Toastmasters offices held and terms of service (international and regional level):
- 2012-2013 District Governor / Director District 59
- 2011-2012 Lieutenant Governor Education & Training District 59
- 2013-2014Chief Ambassador for REP (Pathways) District 59
- 2016 Training & Development Advisory Committee Member, TI
- 2014-2015 Region Advisor, Region 11
Toastmasters honors and recognition (international level):
- 2012-2013 Excellence in Leadership Award
- 2011-2012 Excellence in Education & Training Award
- 2012-2013 Presidents Extension Award (#3 district)
- 2012-2013 Presidents Distinguished District Governor (#1 district)
- 2012-2013 Presidents 20 Plus Award (#1 district)
Relevant work experience and how it relates to Toastmasters and your role as a Board member:
I have delivered results in a range of workplaces and had diverse responsibilities. As General Manager and Superintendent Pharmacist for Belfast Co-operative chemists I had full professional and business responsibility for a group of pharmacies with a budget of over £100m. This included all aspects of strategy, service development and delivery, with commitment to excellence every time. At Alliance Pharmacy I helped create new business concepts and methods of operation and through this become known as a change agent for my ability to support others during periods of growth and evolution. Serving as a liaison with government boards and committees allowed me to demonstrate my ability to work collaboratively to deliver significant results. In professional life and in Toastmasters I have led and inspired geographically dispersed teams. This work experience gives me a deeper understanding of the diverse perspectives required to work strategically on our board.
What experience do you have in strategic planning?
As the General Manager of Belfast Co-operative Chemists I developed and implemented strategies to lead a successful chain of retail pharmacies to deliver performance above market average. I led the pilot work to establish Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for pharmacists in Scotland and worked with others to develop supplementary roles and competencies in the pharmacy profession in the UK. This legacy is now well established in the pharmacy sector. While working as Continuing Professional Development CPD Manager for Alliance Pharmacy I was hired to develop and implement a strategy for CPD for pharmacists and technicians in the company’s 910 stores. As a result the company was one of the first in the UK to implement such a system. My most recent experiences in Toastmasters were as: • Region Advisor supporting districts to develop effective strategies and deliver results. Six of the eight districts achieved Presidents Distinguished status and one achieved Select Distinguished status. • Chair of the Joint Reformation Committee of districts 59 & 95 preparing a strategic proposal for the restructure of the organization in Continental Europe into 6 districts. This proposal, of unprecedented complexity, was approved by the board in August 2016.
What experience do you have in the area of finance?
I have managed budgets responsibly for projects, departments and for a whole organization ranging from a few thousand pounds to a budget in excess of £100 million (130 million USD). I have also served as a treasurer in the volunteer sector preparing budgets, managing finances and keeping accurate accounts. As district director I managed a budget of over 230,000€ (260,000 USD).
What experience do you have in developing policies?
As CPD Manager I was involved in cross-departmental teams writing policies for patient services, for a postgraduate sponsorship program and for continuing professional development in the company. As a member of the Pharmacy Services Boards for governments in Scotland and Northern Ireland I helped write and review policies for various services to the public, for example minimizing antibiotic resistance.
What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?
I learned: • how necessary it is in any project or change process to listen to stakeholders, to value their differing opinions and to help them express themselves. • the value of creating a culture of feedback and accountability so higher standards are reached and we all learn and grow together. • the importance of integrity in any situation. As an RA I saw district leaders facing choices where they needed to determine a standpoint of integrity. As district governor I faced situations where I chose integrity and saw the value of doing so. As a leader in the pharmacy sector, I oversaw the work of others. In this environment mistakes could easily have been handled quietly but admitting them meant everyone learned from the mistake and could better serve and protect patients.
What experience and key strengths would you bring to the Board of Directors?
I am a forward thinker with the ability to look at the bigger picture. By careful research, asking questions and drawing on knowledge and experience I view situations from different perspectives and will bring this approach to the board. Coming from a culturally diverse region with districts embracing clubs in over 50 countries, I realize the importance of effective listening, understanding, communicating and embracing diversity that results in stronger decisions. I will bring my experience in strategic planning and service delivery from the business, government and voluntary sectors along with a heart to give and receive world-class service. My calm and centered leadership approach in challenging situations allows for a focus on delivering my best at all times for a constructive outcome.
Why do you want to serve as an international officer/director?
I believe in the power and potential of Toastmasters International to improve the lives of individuals and organizations. Therefore I want to work with others to lead Toastmasters International forward, ensuring its continuing fruitfulness. I believe I always add value and can bring knowledge, experience and qualities to help us deliver excellently on our envisioned future. Serving our members around the world will also expand my own horizons as I learn more and it will be personally fulfilling to inspire and encourage members to be all they can be, as I strive to do the same.
What volunteer experience do you have outside of Toastmasters?
I served as a leader in the USA Girl Scouts Overseas in Southern Germany: on the board, as regional treasurer and as a local volunteer. I devote time with other native English speakers, helping students in local German schools prepare for their oral state tests in English. I serve as administrative coordinator for my local church.
Have you worked with other Boards of Directors outside of Toastmasters?
I served on Pharmacy Services Boards of government departments in Scotland for 4 years and Northern Ireland for 3 years. Our role was to develop strategic plans to ensure the provision of appropriate pharmacy services. I was an advisor to the Board of Directors of Alliance Pharmacy on maximizing service delivery opportunities arising from government policy and on developing career paths for professionals. I served on the board of USA Girl Scouts Overseas in Southern Germany to bring an exciting growth program for girls. My specific responsibility was for finance. In each case I worked well with colleagues at all organizational levels and was able to contribute significantly because of my knowledge, my analytical and reflective skills and my focus on evidence-based decision-making.
In your opinion, what are Toastmasters International’s major objectives and how would you work to achieve them?
The current major objectives for Toastmasters International are expressed in the 2015 strategic plan: club excellence, member achievement, and awareness, engagement and participation. As part of this, effective delivery of the Pathways program is of critical importance. In addition to serving on board committees as required to progress these objectives, I would promote Toastmasters to organizations and individuals; provide feedback from members during district visits on the progress and impact of the objectives. I would raise awareness during district visits of priorities and share best practices where possible. In addition I would lead by example by continuing to be fully engaged in my local club program.
Additional information about candidate:
I love it when I have the opportunity to meet people who inspire me and whom I can inspire at the same time, so that we all grow in the process. Since finishing my term as RA in June 2015 I have had several key moments when I achieved this: • May 2016 - appointed by the International President to serve District 20 as their Credentials and Elections Chair. • July 2015 – June 2016 chaired the reformation committee of districts 59 & district 95 and liaised with undistricted clubs in Europe. This involved Toastmasters from 36 different countries. • August 2015 – delivered a “Meet the Expert” session on “Using the brand to facilitate growth” for club growth directors at district leader training. My husband David and I joined Toastmasters on the same day and throughout our own differing Toastmasters journeys we remain loyal supporters of each other and committed members of this wonderful global community.