Post written by Moira Beaton DTM

Penny_AGAwardEach year District 71 awards the trophy for Area Governor of the Year for ‘outstanding service and achievement’ to an Area Governor who has performed their role above and beyond the call of duty.

There are 39 Areas and Area Governors in District 71 which covers Scotland, Ireland and part of England, and Division S is proud to announce that this year,  the award has gone to Penny Haywood Calder, Immediate Past Area 30 Governor and member of Haymarket Toastmasters in Edinburgh.

Penny, who has been a member of Toastmasters for more than 13 years, is an enthusiastic  exponent of the Toastmasters education programme. A  businesswoman who runs her own PR company, and well known in the Scottish business world, Penny uses her influence, energy and enthusiasm to ‘talk up Toastmasters’ wherever she goes.

AGAwardOn Monday, Eoin McDunphy, this year’s Area 30 Governor, presented Penny with the trophy during a normal club meeting at Haymarket Toastmasters.

‘I was almost speechless,’ said Penny, ‘it was totally unexpected.’

Asked about her year as AG, Penny said

It was also a tough year given that 8 weeks in, I nearly lost a hand through a garden acquired infection and the antibiotics messed up my immune system, so I was mildly post viral most of the time.

Plus my PR firm landed a high stress major incident crisis communications contract. Somehow being Area Governor didn’t seem too daunting by comparison!

I enjoyed using my TI skills for real, giving a series of talks on TI at business groups in Edinburgh and Livingston and I succeeded in driving new members into clubs.

The year went by in a flash as I scrambled through to complete a list of essential deadlines whilst maintaining a focus on new club formation.

That meant checking out 7 potential new clubs, one of which is now running at top speed. That’s the company club for staff at State Street, led by the energy, wisdom, intelligence and enthusiasm of its founder President: Max Ridder Patrick.

I’m currently in the throes of setting up another club at Edinburgh University. And spotted yet another opportunity last week…

I doubt if anyone with any imagination leaves the Area Governor role feeling they have accomplished everything they set out to do, and I am no exception.

That I achieved as much as I did is down to the support of the Area clubs’ presidents and committees, plus the Division Scotland team. And most of all, thanks to the unfailing willingness and patience of my much better organised successor: Eoin McDunphy.

Eoin was a great help at mopping up behind me … I wish him every success with his insightful and enriching mission for the 2014-15 year: to boost mutual support and collaboration among the Edinburgh clubs for the benefit of all members.”