Toastmasters offices held and terms of service (international and regional level):
- 2014-2015 Region Advisor Region 3
- 2013-2014 Region Advisor Region 3
- 2015-2016 Pathways Chief Ambassador
Toastmasters honors and recognition (international level):
- 2009-2010 Excellence in Marketing
- 2011-2012 Distinguished District
- 2011-2012 Excellence in Leadership
- 2016 Presidential Citation
- 2010-2011 Excellence in Education and Training
Relevant work experience and how it relates to Toastmasters and your role as a Board member:
After graduating from Rice University, I taught at an international school in Nigeria, West Africa. My tenure as Dean of Girls at Castle Heights Military Academy introduced me to professional administrative responsibilities and the need to relate to people of different ages and backgrounds. As principal of Fredericksburg Christian School, I served on the school board for 33 years. The demand for my services as a college prep coach has demonstrated a public recognition of my high level of professionalism, my integrity, and my respect for ethical conduct. The combination of these experiences has given me significant leadership understanding and experience, the ability to analyze information and make decisions, and the ability to inspire others - attributes that will help me to be a successful international director.
What experience do you have in strategic planning?
As one of the founders of Fredericksburg Christian School, I was involved in the development of the school's philosophy and mission as well as curriculum development and implementation. In Toastmasters I have served on committees to enhance the quality of the Region Advisor program, the Region Advisor selection process, and training for district leaders. I recently participated in the development of Momentum Camp, a college prep program, and serve on the faculty of that program.
What experience do you have in the area of finance?
My financial oversight kept Fredericksburg Christian School debt free for the last 15 years of my tenure. The board was responsible for setting the tuition, overseeing donations, determining teacher salaries, and shepherding the budget. I fulfilled my financial responsibility to the parents and donors of the school by careful budgeting and a results-oriented approach to school finance. .
What experience do you have in developing policies?
I worked with the FCS board to develop policies during the founding of the school and continued to monitor the development of these policies in areas such as community relations, student conduct, and finances. In Toastmasters I served on the committee to develop the Region Advisor Manual.
What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?
Previous leadership positions have taught me the importance of taking risks with people in order to develop others as leaders. I see growth opportunities instead of problems, have the ability to hear and to understand opposing viewpoints, and seek to find win-win solutions when faced with opposition. In addition I have learned to develop competencies for the next level of leadership, to form relationships for higher purposes than just self-promotion, and to trust others when sharing responsibility.
What experience and key strengths would you bring to the Board of Directors?
Thoughtfulness in making decisions, global perspective, creativity in tackling problems, expertise in collaborative thinking, empathy, ability to hear and to understand both sides of a question, professional demeanor, ability to work with diverse groups of people, a positive attitude, resilience, and responsibility in financial matters. Integrity, intelligence, and energy. Descriptions of my strengths often begin with “plays well with others” and end with “Linda is the calm in chaos.”
Why do you want to serve as an international officer/director?
In my ten years of serving in Toastmasters district leadership and above, I have observed the impact our program has on lives and how my leadership can add to that impact. After leading on club, district, and region levels, I am eager to move to the next opportunity to add value to our 345,000 members. My goal is to play a part in providing the best service for members worldwide and to increase the global coverage of Toastmasters. Because of my background as an educator I am especially eager to serve on the board during this transition time to the Pathways program. As an organization we are not only reaching out to new markets to share the benefits of Toastmasters, we are also reaching inward to ensure that members have access to learning paths tailored for their needs.
What volunteer experience do you have outside of Toastmasters?
I have what could best be described as a volunteer lifestyle. My husband and I served five months at our own expense in Central America supporting the mission of the Instituto Linguistico de Verano (the translation and literacy arm of Wycliffe Bible Translators). For the first seven years of Fredericksburg Christian School, I worked full time without pay to provide for students who otherwise could not afford tuition. I was the Art Festival Planner for the San Antonio Region of ACSI (Association of Christian Schools International) for ten years and have planned Optimist Club Oratorical student contests on the local level. The mayor of Fredericksburg declared May 9, 2015, to be Tim and Linda Williams Day in recognition of our service to the Fredericksburg community.
Have you worked with other Boards of Directors outside of Toastmasters?
While serving 33 years on the Board of Directors of Fredericksburg Christian School, I participated in strategic planning, policy making, financial oversight, and conflict resolution. This experience taught me to surround myself with people who share the same vision, to put service above personal gain, and perhaps most importantly how to live through the shock of finding that someone disagrees with you. I have learned to be flexible, to recognize the need to adapt to changing markets, and to value loyalty above expediency.
In your opinion, what are Toastmasters International’s major objectives and how would you work to achieve them?
Toastmasters itself has provided the objective: “To be the first choice provider of dynamic, high-value, experiential communication and leadership skills development.” I agree! This is the “main thing” and the board has acknowledged this with its current strategic plan and adoption of the eight step methodology proposed by the Strategic Planning Committee. Focusing on club excellence, member achievement, awareness, engagement and participation will enable us to provide an excellent experience for the members and to expand our market reach and increase our global membership. As a board member, I will participate in the passionate, collaborative committee work resulting in outstanding decisions to continue to lead our organization to its envisioned future.
Additional information about candidate:
Long term marriage to Tim Williams, DTM. Five successful grown children. Extensive world travel. Front row rider of roller coasters. In my twelve years as a Toastmaster, I have demonstrated an understanding of Toastmasters’ direction and purpose by maximizing my use of the program—four times DTM, Toastmaster of the Year, President’s Distinguished and Area Governor of the Year, President’s Distinguished and Division Governor of the Year, the Excellence in Marketing Award, the Excellence in Education and Training Award, the Excellence in Leadership Award as a Distinguished District Director, two terms of service as Region Advisor, and the Presidential Citation. I am clearly an example of “Toastmasters: Where Leaders Are Made!”