PLYMOUTH — Marshall County resident Jean Wolfe was recently elected to the second-highest position in District 11 Toastmasters International and will serve as program quality director for the 2019-20 year.
District 11 includes 143 Toastmaster clubs, located throughout Indiana and a significant portion of the state of Kentucky. The position of program quality director is responsible for all aspects of education and training within the district, which includes promoting and recognizing member and club achievements, and organizing and directing the district’s training programs for more than 3,000 members.
As a member of the Wythougan Toastmasters Club that meets in Plymouth and the Lake City Toastmasters that meets in Winona Lake, Wolfe has served in club and area leadership positions, advancing to district leadership last year as the 2018-19 district club growth director.
“I ran for district offices to serve and make a positive impact on members in our district,” said Wolfe. “The Toastmaster’s values of integrity, respect, service and excellence will be my guiding principles as I focus on quality education for the members of District 11. Toastmasters has given me the opportunity to work with an amazing group of people throughout our state and beyond. This role also aligns with the skills I use in my professional life as the senior talent development specialist at Grace College. It brings great joy to me to be able to positively impact other and to aid in their personal and professional development.”
“I have recommended Toastmasters to others for many years, knowing its reputation for providing experiential learning opportunities to all – within a safe, supportive environment,” said Wolfe. “It wasn’t until 2015 when I made the decision to invest in myself and joined the Wythougan Toastmasters club. Members learn at their own pace and make choices about how they want to grow in communication and leadership. If you cringe when thinking about public speaking or want to polish your ability to effectively communicate, Toastmasters can help. It’s not like speech class – you don’t get a grade, you aren’t on a deadline, and you don’t have assigned topics. You do get encouragement and feedback from others who also want to learn and grow together.”
Since joining in 2015, Wolfe has earned the distinctions of Advanced Leader Bronze and Advanced Communicator Silver. These distinctions represent completion of more than 30 prepared speeches, coordination of speech contests, mentorship of others and service projects.
“One of my goals this year is to achieve the highest destination, Distinguished Toastmaster,” said Wolfe. “I’ve set my goal – and am charting my path to achieve it – in a way that is manageable for me. It’s not about perfection, it’s about progress.”
Attending last year’s Toastmasters International convention was a highlight for Wolfe.
“It was a week filled with meeting with members from all over the world who share a passion for improvement,” said Wolfe. “The highlight of the annual convention is the International Speech Contest. The best of the best do their very best – it’s inspiring!”
While Wolfe does not aspire to compete at the international level, she does appreciate learning from those who have gone through the multiple levels of competition. This past year’s convention was a year of organizational milestone: the World Champion of public speaking, as well as the second and third place winners, were all women.