2022 - 2023 District Leadership Candidates

Aloha District Director Kory Ikeda, MS4, EC1,

The District Leadership Committee (DLC) has interviewed, voted, and is proud to share the results of the candidates nominated by the DLC for term 2022-2023. For the office of Club Growth Director, the Committee was not able to meet the requirements as stated in Protocol 9.0(2)(B)(v). All eligible floor candidates will declare their intent to run to you, the District Director, at least seven days (April 26) prior to the elections (May 6).

The District Leadership Committee members are represented as follow from each division:
Division A - Kenn Nishihira, DTM
Division B - Wendilee Adkins, ACB, ALB
Division C - Gloria Shishido, DTM
Division D - Brent Miyamoto, PM2

Thank you!
Respectfully,
Sepiuta Holakeituai, DTM
District Leadership Committee Chair

CANDIDATES NOMINATED:

District Director - Gerald Toyomura, DTM
Program Quality Director - Charen Kepler, EC2
Division Director - Dominick Yamashita-Potts, IP2
Division Director - Franz Kraintz, DL5
Division Director - Joy Frelinger, EC5
Division Director - Rebecca Kanenaka, DTM

District Leadership Candidates - Biographical Information

Gerald Toyamura

District Director - Gerald Toyomura, DTM

Toastmasters member since:
October 2002

Education:
Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) May 21, 2020; Advanced Communicator Gold (ACG) May 18, 2020; Advanced Communicator Silver (ACS) January 21, 2020; Advanced Leader Silver (ALS) January 02, 2020; Advanced Communicator Bronze (ACB) June 26, 2019; Leadership Excellence (LDREXC) March 22, 2019; Advanced Leader Bronze (ALB) January 07, 2019; Competent Leader (CL) May 18, 2018; Competent Communicator (CC).

Toastmasters offices held and terms of service:
District 49 Program Quality Director Jul. 01, 2021 - Jun. 30, 2022; District 49 Club Growth Director Jul. 01, 2020 - Jun. 30, 2021; City And County of Honolulu Toastmasters Secretary, Jul. 01, 2020 - Jun. 30, 2021; Division B Division Director, Jul. 01, 2019 - Jun. 30, 2020; Catalyst Club Treasurer, Jul. 01, 2019 - Jun. 30, 2020; Area 2 Area Director, Jul. 01, 2018 - Jun. 30, 2019; Catalyst Club Sergeant At Arms, Oct. 15, 2018 - Jun. 30, 2019; City And County of Honolulu Toastmasters President (President's Distinguished) Jul. 01, 2017 - Jun. 30, 2018; City And County of Honolulu Toastmasters Vice President Education, Jul. 01, 2016 - Jun. 30, 2017; City And County of Honolulu Toastmasters Vice President Membership; Jul. 01, 2015 - Jun. 30, 2016; City And County of Honolulu Toastmasters Sergeant At Arms; Jul. 01, 2003 - Jun. 30, 2004.

Toastmasters honors and recognition:
TI Resilience Award - In recognition of leadership through times of uncertainty. CGD, District 49, 2020-2021
Pearl City Club Coach Complete Jun. 30, 2020;
HBM Club Mentor Complete Dec. 22, 2019;
District 49 Area Director of the Year, Jul. 01, 2018 - Jun. 30, 2019;
District 49 Speech Contest Co-Chair, Areas 2, 7, and 9 Table Topics and International Speech Contests March 2, 2019;
District 49 Conference, Silent Auction Chair, 2019; District 49 Conference, Raffle Chair, 2019; District 49 Conference, Fund Raising Chair, 2019.
5 Member sponsor Award (9 members) 2018; Sponsored 11 members 2017-2019.


Relevant work experience and how it relates to Toastmasters and your role as a District leader:
Relevant work experience as an architect and planner that I do every day at work applies to a District leader. This involves setting a vision for the organization and realizing that vision through small, achievable goals. As the leader, I would work with my team to develop a strategic plan including analyzing the situation and resources, set goals, deciding what actions need to be taken by who by when, and help everyone to achieve those goals on time. This would be an ongoing process and include recognition and incentives.

What experience do you have in strategic planning?
Strategic planning has been necessary for just about every position I have held. An example in Toastmasters, would be when I was Club President, we developed a strategic plan, and we achieved President's Distinguished Club. As District 49 Speech Contest Co-Chair for the Areas 2, 7, and 9 Table Topics and International Speech Contests, strategic planning was necessary for it to be a success. As Club Growth Director, I have planned for achieving Distinguished District for Paid Clubs and have achieved President's Distinguished for Paid Clubs 2021-2022. Currently as Program Quality Director, we are planning on achieving Distinguished District for Distinguished Clubs.

