Member of the Month
In District 30, there are many members who we feel should be recognized for their passion, dedication and commitment to both Toastmasters International and the educational program. To honor and appreciate them, we have created this page to acknowledge them.
Every month, we will highlight one dynamic member who has added value to the fabric of District 30 through participation, promotion and/ or positive spirit.
July 2017 – Jeff Stein DTM
Q: When did you join Toastmasters and which club(s) do you belong to?
A: I first joined Toastmasters in the summer of 2008, some nine years ago. I belong to three Toastmasters clubs – Windy City Professional Speakers, Midwest Speaking Professionals, and celebrating 69 years, Niles Township Toastmasters.
Q: What is your current TM education level? What TM goal are you working on now?
A: I received my DTM in 2014 and I currently have three goals. Goal #1 is to help build up Niles Township Toastmasters club. It is so rich in history and such a fun club that I want to see it continue to do well. Goal#2 is to help people have more opportunities to speak professionally. We have some tremendous speakers in District 30 and I like helping them whenever I can. Goal #3 is a bit more intimate as it relates to my personal goal. I get myself in position to be D30’s representative at the annual conference when its held in Chicago next year. Now, I don’t want to be presumptuous by saying this because I know the level of competition in our district…but that’s my goal.
Q: Who is your TM mentor? How has he/ she helped you with your journey?
A: I always laugh when I hear this question because I have many mentors. There are so many people that I have learned from in my Toastmasters journey that I cannot begin to name them all.
Q: Can you give us just a few of them then?
A: Will Hsiung, Angela Moutis, and Karen Johnson were all there for me when I was getting started. Oh, Ed Hern was a great person that I learned a lot from as well. They helped me understand the Toastmasters agenda and way of doing things. They helped me understand things about myself that I hadn’t really considered like that. You see Calvin, at every stage of the journey there has been new person to admire, a new mentor, a new point of view comes into play. So, I say that I have many mentors. Plus, I’m still learning so there will be more mentors as well.
Q: How has the Toastmasters “experience” (or journey) changed your life?
A: Toastmasters was originally meant to be a means to the next stage for me. I had just left broadcasting and I had done some competitive speaking on the collegiate level. I joined for all the wrong reasons. I thought I’d give a few speeches, win a few contests and move on up the ladder, you know, go out and do my thing. What I learned along the way was that I wasn’t where I needed to be as far as speaking and communicating. Plus, I have learned so much about teamwork and leadership.
Q: If you had the chance to choose only one, Communicator or Leader, which one? Why?
A: Hmm…that seems like a trick question. Leaders speak out and leaders communicate. I don’t think that you can be a leader without knowing how to talk, how to inspire, how to share a vision and lead people. Communication gets you to that leadership side.
Q: If you could pick out the perfect song that represents your Toastmasters journey, what would that song be? Why?
A: I’d like to give an anonymous quote instead if you don’t mind. It says, “I like life, it’s something to do.” I know that there’s only so much time in life so I’m going to go out and do what I can in Toastmasters. Another quote that I love is from The Amazing Spiderman when Peter Parker says “with great power comes great responsibility”. Whenever I take on a club officer role, I think about that. It is a true statement especially for leaders. In this world, it is important to be able to communicate.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about joining Toastmasters but has some reservations?
A: My advice is to visit a few clubs and see which one you like best. Join the club that is going to service your needs the best and help you get to where you want to be. The toastmasters experience is what you bring to it. It’s what you take out of it. Each person is going to have to go out there and find it. They’re going to have to go get it. It’s traveling to a West suburban club and meeting a Calvin Gibbs. I was there and I remember your first day in a Toastmasters meeting, and look where you are now. You went out there and got it. And that’s what the Toastmasters experience is all about.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org