Member Spotlights

Find out about our members, their experiences, and how they have benefited from Toastmasters.  Do you have news you wish to share?

Posted August 23, 2023
Member Spotlights


According to Lark Doley, 2018-2019 Past International President, Mercedes Balli, DTM, was the matriarch of District 55 when Lark first joined Toastmasters in 1990. Mercedes was a leader in District 56. She was known for her care of everything Toastmasters. She helped to charter 45 new Toastmasters clubs, and she coached struggling clubs.  She responded to telephone calls from Austin and surrounding cities, requesting information about Toastmasters, all of this before the days of the Internet and mobile phones. Mercedes mentored District 55 leaders before District 55 split from District 56 in 1997.  If you ever had a question about Toastmasters, Mercedes was your source for the answer.  Mercedes was elected District 55 Director (Governor then) for the 2000-01 year.  Unfortunately, she had to leave District 55 and resigned from her position early in her year.  She later became District 49 Director in Hawaii, her home state.  She was awarded the Presidential Citation for saving District 49 from dissolving.  Mercedes has shared her time and talents with District 56, District 55, and District 49.  Mercedes has left her legacy of care wherever she resides, with every Toastmasters club she joins, with every Toastmasters District she touches. When she joins a Toastmasters club, she gives it her all. We all have been blessed by her Golden dedication to our organization throughout her decades in Toastmasters.  Lark has personally been blessed by her kindness, her care, and her love.

Posted June 20, 2023
Member Spotlights

On, July 7, 2023, Terrie Green, DTM, member of Determined to Master Speaking and Dining Out Toastmasters will be the recipient of the President Biden Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her service to the community.  The correspondence, dated April 17, 2023, states…

“I congratulate you on taking it upon yourself to contribute to the public good…and your service to our great community…  

By sharing your time and passion, you are helping discover and deliver solutions to the challenges our communities face—solutions that we need now more than ever.  We are living in a moment that calls for hope, light and love.  Hope for our futures, light to see our way forward, and love for one another.  Through your service, you are providing all three.    

 On behalf of the community, I extend my heartfelt appreciation to you for your volunteer leadership, and I encourage you to continue to answer the call of service.  The community is counting on you and appreciates you.”

Dining Out Toastmasters members congratulates Terrie on being the recipient of this prestigious award.

Posted June 11, 2022
Member Spotlights

Elly was awarded with the annual SERVANT LEADER APRON AWARD…

“For serviceexcellence, commitment
to others, serving as a mentor
to her fellow members and for
motivating others to give their best
while demonstrating the values of
the Dining Out Toastmasters Club” SERVANT LEADER APRON AWARD.

Posted November 17, 2021
Member Spotlights

The November Toastmasters Magazine published an excellent article titled “Behind the Scenes of a Speech Contest, Speakers may star, but contest functionaries play a critical role” by Ruth Nasrullah of Pearland Toastmasters.

The article mentions the work of the contest functionaries who organize the contest and make it flow.  It quotes Camille Morales, DTM, of  Southwest Project Management Toastmasters, Storytellers Toastmasters, Firm Speakers Toastmasters and Sweet Talkers Toastmasters.  It also quotes Zenia Shipp, DTM, of Pearland Toastmasters, Master Evaluators Toastmasters, Dining Out Toastmasters, UHCL Toastmasters and Young Professionals Southeast Toastmasters.

See the following link>

Posted November 8, 2021
Member Spotlights

Toastmaster Kim Stengel joined Toastmasters in February 2017.  She is currently the Club President of Kingwood Toastmasters.

Did you know Kim also enjoys a career spanning 48 years on Broadway and stages across 50+ countries and 4 continents?  Notably, Kim is the longest-running Diva in the history of The Phantom of the Opera, having performed the role of Carlotta over 5,500 times on Broadway and Internationally.

Kim is thrilled to return to Theatre Under the Stars in Sister Act.  She was simply AMAZING.  Congratulations Kim for continuing to fine-tune your communication skills on the Theater Stage.



Find out about our latest District 56 club news and events.



Find out about our latest District 56 news and events.



In District 56, special annual awards are presented to Toastmasters in various roles for their contributions throughout the year.


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