What experience do you have in the area of finance?
District 49 Program Quality Director, working with District budget, 2021-2022; District 49 Club Growth Director, working with District budget, 2020-2021; Catalyst Club Treasurer, Jul. 01, 2019 - Jun. 30, 2020; City And County of Honolulu Toastmasters President (President's Distinguished) working with Club budget, Jul. 01, 2017 - Jun. 30, 2018; worked with several organizations as Treasurer, Finance Officer, fund raisers, service projects, and Excoms developing, approving, and reconciling budgets.

What experience do you have in developing procedures?
Through the various positions I have held I have gained much experience in developing procedures as all of them have needed the procedures to be modified or even revamped to fit the current situation, like the current COVID pandemic and on-line practices, and just adjusting to a new team with different skills and resources. As CGD, I have developed procedures with my teams for building new clubs. Now as PQD, I have developed with my teams, procedures for education and training including Club Officer Training, Speech Contests, the District Conference, and achieving Distinguished Clubs.

What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?
I always learn something new or how to do something better in each leadership position I have held. One lesson is that it is very difficult to do everything yourself. It is better to work as a team. Good communications and leadership skills are very important to develop and practice.

Why do you want to serve as a District leader?
District District Director is the next level in my Toastmasters career. I have gained a lot from going from member to club officer, Club President, Area Director, Division Director, District Club Growth Director, and presently District Program Quality Director. I would use my experience to serve the District and give back to the program and help other Toastmasters.

In your opinion, what are the District mission’s major objectives and how would you work to achieve them?
The District mission is to "Build new clubs and support all clubs in achieving excellence." As District Club Growth Director I focused on building new clubs, helping existing clubs, and retaining and gaining new members. As District Program Quality Director I focused on supporting all clubs in achieving excellence in all aspects of education and training within the District. This includes supporting quality club programming efforts, promoting the Distinguished Club Program, planning and executing the District conference, and the District Speech Contests working with fellow District members. Together with the District leadership team, we would conduct District Leader Training, Mid-year Training, and other training as needed. This to me is the core of the Toastmaster program; empowering individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders and gaining value from the program. We would develop strategic plans including the District Success Plan which would include everyone and work to achieve our goals and value throughout the year. As District Director, I would be responsible for directly overseeing and managing the District's day-to-day operations, finances, and human resources. I would build a team to help fulfill these responsibilities by empowering them to work together and achieve our goals. Definitely training and education would be a big part of my program in achieving excellence, as well as recognition of everyone's efforts. Listening to members is key, and I would work to getting more feedback and input from members, including surveys and town hall meetings. Membership will also be a key focus, from day one, and publicity and marketing will need to be rigorously pursued. There will be a lot of work, growth, and fun. Achieving excellence and Distinguished District is the goal, as well as providing value and fun for everyone.

Additional information about yourself:
I am married and have a daughter in high school. I am a licensed Architect, and a Planner at the City and County of Honolulu. I am a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Honolulu and have been on mission trips to Swaziland, Africa and local areas. I was the Deputy Wing Commander of the Hawaii Wing, Civil Air Patrol, and have my pilot and glider license with over 1,500 hours, and worked with their youth cadet program. I am a member of the Sierra Club and have led hikes and service trips on all the islands and worked with their High School Hikers program. I scuba dived and was certified. I play some golf and finished 5 Honolulu Marathons. And do some Toastmasters.

Charen Kepler

Program Quality Director - Charen Kepler, EC2

Toastmasters member since:
October 2016

Education:
Baccalaureate in Psychology, Masters in Organizational Management, Associates degree in Liberal Arts and Hawaiian Studies, and currently enrolled in a doctorial program for Organizational Leadership.

Toastmasters offices held and terms of service:
Club level - President - 10/2016-6/2018, 7/2020-6/2021
VPM - 10/16-6/2019
VPE - 7/2018-present
Area Director 7/2020-6/2021
Club Growth Director 7/2021-6/2022

Toastmasters honors and recognition:
Area 3 Speech Contest Winner 5/2020

Relevant work experience and how it relates to Toastmasters and your role as a District leader:
Current - Executive Consultant for Ka Ipu Kukui Fellows no-profit
Previously - Director of Leadership Development and Director of Community Giving for Na Hoaloha Ekolu
Director of Maui County Operations for Goodwill Industries of Hawaii

What experience do you have in strategic planning?
While at Goodwill I learned and participated in the strategic planning process. At Old Lahaina Luau I facilitated strategic planning for the three restaurants and luau.

What experience do you have in the area of finance?
Budgeting
Fundraising

What experience do you have in developing procedures?
At the Old Lahaina Luau, I created the policies and procedures for the two largest departments and counseled all other departments and restaurants for Na Hoaloha Ekolu.

What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?
Most recently as the Club Growth Director, I learned to not give up in trying to get information out to the district. I learned to face the challenges and find innovative ways to communicate.

