Area Council Meeting June 22, 2016

On Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016 the Moscow Area Council meeting has been held at Gorniy Institute. Twenty Toastmasters were present, representing the 4 registered Moscow clubs, 3 prospective clubs, and the Moscow Area Executive Committee 2015-2016.

Valeria Kholodkova, the outgoing Area Director, opened up the meeting by greeting the audience and taking us 1 year back in time, when she and her team had set 3 ambitious goals: 1. Learn the RULES; 2. Become VISIBLE; 3. Get included into DISTRICT 95. While the first two goals have been achieved successfully, we have struggled with the third goal, namely to join District 95, despite all of our efforts. Nevertheless, instead of simply stating the fact, Valeria noted that she considers that to be not a failure, but an opportunity…to set up our own District!

The encouraging Area Director’s report was then followed by the report on the Program Quality, presented by Sergey Saprykin. Two Area conferences with preceding club qualification contests, a full-blown officers training with creative educational content, and especial workshop by Kees Bross were called up as the examples of the great job the 2015-2016 Area Committee was able to accomplish on the educational battlefield with the help of dedicated toastmasters of our community!

We then moved on to the Club Growth report brought by Max Silin. And again, there was no doubt of the success in this area. VPPR Forum initiative has helped to streamlin the Toastmasters promo efforts in the region. Moscow Area has given a hand to our friends from St. Petersburg Toastmasters community, that is just about to officially register their prospective public club. Three out of four Moscow Area clubs exceeded the membership base growth goals, and all four will get either a Distinguished, Select Distinguished, or President Distinguished (subject to application processing timeline) status this year. Last but not least, there were three new prospective clubs that have been founded within the Moscow Area during the period of 2015-2016 timeframe: Autour du Mot (the French speaking club); Русский Клуб (holds its meetings in Russian), and a corporate club Kovrizhka (where else a club with such a strange name could be if not at Google?! :)))

Larisa Zorina, the immediate past Moscow Area Governor, has shared her experience of helping to make the Russian Toastmasters visible on the international arena, showing lots of pictures from various Conferences, Trainings, and Workshops that have been attended by Moscow Area toastmasters in the past year. During the latest District 95 Conference at Timisoara, a team of Moscow Area toastmasters, represented by Valeria Kholodkova and Daria Elistratova, led a team-building workshop for a group of 120 toastmasters, which has received a lot of positive feedback and earned an extra credit for the Russian Toastmasters community. Larisa herself were honored to host the District 95 German Speech Contest at that same conference, and showed high class there, too.

The section was concluded by the Financial report by Dmitriy Trapeznikov. Financial transparency and the changes within the formation of the Area Budget were the main highlights of his presentation.

With that, the four members of the outgoing Moscow Area Executive Committee 2015-2016 were invited up on the stage for a Q&A session and a group picture. It was a great and productive year, no doubt.

Then it was a time to announce the candidacy of the next Moscow Area Director. The audience was all ears as Valeria Kholodkova asked the members of the Area Council to support the candidacy of Sergey Saprykin for the role. An open vote has been held, and Sergey has been officially voted in into the new role. Congratulations!

Having been a member of the outgoing Moscow Area Committee, Sergey knows first hand the challenges our community faces and deeply shares the vision that the Moscow Area has pursued for the past year. Thus, while sharing his vision for the future of the Russian Toastmasters community, Sergey highlighted the importance of going far and beyond existing boundaries and expanding our community further.

Following his inaugural address, Sergey has presented the members of his team – the Moscow Area Executive Committee 2016-2017: We sincerely congratulate and whish the best of luck to:
Anna Lvovskaya as the Asst Director Program Quality
Valeria Kholodkova as the Asst Director Club Growth
Daria Elistratova as the PR Manager
Igor Kokarev as the Secretary

Moscow Area Plan for 2016-2017

In conclusion, 2015-2016 was a great year, full of challenges and unknowns. Nevertheless, thanks to the energetic, ambitious, dedicated toastmasters who form our ever so growing community, Moscow Area was able to succeed and continues to strive. And this is just the beginning of the bigger and brighter future that awaits us – the Russian Toastmasters – in the foreseeable future! Toastmasters – Where Leaders Are Made!