History

“Why doesn’t Florida have a district?” was posed by Sgts Callman and Kuck in 1955.

Ted Blanding, Executive Secretary of International, who was President of Toastmasters in 1942-43, replied with the question, “Why don’t you do something about it?”

Ted explained that ten clubs had to petition Toastmasters for District status. The District then must be in a provisional status for one year, with no funding from International. Talk about operating on a shoestring… without the shoestring!

Club #28 in Orlando, incidentally, was the first Toastmasters club East of the Mississippi. A decision was reached to have the western boundary at the Apalachicola River (as the rest of the Panhandle of Florida was already assigned to District 29.)

The Tallahassee club wrote that they thought that they should be in District 29. The response acknowledged that point but stressed that it seemed logical that a club in the state capital should be included in the Florida district.

They returned the petition immediately. The Board of Directors met in February, 1955, approving provisional status for District 47. The District organizational meeting was in Orlando in March with Ira Callman becoming District Governor and B. M. Wherrette, Lieutenant Governor. The District was started and new clubs started to spring up. The first new club of the District was the Coral Gables Club, chartering in July, 1955.

And that’s how district 47 was born! 

Information based on an article written by Ira Callman, Provisional Governor #1, 1955. Special thanks to Karl Righter, DTM, PDG for this extensive history.

“History never really says goodbye. History says, ‘See you later.’ “

Eduardo Galeano

District 47 through the Years

PAST DISTRICT 47 GOVERNORS & DIRECTORS
(INCLUDES CITY OF RESIDENCE DURING TERM)

  • 1955-56 Ira Callman, DTM, Miami, FL (Provisional District) (deceased)
  • 1956 B.M. Wherette, Orlando, FL (Provisional District) (deceased)
  • 1956-57 Owen Parrish, Miami, FL
  • 1957-58 Donald M. Larson, Miami, FL
  • 1958-59 Norman S. Pallot, Miami, FL
  • 1959-60 Donald F. Muller, Jacksonville, FL
  • 1960-61 Charles M. Swann, DTM, Sarasota, FL (deceased)
  • 1961-62 Dean Risher, Cocoa Beach, FL
  • 1963-64 Larry Q. Webb, Jacksonville, FL
  • 1964-65 Viggo C. Christiansen, Jacksonville, FL (deceased)
  • 1965-66 John Diaz, DTM, Cocoa Beach, FL
  • 1966-67 Win Chesley, DTM,*** Plantation, FL
  • 1967-68 Charles Avery,* Cocoa Beach, FL
  • 1968-69 Fred G. Thompson,* Miami, FL
  • 1969-70 Hugh T. Burgay, DTM,*** Orlando, FL (deceased)
  • 1970-71 John Bowman, DTM,* Miami, FL (DTM Badge #1)
  • 1971-72 Michael G. Shane, DTM,*** Ft. Lauderdale, FL (DTM Badge #14) (deceased)
  • 1972-73 Charles L. Jones, DTM, Winter Haven, FL
  • 1973-74 Karl E. Righter, DTM, Orlando, FL (DTM Badge #51)
  • 1974-75 Carleton Smith, DTM, St. Petersburg, FL (deceased)
  • 1975-76 S. R. Dunn, DTM,*** Jacksonville, FL (DTM Badge #99) (deceased)
  • 1976-77 David Meeks, DTM,* Tampa, FL
  • 1977-78 R. Floyd Sewell, DTM,* Jacksonville, FL
  • 1978-79 Robert Gelfand, DTM, Plantation, FL (deceased)
  • 1979-80 Val Croskey, DTM,* Melbourne, FL
  • 1980-81 Virginia Heddinger, DTM,* Ft. Lauderdale, FL (deceased)
  • 1981-82 Frank Tillman, DTM,** Gainesville, FL (deceased)
  • 1982-83 Jim Stanley, DTM,* Tampa, FL (deceased)
  • 1983-84 Ray Floyd, DTM,* Ft. Lauderdale, FL
  • 1984-85 Dr. Ann Tillman, DTM,* Gainesville, FL (deceased)
  • 1985-86 Clara Gelfand, DTM, Plantation, FL (deceased)
  • 1986-87 James E. Martin, DTM,** Clearwater, FL
  • 1987-88 Lou Funk, DTM,*** Brandon, FL
  • 1988-89 Fred Miller, DTM, St. Petersburg, FL
  • 1989-90 Rosella Bonham, DTM,* Lake Mary, FL
  • 1990-91 Sara Meeks, DTM,* Tampa, FL (deceased)
  • 1991-92 Ed Waters, DTM,* Jacksonville, FL (deceased)
  • 1992-93 Steven A. Bard, DTM, Lauderhill, FL
  • 1993-94 Louise Y. Boyd, DTM, Sanford, FL
  • 1994-95 Rusty Best, DTM,*** Titusville, FL
  • 1995-96 Samuel P. Bain, DTM, Nassau, Bahamas
  • 1996-97 Rex P. Lehman, DTM, Miami, FL
  • 1997-98 Laura Reed, DTM, Tampa, FL
  • 1998-99 Timothy Pesut, DTM,* Sarasota, FL
  • 1999-00 Jack Jamba, DTM, Cocoa Beach, FL
  • 2000-01 Paul Meunier, DTM,*** Orlando, FL
  • 2001-02 Cathy Epler, DTM,* New Port Richey, FL
  • 2002-03 Eileen Sarris, DTM,* Sarasota, FL
  • 2003-04 Margaret Wan, DTM,*** St. Petersburg, FL (deceased)
  • 2004-05 Jim Ocque, DTM, Longwood, FL
  • 2005-06 Godfrey Springer, DTM, Nassau, Bahamas
  • 2006-07 Loretta Sandy, DTM,*** Palm Bay, FL
  • 2007-08 Wanda Brown, DTM, St. Johns, FL
  • 2008-09 Antoinette Fox, DTM,*** Nassau, Bahamas
  • 2009-10 Kristina Kihlberg, DTM, *** Pompano Beach
  • 2010-11 Richard Furbush, DTM, *** St. Petersburg
  • 2011-12 Pamela D. Rolle, DTM, Nassau Bahamas
  • 2012-13 Matthew A. Kinsey, DTM, Coral Springs, FL
  • 2013-14 Francis I. Molina, DTM, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
  • 2014-15 Anthony J. Longley, DTM, Nassau, Bahamas

