Hostess City Toastmasters celebrate 30 years

Article on DoSavannah by Shawndra Russell. One Savannah Toastmasters chapter is celebrating 30 years of empowering individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders on June 10 at their weekly meeting location,ThincSavannah. “The Hostess City Club grew out of the Union Camp Toastmasters Club, which was a closed club for Union Camp employees and men only,” explains Murem Sharpe, vice president of Hostess City Toastmasters. “When Union Camp closed down, some of its members and others from the Savannah community formed the club in 1984, immediately including women members,” she says. That change has proven wise, with the chapter thriving for three decades as one of 14,350 clubs in 122 countries that is currently 292,000 members strong. Founding members and past presidents include Jeb Newton, David Skadeland, Mary Myers, Lois Smith, David Linton and Kathleen Linten. Linten, a leader of the American Legion Auxiliary, won a contest and named the club Hostess City Toastmasters, after one of Savannah’s famous monikers. Beyond helping individuals gain confidence in their speaking and leadership skills, Hostess City Toastmasters are also very involved in the professional community with Speechcraft for Professional Women, an intense four-week program. “Every Tuesday morning, 15 Savannah women met at the Creative Coast location on Wright Square to learn skills, deliver prepared and impromptu speeches and both give and receive evaluations,” Sharpe said. “The three Toastmasters clubs sponsoring Speechcraft are Hostess City, Small Business Chamber and Savannah 705.” The chapter is also focused on assisting the next generation of professionals with their student-focused events, including the SCAD Toastmasters Students Workshop and Demonstration Toastmasters Meeting, and hosting SCAD students and others from Georgia’s university system as frequent guests and speakers to help fulfill their course requirements. Jeb Newton, founder, past president and longtime member, attributes the organization’s success to its members. “The Hostess City Toastmasters Club’s longevity is attributable to a core group of Toastmasters who are dedicated not only to learning but also to giving back,” he said. “Much like any volunteer, peer-run organization, we have had to keep moving through the hard times.” Club President Bill Fox also says George Yen, international president of Toastmasters International, said of their chapter, “You and your leadership team are the alchemists that transform lives, one at a time. Beyond the improvement in your communication and leadership skills, you might notice the gradual transition from a ‘taker’ to a ‘giver.’” The anniversary event gives the chapter an opportunity to celebrate all these milestones, and to mark the historic occasion in style, as Savannah Mayor Edna Jackson will present the International 30th Anniversary Certificate. The celebration will also include presentations by Renee Atkins, governor of the Georgia Toastmasters District; an overview of the club’s history by founder Jeb Newton; Dr. Carolyn Babcock, professor of communications at the Savannah College of Art and Design; and Ashley Bowersox, co-founder of ThincSavannah. This has been a News Recap by The Creative Coast! Here we provide our news mentions and bi-weekly columns… just in case you missed them. Source: DoSavannah ]]>

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