Time to Split? – The Future of Founder’s District

Last night at the Founder’s District Executive Council Meeting a proposal was put forward by a committee of seven esteemed Founder’s District leaders, six of whom have previously served as Founder’s District Governor.  This comes on the heels of a letter of intent that was sent to Toastmasters International in October of 2013 by Harry Yan, who was Founder’s District Governor at the time.  The District is fast approaching 240 clubs which is, from a leadership perspective (specifically the top three) no longer manageable.  The committee studied all possible scenarios and collaboratively came up with what they feel is the best option moving forward.

Screenshot (68)
Founder’s District Map as of October 30, 2014

As the song says, “Breaking up is hard to do.”  The committee has proposed that the dividing line should be the 22 Freeway.  Toastmasters International has declared that the geographic area where Smedley Chapter 1 is located shall continue to be, “Founder’s District.”  Therefore, the newly formed District will be a numbered District.  The DEC voted last night on the motion to present this proposal to the general membership at the business meeting on November 8 at the Founder’s District Fall Conference.  There was some strong opposition against moving forward with this proposal.  Some feel that we are asking too much and that this important decision is moving forward too rapidly without enough information being made available.

Change is difficult for some to accept.  It is understandable that there is a sense of pride, nostalgia and emotional attachment to the association with “Founder’s District.”  I myself was sadden when I originally heard about the potential split.  I would be disappointed to no longer be a member of Founder’s District.  I’m certain that every one of the committee members feels the exact same way!  These are people who have served us for many years!  This is not the first time that Founder’s District has split.  With the aggressive growth goals that the organization has this will not be the last time that it splits either.

The proposed change is inevitable!  It can be delayed by opposition, but if this is something that is deemed to be in the best interests of the membership then as leaders we need to put our sentimental emotions aside and think about how and why this is a good move and then support what has been proposed by our leaders.  This change will undoubtedly have a greater overall impact on the leadership both past and present.  Those aspiring to serve in the top three roles will serve a smaller geographic region with fewer clubs and members.

Division among the DEC leadership will only do us harm.  We need to keep in mind that there are many members who couldn’t care less about this change because it will not impact their reasons for belonging to the organization.  The majority of Members when asked have no clue what Club #, Area, Division or District that they are a member in.  It’s just not that important to them!

On the upside this proposal will open up all kinds of opportunity for people to serve and get involved as a new District forms!  It can and will be an exciting and wonderful time that is full of new horizons for people who aren’t even involved in Toastmasters today!  I’m hopeful that we are presented with more information that will help people better understand the reasoning behind the split and how it will benefit our members moving forward.  Splitting isn’t immediate.  Once the decision is made to do so, it is a three year process.  In the year prior to the split the District Governor will have two teams reporting to them.  Then the following year the Lt. Governor of Training and Education will likely become the District Governor.  (Keep in mind that as of next year we will no longer be using these designations, District Governor will be changing to District Director).  As I scan the map above, a north, south split seems like the only logical move.

Expect to receive an email about this in the near future.  Every voting delegate (this includes Club President and V.P. of Education) will be invited to attend the business meeting at the Fall Conference.  If you are a club member please encourage your leadership to attend on your behalf to ensure that you get the facts about the split.  A final vote will likely be scheduled for the Founder’s District Spring Conference in 2015 .

Marshall Northcott, Division G Governor, Founder’s District
“Members Matter Most!”

Get with the P.R.O.G.R.A.M.
Persistence ● Recognition ● Opportunities ● Growth ● Responsiveness ● Achievement ● Motivation

Division G Website: https://toastmastersdivisiong.wordpress.com/
Find Us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DivisionGFoundersDistrict

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