Conference Update from District Director James Childress

Greetings District 8 Toastmasters!

I hope each and every one of you is doing well. This era in time is unlike anything we have ever experienced before. Our way of life has been drastically altered by the COVID-19 outbreak. We have been introduced to terms like social distancing and flattening the curve. This way of life is not something that we are used to experiencing. We are social beings always looking for ways to connect with others. Toastmasters for many of us is a medium that we use to connect with like-minded individuals and build meaningful relationships. 

The recent guidelines from the federal, state and local governments as well as Toastmasters International mandate that we must make necessary adjustments to our regular Toastmasters activities. Therefore, for an indefinite period, we are prohibited from having in-person meetings which include our Annual Spring Conference.  Fortunately, we live in a very technological age that allows us to be more creative and flexible. Virtual meetings using platforms such as Zoom and Webex have made it easier for us to continue our Toastmasters activities. Some of you are already experiencing great results using those platforms.

Recently, the District Executive Committee (DEC) convened to discuss the way ahead for our district. We decided that it is in the best interest of the district to keep the momentum going by having a Virtual District Conference (VDC). The VDC will be held next month on May 15th and 16th. It will be conducted using the Zoom platform. The Spring Conference chairs; Pam Marshall and Parshu Anantharam are working very hard to create the agenda. 

The Humorous Speech Contest will be on May 15th and the International Speech Contest will be on May 16th. We have other events planned as well such as the Annual Busines Meeting, a roast of Immediate Past District Director Elaine Curry, a keynote address from Region 5 International Director Mohamad Qayoom, and much more. You do not want to miss this event! Best of all, it is FREE!!! 

Please stay tuned for details on what time the events will begin and how to access the Zoom platform. If you registered for the in-person Spring Conference that was canceled, please contact Tim Spezia at to request a refund.

If you are interested in volunteering or have questions about the VDC, please contact Parshu Anantharam at or Pam Marshall at

Take care and I hope all of you remain in good health. 

James L. Childress
District Director
District 8 Toastmasters