Lesley Storkey, DTM
Candidate's Office: Second Vice President
Region Number: 12
Toastmasters member since: 1990
Employer and/or position: Self-employed
Served as District Director of District number: 69
Term of service: 2008 - 2009
In term as District Director, District achieved: Not Distinguished
Toastmasters offices held and terms of service (international-, region-, and District-level):
- 2006-2007 Lieutenant Governor Marketing
- 2007-2008 Lieutenant Governor Education & Training
- 2008-2009 District 69 Director
- 2019-2020 Online Training Committee Chair
- 2020-2021 International Director
Toastmasters honors and recognition (international- and District-level):
- 2007-2008 Excellence in Marketing
- 1990-1997 DTM
Relevant work experience and how it relates to Toastmasters and your role as a Board Member:
As a veterinarian in my own practice, I needed to make critical business decisions, lead a team, and focus on customer care. As a project manager in the area of real estate projects, I utilized the skills of planning, finance, negotiation, and communication across all stratas of the community from developer and builder to the ultimate owners. In Storkeys' Team, we focused on executive coaching and facilitation in the fields of communication, team structure, resolution of conflict and meeting goals. All these career opportunities contributed to my service on the Board of Directors.
What experience do you have in strategic planning?
As a project manager on multi-million dollar projects for a national real estate franchise, my role encompassed visualization, concept discussions, acquisition of property, appointment of key players, marketing, sales, and the ultimate completion of the project. This was an exercise in effective strategic planning.
When District 69 Governor, I initiated the Strategic Planning Committee to focus on future planning. My 32 years of Toastmasters membership from Club member to International Director, have culminated in extensive experience in understanding the necessity for strategic planning.
What experience do you have in the area of finance?
My involvement in project management and marketing in the real estate arena included setting of projects and management and delivery of multi-million dollar budgets. The success of this involvement ensured a strong return on investment. As a small business owner, I held the responsibility for government compliance and regulations and for budgetary control.
As an International Director, I was cognizant of our fiduciary responsibility, particularly in these challenging times.
What experience do you have in developing policies?
As State President of Nursing Mothers' Association of Australia, I was a key participant in developing policies which managed strategic liaisons and operating principles between the end users (mothers and infants), health care professionals, hospitals, and government health departments. As Foundation President of the Whitsunday Intimate Theatre Society, an incorporated body, our team wrote the constitution (mindful of the strict legal guidelines) establishing directives and determining policies which would govern the organization in the achievement of its stated goals.
On the Board, I was fortunate to serve on committees that addressed and involved the development of policy.
What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?
I have learnt many lessons and continue to learn: listening skills, to listen more and talk less; to understand the importance of a shared vision; to practise clear communication skills; to utilize the skills of others through delegation; to utilize best practices from both inside and outside the specific organization; and to know that leaders, after open communication and collaboration, need to be decisive. Unfortunately, I also became aware of the necessity to recognise potential conflict in its initial stages. The two years of Board service gave me a greater insight into myself, and the self- awareness then translated into my value to our organization and to our members.
What experience and key strengths would you bring to the Board of Directors?
Having lived in a number of countries, not just as a visitor, has, I trust, given me a better understanding of the needs and challenges of the global population. Thirty years of Toastmasters membership, visiting districts around the world and presenting in various locations have given me an invaluable insight into our global organization. This knowledge has been enhanced by my careers in project management, real estate and veterinary practice giving me an appreciation of commercial practice with regard to volunteer organizations.
My service on the Board and the fiduciary responsibility we hold has enhanced my desire to prioritize our resources to the benefit of all members.
Why do you want to serve as an International Officer/Director?
With the tremendous challenges of the last 3 years, I wish to play an integral and meaningful role in the development of Toastmasters International post- pandemic. Change is inherent and necessary, and I have a deep understanding of the process but most importantly, the acceptance of change. This transition must be relevant to our members’ needs and give value to each member. "Knowledge is only valuable if you share it." My experience of living in diverse cultures and a varied involvement, career-wise, over the years, would enable me to utilize this knowledge for the benefit of our organization and its members.
What volunteer experience do you have outside of Toastmasters?
Cub leader (Scouting Association) in Australia and England; counsellor and State President of the Nursing Mothers' Association of Australia; Foundation President of the Whitsunday Intimate Theatre Society; foundation member of Whitsunday Chamber of Commerce; member of Whitsunday Tourism association.
Have you worked with other Boards of Directors outside of Toastmasters? If so, describe your experience.
As a member of the State Board of Nursing Mothers' Association of Australia, I found this to be a challenging, stimulating and rewarding experience. My tenure covered a challenging and confronting era when we worked within two major areas, that of public acceptance of the breastfeeding mother: and also, the link between the general public, hospitals, healthcare and government practices and policies. Heading the Board of an amateur theatre group gave the experience of working with a diverse, and often outspoken, group of individuals.
In your opinion, what are Toastmasters International’s major objectives and how would you work to achieve them?
Our educational learning program must be constantly revised in order to ensure the relevance of our organization to our global membership. This may well involve a deeper examination of the definition of success. We must understand the needs of all our members, and we can only achieve this by truly communicating and listening to them. As a Board, we must be aware of our responsibility in not only “seeming to” but actually listening to their concerns, their suggestions, their solutions, and their challenges.
How then, does this translate to the future strategic direction of our organization?
A trained club is a successful club and everything that happens in Toastmasters starts at the club! Leadership development is at a crisis and only by addressing this at the start of the leadership journey, will we produce future leaders.
Additional information about candidate:
I am passionate about Toastmasters as are all the candidates. I also believe we must find a balance between innovation and technology and meeting the human element of our organization. Every member is valuable, be they corporate employees, retirees, university students, or any of the demographics we see. Every member should be valued and retained, and every club should be sustainable and serve a purpose. Growth is important and essential, however, of equal importance is retention and sustainability.
I have been privileged to be involved in a core team developing a training program (PETs) for club officers which focuses on leadership skills such as creating a vision, delegation, and emphasizes the importance of training in order to develop leaders at that level. With the need for a focus on leadership development I would hope to see such a program incorporated into our future.