Thomas Goodwin


Candidate's Office: International Director

Region Number: 9

Toastmasters member since: 2007

Education: BS in Computer and Systems Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; MS in Computer Science, Boston University; Certificate in Financial Planning, Merrimack College

Employer and/or position: Financial Planner at Financial Focus, Inc., Wolfeboro, NH, USA

Served as district governor of district number: 45

Term of service: 2016 - 2017

In term as district governor, district achieved:


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

  • 2017-2018 Club Extension Chair – District 45
  • 2017-2018 Immediate Past District Director – District 45
  • 2016-2017 District Director - District 45
  • 2015-2016 Program Quality Director – District 45
  • 2014-2015 Lt Governor Marketing – District 45
  • 2013-2014 Area Governor – District 45, Area 20
  • 2011-2012 Division Governor – District 7, Division A
  • 2009-2010 Area Governor – District 7, Area 22

Toastmasters honors and recognition (international level):

  • Excellence in Education, 2015-2016

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

I have 21 years’ experience as a Financial Planner and 18 as a Software Engineer. As a fee-only Certified Financial Planner, I am held to a fiduciary standard that my actions and recommendations will always be in my client’s best interests. As a board member, I will work as a fiduciary to our membership and always keep their interests in mind as we guide Toastmasters’ strategic vision.

What experience do you have in strategic planning?

As a partner in the financial planning firm, I, with my team, develop the long-range strategic goals for our firm relating to marketing, growth targets and client service. We establish quarterly, yearly and long-term goals for our organization and determine how we will measure our achievement. As a financial planner, I devise strategic plans for families and individuals to reach their future goals – financially and personally. I develop metrics to measure and track their progress. I understand what events can affect progress and assess the impact they may have on achieving one’s goals.

What experience do you have in the area of finance?

I have 20 years in finance, at both the personal and small business level. As a partner in my firm, I create annual budgets and revenue targets in excess of one million dollars, as well as evaluate benefits and risks associated with potential merger candidates. I also work on finance committees for local organizations developing budgets and fundraising goals necessary for their long-term success.

What experience do you have in developing policies?

I served as the Chief Compliance Officer for my firm for 6 years, dealing with securities regulations and developing policies and procedures to ensure compliance with these ever-changing regulations. My policy work includes review of our client and vendor contracts, regulatory filings, record keeping, adherence to Code of Ethics, and business continuity. Some of my recent work is related to cybersecurity policies and adherence to the fiduciary standards of my industry.

What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?

I have learned two especially important lessons: 1) Sharing my vision with team members and listening to their goals and visions for the project and the organization is impactful since it creates team ‘buy-in”; and 2) Micro-managing all operational decisions limits the amount a team can achieve. Once the task has been established and supported by all, it is important to trust them to decide how to achieve their goals. This maximizes the work a team can accomplish and helps build future leaders for our organization.

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

I have strong skills in finance, policy making, and strategic planning. My work is process-oriented and thorough, and my decision-making process is contemplative and thoughtful. I have an open mind when discussing alternatives. As a Board member, I will work to ensure our decisions align with our core values, our vision, and most importantly, the needs of our members.

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

Throughout my Toastmasters journey, from member to club officer to district leader, my vision of our organization has grown to encompass a world-wide view. I have spoken with members, district and international leaders, and our staff, and I have heard their hope, fears and expectations for our organization. I have the skills and dedication to meet the challenges we face and to extend Toastmasters’ mission and vision globally.

What volunteer experience do you have outside of Toastmasters?

Over the years, I have worked with many volunteer organizations, including my local churches, the Lion’s Club, and local music and arts festival. My involvement has included working as a Trustee, Treasurer, and Finance Committee member, as well as chairing the Board of Trustees for my church, chairing finance committees, and preparing the annual budgets for my local golf club.

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

I have worked on the Boards of non-profit and not-for-profit organizations, including Nature’s Coastal Holiday and Kingswood Golf Club. My experiences have shown me the importance of establishing a unifying vision or purpose for an organization and the board work has brought me a better understanding of the strategic role of a board member to provide and protect the vision of the organization.

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

As the board continues to deliver on the Envisioned Future and Brand Promise of Toastmasters International, I see three major objectives for the organization. The first is to elevate the club level experience, so our members can consistently achieve their goals, thereby increasing member satisfaction and member retention. This may require an enhanced system of feedback, evaluation, coaching and training of clubs and club officers to better serve our members’ needs. The second objective is to raise the awareness globally of Toastmasters and the services we can provide through enhanced marketing efforts and corporate testimonials. The third objective I see is to continue to improve and enhance Pathways to better serve our members through additional path development, as well as resolution of the technology and accessibility issues facing our members.

Additional information about candidate:

Professional designations: Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), Enrolled Agent (EA) designation from the US Internal Revenue Service.