JEFF SOBEL, DTM

Candidate's Office: Region 9 International Director

Region Number: 9

Toastmasters member since: 2005

Education: BA Mathematics, SUNY-Binghamton

Employer and/or position: NYISO, Senior Software Developer

Served as district governor of district number: 53

Term of service: 2012-2013

In term as district governor, district achieved:

Website: http://www.jeff4id.com

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

  • 2011-2012 Lt. Governor Education & Training
  • 2010-2011 Lt. Governor Marketing
  • 2013-2015 Chief Ambassador, Revitalized Education Program, District 53
  • 2012-2013 District Governor

Toastmasters honors and recognition (international level):

  • 2007-2008 President’s Distinguished Area
  • 2008-2009 President’s Distinguished Division

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

My 30+ years in IT as a software developer for companies large and small has given me the ability to rapidly understand and adapt to changing technologies and situations, work with international teams both locally and remotely, while always maintaining focus on my customer’s needs. Additionally, 20+ years in Emergency Medical Services augments this experience with the skills to be a strong team player, a decisive leader, and a recognized agent of change, all while maintaining respect for those that I serve and serve with.

What experience do you have in strategic planning?

As a Senior Consultant for Deloitte & Touche Consulting and CGI Group, two multinational consulting firms, I was an active member of our regional office’s annual strategic planning team. We worked together to review our current business environment, the strengths and needs of our staff, and created a business strategy to carry our office through the coming year, while being mindful of what lay ahead in the next five years. As a board member for two not-for-profit ambulance corps, I also developed short and long-term strategic plans.

What experience do you have in the area of finance?

During my tenure as a leader in EMS, I played an integral role in the preparation and presentation of annual budgets. I also served on multiple committees to purchase new ambulances and to build a new station, including a capital campaign. As a result of these leadership activities, I developed the skill sets necessary to understand the important relationship between financial planning and the long-term growth of an organization.

What experience do you have in developing policies?

From my service as an IS Auditor for my company's Internal Audit team, I am skilled in reviewing existing corporate policy, monitoring policy adherence, and observing and evaluating the effect that policy change initiatives have on corporate operations. As a board member and operations officer for two ambulance corps, I developed and implemented policies and standard operating procedures, adhering to Federal and State regulations.

What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?

Leadership is caring deeply for the success of those you lead and doing your best to empower others to aspire to higher goals. As a leader, we must support our team through their challenges, turning them into growth opportunities. When conflicts arise, they can and should be handled in a manner that is respectful to all. Toastmasters has helped me hone my conflict resolution skills and I am often consulted on these matters, both within our organization and my workplace.

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

In both my volunteer and business experience, I have demonstrated strength in focusing on the task at hand, making tough decisions in difficult situations, being flexible and effective in rapidly changing environments, and creating unity from diversity. These experiences and skills will bring a diverse array of attributes and strengths to the Board of Directors.

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

Through the guidance of many kind and patient leaders, I have learned the value of leading as a servant with integrity and respect for all, while inspiring those around me to be the best they can be. I have also learned a great deal about the operation of Toastmasters International. I welcome the opportunity to utilize the skills I developed to represent our members and help shape the future direction of our great organization.

What volunteer experience do you have outside of Toastmasters?

As a member of two not-for-profit ambulance corps, I held many operational roles, including Captain, and also served strategically as a member of the Board of Directors. I was an Assistant Scoutmaster and a Merit Badge Counselor for the Boy Scouts of America, and am also involved in many volunteer musical organizations, including the Classical Guitar Society of Upstate NY, where I founded the first regional classical guitar ensemble.

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

As a board member, working and leading a capital campaign for our community ambulance corps enhanced my experience as a team builder and gave me an understanding of the art of delegation. I also had the opportunity to lead a committee to revise and update the organization’s constitution and bylaws. This experience enhanced our community outreach efforts, resulting in successful service projects.

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

I see our organization becoming a more tightly-knit global community, with a consistent member experience throughout the world. An exciting proposition for board service will be addressing our global challenges with diverse cultures. With my deep understanding of social media and related communication technologies, I will assist in delivering consistent quality experiences for our members around the world.

Additional information about candidate:

I have been married for 33 years and have two grown children with successful careers of their own. One of them, in fact, is an active Toastmaster and club officer. I am an avid musician, playing in multiple community bands, classical guitar and early music ensembles. I also hold the rank of third-degree black belt in Washin-ryu Karate-do.