Candidates Corner 2021 – 2022

Candidate Corner with floor candidates 2021 2022

The Toastmasters New Zealand North (District 112) Leadership Committee has nominated the following candidates:


District Director candidate

Role: District Director Candidate: Stephen Budai DTM

Stephen Budai DTM

My tenure as a Toastmaster is 13 years and continuing strongly. I am also a Distinguished Toastmaster twice over with a third award in the final stages. I belong to Pacific Toastmasters and Silver Service Toastmasters Clubs.

My vision this coming year is the total focus on the member as I believe that if you look after the member, they will look after you, and the results will follow through. This year, as Program Quality Director, has been a wonderful experience, despite the fact that we have been affected greatly by the co-vid 19 virus worldwide.

Working closely with our District team has been an enormous experience as we strive towards achieving our District’s Mission. I believe that I will be a strong District Director for our District, and I seek your support in collaboration as we work together to serve our members in achieving excellence.


Program Quality Director candidate

Role: Program Quality Director Candidate: Wendy Wickliffe DTM

Wendy Wickliffe DTM

Currently, Club Growth Director, Division P Director 2109-20, Area Director 2018-19, served as club president twice and VP Education 4 times. Has also sponsored a club

I am very proud of our District and how we have all coped with the changes due to Covid. I wish to continue to be part of the District team to support members and clubs hold quality meetings, help members embrace challenges as opportunities, so that all members can learn new skills and feel that they get value for being a Toastmaster member.


Club Growth Director candidate (one of two candidates)

Role: Club Growth Director Candidate: James Hippolite DTM (ONE OF TWO CANDIDATES)

James Hippolite DTM

Candidate Summary

Currently, District Administration Manager, President’s Distinguished Division O Director 2019-20, President’s Distinguished Area O3 Director 2018-19, served as a Club Coach (club became Distinguished), Club President and VP Education.

I believe in Toastmasters as an organisation has the potential to bring out the best in people (either communication or leadership). That’s a winning strategy I want to be a part of. Personally, Toastmasters has given me many more opportunities to speak and lead than would have been possible.

Candidate Statement

As your next Club Growth Director, the strengths I will bring to the district are my leadership style of coaching and direct communication style. I will build upon the excellent work of clubs that have fought through the Covid era.

Build New Clubs 

I believe that the twin objectives of growing better speakers and growing better leaders are relevant in every city, town and large organisation. Thus, there is almost limitless potential for the establishment of new clubs. As members become more enthused and experienced, it is natural that these senior members will want to stretch towards the creation of new clubs. I will empower these members to achieve those goals.

Strengthen Existing Clubs 

I believe that even good clubs can experience lean times. The current covid crisis is such a period. Further, members move away for perfectly valid reasons, and the club needs reinvigorating. I will assist those motivated members who remain, to rebuild and thrive. Specifically, online and hybrid meetings are an exciting opportunity to reach across the globe for new members!

Grow Membership 

I believe club growth should be organic, a natural consequence of providing a fun-filled, learning environment. People who are achieving their personal goals are the best advertisements for their own clubs. Word of mouth still works best. I will show members how they are their own best salespeople.

I Need Your Support 

Vote for me as your next Club Growth Director. Together with other motivated people like yourself, I will:

  • Empower those who want to build new clubs;
  • Assist those who want to strengthen existing clubs; and
  • Show those who want to grow membership.

Previous roles

Period            Role                                       Level

2020 – 2021    Administration Manager        District

2020 – 2021    Vice President Education      Club

2019 – 2020   Director                                  Division

2019 – 2020    Secretary                              Club

2018 – 2019    Director                                 Area

2018 – 2019    Coach                                   Club

2018 – 2019    Vice President Education      Club

2016 – 2017    President                               Club

James Hippolite, DTM [email protected] (027) 461-2646


Club Growth Director candidate (one of two candidates)

Role: Club Growth Director Candidate: Richard Perkins DTM (ONE OF TWO CANDIDATES)

Richard Perkins DTM x 3 (SR5, VC4)

Candidate Summary

Since joining Toastmasters in 1997, Richard’s achievements have been significant.  He has gained the DTM award three times, been voted as Division Toastmaster of the year twice, and Area Toastmaster of the year four times. Richard has held a number of District roles including Conference Coordinator in 2016, Division Director 2015, Area Director five times, Youth Leadership Coordinator for three years and has twice been a member of the Nominations Committee.

“Serving as Club Growth Director will enable me to give back to Toastmasters, and in the process, further challenge myself. Toastmasters has assisted me in my life leading a volunteer group of 750 people and, of course, public speaking. Just as I have assisted others in gaining their DTM’s, I want to be part of the winning team and help all clubs and members achieve excellence.  I am very excited at the possibilities.”

Candidate Statement

As your Club Growth Director, it is my vision to:

  • Assist all clubs with their growth and their stability
  • Strongly supporting club coaches and mentors.
  • To hear your voice and be available to support you.
  • Be the port of call to lend a helping hand regarding the
    problems that clubs may have.

