Candidate's Office: Region 9 International Director

Region Number: 9

Toastmasters member since: 2000

Education: BE Electronics Engineering, MS Electrical Engineering

Employer and/or position: AT&T, Senior Applications Developer

Served as district governor of district number: 46

Term of service: 2007-2008

In term as district governor, district achieved: Distinguished

Website: http://www.rspear4id.com

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

  • 2006-2007 Lt. Governor of Marketing
  • 2007-2008 District Governor
  • 2015-2016 Region 9 Advisor

Toastmasters honors and recognition (international level):

  • 2006-2007 Excellence in Marketing
  • 2007-2008 Distinguished DG
  • 2009 Presidential Citation

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

My career in the telecommunications industry has spanned close to 30 years. In this time I have held many roles including Technical Architect and Lead Analyst. I am currently a Senior Applications developer and a subject matter expert in my field. I analyze data, troubleshoot problems, develop policies, and write software for projects that impact millions of customers. I also serve on a change control board making decisions to mitigate risk and enhance performance of our systems. My experience working in multicultural teams for global projects that require a high attention to detail would enable me to be an asset as a board member.

What experience do you have in strategic planning?

As an engineer, I plan for our services and equipment to be extremely reliable. We promise our clients a service level agreement of 99.999% availability. To meet this promise, we need to be prepared for all kinds of outages: power losses, network disruptions, server failures, natural disasters, and others. I have been on many committees planning the details of our set ups to ensure reliability of service.

What experience do you have in the area of finance?

My analysis and recommendations at work influence financial decisions. Optimizing costs are at the forefront during every stage of the project cycle, including hardware selection, software development, and user interface design. I have also worked as a Real Estate agent and dealt with financial matters to help secure loans and close the sale of homes. I have presented workshops on financial management at my daughter’s high school and Girl Scout troop.

What experience do you have in developing policies?

An integral part of my work is to develop policies and procedures to ensure smooth operation of our services and comply with our service level agreements with our customers. I have worked on projects dealing with the postal metering system of the US postal service, the security system of three major airports (JFK, La Guardia, and Newark Liberty International), the parking system of the Port Authority of NY and NJ, and many others.

What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?

Leaders need to have integrity and utmost belief in their mission. Leaders need to have a vision and they must communicate that vision widely, clearly, and frequently. Leaders develop leaders! We need to lead by example and must always be willing to listen and engage with people. A leader must acknowledge, recognize, and appreciate the work done by others.

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

My various life experiences give me a broad perspective. I attended elementary school in Nigeria, I attended high school and college in India, and I earned my Master’s degree in the United States. I have also traveled to over 30 countries and gained exposure to many cultures. I have worked in the telecommunications industry for close to thirty years with multicultural teams. I have worked with teams to complete complex global projects that require analytical ability, critical thinking, and problem solving techniques. I have held district leadership positions and have served as a Region Advisor. The skills I have acquired from life, work, and Toastmasters, would allow me to be an asset on the board.

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

I truly believe in the mission and vision of Toastmasters International. Toastmasters has helped me tremendously and I can see the difference it makes in people’s lives. As it has been said, “We are a group of people brought together to do things we could not accomplish alone”. I would like to contribute to the growth of Toastmasters and I believe I can do that best by serving on the board. I have a deep desire to help others and I have the temperament and skills to do so.

What volunteer experience do you have outside of Toastmasters?

I have been an Assistant Troop Leader for my daughter’s Girl Scot Troop for five years. I have helped plan activities, schedule trips, and earn badges. I have also mentored the girls and presented workshops to the troop. Additionally, I have captained the Arthritis walk several times to raise funds for Arthritis research. I have also been very involved with several employee resource groups, such as Women of AT&T and APCA (Asian Pacific Islanders for Community Advancement).

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

I have worked on the board of a local chapter of an employee resource group called the APCA-Asian Pacific Islanders for Community Advancement. Their focus is to create alliances that enhance professional and leadership opportunities. Since I was a Toastmaster and our missions overlapped, I stressed the importance of improving our communication and leadership skills.

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

Toastmasters International’s major objective is to realize our envisioned future as the number one dynamic, high value, experiential leadership and communications skills provider. Toastmasters’ strategic plans have been very effective in growing our membership and our brand refresh gave us a new logo, tag line, and more consistency. We are at a very exciting time in Toastmasters as we start using the revitalized education program. We need to see if this will help us attract and retain younger members, especially in North America.

Additional information about candidate:

Toastmasters has had a huge impact on my life and I have thoroughly enjoyed my journey in Toastmasters. As Lt. Governor of Marketing I chartered 27 clubs and as District Governor I oversaw the split of District 46 into District 83 and District 46. In 2009, I received a Presidential Citation and was asked to be on a leadership panel at the Toastmasters International Convention. I also served on the very first International Leadership Committee from 2009 to 2011. After serving on the committee, I took a few years to focus on my family. In 2012, my older daughter was accepted into Cornell University and has since completed her Bachelor’s degree in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. In 2015, my younger daughter joined the Business program at Rutgers University. After ensuring that my two daughters were successful in college, I became more involved with Toastmasters and was fortunate to be appointed as Region Advisor from 2015 to 2016. Over the years, many women and minorities have told me that they have been inspired by my success. Their feedback and encouragement has made Toastmasters an extremely rewarding experience that I would like to share with others.