Beverley Steeves, ACB
TM Member since: 10/1/1997
My original purpose when I joined Toastmasters was to seek assistance to overcome the shyness I experienced. When I first began my journey as a Charter Member of White Rock Toastmasters, I embraced the changes within me that began to take place. Opportunities presented themselves, and doors began to open for me in both my career and my personal life.
After taking a number of years away from Toastmasters, I decided to join Professional Edge. I found the club to be dynamic, full of vigor, inspirational, helpful, positive, and, a lot of fun. These elements and more, provide for a wonderful learning environment, I realized what I had been missing, and was drawn back.
Alan Warburton, DTM
Charter Member, TM Member since: 2/1/2003
Alan is a Distinguished Toastmaster and an experienced public speaker. He has twice been the Provincial Champion in the Humorous Speech Contest and twice been the Provincial Runner-Up in the International Speech Contest. In 2013 he won the District 21 International Speech Contest.
Alan is a retired school principal who continues to enjoy the many leadership opportunities provided by Toastmasters.
He believes that the Professional Edge Toastmasters Club is an excellent place to continually build your speaking skills.
Cheryl Crotty, CC
There’s a part of me that has always wanted to be a great communicator. I knew I needed help and I remember going to a Toastmasters meeting more than twenty-five years ago when I was living in Dallas, Texas. The members were great and very welcoming but I let my hectic life and shyness keep me from going to another meeting. It was in late 2012 when I finally took another step along my Toastmasters journey …. what an incredible pathway to personal and professional growth!
I didn’t realize when I first attended Professional Edge that members are advanced in their experience and skills. Had I known, I probably would have felt intimidated and perhaps I wouldn’t have ventured into the lovely, theatre-like venue where I was warmly greeted and where I immediately felt at home. I joined that very day and soon made my first “Icebreaker” speech. I quickly learned that it’s not only presenting that helps me develop my communication skills, but that the contemplation and self-reflection that precede the words is a remarkable part of the process. My confidence continues to grow and for over five years now, I have been taught and touched by Professional Edge speakers at every single meeting. It’s exciting to share my growth and to see fellow members grow in their expertise.
The Toastmasters experience is amazing! I am privileged to be a part of this very special club. If you want to improve your communication and leadership skills, I encourage you to visit Professional Edge. If you do visit, I hope you don’t let anything hold you back and that it’s not too long before you come again.
Patricia Boston, ACB, CL
TM Member since: 10/1/2014
I joined Toastmasters in October 2014 to build confidence and to learn to get over everyone’s second greatest fear, Public Speaking. As I advanced in my speaking journey I joined Professional Edge to challenge myself. I knew that through Pro Edge I would learn to be a better speaker; I have learned so much through speaking and receiving feedback from its members. Open feedback is a real asset to speakers and other club members.
As Assistant to Area 51 Director and Pro Edge Treasurer, I am learning on-going leadership skills.
Professional Edge is a friendly, encouraging advanced club open to anyone who wants to further their Toastmasters journey. Early morning monthly meetings allow members to start their second Wednesday of the month on a real positive note.
Gary Drouillard, CC, ALB
TM Member since: 5/1/2013
Gary is enjoying a post-career afterlife in South Surrey, BC. His greatest professional achievement was pioneering a 10-year mission to make it possible for Canadians to use their cellphones around the world.
Today, Gary recognizes that his past public-speaking performances could have been done so much better had he taken some Toastmaster training earlier in his career. Alas, it’s never too late to learn how to do things better for the next opportunity.
Gary is also a member of a weekly club, and has served in various club officer roles. He sees Professional Edge as such a rich treat, that if consumed more often than once a month, could lead to an overwhelming overdose of public-speaking bliss. The caliber of Professional Edge presentations, along with the insightful and uplifting evaluations, are a catalyst spurring one on to greater heights.
Ron Newell, DTM
TM Member since: 1/1/2009
I was invited to The Professional Edge meeting as a guest test speaker for The International Evaluation Contest. I was so impressed with the quality of the evaluations and the constructive feedback required to improve on our communication skills.
The members of Professional Edge are not only good at what they do, they make it an enjoyable atmosphere with their distinct personalities always at play!
I have discovered unlimited opportunities to take my communication and leadership skills to the next level thanks to Professional Edge Toastmasters.
