Together making a difference with Gavin Chisholm, the Division I Director

Let’s together hold hands. Let’s together achieve success. Let’s together reach for the stars and be the best that we can be.

-Gavin Chisholm

When it comes to working with the Division leaders, being a team player means that Gavin Chisholm, the Division I Director will not only facilitate individual members to reach their goals, but also help the entire Division to thrive. He strongly believes in the Division’s theme, “It is the heart that holds us together” and the thought of attending in-person meetings again, keeps Gavin’s heart warm as he looks forward to meeting all members of his Division face to face and sharing stories amid hugs, handshakes and lots of laughter in the true Toastmasters fashion, as soon as the current restrictions allow.

In the time that Gavin has been the head of Division I, he has learnt not to look at challenges as one big mountain, but to break them into bite sized chunks that are easier to manage. Referring to how it was for him when he first became the Division I Director, Gavin said, “It was overwhelming. It felt like this huge responsibility on one’s back and initially, it almost felt like I was drowning with all the information and knowing where I needed to go next. Fortunately, with mentorship from the District, the Division, Area Directors and so many Toastmasters who are always willing to help, I am managing the challenges well.”

Due to the despondency that COVI-19 has brought us, “Everyone in Division I needs to take hold of each other’s hand and just be sympathetic and understand where we are all coming from and the hardships we are going through. The most important lesson from Toastmasters during this time is just being able to listen, to hear someone’s story and empathise.” To Gavin, integrity, also one of the Toastmasters values, is on his “Essentials” list and it is a non-negotiable must-have. It is about being authentic, respecting one another, understanding each other, being open and standing by your words. If everybody performs their tasks with integrity, the Division will achieve great things.

Gavin and his team are very clear in the goals and objectives the Division has to accomplish and his role is to motivate and guide, without stifling them.  Division I covers “the Eastern half of South Africa, all the way to Maputo and Eswatini.”  It consists of 23 clubs spread in five areas.  Helio Macarrala is the Area I1 Director, then Fathima Moosa commands Area I2, with Ferdie De Bruyn heading Area I3, followed by Jesicca Mathabatha, the Area I4 Director and lastly, Kenneth Milanzi who oversees Area I5. A significant part of Gavin’s benchmark for success is the member experience which includes clubs running good meetings within the Toastmasters guidelines, members’ confidence to stand up and speak and their confidence and skills to lead. It also includes full DCP points meaning that club officers are being effectively trained, members’ dues are paid on time and new members are being properly recorded. Ensuring that all members have embarked on the Pathways journey and are completing the paths is also paramount as a success measure.

A number of Toastmasters from the District inspire and motivate Gavin constantly in his journey. To his members, he had this to say; “Let’s together hold hands. Let’s together achieve success. Let’s together reach for the stars and be the best that we can be.”

Division I can be contacted on;

+258 847 394 730

+27 827 530 906

Facebook- Toastmasters Division I

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