2023 marks the fortieth year of my professional career in the real estate and construction industries. As part of my elevator speech, “…I have built over $1.0 billion in construction and the same volume in real estate transactions all over the world…” The two largest companies of employment are IBM and Hensel Phelps Construction Co., Inc. Currently own my own construction company, Caliber Contracting, Inc., and as a Broker Associate with RE/MAX of Stuart.
After completing the Dale Carnegie Course at the expense of IBM in the late eighties, Dale Carnegie suggested joining Toastmasters International. After attending two meetings in Poughkeepsie, New York, I was transferred to San Jose, California. It was not until I reinvented myself in 2010 that I finally join Palm City Orators.
John achieved his Distinguished Toastmaster (“DTM”) award on May 10, 2016. He served as an Area Governor in the 2012-2013 fiscal year. “Yes,” over ten years ago, when they still called the position Area Governor. Why return to leadership now?” Because I have been blessed by what Toastmasters International has done for me; feel the need to give back; changing the trajectory of the club for the future.
Barbara Strasdas is a 23-year member of Toastmasters International. When she earned her Distinguished Toastmaster award in 2011, she was as proud and excited as when she received her CPA license. She now holds 4 DTM awards.
In her toastmaster journey she has had the opportunity to serve in many leadership roles: 2020-2021 District 47 Director, 2019-2020 Finance Manager,
Division Director, 2 years as Area Governor, and Chair of 5 District committees, as well as 25+ club officer positions.
She has also received these accolades: 2009 and 2014 Division D Outstanding Toastmaster, and 2023 Area 42 Super Nova.
In her professional life, her career path has been as a CPA in industry. Her creation of the mentorship program with the Boys & Girls Clubs Youth of the Year has shown her how reaching out to the community youth will impact our future generation. She has proudly worked with 10 Youth Of the Year candidates – five of those winning the county title.
Her community involvement includes 2- time Chair of the FICPA Women’s Leadership Committee, Chair & Treasurer of the Palm Beach County FICPA Chapter and Board Treasurer of the Boys & Girls Club of Riviera Beach.
Marilyn Bieber has been a member of Toastmasters for five years and is currently a member of Sunset Speakers Toastmasters
During her tenure as a Toastmaster, Marilyn has served in a variety of club roles including Vice-President Public Relations, Vice President Membership, and club President. Marilyn served on the District 47 Club Growth Committee for the 2021-2022 term.
Marilyn joined Toastmasters to take her speaking skills to a higher level and establish a gateway to sharing her life experience with others. She is a life-long learner with degrees in Mass Communications and Media & Communications Psychology, both of which have paid off, if not in increased wealth, in an immense amount of personal satisfaction.
In her professional life, Marilyn works in the nonprofit space for an organization that accredits and provides capacity building resources to nonprofits serving Palm Beach County. Her position allows her to flex many skills honed as a Toastmaster.
In her free time, Marilyn enjoys DIY home improvement projects and loves to travel internationally when possible. She is the proud mom of adult daughter, Patience, and grandmom to Bodhi.
Laura Friedman joined Toastmasters January 1st, 2016, so she has been a toastmaster for almost eight years.
She has held an officer position in her club, Gold Coast Toastmasters, every year since she joined the organization. She has held most officer positions including Treasurer twice, VP Education twice and President of her club for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.
Laura has completed most of the speeches she is required to give to earn her DTM and is now focusing on completing her service to District 47.
She is currently an Area 43 Director for the 2023-2024 fiscal year.
Laura graduated from the University of Florida and is a CPA. She has been working in Corporate America for 40 years. She has a vast amount of experience in accounting, finance and taxation.
Hello Fellow Toastmasters! My name is Lona Fink. I am passionate about connecting everyone to the people and resources needed to achieve their objectives, both professionally and personally. For over 27 years, my focus has been on building and maintaining close relationships with my customers, partners, internal teams, and fellow Toastmasters. My goal is to have everyone feel supported, included, and valued.
As the President of a new club that was struggling to get off the ground, I have gone through many of the growing pains and understand the model needed for success. I would not have been able to do any of this without the immense support of Michelle LeWay, our Club Mentor, who guided me throughout the process. We re-kicked off the UKG Build Toastmasters Club in late October 2023. I’m pleased to announce that we made Select Distinguished this year by achieving seven of our goals!
I am excited to begin my journey as an Area Director to help other Toastmasters Clubs drive retention and growth, with a focus on achieving their Distinguished Goals. Additionally, I serve as a Yoodli Ambassador for District 47 and am focused on ensuring every Toastmaster understands the value this amazing tool.
Troy Rand considers himself a lifelong learner and strongly believes in a growth mindset. One of his goals is to inspire others to overcome obstacles by sharing his personal story of overcoming adversity.
He earned his masters and PhD in biomechanics and motor control from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and moved to South Florida after graduating. He currently lives in Lake Worth Beach Florida with his wife and two boys.
Troy has a passion for health and fitness and believes in pushing the boundaries physically to build both physical and mental resilience. He has completed over 20 marathons and ultramarathons, a half- and full-distance Ironman triathlon, multiple obstacle course races, as well as competed in powerlifting and CrossFit competitions.
He currently runs a health and fitness business where he coaches individuals in fitness and nutrition. He also does event production, setting up and operating triathlons and running races across South Florida.
Troy started Toastmasters to help facilitate his goal of inspiring others and has discovered a whole world of opportunities within Toastmasters to learn and grow. He aspires to help others grow within their Toastmasters journey.
District 47 serves Southeastern Florida and The Commonwealth of the Bahamas. We support over 2,000 members in 163 clubs located in that reagion along with several fully online clubs with international members