A Brief History of District 62



Origins


District 62 was born on July 1, 1958, as the result of a spin-off from District 28. Thirty-two clubs made the transition several of which are still meeting today. These include:


  • Grand Rapids #404
  • Capital City #639
  • Harvey Spaulding YMCA #781
  • Jackson #807
  • Hi-Noon #1021
  • Battle Creek #1027
  • Kalamazoo #1270
  • Main Street #1407
  • Twin City #1410
  • Tittabawassee #1655
  • Midland #2399


Northeastern #573 and Lock City #2648 also were eventually realigned into our District. In 1971, TMI President Dr. Russell G. Herron proposed recombining District 62 and 28 but the measure was defeated.


District 62 includes clubs located in the lower peninsula of Michigan (except the counties of Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw, Monroe, and Lenawee) and the eastern portion of the upper peninsula of Michigan. This geography is formally defined as the area between Highway 77 from Grand Marais on Lake Superior and Gulliver on Lake Michigan. In recognition of the difficulties associated with border crossings, a 2009 realignment sent the Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and the Sarnia, Ontario areas to District 86. Clubs moved included #2648 Algona, #3700 Sarnia, #8992 Hospitable, #630694 Lambton, and #1139628 OLG Casino Point Edward. Following this shift, District 62 was no longer designated as an International District.


Dr. Ralph Smedley


One of the original Clubs, Grand Rapids #404 (est. 11/01/1946), had the distinct honor of a personal visit from Dr. Ralph Smedley on October 26, 1947 at the beginning of his journey to visit Clubs in the eastern United States.


Distinguished District Program


As of 06/30/2010 we have achieved Distinguished District or better 16 times:


  • Distinguished District:
  • Excellence in Leadership: 1993-94 (three consecutive DD awards)
  • Select Distinguished District:
  • President’s Distinguished District:


District 62 Regional and International contestants


  • Theresa Parlett from Farm Bureau Club #2836 in Lansing, competed in the 1991 World Championship of Public Speaking in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Craig Weathers from Macatawa Club #3766 in Holland, competed in the 2002 World Championship of Public Speaking in San Antonio, Texas.
  • Mike Enright from Harvey Spaulding Club #781 in Flint, competed and won the 1993 Regional Evaluation Contest in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • Steve Fadie from Grand Rapids Toastmasters club #404 placed 2nd in the 1998 Regional Evaluation Contest.
  • Kathey Batey from HealthPlus club #5470 in Flint, competed in the 2004 Regional International contest in Lansing, MI.
  • Kathey Batey from West Michigan Advanced club #6180 in Grand Rapids, competed in the 2005 Regional International contest in Pittsburgh, PA.
  • Merv Jersak from Yawn Patrol #3306 in Lansing, competed in the 2006 Regional International contest in Romulus, MI.
  • Penny Rosema from West Michigan Advanced club #6180 in Grand Rapids, competed in the 2009 Regional International contest in Cleveland, OH.
  • Fred Johnson from Macatawa Club #3766 in Holland, competed in the 2010 first ever semi-final International speech contest in Palm Desert, CA. The semi-final contests are now held a few days before the International contest at the International conference and they replace the previous Regional contests.
  • Bill Moore from Yawn Patrol #3306 in Lansing competed in the semi-final International speech contest 2011 in Las Vegas, NV and 2012 in Orland, FL.


Top 10 Club Newsletter


In 1998, Toast In Transit, the monthly newsletter of Transportation Toastmasters #4776, was named one of Toastmasters International Top 10 Club Newsletters. This was the first time a District 62 Club newsletter had attained this prestigious honor.


Presidential Visitations


We have been honored with Presidential Visitations on several occasions, including Durwood English in 1977, Helen Blanchard, T.I.’s first woman International President, in 1985-89, Jack Gillespie in 1991, Joanna McWilliams in 2000, Jana Barnhill in 2008 and Mohammad Murad in 2015.


International Directors


The position of International Director is a 2-year commitment to the members of each Region and to Toastmasters International. District 62 has been honored to have the following members elected as International Directors:


  • In 1995, Bruce Frandsen was elected to serve on the Board of Directors, becoming the District’s first International Director.
  • In 1997 Beverly Wall was elected to serve as International Director.
  • In 1999 Bob Brentin was elected to serve as International Director.
  • In 2002 Cindy Pavella was elected to serve as International Director.


Presidential Citations


  • In 2001 Chuck Dodge, DTM, a member of Fireside Toastmasters Club #8916 in Owosso, MI and Rise & Shine Advanced Club #5062 in Flint, was the first District 62 Toastmaster to receive a Presidential Citation.
  • In 2003 Past International Director Beverly Wall, DTM, a member of Grand Rapids Toastmasters Club #404, Southwest Advanced Toastmasters Club #5358 and West Michigan Toastmasters Club #6180, received a Presidential Citation.
  • In 2004 Past International Director Robert Brentin, DTM, a member of Midland Club #2399 and Tuesday Talkers Club #5652, received a Presidential Citation.
  • In 2009 Past International Director Bruce Frandsen, DTM, a member of Southwest Advanced Toastmasters Club #5358, received a Presidential Citation.


Region Advisor


Cindy Pavella, DTM, PID, was selected and appointed by Toastmasters International President Pat Johnson as one of the first Region Advisors-Marketing. Cindy is Advisor for Region VI. This new position - enacted as a result of the worldwide global support and restructuring changes voted by the membership at the August 2009 convention - became effective July 1, 2010. The region advisors serve as mentors to the districts in all 14 regions. They guide and support the districts while helping to increase their capacity to build membership and to add new clubs. The RA acts as a consultant to the district leaders and helps to support them in a number of important ways, including:


  • With district operations such as district success planning
  • In identifying marketing strengths and needs of the district
  • By developing and mentoring future district leaders
  • By facilitating district leader training held at the International Convention and at mid-year.


Summary


District 62 has much to be proud of. We’re fortunate to have had and to have so many active and involved members who go out of their way to help others benefit from the proven Toastmasters Educational Program, while they hone their own leadership and communication skills. Our past and current leaders and members are true testaments to the vision and goals that Dr. Ralph Smedley set out to accomplish with Toastmasters.


Thank you Dr. Smedley, for stopping by to say hello so many years ago. We continue to do our part to spread the Toastmaster word throughout the world.


(Updated as of 09/22/2012. Margaret Sieh, IPDG)