2022-2023 CANDIDATES CORNER

The District Leadership Committee had the pleasure to interview the following candidates for district leadership roles. Along with qualifying interview Q&A, we asked them to provide a statement about themselves and goals if they are elected.

District Leadership Committee Report-2022-23

District Council Packet

Meeting Information:

Credentials Registration

2022 District 13 Spring District Council Meeting Zoom Registration

Stephanie Scott, DTM

District Director Elect

Stephanie Scott

“It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.” Napoleon Hill’s quote speaks to what I feel Toastmasters captures for each of us as members and leaders. As we all take our individual Toastmasters journey, we all benefit from the community and family fostered within our clubs and with our club, area, division and district leaders. We learn so much about ourselves and others as we practice becoming better communicators and leaders. We find ourselves better for having had the Toastmasters experience.

My vision for our District is for our members to continue helping each other be our best selves as we continue building that feeling of community and family within the club. Through collaboration and engagement, we can bring joy to each other and our clubs. I believe we can make a difference.  It is an honor and a privilege to work with teams inspired to help our members, our areas, our divisions and District 13. If this sounds like you—then contact me—I am happy to welcome you as a member of our team! Let’s work together to provide the best service possible to our current and future clubs.

Biographical Information

Marci-Antion

Program Quality Director Elect

Marci Antion

My journey in Toastmasters began seven years ago with a simple desire to overcome the fear of public speaking.  On the way toward that goal, I discovered so much more! I found a community, fellowship, mentoring, and personal growth. I was fortunate to have this quality experience, and it is something that every Toastmaster, experienced and new, should expect to benefit from every year in D13.  If I am selected as the 2022-2023 Program Quality Director, I am committed to bringing the highest caliber Toastmaster experience to all.

About me:
I am a trained research scientist (PhD in Neuroscience); I am a part-time college professor. I have participated in five full Marathons, including Chicago and Pittsburgh and instruct dance fitness classes (Zumba!) in my community. Currently, my favorite inspirational quote is from Grand Master Yoda: “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

Clubs:

South Hills Toastmasters 2015 Sec, (2016, 2018-20) VPE, 2021 VPM, 2022 VPPR, 2017 President)

Pittsburgh Club (2019), Jest Speaking (2020 Charter member)

District 13 Service:

Pathways Guide (2017), Area 4 Director (2019, Select Distinguished Area), Division A Director (2020, Division Director of Year), Pathways Chair (2022)

Jackey Collier, DTM

Program Quality Director Elect

Jackey Collier

My fellow District 13 Toastmasters, thank you for your support throughout the course of the 2021-2022 Toastmasters year, while I served as your Club Growth Director. I am humbled and honored to accept the nomination to serve as your Program Quality Director (PQD) for the 2022-23 Toastmasters’ year. Additionally, I accept the challenges I’ll face in fulfilling this role.

I am running because I believe in the mission of Toastmasters: “we empower individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders,”  and the mission of the District: “we build new clubs and support all clubs in achieving excellence.” The bedrock of everything we do is the Pathways Educational Program. My vision is that every member of D13 will understand and fully engage in Pathways as they achieve their communication and leadership goals, while they enjoy a dynamic, high-value, experiential Toastmasters experience.

As PQD, I promise to continue to give my best and help every Toastmaster succeed. It will be an honor and a privilege to serve and continue to work as a team to enhance the district’s educational programs, TLI Training, Contests, and the District Conference.

I humbly ask for your vote… Jackey Collier for Program Quality Director.

Biographical Information

Sharon Henderson, CGD

Club Growth Director Elect

Sharon Henderson

Have you ever listened to elders share stories of old when popcorn was a nickel?  I remember hanging on to every word wishing someday that would be me sharing my stories.  What I did not appreciate is that I told stories in everyday communication with people.  I thought that there was a specific way they had to be told. Stories are just one way to deliver a message.

As a leader in Toastmasters, one of the messages I share with potential members is this: “Toastmasters does not give you anything.  It aids in bringing out what is already inside of you.  It is about effectively communicating a message whether it is one to one or one to many.”

As your Club Growth Director, I want to continue to share that message, changing the perception about Toastmasters being only public speaking.  There is so much more to the story of Toastmasters, and I want to reimagine how we reach individuals and grow clubs, thinking outside the box while inside the box.  Toastmasters should be a tool you can use whether you are at work, home, or on the go.

I want to thank you for the opportunity to serve you.

Biographical Information

Adie Kurtanich, CGD

Club Growth Director Elect

Adie Kurtanich

For those that do not know me, I have a passion for learning, mentoring, and leading teams. I have had the honor to serve in several club and district roles such as President, VPPR, Area 14 Director, and Club Coach. As a Club Coach, I’ve gained a wealth of knowledge and experience regarding growing clubs and fostering new synergies. Though COVID has presented many challenges, the adaptability of Toastmasters has enabled the building of new relationships and skill sets during these uncharted times.

We have not only maintained our core values, but have also experienced unique growth, inspiration, and innovation in virtual, hybrid, and in-person settings. I will continue to drive that positive experience within District 13. All members, clubs, and their experiences come together to complete the dynamic and energetic District 13! Thank you for giving me the honor of being a leader at both the club and area levels. I am excited that I have an opportunity to be elected Club Growth Director and look forward to the ever-evolving world of opportunities for us to share within our clubs and District 13. I ask for your vote at the April District Council meeting.

Biographical Information

Fred Vornbrock, Division A

Division A Director Elect

Fred Vornbrock
In I Have Something To Say, author John Bowe tells the story of his cousin who spent four decades living in his parent’s basement because he was too afraid to speak with others.  Amazingly, out of the blue, he overcame his shyness to marry a woman he met on his own.  When asked to account for this stunning turnaround, he said one thing: Toastmasters.

