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