Melissa L. McGavick

Melissa L. McGavick

Candidate's Office: International Director

Region Number: 6

Toastmasters member since: 2004

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Media Studies

Employer and/or position: Self Employed: McGavick Interactive Training

Served as district governor of district number: 13

Term of service: 2014-2015

In term as district governor, district achieved: Select Distinguished


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

  • 2018-2019 Region Advisor Region 6
  • 2017-2018 Region Advisor Region 7
  • 2014-2015 District Governor
  • 2013-2014 Lt. Governor Education and Training
  • 2012-2013 Lt. Governor Marketing

Toastmasters honors and recognition (international level):

  • 2019 Presidential Citation
  • 2015 Presented at District Leader Training: Meet the Experts session in Las Vegas
  • 2014-2015 Select Distinguished District
  • 2013-2014 Excellence in Education and Training Award
  • 2012-2013 Excellence in Marketing Award

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

I bring nearly 30 years of experience in sales, executive recruiting, training, coaching and team development. As the founder and CEO of McGavick Interactive Training (founded in 2004), a company that provides training and coaching in branding, professional development and sales, I bring a broad skill set to the board. Selling to C-Suite clients, coaching a diverse client portfolio, and serving on nonprofit boards has honed my ability to think beyond today and to develop strategies that propel an organization forward.

What experience do you have in strategic planning?

As President of the Board of Directors of a non-profit organization, I worked to create 3- and 5-year strategic plans and supporting budgets. This required collaboration with all of the organization’s subcommittees to ensure the plan prepared the organization to achieve our envisioned future. Working to reach consensus of the membership was crucial for adoption and implementation of the plan. As Co-Director in another non-profit, I set targets and developed plans to fund-raise for a Cancer Center’s Patient Assistance Fund.

What experience do you have in the area of finance?

As Board President of one non-profit I ensured the budget was in alignment with the strategic plan in order to implement all programs and initiatives. I have worked with committees to adjust budgets where needed and allocate funds for areas that support the mission of the organization and provide a greater benefit to members. As Co-Director of a second nonprofit I acquired sponsorship from both private and corporate donors while working with my team to lower the cost of activities and provide more funds for patient assistance.

What experience do you have in developing policies?

I have experience working on the Bylaws and Policies committee of a nonprofit board reviewing and updating board policy and procedure to better serve the current membership. I also have work experience, writing policy and procedures to ensure multi-state regulatory compliance.


What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?

Listen, listen, listen. Surround yourself with people who are better than you. Prepare, equip and provide opportunities for others to excel; then, get out of their way. Deal with issues quickly; don’t let things fester. Always do what is right. Be willing to do what is hard. Give away the credit; take the blame. The best legacy I can leave, is the seed of success in others I’ve helped along the way.

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

I’ll bring the ability to break down complex thoughts and processes making them simple to understand and gain buy-in from parties in all levels. Clearly communicating with people on all levels of an organization has served me well in the boards I’ve already served and will be an asset to the Toastmasters Board. As a member of the board, I bring experience as a fiduciary along with strategic thinking and budgeting to serve our members.

Serving as a Region Advisor has provided insight to the differences and similarities within our districts and regions.

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

When I joined Toastmasters to polish up my training presentations, I expected to be a member for maybe 6 months. That was in August 2004. Somewhere along the way, I fell in love with what we do and what we stand for. I’d be honored to serve on the board of an organization I believe in deeply. Where else other than Toastmasters does someone strive so hard to improve their fellow member? My greatest joy is developing others to more than even they thought possible. The beauty of it is, every time I help someone else become more of who they are, I am improved in the process. Serving on the Toastmasters International board would be the ultimate opportunity to serve and grow.

What volunteer experience do you have outside of Toastmasters?

Currently, I serve on both the ambassadors and the marketing committees for the Pittsburgh Chapter of the National Speakers Association. I’ve volunteered with several different organizations that help promote business and health causes including Women's Business Network (WBN), Downtown Women’s Club Pittsburgh Chapter (DWC), Cranberry Women’s Business Network Chapter, Women Entrepreneurs in Business (WEB), Cranberry Area Chamber of Commerce (now Pittsburgh North Regional Chamber), The Small Business Network, and Women Think P.I.N.K. As a Deacon at my church for over 7 years, I led a team of 70+ volunteers in the First Impressions Ministry. I’ve served my community buy volunteering to help upkeep a local park. Several times I’ve taught job skills in a 16-session program for people in “at risk” populations.

Have you worked with other Boards of Directors outside of Toastmasters? If so, describe your experience.

President of the Board of Directors for Women's Business Network (WBN); Co-Director of Women Think P.I.N.K. a nonprofit organization that fund-raises for the Hillman Cancer Center Patient Assistance Fund; Director for the Downtown Women’s Club Pittsburgh Chapter (DWC); Chairperson for Cranberry Women’s Business Network Chapter, and President of Women Entrepreneurs in Business (WEB). While serving on the board of WBN I chaired several committees including: Membership Growth and Retention, Chapter Expansion, Nominations, Strategic Planning and Budgeting, Bylaws and Policies, Education, and Speakers Bureau Committees.

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

To be agile in the marketplace is key to the success of Toastmasters envisioned future. Our current (2015) strategic plan has been created to allow for nimbly maneuvering through market opportunities and obstacles, while staying steadfast to our timeless mission. The member’s club experience has to be consistently excellent “as promised,” no matter where in the world they meet. Our members should be able to use the Pathways Program to consistently achieve their personal and professional goals. Brand presence in the marketplace should create top-of-mind awareness of the Toastmasters Brand as the first-choice for communication and leadership skills development in new and emerging markets as well as well-developed markets through use of all forms of media. I believe we must also be relevant, reliable and reachable to our current and future members.

I’ll focus on the objectives we know we can achieve and set measurable markers to ensure we accomplish them; additionally, actively listening to member’s ideas, watching for market opportunities, and searching for the best solutions.

Additional information about candidate:

Growing up on a farm, I learned the value of thinking ahead, hard work and commitment. I’m always looking for ways to improve a process or result. Big things take time to grow, so have patience. There is joy in serving and taking care of your neighbor. When you accomplish something that you’ve worked hard to achieve, celebrate, be grateful and remember where you started.

Outside of Toastmasters, I enjoy photography, traveling and most of all, spending time with my husband, Kevin, and our family.