Dana G. Richard, DTM
ILC Nominated Candidate for
International Director from Region 7
District 29 Director, 2019 -2020
(One of only 3 US districts and 20 worldwide to be distinguished or better during first year of the Covid-19 pandemic)
When I began my Toastmasters journey back in 2013 I never imagined I'd be running for International Director. I didn't even know what one was. In fact, I didn't really even know what Toastmasters was. I was the presiding officer over the first Toastmasters' meeting I ever saw. The journey since then has been amazing, challenging, rewarding, and humbling. I have grown as a person and as a leader and seen many others do the same. That's been the biggest reward--to see other members grow and overcome and to have had the privilege of serving on an awesome team that makes that happen. I want to continue to serve as best as I can where best that I can, and to serve where my past experience can do our wonderful organization can do the most good as I continue my personal journey and Toastmaster's journey.
I have been on another journey as well. A journey of discovery, more specifically, discovering my family's roots. That journey led to the discovery a previously unknown (to me) Celtic, especially Scottish, heritage in my distant ancestry. Exploring this has enriched my sense of who I am and where my family came from. It has given me deep roots and an identity that I didn't know I had, It has also helped me better understand the importance of cultural heritage, which in turn helps me understand many of you much better than I ever did before. And it demonstrates to me how very connected we all are to something bigger than ourselves--sometimes without even really knowing what that "something" is. Even more important, it demonstrates to me how connected we all are in our Toastmasters family, A shared identity, a shared heritage, and a shared future that transcends boundaries.
We are all on a journey. A journey of personal and professional growth. A journey of discovery to better understand who we are and what we can be. As members of the Toastmasters community, our Toastmasters family, we share that journey together, and we support each other in all of our individual journeys.
We are all connected.