District 46 History

/District 46 History
District 46 History 2017-07-02T13:20:43-04:00

Toastmasters International is an organization dedicated to improving people’s communication and leadership skills in a mutually supportive and positive learning environment. From the basement of a YMCA in 1924 in Santa Ana, California, Toastmasters, now in 116 countries, creates the leaders the world and business needs.

Toastmasters International established District 46 on July 1, 1955, to support the 21 Toastmasters clubs and 454 members in metropolitan New York and northern New Jersey. By June 2008, District 46 grew more than twelve-fold to 260 clubs. This aggressive growth necessitated splitting the district into two. The 128 clubs meeting east of the Hudson River organized into a new District 46 effective July 1, 2008 and the clubs west of the Hudson River became District 83.

President’s Distinguished District status (top-6 ranking worldwide) was attained by six District Governors: Mark LaVergne (1993-1994), Pam Keyzer Judd (1998-1999), Amelia L. Abad (1999-2000), Rose Martino-Gerhard (2000-2001), Steve Chen (2010-2011), and Neerja Purang (2014-2015). Mark LaVergne, Pam Judd, and Amelia Abad also received the annual President’s Extension Award to recognize the three districts with the most club marketing growth.

Select Distinguished District Governors (ranked 7-12 in the world) include Elias Ezra (1978-1979), Deanna Brown (1987- 1988), Jim Samuel (1997-1998), Mary Neff (2009-2010), Raisa Serebrenik (2012-2013) and Kazuo Noguchi (2013-2014). Mary Neff also received the membership award given to the top three districts with the highest percentage of clubs having at least 20 members.

Distinguished District Governors since 1975 include Carol Isselian (1980-1981), Joseph Bowen (1982- 1983), Margaret Flory (1983-1984), Sister Alma Wedge (1984-1985), George Sepsie (1995-1996), Nick LoBue (2002-2003), Bibi Haddad (2006-2007), Radhi Spear (2007-2008), and Jennifer Chan (2015-2016).

In 1995, Mark Brown became the only District 46 member to win the World Championship of Public Speaking (WCPS).

In 2010, active District 46 member Rochelle Rice became only the 59th Accredited Speaker in the world.

* Ten members of District 46 have served, or are currently serving, two year terms as Toastmasters International Director (ID) and one member has served a one year term as Regional Advisor (RA) for Region 9. Congratulations to Raisa Serebrenik, newly appointed Region 9 Regional Advisor, who follows Tony Figueroa and Radhi Spear as RAs from District 46. At the 2015 International Convention, Past District Governor Steve Chen was elected Region 9 International Director, and is currently serving in that capacity.

Past District 46 Governors

2016-2017Tom Marino, DTM
2015-2016Jennifer Chan, DTM
2014-2015Neerja Purang, DTM
2013-2014Kazuo Noguchi, DTM
2012-2013Raisa Serebrenik, DTM, RA*
2011-2012Penelope Boehm, DTM
2010-2011Steven Chen, DTM, ID*
2009-2010Mary Neff, Ph.D., DTM
2008-2009Elaine Rogers, DTM
2007-2008Radhi Spear, DTM, RA*
2006-2007Bibi Haddad, DTM
2005-2006Anthonio Figueroa, DTM, RA*
2004-2005Himendu Chaudhuri, DTM
2003-2004Brad Shilling, DTM
2002-2003Nicholas LoBue, DTM
2001-2002Fran Okeson, DTM
2000-2001Rose Martino-Gerhard, DTM
1999-2000Amelia L. Abad, DTM
1998-1999Pam (Keyzer) Judd, DTM, PID*
1997-1998Jim Samuel, DTM
1996-1997George Tully, DTM
1995-1996George Sepsie, DTM
1994-1995Emmogene James, DTM
1993-1994Mark LaVergne, DTM, PID*
1992-1993Laurie Jones, DTM
1991-1992Richard Maemone, DTM
1990-1991Gregory Batson, DTM
1989-1990Maria Wojcicki, DTM
1988-1989Neal Gerhard, DTM
1987-1988Deanna Brown, DTM
1986-1987Hadassa Legatt, DTM
1985-1986Lee Abramson, DTM
1984-1985Sister Alma M. Wedge, DTM
1983-1984Margaret Flory, DTM, PID*
1982-1983Joseph L. Bowen, DTM
1981-1982James Friend, DTM
1980-1981Carol E. Isselian, DTM
1979-1980Morris M. Meislik, DTM
1978-1979Elias Ezra, DTM
1977-1978Frank Banks, DTM
1976-1977Frank Tully, DTM
1975-1976Rudy Stiefel, DTM
1974-1975Leroy Schellhardt, DTM
1973-1974Lavern Lee, DTM
1972-1973“Robby” Roberts, DTM, PID*
1971-1972Robert Lommel, DTM
1970-1971Major Joseph Boland, DTM
1969-1970William J. Winters, DTM
1968-1969Joseph W. Hickenbottom
1967-1968William I. Van Gelder
1966-1967Grafton Dickson, DTM, PID*
1965-1966Meyer Bronstein, Esq.
1964-1965James G. Kalley, DTM, PID*
1963-1964Peter F. Sarhou
1962-1963Cleve L. Campbell, PID*
1961-1962William J. Costello, DTM
1960-1961Commander William Gerber
1959-1960Karl M. Shaw
1958-1959Thomas R. McDonald, PID*
1957-1958G. Henry Leslie
1956-1957Robert A. Gibney, DTM, PID*
1955-1956Dr. Walter R. Campbell

Toastmasters International Presidential Citation Winners from District 46

  • Amelia L. Abad – 2016
  • Dunstanette L. Macauley – 2016
  • Radhi Spear – 2009
  • Grafton H. Dickson – 2006
  • Pam Keyzer Judd – 2003
  • Bob Share – 2002
  • Fran Okeson – 1999
  • Margaret Flory – 1994
  • William Demchuk – 1986
  • Leroy Schelhardt – 1980
  • Rudy C. Stiefel – 1979
  • M.D. “Doc” Faige – 1976