Donald F Bittick
Candidate's Office: Second Vice President
Region Number: 6
Toastmasters member since: 2002
Education: BS Computer Technology - Purdue University
Employer and/or position: Williamson County Schools
Served as district governor of district number: 63
Term of service: 2012-2013
In term as district governor, district achieved: Not Distinguished
Toastmasters offices held and terms of service (international and regional level):
- 2017-2019 International Director
- 2014-2016 Region Advisor
Toastmasters honors and recognition (international level):
- 2014-2016 Achieved DTM
- 2011-2012 Excellence in Education and Training
- 2008-2014 Achieved DTM
- 2002-2008 Achieved DTM
Relevant work experience and how it relates to Toastmasters and your role as a Board member:
During my 32 years of working at one of the largest healthcare companies in the world, I was able to serve on and lead diverse teams of technical and non-technical individuals with varying skillsets, backgrounds, cultures, and ages. Working on projects of varying importance and size, I also provided input on IT budgets that supported the organization's budget, mission, and vision. I also developed and enhanced internal policies and procedures. After retiring early from the healthcare industry, I am now pursuing my lifelong dream of teaching high school students, with a focus on English, Communications, and Presentation skills. Through this experience, I have been able to share many of the skills, that I developed and enhanced as a member of Toastmasters, with some of our future Toastmasters.
What experience do you have in strategic planning?
While serving on the Board of Directors with Habitat for Humanity, I helped develop short- and long-term strategies to capitalize on the organization's demographics, aligning with the organization's goals. While working for the healthcare company, I managed and worked on strategic projects that were designed to have positive impacts on the quality of care provided to all patients. As a Region Advisor, I facilitated and served on several committees that were designed to enhance the quality of the Region Advisor program. As an International Director, I served on the Board, on committees, and sub-committees that were focused on strategic initiatives for the organization.
What experience do you have in the area of finance?
Preparing, reviewing, and monitoring the annual budget was a crucial function of serving on the Board of Direcors with Habitat for Humanity. For 5 years, I was in charge of organizing the annual Habitat for Humanity's second largest fundraiser while aligning its budget with the organization's budget, mission, and vision. While working at the healthcare compoany, I continually provided analysis and insights into balancing project budgets while making sure they aligned with the organization's budget, mission, and vision. As an International Director, I worked with WHQ and the other Board of Directors in reviewing and managing the organization's budget.
What experience do you have in developing policies?
I assisted in developing policies while serving on the Board of Directors with Habitat for Humanity and for various initiatives while working for the healthcare company. At church, I served on various committees and developed policies for many programs, including mission trips to Central America. While serving as a Region Advisor, I collaborated with other Region Advisors to develop best practices for several initiatives, including district visits, performance standards, club growth, monthly peer calls with the district leaders, and the region gatherings. As an International Director, I collaborated with the other Board members to develop new and enhance existing policies and protocols.
What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?
While serving in various leadership positions, I learned that leaders need to be flexible (one size doesn't fit all). I believe that to be an effective leader, it requires an understanding of the situation and the individuals involved. What works in one situation may not work in another, and what works with one individual or group, doesn't always work for another. I also learned that groups tend to succeed when members are encouraged to share their opinions and support others in a respective manner (people want to have their voices heard and feel like they are contributing). In addition, I believe that team success comes from having the 'right' people serve in the 'right' positions. Finally, I believe that if everyone on the team focuses on the core values, more time can be spent on achieving results and there will be less conflict.
What experience and key strengths would you bring to the Board of Directors?
An enhanced set of skills in the areas of listening, facilitating, training, compassion, collaboration, strategic planning, operational awareness, and the ability to work with individuals of all ages and backgrounds. I did not take any shortcuts in my leadership journey as I wanted to gain experience in as many roles as possible. I bring a renewed passion for leadership that came as a result of serving as a Region Advisor and an International Director. While working for the healthcare company, I learned lifetime skills that I can bring to the Board of Directors (e.g. business analysis, project management, and an understanding of how technology can support the organization's overall mission and vision). As a Region Advisor and an International Director, I will bring an enhanced skillset in the areas of education, training, facilitating, strategic planning, operational awareness, collaboration, and respect for others.
Why do you want to serve as an international officer/director?
I want to continue making contributions for the benefit of the organization, our clubs, and members. I also want to continue to help fulfill Dr. Smedley's vision of preparing our members for leadership within our organization and in our communities. I have witnessed lives changed and want to continue helping the organization grow and continue to provide our members (current and future) with the best tools and resources to help them achieve their personal and professional goals.
What volunteer experience do you have outside of Toastmasters?
It was an honor to serve on the Board of Directors with Habitat for Humanity and on several committees at work and at church. I have helped to organize over 80 blood drives that resulted in enhancing the quality of life for over 10,000 patients. I have also donated around 450 units of platelets, plasma, and blood at the Red Cross. While working for the healthcare company, I received the highest corporate award for community service (the Caring for the Community Award). This is a yearly award and is presented to the employee who goes above and beyond in volunteering at non-profit agencies in middle Tennessee. At church, I am a trained Stephen Leader, responsible for training Stephen Ministers and overseeing this vital ministry of providing care for individuals who are experiencing grief, depression, uncertainty, and health issues.
Have you worked with other Boards of Directors outside of Toastmasters? If so, describe your experience.
While serving on the Board of Directors with Habitat for Humanity, my primary responsibility was to organize the second largest, yearly fundraiser. This involved strategic planning, budget planning, recruiting and scheduling volunteers, working with and scheduling law enforcement support for the events, collaborating with the local running club, and making presentations to two city governments for approval.
In your opinion, what are Toastmasters International’s major objectives and how would you work to achieve them?
I believe the main objective of Toastmasters is to help our members (current and future) reach their personal and professional goals by providing world-class communication and leadership programs. To achieve this, I would continue to collaborate with WHQ and other Board of Directors in supporting the stated goals of enhancing club quality, chartering sustainable clubs, and recognizing member achievements. Another objective is to provide our clubs and members with the most cost-effective programs to help provide access to those less (financially) fortunate and in areas that do not have easy access to the appropriate technology. Finally, we need to continue asking ourselves two questions as projects are introduced and enhancement requests are made: (1) Why are we doing this? and (2) Who are we doing this for?
Additional information about candidate:
I have been married to my college sweetheart for over 37 years and together we have raised 3 amazing children. Also, in the last couple of years, we have added to our family a wonderful son-in-law and a beautiful granddaughter. I am a firm believer in exercising my mind and body. I try to learn something new every day and run 5-6 days a week. While I've been blessed with many opportunities to enhance my communication and leadership skills during my Toastmasters journey, I truly get more enjoyment helping others reach their personal and professional goals.