August Speaker Night Recap

It was a hot evening for Speakers Bureau!

Emcee Sophia Leung engaged the audience, juggled the agenda with a late arriving speaker and delivered a fun, engaging program.

As usual, the round robin evaluations brought tremendous insight and recommendations.

The Meet the Pro segment was incredible as Branding Evangelist Gerry Foster delivered big time. His credentials and branding expertise are truly impressive – unparalleled actually – and he engaged the audience with a powerful presentation and a free offer that several attendees acted upon.

Featured Speaker, Robert Lauria raised the volume and wow’d us with his presentation of Special Education Behind the Curtain. Some would call him the Stephen Hawking of Special Education and his program has potential for main stream audiences and hot topics such as Limiting Bullying and Curbing Discrimination.

Chair Kevin Graham led a discussion on Required Assets for Paid Speakers, which emphasized the need for ‘something to say’ and ‘something to send.’

A speaker video is important for speakers working to get paid gigs, and a book can be a business card for thought leaders. But at the end of the day, you really just need ‘something to say’ and ‘something to send.’


SPEAKERS BUREAU is a free forum every 4th WED. We meet at 7pm in Costa Mesa (Mesa Verde United Methodist Church). It’s a warm, welcoming environment (at least until the round robin evaluations begin)

Come to Speakers Bureau – 7pm Fourth WED.
(NOTE: November and December dates will vary due to holidays.)

Next meeting is WED 9.25.

July Speaker Night Recap

Speakers Bureau July 2019 was incredible.

Emcee and DTM Chris Collins ran the program in a crisp manner, which was important as we had a full schedule. It was an empowering event, insightful and the main character (YOU, THE AUDIENCE) delivered with compelling recommendations for the speakers.

The Meet the Pro segment is a new segment and we kicked it off with a true professional. Certified Speaking Professional, Mr. Tod Novak (the rare profit that actually is honored in his hometown), engaged the audience with his journey as a professional speaker… and like most of us, it didn’t begin in a convention center or concert hall… one of his first gigs was in “The Red Barn.”

Those in attendance gained tremendous insight from Tod’s presentation and Q&A session. Thank you Tod! The Meet the Pro segment is a high-value view into the journey toward becoming a professional speaker.

Featured Speaker, Optimal Performance Coach John W. Robinson performed and wow. His program was more than you could handle and the audience feedback was powerful. He has tremendous stage presence, compelling material and the Speakers Bureau process delivered to help him develop his message toward paid presentations. Expect John to speak again soon and thanks to our main character, YOU THE AUDIENCE, he is going to take his program to new heights.

Be sure to watch for his next appointment later this year, as his material is truly empowering and the next iteration promises to rock your world.

Our other Featured Speaker was Founder’s District’s very own VP Public Relations, Sal Perez. Sal spoke on a faith-based program he represents for youth camps called Trail Life USA.

Whether you have kids or not, you would have benefitted from his presentation. He nailed it. Sal’s not doing this for money or to “get paid,” he’s doing it for the love of it. But just the same, the material and presentation needs to be compelling. And even though he nailed it, the insightful main character (YOU, THE AUDIENCE) delivered recommendations to make it ever more compelling.


SPEAKERS BUREAU is a free forum every 4th WED. We meet at 7pm in Costa Mesa (Mesa Verde United Methodist Church). It’s a warm, welcoming environment (at least until the round robin evaluations begin)

Come to Speakers Bureau – 7pm Fourth WED.

Next meeting is WED 8.28.

June Speaker Night Recap

Speakers Bureau June 2019 was an exciting evening filled with compelling story and insightful evaluations.

The educational informed speakers on what makes a good speaker introduction and the use of Outros (similar to an Introduction but rather a written set of comments for the person to make who follows you on stage, typically the host).

Outros are a powerful way to ensure the audience takes action once you leave the stage.

The Featured Speakers were outstanding!
Food Scientist Sophia Leung shared insights designed to empower college students for employment success, with her speech: “Are You Fully-Grown?”

Author, Speaker and Cancer Survivor Louise Hyland delivered a compelling presentation which highlighted common blame-shaming of cancer patients… and she also shared incredible insights into not being so judgmental.

Emcee David Kline led a high energy event and we wish you were there, too.

Come to Speakers Bureau – 7pm Fourth WED.

Next meeting is WED 7.24.

Humble Beginnings for New Chair Kevin Graham, DTM

You get out of life what you put into it.
As new Chair of Founder’s District Speakers Bureau… I’m excited, honored and humbled to serve. My vision for Speakers Bureau is that our forum is so compelling, fun and the speakers so fantastic… that Speakers Bureau is mentioned in every club meeting.

I’m excited because the opportunity is massive.
Toastmasters is the world’s leading organization to develop listening, thinking and speaking skills and the Speakers Bureau serves as a stretch program. With workplace disruption and new skills being required in the marketplace, we empower Toastmasters to speak beyond the club level.

I’m honored because I feel there is a tremendous fit.
Passionate about empowering others, I’ve long been a practitioner of communication as a technology seller who has qualified for President’s Clubs in four different Fortune 500 companies, and a former IBM Worldwide Rookie of the Year, as well as a student of communication (DTM and a member of National Speakers Association and past president of the Los Angeles Chapter, NSA GLAC).

I’m humbled because I stand on the shoulders of giants.
The giants before me include recent Chair Lionnel Yamentou, longstanding former Chair and communications guru Victor Broski, and the legendary, ultra-professional, ultra-altruistic, the late, great Jack Nichols. I am forever grateful for the work of these great leaders and the other unnamed kingpins that have been the foundation of this forum.

