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A message from Greg Kay (club’s co-founder) on the 10th Anniversary Celebration

by on October 3, 2013

Hi Dana. Yes, the event was orchestrated well and it was most enjoyable. I’m proud of you and the Club.

History of Agfa CHEERS Toastmasters:

· As Area Governor of the new Area 35 (which included Manumax, KW Toastmasters, Silver Tongues, Concordia), I had a mandate of starting ONE new club in the Area.
· In Fall of 2002, while attending a meeting of the Silver Tongues Toastmasters Club, a gentleman by the name of Saravana Rajan expressed a desire to form a Toastmasters club at his workplace, Mitra.
· In winter of 2002-2003, we held a 4-week Speechcraft course for about a dozen interested Mitra employees.
· Through further recruiting efforts after the Speechcraft, we were able to enroll at least 20 charter members.
· Our first Charter President was Saravana Rajan. Our first Charter Vice-President of Education was Rosalind Mumford.
· It was Rosalind who, in her British charm, coined the club name as CHEERS which stands for “Come Help Every Employee Reach Success”. It was a common salutation to open a meeting with “Cheers!”.
· Jim Lawson (Area 4 Governor, of the Kitchener Clubs) was a fellow Project Sponsor while I became Club Mentor attending and coaching at weekly meetings and working with the new executive over approximately 10 weeks.
· Meanwhile, Jim founded CRAzy Talkers Toastmasters at the Canada Revenue Agency in downtown Kitchener. I helped him with this Speechcraft programme which again, ran 4 weeks and was held at Manulife. Jim would go on to be Club Mentor for CRAzy Talkers.
· CHEERS Toastmasters was open only to employees. Over the years, as a result of some hiring freezes, the number of members reduced to a critical low.
· When Mitra became Agfa, the Club Name changed from CHEERS to Agfa CHEERS.
· In 2009, I asked if I could become a member. They said Yes. I proposed that we open the Club to both corporate employees and the general public. I supported Brian Kennedy, then President, as his VP, Education. We began to build up our numbers.
· I recall one very special day when Table Topics was a serious international topic. I was impressed as each attendee rose to speak about their own heritage and nationality. It was clear that we had a very culturally diverse membership. It also seemed that the general demographic was one of young professionals just starting families. Very cool.
· Over the last few years, it has been fun to watch Agfa CHEERS become more and more involved in Area, Division and more recently, District, with respect to participating in Contests and Conferences.
· In summary, Agfa CHEERS has become a Club on the Move

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