District 45 Toastmasters Fall Conference – November 3-5, 2017

I attended the 2017 District 45 Toastmasters Fall Conference on November 3-5.

District 45 includes all of
Vermont, New Hampshire, & Maine in the USA, and all of
New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, & Nova Scotia in Canada.

Sad to say, but this will be the last District 45 Fall Conference. Toastmasters International has called for Districts to only have one annual conference to be held in the Spring, starting next year. For the last Fall Conference, though, this was a blast!

The weekend conference was hosted at the Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee, Vermont.

Lake Morey Resort - Fairlee, VT - Entrance
Lake Morey Resort – Fairlee, VT – Entrance

Lake Morey Resort – Fairlee, VT – Front side view
Lake Morey Resort – Fairlee, VT – Front side view

The ground-floor back-side of the building provided a vastly spacious dining room for breakfasts, with spectacular views of Lake Morey.

Lake Morey Resort – Fairlee, VT – Breakfast Dining Room
Lake Morey Resort – Fairlee, VT – Breakfast Dining Room
Lake Morey Resort – Fairlee, VT – View from Breakfast Dining Room
Lake Morey Resort – Fairlee, VT – View from Breakfast Dining Room
Lake Morey Resort – Fairlee, VT – Beautiful View from Breakfast Dining Room
Lake Morey Resort – Fairlee, VT – Beautiful View from Breakfast Dining Room

Stepping outside the Breakfast Dining Room, the panoramic view of Lake Morey was positively gorgeous.

Lake Morey Resort – Fairlee, VT – Outside Back View looking into Breakfast Dining Room
Lake Morey Resort – Fairlee, VT – Outside Back View looking into Breakfast Dining Room
Lake Morey Resort – Fairlee, VT – Panorama View of Lake from Left to Right #1
Lake Morey Resort – Fairlee, VT – Panorama View of Lake Morey from Left to Right #1
Lake Morey Resort – Fairlee, VT – Panorama View of Lake Morey from Left to Right #2
Lake Morey Resort – Fairlee, VT – Panorama View of Lake Morey from Left to Right #2
Lake Morey Resort – Fairlee, VT – Panorama View of Lake Morey from Left to Right #3
Lake Morey Resort – Fairlee, VT – Panorama View of Lake Morey from Left to Right #3
Lake Morey Resort – Fairlee, VT – Panorama View of Lake Morey from Left to Right #4
Lake Morey Resort – Fairlee, VT – Panorama View of Lake Morey from Left to Right #4
Lake Morey Resort – Fairlee, VT – Panorama View of Lake Morey from Left to Right #5
Lake Morey Resort – Fairlee, VT – Panorama View of Lake Morey from Left to Right #5
Lake Morey Resort – Fairlee, VT – Panorama View of Lake Morey from Left to Right #6
Lake Morey Resort – Fairlee, VT – Panorama View of Lake Morey from Left to Right #6

I shared a room with two other gentlemen, my mentor Joe Grondin and David Cormier. This room, which overlooked the Main Entrance, was extremely huge!

Lake Morey Resort – Fairlee, VT – Room overlooked the Entrance
Lake Morey Resort – Fairlee, VT – Room overlooked the Entrance
Lake Morey Resort – Fairlee, VT – Window of Room  that overlooked the Entrance
Lake Morey Resort – Fairlee, VT – Room Window on left that overlooked the Entrance
Lake Morey Resort – Fairlee, VT – Room - View from beds toward only window
Lake Morey Resort – Fairlee, VT – Room – View from beds toward only window (sofa is also a pullout bed)
Lake Morey Resort – Fairlee, VT – Room - View from window toward beds
Lake Morey Resort – Fairlee, VT – Room – View from window toward beds
Lake Morey Resort – Fairlee, VT – Room - View from beds toward additional couched room, closet, and huge bathroom
Lake Morey Resort – Fairlee, VT – Room – View from beds toward extra space, closet, & huge bathroom
Lake Morey Resort – Fairlee, VT – Room - View of beds from bathroom door
Lake Morey Resort – Fairlee, VT – Room – View of beds from bathroom door

The functions throughout the weekend were such fun as well as productive, especially sitting at table with good friends.

