A New Year

December was a busy month for Maverick Toastmasters. I was away most of November and there was no meeting the week of Christmas. Maverick Toastmasters hosted a white elephant holiday party on December 12, 2017 in place of the regular meeting.

We started out the new year on January 2, 2018 with a group trip to see Zoo Lights. Our first official meeting of 2018 was January 9, 2018  with the topic of A Whole New World.

Earl Schreiner gave an amazing Icebreaker Speech at this meeting. Earl was born in Honduras and he has led such an interesting life that we are all looking forward to hearing his next speech. This was followed by Emi Bauer’s recitation of a passage from a novel written by Patrick Rothfuss. I enjoyed her interpretation so much that I bought the book.

The TLI leadership training is happening now! There is one more session in Phoenix on January 19, 2018 at 6p.m in Scottsdale.  If you have not already attended, I would encourage our officers to attend. I attended the first session. At TLI I saw a few old friends, plus I had the opportunity to meet some new ones. The best part of this experience was that I walked away with some great tips on how to enhance the Toastmasters experience.

On January 16, 2018 Maverick Toastmasters is hosting an open house. This will provide an opportunity for anyone who is curious about Toastmasters to meet the officers and ask questions before the regular meeting.

Maverick Toastmasters Open House:

Tuesday, January 16, 2018 6:15 – 6:45pm.
Location is Sun Valley High School located on the NE corner of Lindsay and Gilbert Road in Gilbert.
Snacks provided compliments of Michael Milan from Oak for less.

I look forward to another year of great speeches, meeting new friends, and wonderful adventures with my fellow Toastmasters.

Happy New Year to all.

We Are Busy Enjoying The Season

A lot has been happening with our Maverick Toastmasters over the last month.  Not only are the temperatures dropping a few degrees, but the Maverick Toastmasters Club has been very busy.


At every meeting we present a word of the day.  Anyone who fails to use the word during the meeting would feed our beloved kitty with a nickel. Kitty had  a slight accident and is no longer able to perform her role. However, one of our members brought Piggy to join the group. Piggy likes to dress in her finest clothes and she is such a fan of Maverick Toastmasters that she even sports a Maverick tattoo!


Our very own Liz Shaw won the humorous speech contest at the area level and moves on to compete at the district level.  Way to go Liz!!!!

Michael Milan was presented with his Advanced Leader Communication Certificate.

Congratulations Michael!

On October 24, 2017 Maverick Toastmasters hosted their annual Spooky Tales Contest. This was a family friendly event with good food, fun, and everyone is welcome to sign up to share a scary story.  The MC was Elvira, also known as Liz Shaw. We owe a huge thank you to Liz for helping to make the evening so much fun!


We had some amazing speakers, and some incredible costumes.  The winning speech was delivered by a future Toastmaster, Riley Feld.  Her brother Jack Feld won best costume.  Additional prizes were handed out for Scariest costume, Creative costume, Guest Participation, and best overall costume. 

Upcoming events:


A Speech a Thon on October 31, 2017.

There will be a special presentation on first meeting in November to cover the new Pathways system that Toastmasters will be implementing.


Wishing everyone a safe and Happy Halloween!

Ending August By Adding Some Humor

Maverick Toastmasters held it’s Humorous Speech Contest on August 22, 2017. We had the opportunity to listen to several seasoned speakers deliver speeches that had everyone laughing.

Participants were:

Sheryl Ross
Mike Becko
Liz Shaw
Michael Milan

Lauren Castillo
Sheryl Ross
Liz Shaw

Contest chair Deb Moore
Contest Manager Steve Feld
Chief Judge Emi Bauer

Although all of the speeches were wonderful, there can only be one winner.

The winning speech “Too Much Lettuce” was delivered by Liz Shaw

Congratulations to Liz on making us all laugh.

Maverick has a Spooky tales Contest on October 24, 2017. This is a family friendly event with food and good company. All are welcome to attend. The location and time will be published soon.

Having Fun While Enjoying The Journey

Public Speaking is one of the most intimidating things a person can do; but it is so much easier with the right people to support us.   The  comment I always hear from guests and new members about Maverick Toastmasters is how fun the meetings are and how much they enjoy  the positive energy in the group.  I could not agree more.  Maverick Toastmaster members encourage and support each other, which is  big part of our success as a club.

It is always so exciting to watch our members progress in their Toastmasters Journey. This week we recognized Michael Milan for attaining his Advanced Leadership Bronze certification.
Pablo Rodriguez delivered his final speech in the Competent Communicator Series.

Congratulations to Michael, and Pablo!!




