by Melissa Southerland, CC, CL, District Recognition Chair
I grew up in what was then, a small town called Wylie, Texas east of Plano. We even wore boots and jeans and the infamous cowboy hats. I have two siblings, Megan who is 8 years younger, and Rod who is 9 years younger. My parents are still together after almost 50 years of marriage. I have been married for 10 years and we have an awesome son, John Curtis (JC) who is 3.5 years old.
I am the Executive Assistant to the CIO of Caliber Home Loans. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and over twenty years experience as an executive assistant.
I am also the CEO/President of a local Nonprofit organization called Angel’s Fight Crew. Our mission is to Bridge the Gap between reality and wishes. Giving the displaced children of Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) a little of life’s extras. We are devoted to making a difference in the lives of children across the metroplex who are displaced by circumstance or disease.
I started Toastmasters in the fall of 2017. I had been intrigued by the program so when a club began at my workplace, I was eager to join. I have jumped in head first and am the VP Education of my home club (former Sergeant at Arms) as Sergeant at Arms in the Coppell Toastmasters Club. I hold Recognition chair this current year and look forward to being an Area Director next year.
Toastmasters has taken my confidence, communication, and leadership to another level. I have taken leadership roles within my career as a result of my skill development, I continue to excel. I am currently on the path to completing the DTM under the legacy program.
Before I started getting my kicks in Toastmasters, I was an amateur pool player. I played in the American Pool Players Association (APA) League. I have competed in Nationals in Las Vegas twice, once for a team and another time in doubles play. My husband and I were married in Vegas during a Nationals Pool tournament that we competed in.
The reason I accepted my current role in District 25 is that I wanted to be able to have access to other leaders, so I could learn and grow to become a better future area director and leader. I also wanted to gain knowledge of the structure of Toastmasters to be better able to utilize it to my full potential. So I immersed myself in Toastmasters.