Naomi Laura Takeuchi


Candidate's Office: International Director

Region Number: 1

Toastmasters member since: 2005

Education: BA, UC Berkeley; MBA UNC-Chapel Hill; Certificate in Nonprofit Management - Duke University; Certificate in Digital Filmmaking, Santa Rosa Junior College

Employer and/or position: President and Founder of 1000 Cranes, LLC

Served as district governor of district number: 37

Term of service: 2012-2013

In term as district governor, district achieved: Distinguished


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

  • 2012-2013 District 37 District Governor
  • 2011-2012 District 37 Lt. Governor Education and Training
  • 2010-2011 District 37 Lt. Governor Marketing
  • 2008-2009 District 37 Public Relations Officer

Toastmasters honors and recognition (international level):

  • 2012-2013 Leadership Excellence Award
  • 2012-2013 Distinguished District Award
  • 2011-2012 Excellence in Education and Training
  • 2010-2011 Excellence in Marketing

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

My company, 1000 Cranes, LLC, helps nonprofit Board members with governance procedures (creation of Bylaws & Strategic Plans & Budgeting.) Toastmasters, as a 501(c)3 organization, will directly benefit from my background and experience. Prior to starting 1000 Cranes, I worked for 18 years in the biotech and computing sectors and served on nonprofit boards in my local community (i.e. the National Association of Asian American Professionals, the International Society for Performance Improvement and the Madison Place Homeowners Association.)

What experience do you have in strategic planning?

I am a consultant specializing in strategic planning primarily for nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations. My company, 1000 Cranes, LLC, has provided strategic planning and other board development services since it was founded in September 2003. Clients primarily have a budget between $100,000 to $10M. Strategic Planning is one of the many courses I taught when I was an instructor with Duke University in their Certificate Program for Nonprofit Management.

What experience do you have in the area of finance?

I have over 26 years of experience in finance primarily in the area of financial analysis in reviewing pro formas (balance sheets, P&L statements and cash flow statements). Prior to starting my company, I worked at several large high tech companies including Cisco Systems and Genentech. While at Cisco Systems, I was employed in a variety of positions including as Business Development Manager and Venture Capital Alliance Manager.

What experience do you have in developing policies?

I work with clients in developing Bylaws and Policies that follow the "Principles and Practices" and the "Standards for Excellence" guidelines, (two well recognized US Nonprofit Standards for Nonprofit Governance). I work with local legal firms to ensure legal language is accurate and that legal documents regarding a nonprofit are filed properly with the appropriate State Government agencies.

What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?

I have learned that more effective work gets accomplished when teams are goal driven and positive.  I have learned that people are motivated by more than an interest in money.  At the core of motivation is passion, whether it is a passion to learn a new skill, a passion to solve a problem or a passion to create something never done in the past.  People will work to accomplish more if there is a link to a goal within an individual's passion.  

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

My greatest strength comes from building partnerships.  Throughout my Toastmasters experience, I reached out to other Districts to partner and leverage our strengths.  D37 partnered with D18 to bring World Champion, Jock Elliott, to US Districts as a guest speaker. D37 partnered with D84 to leverage their website materials and their Club Ambassador program to encourage members to visit clubs outside of our District.  D37 partnered with D66 to cross-train a club in the Northeastern part of the State of North Carolina so this new club had local mentors and could survive in a remote area.  We can all accomplish more if we create effective win-win partnerships.  

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

I want to help make Toastmasters International a stronger organization by leveraging my background in nonprofit consulting and management. We are entering into the time where technology adoption of Pathways is challenging to some members and we are at risk of losing institutional memory when legacy members leave. We need to find a bridge to engage legacy members that aligns with Pathways but provides them a method to continue to contribute with or without technology. We are also at a point in our growth where we will be entering emerging markets in new parts of the World. I would like to be a part of shaping our new direction and positioning Toastmasters as the premiere leadership organization worldwide.

What volunteer experience do you have outside of Toastmasters?

Madison Place Home Owners Association, President, 2004-2006, Vice President, 2003-2004, International Society for Performance Improvement Carolinas Chapter, Advisory Board Member, 2006-2008, National Association of Asian American Professionals, National Programs Chair, 2007-2009, Social Enterprise Network of the Triangle, Vice Chair, 2008-2012, Lean In Circle Coordinator, 2014-2016 (Charlotte), 2017-2018 (Santa Rosa) Moving Shadows Filmmakers Meet-Up Group Organizer, 2016 to Present American Red Cross of Sonoma County, Assisted with the relief efforts during the 2017 Wildfires Petaluma Community Access On-Air Radio Personality, "The Movie Muse", every Sunday from 6pm-7pm PT on, 2018 CorgiCon Documentary Filmmaker (2018 - in production)

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

In addition to the Boards where I have served as a member, I have also consulted with several Board of Directors about their strategic plans. A partial list includes a variety of nonprofit organizations including: The Southeast Association of Rail Shippers, Western Carolina Community Action, the Freedom Center for Social Justice, the Environmental Education Fund, the Harvest Foundation, the Robey Theatre of Los Angeles, National Center for Child Traumatic Stress and the South Carolina Association of Community Development Corporations.

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

I see three key objectives for growth and improvement to achieve our Toastmasters International mission: 1) Multi-cultural Inclusion - as we move towards becoming a truly global organization, we should look at incorporating ways we can better integrate other cultures into our instructional methods. This is more than translating our materials into other languages. We can grow our organization by looking at ways we can integrate our programs to be more culturally attuned with different country practices. This can be as simple as adding a tea break within a Toastmasters agenda or incorporating different salutations based on country (some countries, for example bow rather than shake hands.) In multi-cultural inclusion, we should also look at multi-gender and multi-generational inclusion as well. Our global workforce is seeing women and men from four different generations working side-by-side, and as this dynamic grows and changes, Toastmasters International should also be adapting to these demographic shifts in a positive way. 2) Pathways education and adoption - We need to continue to look at ways we can better educate and encourage members to adopt Pathways. 3) Marketing, Branding and Promotion - Toastmasters still remains elusive to many organizations as "the best kept secret in education". We need to find ways to better promote our brand so that key stakeholders and decision makers at corporations, nonprofits and government organizations eagerly want to bring Toastmasters into their educational programs.

Additional information about candidate:

Outside of Toastmasters, I enjoy learning about new cultures through language, history, food, music and sports. If you are willing to share with me a kind phrase, historical trivia, a recipe, a song or a sports lesson from your country or region, I would welcome learning more about you!