My name R O Z Y is an acronym for the 4 vital areas that I believe our organization must focus on for a thriving future. It also explains how the synergy between my experience and skills will make me a valuable contributor to the International Board.
RESILIENCE refers to how well we can deal with and bounce back not only from our current difficulties but also the curve balls that life will likely throw at us from time to time thereafter. An essential part of being resilient is to develop the ability to adapt. Following the onset of the pandemic, our Board has been swift to respond to members’ concerns with an efficient transition to online meetings. The one thing that Covid has taught us is that traditional methods may not always work when predicting the future. Our status quo can change at the drop of a hat. As Heraclitus said, “Change is the only constant in life’.
We must embrace and successfully apply the ongoing transformation to enhanced and optimized digital technology. Toastmasters will no longer have geographical boundaries or constraints, and joining a club will be just a mouse-click away.
28 years of senior corporate experience in a dynamic environment have made me attentive to detail and I have learnt to be far sighted, strategic and innovative in all my undertakings. My experience has prepared me well to offer valuable contributions towards the growth of our organization.
“Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution.”
I wish I had said that, but Aristotle beat me to it.
Our most important stakeholders being the member and the club, we must ask ourselves if they are receiving the best experience that we are capable of offering them. Through data driven analytics, I would like to support continual improvement in member engagement and club vibrancy. We have a responsibility to establish solid structures and processes that will help us operate with excellence at all levels – club, area, division, district, WHQ and Board of Directors.
I was the founding Chair of the TC of East Africa spanning 5 countries. Since the inception of our TC 3 years ago, we have consistently attained Smedley Distinguished status. Our standards of excellence are also evident when you consider our average club membership of 26. Each year, around 80% of our base have attained distinguished status. As an International Director, I can support the Board in developing leaders and establishing systems for ensuring operational excellence.
‘ZOOM’ is the new buzz word in our daily parlance and I would like to apply it beyond just a popular online-meeting platform. This would be done by zooming in on new territories that are ripe for receiving the unique benefits of our program. Sustained growth is necessary for our organization. Last year’s challenges notwithstanding, the overall growth in the number of clubs and members has been quite low. This is in spite of increasing evidence of many untapped opportunities for growth in Africa, South America, the Far East and other territories.
My contribution to growth in our region came largely from overseeing the chartering of clubs in countries and counties without any previous Toastmasters presence. In the last 3 years, we have almost quadrupled the number of clubs in East Africa. With the knowledge and experience gained from this, I will support our penetration into new regions and apply my skills to a greater purpose.
My focus will continue to be on YOU, the member. Thanks to our online platforms, we are more interconnected that ever before. We can remain relevant only if we listen and respond promptly to members’ issues and concerns as we evolve. Toastmasters in 145 countries must be all-inclusive. We need to have high levels of cultural awareness and respect for diversity. Recent events outside of Toastmasters have brought to the surface deep rooted and underlying cultural insensitivity in different parts of the world, causing much acrimony. As an organization focused on developing leaders, we must be empathetic and epitomize our values of respect, integrity, service and excellence, with faith and belief in the equality of all human beings.
Being an African of Asian descent in an English speaking environment, my multi-cultural background has made me aware that culture can affect relationships in surprising ways. I have great respect for cultural diversity and sensitivity. My husband is a Canadian citizen and my multi-cultural background has shaped my personal global perspective, enabling me to adapt very easily to the fast changing global demographic. I understand the needs of people from different backgrounds and would like to formulate ways of making our programs more sought after by a much wider audience.