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District 37 History

Toastmasters International has had a strong presence in District 37 for over 60 years. The Asheville Toastmasters Club (#436) and Greensboro Toastmasters (#439) were both chartered on January 1, 1947 and High Point Toastmasters Club (#582) followed on May 1, 1948. These three clubs created an alliance of leaders and speakers who began building Toastmasters to its current roster of nearly 4,000 members in over two hundred clubs across the state. Other currently active clubs that were chartered in the 1950s are Burlington, Cape Fear, Durham, Forsyth, Goldmine, Goldsboro, Kinston, Mercury, Northwestern, Queen City, Raleigh, Saturday Morning, and Tarheel.

In 1952, District 37 was honored to host a visit by Toastmasters International Founder, Dr. Ralph C. Smedley. Smedley attended the Fall Conference at the Battery Park Hotel in Asheville. Asheville Toastmasters Club member G. Edison Hill hosted the visit. Hill was honored by District 37 in 2007 for more than 50 years of leadership. He was also awarded the “TRIO Appreciation Shining Star Award” at the 60th Anniversary Fall Conference in November 2012. (The embedded photo above shows Hill chatting with Dr. Smedley on the rooftop Observatory at the historic Battery Park Hotel during the visit.)

For many years Toastmasters International was a men-only organization. The Chapel Hill Toastmasters Club opened its doors to women in 1973. Today, women comprise over 50 percent of membership in District 37, many serving in senior district leadership positions.

District 37 claims seven International Directors in Region VIII and 10 Presidential Citation Award Recipients. Additionally, District 37 members who have competed on the “World Championship of Public Speaking” main stage are Burlington’s Leonard Butler in 1959, Hornet’s Nest’s Larry Tucker in 2000, Goldmine’s Brian Woolf in 2003, and Greenville’s Brian Corey in 2012.

Toastmasters Timeline


Presidential Visits

2011 Michael Notaro, DTM
2006 Dilip Abayasekara, DTM
1999 Terry Daily, DTM
1995 Pauline Shirley, DTM

Presidential Citations

2012 Barney Barnum, DTM
2004 Larry D. Brown, DTM
2002 W.L. (Bill) Mintz, DTM
1999 Hari Rao, DTM
1995 Jay R Nodine, DTM
1990 Mary Cele Bain, DTM
1985 Lee Beattie, DTM
1981 Hubert (Butch) Barney, DTM
1979 Marcia Barney, DTM
1979 Jack Bohland, DTM

International Directors

Sharon Anita Hill, DTM, PDG, PID

Pam Christopher, DTM, PDG, PID

Lee Beattie, DTM, PDG, PID

Jay Nodine, DTM, PDG, PID

M. (Bucky) Sutton, DTM, PDG, PID

H. (Butch) Barney, DTM, PDG, PID

R. (Bob) Herndon, DTM. PDG, PID

Bill Hylton, DTM, PDG, PID

Region Advisors

Sharon Anita Hill, DTM, PDG, PID

Leadership Award Recipients

1994 Patricia Tierney, ATM
1993 Jay R. Nodine, DTM
1992 Mary Cele Bain, DTM
1989 Mary Reynolds, DTM