Everyone loves to have fun and Maverick Toastmasters has some exciting events scheduled in the upcoming weeks.

On Tuesday night, August 22, 2017, Maverick Toastmasters will host a humorous speech contest. It will be a fun evening as we listen to speeches that make us laugh.

On Tuesday September 5, 2017 Maverick will be hosting a speech-a-thon. All members are invited to participate and everyone is welcome to attend.

On October 24, 2017, Maverick Toastmasters will be hosting a Spooky Tales speech contest. This will be a family friendly evening with food, fun, and spooky stories.

Everyone is welcome to attend.

I am looking forward to seeing everyone there!

Maverick Toastmasters Summer 2017

Maverick Toastmasters is a group that encourages members to improve speaking skills in a positive supportive environment. I must say that it has been an exciting Summer for Maverick Toastmasters.

In June, Maverick Toastmasters celebrated three years as a Distinguished Toastmaster Club. The celebration was at Gilbert Historical Museum with good food, great company, and some guest speakers from District 3.

In July, the new officers for 2017 to 2018 Maverick Toastmasters stepped into their new roles:

Steve Feld- President
Ashley Barnett -Seargent at Arms
Deborah Moore – VP of Education
Lauren Castillo – VP Membership
Cheryl Cheng – Secretary
Bob Rinne – Treasurer
Rahul Ayer – VP of Public Relations

On August 22, 2017 there will be Humorous Speech Contest hosted by Maverick Toastmasters. The Location will be at Sun Valley High School on Lindsay and Southern in Gilbert Arizona. Feel free to attend and hear some great speeches!

On October 24, 2017 Maverick Toastmasters will be hosting their annual Spooky Tales Speech Contest. It will be an evening of costumes, great food, good company, and some spooky stories! Watch for more information on this in September!

Rumor has it that on Halloween night Maverick Toastmasters will host a speech-a-thon. All are welcome to come listen to some great speeches! More to come on this in September.

Meet Our Members Series: Rob M.

Meet Rob M.

rob1rob2When and why did you join Toastmasters?

I joined in May 1998 on the invite of a fellow City of Chandler worker and friend

In your opinion, what makes the Maverick Club special? / Why did you choose to join Maverick Club?

I joined Maverick as a Club Sponsor, which was a goal toward getting my Distinguished Toast Master award. After accomplishing that goal I was still impressed about how much I was growing at every meeting. I just had to stay as a dual member of my original club and Maverick Toastmasters.

What has been your most significant accomplishment within the Toastmasters program to date?

Achieving my Distinguished Toastmaster award has been my biggest achievement thus far.

How has Toastmasters helped you in other areas of life?

While I was a Chief Officer for Chandler Fire Department, I saw a vast improvement in my abilities to be more succinct when teaching or giving reports at staff meetings.

Who has influenced you the most so far in your Toastmasters journey?

There have been so many, however, a Toastmaster named Ann Gammons helped me bring my club from 3 members to a thriving club today of 23 members.  She never gave up!

Anything else you’d like to add?

Toastmasters changes lives! I have seen the most timid person in the world become an awesome speaker who no longer fears speaking in public and who can take on any challenge. That’s why I will continue in Toastmasters as long as I have breath!

Election Day!: November 8, 2016

November 8, 2016 Maverick Club Meeting at Sun Valley High School – 21 total in attendance including 3 guests

Meeting Theme: Election Day!

Sergeant At Arms Rahul I. called the meeting to order, led the pledge and the club mission statement, and introduced the Presiding Officer, President Michael M. After calling for Toastmasters Moments and greeting the 3 guests, Michael then introduced Audrey D. as the evening’s Toastmaster.


  • First-time visitor Ashley B.
  • Returning visitor Peter S.
  • First-time visitor Chad

Toastmaster Moments:

  • Emi B. shared how she was able to meet with Paul’s school principal and articulate her concerns in order to resolve some issues.
  • Deb M. shared that she had a great time at her first District Conference.


  • Mike K. “Losing You to You”
    Competent Communication Manual, Project #2: Organize Your Speech
    Mike presented an entertaining speech on the mind of the procrastinator and his struggles with writing his speech. Procrastinators have to deal with “the instant gratification monkey,” rather than the “rational decision maker,” then as the deadline approaches, the “Panic Monster” takes over.   (Evaluated by Rahul I.)
  • Pablo R. “Hybrid Process Ownership”
    Competent Communication Manual, Project #8: Get Comfortable With Visual Aids
    Coming soon. (Evaluated by Paul F.)
  • Renee R. “Every Thursday”
    Speaking to Inform Advanced Manual, Project #2: Resources for Informing
    Renee shared about her weekly activity of volunteering for the AWANA program at her church, the age groups it covers, and what they do there.  (Evaluated by Rob M.)

