Meet My Mentor


Mentor Cassandra Oliver, DTM

Mary Nesfield

From the Toastmaster magazine November 2015.

"She is patient, encouraging and supportive. I am thankful for the time we spend together."

Monique Rodgers

When Monique Rodgers, CC, CL, a receptionist at Performance BMW in Durham, North Carolina, lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma, she joined the Friends of Greenwood Toastmasters Club to overcome stuttering and become a better speaker and leader. She had learned about Toastmasters from her godmother, Gwendolyn Goff, who said it was the best place to develop professionally and transform as a speaker.

There she met Cassandra Oliver, DTM, Ambassador at Toastmasters and a senior paralegal for The Williams Companies, Inc., a U.S. energy company based in Tulsa. A member since 2005, Cassandra has helped Monique to believe in herself and pursue her dreams to travel the world, become published and work as a motivational speaker.

What makes Cassandra special?
She is a strong, quiet leader—in her church, in the workplace and in her club. She encourages me to always aim high and be my best. She challenges me and tells me to never settle for less in anything that I do.

Cassandra listens while her mentees practice their speeches. She gives valuable feedback and tells me to speak as if I have already won, and that advice has changed me forever. I feel like a champion even before I deliver my speech.

She is patient, encouraging and supportive. I am thankful for the time we spend together. She is the kindest person you could ever meet, and her soul-food cooking is the best! She is a Toast-masters gem, and I am honored to have her as my mentor.

What have you accomplished because of her?
Last year in August, I won first place in our club’s speech contest. I also won second place in the area contest, and I was a first-time chair last year for the fall conference. I am a better leader at work, at church and overall because of Cassandra’s mentorship.

What have you learned about mentoring?
I learned the following three principles: 1) Mentorship is the foundation of growth in Toastmasters; 2) My mentor and I are a team; and 3) Each contest I win is also a big win for my mentor because we win together.

For more articles from the November issue, visit


About the Author

Mary Nesfield

is associate editor for Toastmaster magazine. Reach her at