District Director Candidate 2022-2023
Candidate’s Name: Marian Barilone, DTM
Toastmasters member since: 2009
- Bachelor of Science, Education, Cum Laude (University of the City of Manila)
- Bachelor of Laws (University of the City of Manila)
- Paralegal Certification (Emory University)
Toastmasters offices held and terms of service:
- Program Quality Director (July 2021 to June 2022)
- Club Growth Director (July 2020 to June 2021)
- Division A Director (July 2019 to June 2020)
- Area 11 Director (July 2018 to June 2019)
- District 14 Finance Manager (July 2016 to June 2017)
- District 14 Finance Manager (July 2015 to June 2016)
- District 14 Secretary (July 2013 to June 2014)
- Club Extension Chair (July 2014 to June 2015)
- Conference Co-Chair (July 2019 to June 2020)
- Conference Project Manager for First-Timers, Gift Baskets and Door Prizes (2x), Information, Entertainment & Volunteers Committees
- Club President – Gwinnett Harbingers (June 2013 to July 2014)
- VP Education – ExpressJet Toastmasters (July 2016 to September 2016)
- VP Membership – Gwinnett Harbingers (July 2019 to December 2019)
- VP Membership – VOF Conyers Tenacious Toastmasters (July 2016 to September 2016)
- VP Public Relations – Gwinnett Harbingers (January 2019 to June 2019)
- Secretary – Gwinnett Harbingers (July 2010 to June 2011)
- Secretary – Gwinnett Harbingers (January 2013 to June 2013)
- Treasurer – Gwinnett Harbingers (July 2011 to June 2012)
- Treasurer – VOF Conyers Tenacious Toastmasters (July 2016 to September 2016)
Toastmasters honors and recognition:
- Super Achiever Awardee (2016 to 2017)
- Triple Crown Awardee (2014 to 2015)
- Triple Crown Awardee (2012 to 2013)
- Area Director of the Month (April 2019)
- Division Director of the Month – 4x awardee (July 2019, December 2019, January 2020, April 2020)
- Served as Club Sponsor and Club Mentor and member of several demo meetings
- Club President of Gwinnett Harbingers – led the club to achieve President’s Distinguished Club (2013 to 2014) and led the club to win the most number of Triple Crown awardees in District 14 for 2013 to 2014
- Service Award as one of the Senior Seven (2015) Distinguished Toastmaster
Relevant work experience and how it relates to Toastmasters and your role as a District leader:
I had served District 14 from the time that it became D14 in 2013. I was the District Secretary then and I was part of the Senior Seven of District 14 when Georgia was split into 2 Districts. I went on to do the work of being the District Finance Manager twice and Club Extension Chair where I worked with the leads that the District received and responded to the inquiries and gave those to the Division Directors. As an Area Director, I helped in getting a new club chartered by helping in the demo meetings and served as that club’s sponsor. I had also served as a club mentor. I had helped in various demo meetings where my home club helped establish at least 2 clubs. As a Division Director, my Team and I worked by reaching out and introducing Toastmasters to our Division leads – Division A chartered a new club under my term.
As Club Growth Director – I had coordinated the 2 clubs that are chartered for this term. I am currently working on 2 more active club leads (demo meetings and TM info sessions were completed) that hopefully will add to the list of chartered clubs. We are actively working to get the leads handled so that these will become new clubs. In addition to building new clubs, we are also supporting the District’s ailing clubs. My Team and I, working with the Division Directors, worked very diligently in getting the clubs that announced that they were closing/clubs that are desperately struggling for members and helped them to be on the road to thriving – Ridge Masters, CNVAMC Toastmasters, St. Ignatius of Loyola, CCTM Toastmasters, Salem MBC Toastmasters, etc. We had met with several clubs and tried to work with them also, but some had already decided to close due to the pandemic situation. We had been doing monthly training for club sponsors, club mentors and coaches. We implemented the dual- pronged approach to assigning club coaches and the Adopt-a-Club incentive and we have 100% success with these clubs insofar as getting the struggling clubs back on their feet. There were also several membership incentives (in addition to the 3 membership drives from TI) that helped the clubs get their membership payments in for the October payment early. We introduced again the President’s Distinguished District Partner award and the winning club had signed up 22 members to pay for a full year.
