Talking to John Sherber
Based on an interview, September 2nd 2016
“I stood for election as Program Quality Director because I thought I could work with two interesting gentlemen to create a movement that will be good for all members of District 21.” John Sherber said. “It’s a steep learning curve but I think we have the opportunity to build something worthwhile.
“I had no idea what I was getting into and I’ve never worked so hard in my life. Before I retired I worked in the healthcare system and I also worked at Thrifty Foods for 17 years. That’s where I learned about good customer service. It made an impression on me that Alex Campbell, the owner, knew the names of most of the hundreds of employees. Toastmasters, however, is a more complex organization – we have so many different clubs over such a wide area. Each club has their own ideas and their own ways of doing things, but we are all part of a bigger picture. The individual member and the organization can’t exist without each other.
“We need each other. We have to let members know that we’re one of many on the same path, all looking to achieve something unique. We can all help each other and learn from each other. Because we are such a wide area – from Cranbrook in the east to the northern tip of Vancouver Island – I need to hear from members what you need, what you are looking for in Toastmasters and what you can give to Toastmasters. When members are achieving they recognize the personal growth the program offers for stretching themselves.
“The Trio, the three of us who direct District 21, Alan Warburton who is District Director, myself and Michael Bown, Club Growth Director, are working harder than any group I’ve ever seen. It has been a profound experience for me. We are all committed to the membership and we now have a three-year plan to bring the District into great shape. We’re doing so much this year, with the hope that we can become a Distinguished District and everything will run more smoothly as we work together.
“In August 2017 we have the opportunity to be on stage as a Distinguished District – a once in a lifetime opportunity as the Toastmaster International Convention comes to Vancouver – IF we can all pull together and get to that level.
“Myself, I like to be surrounded by good people. I’ve been in Toastmasters since 2001 and I was Area Governor in 2003. Glyn Williams mentored me to become Division A Director in 2007 – 2008 when there were 42 clubs on the lower part of Vancouver Island. I left for a couple of years and came back the year D21 split. Pat Johnson (Past International President) helped us and we developed programs such as ‘Speaker to Trainer’ and judges training so we had a Distinguished Division.
“I hope to run for District 21 Director next year, so my goal is to get better known. I’ll meet more people at the conference in November. I do believe that a leader is someone who members can buy into and believe in. It’s a combination of skill sets, and one of them is the talent for finding the right people.
“When I attended the Convention in Washington this past August all of the new Program Quality Directors received training. At one session we were seated at a table of six and given a subject that we had to cooperate on and decide how to present. At our table were people from all different countries with all different backgrounds and approaches, but we all had a part in it; we had a unified approach and we made a strong presentation. My style is to watch where things are going and then make my contribution. I like to work behind the scenes, to create an environment where everyone is working together.
“That’s what I hope to do with District 21, pull us together, help us achieve our individual aims and make the District Distinguished. Will you help me?”