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Interview with Toastmaster Carl Henry Petit-Frère, Division D Director

Updated: Mar 6, 2022

Toastmaster, Field Officer Manager for Save the Children, Haiti.

His mantra:

“Serve with your heart, serve with excellence and integrity, continue to dream”!

Why did you join Toastmasters?

I visited a club in 2006 when I was a student and I liked the way in which persons were speaking, thereafter I met someone else who encouraged me to join and I am still here. I am proud that I am part of the Toastmasters family.

You have completed level 5 of the Pathways Programme, Motivational Strategies and are pursuing level 3 of the path Persuasive Influence. Tell me why the choice of these paths.

I love personal development, and in my speeches, I always try to inspire people to see the good in themselves. I work with young people and children and I use my voice to change something in society.

Pursuing Motivational Strategies and Persuasive Influence paths is a way to ensure that I can speak to the people of Haiti about who they are and the way in which they have to deal with trauma and other challenges in life. We live in a country where the context is a difficult one and many values have been lost. However, I really think that a change has to come.

Do you think that being a Toastmaster has helped you to perform your role of Field Officer, Save the Children even better than if you were not a Toastmaster?

Because of Toastmasters, I discovered in myself someone I had not seen before. For a very long time I tried to secure leadership positions, but it was not easy because I did not know exactly how to formulate my thoughts. Toastmasters gave me the opportunity to be more concise in what I am saying and also to be more powerful with my thoughts and my ideas.

When people see my profile, they know that they can trust me. I show respect to people, even those who are my supervisors. It is a very challenging job, but at the same time I create time for travel and leisure. It is something that I enjoy doing and I can continue to do both.

I noticed one of your core values is integrity, which is also one of the core values of Toastmasters International. Talk to me a bit more about integrity.

Growing up in a small town, my mom insisted that we become good persons. She taught us exactly how to behave in society and it would be a shame that one of us would do something to end up in jail. She told all of her children to keep being the best version of themselves. I think it is a very good value and if all the people all over the world should embrace that, I am sure that the world would change for the better.

How did you prepare to offer yourself for service as a Division Director in District 81?

When I became the President of my club and also the Toastmaster of the Year, I told myself that I think that I can be a Division Director as I am now prepared. I was also encouraged by a former Division Director and today I can say that I am proud because our team is very dedicated. Even though most of them are young, they are committed. We know that people are looking at us and we ensure that we do not disappoint. We do our best to ensure that we deliver.

What were some of the targets that you would have set yourself as a Division Director? And now that we are almost six months into the term, do you think that you are achieving those targets?

I think that when you become a Division Director or occupy any position of leadership, you have great ambitions. The focus was on membership and achieving education goals. We are still working on recruitment. The mandate is to become President Distinguished.

Some clubs are very advanced in the recruitment process, and I am very proud of the clubs that have already inducted many members. The focus is also on training leaders and I must congratulate the Vice Presidents Education. We are constantly assessing and encouraging persons to consistently pursue their education goals rather than wait until the end of the Toastmasters year. We are doing our best to become a President Distinguished Division again.

What are the plans going forward for the next six months?

We have 31 clubs in the Division and focus will be placed on the clubs that are struggling. We also have to focus on forming new clubs. I have no doubt that all Toastmasters are on their way to pursuing their paths with pride. I have to encourage them and work closely with the Area Directors, Club Presidents and Vice Presidents Education to ensure that they continue to encourage their members to take their paths seriously.

We will be launching a youth campaign in order to transfer values and virtues to young people. Our society needs to change and the world needs to change and we have to start with young people. They are at the heart of this campaign and Toastmasters will share key messages with them.

What is your message that you want to send to Toastmasters in District 81?

My message is to ensure that we continue to grow, that we work on our communication and leadership skills and ensure that we serve with our heart, with excellence and integrity.

My wish is for District 81 to become Smedley again. It depends on all of us to ensure that we always display pride. It is our responsibility to take ourselves seriously and continue to dream. It is the best way to guarantee that your District, your Area, your Club become Distinguished. That is my message for you in District 81.

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