As Program Quality Director, I spearheaded 9 TLIs for the Summer TLI (July and August 2021), monthly training for the different committees under the PQD – Toastmasters Leadership Training, Pathways Training and District Contest Training. In addition, the DEC Education Team had a very successful Mid- Year Professional Summit where we had the Champion of World Speaking Verity Price as our keynote speaker. Lastly, the Conference Team had been holding regular meetings since May 2021.
What experience do you have in strategic planning?
As Program Quality Director with five committees under the office, I had planned with my District Training and TLI Chair the whole training schedule for the year. I had done the same with the Conference Team and I started early with that Committee since I already have the Chair and Co-Chair chosen. I likewise sat with the District Contest Chair and Pathways Chair as to how I envision the training for the contests and Pathways to be done. We started early, with a complete set of chair and co-chair and we patterned the training sessions to comply with the District mission: “We build new clubs and support all clubs in achieving excellence.”
It is common knowledge among District leaders that the Club Growth Director has the most difficult role in the Trio due to the expectation of growing the District. As CGD, I knew that building new clubs will be our most challenging duty. I planned the training for the monthly DEC meetings to include getting club leads and incentivizing that process by including the training for the DEC members early in the year. I led them by actual practice how to look for the decision makers in the company, provided them the template to send to their leads, did a role-play of the dialogues when introducing Toastmasters to the community leaders, company decision makers and friends when fishing for club leads. In addition, I had planned the incentives to come out a month before the actual project is to go out so that they will be properly promoted – we had the Town Hall meetings (twice), introduction to Toastmasters info session for corporate leads, etc. In addition, I knew that we have struggling clubs and I had met with all the Division Directors (except 2 Divisions who didn’t have clubs that were in danger of closing) and strategized with them regarding all their weak clubs. We were able to successfully save all the clubs where the club leaders chose to work with us but the club leaders that did not want to work with us didn’t make it, obviously. I had placed several membership incentives for the individual clubs and the DEC leaders so that everyone, from the club level to the DEC leadership to the Trio level, are all working in a synergistic level to get our District to a President’s Distinguished District (or near to it).
As a Division Director, I have planned several TLIs (initial and makeup TLIs) where I planned everything from getting the presenters, securing the venue, coordinating the presenters’ schedules, sending communications via email, calls and texts, getting the paperwork ready (agenda, flyers and PR materials for the annual conference), prepping the venue, coordinating the food prep, getting the schedules done, creating committees (registration, presenters and food committees), sending follow-up and ensuring that the TLI teams are thanked and acknowledged. Our Division had also 2 Open Houses/Networking Events (Open House with Caring Hearts and MidYear Celebration Party) where I again coordinated the presenters, created the food committee, registration, welcome, etc. We also had initiated the A.I.M. High Movie Challenge with the aim of having quality club meetings and Toastmasters experiences – my Team and I initiated mini-goals for the Toastmasters in Division A to have open houses, have variety- themed meetings, add members, have members complete Pathways levels or achieve an educational award, etc. In addition, our Division had also a Judges Training where we had a huge number of trained judges in preparation for the contests. I had coordinated with Debbie Hamilton, JD Dirkschneider and Kathleen Bingaman to bring this training to Division A Toastmasters by securing our venue, getting food prepared and promoting the event. With the Division A Champions Team, me and my Asst. Division Directors had planned on getting the leads and were proactive in getting and working the leads independent from the District leads. We divided the work by sending the initial emails, made calls to the end that we will get the demo meetings done and the clubs chartered.
As Area Director, I had provided incentives to my clubs for them to achieve their membership and educational goals and had conducted several Area Council meetings to keep the clubs engaged and working closely to support each other. We had ended our term as a President’s Distinguished Area.
What experience do you have in the area of finance?
I am very well versed with the District Finances—I ensured that the District stay within the budget provided by the Trio, submission of the reports, payment of reimbursement vouchers, worked with the project managers stay within the conference budget, submission of reports, preparation of financial documents for audit, submission of requisition requests and reporting of the District’s financial status to the DEC. In addition, I have received training as a District Finance Manager as part of the requirements of being a District Finance Manager.