District 45 Fall Conference 2017 - Priscilla Hansen Mahoney, Angela Chute, Dawna-Jean Davis Turchon
District 45 Fall Conference 2017 – Priscilla Hansen Mahoney, Angela Chute, Dawna-Jean Davis Turchon
District 45 Fall Conference 2017 - David Cormier, my mentor Joe Grondin, and Priscilla Hansen Mahoney
District 45 Fall Conference 2017 – David Cormier, my mentor Joe Grondin, and Priscilla Hansen Mahoney
District 45 Fall Conference 2017 - Joe Grondin and Tom Dowd
District 45 Fall Conference 2017 – Joe Grondin and Tom Dowd

Some fantastic educational workshops were also given throughout the weekend. My mentor, and brand new Accredited Speaker, Joe Grondin, presented what was (in my opinion) one of the best workshops of the whole event, titled,
Goal Setting and Planning – “I DID IT!”.

District 45 Fall Conference 2017 - Joe Grondin teaches original workshop #1
District 45 Fall Conference 2017 – Joe Grondin teaches original workshop #1
District 45 Fall Conference 2017 - Joe Grondin teaches original workshop #2
District 45 Fall Conference 2017 – Joe Grondin teaches original workshop #2
District 45 Fall Conference 2017 - Joe Grondin teaches original workshop #3
District 45 Fall Conference 2017 – Joe Grondin teaches original workshop #3

Because this was the very last District 45 Fall Conference, that means that this was the last District-level contest-cycles for the Humorous Speech Contest and the Evaluation Contest.

I had the joy and pleasure of coaching a fellow member from one of my own clubs through this last and final cycle, Priscilla Hansen Mahoney. So exciting, she made/won/earned it all the way up to winning 2nd Place in the Humorous Speech Contest. I was (and am) of the personal opinion that the “real competitive contest” among the contestants was a neck-and-neck horse race between those “Top-Two.” (Please see the separate blog post I made regarding, Priscilla wins 2nd at District!)

Last D45 Humorous Speech Contest 2017 - 3rd Place, Angi Francesco
Last D45 Humorous Speech Contest 2017 – 3rd Place, Angi Francesco
Last D45 Humorous Speech Contest 2017 - 2nd Place, Priscilla Hansen Mahoney
Last D45 Humorous Speech Contest 2017 – 2nd Place, Priscilla Hansen Mahoney
Last D45 Humorous Speech Contest 2017 - 1st Place, Talia Steeves
Last D45 Humorous Speech Contest 2017 – 1st Place, Talia Steeves

The other last & final Fall contest was conducted on Sunday morning. In my opinion, my friend from New Hampshire, Manasi Kadade, stood way ahead and showed us all how a truly Excellent Evaluation is done. As genuinely well-done as the other contestants’ evaluations were, I was of the perspective that there really was never a doubt that she had won 1st Place.

Last D45 Evaluation Contest 2017 - 1st Manasi Kadade, 2nd Aidan Matchett, 3rd Ross Mabey
Last D45 Evaluation Contest 2017 – 1st Manasi Kadade, 2nd Aidan Matchett, 3rd Ross Mabey
Last D45 Evaluation Contest 2017 - Manasi Kadade wins 1st Place
Last D45 Evaluation Contest 2017 – Manasi Kadade wins 1st Place

We were fortunate enough to have not one but two powerful presentations from VIP guest speaker,
Lance Miller, the 2005 World Champion of Public Speaking (WCPS).

D45 Fall Conference 2017 - the 2005 WCPS Lance Miller workshop
D45 Fall Conference 2017 – the 2005 WCPS Lance Miller workshop
D45 Fall Conference 2017 - the 2005 WCPS Lance Miller keynote at District Director's Banquet
D45 Fall Conference 2017 – the 2005 WCPS Lance Miller keynote at District Director’s Banquet

At the Awards Ceremony, I received two awards.

The first award was for sponsoring at least 5 or more new Toastmaster members throughout the previous fiscal year (July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017).

