Candidate's Office: International Director

Region Number: 12

Toastmasters member since: 1995

Education: Diplomas in: Business Studies, Marketing, Sales, International Marketing, Sales Management

Employer and/or position: Business owner since 1987

Served as district governor of district number: 72

Term of service: 2016-2017

In term as district governor, district achieved:

Website: http://buildingourfuturetogether.co/

Toastmasters offices held and terms of service (international and regional level):

  • 2016-2017 District Director
  • 2015-2016 Program Quality Director
  • 2014-2015 Lieutenant Governor Marketing

Toastmasters honors and recognition (international level):

  • 2015-2016 Excellence in Education & Training
  • 2014-2015 Excellence in Marketing
  • 2013-2014 Division Governor of the Year
  • International Speech Contest Semi-finalist 2--4

Relevant work experience and how it relates to Toastmasters and your role as a Board member:

As a business owner, I understand every aspect of business from vision and strategy to governance and operations. My professional experiences have given me the opportunity to hone not only my business acumen but my leadership skills. My key transferrable skills: • Strong communication • Interpersonal communication • Motivational communication • Visionary Thinking • Strategic Thinking • Strategic Planning • Budgetary Planning • Responsible Leadership

What experience do you have in strategic planning?

I bring a great deal of successful business management experience and professional analytical skills to the TI Board. • I have successfully owned and operated a horticultural business in NZ for 30 years. As NZ is a very remote country, it is vital that we stay both up-to-date and where possible ahead of international trends. • I am known as an industry leader in New Zealand, one who frequently initiates innovative cultivation methods and product trends. I am regarded among my peers as being one of the ’go to people’ for visionary thinking. • I am proud of my achievements and the successful recognition NZ has achieved internationally from a horticultural perspective. • I am able to bring a vision from an idea to a strategy to successfully realise and implement that vision.

What experience do you have in the area of finance?

As previously mentioned I operate a very successful Horticultural Company in New Zealand. As the sole owner and for many years the sole operator of this business, our success today is reflective of my finance management skills. During this time, like most countries around the globe, we have been through numerous recessions both nationally and internationally. My ability to manage finance matters has enabled us to weather the many fiscal storms over the past 30 years. I am confident that I will be able to competently contribute to any fiscal discussions I am invited to participate in.

What experience do you have in developing policies?

Policies are strategic thinking developed to a point that a board agrees on the actual outcome of the proposed strategies. Throughout my working life I have held many roles in which my skills in strategic analysis and policy development have been utilised. I have held senior roles within the New Zealand Institute of Management as a member the Sales and Marketing Strategic Development panel.

What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?

The list is too numerous to mention them all, however, the overarching lesson I have learnt is that when in a position of leadership, it is vital to see the potential in the people I am leading, and make accurate assessments of their skill levels. I generally use the 4 Quadrant Leadership assessment tool to do this, and to allocate tasks accordingly. I have also learnt that there is a vast difference between leadership and management. Although experienced in both, I find my real strengths lie in my innate instincts to lead by example mixed with assessment of those on the team. I have also learnt the value of empowerment. Seeing members of the team step up and make decisions inspires me and my vision for TI

What experience and key strengths would you bring to the Board of Directors?

Beyond my Transferable Skills listed in question 1, I will utilise all the abilities and experiences I have gained through my 30 years of business including: • How and when to make tough decisions • The essential need to plan everything. Essentially this involves my staff both in the planning and implementation. As the owner, I set the goals and monitor our achievements to make necessary changes to meet market and economic forecasts. • Staff management – ensuring that the tools to great communication are always kept in excellent working order. I find that having an open door policy works best as it results in matters being brought up well before an issue can fester. • Skill development in conflict management. I can now even manage my 4 sons without there being too much fallout. I am often asked by Toastmasters to mediate when there is conflict in the District.

Why do you want to serve as an international officer/director?

I am inspired by our members. They are the most important part of our organisation. We are primed for rapid growth through achieving the 2015 Strategic plan, and the successful roll out of the Pathways educational programme. During this period of growth we need customer-focused Board members to ensure that our current member’s needs are always met. I have the skills and desire to contribute to the health and growth of our great organisation.

What volunteer experience do you have outside of Toastmasters?

I believe in volunteering in both my community and my professional life. I have volunteered at: • Canterbury Working Dog Assn • South Island Collie Club • Sydenham Hockey club • New Zealand Institute of Management • National Speakers Assn • New Zealand Flower Growers Assn

Have you worked with other Boards of Directors outside of Toastmasters? If so, describe your experience.

I served on the New Zealand Institute of Management - Sales and Marketing Board. This organisation is New Zealand’s leading business management training and development institute. My role over several years was to work in an advisory capacity to the Sales and Marketing faculty. I, along with my fellow board members, were responsible for ensuring that the curriculum was updated and revised to ensure continuity with NZ and world trends in Marketing and Sales

In your opinion, what are Toastmasters International’s major objectives and how would you work to achieve them?

I feel our two major objectives to relate to 1) Leadership succession and 2) Member retention. 1) We need to provide more in-depth training to our leaders, not only in the expectations and requirements of their role, but in the core leadership aspects like conflict management, team motivation and empowerment. By training our leaders (esp Club and District leaders) more deeply and effectively, more members will aspire to be future leaders thus to benefit from and contribute to this leadership organisation. 2) Membership retention is a problem, and I believe we need to concentrate on 'Club Excellence' (ensuring that the Brand promise is met), and 'Member Achievement' so ALL members see the value of membership in our organisation. As a past Customer Service/Loyalty trainer, there are many options we could adopt to raise our retention percentages which I will be happy to share with the Board.

Additional information about candidate:

I am happily married to Celina, and between us we try and manage 4 teenage boys.