Name: Adrienne Lewis Dillard (D18 Webmaster 2019-2020)

Adrienne L. Dillard

Club: Greater Elkton Area Toastmasters (GrEAT) #5280

I would like to thank my husband, Duane for not complaining when I wasn’t home because of my Toastmasters commitments, for listening to my speeches, and for providing much-needed feedback.  I would also like to thank my mom (Narcissus), daughter (Ferne), and grandson (Cairo) for being there to listen before, after, and sometimes during speeches.  Of course, I’d like to give a huge thank you to my GrEAT confidence-builders, my Greater Elkton Area Toastmasters family.  Your collective leadership, support, and friendship helped me maintain the focus I needed to achieve this distinction.

We often look at others who have achieved and say, “I want to be where they are.” or “I want to be like them.” It’s good to set your sites on higher achievements but remember, “they” didn’t start out at that high level.  It was a process.  Stay focused and follow the process because the next time you hear someone saying, “I want to be like them.” That person might be talking about you.

Name: Alka Bromiley

Alka Bromiley

Clubs: Annapolis Toastmasters, Chesapeake Toastmasters, Phase II, and HydroSonics

I would like to thank every Toastmaster in Area 35 for working as a team and achieving the President’s Distinguished status. It was with everyone’s hard work, dedication, and commitment that we reached the top.

“If we strive for continuous improvement rather than perfection we will succeed every time.”  One of my own quotes proving that every little step, every speech, every role that we take on board in Toastmasters helps us to achieve our goals.

Name: Andrea E. Powell

Andrea E. Powell

Clubs: Greater Newark Area Club #1833 and Polished Professional Advanced Toastmasters #4677485

I would like to thank my mother Rose and my adopted mother Carmen. These two marvelous ladies see something in me that I have yet to see in myself and I thank them for believing in me as they continue to encourage and push me to a higher level. Rose is my traveling partner for conferences and speech contests and she is an undercover judge. She usually ranks the speakers at the contests and 9.9 out of 10 her rankings are the same as the judges. I thank her for getting up earlier than usual to travel with me. Carmen has made a Toastie out of me. What is a Toastie? you ask.  A Toastie is a Toastmaster for life.

I would also like to thank my Toastmasters family both new and mature members. Their words of encouragement meant a lot on my second journey to becoming a DTM.

To all the future DTMs, we are all starting out together on a new journey with Pathways.  Stick with the program it will get you where you need to be; after all, there are 11 paths to take. Good Luck!

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Name: Andrew R. Coe

Andrew R. Coe

Clubs: Siemens Healthineers Glasgow Toastmasters, 2129155; Polished Professionals Advanced Toastmasters, 4677485

I barely knew what Toastmasters was 7 years ago, and then someone dragged me to my first meeting.  From there, I encountered a newfound love of public speaking that I hadn’t embraced since I was a teacher a decade before that.  To those who encouraged me along the way, including my family and my mentor Marion Boatwright, I can’t thank you enough for pushing me onward and upward in my continuing quest to slow down, breathe, compose, smile, relax, write, edit, keep editing, and practice (thank you, Allen Iverson).

The greatest thrill I receive now is when I give a speech outside of Toastmasters and people who don’t know that I am in the program remark on my public speaking ability.  People do notice.  Hopefully, you do as well, because you’re doing this for yourself first, everyone else second.  Before there was no greater ill than walking out on that stage, but over time, and discovering my strengths and beating back my weaknesses, it became no greater thrill.  Find YOUR thrill, and then thrill and amaze everyone else.

Name: Annmarie Givans

Annmarie Givans

Clubs:  Hydro-Sonics, Phase II Advanced, Crofton Professional Toastmasters Club

I would like to thank God for guiding me towards Toastmasters.  This has been the best investment of a lifetime.  I have grown tremendously over the 2 &1/2 years I have been in Toastmasters and have met some fantastic people who allowed me to spread my wings as they gently nudged me to fly.

Keep focused on what you want to accomplish and you will accomplish it.

Go for that DTM, you can do it.

Name: Berlin Stokes
Club:  DESEAA Toastmasters Club #2240 and Polished Professionals Advanced Toastmasters Club #4677485

It’s hard to nail down one person to thank for getting me to this point in my Toastmasters journey and it is a journey. Faith, family, and friends are my fuel for life and I am so grateful for them all. I have to thank every member of DESEAA Toastmasters, past and present, and the members of PPAT and District 18 who challenged and inspired me. Finally, thanks to my mentor and friend Mike Barker whose kind smile and gentle words of encouragement helped me stay on the path.

