Toastmasters: Short History of the first TIWHQ Club “I’m Just Sayin'”

I'm Just Sayin' Club
I’m Just Sayin’ Club at the time when we had 4-5 members at each meeting… still Loved it!

This post started as an answer to Jimmy Kikkuasu question on Official Toastmasters International Members Group

Jimmy asked about first fully online meeting of I’m Just Sayin’ club
“Their first? As recall they started as a fully online District U club.”

My Answer Was:
Jimmy Kikkuasu the original club was chartered under District U to prevent affecting any district by our performance… but we met onsite, in Rancho Santa Margarita Office, CA (Toastmasters building), until the move to CO. Then it became onsite/online meeting with CA members/employees joining online.

We almost failed, as most corporate club do. People were too busy working to come to meetings. To save the club, our President Alfred Wallace, and a couple of people who still were attending, including Bill Nissim, DTM, decided to open it up to be a community club. We didn’t know all the rules, but we were IT people! We just changed one field in a database – Club Type, and became a Community club.

We were still under District U. We reached out to people in CO who helped us not to fail. Bill Nissim, DTM (first and only TIWHQ DTM) helped a lot.

When Dan Rex heard what we did by changing club type in a database, he got mad! He knows the rules!!! Bill became a Club Coordinator, and we re-chartered the club under CO District. I was a VPE of the original I’m just Sayin’ club for a couple of terms before rechartering, and and chartering VPE of a new club, even though I decided to leave the company at that time. It was just too toxic after all.

What I’m Sayin’ is… It’s not about TIWHQ! It’s about us, regular Toastmasters!! Club officers are the real Leaders!!!

What if all our Educational Award records to be lost?
Would we be upset?… Yes!!!!
Yet… We would still have our communication and leadership skills!!!

I’ll write more about the real history of I’m just Sayin’ on my blog… (it’s a complex site right now with Toastmasters and poetry and software and yoga ) … but I think I should write the real History, and still be a treasurer of my club in Dana Point – South Orange County Toastmasters.

Was this under 7,5 min?…
Back to you!!!!

Extra comment for Aaron Leung
The real message is… It’s not about TIWHQ! It’s about clubs all over the world! It’s about how we connect and help each other, how we meet online now, and how our club officers are figuring out Zoom and other online Platforms, like WebEx, and our treasurers figuring out how to collect dues over the internet, and still Submit Payments through Club Central (God Help us!!!) It’s about leaders in every club, and every area, and every division, and every district, and region! … and you Aaron! Helping this crazy Russian lady to understand cultural differences, and be a part of Toastmasters International Online community!

PS. Alfred Wallace and I built Submit Payments… so I have all the rights to tell our Story! (I did more at TIWHQ… it’s on my Resume. But Submit Payments was my first big project, and I’m proud of it)

Questions and Answers

What is the Point of this Post?
My goals is to say, that TI WHQ is not a place to look for leadership at this time (March 2020).
I wasted so much energy by fighting with WHQ. They even threatened to sue me one time… yet… all I wish for right now is to Love Toastmasters. I did forgive a lot. I just don’t want to forget. I hope my experience would help someone.

Who was the first President?
Sean Mattox, a Lead Developer and later an Enterprise Architect at TIWHQ.
Sean was fired (after he moved to CO and worked for a company for over 5 years, and did an unbelievable job with APIs, as well as some under-pressure development on Dynamic 365. Yes, that failed project WHQ wasted so much money on!). The team never learned why he was fired, even though I did ask about it on our onsite/online meeting with CTO.

Who was the second President?
Sally Al Ibrahim, a Sr. Developer at TIWHQ, who is originally from Iraq. Sally worked on “Find a Club” page, built Magazine section, worked on CC, DC, Online Club Chartering, etc.
Sally opted out to leave WHQ and not to renew her contract working remotely from CA.

Who was chartering member of re-chartered I’m Just Sayin’ yet an ex-employee of TIWHQ at the time of re-chartering?
Lani Aung, a Sr. Developer and DevOps Lead at TIWHQ. Lani led and worked on Pathways project, My Profile, redesigned Home page, Website Stabilization, Release Improvements, etc.
Lani left WHQ soon after her husband, Sean Mattox, was fired. (They both moved to CO).

Who was the most inspiring VPE of I’m Just Sayin’ Original Club?
Gary Maziarz, Business Enablement Manager at TIWHQ. Gary was a lead Business Analyst for most of the IT projects at WHQ in 2016-2019.
Gary left WHQ. I don’t know the details. Rumors have it, that lawyers were involved, as he needed the compensation for all of the toxicity at WHQ.

Who was the President of re-chartered I’m Just Sayin’?
Bill Nissim, DTM
Bill was let go/fired from WHQ after he moved to CO and has done an amazing job as a Marketing Director. For more information about first TI DTM being let go from TI please read my post on LinkedIn

Did everyone got fired or left?
Almost… but we did very extensive knowledge transfer with brain dumps folders on SharePoint, and video recordings.
I wish all the best to the current team in CO 💗

Yet, one more time… My goals is to say, that TI WHQ is not a place to look for leadership at this time.

I’m Just Sayin’ 💗

Questions to consider:

Do Toastmasters members progress slower in public speaking skills with Pathways comparing to CC manuals OR is it the same as before?

Is it possible that Pathways is a tool for learning patience and resilience?

Can you learn leadership by giving speeches about leadership?

Categories: Toastmasters

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