DaWane Wanek, DTM
Candidate's Office: International Director
Region Number: 5
Toastmasters member since: 2016
Education: Majors: Computer Science, Business Management, Radio Broadcasting
Employer and/or position: BlackBerry, LLC - Head of Sales, Americas
Served as District Director of District number: 50
Term of service: 2021 - 2022
In term as District Director, District achieved: Not Distinguished
Toastmasters offices held and terms of service (international-, region-, and District-level):
- 2018-2019 D33 Division L Director
- 2020-2021 D50 Area 11 Director
Toastmasters honors and recognition (international- and District-level):
- 2019-2019 DTM (Legacy)
- 2019-2019 DTM (Pathways)
- 2020-2020 DTM (Legacy)
- 2020-2020 DTM (Pathways)
- 2020-2020 DTM (Pathways)
- 2020-2021 Distinguished Area
- 2021-2021 DTM (Pathways)
- 2022-2022 DTM (Pathways)
Relevant work experience and how it relates to Toastmasters and your role as a Board Member:
I have led Sales & Marketing organizations for technology companies for most of my career. I have broad experience in leading global teams. I have built a reputation as both a "builder" and a "fixer". As a lifelong "change agent", I am usually hired to take an organization from its current state to a future state of success and getting teams to believe in the impossible.
What experience do you have in strategic planning?
Strategic planning has been a core component of all my professional roles, as well as my volunteer leadership and board roles. In my professional career, it has spanned working for startup where I had to develop strategic plans from scratch, to working for large organizations such as Dell, McAfee, and Palo Alto Networks in which I inherited plans that needed to be modified to address the changing economic landscape.
What experience do you have in the area of finance?
I've created budgets as well as profit & loss responsibility throughout most of my career. Those budgets ranged from very small (as in startups that were pre-revenue when I arrived), to very large (such as Dell, taking enterprise revenue from $650M to over $800M in less than two years).
What experience do you have in developing policies?
I've had to build policies from scratch as well as revamped existing policies that were obsolete, had unintended consequences that had negative business impact, or just completely unnecessary in their current form. I’ve also had to work with outside entities such as the State of Georgia, to change state laws to allow technology to better serve its residents. As a nonprofit board chair, I had to lead the complete rewrite of our bylaws to fit the current way we were operating.
What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?
Early in my career, I realized that Leadership is not about me (or my ego). I learned that if you can see the potential in others, you can coach them to greatness beyond anything they can envision for themselves. I also learned that there are times when leaders above you are there for the wrong reasons or are dangerous to an organization, you must find ways to compartmentalize them to protect the team.
What experience and key strengths would you bring to the Board of Directors?
I bring a spirit of innovation. I know we can do better. I believe that the Board needs to take our members to a better place with better outcomes for our members. Beyond my Sales & Marketing leadership experience, I'm also a technologist. As a current IPDD, I also bring a fresh understanding of what our members are currently experiencing.
Why do you want to serve as an International Officer/Director?
I want to leverage my professional experience to help shape the future of our organization.
What volunteer experience do you have outside of Toastmasters?
I’ve served in various roles with organizations to broaden their reach into multiple communities. At McAfee, I realized that every year we held our annual customer and partner event in Las Vegas, parachuting thousands of folks in for the event. I garnered executive approval to create “McAfee Cares” with a goal of leaving a positive footprint after each event. The outcome was that we raised over $40,000 for various local charities.
Have you worked with other Boards of Directors outside of Toastmasters? If so, describe your experience.
Yes, I have served on two prior non profit boards. I served for 4 years as a chair and board member of the Las Vegas Roundup, an event that has been addressing issues with alcoholism and addiction for 55 years. I also served the Las Vegas Central Office for three years on the board, with my last year there as Board Chairman.
In your opinion, what are Toastmasters International’s major objectives and how would you work to achieve them?
I believe that we have both short- and long-term objectives that need to be met. In the short-term, we need to resolve the ERP fiasco, rebuilding faith in our members, and holding executives accountable for this completely unacceptable leadership failure. We also need to refocus on enabling Districts to "get well" by working through some of the financial restrictions we place on our Districts. Longer term we need to act and operate like the global organization that we really are.
Additional information about candidate:
I live in Tyler, TX with my wife, Kellie (a fellow Toastmaster) and our two way too spoiled cats. If I’m not on a plane for work, you’ll find us on a beach in Fiji or discovering new places (to us) in Europe.