District 3 Toastmasters
Virtual Conference: Saturday

Luisa Montalvo – Keynote Speech

Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/j/93023072903?pwd=SzEyRFg1akR5SW5vbVhDaU1NaE1MQT09

Before her appearance in the International Speech Contest Semi Finals in 2019, Luisa Montalvo shared her motivation for competing: “I want to make my mom proud of her daughter.” She achieved that and more.

Luisa competed at the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking against 33,000 other contestants from 143 countries. In her hopes of breaking cultural barriers with humor, Luisa Montalvo won 2nd Place in the contest. Luisa returned home and showed the second-place trophy to her 87-year-old mother who danced with the trophy, and playfully insisted it was hers to keep.

Luisa Montalvo was born and raised in South Texas. She later moved to Austin, Texas where she worked at Abbott Laboratories for 25 years before retiring at the age of 53. For the last 3 years, Luisa has been busy rescuing homeless dogs and cats. She has fostered and cared for over 850 homeless dogs.

Luisa first joined Toastmasters in 1989 for 3 years when she worked at Abbott Laboratories. She then rejoined again in 2013 and has been a member ever since. She takes on countless speaking engagements where she sheds light on public speaking techniques by sharing anecdotes from her life, continues to break cultural barriers with humor, and talks about honoring the sacrifices made by the women who came before her. “I feel it is my duty, in fact our duty, to all the women of the past, all of our ancestors, anybody who had to go forge a new path—they deserve our respect, and they deserve our commitment in trying to make this a much more level playing field for women and men, for everyone.”

Luisa’s advice for anyone who wants to be a professional public speaker: “I feel that if the person can speak about something that is completely relatable to the entire audience, that’s a start. Adding tasteful humor and a personal story are also good steps to take in becoming a successful speaker. I believe the most important rule to follow for success is to leave your audience with a powerful message, one that has the audience thinking but also motivates them to take action”

2019 World Champion of Public Speaking

Lunch Events

Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/j/98763053396?pwd=UCtXTnZoT2ZUelBwSWd1Tk1WZHpwZz09

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C&L/Juris Kursulis Spirit Award (12:00 PM – 12:30 PM)

C&L Winner: Debbie Nez-Manuel

– AZ Democratic National Committee Woman at Arizona Democratic Party
– Board Member at First Things First
– Board Member at Arizona Humanities

”By honoring the strength of our ancestors, their sacrifices, the responsibility to improve the world for generations all begins with me.”

A Tsenjikini clan member and member of the Navajo Nation, Debbie Nez-Manuel is founder of Morning Star Leaders, an Arizona nonprofit that teaches native youth the core values of indigenous life through cultural programs and leadership opportunities. A recipient of the 2016 Arizona Governor’s Volunteer of the Year Award, Debbie is recognized for committing her life to serving urban and rural youth throughout Arizona.

Debbie was born in Gallup, New Mexico and has lived in the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community for 16 years with her husband and daughters. Her early years in the small community among hardworking ranchers, weavers, mill workers, teachers, attorneys, silversmiths, and veterans instilled not only a strong work ethic and identity but also the responsibility to be a leader wherever she is. She obtained a bachelor’s degree from Northern Arizona University in 2001 and a master’s degree from Arizona State University in 2003. She worked for the tribal government as a social worker for 12 years. She is a popular speaker for the AZ Speaks program of the Arizona Humanities Council.

In 2013, Debbie and several colleagues realized that many young tribal people living in urban areas had become disconnected from their home cultures and languages. Many struggled with getting jobs, more education, and finding their own pathways to adulthood. She helped start Morning Star Leaders to address those issues. Today, Morning Star is well established and a premier source of initiatives for Native youth development and support in education, employment, and other areas. The Arizona Humanities Council honored Morning Star with its Community Partner Award in 2019.

Second, during the 2019 legislative session, Debbie helped lead a grassroots effort to enact House Bill 2570. Her own story about losing her mother at the age of three encouraged others to tell their stories from around Arizona of missing and murdered Indigenous women. The bill, which passed the House unanimously and signed into law by Governor Doug Ducey, set up a legislative study committee to look closely at the prevalence and cases of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls (MMIWG). Data have pointed to significant problems throughout Arizona for some time but a comprehensive study with recommendations has not been done. Debbie now sits on the task force with other tribal leaders, law enforcement professionals, state legislators, and others.

Most recently, Debbie became the first indigenous woman elected as a national committee person for the Democratic Party.