D45 Fall Conference 2017 Awards Ceremony - Award for Sponsoring 5+ new Toastmasters
D45 Fall Conference 2017 Awards Ceremony – Award for Sponsoring 5+ new Toastmasters
D45 Fall Conference 2017 Awards Ceremony - along with fellow award recipients, Candice Buell & Joe Grondin, the D45 Program Quality Director Jeff Hebert (center-right) gives award to Mark Henkel (left) for sponsoring 5+ members
D45 Fall Conference 2017 Awards Ceremony – along with fellow award recipients, Candice Buell & Joe Grondin, the D45 Program Quality Director Jeff Hebert (center-right) gives award to Mark Henkel (left) for sponsoring 5+ members

Actually, I had sponsored 15 new members of the previous year. As no on else in District 45 Toastmasters had sponsored as many as that number, that qualified me to earn the Allen E. Seavey Memorial Membership award. This was not the first I earned this presitigious award, nor was it the second time. After earning for 2012 (18 new members) and for 2016 (16 new members), this last year (2017) is now the third time since I joined Toastmasters in 2010 that I have won (earned) this award.

D45 Toastmasters 2017 Allen E Seavey award for sponsoring the greatest number of members in the previous year
D45 Toastmasters 2017 Allen E Seavey award for sponsoring the greatest number of members in the previous year
D45 Fall Conference - Program Quality rJeff Hebert (right) awards Mark Henkel (left) with the Allen E Seavey Award
D45 Fall Conference – Program Quality rJeff Hebert (right) awards Mark Henkel (left) with the Allen E Seavey Award

I admit that I was rather stoked to have actually been able to earn this award for the third time.

D45 Fall Conference 2017 Award Ceremony - Mark Henkel earns Allen E Seavey Award for third time
D45 Fall Conference 2017 Award Ceremony – Mark Henkel earns Allen E Seavey Award for third time

Truly, this last and final District 45 Toastmasters Fall Conference was full of fun and education.

The "Thought Takeaway " Board - what Toastmasters said they got out of the D45 Fall Conference 2017
The “Thought Takeaway” Board – what Toastmasters said they got out of the D45 Fall Conference 2017
Goodies in the Swag Bag of the D45 Toastmasters Fall Conference 2017
Goodies in the Swag Bag of the D45 Toastmasters Fall Conference 2017
Yummy Dessert at District Director's Banquet at D45 Toastmasters Fall Conference 2017
Yummy Dessert at District Director’s Banquet at D45 Toastmasters Fall Conference 2017

Best of all, seeing old friends is one of the best reasons for attending the Distirct 45 Toastmasters Conferences.

D45 Fall Conference 2017 - Deb Steeves from Canada poses with the New Hampshire ladies, Sue Francesco, Angi Francesco, and Candice Buell.
D45 Fall Conference 2017 – Deb Steeves from Canada poses with the New Hampshire ladies, Sue Francesco, Angi Francesco, and Candice Buell.
D45 Fall Conference 2017 – David Cormier, Deb Steeves, Charlene Fox, & Joe Grondin
D45 Fall Conference 2017 – David Cormier, Deb Steeves, Charlene Fox, & Joe Grondin
D45 Fall Conference 2017 - District Director and friend Malinda Regimbal & Mark Henkel
D45 Fall Conference 2017 – District Director and friend Malinda Regimbal & Mark Henkel

As a fellow pursuer of excellence, I enjoyed and was truly educated by the public presentations by – and the private conversations with – the 2005 World Champion of Public Speaking, Lance Miller. Having access to such proven expertise definitely makes attending the Conference effectively “pay for itself.”

2005 WCPS Lance Miller & Mark Henkel at the D45 Fall Conference 2017
2005 WCPS Lance Miller & Mark Henkel at the D45 Fall Conference 2017

Most of all, for me, the biggest value was having live (non-skype) time to learn directly from my amazing mentor, Accredited Speaker, Joe Grondin.

Accredited Speaker Joe Grondin & Mark Henkel at the D45 Fall Conference 2017
Accredited Speaker Joe Grondin & Mark Henkel at the D45 Fall Conference 2017

What more can be said? Not much else, really. This was a fantastic and productive time at the last and final District 45 Toastmasters Fall Conference, at the Lake Morey Resort, in Fairlee, Vermont, United States, on November 3-5, 2017.

Lake Morey Resort - Fairlee, VT - Entrance
Lake Morey Resort – Fairlee, VT

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