Ron has served as D21 Logistics Manager, Area Governor, President of Surrey Toastmasters and VP of Membership for Professional Edge Toastmasters. He’s also a ProEdge Past President, event manager for TEDx White Rock 2018 and a District 21 Club Coach and Mentor.
Ros Hansen, DTM
Charter Member, TM Member since: 9/1/2000
Ros enjoys the challenge of belonging to Professional Edge, where the high calibre of speakers and evaluators pushes her to be a better speaker and evaluator. She’s grateful for the opportunity for learning, friendship and inspiration that flows through the many amazing people in this group.
Ros has served in various club officer positions, as well as District Administration Manager (2016-17), Area 61 Director (2015-16) Area 63 Governor (2006/07. She’s presented various educational sessions/workshops at Area, Division and District events, including ‘Digging for Diamonds: Effective Evaluations’, ‘Creative Thinking’ and ‘Super Judges’. She won an award ‘in recognition of outstanding service to Area 63 Toastmasters’, and the Division F 2013 – 2014 ‘At the Helm‘ award for ‘heart, passion, and commitment’.
Since retiring from her career in education, Ros has found various outlets for creativity, and has been employed and/or volunteered for various good causes. She’s provided support and created promotional materials for agencies such as BCCRN (BC Association of Community Response Networks), NICE (National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly), Seniors Come Share, Finding Home Seniors Dialogues, the Beach House Theatre Society, and a local Dog Rescue Society.
Sergeant @ Arms
TM Member since: 11/1/2016
Rhona joined Professional Edge in 2016 because she wanted to become a more effective speaker. Rhona is passionate about people and enjoys any excuse for a gathering. Born in South Africa, Rhona immigrated to Canada in 1977 with her parents and siblings. She is married to astronomy-loving, adventure-spirited Walt, and has a brilliant son David, who will be 30 this year. (Where did the time go? )
Rhona’s personal mission is to be the presence of peace, to share her love for life, and to be grateful for every day.
Duncan Robinson, CC, CL
TM Member since: 11/1/2008
Duncan joined Toastmasters in 2008. He recognized that in order to grow, he must have a stronger ability to communicate. Toastmasters, in his opinion, has delivered a Royal Flush. Of all the opportunities that have occurred over the last 6 years, Duncan really believes a large part of this is due to Toastmasters.
Duncan actively participates in all contests, knowing that this is a growing curve, and it forces you to get creative. He assembles this journey of Toastmasters as a Paradigm to the journey of Life. The more you invest the more you gain and grow.
Duncan has been touched by a life experience that garners him well in his day-to-day work with Freedom 55 Financial. He encourages clients and friends to dig into the planning process, because our ‘one day’ will come, when we are no longer able to plan.
Pro Edge will take you to your next level…I encourage you to reach your new level of Commitment.
Haddy Abra, DTM
Charter Member, TM Member since: 6/1/2005
Haddy believes that the quality of life is determined by how effectively we learn to communicate – with others, with ourselves, and with the God of our understanding. As a shy, introverted boy, this was not always easy. He broke out of his shell as a salesman and went on to become a charter member of the B.C. Association of Clinical Counsellors. With one foot planted in the world of counselling, he put the other in the world of natural health where he became a successful Doctor of Nutripathy and the President of the Canadian Coalition of Wholistic Health Organizations. His first public speaking engagements were more than thirty years ago when he gave talks on behalf of the Health Action Network Society. He has also taught at night school.
Joining Toastmasters really helped him to fine tune what he was already doing. Although he was an experienced speaker, he quickly discovered he had a lot to learn. He joined Surrey Toastmasters in January of 2006, Speakers Advantage in 2007 and became a charter member of The Professional Edge. He has been on the executive of all three clubs in various capacities. Becoming a Distinguished Toastmaster twice in his first five years, he has completed all 15 of the advanced manuals, has been an Outstanding Member three times, has twice been recognized as the Toastmaster of the Year in Surrey Toastmasters, was the District 21 Area Governor of the Year for 2007-2008 and served as Division F Governor. With more than two hundred Toastmasters speeches under his belt, he remains very active.
A long-time practitioner of meditation, he is fascinated with the human mind and its capabilities. Now semi-retired, he employs hypnosis and Neuro-Linguistic Programming as tools in helping others.
Jamie MacDonald, DTM
Charter Member. TM Member since: 10/1/2002
The Professional Edge is about being your best. It is a club that expects you to “bring it” every time. When I prepare a speech for this club, I anticipate the opportunity, as I know I am speaking before the best, and they are expecting something great. They are going to provide a solid evaluation: positive, insightful, and a great contribution to my progress. I have seen how we get better when we are with people who want the best from us.
