Candidate Statement from Ryan Morton

Statement from Ryan Morton, candidate for 2021–2022 Program Quality Director:

Fellow Members and Toastmasters of District 28,

I am honored, humbled, and filled with hope to accept the nomination to serve as your Program Quality Director (PQD) for the 2021–22 year. My name is Ryan Morton and I accept this nomination. I also accept the challenges I’ll face in fulfilling this District Leadership position, if so elected on April 24th at the annual business meeting of the District Council.

It has been an interesting and challenging year for us all, as this pandemic has changed much about the world, let alone Toastmasters: from how we run meetings to how to use an emoji in place of a hug. However, the value and opportunity of leadership hasn’t changed. Toastmasters is “Where Leaders are Made” and I’d like to invite you into a conversation about how we use the current and future challenges as opportunities to showcase the leadership of each of you, and your clubs. If elected, this conversation will begin by building upon the foundation and great efforts of the current team, and how we can accelerate the momentum moving forward. I’d love to serve as PQD, and I need your help, in order for me to be your voice.

The Program Quality Director is responsible for all aspects of the education and training program of the District. Some of the education and training challenges / opportunities I look forward to tackling, with your help, during the 2021–22 year include:

  • Supporting corporate and community clubs with education and training programs that work for each group to further the District’s mission (and by extension the clubs’ mission)
  • Helping the District, clubs, and members therein, move on from the legacy educational program and fully embrace Pathways
  • Continuing to increase our collective (and individual) proficiency in virtual tools (e.g., Zoom, and others)
  • Preparing for, and implementing, a return to in-person-only meetings and/or hybrid meetings
  • Planning & organizing with heightened levels of uncertainty and incomplete information in a pandemic, e.g., back-up plans for meetings such as the Toastmasters Leadership Institutes (TLIs) and the District Conference

Please let me know if I missed something or if you see other priorities in your vision for the District, as I want to serve as your voice.

Why me? I’m running because I believe in the mission of Toastmasters and I want to work with you to improve the District, your club(s), the world, and myself. I don’t have all the answers and I have much to learn, but I’m always open to changing my opinion, when new information induces a change. I look forward to learning from you and partnering with you, as I develop as a leader in service of Toastmasters.

Lastly, here is a brief overview of my service within the overall Toastmasters organization:

  • Joined in 2008 (in San Luis Obispo, CA) and became a Sergeant at Arms within months
  • Served in every Club Officer role, most multiple times
  • Served as Area 12 Director twice (2015–16, and currently)
  • Served as Division C Director (2016–17)
  • Served as Club Extension Chair, on Club Growth team (2017–18)
  • Attended two International Conventions (in Vancouver and Chicago)
  • Active, or once active, member of these District 28 clubs: A Toast to Ypsi, Advanced Articulators (A+), Leadership 28 (current), Michigan Toastmasters, & Washtenaw Toastmasters

See you at the District 28 Conference, virtually on April 23–24th, and leading together in 2021–22!

Since we won’t be holding an in-person conference this year, we’ve created a virtual Candidates’ Corner on our District Council meeting event page, where we’ll be publishing statements from each of our candidates as we receive them.