Today we are celebrating our Accounting Director, Jean Pearson, who was recently honored and recognized by Toastmasters International as the 2015/2016 District Six Division Director of the Year.
Jean has been a member of Toastmasters International, an organization which helps members cultivate leadership and public speaking skills, for 24 years. She originally joined in order to build on her communication skills.
“I was working in a job where I had to explain W9 forms. Inevitably, I would be talking with someone, and as soon as I hung up, I thought ‘oh, I should have added this or added that’,” she explained. “I was always talking to people who had no idea what I was talking about.”
Jean attended her first Toastmasters meeting after seeing an ad in the Mayo Newspaper.
“I decided that the Table Topics portion of the Toastmasters meeting was the part that I wanted, because I really did not have any trepidation with speaking in front of groups, it’s just that I didn’t always think of everything at once.”
Instantly, Jean enjoyed Toastmasters, stepping into her first leadership role after only four months. She has maintained a leadership position within Toastmasters for 21 out of her 24 years as a member. Jean had often worked in individualized positions, and wasn’t always able to exercise her leadership skills, so she was excited to have an opportunity to build on these skills.
“That’s why I stay. I thoroughly enjoy it.”
This is not Jean’s first award from Toastmasters. She has also twice been honored with Toastmasters’ highest achievement, the Distinguished Toastmaster (DMT) award. In order to receive this recognition, a member must meet a set of ambitious criteria, including giving approximately 46 speeches, acting as a district officer for one year, acting as a club officer for at least six months, sponsor a new club or mentor a struggling club, and complete a special leadership project, which typically involves planning and managing an event.
After a previous tenure as a Division Governor (now referred to as Director), Jean was recognized as the 2012/2013 District Six Division Governor of the Year. Being recognized twice as a Division Governor/Director of the Year is a first in the history of District Six – a phenomenal achievement considering she has only held this particular office twice!
Jean is not the only Toastmaster in the family. Her husband, David Pearson, has been a member for three years and was recognized as the 2015/2016 District Six Toastmaster of the Year.
We want to congratulate Jean on her astounding achievements and wish her the best as she continues to participate in Toastmasters. We can’t wait to see what she does next!
For more information about Toastmasters, or to find a club near you, visit their website.