Mary Morrison


Candidate's Office: Region 1 International Director

Region Number: 1

Toastmasters member since: 1998

Education: BA in Business Administration; MA Organization Management

Employer and/or position: City of Tacoma, Office of Equity and Human Rights, Organization Development Manager

Served as district governor of district number: 32

Term of service: 2012-2013

In term as district governor, district achieved: Distinguished


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

  • 2014-2016 Region Advisor
  • 2013-2015 Learning Master
  • 2006-2007 District Treasurer

Toastmasters honors and recognition (international level):

  • 2012-2013 Distinguished District Governor

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

In my role as organization development manager for the City of Tacoma, I have developed and implemented strategic plans for racial equity and human rights, public safety, and information technology projects; facilitated elected officials and community members in establishing budget and service priorities; developed and monitored progress of organization-wide performance measures; analyzed and developed policies in human resources, finance, and administration; and coordinated team efforts in leadership development, including internships and mentoring programs. These skills and experiences have prepared me to carry out the responsibilities as an International Director for Toastmasters.

What experience do you have in strategic planning?

Since 2004, I have designed, facilitated and led strategic planning with elected boards, community and non-profit groups. Clients have included City of Tacoma, Salvation Army, Tacoma Human Rights Commission, and other non-profit groups. I have facilitated strategic planning in equity and human rights, information technology, public safety, and facilities maintenance. I lead a team in implementing strategies for workforce development, community engagement and service improvements.

What experience do you have in the area of finance?

I served as District Treasurer, District 32, in 2008-2009 and audit committee member for multiple years. I manage a budget of $1.5 million for the Office of Equity and Human Rights, including funding from grants. I have facilitated elected officials, community and staff in developing budget priorities for resources, services and operations in times when budget deficits in my organization amounted to $60 million.

What experience do you have in developing policies?

I currently manage a work group of policy analysts to review, analyze, and develop policies that eliminate institutional racism, gender discrimination, and disproportionate impacts of services on people with few resources. We have reviewed and revised human resources, budget, contracting, and information technology policies. My experiences include managing policy implementation in all those areas.

What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?

In Toastmasters, I’ve learned that leadership is an ongoing process requiring humility, perseverance, courage and follow through. I’ve learned that leadership requires self-reflection and self-knowledge and at the same time it requires feedback from others about the impact of decisions and actions. I’ve learned to be curious, give everything my best effort, and know that there is always more to do. I’ve learned the joy and exhilaration of working in teams.

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

I have 22 years’ experience in the public sector, and more than 35 years’ experience volunteering in the charitable sector. My background in organizational management and leadership development have prepared me to understand the importance of strategic planning, managing change, working with teams, addressing conflict, and serving with integrity. As a Toastmasters member since 1998, I bring deep knowledge, experience, and love of the organization.

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

My past experiences of leadership in Toastmasters propels me to continue serving Toastmasters. I want to be part of achieving the vision of being the first choice provider of the best leadership and communication organization that exists. I’d like to continue the legacy of leadership that Toastmasters has created since 1924. I would be honored if my personal journey included serving as a board member.

What volunteer experience do you have outside of Toastmasters?

I served as a troop council chair for Boy Scouts of America, organizing parent and youth committees to ensure scouts received the support they needed. As coordinator for United Way campaigns, I communicated the benefits and values of community caring and giving. I chair a faith formation commission, designing adult programs for my local parish. I served as president of parent groups for multiple schools, organizing parents and coordinating events that built community and raised funds for school activities.

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

As a board member for faith formation in my local church, I develop strategic plans, implement programs, and oversee use of resources to carry out the plans. I have worked with board members to develop strategic plans and organize leadership efforts with non-profit organizations including the local Salvation Army, environmental groups, and education committees.

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

Strategic board priorities include club excellence, member achievement, and increased awareness, engagement and participation of members and prospective members. Board members work to anticipate and manage changes that impact those major objectives. This ensures initiatives keep the Toastmasters brand promise relevant to members and prospective members. As a board member, I would use the mission, vision, and core values of Toastmasters International as my touchstones for decision making in anticipating changes and achieving the strategic priorities.

Additional information about candidate:

Since being invited to Toastmasters to help a friend win a membership contest (she gained points if I joined), I have enjoyed the benefits of Toastmasters. I wish the same for others. The more I engage with other Toastmasters, the more joy I gain from the experiences. Other joys in my life include spending time with my husband Chuck, family members, friends and fellow Toastmasters, living, learning and laughing together.