JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — The gauntlet has been thrown down and the challenge has been accepted. The Toastmaster clubs from Johns Creek (Atlanta MasterCrafters, chartered 2004) will trade strikes and spares with the Decatur Toastmasters (The Dawn-Breakers, chartered 1995).
It is a friendly duel in bowling among the two chapters that will soon be in separate districts in the International Toastmasters organization. They are coming together one last time as clubs in the same district as a way to celebrate the success of Georgia Toastmaster District 14, which covers the entire state.
The district’s success has been so great that it is the fifth-largest district worldwide with more than 6,000 members (the four larger chapters are nations). That is why District 14 is being split in two come July 1. The district was formed in the 1940s, and has since grown to include more than 300 clubs.
Since the Johns Creek and Decatur clubs had many acquaintances among them, they decided they would have a farewell bowling duel, said Devery Adair of the Atlanta MasterCrafters.
“We thought it would be a fun way to get together and celebrate the success of the old district and kick off the new one,” Adair said.
The reason for the growth of Toastmasters in metro Atlanta is simple, Adair said. It works.
“Since I have joined, it has given me so many positive experiences and opportunities to become a leader and develop as a professional,” she said. “It gave me the confidence to do things I never thought I would do.
“It has made me a better, more effective communicator, both on my job and when I am out in public.”
Toastmasters prides itself in taking people who are hardly able to utter a word in front of a group to presenting a speech in front of hundreds Toastmasters. And it takes you there one step at a time.
Atlanta MasterCrafters member Kene Iloenyosi is one of four MasterCrafters who have been a district governor since the club was chartered. He said that during his tenure as district governor, he had the chance to listen to many corporate executives.
“Many of them shared stories of employees whose lives have been transformed by improving their communication and leadership skills,” Iloenyosi said.
If you focus on developing yourself, you will keep going “up the leadership ladder at work,” he said.
Adair said she agreed.
“This is the best program you can find for $10 a month. You get excellent feedback and opportunities to be a leader,” she said. “I’ve done things I never thought I would do.”
If you want to join:
Atlanta MasterCrafters Club meets every Thursday at 7 p.m. in Johns Creek Presbyterian Church at 1095 Bell Road. For more information, visit www.AtlantaMasterCrafters.com.
This article was published in the Johns Creek Herald April 18, 2013 edition