Seated in front is Otto Nissen. Second row, from left, are: Donna Nelson, Terry Hinton, Dale Fox, Wade Maines, Shawna Cassick; third row: Dana Mitnik, Ross Wingard, Letitia Maines, and Cory Straub.

ST. MARYS — Toastmasters recently hosted a training session at Casali’s Italian Grille in St. Marys. Division C Director Dana Mitnik travelled from Pittsburgh to remind the group about their responsibilities as officers. Officers present included Cory Straub, Dale Fox, Terry Hinton, Ross Wingard and Donna Nelson.

An important presentation followed on “Pathways”, the new Toastmasters education program being rolled out internationally. Shawna Cassick was present from Division C as an official “Pathways” guide to help clubs transition.

Since its founding, the organization has relied upon a program of printed manuals that led participants through sequential levels of accomplishment related to public speaking and leadership. After years of painstaking research and development, Toastmasters is excited to embark upon Pathways. The new program provides much greater flexibility for members to focus upon topics and skills that benefit them the most. In addition, it fully utilizes modern online technology – paper manuals are now history.

“Change can always be a bit overwhelming at first”, explained Vice President of Education Ross Wingard. “I love this because now I don’t have to worry about losing my manuals and my speech evaluations ever again! It’s all done online. It will take a little time to transition, but I think it was a wise decision”.

Two major priorities for the local club were also reviewed.

Topping the list is improving outreach efforts to local industries and companies that can benefit from the skills taught by Toastmasters.

The second goal is to share these skills with youth in the Elk County school systems to help them develop self-confidence and the ability to share their thoughts and interests.

Visitors are always welcome at club meetings which are held on the first and third Thursdays of each month, 7:15 P.M. at Shiloh Presbyterian Church in St. Marys. For more information, visit the Elk County Toastmasters website or on Facebook.

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