Caron Lau, DTM

As we begin this new and amazing year of District 49 Toastmasters, I first of all want to thank all of you, our members, for electing me as your District 49 Program Quality Director.  What a ride.  I never imagined that I would be a part of something extremely amazing as what is happening in our District 49.  We are on a brand new frontier of inspired Toastmasters.  Can you feel the energy shift?
This year at the Toastmasters International Convention, the World’s best speakers came to the stage and the top three came from Asia.  While the speakers were at the forefront, there were also the World’s best leaders in attendance.  A woman won second Vice President and our very own Kevin Doyle gave a great run for that role.  While I would have absolutely LOVED to see him there, I am happy that there is a shift by a woman, Lark Doley, in line to become the International President of our great organization.  I feel there is always a balance by having diverse backgrounds in leadership, from their life experiences.  We also had a millennial become an International Director for Region 3.  This means, we have work to do, to get ahold of the now LARGEST demographic in our lovely nation.  I tell you this, not to be proud or look at where we are going (even though I am), I’m telling you this because I hope you will be inspired to take on a leadership role at the District level.  District 49 is looking for new leaders, YOU, and anything is possible.  As Mohammed Qahtani mentioned his struggles as a mute until the age of six, stuttering with a speech impediment, and if he can do it, imagine what can happen to you.  In his words, “Words can be your power.  You can change a life, inspire a nation, and make this world a beautiful place.”  The world is your Opihi, let’s go and get it together.
I was amazed by so many things as I attended the Leader Training and Convention, one thing in particular was that there were three Districts with the highest percentage of clubs at charter strength of 20 members recognized at the convention.  I have a dream for our district – that we are THRIVING.  To thrive, wouldn’t it be absolutely amazing to have our clubs be at charter strength?  My goal for us at the end of the year is to have at least 80% of our clubs be at charter strength.  To do this, we will need your help.  It’s not for any award, which is also well within our reach, it is to have healthy clubs and happy members!  Those of you that are members of clubs at charter strength know exactly what I’m talking about.
I have a dream that one day, we will have heathy competition for our leadership roles, that we will have the best of the best in our district, that we will have inspired ideas, powerful meetings, members that are on fire with love for Toastmasters, and enjoy the ride as District 49 reaches more than it’s potential.  I have a dream that YOU are a part of this with me and the rest of the leaders in our district.  We are all leaders, and the sooner we own it together, the sooner change happens.
Congratulations District 49 for our first of many Distinguished years!
Thank you for all you do for District 49.