Debbie enjoys connecting with her colleagues as a fellow through EmergeAZ, Flinn Brown Leadership Academy, and ASU’s Generation Next Nonprofit Leadership Academy.

Presentation Time

This award will be presented by District 3 at the Hall of Fame Luncheon at the upcoming District Conference.


The recipient must:

  • Not be a Toastmaster
  • Reside within District 3 boundaries
  • Agree, in advance, to attend the luncheon to receive the award and to speak at the awards presentation
  • Have made a significant contribution to the communities within District 3, through his/her communication and leadership skills
  • Not have previously received this award
  • In addition, the Selection Committee should select a recipient whose stature and contributions facilitate the efforts of District 3 to generate publicity in the community for Toastmasters and promote Toastmasters attendance at the Spring Conference
Spring 2018Jody McPhearson Three C’s Youth Project
Spring 2015Courtney Klein, Co-Founder & CEO of SEED SPOT
Fall 2014Kristi Tedesco, KVOA News Anchor/Reporter
Spring 2014Sharon Bates, Anthony Bates Foundation
Fall 2013Dr. Ron Barnes
Spring 2013Dr. David Beyda, Medical Director, Medical Mercy
Fall 2012Dr. Lynn Olslen, Educator and Community Organizer and Facilitator
Spring 2012Scott Jacobson, Leadership & Community Developer
Fall 2011Helen Handler, Nazi concentration camp survivor
Spring 2011Rosie Romero, Radio Personality
Fall 2010Jason Schechterle, Phoenix Firefighter and community activist
Spring 2010PJ Dixon, Motivational and Inspirational speaker
Fall 2009Lew Reese, Radio Personality & community servant
Spring 2009Brenda Combs, Educator and community activist
Fall 2008Pat McMahon, Television & Radio personality
Spring 2008Bill Pepicello, PhD, President, University of Phoenix
Spring 2007Betty Fairfax, Educator and Philanthropist
Spring 2006Linda Cobb, “Queen of Clean”
Fall 2005Bob Walkup, Mayor of Tucson and his wife Beth Walkup
Spring 2005Dan Davis – KTVK Channel 3
Spring 2004Jane Robertson – 2004 Arizona Teacher of the Year
Spring 2003Laura Lawless – Miss Arizona 2002
Fall 2001Robert A. Khan – Firefighter & Spokesman
Spring 2001Marshall Trimble – Arizona Historian and Storyteller
Spring 2000Kathleen Mitchell – Community Leader
Spring 1999Jana Bommersbach – News Commentator
Spring 1998Jerry Traylor – Motivator
Spring 1997Dr. Jack Copeland – Heart Transplant Surgeon
Spring 1996Sheriff Joe Arpaio – Maricopa County Sheriff
Spring 1993Kent Dana – News Anchorman
Fall 1992Linda Turley – News Anchor
Spring 1991James H. Click – Chairman of Board, Interwest Bank
Fall 1990Michael Dixon – Radio Talk Show Host
Fall 1989Idelia B. Riggs – Educator
Fall 1988Jerry Foster – Helicopter News Reporter
Fall 1987Sister Mary Kathleen Clark – Community Leader
Fall 1986Joy E. Marx
Fall 1985Sandra L. Tarlen – Ashes to Life – Burn Support Group
Fall 1984Larry Nielsen
Fall 1983Joseph Black – Corporate Leader
Fall 1982Ken Coy – News reporter and volunteer
Fall 1981Joel M. Weldon – Professional Speaker
Fall 1980Mary Jo West – Television Reporter
Fall 1979Jesse Owens – 1936 Gold Medal Olympian & Humanitarian
Fall 1978Lori Cox – High School Student Activist

Juris Kursulis Spirit Award

The Juris Kursulis Spirit Award is bestowed at each District 3 conference upon the person who demonstrates unusual enthusiasm, dedication, and caring for District 3 and its members. The award is in the name of Past District Governor Juris Kursulis, DTM.

Juris and his wife Betty were regular attendees of District 3 conferences for over 30 years. Juris always sported his vest from the 1981 International Convention hosted in Phoenix, and continued to festoon the vest with memorabilia, ribbons, pins, and awards. In 2004, when Juris knew that he had not much longer to contribute to the District, he asked International Director Nancy Starr-Cassidy to take possession of his beloved vest with the promise that it would be used to do something “good for the District.” What better way to honor Juris than to honor those who continue the tradition of caring and giving?

