Toastmasters offices held and terms of service (international and regional level):
- 2015-2017 International Director
Toastmasters honors and recognition (international level):
Relevant work experience and how it relates to Toastmasters and your role as a Board member:
I have 28 years of work experience in global companies spanning six countries, with leadership as Engineering Manager, Sales Support Manager, and a Certified Project Manager (PMP). I have exceled in multicultural environments, finding solutions to help people from diverse cultures work towards a common goal. My passion for gaining deep understanding of cultures and how people work together has driven me to become a doctoral student in global leadership. My practical experiences from work in global companies in countries such as Germany, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Sweden, and The United States is complemented with a theoretical background leading to a PhD in Global Leadership. These experiences have refined my sensitivity to a global mindset critical for the stewardship of a worldwide organization such as Toastmasters International.
What experience do you have in strategic planning?
As Engineering Manager, I was a leader in formulating strategies for sustainability and growth in a highly regulated food industry organization. As Project Manager, I brought strategic solutions to practical realization in achieving an operational master plan. As Board Member for a social services agency, I aligned strategic initiatives of the agency’s programs to the needs of the people we supported. As International Director, I worked on projects aligned with the strategic direction of Toastmasters International.
What experience do you have in the area of finance?
I have more than 18 years’ experience of budget work. As Engineering Manager, I was responsible for a department budget. As Project Manager, I am responsible for project budgets, deriving the business case which includes savings calculations, and ROI calculations. During the implementation phase, I am responsible for keeping the projects within budget. I administer budgets in excess of 30 million US dollars.
What experience do you have in developing policies?
Continuous improvement is critical to the success of my industry. Through my work as engineering manager and project manager, I develop policies that address non-conformances and create best practices to meet customer needs, employee safety, legal and regulatory compliance, all to assure a safe supply of food.
What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?
I learned that leading in a volunteer organization differs from managing in the corporate world. To be successful in a volunteer organization, one must adopt a focus on motivating and influencing as opposed to directing. Stewardship and service replaced a tendency to direct people, and I learned the value of motivating and influencing.
What experience and key strengths would you bring to the Board of Directors?
My entire career has been in large, global, and multicultural organizations in the heavy regulated food industry. I am experienced in dealing with multicultural issues, cultural differences, and variations in compliance challenges. In both my volunteer and corporate experience, I have a gift for holding myself and others accountable for achieving results.
Why do you want to serve as an international officer/director?
In answering this question, I will tell a brief story. I mentor a Toastmasters club whose members are inmates at a maximum-security prison in Indiana. One member was literally afraid for his life when he answered his first table topics question, trembling and terrified. Six months later, that same Toastmaster, delivered the most inspiring speech I have heard in my life. I was flushed with pride to know I am part of an organization that fosters such transformation. Every Toastmaster has a similar, transformative story. These individual achievements are the reason I want to see clubs in mature districts rejuvenated, and new markets grow around the world. My respect for the integrity of the Toastmasters organization drives me to serve my fellow toastmasters in their pursuit of personal excellence.
What volunteer experience do you have outside of Toastmasters?
I have served on the board for a social services agency. As a volunteer at the Indiana Department of Corrections, I mentor inmates in a maximum-security prison.
Have you worked with other Boards of Directors outside of Toastmasters? If so, describe your experience.
I served on the Board of Directors for Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center in Indianapolis. Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center is a social services organization providing individual and group services for all ages through assistance, opportunity and education. I chaired the Program Committee.
In your opinion, what are Toastmasters International’s major objectives and how would you work to achieve them?
Toastmasters is about bringing people together to support each other in building confidence and skills in public speaking and leadership. The major objective is to build and maintain a structured organization that supports this mission. We are all stewards of the organization, and have a responsibility to protect the brand while effectively serving the individual need of the member through communication and leadership development. All work going forward needs to focus on the sustainability of the organization and our programs so we can still be a preferred choice for individual development.
Additional information about candidate:
I am a designated inventor for three patents. I speak English and Swedish fluently, have a base understanding of Danish and Norwegian, and limited German and Spanish. Also, I am expanding my horizons through short form improvisation theater and comedy sketch writing.