Russell L Drake


Candidate's Office: Second Vice President

Region Number: 6

Toastmasters member since: 2006

Education: Masters - Personnel Administration

Employer and/or position: Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co - District Manager

Served as district governor of district number: 13

Term of service: 2012-2013

In term as district governor, district achieved: Select Distinguished


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

  • 2015-2017 International Director

Toastmasters honors and recognition (international level):

  • 2012-2013 Excellence in Leadership Award
  • 2011-2012 Excellence in Education and Training

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

My relevant work experience is sales and human resources. My sales experience relates to revenue generation, loss control, customer experience and satisfaction. My human resource experience relates to succession planning, compensation, team building, and people development.

What experience do you have in strategic planning?

In my role as Manager Human Resources North America, I was a member of the Consumer Business Unit ($1 billion revenue) that developed a strategic plan for sales, manufacturing, logistics, and human resources. In my role as National Director for Bigger and Better Business (Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity) I developed a strategy that coordinated the business activities for chapters (undergraduate and graduate) worldwide.

What experience do you have in the area of finance?

In my current role as District Manager - Retail ($12 million revenue) I develop an annual plan - Sales, cost of goods, gross margin and net profit. I review monthly operating statements at the district and individual store level. As an International Director (2015-2017) I consistently reviewed the monthly Toastmasters International financial statements and asked clarifying questions.

What experience do you have in developing policies?

In my role as Manager Human Resources, I worked on teams that developed company wide human resources policies. In my role as International Director I reviewed and offered suggestions, if warranted, on policy presented by the Executive Committee and World Headquarters.

What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?

Be prepared to lead. Preparation is the key. Read background material. Understand resources available. Present a vision that benefits members or employees. Create a balanced dialogue that gets all points of view on the table. Listen. Think. Speak.

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

I am willing to put in the time necessary to get a job done. I am a willing listener. I share my opinion and expect feedback pro or con. I understand team dynamics and I am a team player. I seek opinions that are contrary to my own so I can be fully informed on a subject. I make decisions.  

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

I want, as an International Officer, to help develop strategy, policy and oversee finances that benefit our global membership. I can mentor next level leadership in international directors. I can give back to this organization that has given so much to me.

What volunteer experience do you have outside of Toastmasters?

My volunteer work has been through my fraternity. Phi Beta Sigma. My biggest local project was to develop a non-traditional sports program for inner city children. That became a 36 week bowling program. Once started, we realized the children were not eating properly so we raised funds for nutritional meals after the bowling sessions.

Have you worked with other Boards of Directors outside of Toastmasters?

I was elected as the National Director of Bigger and Better Business (Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.) I developed a worldwide membership directory and a business directory that listed member businesses and services. An additional responsibility was to collect the chapter financial and social reports from around the world and bestow a "Chapter of the Year" award at the annual International Conclave.

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

Our major objectives are to develop effective communicators and leaders. As an International Officer I will work on the declared strategic business plan while gathering information to enhance the next strategic steps for the organization.

Additional information about candidate:

I am a published writer and avid photographer. I am blessed with six grandchildren: five girls and one boy.