Toastmasters is a journey. Although the path to becoming a better speaker and leader utilizing Toastmaster’s tried and true methodology should be smooth like a new highway, it’s often more like a mountain bike path through seldom-traveled woods. There are often knotty roots in the path called “I don’t have time” and hills called “family drama” or “workplace turmoil” or even “health issues.” There are pits and twists that make you scream in frustration. Sometimes the path is blocked by some other trial that life brings your way and you have to find another way around. Is this path easy? No. Is it worth it? Yes. When I think back to my first chance to participate in Table Topics and the nervousness that left me trembling for hours afterward, I can’t help but smile and be grateful. I have found that the resilience developed within Toastmasters has tremendously impacted my effectiveness and my courage in my career and in my community. By daring to take this journey, this less-traveled path, by overcoming the hills and twists and pits you become a more effective communicator, a more competent leader, and a stronger person. You even get to meet some amazing people along the way. My journey isn’t over and neither is yours, so raise your hand, step into the ring and let’s continue this journey together.

Name: Biagio Vincent Schettini

Biagio Vince Schettini

Clubs: Dover Free Speakers Toastmasters Club #1502, Debedeavon Toastmasters Club #750767, and Polished Professionals Advanced Toastmasters Club #4677485

Your journey toward attaining a DTM may seem long and hard, and you may wonder sometimes if you have what it takes.  But keep in mind that you can break your goal into its component parts and work on each part, little-by-little, step-by-step, day-by-day, one day at a time, and you will have had a successful day.  Put enough successful days together, you will have a successful week, month, and year until you have accomplished your goal.

Name: Debra Hennig

Debra J. Hennig

Club – Soaring Eagles Toastmasters Club #7021

I would like to thank everyone that I met along my journey to DTM.  I could not list them all because I took over eight years to decide to finally process that paperwork.  A few key Toastmasters helped me get to the DTM finish line.  Enrique Dijamco who brought me along to my first meeting because I was new in the area and didn’t know anyone.  Laurie Martinez who made me a club officer and webmaster at my very first meeting.  Joe Fleckenstein for letting me follow in his footsteps as Area and then Division Governor.  Oscar Zalamia whose impressive speaking skills inspired me to be a better speaker.  Wilford Verill for introducing me to speech competitions; I really enjoy them.  Melissa Smith, a Toastmaster who speaks from the heart, my friend who talks me off the ledge and keeps me on track.  Victoria Harrison, her humor and kindness lit my path forward.  Nick Deplitch, our current Club President whose dedication keeps our meetings going no matter what and who hit that submit button to enter my DTM application.  And, of course, my loving husband, Jim, who happily listens to my speeches, over and over and over again.

There will be times that you have to choose between things happening in your life and Toastmasters.  Life’s events always come first but you don’t have to give up Toastmasters while you are away dealing with them.  You can always come back.  Toastmasters will be here waiting for you, ready to provide support in whatever you need.

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Name: Dominique B. Brightmon

Dominique Brightmon

Clubs: Randallstown Network Toastmasters & Catonsville Toastmasters Club

I would like to thank every past and present member of my clubs.  As well as all of the Toastmasters scattered around District 18 that have helped me with running speech contests, having me as a guest speaker at their clubs, and being mentors that give valuable feedback.

Becoming a professional speaker, top-rated podcast host, and bestselling millennial author happened because of the confidence I gained from joining Toastmasters. Toastmasters is a laboratory to help you become the best version of yourself if you show up regularly and contribute.  Join a local club (if you haven’t yet); show up regularly and put your skills to the test outside of your club.

Name: Frank Storey

Frank T. Storey

Clubs: 3160, Northrop Grumman Gaveliers, Nu Genesis Toastmasters Gavel Club, and MasterMinds Gavel Club (both prison clubs)

Like any big project, just break your DTM goals into individual steps – have a written plan – and stick to it.

