Joan Lewis


Candidate's Office: International Director

Region Number: 2

Toastmasters member since: 2001

Education: BA Sociology; Paralegal Certificate; Notary Public

Employer and/or position: Lewis Lien Sales - President and CEO

Served as district governor of district number: 01

Term of service: 2011-2012

In term as district governor, district achieved: Select Distinguished


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

  • 2015-2016 Region 2 Advisor
  • 2014-2015 Region 10 Advisor

Toastmasters honors and recognition (international level):

  • 2017 Presidential Citation
  • 2011-2012 Excellence in Leadership
  • 2010-2011 Excellence in Education and Training
  • 2009-2010 Excellence in Marketing

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

As President and CEO of Lewis Lien Sales, I oversee the day-to-day operations of the company which includes positioning the business to secure a percentage of the market share in a niche business. My background includes strategic planning, developing marketing plans, creating budgets, establishing, maintaining and growing our customer base. I served as a deputy for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and worked as Board Secretary for Orthopaedic Hospital.

What experience do you have in strategic planning?

As a business owner, I understand the importance of creating initiatives that will move an organization forward. My work on the strategic plan, marketing strategies, developing budgets (while being fiscally responsible), and building strong customer relationships is essential to the success of not only my operation but Toastmasters as well. For Toastmasters, our "customers" are our members. I am an advocate for change and recognize that no plan or goals can be achieved without an operational focus on continuous improvement. My work involves preparing financial reports, conducting research initiatives to determine markets to target, what services to offer and what price points we should implement. In my dual role as a pastor, I created the School of Ministry curriculum and recruited both students and teachers. I wrote and implemented policies, determined the course of study and the duration of the courses.

What experience do you have in the area of finance?

I manage the financial affairs of the business, including balancing the budget, handling expenditures and investments.

What experience do you have in developing policies?

I have developed policies and procedures for the School of Ministry, our Church membership and our business. These systems included relevant information related to teacher qualifications, course completion times, required tests, marketing approaches, etc. I worked with and led teams of ministers and together we created both vision and mission statements. In our business, the plans include a description of what we offer, the price points, marketing, and branding.

What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?

I learned that being a leader is also being a mentor, a coach, a good listener, a friend and an ambassador for change. I learned during times of a procedural change that a leader must be prepared to discuss those changes with confidence and with their toughest adversaries, to garner their trust and respect. I learned I can move people forward to achieve their goals.

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

I bring extensive experience in volunteer leadership. My work in this area includes over 25 years of reinforcing programs aimed at membership retention and improving the member experience. Having worked in diverse communities and settings, I have learned to accept, respect and appreciate the differences of others. My business skills have allowed me to develop positive, influential working relationships, all while building vast networks. I am proficient in conflict management as well.

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

I would welcome being a part of the strategic leadership team that is instrumental in developing programs that move our organization and its members forward. As a seventeen-year member of Toastmasters, who has served in numerous leadership roles (including the top three), I have first-hand knowledge of how our programs, when used correctly, change lives. It changed my life. I served as Region Advisor for Region 10, my home region. At the end of that term, I was asked to serve again for Region 2. As an International Director, I will use my business and leadership skills to support our strategic direction, be an ambassador for change, all while being a servant leader for our members. I am the best candidate for Region 2.

What volunteer experience do you have outside of Toastmasters?

I founded a School of Ministry that had a three-year program, involving over 100 ministers and a successful completion rate of 98%. I had oversight of the Christian Education Department, which included Sunday School for adults and children. I led and created policies for ministry teams, designed and facilitated leadership workshops and seminars. As a member of the NAACP, I worked on two committees. One was in the Theater Arts program which selected the NAACP Theater Award recipients. The other was ACT-SO (African American Cultural Technical Scientific Olympics). I recruited, mentored and judged the participants who competed in the various ACT-SO programs. I was awarded the 2016 Meritorious Woman Award, by the NAACP for my work in the community.

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

I worked with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for eight years. In that capacity, I worked on projects, handled complaints from constituents and planned events. I participated on the Board of Directors for Orthopaedic Hospital as the Board Secretary which allowed me to hone my listening skills and strengthened my research abilities. As a paralegal at SCAN Health Plan, I handled special projects for the Board of Directors.

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

The envisioned future of Toastmasters International is to be the premier provider of high-quality experiential communication and leadership training. I would work to achieve awareness of the organization's mission and goals. I would encourage club quality by providing outlets of open communication and recognition at the District level. I would encourage participation outside the club, for the members to reap the full benefit of Toastmasters.

Additional information about candidate:

With leadership in mind, I founded Praisemasters club in District ONE for the sole purpose of building leaders. For the past nine years not only has the club been President’s Distinguished, but we have also produced three District Directors, two Program Quality Directors, a Club Growth Director, a District Finance Manager, two District Chief Judges, two Division Directors, eight Area Directors and several DTMs. Mentoring other leaders and members is a passion of mine. The other passion is working with teams who support the Toastmasters Mission and Vision. As an International Director, I will not only bring my vast business skills to the Board but my leadership development skills as well. I sincerely care about those I lead and support. I work hard at remaining abreast of what is happening in the organization, to make well-informed decisions and educate others and our communities about the programs in Toastmasters.