District 14 Director 2021-2022

Allegra Manigault, DTM is the District Director for District 14 Toastmasters, which has over 2,400 members in 140+ clubs located east of Interstate 85 in Georgia and around the world.

As the District Director, she leads this non-profit organization with her team of 40+ district officers to help its members improve their communication and leadership skills. She also directly oversees and manages District 14’s day-to-day operations, finances, and human resources. Her vision for this year is “Moving Forward Together, Stretching Beyond Ourselves.”

Why did you select that vision and what does it mean?

We are embarking on another unusual Toastmasters year where we have to find out what will be our ‘new normal.’ We cannot look at past years to determine where we are and where we are going. It takes looking forward and not backward to not be stuck in ‘what was’ or ‘what happened’ and to not be focused on past failures or successes. When we know the common goal, it takes all of us to be in a mindset of moving forward to reach that same goal together. 

Tell us about your Toastmasters journey (e.g., when you joined & why, what roles you have served in, etc.).

I joined Toastmasters in June 2014 at Conyers-Rockdale Toastmasters Club #2579 in Conyers, GA. A few months prior in 2014, I enrolled my son into a summer program by Toastmasters called ‘Youth Leadership Program.’ After the eight weeks at the graduation program, I was impressed by the Toastmasters speakers who were invited to speak to the group. I soon attended a meeting with my membership application and dues and joined that night. 

One month of joining the club, I was asked to serve as the Club’s Secretary. I loved the role. The next year, I was elected as Vice President Education and served in that role for two years. I’ve also served as a Club Vice President Public Relations. My favorite club role was when I served as the club’s President. Since 2015 to present, each year Conyers-Rockdale has achieved the highest club award, President’s Distinguished Club. 

In 2016, I was nominated for a District position as Area C32 Director, which involved coaching and helping five clubs in the area to achieve their goals. That year, I achieved the Distinguished Area Award. I learned a lot by being an Area Director and it certainly stretched me outside of my comfort zone. I built lasting relationships with the club leaders within my area. 

Other roles I’ve held outside of the club include Club Coach, District 14 Trainer, District 14 Training Manager, and Division C Director. As Division Director, I was responsible for six Area Directors and 26 Toastmasters Clubs which consisted of about 500 members. As Division C Director, the Division ended the year in June 2020 with the award of Select Distinguished Division. I was also selected that year with the coveted ‘Division Director of the Year Award.’

On June 30, 2021, I completed my role as District 14’s Program Quality Director (PQD), the second highest ranking position in a district. As PQD, District 14 was recognized with the Excellence in Program Quality Award in recognition of exceptional leadership and achievement in distinguished clubs. 

On April 25, 2021, I was elected to the District role of District 14 Director for the 2021-2022 Toastmasters year. 

How has Toastmasters helped you professionally and/or personally?

Toastmasters is an organization that allows you to bring in your skills, talents and abilities. One’s transferable skills are welcomed in a Toastmasters club. Toastmasters has helped me most as a leader. When I joined Toastmasters, I did not know what a DTM was nor did I think that someday I would be at the helm as District Director. Personally, I’ve been able be bring in a lot of creativity. I’ve empowered leaders who’ve served on my teams with the latitude to bring out their own ingenuity and creativity. I get great joy seeing leaders on the team to grow and thrive. I love hearing them say what they gained throughout the year and the things they learned in their role that they did not know when they began. 

Can you share more about your vision for the 2021-2022 Toastmasters year?

My vision as the new District Director is stretching beyond ourselves which entails the following:

  • Share Toastmasters enthusiastically with those we come in contact with;
  • Encourage and support each other along the way;
  • Lead effectively together;
  • Forge unified teams to meet the common goal.

 

OVERALL STRATEGIES

  • We incorporate fun and freshness into our meetings and events which sustains our current members and draws guests to join our clubs.
  • New members are paired immediately with a mentor who willingly and selflessly shares their time, their knowledge and their excitement.
  • Club and District Leaders know their ‘why’ and articulate it in meaningful way which allows them to achieve their personal goals.
  • Clubs and District Leaders have S.M.A.R.T. written goals to achieve or progress to; both individually and collectively. Progress is reviewed and evaluated often and moves them to success.
  • Objectives are clear to all those on the team. Teams know their ‘why’ and buy-in to the tactics to move them to progressing forward throughout the year. 
  • We intentionally build meaningful relationships with those in our sphere of influence and lead with purpose and sincerity.