Table Topics:

  • What would you do to increase voter turnout?
    Steve F. would offer FREE BEER! and ice cream to everyone!
  • What is your slogan and how did you come up with it?
    Kay D. said for her run for Dog Catcher, her slogan would be “Save the bees!”
  • Your presidential opponent is Arnold Schwarzenegger… what would you say to him?
    Liz S. said that after she pointed out that his birth certificate invalidated him as a candidate, she would declare her campaign slogan as “America: For Everyone.”
  • Give us your presidential acceptance speech.
    Rahul I. thanked everyone for his 1% win and said we will all work together to build a United States we all want with our shared values.
  • Your presidency is under investigation for stealing cookies. How do you respond?
    Cheryl C. fully admitted to her mistake but promised to replace them with even better cookies.
  • Give us your presidential farewell address.
    Lauren D. acknowledged the loving and caring attitude displayed in the lunch room when a dilemma was resolved with cooperation and sacrifice for others.


  • Toastmaster – Audrey D.
  • Topicmaster – Michael H.
  • General Evaluator – Michael M.
  • Wordmaster – Deb M.
    Word of the Day:  demagogue (noun) – a person, especially a political leader, who gains popularity by raising the emotions of people
  • Grammarian – Casey B.
  • Ah Counter – Emi B.
  • Timer – Sheryl R.
  • Word of Wisdom – Liz S.
  • Jokemaster – Steve F.


  • Most Effective Evaluator: Rob M.
  • Best Table Topics Speaker: Lauren D.
  • Speech of the Day: Pablo R.
  • Spark Plug Award: Steve F.

President Michael M. closed out the meeting.

Business & Reports:

  • Officers’ meeting next week; reports are due by 6 pm on Sunday.

Dia De Los Muertos: October 25, 2016

October 25, 2016 Maverick Club Meeting at Sun Valley High School – 13 total in attendance including 3 guests

Meeting Theme: Dia De Los Muertos

Sergeant At Arms Rahul I. called the meeting to order, led the pledge and the club mission statement, and introduced the Presiding Officer, President Michael M. After greeting the 2 guests, Michael then assumed the role of the evening’s Toastmaster.


  • Return visitor, Praveen M.
  • Past member Leks D.

Toastmaster Moments:

  • Mike K. said he met his new team of 80 the previous day and was able to introduce himself to them without using fillers and using his table topics skills.
  • Sheryl R. returned to a previous employwer and was warmly greeted by her colleagues. Last Thursday she visited another club and ended up giving an impromptu 5-7 minute speech titled “Explosions.”
  • Rahul I. kept his cool during a Q&A session at work!
  • Michael M. thanked the club for our thoughts and prayers and flowers sent over the previous 2 weeks following the sudden loss of his father-in-law. He also told of being able to speak well at his aunt’s suprise birthday party in Cali.


  • Paul F. “Life Lessons I Didn’t Learn in the Classroom”
    Competent Communication Manual, Project #6: Vocal Variety
    Paul imparted some lessons he’d learned as a cabbie paying his way through college in Chicago: stay with it, even when it is difficult; people will look out for you; and stretch yourself out of your comfort zone. He treated us to some great anecdotes along the way.  (Evaluated by Mike H.)
  • Casey B.. “Meditation Matters”
    Competent Communication Manual, Project #9: Persuade with Power
    Casey listens to podcasts by Tim Ferriss, who encouraged his listeners to take a 10-day meditation challenge; breathing and bringing the mind back after it wanders. Tony Robbins also teaches techniques for focusing on the heart and less on the brain, but also on gratitude. Dr. David Schnarch’s techniques of self-soothing have also influenced Casey. He challenged us to not be afraid of meditation; to take 10 minutes a day for the next 10 days and see how it could change our lives. (Evaluated by Sheryl R.)
  • Winona P. “The Raven, by Edgar Alan Poe”
    Interpretive Reading Advanced Manual, Project #2: Interpreting Poetry
    Winona treated us to a reading of Poe’s “The Raven,” complete with excellent pacing, vocal variety, and cadence. (Evaluated by Emi B.)

