HISTORY OF DISTRICT 68
2009-2010 District Governor
Darryl Hall, DTM
District 68 was formed on July 1, 1963 with Ed Champagne of New Orleans serving as it’s first District Governor from July 1, 1963 to June 30, 1964. Prior to this time, District 68 had actually been a part of District 29. In it’s relatively short life, District 68 has had an outstanding history of Toastmaster District accomplishments.
Participation and enthusiasm were lacking in the early years with club formation fluctuating and averaging in the lower twenties. By 1978, there were only eighteen clubs in the District and Toastmasters International issued an ultimatum. District 68 officers were told rebuilding the District would have to be done in within two years or our District would be combined with another District.
The fire was lit and our District officers accepted the challenge! This resulted in a turnaround and accomplishments that had probably never been witnessed before within Toastmasters. It started with Dr. Elmer Wagner, ATM in 1978-1979 when Dr. Wagner led our District to “Presidential Distinguished District.” This accomplishment was followed by a Select Distinguished District rating led by Harold Parker, DTM in 1979-1980,
In 1980-1981, Dr. James Garber, DTM brought the District back to “President’s Distinguished District” immediately followed by Richard Welch, DTM with another “President’s Distinguished District” in 1981-1982.
In 1982-1983, led by Gene Reyes, DTM, District 68 again obtained ‘President’s Distinguished District.” This meant that in a five-year period, District 68 produced “four President’s Distinguished Districts. – 1978-1979, 1980-1981″ and 1981-82 resulted in ranking of #1 in the world, 1982-1983 ranking of #2 and in 1979-80 a #7 world ranking. These years set the benchmarks for following administrations in goal setting.
Pauline Harvey DTM continued the tradition of “President’s Distinguished District” in 1990-1991. In 1997 Grant Burgess, DTM accepted the challenge once again and led District 68 to another “President’s Distinguished District” for the 1997-1998 term. The 1998-1999 team led by Ann Campbell, DTM, repeated the performance once again making District 68 “President’s Distinguished District” for Back-to-Back recognition as a “President’s Distinguished District”.
In 1987-88, Sammie Mackenzie, DTM accomplished a Select Distinguished District rating and Jerry Lauzon,, DTM 1986-87, Darrell Andrist, DTM 1988-89, John Haley DTM 1991-92 and Carolyn Sanders, DTM 1993-94 all achieved “Distinguished District” status.
District 68 hosted the Region VIII conference in 1982 and 1983. District 68 was the ‘Host District” for the 1976 and 1997 International Conventions. Once again in 1997-1998 the team led by Chairman and PDG Harold Parker, DTM produced one of the finest International Conventions ever held, while District Governor Grant Burgess DTM managed to lead our District to the top District award. According to Toastmasters International, this is an accomplishment never before achieved in Toastmaster’s history and all of our members are proud of this very special accomplishment.
In 1998-1999, Ann Campbell led our district back to where it loves to be, “President’s Distinguished District”, and then in 2000-2001, Gene Reyes guided District 68 to a ranking of “Select Distinguished District”. Carolyn Nix (2001-2002, accomplished a return to “Distinguished District” status.
Succeeding District Governors have been; Jim Chandler (2002-2003), and Bob Donlon (2003-2004), Randy Conley, DTM 2004-2005, Heather Doucet, DTM, 2005-2006, and David Breaux, DTM 2006-2007.
2007 – 2008 District Governor Tony Moreno, ACS, CL identified and planned for the needs to once again become a Distinguished. He and his team succeeded in this effort! The rebuilding effort on the part of the team and the resurrection of members who were displaced during Katrina helped with this year-long effort.
2008 – 2009 District Governor Frances Morrison, DTM wanted everyone to “Catch the Vision!” of Toastmasters and spread to everyone they knew. 5 new clubs were added thanks to some very dedicated members and new comers alike. While our educational goals were met, we did not excel as we usually do in this effort. Getting new members to complete their CC manual was identified as part of the issue. Also few members completed their CL manual. District 68 was a Distinguished District for the 2008 – 2009 year.
2009 – 2010 District Governor Darryl Hall, ACS, CL has “Striving for Excellence” as his theme to carry the district forward with a call to action. If we each strive for excellence then this district will surely be distinguished or better!
2010-2011- District Governor Jeff Harris, COMING SOON!!
2011-2012 District Governor Kimberly Boyd, DTM
Although Toastmasters International asked the district’s to not have individual themes, there were two items that became the focus for District 68 for the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 years. We wanted to see the needs of our members met by having engaged members and healthy clubs and to have an impact on those with whom we have contact so our mantra was to Remember the Member and to Leave a Legacy.
District 68 reached Distinguished Status by achieving (and exceeding) its goals for club and membership growth and competent and advanced communicator education levels. The district attained a milestone by making our way back to 60 clubs effectively removing us from the list as a “distressed district.”
The leadership also set in motion new items this year that were well received and strengthened the foundation for the future success of the district:
1) The number of Toastmaster Leadership Institute (TLI) offerings for training of club officers were increased from one to two during each training cycle.
2) A new event called TLC w/BLT was offered to give club presidents an opportunity to meet with the District Trio to have a meal, discuss successes or concerns and address questions in a non-formal environment. This event also allowed for a fun event where the club leader could learn more about other club and district leaders on a personal level.
3) Conference attendance was increased due to the offering of online registration to attend the district conferences. Also, the district is back on track of scheduling and announcing the upcoming district conferences at least one year in advance. The district is continuing in its pursuit to have the conference scheduled and announced even further in advance.
4) The new district website was constructed and unveiled. Ankita Choudhary is the new webmaster for the new district web site and we encourage the members to take advantage and make suggestions. We would like to thank Jim Chandler who has served as the district webmaster and maintained a district website for many, many years. His dedication and commitment to the district is to be commended and we are grateful for his guidance and continued service to the new webmaster.