Robert S. Christeson
Candidate's Office: International Director
Region Number: 4
Toastmasters member since: 2005
Education: MS Management & Information Systems
Employer and/or position: YRC Worldwide/PMO Manager
Served as district governor of district number: 22
Term of service: 2011 - 2012
In term as district governor, district achieved: Not Distinguished
Toastmasters offices held and terms of service (international and regional level):
- 2017-2019 Region Advisor
- 2013-2017 Chief Ambassador
- 2011-2012 District Director
- 2010-2011 Program Quality Director
- 2009-2010 Club Growth Director
Toastmasters honors and recognition (international level):
- 2013-2014 D22 Toastmasters of the Year
- 2010-2011 Excellence in Education & Training
- 2008-2009 Division Director of the Year
Relevant work experience and how it relates to Toastmasters and your role as a Board member:
Currently I lead the Project Management Office (PMO) for YRC Worldwide. In this role I support 21 Project Managers through training, governance and process improvement. While serving in the US Air Force, I served as a logistics manager and led efforts in policy, budgeting and training at locations around the globe.
What experience do you have in strategic planning?
I currently support strategic planning for Information Technology initiatives and YRCW. I’ve also led the creation of a 5-year strategic plan for my unit in Germany, and served on other strategic planning boards for over 12 years across 5 different assignments. I previously served as the Total Quality Management (TQM) advisor for my unit for 2 years and conducted multiple training classes for TQM methodologies and strategic planning.
What experience do you have in the area of finance?
10 years managing operational budgets in multiple locations, including planning and executing those budgets annually. 19 years as a Project Manager overseeing project budgeting and execution on short-term projects and long-term programs. In 3 years as a corporate IT manager, I’ve managed training budgets and Capital/Expense budgets for projects across our enterprise. I also spent two years in charge of the master budget for the base inventory at Misawa AB, Japan.
What experience do you have in developing policies?
For two years, I was responsible for writing, reviewing, modifying and implementing policy for logistics functions at Ramstein Air Base (AB), Germany. For eight years after that I continued writing, reviewing, and implementing policy for Information Technology at Air Force units in Omaha, Nebraska, Incirlik AB, Turkey and Wichita, Kansas.
What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?
You can never over-communicate, and setting clear expectations is critical to success. As a Toastmaster leader, I have been able to expand on my military leadership training and experience which has helped me make the transition to civilian leadership. I’ve improved my team-building skills to improve my role as a Project Manager and in subsequent roles in Toastmasters.
What experience and key strengths would you bring to the Board of Directors?
Policy, Budgeting, Leadership and Training. In serving in the US Air Force for 22 years, and working in corporate roles for the last 12, I have had success in long term planning roles as well as quick execution and solving problems opportunities. I’ve also served in a variety of roles in Toastmasters, including 4 years as Pathways Chief Ambassador for my district and working with 12 districts over 2 years as Region Advisor. These roles have helped me understand a great deal about our organization’s challenges and successes that will guide me in supporting the board’s efforts in strategic planning and budgeting for our future. As a trainer and mentor of military leaders, my experience in developing and conducting training would allow me to advise committees and assist in developing policy and suggestions to continue to expand our leadership training.
Why do you want to serve as an international officer/director?
I believe in our organization. I feel privileged to have benefitted (and enjoyed) more than I could have ever thought from Toastmasters in the past 14 years. Toastmasters develops critical leadership and communication skills while fostering teamwork among diverse cultures. I feel that my knowledge, strengths and experiences can continue to serve our organization as we continue to grow worldwide. I am truly grateful for the opportunities I have had and would like to see more people have the same benefits and experience.
What volunteer experience do you have outside of Toastmasters?
I served as a volunteer and trainer in local (Wichita and now Kansas City) Project Management Institute (PMI) chapters, and as President and other position on multiple Booster Clubs, and Top 3 groups in the US Air Force. These groups designed and supported morale programs for military members while serving at foreign duty assignments.
Have you worked with other Boards of Directors outside of Toastmasters? If so, describe your experience.
I have experience on the PMI board in Wichita, Kansas. Serving on the program committee and the election committee. I worked with other members to design training events to support Project Managers throughout the local area, and helped to run the annual board election process to bring on our new team.
In your opinion, what are Toastmasters International’s major objectives and how would you work to achieve them?
Our major objectives are outlined in the three main goals in our 2015 Strategic Plan. Club Excellence; Member Achievement; Awareness, Engagement and Participation. I feel that the continued growth of our leadership development programs and continuing to improve our communication programs are key to these initiatives. I would work with fellow board members to listen to our member’s feedback, analyze data and trends and support policies that lead to improved engagement with our volunteer leaders to support these objectives.
Additional information about candidate:
I've also served as an adjunct instructor for the University of Maryland. Previous to my retirement from the U.S. Air Force, in addition to other awards I was named Top Communications Senior Noncommissioned Officer at McConnell Air Force Base.