by David Himmelestein, DTM Past District Governor
Groucho Marx said: “I would never join any organization that would admit someone like me as a member.” David Himmelstein, District 25 Credentials Chair, felt that way, “… until I walked into a Toastmasters meeting for the first time.”, he adds. His first time walking into a meeting was in 1993 (he says it took him 18 months to do so). “I joined because I was quiet, introverted, and lacked self-confidence. I knew I needed to make a change.” Those changes took some time. He stayed within his clubs for 6 years, learning a lot, receiving positive reinforcement and encouragement, and competing in contests.
Coming to us from South Jersey in 1982, he met his favorite Toastmaster, Diane, and married her in 1982. They became parents of a son in 1990. David has a BA in English, MBA in Information Systems”, yet he considers his entering the workforce in the 1980s as his “…real education.” As a software developer and analyst for 30 years, BNSF is “… best company I’ve ever worked for.” God willing, he wants to retire from there in 5-6 years.
So, what caused him to step outside of his clubs more? “I began observing our District Leaders … I was impressed by how they carried themselves … confident, positive, and focused on serving/leading others.” In 2001, he took what he saw and joined in the serving/helping of others by becoming an Area Governor under Ron Bland (who wisely took up David’s request to serve). 2001-2006 saw David expanding his skills in serving/helping others through being an Area Governor, Division Governor, Lt. Governor of Marketing, Lt. Governor Education, and District Governor (in 2005-2006). “It was exhausting and exhilarating…” serving in District Leadership he writes. “What I earned far exceeded the costs.”, he continues. Honing skills, enhancing his abilities further than he could at the club level, receiving the blessings of working with outstanding District members, and becoming friends with those members are things he lists as “earnings” of serving/helping others in leadership.
Why is he the Credentials Chair? “….. because Robi Ley asked me to serve. I’ve watched Robi over the years and she is a true servant leader who cares about the members of District 25. It was an honor to be asked and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve.”
Groucho Marx was wrong in a way. If he had met David Himmelstein, he would have joined Toastmasters, for David has shown through his serving/helping others, it isn’t about who you are, but what blessings you receive, what you become that matters!