Why do you want to serve as a District leader?
Serving as CGD this past year has given me experience and training in areas I did not think to grow in. I expanded my skill set by learning new technologies and best practices that aid in communication.

In your opinion, what are the District mission’s major objectives and how would you work to achieve them?
After a year as CGD, it has become apparent that members do not receive the important district news and information necessary to be engaged. As PQD I would continue to pursue communication avenues and provide training for members to become knowledgeable in the many communication tools available that they can use in their clubs and professional/personal lives.

Additional information about yourself:
At my core, I am best when I am helping others grow and develop. I have taught countless classes in leadership development and in management. I have created content and presentations for dozens of business and psychology topics. Having a year of district leadership experience I see the bigger picture and can aid the district in becoming more engaged through a strategically planned program quality program for the year.

Dominick Yamashita-Potts

Division Director - Dominick Yamashita-Potts, IP2

Toastmasters member since:
December 2020

Education:
Innovative Pathways
Pathways Mentor Program

Toastmasters offices held and terms of service:
VPM & VPPR : 2021 - 2022
Area 6 Director: 2021 - 2022
Club Retention Chair: 2021 - 2022

Toastmasters honors and recognition:
N/A

Relevant work experience and how it relates to Toastmasters and your role as a District leader:
At Central Pacific Bank as the clubs VPM I motivate the club & provide support to all members along with leading the club to success while being innovative in club operations.

What experience do you have in strategic planning?
As the Area Director I planned COTs for officers that needed to be trained along with driving membership campaigns which one club hit its goal.

What experience do you have in the area of finance?
This is one area that I would seek assistance from my district leaders and help me better understand finances of the District/Division & Area.

What experience do you have in developing procedures?
I developed procedures for my home club and slightly changed how we do certain things and meetings.

What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?
Continue motivating all members and being more active with the clubs so they have the support they need to reach their goals.

Why do you want to serve as a District leader?
To better my skills as a leader along with serving my fellow members in the District. I would like to spread positivity and motivations to all members that it's possible to be a leader in our District.

In your opinion, what are the District mission’s major objectives and how would you work to achieve them?
I think that the main mission for the District would be to improve on our Membership along with having all clubs become paid for the year. It is a goal that we can all reach together with motivation, support and guidance to our clubs.

Additional information about yourself:
Outside of Toastmasters I like to go on walks, hangout with family and friends then if I'm free go to a theatre to watch productions. I also Chair a Theatre Advisory Board so that is where you can find me as well ensuring that theatre is still being offered with caliber staff & productions.

Franz Kraintz

Division Director - Franz Kraintz, DL5

Toastmasters member since:
July 2016

Education:
Masters of Urban and Regional Planning - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1985
Bachelor of Arts, Geography - University of Hawaii at Hilo, 1983

Toastmasters offices held and terms of service:
President, 2016, City and County of Honolulu, Toastmasters Club #4079
Vice-President of Education, 2017 to Present (April, 2022)

Toastmasters honors and recognition:
Competent Leader and Communicator
Dynamic Leadership Pathway
Area 2 Speech Contest Winner, 2019 and 2021
Area 2 Director, 2021-2022

Relevant work experience and how it relates to Toastmasters and your role as a District leader:
Area 2 Director has provided experience in dealing and helping with the goals of several clubs rather than just my own. The Dynamic Leadership Pathway program encouraged me to complete and senior-level leadership/management program with the City and County of Honolulu and the community project in Level 5 led me to develop a team to volunteer to help Habitat for Humanity build a house for a military veteran.

What experience do you have in strategic planning?
In formulating long-range plans for districts within our island-wide community, strategic planning goes a long way in prioritizing the allocation of resources, as well as protecting them.

What experience do you have in the area of finance?
Some city projects have had to be publicly financed of which I have been a part. I also sit as a director on my condominium association of apartment owners so getting more accustomed to financial reports and spreadsheets.

What experience do you have in developing procedures?
Throughout my career, I have had to devise new ways of doing things, however, this is not always created in a vacuum but passed on municipal policy and guidelines especially if the goal is established but needing a way to get there.

What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?
If you can prevent it, don't just check the boxes in completing a project. Be thorough and thoughtful particularly in serving your fellow population.

Why do you want to serve as a District leader?
I really liked being Area 2 Director but was only for one year. I liked it because I attended as many of the meetings the clubs in my Area had and I learned a lot about them. I think this has made me a stronger Toastmaster member overall. Along with other leadership experiences in my job and personal life, I feel ready to challenge myself at the next level and to learn/enjoy even more clubs. In challenging myself, I'm doing things I never thought I would consider doing or wanted to do.

In your opinion, what are the District mission’s major objectives and how would you work to achieve them?
I would have to say retaining and building membership in the District's clubs. Unfortunately, public speaking is not what people would call enjoyable and the need for public speaking people always seems to be for work, so they think of it as work rather than recreation, entertainment, or for personal fun. Toastmasters can be that. Hey I think I just found my calling card or rallying soundbite.