As a Toastmaster of 23 years in three different countries and three districts, I have a vast knowledge of club life and have gained the DTM award three times.  My background has been with many different types of clubs with their diverse individual styles and unique approaches to Toastmasters.  Taking into account all the ethnicities and way of life that each club has, affords me the unique opportunity to share my experiences which will be of value to all clubs.  This stands me in great stead to support any club.

My first meeting and subsequent joining of Toastmasters was in August 1997.  Since then, it has been a privilege to have been voted as Division Toastmaster of the year twice and Area Toastmaster of the year four times. My career has had a number of highlights including holding the District roles of Conference Coordinator in 2016, Division Director 2015, Area Director five times, Youth Leadership Coordinator for three years and twice as a member of the Nominations Committee.  I fondly remember being the District TT Contest Chair and judging at District level.  Being a Club Coach a few times was rewarding, and I see this as the key role in the administration of my CGD year.

For me to serve as Club Growth Director will enable me to give back to Toastmasters, and in the process, further challenge myself. Toastmasters has assisted me in my work life leading a volunteer group of 750 people and, of course, public speaking. Just as I have assisted others in gaining their DTM’s, I want to be part of the winning team and help all clubs and members achieve excellence.  I am very excited about the possibilities.

Please support my candidacy as Club Growth Director.

Richard Perkins DTM


Division L Director candidate

Role: Division L Director Candidate: Suzy Elks LD3

Suzy Elks LD4

Suzy is currently Area Director L1. She has served as Club President in 2018-19 (where her Club achieved President’s Distinguished), Vice President Public Relations and Secretary.

I am incredibly passionate about Toastmasters and how life-changing it can be in terms of developing or enhancing communication and leadership skills. Toastmasters can literally help people to find their voice. This can translate into people having the confidence to change careers, go for promotions, speak at their wedding, Team meetings, things they may have never felt possible. In a District leadership role, I would be able to utilise my skillset and share my enthusiasm and passion for Toastmasters to ensure that as many people as possible could benefit from this amazing organisation.


Division N Director candidate

Role: Division N Director Candidate: Angela Radosit SR1

Angela Radosits SR1

Angela is currently Area N5 Director, she has served as Club President, VP Membership and VP Public Relations

After serving as an Area Director and having worked with Toastmasters clubs, she would like to improve her people skills and move into the next level – to work with Area Directors.


Division O Director candidate

Role: Division O Director Candidate: Ben Ross SR4

Ben Ross SR5 IP5

Ben is currently Area O2 Director, he is also currently in his 3rd term as VP of Public Relations.

I have served as Area O2 Director for the 2020-2021 Toastmaster cycle overseeing five unique Clubs. In doing so I have learnt flexibility and reliability with leadership is needed given those five diverse Clubs. These plus the Toastmaster Core Values with the vision/goal to extend this into Division Director. Especially as Clubs continue to rebuild after the turbulent Covid era and uncertain post-Covid recovery.


Division P Director candidate

Role: Division P Director Candidate: Isabel Carter DTM

Isabel Carter DTM

Isabel is currently the Division P Director, she has served as Area Director on 3 occasions, and Club President, VP Education, and Secretary on numerous occasions. She was a club coach on 2019-20.

I believe that not all learning is a take, take, take.  the best way to know your skills is to be able to teach or demonstrate what has been learned and pass it onto someone else. I, therefore, serve as a District Leader to give back to Toastmasters what it has given to me, that is confidence in others and confidence in myself in that order.


Division Q Director candidate

Role: Division Q Director Candidate: Toni Sharp DTM

Toni Sharp DTM

Toni is a past District Director, Program Quality Director and Club Growth Director. She was District Secretary for District 72 in 2014-15 and has served as Division Director/Governor on 3 occasions.

I want to serve as Division Q Director to assist in encouraging one and all to achieve our District Mission and to collaboratively work through the steps in achieving the goals that will be documented to guide us in our District Success Plan. I thrive on assisting others to achieve and to have this possible opportunity inspires me to encourage and motivate a team in the 2021-22 year.


Division R Director candidate

Role: Division R Director Candidate: Neville Ishwerwood DTM

Neville Isherwood DTM

Neville is currently Area R2 Director. In the past, he has been a President’s Distinguished Division Governor and has served as an Area Director/Governor on 2 previous occasions.  He has served on every club committee role, (except Treasurer) multiple times He has sponsored 2 clubs and been a club coach.

For over a decade, I have taken everything I can from Toastmasters and It is my time to give back to the membership.  To support the members and clubs in the pursuit of their goals.


