Sondra Nunez, DTM
Candidate's Office: International Director
Region Number: 1
Toastmasters member since: 2010
Education: Business Administration-University of Phoenix
Employer and/or position: Mountain Valley Petroleum, Inc./Owner
Served as District Director of District number: 39
Term of service: 2016-2017
In term as District Director, District achieved: Not Distinguished
Toastmasters offices held and terms of service (international-, region-, and District-level):
- 2014-2015 Lt. Governor Marketing-District 39
- 2015-2016 Program Quality Director-District 39
- 2019-2021 Region Advisor-Region 1
Toastmasters honors and recognition (international- and District-level):
- 2020-2021 Presidential Citation
Relevant work experience and how it relates to Toastmasters and your role as a Board Member:
As owner of a corporation earning $10 million per year, I've served on a corporate board of directors for 20 years. During that time, I worked with board members of different experience and knowledge levels. Working in this group gave me the ability to evaluate our current working environment, identify areas of corporate improvement and future growth, and taught me communication skills necessary to successfully work with others.
What experience do you have in strategic planning?
Integral to the success of our business is my accrued knowledge and understanding of all facets of transportation and our customer base. Included in our strategic planning is preparation for organic internal growth and identifying viability of future products. I continually seek better ways to operate and maintain our company to create opportunities to grow and thrive in the face of external forces such as changes in our customer base, economic downturns, and industry and governmental challenges.
What experience do you have in the area of finance?
My day-to-day job duties center on oversight of our annual budget. Responsibilities include working closely with corporate banking and financial advisors, creating and maintaining internal processes that produce accurate financial information, securing financing for millions of dollars of assets such as fuel trucks, and ensuring our company maintains fiscal health to allow for growth opportunities.
What experience do you have in developing policies?
Transportation companies such as ours are required to have certain policies in place governing corporate structure, fiscal security, and protection of employees, customers, and the environment. Through my ownership, I have been directly involved in the creation and evolution of these policies for our company. Serving on the executive committee of National Business and Professional Women's Clubs has provided opportunity to develop policies pertaining to diversity and inclusion for women business owners and women in the workplace.
What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?
The two most important lessons learned from previous leadership positions are: 1) It's wise to listen first and speak last. As a leader, it is important to first listen to team members and to have a clear, agreed-upon understanding of the information shared so that the best decision can be made; and, 2) Everyone on the team is valuable. It is beneficial for leaders to foster an environment where team members know they are heard, are allowed to learn, and given the chance to contribute to the success of the team.
What experience and key strengths would you bring to the Board of Directors?
The experience and key strengths I bring to the Board of Directors are:
Critical thinking. Successful management of a corporation through multiple decades of economic, governmental and environmental changes requires the ability to evaluate information from many perspectives to determine possible risks as well as favorable solutions.
Underwriting. As a personal lines' insurance agent, the main factor involved with insuring property was analyzing known information weighed against internal and external factors to determine the probability of future loss.
Communication and collaboration skills. Owning and maintaining a successful corporation with multiple levels of staff, and working with diverse types of non-profit organizations, has allowed me to hone the ability to maximize communication and collaboration, allowing for the best possible outcomes.
Why do you want to serve as an International Officer/Director?
Serving in Toastmasters leadership positions at the club, area, division, district, and region levels has permitted me to enjoy success in my professional and personal life which would have not been possible. I want these same opportunities to be available to everyone for decades to come. Serving as an International Director, I will offer insights in strategic planning from the point of view of a 20-year business owner who works in a constantly changing industry environment. Additionally, working with leaders from around the globe on policies and procedures, I am excited to help Toastmasters International's members reach their goals in personal and professional growth.
What volunteer experience do you have outside of Toastmasters?
As a life-long volunteer, I have supported and served in many organizations including various parent/teacher associations, Loaves and Fishes (feeding homeless persons), City of Rocklin Chamber of Commerce, Special Olympics, Soroptimist International and the National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs. Duties in these organizations included fundraising, administrative duties, event coordination and event volunteer, and service as a board member.
Have you worked with other Boards of Directors outside of Toastmasters? If so, describe your experience.
My past tenure with another board of directors included committee chair for an annual, city-wide event for the Rocklin Chamber of Commerce focused on connecting and recruiting business owners and outside vendors for the project. My current membership includes serving on the executive committee for National Business and Professional Women's Clubs, as well as serving as a member of standing committees of the Lifelong Leadership and Learning Program and the Advocacy Program. These boards allowed me to collaborate with people of a wide spectrum of ages and occupations. I value learning from my fellow team members while working to understand experiences and needs from their points of view.
In your opinion, what are Toastmasters International’s major objectives and how would you work to achieve them?
Working toward world-wide unity in achievement of our envisioned future; to be the first-choice provider of dynamic, high-value, experiential communication and leadership skills. As board members representing members and leaders from around the world, we share the successes and challenges of both member and leader experiences with each other. We can identify commonalities and differences as they pertain to the achievement of, or hindrance to our goals. Further, as a board member, I can help create policies and procedures that enhance the Toastmasters' experience and move us closer to our shared goal.
Additional information about candidate:
When asked about my experience with our organization, I often say, “Now and forever, I am a Toastmaster.” No matter where we are or what we do in life, there will always be challenges. As leaders, we can choose to look realistically at those challenges and seek opportunities to mitigate the problems or better yet, make the extra effort toward success. We can also opt to look at only the bright side and not see those challenges, which is ignoring reality. In Toastmasters, I have learned to consider all angles and see opportunities where others may only see the negative or positive aspects. I have spent much of my adult life being a part of Toastmasters. It is the place where I learned to present the best of myself to the world, the place I learned to see the best in others. I maintain steadfast faith in you, our leaders. I have faith in our ability to work together so Toastmasters continues to be a place where members can learn and grow.