Jenny Peng, ACS, ALB
TM member since 1/1/2013
Joan Ouchi, CC, CL
TM member since 9/1/2011
John Beck, DTM
TM Member since: 4/1/2011
John is a distinguished toastmaster awarded the “At the Helm Award” 2012/2013 in honour and memory of Ray Helm, a fellow member who exemplified heart passion and commitment contributing to the personal growth of members.
John is the Past Division F Governor accomplishing with his team the President Distinguished status for 6 areas and over 30 clubs in 2012/2013.
“Professional Edge is a unified group of quality members consistently seeking to improve their speaking and presentation skills. Whether you are an advanced toastmaster or an outside speaker with some skills this club will take you to a higher level with heart, passion and commitment!”
John loves telling stories! “The enthusiasm, passion and art of delivering a good message while connecting with the audience are fabulous feelings of joy and excitement.” John has been to the District Conference Finals for both the International Toastmaster Humor and Speech Contest. In 2013 he placed second in the Province for the Humor Contest with a speech titled “Thumbs Up!” To watch the speech, click here>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5J7HTAlTwJo>.
“Participating at the club level contests is a wonderful and grateful opportunity to progressively move forward improving your speaking abilities, richly rewarding.”
Karen Van Delft, CC, CL
TM MEMBER SINCE: 11/1/2008
Upon joining the Professional Edge, I discovered other advanced toastmasters who are committed to growing their businesses and investing in themselves. When we strive to grow, learn, and share our success stories and victories as well as our low points and lessons, we all benefit.
Joining this professional team, I have found camaraderie and friendship amongst such a quality group of successful, self-starters and entrepreneurs. Like Winston Churchill once said, “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.
One extremely valuable lesson I have learned is in listening. Through listening we learn and are able to give encouraging, effective feedback to each other. This club provides us opportunities to hone our listening skills and allow us to grow exponentially, especially our communication skills, skills which helps us in every field of our lives.
Ken Cowie, ACB, CL
TM member since 1/1/1999
I joined Surrey TM In Jan 1989.In the beginning I zestfully achieved My Competent TM in the first two years. I served on the executive and attended meetings faithfully. I enjoyed doing evaluations and taking on Leadership roles. Back then we had no mentoring program and I used to write out my Full Speech then spend hours trying to memorize. I stopped doing speeches for years because I just did not have the time to prepare the speeches in that manner.
In the Fall of 2012 after almost 25 years in TM, I found myself at an Pro-Edge Open House and was very impressed with the quality of speeches from members with many less years than myself. I joined and have learned more in the next 1.5 years from these members than many of the previous years.
I have listened to the many evaluations of each speech and am learning more about effectively communicating The Message. I have asked members how THEY prepare their speeches and am learning how to efficiently prepare a speech instead of trying to memorize it.
Surrey Toastmasters has provided me with skills and the encouragement to enjoy the FULL Toastmasters experience which is not available at an advanced club, however I believe my skills are improving at an excelled pace because of my short time at Pro-Edge.
TM member since 12/1/2017
Noel Bentley, DTM
TM Member since: 10/1/2010
Professional Edge is a club that provides its members with a rare speaking opportunity for Toastmasters. You, as a speaker, have the benefit of delivering your speech in a space designed for presentations and receiving feedback from some of the most helpful and decorated Toastmasters around. When you add our welcoming and friendly members to the mix you have a Toastmaster meeting that I believe everyone should experience.
I started in Toastmasters six years ago and have been a member in many clubs in two provinces. Being a part of this organization has given me a great deal of personal satisfaction, growth and opportunity and I believe it holds the same potential for everyone. If you have any interest in improving your public speaking and networking with others who share the same interest, I encourage you to join us at our next meeting.
In recent years, Sheila has been helping her entrepreneurial clients with all of their marketing needs as a Certified Personal Brand Strategist and Certified Social Media Director with her own company Mantra By Design Ltd. Sheila has taught Internet Marketing since 1998 and has previously owned retail health and wellness clinics. Sheila has also held positions in Project Management and Relationship Management working with a variety of corporate departments. In addition to her corporate work Sheila teaches and lectures on the topic of Internet Marketing. She has taught ‘Marketing on the Internet’ at Saint Mary’s University since 1998 and has been the guest speaker at a number of business events.