Name: Name: Gerri Bohanan
Clubs: CSU Toastmasters

Name: Name: Holly Burgess Pyle

Holly B. Pyle

Clubs: Toast of Severna Park, #1490982 and Chesapeake Club

My Toastmasters journey has challenged me.  Perhaps the beginning was the most difficult.  Before habits were formed.  Before friendships bonded.  Before confidence took hold.  I’m thankful I pushed through the challenges to DTM with much support!  I am amazed that I learned to enjoy public speaking and taking on leadership roles.  Most importantly, I am inspired by the goodness of so many people to help others along this journey.  I strive to be like you!

Specifically, I aim most to be like my first and most generous mentor, Denise Fowble, DTM.  I wouldn’t be here without you!  I also aim to be like Oscar Zalamia, DTM—efficient, giving, always helpful—a true leader!  And like John Nicodemus, DTM—capable, confident and supportive—despite my nervous laugh driving him crazy!  Thank you to all the people I’ve met on my Toastmasters journey!  The ripple effect is evident in my success!!! Thank you!!! Thank you!!! Thank you!!!

If you want to improve yourself, you’ve come to the right place!!!

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Name: Jay Green

Jay Green

Clubs: Greater Elkton Area Toastmasters and Greater Newark Area Toastmasters Club

I thank Diana and Sandy, my wife and Mom, for their love and encouragement.  They listened to hours and hours of rehearsal, including some Shakespeare which they didn’t like… but they do enjoy my antics.  When I wanted to quit Toastmasters to grow my Primerica® business, Diana challenged “Show some sticktoitiveness!”  What could I do? I couldn’t quit.  I had to prove she married a man who crosses the finish line.  Whatever your goal is, show some “sticktoitiveness” and cross the finish line!

Wishing all my Toastmaster friends health, wealth, and happiness.

Name: Jeffrey Richardson

Jeffrey H. Richardson

Clubs: Meadeators Toastmasters Club #1746, Advancing Toastmasters Club #665159

I would like to thank all of the Toastmasters and friends I have made on my Toastmasters journey, especially Patricia Pines and Tammy Wylie.

Take an improv class! “Follow the Fear” Del Close, improv Legend. Do what scares you most. If it’s uncomfortable…do it more. Lean into it and you will discover new worlds. With improv, as with life, it’s the fear that stops you from moving forward, not the thing itself.

Name: Karen Storey

Karen Storey

Clubs: Towson Toastmasters #2707 since 1989, NuGenesis Toastmasters Gavel Club, and MasterMinds Toastmasters Gavel Club (both prison clubs).

Karen Kidwell Storey, CFP, is President and Co-founder of Interactive Training, an organization dedicated to improving communication and leadership skills.

Name: Kathleen Norton

Club: APL Toastmasters #3624

Name: Liz Calvo

Liz Calvo

Club: SSA Club #2884

I would like to thank everyone who supported me in this journey

When you feel the most discouraged, you must fight the most.

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Name: Marc Hunter

Marc Hunter

Club: Parkville Toastmasters #300

I would like to thank all of the Toastmasters members who have come and gone during my journey over the last 5 to 6 years.  Without your help and input, I wouldn’t be the speaker and leader that I am today.

Don’t ever quit.  Be willing to give more of yourself and be willing to be terrible.  Because if you are willing to be terrible for a short period of time, you can be great at anything.

Name: Michele Chynoweth
Club: Greater Elkton Area Toastmasters (GrEAT) #5280

Toastmasters has helped open doors I never even imagined were there before I joined. I originally joined for one reason – to overcome my fear of public speaking so, as an author, I could learn to speak at writers’ conferences and sell more books. That happened…but so did becoming a college writing instructor (stumbled into that, never thought I’d teach) and working at my dream job of being a book coach/editor helping other writers get their books published (a few are in Toastmasters!). Something else happened too…I became friends with a whole bunch of great people in Toastmasters and I learned to reap the reward of giving back through leadership and mentoring as well. I’d like to thank my Toastmasters friends who have gone before me and paved the way with encouragement and support (you know who you are!) and I would especially like to thank my husband, Bill Chynoweth, for enduring eight years of endless speech practices!

I’d like to leave you with two quotes that are my mantras in life:

“Life is a daring adventure or nothing at all.” (Helen Keller)

“And we know that all things work together for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” (Bible, Romans 8:28)

Life is short so be bold, have faith, and follow your dreams!