His cousin experienced an unimagined breakthrough, in part, because the Toastmasters club he belonged to—along with the club area, division, and district—was focused on helping individual members achieve what they thought to be impossible: overcoming the fear of speaking, overcoming the fear of being rejected.

As we come out of the two-year, Covid-induced sequestration, we have an opportunity in our upcoming 2022-2023 Toastmasters year to help our members overcome their speaking fears—whatever their source—and become the person they knew they could always be.

As the D-13 Division A Director, I will use my long Toastmasters experience to assist the areas and clubs guide their members to achieve breakthroughs, perhaps not as extraordinary as this cousin’s, but breakthroughs that will be powerfully and personally transformative.  Let’s work together and help our members soar.

Biographical Information

Nate Stephens, Division B

Division B Director Elect

Nate Stephens

I am pleased to be nominated as your next Division B Director.  For this role, my main focus will be to enhance the performance and extend the network of clubs.  I will work diligently with the Division B Area Directors to ensure that the needs of each club are supported.  My top three goals are:

1) Ensure that each club achieves its mission and fulfills its responsibilities to its members.

2) Offer engaging educational events that highlight club quality and membership growth.

3) Provide ways to support club growth in clubs that meet in person and virtually.

My leadership experience in both club and district roles has adequately prepared me for this position.  I have served as a division director, area director, and every club officer role.  I have also chaired speech contests, provided district training, and offered workshops at district events.  I have a collaborative leadership style that includes inspiring others, establishing robust teams, and leading by example.  I am passionate about Toastmasters and the benefits members can achieve.  I look forward to serving as your next Division B Director.

Biographical Information

Nick Cecchetti, Division C

Division C Director Elect

Nick Cecchetti

I am privileged to be nominated for the Division C Director role for the Toastmaster 2022–2023 term. Over the few years since I have joined Toastmasters, I have grown as a leader exponentially. My original intention of joining was not to become a division director but to practice my public speaking. Little did I know that I would find myself exactly where I was supposed to be: running for this role. I have filled several leadership roles such as president of the Monroeville and Achievers Toastmasters Clubs. I was also the Area 24 Director for the 2020–2021 year. With support from my fellow officers and clubs, I was able to achieve two Presidents Distinguished clubs and one President’s Distinguished area. I was one of the two sponsors for the newly chartered Laurel Highlands Toastmasters club and with their support have taken on a new officer role as the Technology officer.

As the Division C Director, I want to continue my trend and help lead Division C to presidents distinguished!

Biographical Information

Division C Director Elect

Dana Mitnik

I am a 12-year member of Toastmasters International who previously served as the Division C Director in the 2017-2018 Toastmasters year.  I challenged the leadership team to demonstrate the winning formula:  I+R+S+E=A.  This consists of Toastmasters Shared Values of Integrity, Respect, Service, and Excellence.  Demonstrating these together results in Achievement, which is what Division C did exactly during my administration.  Yet, it was not just me.  It was my team of Area Directors and the 295 members at that time who individually and collectively achieved goals, culminating with Distinguished Division honors.

Five years have passed since that time.  Events occurred that changed everything.  Challenges came along with opportunities.  Division C stands to benefit from said opportunities, and my previous experiences in coaching and encouragement can best serve the Division and District 13 to make the most of such because the member is the most important part of Toastmasters.  That member has the option to fire everyone in this organization by not continuing on in his or her journey.  Because the member matters most, the winning formula is a must.  I would be both humbled and honored if elected to serve once again as the Division C Director.

Biographical Information

Catherine-McCarron, Division D

Division D Director Elect

Catherine McCarron

The draw of Toastmasters is to improve public speaking and strengthen leadership skills, but there is so much more to Toastmasters. It is about building connections and relationships with others. It is about inclusivity and making sure every voice is heard. It is about empowering others to reach their goals and make their dreams a reality. This is why I have accepted the nomination for Division Director.

Having held various leadership roles in the past, I can use the knowledge and skills I have learned and apply it to being a Division Director. I think the Division Director role is critical to ensuring our Division runs smoothly while supporting Clubs and Areas to achieve their educational and membership goals. I think the role of Division Director is unique because you have direct insight to all the Clubs within your Division while having direct access to the Trio. It is really special to step outside of my home Club and witness all of the members’ contributions to help the District thrive and grow.

As Division Director, I will highlight and celebrate all the great things our members accomplish across the Division and District. My goal is to ensure that members feel heard, supported, connected, and inspired to go above and beyond what they thought they were capable of and become the best Toastmaster they can be.

Biographical Information

Brandie Baughman, Finance Manager

Finance Manager Elect

Brandie Baughman

My name is Brandie Baughman, and I am a Charter Member of the Highmark BRG Toastmasters, joining in 2014.  I earned my DTM in 2020 and am currently working toward my second DTM in Pathways.

I am proud to serve as the current D13 Finance Manager and am grateful for the opportunity to continue serving District 13 in this role.

During my current term, I have worked closely with the District Trio to implement process improvements which increase financial accountability, decrease costs, and streamline our financial processes.

As Finance Manager, I strive to be a responsible fiscal steward, help create the best experience for our members, and serve as a finance resource for the officers and members of the district.

I am a small business owner, as well as a full-time employee of Highmark for over 20 years with prior experience in Finance, Customer Success, and Audit/Quality Control.  I currently work as the Mandate Governance Lead for HMHS with oversight of one of the largest financial portfolios on the platform.

I am a lifelong Pittsburgher, proud Pitt alumni, Disney lover, and avid sports fan who loves to travel.  I look forward to getting to know you all better!

Biographical Information