In addition, this year, we are using Concur so that in addition to the Intacct program that the District was using previously, I know now how to use the current Concur program.
What experience do you have in developing procedures?
As Program Quality Director, the procedures that I developed had more to do with ensuring that my Committee Chair and Co-chair are provided the leadership opportunities to lead their Teams. This year, I implemented the principle of delegation. I shared my vision with each of the 5 committee chairs that I have – there can be so many training sessions that can be offered by District 14 but I had an understanding with the Committee Chairs that we will abide by the District mission, particularly the one where we support all clubs in achieving excellence. The training sessions were crafted not just with the idea of developing the leadership but also in helping with membership growth and retention by offering training (at least twice) for open houses/marketing the clubs. I asked the Pathways Chair and Co-chair to ensure that the basics are covered since the members are still learning about Pathways. I asked the DEC Training Team to give presentations that are engaging since the DEC meetings had been online. Lastly, I had an intensive pre-planning with the Conference Chair and Co-chair even before we met with the Project Managers for the weekly conference meetings.
As Club Growth Director, I created the procedure of getting new clubs chartered by ensuring that everyone, not just the CGD Team and the Club Extension Chair, are working to get their club leads by providing them hands-on training as to how it is done and the templates for both phone call and email cold calls. Building the new clubs was a high priority – I asked for a huge incentive to be put in place for the members who submit their club leads that end up in a new club.
Regarding the training for the club sponsors, mentors and coaches – we had instituted a regular training and monthly check in as well for the club coaches. I had involved the Division and Area Directors in working with the club coaches to fully support the struggling clubs. I requested for the District Training in coordination with the PQD to ensure that the training will be supporting the District’s efforts to get membership. My Team also included a training for Open Houses as one of the easier ways to get new members if the Open House is promoted well and carefully planned.
As Division Director, I had created a procedure to ensure that the trainings that we do 4 times a year will be efficient. I first get the mandatory training modules that the District Trainer prescribes for that particular training period. I then secure the venue, confirm the date, recruit the necessary presenters, prepare the agenda and prepare the documents. After the basic requirements are fulfilled, I then get the other requirements like the food prep, the documents needed like the sign-in sheets, agenda, flyers etc. I then proceed to get the word out by getting the flyer done – emails to the Area Directors, to the District PR Manager and posting this on the D14 Facebook.
At the beginning of our term, I also provided an overview to the Area Directors of our activities based on my previous experience as an Area Director myself to prepare them and make their work more efficient. I provided tips (like submission of CVRs within 2 months of the start of the term so that we can proceed with the other projects/events) to them as well.
As an Area Director, I had also established a procedure so that despite my desk job, I was able to visit all my clubs and continue to establish my relationship with them despite the fact that I have completed all my CVRs early.
What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?
I have learned several important lessons in the leadership positions that I am in.
1. As the representative of the District, it is important that I establish good relationships with the constituency that I am serving. It is true that the members will not care what I know unless they know that I care for them. I had established good relationship with all the clubs that I had worked with and these relationships remained and worked well when I reached out to the District’s strong clubs for the Adopt-a-Club incentive. I continue to establish good relationships with all the District’s clubs as part of the District’s mission – we support all clubs in achieving excellence.
2. Ownership and accountability are key. When I applied to be a District leader (whether it is an appointive position or a position where I had been voted in), I took to heart the fact that I am doing my job in service to fellow Toastmasters and it is up to me with the help of my team to do the work. I have signed up and agreed to the position that was in and it is up to me to be conscientious in doing my work and being accountable for the success of my work.
3. Delegation – I had chosen as Chairs of my Committee people who I know have a very high work ethic and are very well-versed in their subject matter. Charlene Hampton is doing the role for the very first time and she just shined in the role. She had her Team ready – no one was burned out and everyone enjoyed their monthly presentations. The Pathways Team under Jerry Bullard and Debbie Thompson also diligently did their part in training the members about Pathways. I say the same for my other committees’ Chairs and Co-chairs – everyone had been conscientious in doing their job.
