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Rhonda Chapman - Distinguished Toastmaster

Bosma Enterprises - 7/28/2020 2:32:18 PM

Rhonda Chapman’s journey of becoming Bosma Enterprises' first Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) was no walk in the park. In this blog, Rhonda Chapman discusses why she joined Toastmasters and the road to earning her DTM.  

Over the last 18 months, Rhonda Chapman has worked tirelessly to earn the title of Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM). Although this award is a challenge to achieve, Rhonda was determined to reach the level of DTM.

Rhonda’s journey began five years ago when she attended her first Toastmasters meeting. At first, she was not particularly interested in joining Toastmasters, but after several meetings and seeing the fun and excitement members were having, Rhonda’s attitude began to change, and she became one of the most involved members of the club.
 
Throughout her journey, Rhonda grew as a person and as a leader, becoming heavily involved with Bosma’s Toastmasters’ club. Since joining, Rhonda has taken on leadership roles within the club. She has also participated and won numerous speech competitions, received multiple awards and certifications and coached another Toastmasters club to become a distinguished Toastmaster. Everything Rhonda experienced on her journey helped develop leadership skills which proved to be valuable on her path to distinguished status. “Once she makes her mind to do something, you cannot stop her,” said Nancy Vesely, DTM.
 
For Rhonda to earn her DTM designation in the traditional education program, she needed to:
1. Earn the Competent Communicator (CC) award.
2. Earn the Competent Leader (CL) award.
3. Serve at least six months as a club officer.
4. Serve as a club sponsor, mentor or coach.
5. Participate in the preparation of a Club Success Plan.
6. Earn her Advanced Communicator Gold or Advanced Toastmaster Gold award.
7. Earn her Advanced Leader Silver or Advanced Leader award.
 
As Rhonda got closer to earning her DTM, she needed to complete a service project. She decided to host a  Tis the Season Shopping Event, which was held at Bosma Enterprises to benefit the Bosma Visionary Opportunities Foundation and the VisionRehab101 Program. 

This was a massive project, but Rhonda was up for the challenge. She began calling on vendors, friends and family to participate and even raffled off a white mink jacket to one lucky winner. An array of vendors were in attendance, coming out to show their support for Rhonda and Bosma Enterprises. 

She also joined and coached the Day Peepers Toastmasters club to get in enough speeches and to help them meet their educational goals, helping them become a distinguished club. Every Wednesday, she got up bright and early to get their meetings at 6 am. She was also the only woman who was blind at the meetings and admitted it took a while to loosen the Day Peepers up. However, once Rhonda began to speak with so much energy and flare, being blind was irrelevant. “Members of the Day Peepers club pushed themselves to help me reach my goal,” said Rhonda.
 
Although it was a lot of hard work, Rhonda was determined to earn her DTM. “I felt I carried all of Bosma on my shoulders when I crossed that line and made it to the end.”
 
Once Rhonda finally received her plaque from Toastmasters International, she just threw her hands up in celebration. “The smile on my face was about to break,” she said.
 
Rhonda is thankful for the support she received from her mentors Nancy Vesely and Jane Reisdorf, for believing in her and pushing her to her limits. 
 
The Distinguished Toastmaster award is a difficult award to achieve, on behalf of Bosma and the Bosma Toastmasters club, we want to congratulate Rhonda for becoming the first DTM in Bosma’s history.
 
Whether you want to overcome your fear of speaking in front of an audience or you want to improve your leadership skills, becoming a member of a Toastmasters club can help in these areas.