that stand out to me the most: the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking and TEDx.

In 2016, I surpassed 35,000 contestants to place 3rd place in the World Championship of Public Speaking. Since then, I have been invited to speak all around the world including, India, 4 countries in the Middle East, China and Russia.

Which led to an invitation to TEDx on January 2018.

The two genres are drastically different and I had to adjust my speaking style and writing in each.

Here is a breakdown of the main differences.


Audience: U.S. The TEDx was set in Culver City, CA. An audience of about 120 that consisted of mostly native English speakers. They shared my culture and humor and I didn't have to adjust my jargon to be understood.

Content: Research based. Credibility should be established through research. Although, I included a personal story to emphasize my pointe, the subject should be rooted in solid arguments.

Structure: Simple. I used an easy to follow structure that had 3 examples to support my argument.

Humor: Not essential but appreciated. There are a few sprinkled here and there but I didn't bury the content under humor.

Type: Inspirational/Educational. The audience should walk away with a new piece of knowledge.

Performance Style: Casual. Much more conversational and intimate.

World Championship of Public Speaking:

Audience: International. There are about 2,000 members in the audience from 142 countries. I had to focus on a common human experience (friendship, appreciation, work ethic etc) that speaks across all cultures.

Content: Story based. I used stories from my own life to support a single message.

Structure: Artistic. I used many literary tools like foreshadowing, call backs and metaphors in my speech. At this level of competition, there must be some technical skills that go beyond just a message.

Humor: Frequent and well timed. Humor is an unwritten requirement in a Championship speech. I averaged at about 7 laughs per minute.

Type: Entertaining/Inspirational. The audience should walk away uplifted and inspired.

Performance Style: Dramatic. Facial expressions, acted out dialogue and staged choreography. Championship speeches have evolved into an almost theatrical performance.

Although there are many types of speeches, if you can master one, you can master them all. Just like dancing, you can learn all the tools, but the most important part is to actually practice them.

And that is exactly why Toastmasters is so valuable.

Josephine Lee is an industry leading entrepreneur and an award winning public speaker.

Follow her on



At your service,
Josephine Lee

The Pointe Shop
200 E. 3rd Street
Santa Ana CA 92701




Pointe Magazine:

OC Register:

Saturday, 17 November 2018 18:26

Toastmasters Changed My Life

Written by

After 20 years with the same company, it sold, and I was out the door; 60 years old, out on the street, resume in hand, looking for work. My self-esteem gone.

When I was about at my lowest, a good friend asked me to attend a Toastmaster meeting with him. I told him, 'I need a job, not a meeting.' But he kept asking. Finally, I decided to humor him and gave in. That morning changed my life.

When we got to the meeting, I found the room bursting with positive energy. These people seemed going somewhere in life. I left that meeting with a membership application in hand and my heart was beating again.

I joined, and jumped in with both feet, achieving my Competent Communicator pin in short order. As I did, my self-confidence began to return. And something else: an old ambition of mine was awakened. I had always wanted to start my own business, applying some of my own ideas and using my new Toastmasters skills.

After a year with Toastmasters, and my wife's total support, I begged, borrowed from our IRA and a good friend, and started my own Company.

I had to get out and sell people on my idea and convince them to buy it and become part of my company. I held meetings all over California. I spoke everywhere and anywhere I could get in the door - service clubs, chambers of commerce, - sometimes 3 times a week.

My Toastmasters experience was pushing me forward!

Once I recruited franchisees, I had to go back to their offices and train their sales team using all the skills I learned at Toastmasters. Where did I get the courage and confidence to do it? You got it: Toastmasters!

One thing I know: Whatever your ambition, if you want to be the best you can be, you will never outgrow your need for Toastmasters.

Sunday, 29 April 2018 14:11

Harry Yan Receives Gene Beckwith Award

Written by

Photo by Jimmy KhathSpringConference 20180428 467Harry Yan Receives Gene Beckwith Award

The Gene Beckwith Memorial Trophy was established at the Founder’s District Fall Conference in 1981. The Founder’s District Director selects the Toastmaster who best exemplifies the humor, wisdom and leadership qualities of Gene Beckwith, DTM, PDG. The first recipient of this award was Roy D. Graham, DTM, PID.

I've never met Gene Beckwith so I have no idea how to compare his humor, wisdom, and leadership qualities. Our only option is to compare such qualities with those of recent past recipients of this award. This is the most prestigious award the district will bestow on a member so this selection is not taken lightly. Not one, but multiple years of contributions are considered.

This year's recipient began his venture into leadership by serving as a simple club coach for a struggling club. Ten years ago this club had 7 members and on its last leg. Through hard work and perseverance he helped the club grow its membership year after year up to 37 members and is consistently Presidents Distinguished every year. He remains a member of the club today.

He found his passion in pursuing leadership positions that involved coaching clubs, teaching others to coach clubs, building new clubs, and especially youth leadership programs. As Lt. Governor of Marketing, a position we now call the Club Growth Director, he was largely responsible for building enough clubs to achieve distinguished district status, a rarity in Founder's district for the last 20 years. Two years later as district governor, leading his team under the theme "Pursue Your Passion", he incredibly achieved for the first and only time in the history of the district, select distinguished status.

His leadership skills and wisdom are incontrovertible. As far as humor ... well, if you've ever heard him speak and tell the story about the tortoise and the hare, you would agree that he has no problem with humor. And even more importantly, he is inspirational.

Congratulations Distinguished Toastmaster, past district governor, Harry Yan.


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