Monday, May 18, 2009

Email from International President Jana Barnhill (2008-09)

In 1996, I witnessed Jana Barnhill in action when Jana was competiting in the World Championship of Public Speaking talking about "...light up your lantern" at the Toastmasters International Convention in St. Louis, Missouri, USA.

I also had the opportunity to meet Jana in person when her husband Robert Barnhill was International President.

Today, I received Jana's email to all Toastmasters in her own capacity as International President. It is like Hillary Clinton becoming USA President after Bill Clinton...

May 18, 2009
Dear Toastmaster,

I hope that the Toastmasters program is bringing you everything you thought it would: increased confidence, improved communication and an opportunity to meet your personal and professional goals. As a growing organization, now in 106 countries, we strive to make the Toastmasters experience consistent and rewarding, no matter where your location in the world.

This August, at the International Convention in Mashantucket, Connecticut, every Toastmasters club worldwide will vote on Proposal A: Global Representation and Support. This plan would improve the way Toastmasters International is structured on a global scale and improve service to every member.

The proposal includes two items for clubs to vote on:
Expanding from eight regions in North America to 14 regions worldwide to accommodate our organization's rapid growth.

Replacing the International Nominating Committee with the International Leadership Committee (ILC), which would provide an enhanced system for nominating international director and officer candidates.

In addition, three items which will be presented to the Board of Directors for their approval:

Adding the region advisor marketing position (one per region) to support districts.

Creating a comprehensive district officer training program, including e-learning and face-to-face sessions.

Moving regional business and international speech contest semifinals to the International Convention.

For a more detailed explanation, please view my video message at

I ask that you encourage your club officers to vote in favor of Proposal A. By doing so, you will allow global representation and support for every member in our organization - no matter where he or she lives. If you have any questions about this plan, send an e-mail to

The future is yours. The future is bright. Let's all have The Courage to Conquer it, by voting in favor of Proposal A!

Jana Barnhill, DTM, AS
International President

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