FLOOR candidate: Division K Director

FLOOR CANDIDATE: DIVISION K DIRECTOR Sabrina Naseem LD4

Sabrina Naseem LD4

Candidate’s Office: Area K5 Director

Toastmasters member since: 2018

Education: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) at Auckland University of Technology (AUT)

Toastmasters offices held and terms of service: Secretary 2018-19, President 2019-20, Area K5 Director 2020-21

Toastmasters honors and recognition: Core Values Medallion

Relevant work experience and how it relates to Toastmasters and your role as a District leader:

Achieved the AUT Edge Award, including over 100 hours of leadership activity and 200 hours of volunteering (2020). Mentored other AUT students to achieve this award and pursue Toastmasters at university.

Club coach for AUT Toastmasters. Attended two trainings to become a better club coach this year.

Volunteered to help intermediate school students present speeches at Chefs for Compassion (2019) on behalf of Toastmasters. Connected with local Rotary Club to introduce them to Toastmasters, having been a Rotary Youth Exchange student in 2017.

What experience do you have in strategic planning?

Having served as an Area Director, I have learned to set priorities balancing club visits with my part-time swim teaching jobs and work as a student engineer as well as my studies. I focus my energy and resources strategically to ensure the clubs in my Area and their members are working toward common goals for the club and establish agreement around what outcomes and results they would like to see by getting in touch and going along to club committee meetings.

What experience do you have in the area of finance?

I am currently studying some papers at Te Wanaga o Aotearoa and am on track to obtain a New Zealand Certificate in Personal FinancialCapability and Financial Services (Level 3) and Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Certificate in Money Management by November 2021. I have learned about budgeting and managing finances and debt, understanding interest rates and investments, and can make informed financial decisions, talking to banks and lenders.

What experience do you have in developing procedures?

As a student engineer in the Assets and Services team, I have developed site access policies for the New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research, as well as methods for conducting the next site-wide annual asset audit, which I completed during my 3-month summer internship. I also work closely with the site engineer and facilities manager to establish protocols for health and safety and sustainability on-site and am currently working on developing the procedure and requirements for entering a Dangerous Goods Store.

What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?

I have learned that leadership is about people and not just trying to get as many goals achieved or tasks completed. I also think that talking less and imposing my ideas on other people allows more creative solutions to be proposed during meetings, especially online when it can be difficult to interrupt. Everyone has their own journey and I can learn something from everyone. It has been a truly humbling position being an Area Director.

Why do you want to serve as a District leader?

To develop my skills and leadership abilities I have gained as Area Director and because I believe I can really help others in my Division. I want to serve and give back to Toastmasters for all the confidence and leadership skills it has given me and the best way to do that is to serve my time and show others the best in them by mentoring them into their roles.

In your opinion, what are the District mission’s major objectives and how would you work to achieve them?

In my opinion, the District mission’s major objectives are to educate our Toastmasters through self-improvement (evaluations, speeches at Toastmasters meetings) and leadership training (further opportunities within the club, Area or Division) so that they increase their confidence and usefulness in both their professional and community life. I want to work hard as a Division Director and give my all to hearing people’s stories and providing them with resources and tools to help them achieve success for themselves individually and for their clubs and fellow Toastmasters.

Additional information about yourself:

When I ask other people, including my manager or the kids I teach, they tell me I am a hard worker but also extremely compassionate. I have always loved working and being with people and this is reflected by my work as a teacher, tutor, Toastmaster, and project site engineer. I always love learning from others’ experiences and am a people-oriented achiever. I will work hard in this role to serve the District and my fellow Toastmasters.


FLOOR candidate: Division M Director

Floor candidate Role: Division K Director Candidate: Shyamal Maharaj, ACB & CL

Shyamal Maharaj ACB & CL

Candidate’s Office: Area Director N1

Toastmasters member since: November 2016

Education: Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts – Economics, Finance, Accounting and Political Science.

Toastmasters offices held and terms of service: VPM (2 years), VPE (1.5 years), President (1 year), and AreaDirector (1 year)

Toastmasters honors and recognition: ACB and CL

Relevant work experience and how it relates to Toastmasters and your role as a District leader:

My work requires I present to people (internally and externally) leading economic thought. I take the lead in a range of projects that I manage.

What experience do you have in strategic planning?

My current role requires strategic development and insights.

What experience do you have in the area of finance?

I have a degree in finance, I also have experience working in financial markets.

What experience do you have in developing procedures?

I develop scenarios regularly for work, I have plenty of experience with this.

What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?

The value of delegating (not doing everything yourself), using the right tools for the job and streamlining the process as much as possible.

Why do you want to serve as a District leader?

Continue to build my professional and personal leadership capabilities and enhance my competencies.

In your opinion, what are the District mission’s major objectives and how would you work to achieve them?

How to address the evolution of the role Toastmasters (TM) plays in building people’s public speaking skills, confidence and leadership abilities. This year we need to focus on demonstrating that while COVID-19 has placed different stresses on our lives, the skills we can learn and develop with TM can help.

Additional information about yourself:

I am an economist, I work for the local government. My goal is to help more people understand the value and role of economics in how we all make choices.