Cyndi Wilson, DTM
Candidate's Office: International Director
Region Number: 6
Toastmasters member since: 2007
Education: MBA - Technology Management, MS Management, BS Chemical Engineering - all from New Jersey Institute of Technology (Newark NJ); Master's Certificate in Commercial Project Management, George Washington University (Washington DC)
Employer and/or position: Hudson County Community College, Jersey City, NJ
Served as District Director of District number: 83
Term of service: 2013 - 2014
In term as District Director, District achieved: Distinguished
Website: https://cyndi-w4r6id.com (under development)
Toastmasters offices held and terms of service (international-, region-, and District-level):
- 2009-2010 Area Governor
- 2010-2011 Division Governor
- 2011-2012 Lt. Gov. Marketing
- 2012-2013 Lt. Gov. Education & Training
- 2013-2014 District Governor
- 2014-2015 Imm. Past District Governor
- 2018-2019 Division Director
- 2019-2020 Region Advisor, Region 5
- 2020-2021 Region Advisor, Region 9
Toastmasters honors and recognition (international- and District-level):
- 2012-2013 Excellence in Education and Training
- 2013-2018 Pathways Learning Master
- 2017-2018 Pathways Ambassador
- 2018-2018 Pathways Guide
Relevant work experience and how it relates to Toastmasters and your role as a Board Member:
I have worked in the chemical process industries, telecommunications and education (middle school and college-level). Therefore, I have learned, employed and taught methods for data gathering and analysis; information presentation; development of methods, procedures and implementation plans and state and federal compliance requirements. I am also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with the ability to provide implementation support through traditional waterfall or agile methods.
What experience do you have in strategic planning?
In telecommunications, I was responsible for a product line (with various central office-based features) for small, middle and large businesses for 11 years. A 5-year strategic plan for these functions and services was developed and reviewed on a yearly basis. I then used it as the source for our one year implementation plan. A monthly review of the implementation plan showed if our tactical plans were still on point and if the individual product/service was still supporting our overall strategy.
I was also a member of the NJIT Alumni Board of Trustees when we decided to change the direction of the Board. We wanted to be known as more than just a social club for our Alumni, so we re-wrote our charter and produced our first strategic plan. It was difficult and somewhat painful, because we had Board members who really enjoyed just being social and didn't want to change. It was a long process, but we were able to develop a plan that changed the direction of the organization.
What experience do you have in the area of finance?
When I worked in telecommunications I was responsible for a product line (with various central office-based features) for small, middle and large businesses for 11 years. A 5-year strategic plan for these functions and services of this line was developed and reviewed on a yearly basis. It was also the source for our one year implementation plan. Each month I would review the implementation plan to see if our tactical plans were still on point and if the individual product/service was still supporting our overall strategy.
What experience do you have in developing policies?
I worked in regulatory filings and compliance which required development and production of policies, methods and procedures and implementation on both federal and state levels. I provided research/interpretation of the policy, method and/or procedure for staff and field personnel.
What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?
I learned that being a leader encompasses more than just one's self; it's about your team first, then you. As a leader, I serve and support my team to get the job done. I spread the glory if we do well and I (and I alone) take the hit if something goes wrong. I mentor those who I see with potential to lead as was done for me when I was a mentee. I learned that I have to be my authentic self when working with others, be open minded and be willing to embrace change.
What experience and key strengths would you bring to the Board of Directors?
My experience and strengths include project management, strategic thinking, negotiation, consensus building, data analysis and interpretation, development and implementation of methods and procedures and policy development. I also bring a sense of wonder and discovery because nothing should be set in concrete!
Why do you want to serve as an International Officer/Director?
Toastmasters changed me dramatically. Toastmasters moved me from the wallpaper to the middle of the room and gave me back the voice I used to have when someone else told me what to say, what to do, where to stand, etc. Toastmasters allowed me to become my authentic self and find my path; I want to help others to do the same, one person at a time.
What volunteer experience do you have outside of Toastmasters?
At NJIT, I was a member of the Alumni Board of Trustees, the Board of Visitors for the School of Management and the Constance A. Murray Women's Center. I am a member of the Project Management Institute of NJ (PMI-NJ) where I volunteer in Member Services where we answer member questions and provide meeting registration support. I am an active volunteer at my church where I am Lector, Eucharistic Minister, certified Catechist, Counting Team Leader and a member of the Parish Council.
Have you worked with other Boards of Directors outside of Toastmasters? If so, describe your experience.
As mentioned previously, I have worked with three boards at NJIT: the Alumni Association, the School of Management and the Women's Center. Each board was a unique and gratifying experience where we would discuss the needs of each board, provide suggestions and directions to move them forward and hear reports on the success (or non-success) of projects that were in our strategic plans.
We also had the task of determining ways to raise funds for scholarships to provide aid to incoming and established students. I was amazed at the results of some of the projects that the students presented and how we were able to support them.
In your opinion, what are Toastmasters International’s major objectives and how would you work to achieve them?
As we approach our milestone of 100 years, Toastmasters has supported and promoted confidence and self growth. Our footprint has grown over the years and I believe that we need to continue to serve our family of members by providing more automation to club and district activities (self-service), continue improvements in Pathways (ease of use and additional paths), improve our customer service model and provide additional marketing support. By providing consistent service to our world-wide members, we will encourage growth, brand awareness and retention. I still hear people asking "What's Toastmasters?" and that should not be happening still.
Additional information about candidate:
I believe in - and live - servant leadership so that I can provide service to my fellow Toastmasters, colleagues and friends. This mixture of my professional background and experience will assist me in working with my fellow board members as we provide service, continuity and support to our global community.