Additional information about yourself:
Not at the moment.

Joy Frelinger

Division Director - Joy Frelinger, EC5

Toastmasters member since:
October 2016

Education:
Ph.D., MA, BS
Proficient Visionary Communication, Presentation Mastery, Engaging Humor, Dynamic Leadership

Toastmasters offices held and terms of service:
Sgt. at Arms 2017, Secretary 2017-2019, VP education 2020-2021, President 2021-2022, VP Membership 2021-2022
Area Director 2017-2019
Club Coach 2020-2021
Committee member for the club growth director in 2020

Toastmasters honors and recognition:
Triple Crown 2019, 2020, 2021

Relevant work experience and how it relates to Toastmasters and your role as a District leader:
My PhD is in human communication. I have taught public speaking to college students. I've worked as an instructional designer and have done club officer and youth leadership training for our district.

What experience do you have in strategic planning?
As a club sponsor for Hawaii Comedy Central Toastmasters I have worked with Gloria Shishido, in growing and sustaining our club. I was instrumental in planning for our first Open House featuring professional comedian Judy Carter.

What experience do you have in the area of finance?
I can balance a checkbook.

What experience do you have in developing procedures?
I have a background in instructional design and have developed training materials for health care professionals.

What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?
Lessons learned, Communication is key to developing and building relationships. If you dream big there will be people along the way to help. If you need help, ask for it. Most people are afraid to ask and don't know how to ask.

Why do you want to serve as a District leader?
I believe that I can help others to be their best selves and have fun doing it.

In your opinion, what are the District mission’s major objectives and how would you work to achieve them?
The Districts main mission is to be Distinguished. I believe this can be achieved by increasing and improving communication with members on a personal level. The District is to serve the members in achieving their individual, Club, Area, Division and District goals. This can be achieved through better and more frequent communication and leadership.

Additional information about yourself:
I'm married to a fantastic and brilliant scientist. Although retired, or should I say semi-retired he still is active in his field and is a Master Gardener. I am a children's poet and still work in the field. I have two successful sons and two fantastic daughters-in-law.
I joined Toastmasters to make new friends and to practice public speaking. I've enjoyed the leadership skills I have learned.

Rebecca Kanenaka

Division Director - Rebecca Kanenaka, DTM

Toastmasters member since:
2011

Education:
BS in Microbiology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 1980
MS in Microbiology, University of Hawaii, Manoa 2001
MS in Biomedical Sciences, University of Hawaii, Manoa 2014

Toastmasters offices held and terms of service:
Secretary, Kinau Hale Toastmasters - 1 Year
Secretary, Nuuanu Toastmasters - 3 Years
Area Director - 2 Terms (Currently Area 16 Director)
President, Nuuanu Toastmasters - Current president

Toastmasters honors and recognition:
6/2014 CC
5/2019 ACB
12/2019 AACS, ACG, ALS-HCL
7/2020 DTM

Relevant work experience and how it relates to Toastmasters and your role as a District leader:
Foodborne Coordinator for the State of Hawaii. In this grant position, I was required to justify my position, prepare and justify a budget, and state objectives/goals to be accomplished during the grant period. I was in this position for 10 years.

What experience do you have in strategic planning?
I was actively involved in the strategic planning to prepare the State of Hawaii for a biological warfare threat. This involved planning and implementing a mock dispensary for mass distribution in the event of an anthrax exposure.

What experience do you have in the area of finance?
I'm currently the ASCLS-HI chapter treasurer. Our annual budget ranges from $30 to $35K. We have a bank account of over $300K. I am responsible for keeping accurate accounts of the expenses and income that the society incurs.

What experience do you have in developing procedures?
I was the Food and Dairy Supervisor for the State Laboratories Division for 14 years. In addition to supervising two full time employees, I worked closely with the epi investigators. Foodborne protocols were developed to assist in proper sampling, handling and chain of custody were adhered to.

What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?
Leadership style depends on the group you are working with. As the Supervisor of the Food and Dairy Unit, I lead by setting the example. This did not go well with my two typical state workers who felt being present at work for 8 hours was sufficient to be paid for. I wish I had learned the 8 styles of leadership from TM before becoming a supervisor. I wish all government employees should be trained by Toastmaster members to help improve the services that government provides.

Why do you want to serve as a District leader?
I am applying for the Division Director position. I would like to hone my leadership skills. Toastmaster has provided the foundation and now its time for me to improve my leadership skills by doing!

In your opinion, what are the District mission’s major objectives and how would you work to achieve them?
The main District mission's major objective is to enable TM members to be confident speakers that speak the truth and lead with compassion and humility

Additional information about yourself:
I have been a Toastmasters for 11 years. I would like to give back what TM has given to me.

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