Thank you to the district leadership, our facility Host Mary Berg, Mesa Verde United Methodist Church and our anonymous donor.

Ricky Lacorte

About Ricky Lacorte
Ricky Lacorte epitomized the bad boy image because he was a bully, gangster and recognized by law enforcement. He was going down a dark path and told he would end up in one of two places… jail or a casket.

He was saved by the most unlikely hero… his music teacher, who he endlessly insulted. Ricky saw no potential in himself, but one sentence of encouragement from his music teacher led him to a life of music through band and choir.

Ricky’s mothers continued to support his musical endeavors and even shared a life lesson or two.

With the encouragement of his music teacher and his mom Ricky’s path took him from gangster to band member to singer to DJ/Host to competitive speaker.

His chaotic childhood didn’t stop him from achieving his dream of giving back by helping inspire the un-inspirable.

An interview of Ricky Lacorte:

MJ Shores

Talk Title
Tell Me a Tale: How to Woo Your Audience through Storytelling

Talk Synopsis
MJ Shores will share her expertise on the most powerful and timeless form of communication: storytelling. She will present exciting new discoveries in neuroscientific research on how storytelling affects our brains and decision-making abilities. Learn how leaders and businesses have built large and impassioned followers and brands through storytelling and how you can do the same in your own public speaking engagements.

About MJ Shores
MJ is an award-winning marketer and public speaker who has successfully led organizations to position themselves at the forefront of their industries.

Her professional background spans the private, public and non-profit sectors. She has served in leadership roles at top global business schools, including the Wharton School of Business, UCLA, and UC Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business. MJ also taught Organizational Behavior, International Trade, and Negotiations at the International University of Moscow in Russia.

She earned bachelor degrees in Economics and History from Guilford College and Arizona State University, respectively, graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa.

To contact MJ Shores:

Crystal H. Vo

Talk Title
Finding Your Voice

Talk Synopsis
Crystal shares the incredible and inspiring story of of a mother, a wife, a daughter and a passionate writer. She overcame many tragical events: wars, death in the family, physical and mental abuse, depression, homelessness. Today she is a public servant serving those who are underprivileged which is an honor for her to give back. She raises two young adult children who are pursuing higher education in college.

About Crystal H. Vo
Crystal VoI am a refugee who migrated to the United States in 1986. I escaped my country, Vietnam, with my brother and relatives in 1985, ten years after the communists took over the south of Vietnam. I was very homesick and depressed for many years in America without my family until I found my calling – writing. It has given me a purpose to live happily and productively. I am now a public servant, a mother of two and a wife. My passion is to share inspirational stories, poetry, food and the Vietnamese culture. This is the first poetry book I published in 2013:
My mission is to have a meaningful life where I can help others along the way.

To contact Crystal H. Vo:

Mike Davis

About Coach Mike
Coach Mike Davis has been coaching youth sports for more than 30 years. He started coaching and officiating youth basketball at the Miller’s Boys Club in Phoenix, AZ. Since then he has coached basketball, baseball, and softball at levels ranging from rec leagues to varsity high school and travel ball.

Those that can, do. Those that can’t, coach.
While some might use this as a negative, it points out a true facet of life: Playing a sport and coaching a sport are two different things. Sometimes a person can look at a challenge and be able to help someone else solve the puzzle, even if that person cannot solve the puzzle themselves. We’ve all be given different gifts. Anyone can learn a sport – the rules, the strategies, the nuances, but being able to teach someone else that sport takes an additional skill set, one that includes patience among all others. A great player does not always make a great coach.

Coaching Philosophy
I believe that there are educational values in sports that cannot be learned anywhere else. Along with teamwork and fair play, there is almost no other aspect of life that teaches one how to think, act, think again, and react, while facing sometimes unsurmountable challenges. Studies have shown that student-athletes, upon completing college, are more prepared to face the real world challenges of life than non-athlete students. In our younger years, most classes teach knowledge. But what teaches our children how to think? I try to give any student who wants to try out for the team a fair opportunity to be a part of the team. As long as they are willing to put in the work, they may succeed. This doesn’t mean that every student is going to play sports at the college level. Not every student has that as their goal. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t reaching their own goals and succeeding in other areas of their life.

Contact Coach Mike:

Tunde Ogunwole

Talk Title:
Don’t Leave Your Money on the Table!

Talk Synopsis:
Tunde’s talk is designed to encourage you to think about how you evaluate and prioritize the advice and tips you receive in life. After this talk, you will have a new and unique way to think about how you will decide to evaluate, prioritize and act on advice shared with you to make a positive and meaningful difference in achieving the life you want.

About Tunde Ogunwole:
Tunde Ogunwole is an iPEC trained business and life coach, group facilitator and speaker. He considers himself fortunate to have had a number of successes in his professional career such as being named one of the youngest senior managers at a large public school building program. He now works in commercial real estate as a developer for the Trammell Crow Company, widely considered one of the top real estate development firms in the country. As a former Naval Officer, he spent time living in Europe and traveling aboard during his free time. These experiences have helped him see people and live through a different lens giving him insights into life, challenges and successes. As a commercial real estate project manager and an engaged Southern California resident, he enjoys sharing his life experiences, business and leadership lessons and personal development tools with people like you, who are eager to learn and apply tools to “up-level” their lives.