Table Topics:

  • Which of your relatives would you like to celebrate Dia De Los Muertos with?
    Rob M. said he’d like to introduce his newest grandson born today to his 4th generation great grandfather Alex McLeod, who brought his wife and children to the United States via ship.
  • What food would you use to keep deceased relatives happy?
    Cheryl C. said for her mother-in-law she would put out sticky buns, rice, and char siu bao, in honor of all that she had to go through for her family.
  • How does your family reminisce about late family members?
    Lauren D. said she loves how her family celebrates; by placing high importance on passing memories on through the telling of stories at gatherings and holidays.
  • How will you celebrate Dia De Los Muertos next week?
    Audrey D. probably will not celebrate the event, along with Halloween which is just not her thing, but instead reminisced about celebrating her friend Randy’s reappearance after a 3 year absence and how she celebrated his life after he lost a battle to Huntington’s Disease.


  • Toastmaster – Michael M.
  • Topicmaster – Liz S.
  • General Evaluator – Renee R.
  • Wordmaster – Rahul I.
    Word of the Day:  cadaverous (adjective) – resembling a corpse; pale, thin, bony
    “He had a cadaverous appearance.”
  • Grammarian – Michael K.
  • Ah Counter – Paul T.
  • Timer – Pablo R.
  • Word of Wisdom – Steve F.
  • Jokemaster – Audrey D.


  • Most Effective Evaluator: Emi B.
  • Best Table Topics Speaker: Cheryl C.
  • Speech of the Day: Paul F.
  • Spark Plug Award: Winona P.

President Michael M. closed out the meeting.

Business & Reports:

  • Emi B. moved to vote Cheryl C. and Lauren D. into membership and Liz S. seconded the motion. The motion passed. Welcome aboard, Cheryl and Lauren!
  • Spooky Tales!

Academics: October 18, 2016

October 18, 2016 Maverick Club Meeting at Sun Valley High School – 13 total in attendance including 3 guests

Meeting Theme: Academics

Substitute Sergeant At Arms Paul T. called the meeting to order, led the pledge and the club mission statement, and introduced the Presiding Officer, Vice President Education Deb M. After greeting the 3 guests, Deb then introduced Winona P. as the evening’s Toastmaster.


  • First time visitor, Lauren D.
  • First time visitor, Cheryl C.
  • Return visitor, Praveen M.

Toastmaster Moments:

  • Toastmaster Moments was not called for tonight.


  • Sheryl R. “You Thought What?”
    Success/Communication Series: Mental Flexibility Module
    In pursuit of her Advanced Communicator Gold Award, Sheryl led us through an exercise in mental flexibility, challenging us to look at things differently. The exercise included pairing up to read a scenario and decide whether statements that were made were provable or not based only on the information provided in the scenario.  (Evaluated by Deb M.)
  • Steve F. “How Many Snowflakes Does It Take to Build a Snowman?”
    Competent Communication Manual, Project #1: The Ice Breaker
    Just as each snowflake is unique, so too do our experiences make each of us unique. Some of Steve’s experiences include growing up in Denver, Colorado, going to college and majoring in accounting, traveling around the world and moving to Arizona, creating a family of a wife, two kids, and 3 dogs, and being involved in successful businesses culminating in his current career as a business coach. (Evaluated by Casey B.)

Table Topics:

  • If you could tach a class, what would it be and what would be on the syllabus?
    Rob M. said it would definitely be emergency management and safety.
  • What was the most memorable project, paper, or presentation?
    Paul T. said that was his speech done for the humorous speech contest as Chewbacca where he disqualified for coming in under time after forgetting an entire section of his speech.
  • What critique would you give of our educational system?
    Mike K. said he would promote greater equality in the system with increased use of technology.
  • Describe your favorite leader or professor.
    Guest Lauren D. said her AP Psychology teacher in high school provided greater examples and created an enjoyable class. She was saddened that this teacher lost a battle to cancer two years later.
  • What was the most worthless class you ever took?
    Returning guest Praveen M. said there was no such thing as a worthless class; there is always some application for knowledge.


  • Toastmaster – Winona P.
  • Topicmaster – Paul F.
  • General Evaluator – Liz S.
  • Wordmaster – Emi B.
    Word of the Day:  pedant (noun) – a person who annoys other people by correcting small errors and giving too much attention to minor details
  • Grammarian – Paul T.
  • Ah Counter – Renee R.
  • Timer – Rob M.
  • Word of Wisdom – Michael K.
  • Jokemaster – Paul T.


  • Most Effective Evaluator: Casey B.
  • Best Table Topics Speaker: Praveen M.
  • Speech of the Day: Steve F.
  • Spark Plug Award: Paul T. for taking on the Sergeant At Arms role for the week

Vice President Education Deb M. closed out the meeting.

Business & Reports:

  • Spooky Tales Event 6:30 pm on 11/1 at the Gilbert Historical Museum!
  • Flowers were sent to Suzanne M.’s family service on behalf of the club.