In 2015, the title District Governor was changed to District Director

  • 2015-16 Jeanine C. Kinsey, DTM, * Coral Springs, FL
  • 2016-17 Lynda Hammond, DTM, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
  • 2017-18 Chim Francisco, DTM, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
  • 2018 Antionette Fox, DTM, Nassau, Bahamas
  • 2018-2019 Maurice Fuller, DTM

* Achieved Distinguished District
** Achieved Select Distinguished District
***Achieved President’s Distinguished District

PRESIDENTIAL VISITS TO DISTRICT 47

  • 1971 Arthur Diamond
  • 1983 Bill Miller
  • 1988 Tommy Richardson
  • 1994 (Fall) Pauline Shirley, DTM
  • 2001 (Spring) JoAnna McWilliams, DTM
  • 2008 (Spring) Chris Ford, DTM
  • 2013 (Fall) Mohammad Murad, DTM (President-Elect)
  • 2015 (Spring) Jim Kokocki, DTM (President Elect)

PRESIDENTIAL CITATIONS TO MEMBERS OF DISTRICT 47

  • 1986 Frank Tillman, DTM, PDG
  • 1988 Dr. Ann Tillman, DTM. PDG
  • 1989 David Meeks, DTM, PID
  • 2001 Karl Righter, DTM, PDG
  • 2002 Mark Majcher, CTM/CL
  • 2015 Kristina Kihlberg, DTM, PID
  • 2016 Anthony J. Longley, DTM
  • 2017 Steven A. Bard, DTM, PID 

EARLY RECIPIENTS OF DTM DESIGNATION

  • John Bowman, DTM, Miami, District 47 Governor, ‘70 – ‘71, DTM # 1
  • Mike Shane, DTM, Ft. Lauderdale, District 47 Governor, ‘71 – ‘72, DTM # 14
  • Karl Righter, DTM, Orlando, District 47 Governor, ‘73 – ‘74, DTM # 51
  • S. R. Dunn, DTM, Jacksonville, District 47 Governor, ‘75 – ‘76, DTM # 99

INTERNATIONAL DIRECTORS FROM DISTRICT 47

  • ‘63 – ‘64 – Charles Swan, DTM, PID
  • ‘68 – ‘70 – John Diaz, DTM, PIP
  • ‘71 – ‘73 – Win Chesley, DTM, PID
  • ‘79 – ‘81 – Hugh Burgay, DTM, PID
  • ‘83 – ‘85 – Dave Meeks, DTM, PID
  • ‘87 – ‘89 – Ray Floyd, DTM, PID
  • ‘91 – ‘93 – Evelyn-Jane Burgay, DTM, PID
  • ‘95 – ‘97 – Steve Bard, DTM, PID
  • ‘02 – ‘04 – Paul Meunier, DTM, PID
  • ‘06 – ‘08 – Margaret Wan, DTM, PID
  • ‘12 – ‘14 – Kristina Kihlberg, DTM, PID
  • ‘16 – ‘18 – Matthew A. Kinsey, DTM, ID

INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT FROM DISTRICT 47

  • 1974-1975 John Diaz, DTM

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES HELD IN DISTRICT 47 WITH PRESIDENTS

  • 1968 – Miami Beach
    • Outgoing President – Lothar Salin, DTM
    • Incoming President – Earl M. Potter, DTM
  • 1984 – Orlando
    • Outgoing President – Eddie V. Dunn, DTM
    • Incoming President – John S. Latin, DTM
  • 2000 – Miami Beach
    • Outgoing President – Tim Keck, DTM
    • Incoming President – JoAnna McWilliams, DTM