Jocelyne Vézina, DTM

Jocelyne Vezina, DTM

Candidate's Office: International Director

Region Number: 9

Toastmasters member since: 2009

Education: Bachelor of Arts (University of Sherbrooke, QC, Canada); HR Certificate (York University, ON, Canada)

Employer and/or position: Customer Service Manager and Import Manager

Served as District Director of District number: 86

Term of service: 2020 - 2021

In term as District Director, District achieved: Not Distinguished


Toastmasters offices held and terms of service (international-, region-, and District-level):

  • 2017-2019 D86 Pathways Chief Ambassador
  • 2018-2019 D86 Club Growth Director
  • 2019-2020 D86 Program Quality Director
  • 2021-2022 IPDD

Toastmasters honors and recognition (international- and District-level):

  • 2016-2017 D86 Toastmaster of the Year
  • 2019-2020 Excellence in Education (the only one in Region 6)

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

As a Footwear Buyer I had to anticipate what the consumers would want to wear almost a year in advance. It required that I do market analysis, pay attention to trends, shop European markets, source materials and factories.

As an Import Manager I had to work with our brokers around the world to make sure the vessels were booked in accordance with our needs and timeline. It required knowledge of ports of sailing, transit time, ports of entry and rail time. We had to anticipate changes in weather conditions, availability of containers and employees contract negotiation in case of a strike. We always had to have a plan B.

As a Warehouse Liaison I had to make sure I communicated our needs to our 3rd party warehouse so they could plan in advance their personnel needs. It required a good knowledge of the warehousing process, the software used to manage our inventory and diplomacy to deal with conflicts between our needs and the needs of our partner. I also had to anticipate delays or volume of goods coming in the warehouse and going out.

As a Customer Service Manager, I had to de-escalate some situations, use my communication skills to tell customers or consumers that their merchandise was delayed. Especially during COVID, it became crucial to be patient and have good listening skills.

What experience do you have in strategic planning?

As a Board member at our townhouse complex, I had to come up with a five year plan that would explain to the owners and the Ontario Condo Authority how the funds would be spent, where the priorities were and established the schedules.

As a Project Manager for the implementation of our ERP software I had to establish a schedule of deliverables. I had to review on a regular basis where we were in the plan to make sure we were respecting the deadlines or re-evaluate our timeline and make adjustments if needed.

What experience do you have in the area of finance?

As a buyer I had to establish my budget and monitor the sales, the inventory levels and the timelines. If the sales were not meeting the targets established I had to cancel or delay the incoming of inventory so stores would not be over inventoried. I also had to calculate the cost of goods sold to make sure I would maintain the pre-established margins.

As a Human Resources Manager I worked closely with our Finance Department to establish the pay scales, employee benefits, employment insurance, health and safety insurance, Canada pension plan costs to the organization.

What experience do you have in developing policies?

As a Human Resources Manager, I had to establish the policies for sexual harassment, hours of operations, statutory holidays, paid time off and vacation.

As a Project Manager, I had to establish the protocol for using our new software. Who would be given access to specific modules of the software.

What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?

I learned that I am a collaborative leader. I know I don't have all the answers and very often a member of my team would know the answer. I learned how to find and use the resources I have available to reach the established goal.

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

My ability to put myself in somebody else's shoes. It allows me to see their point of view and get a better understanding of the situation.

My ability to ask relevant questions to get the true picture or a 360 degree of a situation.

Why do you want to serve as an International Officer/Director?

I believe in the Toastmaster's program. In the world we live in, we need leaders that can adjust and make decisions quickly. I want to help shape those future leaders.

What volunteer experience do you have outside of Toastmasters?

For 5 years I was a bilingual MC and helped raise funds for Breakfast for Kids in Mississauga, Ontario. I volunteered with United Way. I helped the Ambassadors that were visiting companies to raise funds be more persuasive with their speeches.

I worked at Christmas time for a hospital for elderly. Our role was to get the elderlies from their room to the church and back to their room.

I helped organized fund raising events (Car rallies) for local charities.

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

Yes. I worked for the Board of our townhouse complex. We were meeting once a month to go over the owners' requests that we had received and the maintenance team to establish the priorities. We would monitor the units to make sure all owners were following the guidelines established by the corporation when doing renovations. We would also meet with the Ontario Condo Authority, when needed to go over any changes to the Condo Act.

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

In my opinion, the major objectives are to empower individuals to become better communicators and leaders. Also, to be a provider of dynamic, high valued and experiential communication and leadership skills development.

In my opinion we can achieve those by reviewing existing policies to make sure they are still relevant or amending them to reflect today's realities. Clarifying some policies by adding step by step “How to”. Implementing new policies that reflect the virtual world and/or hybrid world our clubs are faced with.

Additional information about candidate:

I was a union representative. I negotiated our first collective agreement. I had to recommend the acceptance/rejection of the agreement. Not an easy decision to make when you know that for some co-workers it could mean a strike that put a strain on their financial situation. It taught me the importance of weighting all our options.

As the Pathways Chief Ambassador for District 86, I led a team of guides and ambassadors who successfully moved our district to the new Pathways' Education Program.

As the CGD for District 86, our district was chosen to participate in the new marketing tool TI wanted to implement. We had to give feedback at regular intervals. I did a video for TI giving my observations on the new tool. My understanding is that the video was shared with CGDs around the world.

As the PQD for District 86 in Region 6, I achieved the Excellence in Education award. At the mid-year training, I was asked to participate in a panel discussion regarding implementation of Pathways in districts around the world as we had a very good acceptance of Pathways in our district.

As the DD of District 86, I led a team of 2 PQDs and 2 CGDs through the reformation of our district.

As the DD for District 86, our district was the only one to achieve Excellence in Education in Region 6.

I worked for Elections Quebec in the Fall of 2022. My role was to train the individuals that worked in the advanced polls and the day of the election in the riding of Deux-Montagnes. It represented about 600 to 700 people.