Division J is a part of the Toastmasters International organization. We are part of District 33 and we represent and serve Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, Moorpark and Newbury Park.
The J-Division Story
July 1, 2017
Division J of Toastmasters District 33 was created July 1, 2013, due to the vibrant growth and expansion of members and clubs in the Ventura County California area. Earlier, all the Toastmaster clubs in the county belonged to Division B. The new architecture became:
- The South East portion of the county is declared Division J, and includes communities of Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Moorpark, Westlake Village, and Newbury Park. Currently, there are 25 clubs with a member base of approximately 446.
- The North West portion of the county retained the name as Division B, and includes communities of Ventura, Camarillo, Oxnard, Ojai, Port Hueneme, and Point Mugu. Currently, there are 26 clubs with a member base of approximately 408.
On May 5 & 6, 2017, Division J hosted the District 33 Spring Conference at the Sheraton Hotel in Agoura Hills, CA. It was attended by over 200 Toastmasters for training, contests, networking, and inspiration. Conference Chair Brenda O’Brien received accolades from everyone that this was the best conference they had ever attended. She spared no detail in creating a world-class event.
Division J was awarded the Milo Graham Award for having the greatest attendance among all ten divisions, and Director Al Brown’s name is being engraved in the perpetual trophy award for District 33. This will be the fifteenth entry onto the District 33 recognition, and the first for Division J. (Hey, we’ve only been here four years!)
Additionally, the International Speech Contest was won by Division J’s own Melody Barooni, who will represent all of District 33 at the Regional and International Contests in Vancouver B.C. in August. She also was our contestant in the Table Topics competition at the district level.
By June 30, it was disclosed that Division J is recognized as President’s Distinguished, with the very incredible achievement that eight clubs finished the year as President’s Distinguished, one as Select, and six as Distinguished. In addition to exemplary leadership from Director Al Brown, the luminary Area Directors included Vaughan Miller (J1 & J4), Lenin Kancharla (J2), Josh King (J3), and Anita Garatie (J5).
This Division’s success directly contributed to the fantastic accomplishment of District 33 being recognized as President’s Distinguished, which had not happened here for forty years! Amazing! Kudos to the Top Three Leaders: Jamuna Ramnath, Guy Dawson, and Tim Mullins.
Interesting to note that Jamuna was the charter Division J Director, and we like to kid her that the “J” was named after her – maybe there’s something to that. It certainly gave her a good lift into District 33 leadership. Additionally, Tim is from Division B. We have strong leaders around here in Ventura County.
The incoming Division J Leadership Team has big boots to fill, that’s for sure. See the profiles on the website to learn more about these skillful Toastmasters and what they bring to the party. The incoming Directors include: Wayne Sebera, Dietmar Wagenknecht, Biswanath Dash, Ganesan Satishkumar, Catherine Svitek, Thor Challgren, and Bozena Chorazewicz. Publicity and website work is ably handled by Linda Mann. All of these leaders are skilled, energetic, and dedicated to the success and enjoyment of all Division J stakeholders and participants.
Wayne Sebera, DTM
(incoming Division J Director)