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Esther Phahla Led Toastmasters District 12 to ‘President’s Distinguished’

On August 18, 2016, Toastmasters District 12 was recognized at the Toastmasters International Convention Hall of Fame in Washington D.C. for achieving President’s Distinguished in 2015-2016. President’s Distinguished is the highest recognition a District can achieve. This is similar to the Olympics where you have Bronze, Silver and Gold. President’s Distinguished is Gold. “As the 1st District Director, I am excited to see our District achieve this status for the 1st time in 20 years. District 12 last achieved President’s Distinguished in 1995-1996. What makes it more special is that I have been living in the United States for 20 years now”, said Esther.  Toastmasters District 12 ended the year 2015-2016 with 118 Toastmasters clubs which comprised of more than 1,800 members, located in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

The Top Three District Leaders, Esther Phahla (District Director), Angie Nett (Program Quality Director), and David Carpenter (Club Growth Director) made a great Team through collaboration, planning, strategizing and execution. They put their members first and did the best they can for their benefit. In Toastmasters, the member is at the Top of the hierarchy. They also had a great Team of 5 Division Directors who went above and beyond to guide and mentor the 25 Area Directors, who in turn provided a link between the District and the club officers and members. The Past District Governors’ Advisory Committee was also instrumental by sharing their wisdom and experience. Their Region Advisor, Regina Rhymes, was very encouraging to help keep them focused on the members and the Mission of the District. The members were motivated to work on their professional and personal goals in return that compounded to the District success.

District 12 is one of only two Districts that achieved Presidents Distinguished in North America.  District 12 is #2 in North America out of 70 Districts and #13 in the world out of 99 Districts.

In addition to the above recognition, the Top Three Toastmasters District 12 Leaders, Esther Phahla, Angie Nett and David Carpenter, were recognized with the Region 10 Spirit Award for the excellent Team work within their Region. This is the second time Esther Phahla received this award as part of the District Leadership Team. The 1st time she received it she was the Lieutenant Governor of Marketing in 2013-2014.   “I am honored and humbled to have this opportunity to serve our District and I am grateful to all our members in District 12 who made it possible”, said Esther. Our District Theme for 2015-2016 was “Going for the Gold. Imagine the Possibilities!” ‘I am excited that ‘We Got the Gold’.

Toastmasters International is a non-profit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs. Esther Phahla served as District 12 Director for 2015-2016 and was responsible for directly administering and overseeing the district’s day-to-day operations, finances, and human resources by empowering the District leadership Team to work together towards the District mission while supporting each leader in his or her development as a leader. To find a Toastmasters club near you, visit to invest in yourself