Name: Mona Adel Mohamed

Mona A. Mohamed

Clubs: Hopkins Toastmasters Club

I would like to thank my mother who is my role model.  I would like to thank all my friends who I enjoy going out with, talking to on the phone supporting each other.

To all District 18 members: “Keep up the good work, you can also do it.”

Name: Muralidhar Adabala

Name: Name: Paulette Morris

Paulette M. Morris

Clubs: Toast of Severna Park TM Club and Chesapeake TM Club

I would like to thank my fellow Toastmasters who have supported and encouraged me in my journey towards achieving my DTM. A hearty thanks to Oscar and Frances Zalamia who were the first friendly faces I met in Toastmasters 10 years ago and continue to be mentors to me. Thank you to Joey Gibbons and John Nicodemus who gave me the push I needed to serve outside my home club.  When I told them, I don’t have time, they told me “Don’t worry, you will have plenty of help” and they were right!!  Thank you to Holly Pyle and Alka Bromiley for holding me accountable and partnering with me in so many Toastmasters events and making hard work fun!!  Thank you to these wonderful Toastmasters and many others who I feel blessed to call friends.

I would like to encourage other Toastmasters to keep their eyes on their goal.  Don’t give up.  It does not matter how long it takes as long as you are moving forward, improving, and enjoying the journey. Surround yourself with those who want to see you succeed.  Learn from your fellow Toastmasters and return the favor by helping others who need help. #D18TeamLift

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Name: Robert Kennedy
Club: Chesapeake Toastmasters

Name: Sherry A. Kuiper

Sherry A. Kuiper

Clubs: Annapolis Toastmasters, Phase II Advanced Toastmasters

I would like to thank everyone!  I have met so many people over the years who have helped me achieve my Toastmasters goals.  From the very first meeting I went to in North Carolina to a recent TLI, I have been encouraged and inspired by so many people… every step of the way.

Your Toastmasters journey will challenge you and grow you in ways you might not expect.  Stay the course!

Name: Tynetta Clemment

Tynetta Clemment

Clubs: Wilmington Trust Toastmasters #875702 and JPMC Wilmington Toastmasters #4843411

I would first like to thank my family for taking this ride with me.  They have become so accustomed to me running out of the house to attend numerous Toastmasters related functions.  I truly love them for all of their support.  I want to also Thank Wilmington Trust Toastmasters and its members for encouraging me while pursuing my DTM.  I’m sending a Big Thank YOU to Melinda Romay who assisted me in countless ways and Elizabeth Carter for her mentorship.  Lastly, I would like to thank every Toastmaster who has assisted me in any way along my journey.

I encourage others to be that person that you would want to mentor you and then commit to sow that to others. Those small, kind gestures will never be forgotten.

Name: Vincent Fazio

Vince M. Fazio

Clubs: Greater Newark Area Toastmasters & Polished Professionals Advanced Toastmasters

I would like to thank all of the members of both GNAT and PPAT who have provided me the support and feedback I needed to achieve this goal.  Special thanks to the members of my home club, GNAT, for a decade of support.  I would also like to recognize David Harrell, Doug Harrell, Andrea Powell, David B. Rich, Jay Green, and Ben Crist who through the years have encouraged and inspired me.

Most influential in my journey has been Carmen Lee Pow.  Over the years she pushed me out of my comfort zone and nominteered me to take on roles I would never have imagined.  Her dedication to Toastmasters and the craft of public speaking is unmatched.  It is a privilege and a gift to learn and benefit from her skills and experience.  I will never forget the special gift she provided to me as a symbol of her belief in my abilities.

Nothing worth doing will be easy.  Identifying and embracing your weaknesses and fears and actively working to make them strengths will be a challenging journey but one that is well worth the reward. -Vince Fazio

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Name: William D Buckley Jr

William Buckley

Club: SSA Club #2884

I have been a Toastmaster and a member of the SSA Toastmasters club for 8 years.  I would like to thank Staci Ridgely President of my club and all of the members of the SSA Toastmasters club for their wonderful support through the past years in helping me achieve my DTM award.  Along the path to my DTM, I have learned so much more about myself and the art of speaking.  I have made friendships that will last me a lifetime.

I believe it’s important for new members to take that first step and give their Ice Breaker speech.  After that, they will find that the other steps get easier and fun and they will make lots of new friends as they move forward to achieving their goals.