Why do you want to serve as a District leader?
I am applying as a District Director because I believe that I am best suited to serve the District due to the experiential knowledge that I had gained in building a strong and thriving District with my role as Program Quality Director this TM year and Club Growth Director last TM Year. It is a pleasure to have a platform as Program Quality Director in recognizing the club members who achieve their educational goals as well as working to have our club officers be provided the tools to serve their own clubs. I thoroughly enjoyed working with the Pathways and the Contests Team and learn from them as well.
The conference this year is in-person and it is great to go back to the in-person conference that we all hd been accustomed to. I want to continue to serve District 14 by retaining the current members and growing new clubs and under my term, the District had chartered 12 new clubs even with the lockdowns and challenges of the pandemic era at that time. I had served as club officer for all positions (except for the SAA), served as Area Director and Division Director and served as part of the Senior Seven and I believe that I am equipped to serve the District as I had been fully immersed in District 14 since its inception in 2013. I had been blessed to have been trained by the various District leaders that I had worked with in the past and they enriched my lives in several ways. I would not have learned so much if had I not served in those various District positions. With my long service in District 14, I am ready to serve as Program Quality Director and am ready to take care of the current membership and grow new clubs.
In your opinion, what are the District mission’s major objectives and how would you work to achieve them?
The District’s major objectives are to build new clubs and to support all clubs in achieving excellence. As District Director, I will focus on the main thing. We build new clubs and support all clubs in achieving excellence. For me, this translates as new clubs for the District and providing a quality Toastmasters experience so that the Toastmasters achieve their personal and professional goals using the Toastmasters program. As Program Quality Director, I covered all aspects of the educational goals of the District by providing encouragement, recognition and guidance both to our DEC leaders so they can be supported in leading their respective Areas and Divisions. When I was the Club Growth Director, this had been my bread-and-butter: working on the club leads, working to get more club leads, supporting the new club charter process, helping the DEC leaders get the new clubs for their respective area and divisions. In addition to building news clubs, we had been extensively working with the struggling clubs – we have 100% success rate with our weak clubs when we had them under the Adopt-a-Club and the trained club coaches.
As Division Director, I accomplished this by instituting the A.I.M. High Movie Challenge – we provided incentives to the clubs to achieve (A), be an inspiration (I) and promote membership (M). These are really DCP goals that we provided to them so that they can accomplish it in a fun and easy way. Under this project, we had several clubs who had increased membership, had open houses, had variety and fun-themed meetings. This is one part of the work of our Division. The other part is working our leads so that we can charter clubs. Division A has a group of Toastmasters who are available to be there for demo meetings and we were at the demo meetings for Progressive TM. We also actively looked for and reached out to leads – we are actively working on 2 leads (Area 11’s GSU lead and Area 12’s church lead) now and we are just waiting for our contacts to allow us to have our demo meetings.
1.Specifically, I will work to achieve these goals by building my Team of passionate, zealous and responsible people in the Program Quality Team – both for the training for the District, the DEC leaders and the District’s Annual Conference Team.
2. Establish trainings to support the District’s greatest challenges – how to get and retain the club members. I know that the PQD’s role is mainly on the education aspect of the TM program but I will ensure that the District’s efforts to get new members will be vigorously supported by my Team.
3. As part of the Trio, I will be an active team player and support the incoming Club Growth Director and the District Director.
Additional information about yourself:
-I am a now a senior paralegal working mostly on contracts and non-disclosures and I owe my promotion to being a Toastmaster. I served as president of my previous law firm’s GIVE Team – the firm’s volunteer organization and we have various projects like fund raising for the Red Cross, Atlanta Humane Society, etc. We have donated items to the veterans, victims of the Category 5 hurricanes, supported the Breast Cancer Awareness and helped in the Angel Tree Project, Atlanta Food Bank, etc. We also had the Legal Frenzy where the GIVE Team spearheaded canned food donations for the needy.
-I graduated Cum Laude in college and had a Bachelor of Laws degree. I was a government lawyer when I was working in the Philippines.
-I am interested in astronomy and I love looking at stars using my own telescope. I will be joining an astronomy group to learn more about the night skies.