Candidate's Office: International Director
Region Number: 8
Toastmasters member since: 2001
Education: BS Accounting; BS Computer & Information Science
Employer and/or position: Self-Employed Executive Coach and Leadership Development Trainer (•Energize Your Voice, Founder & President); Retired Information Management and Finance Manager (•Aetna Inc. / Regional Informatics Manager, •Cotiviti / Finance Analytics Manager)
Served as district governor of district number: 14
Term of service: 2010-2011
In term as district governor, district achieved: Select Distinguished
Toastmasters offices held and terms of service (international and regional level):
- 2017-2019 Region Advisor
Toastmasters honors and recognition (international level):
- 2019 Presidential Citation
- 2010-2011 Select Distinguished District Governor
- 2009-2010 Excellence in Education and Training
- 2008-2009 Excellence in Marketing
Relevant work experience and how it relates to Toastmasters and your role as a Board member:
As a leader in information management, finance and accounting, and as an executive coach, I have a great deal of experience working with multi-disciplinaries, identifying innovative solutions, collaborating with clients, leading engaging teams, developing strategic plans, and managing budget oversight.
With over 30 years leading US and offshore teams, I have the hands-on experience in business and Toastmasters to step into the role as a Toastmasters International Board member. •Analyzed large amounts of data to identify predictive trends, which were used to propose innovative ideas and solutions
- Identified and proposed cost saving opportunities by analyzing process and efficiencies
- Developed an in-depth go-to-market plan that encompassed scalability and return on investment
- Assisted in elevating company’s brand position to increase market value
- Developed budgets and integrated the information into a strategic plan for assigned region
- Developed and monitored an Employee Development Training program
- Led collaborative US/offshore knowledge sharing sessions with global multicultural teams and business constituents
- Provided training and coaching on techniques to bridge gaps between employees and management
- Fostered cultural diversity, ethical leadership, team engagement, resulting in improved morale
- Developed communication strategies for streamlining communication and accountability of systems updates, plans and issues
What experience do you have in strategic planning?
As a Fortune 500 company leader:
- Developed strategic plans and budgets to support required technology, tools, staffing and other resources needed for predictive analysis and trending of data
- Created strategic plans for market expansion with a focus on quality, profitability, and sustainability
- Initiated a strategic go-to-market plan for executive coaching business which encompassed lead generation, profitability, and scalability
What experience do you have in the area of finance?
My formal education is in the field of Accounting. With over 30 years in accounting, analytics and finance, I have extensive experience including:
- Accountable for forecasting, budgeting, trending and financial analysis
- Performed thorough qualitative and quantitative analysis for predictive modeling
- Collaborated with clients on performance trends, which contributed to the level of excellence in their financial analytics
What experience do you have in developing policies?
My experience includes developing policies ranging from Business Process Development and Improvement to policies for Sexual Harassment in the Workplace.
I led the re-engineering efforts to consolidate regional functions to core business units, and established policies for process, accountability, compliance and reporting, as well as, implemented a new organizational structure to support this consolidation.
What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?
The most important leadership lessons I learned are to listen and respect everyone’s opinion, requiring that I demonstrate empathy for others and their situations. Other major lessons I have learned: •The importance of confidentiality, trusting others, and motivating teams and individuals to succeed •Understanding that leadership requires courage, consistency, clarity, commitment, decisiveness, humility and regular engagement •The ability to influence change and enthuse others through personal advocacy and empowerment
What experience and key strengths would you bring to the Board of Directors?
I am driven by my passion for excellence and bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the board of directors, which includes:
- Data analytics expertise, acumen for problem solving, and strong interpersonal skills, combined with my effective leadership and a strategic focus that would be invaluable as a board member
- Experience working and engaging with global cross-functional groups and understanding varied ethnic and cultural styles are key strengths
- Extensive leadership and management experience with expertise in strategic planning, financial analysis, process improvement, information management, brand awareness, and problem solving
Why do you want to serve as an international officer/director?
Toastmasters has done miracles for my personal development over the past 18 years. I have gone from painfully shy to becoming more confident, resulting in excelling at my professional career.
Serving various leadership roles in Toastmasters, I utilized my operational skills to assist members and districts with their planning and strategies. Through this experience, I saw where I could further apply my strategic focus, utilizing my strengths in finance, strategy and governance to the board as a strategic partner and forward-thinking leader.
Combining my professional background in Finance and Analytics, with my extensive leadership experience, offers a unique opportunity to collaborate with other board members to contribute to the future of Toastmasters.
More importantly, I am inspired by helping and influencing others through positive changes. As a strategic partner on the board, I feel there is much more I can offer in terms of my skills and knowledge.
What volunteer experience do you have outside of Toastmasters?
I lead a Suicide Prevention group in the US and Guyana bringing awareness to this cause, by leading workshops and discourses on the value of life and finding your purpose.
Additionally, I assisted with various fundraising events and have volunteered my service to Junior Achievement of Georgia to help youths build a successful future for themselves and their community.
Have you worked with other Boards of Directors outside of Toastmasters? If so, describe your experience.
- Served on the board of a nonprofit faith based organization for several years, spearheading their public relations initiatives and assisted in developing their corporate policies and procedures
- Served on the board of directors of my homeowners association as President and Treasurer, where collectively we established homeowners governing documents including covenants and by-laws
- Regional Chair for Aetna’s (Healthcare) Diversity Council, assessing the requests from local charities and organizations for financial and human resource assistance
In your opinion, what are Toastmasters International’s major objectives and how would you work to achieve them?In addition to the 2015 strategic plan, I see the major objectives of Toastmasters International as:
- Providing continuous value to its members
- Expanding its worldwide presence
- Positioning itself as the first choice in experiential leadership and communication development
- Continuing to provide updated technology in all areas
- Remaining agile in response to changing times
To accomplish these goals, I would work with fellow board members to review, establish and enact policies that are scalable to the global market, with a focus on the ROI. Utilizing my analytical and leadership skills, I would collaborate with my fellow board members to determine the best methods to achieve these objectives and to develop the necessary strategies, at all times adhering to the core values of Toastmasters International.
Additional information about candidate:
Originally, from Guyana where I lived for the first 21 years of my life, I migrated to the US and lived in Connecticut for the next 17 years. Currently, I live in Georgia, where I have resided for the past 20 years with my wife, Distinguished Toastmaster Valerie Ganga and adult son Geoffrey, for the past 20 years. I hold a first-degree black belt in Taekwondo.