Leader of the Month

District 30 is fortunate to work with a dedicated group of leaders who genuinely want to make a positive difference in the lives of their members. Although great leaders value results, it is also important to value those Area Directors and Division Directors that make those results possible.

Every month, we will highlight one amazing District leader who adds value to the fabric of District 30 through their leadership and service.


September 2017 – Gary Ketterer CC, CL

Calvin Gibbs: Welcome Gary and congratulations on being selected as our Leader of the Month.

Gary: This is an unexpected honor, thank you!


Q: Let’s start with the basic questions. When did you join Toastmasters and what club do you belong to?

A: I joined Toastmasters in June 2014 and I am a member of Acxiomasters Downers Grove (Club #7060).


Q: What is your Toastmasters educational level?

A: I have a CC and a CL. I’m two speeches away from Advance Communicator Bronze.


Q: Which Advance Communication manuals are you working on?

A: The “Special Occasions” manual and “Speaking to Inform” manual.


Q: What’s your favorite project from either of them?

A: From the “Special Occasions” manual, I found the project about giving a eulogy very interesting. My father-in-law recently passed away and although I didn’t give the eulogy at his funeral, I did give it in my club to fulfill the requirements of the project. It was hard to do because of having to invoke the emotions of the audience it was very easy to get caught up myself. The fact that I am a Minister helped me keep it together but it was hard.


Q: Which officer roles have you held in the club?

A: I have been VP-Education twice but I am not holding a Club Officer position currently.


Q: What District role do you currently hold?

A: I am the Area 31 Director in the SW Division and I have 5 clubs in my area.


Q: We know that clubs need attention and motivation. What steps do you take to motivate your clubs?

A: I try to meet the executive board members when I can and I also try to go to the clubs meetings when I can. I have been trying to meet my clubs once a month so that they know that I’m there to support them and guide them and be that person that they can lean on.


Q: Tell me about a time when you have mentored or coached someone to achieve success.

A: In my club, a new member came in and she was very nervous and jittery. So, I jumped in and offered to be her mentor and get her through the first three speeches. I told her that if she needed anymore help after that, I would be there for her. I let her know that all she had to do was reach out and we could talk.


Q: When you approach a new member that is nervous and a bit unsure, what techniques do you use to help them calm down and assure them that they can get through it?

A: I just tell them that I was was once in the exact same place they are in now. I let them know that the club members and I are all there to help them. I let them know that our club is a safe place to make mistakes and learn from them.


Q: Have you gained any commitments from your club to be a Distinguished or better club?

A: Yes, the club I visited today only completed four goals last year. I asked permission to give a speech during one of my visits and the topic was the DCP program. They had never been given good instructions on what it was all about. By the time I finished, they had a much better understanding of the requirements of the DCP and how to use that as a guide to becoming Distinguished. They all understood it and I could see it on their faces. It was like a light bulb had come on. They said that they were going to work on it and I am going to help them until they become at least Distinguished by June 30th. They are a great club and a really nice bunch of people so if they are willing to do the work, I am willing to work with them. If the other clubs in my area are willing to do the work then I am going to give them the same TLC to become distinguished or better.


Q: That is a hefty but attainable goal Gary but I am sure that because of your dedication to help them, they all have a great chance of becoming a Distinguished or better club.

A: Thank you for saying that; I just want them to succeed and for the members to grow and reach their goals.


Q: So Gary, what’s next for you as a leader in Toastmasters?

A: As far as educational goals, I will continue to work on my DTM. For leadership goals, I’m learning all that I can to become a Division Director.


Q: I want to thank you for the interview Gary and good luck to you on your Toastmasters journey. 

A: Thank you!


Calvin Gibbs DTM is District 30’s Public Relations Manager for 2017-2018. He joined Toastmasters in April 2013 and has served in various Club and District Officer roles. He is a member of Beyond the C’s. You can reach Calvin at at born2speak2you@mail.com 




For a list all Archived 2017-2018 Leaders of the Month, click here