The award is presented at the Hall of Fame Luncheon at each District conference. The winner must be present to receive the award and to earn the right to wear the Vest!

About Juris Kursulis

Juris came to America as a teenaged immigrant, escaping war in his homeland of Latvia. He became a U.S. citizen and joined the Air Force, where he met his bride, Betty, and her two amazing daughters in New Mexico. The family moved to Arizona where Juris went to work for Motorola. He became a member of Voice of Motorola Toastmasters (now Voice of Many), where he remained a member the rest of his life. In 1995, Juris helped form the Leaders Plus club, where he also remained an active member until his passing in 2005.

Juris was a man “bigger than life”–passionate about family, service to the nation, and Toastmasters. He was an outspoken, active member of the Past District Directors Committee and was always willing to challenge leaders to ensure they were doing the right things for the right reasons. In later years, as he needed a cane to assist with his walking, he was known to wave the cane to add emphasis to an important point.

Unknown to many, this bear of a man was truly a gentle giant, always ready to share a quiet word of encouragement to leaders as they made difficult decisions or took other actions that showed their growth as Juris’s Vesta leader, and was a friend to many. He held us to a higher standard, and for that we were grateful.

About the Vest

In 1981, Phoenix served as the host District for the International Convention at the Phoenix Convention Center. The host committee volunteers received vests made of blue denim and embroidered with the conference theme and date. Juris served on the host conference committee and wore his Vest at every conference thereafter.

Spring 2019Don Griffith
Spring 2018Sandee Brogan
Fall 2017Laurie & Lou Rangel
Spring 2017Michelle Zalak
Fall 2016Jim Davis
Spring 2016Connie Weiss
Fall 2015Eddie Davis
Spring 2015Jennifer Sarracino
Fall 2014Ryck Klecak
Spring 2014Glenn Barber
Fall 2013Debby Waugh
Spring 2013Lynne Brasher
Fall 2012Scott Holly
Spring 2012Nancy Goins
Fall 2011Maggie Sherwood
Spring 2011Diane Travers Shipman
Fall 2010Kristin Gramando
Spring 2010Jeannie Enders
Fall 2009Marc Dratch
Spring 2009Mike Kaml
Fall 2008Emi Bauer
Spring 2008Susan Ball
Fall 2007Judy Norris
Spring 2007Steve Broe

Hall Of Fame Lunch (12:45 PM – 2:00 PM)

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Educational Awards

The Pathways Education Program offers eleven specialized Learning Paths, each consisting of fourteen projects across five levels of progressive complexity. Every Path has both required and elective projects to allow members to customize their learning experience. Members are recognized with educational awards based upon completion of each Level (L1, L2, L3, L4, L5 awards). The levels progress from mastering fundamentals to increasing knowledge and skills to demonstrating expertise in their selected skill path. The member is then awarded a certification of proficiency in the skill when all five Levels of the Path are completed. For example, a member who completes Level 3 of the Engaging Humor Path would be awarded the EH3 award.


The eleven specialized Learning Paths are:

• Dynamic Leadership (DL)
• Effective Coaching (EC)
• Engaging Humor (EH)
• Innovative Planning (IP)
• Leadership Development (LD)
• Motivational Strategies (MS)
• Persuasive Influence (PI)
• Presentation Mastery (PM)
• Strategic Relationships (SR)
• Team Collaboration (TC)
• Visionary Communication (VC)

Pathways Mentoring

In the Pathways Mentor Program, you evaluate your goals as a mentor and the strengths you bring to a mentoring relationship. You then complete a short-term mentorship to apply your skills and then commit to a longer, six-month mentorship to demonstrate your success as a mentor. After you complete all projects in the Pathways Mentor Program as well as an entire path, you become a Pathways Mentor. Your Toastmasters and Base Camp profile will show that you are a designated Pathways Mentor.

The Toastnapper is a member in ONE club and has served as Club President SIX times

International Speech Contest (8:00 pm – 10:00 pm)

Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/j/93384907443?pwd=R0VIWjY0Q0t4ZEd2MDZSVVdITTF3QT09


Helen Chapman (alt. Cole McClarren)

Kristen Williams (alt. Jaclyn Clark)

Martha LaMar (alt. Brett Enneking)

Marcy Ortiz (alt. Jeff Isenman)

Michael Desiderio (alt. Antonio Valles)

Serban Morea (alt. Therosia Reynolds)

Silvia Davis (alt. Randi Friedman)

Su Fong (alt. Joyce Buekers)