D59 DD 2016-17 Markus Kuenkel

Dear Fellow Toastmasters and Visitors,

It is my pleasure as your District 59 Director to welcome you all for yet another term of enjoyment and fun. Great times ahead!

Many of you have expressed concern to me about the proposed plan to reform our district into three districts because it seems we will lose our cultural diversity. Many ideas have already come up during the past years on how to compensate for this. A first step in this direction is this year’s motto:

“Diversity – Together”

Within your clubs, areas and divisions, and as a district, let’s enjoy what we still have and work from now on to maintain and nurture diversity, this special richness of Europe. The Brexit will definitely have an impact on our lives. However, Toastmasters International, as the world’s leading organization in communication and leadership, and we as D59 together with our sister district 95 can build on our strength by building an informal network of sister clubs throughout Europe. It is based on the still existing relationships between sister cities all over Europe and the world. This network has established close and personal ties between citizens throughout the world. It has also set the foundation for the EU as we have it now (before Brexit). The D59 leadership team proposes to use this network and continue to enjoy diversity – together in our clubs. If this succeeds, it might become possible to hold pan-European Toastmaster conferences every once in a while. This is the vision, every Toastmaster should ask him- or herself, what he or she can contribute to it. We just have to spread the word and get started individually.

Our District 59 family has grown with the integration of Greece, which has become a part of Division G together with Italy. Welcome to our District Fellow Toastmasters from Greece: 10 new chartered and prospective clubs, and about 200 more members of our family. We look forward to visiting with you in Athens at the District Executive Committee Meeting on 2-3 September, and then meeting all of you in Madrid at our next District Conference on 12-13 November 2016. Congratulations to past Area Director Δημήτριος Τ. Διαμαντόπουλος and to the new Area Directors Metaxia Kritsidima and Apostolos Koumarinos, and to all the leaders who have supported the Greek clubs.

Enjoy the new challenges, explore your opportunities within our great organization and have fun.

Markus Kuenkel, DTM
D59 Director 2016/17