A toast to our Toastmasters!

Toastmaster's international logoMary Holzmann is like a lot of people. “I used to be petrified of public speaking,” says our Gas R&D principal engineer. “But all of a sudden, there I was being asked to make presentations to my industry-wide peers at conferences and was even put on a committee with our federal pipeline safety regulators. Toastmasters helped give me the poise and confidence to do all that.”

Janet Pietrofere was more comfortable speaking in front of people, but still gets loads of tips and tools to make her an even more effective speaker, both in public and in one-on-one conversations at work. On a recent elevator ride with Steve Holliday, our Digital Security and Risk governance manager delivered a ‘short and sweet, impromptu elevator speech’ to our chief executive. “Toastmasters gave me the courage to seize the opportunity to talk about who I am and what I do at the company.”

Mary and Janet are five-year members of Toastmasters International (TMI) – a world-renowned professional and personal development program aimed to help turn even the most timid of people into effective public speakers and leaders.

And the Long Island chapter they participate in right at work is a 2015 winner of TMI’s highest honor – the President’s Distinguished Club (PDC) award. This accolade recognizes groups that “provide the supportive and positive learning environment that leads to member success.” TMI said, “Your group worked together to meet and exceed the goals of the program. You truly exemplify the TMI mission and brand, and all club members should be proud of this outstanding accomplishment and commitment to excellence.”

Mary, current public relations vice president, was TMI LI chapter president when the ‘Powerhouse’ group received this distinction. And Janet is current treasurer of the chapter that continues to provide members with more benefits than they could imagine from monthly lunchtime meetings, and a host of resources and opportunities.

“It’s a tremendous honor for our group – and a tribute to all the hard work and commitment of our TMI members and leaders on Long Island – who always support each other to make stretch goals and achieve notable excellence,” says Mary.

Want to join, or find out more about Toastmasters in your location? Contact Janet Pietrofere and stay tuned for two more articles on this fantastic opportunity for career development and growth. Also be sure to check for announcements in At a Glance for local meeting times and locations. (Dues renewal is coming up for Long Island Powerhouse meetings, which will start Wednesday, January 27 in Melville, then alternate between Melville and Hicksville each month.)

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