Welcome to the District 3 Toastmasters
2022 Virtual Conference
Rise Up – Celebrate Your Summit

Mark Victor Hansen

Keynote (9:00 AM – 10:00 AM)

Zoom Link: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEvcOGtqD8uHNNM_ZaxSvq3kjNYucPw5Fg9

Mark will be presenting on “Fueling Your Desire to Speak.” You were coded at birth with a destiny to speak. Flaming your white-hot desire to speak and love and enjoy doing it. Growing in service, notoriety, fame, and fortune—if you choose to grow and advance—serving evermore people

Mark Victor Hansen is best known as the co-author for the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series and brand, setting world records in book sales, with over 500 million books sold. Mark also worked his way into a worldwide spotlight as a sought-after keynote speaker, and entrepreneurial marketing maven, creating a stream of successful people who have created massive success for themselves through Mark’s unique teachings and wisdom. With his endearing charismatic style, Mark captures his audience’s attention as well as their hearts. Having spoken to over 6,000 audiences world-wide with his one-of-a-kind technique and masterful authority of his work, time and again he continues to receive high accolades from his audiences as one of the most dynamic and compelling speakers and leaders of our time.

Mark’s has appeared on OprahCNN and The Today Show), and in national print media including TIMEUS News & World ReportUSA TodayThe New York Times and Entrepreneur, Success as well as being featured on countless radio and newspaper interviews as he assures people everywhere that “with the right principles and mentors, you can easily create the life of your dreams.”

Mark is also known as a passionate philanthropist and humanitarian, working tirelessly for organizations such as: The Horatio Alger Association, Habitat for HumanityAmerican Red CrossMarch of DimesChildhelp USA, the March of Dimes, among others. He is the recipient of ten honorary doctorates and countless awards, his favorite being the Horatio Alger Award for Distinguished Americans. Passionate is about creating a clean planet, Mark is a co-owner and founder of Natural Power Concepts and Co-Chairman of Metamorphosis Energy. He lives in Scottsdale Arizona with his wife, Crystal Dwyer Hansen.

Crystal and Mark released a new co-written book called ASK! The Dreams from Your Dreams to Your Destiny in Spring of 2020.

Juris Kursulis / C&L Award (12:00 PM – 2:00 PM)

Zoom Link: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYqfuqsqj0vEtSPCfyKg8WeLJPCCvdmxi7a

The 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 2021Wendy Durfee
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

Communication and Leadership Award: Pat Griffen

Pat Griffen, Executive Director of Against Abuse, Inc. known as AAI will be presented with the 2022 Communication & Leadership Award, the highest honor bestowed to a non-Toastmaster. The award recognizes individuals within our Arizona communities who have demonstrated outstanding communication and leadership skills.

In October 1981, a group of concerned Casa Grande citizens who had been studying the phenomena of domestic violence, started Against Abuse, Inc. which was officially incorporated and opened as a domestic violence agency with Pat Griffen as its first Executive Director. Forty years later, Pat Griffen continues as the Executive Director and the agency, known as AAI, continues to grow.

Within five years of opening, Pat built AAI’s services and reputation to the point that La Casa de Paz, a shelter for women and their children, had filled immediately. In 1986, Pat began the Taste of Casa Grande, a fundraiser for AAI, an idea presented by local restauranteurs Nancy and Michael Jackson. For over thirty years under Pat’s guidance, the Taste of Casa Grande expanded to presenting 25-30 local restaurants. The community gets involved, volunteering and donating prizes and gifts for the 90 plus raffle baskets and door prizes. La Casita de Paz was opened in 1989 as an emergency shelter for children removed from their homes for cause.

Under Pat’s guidance, the AAI staff has grown and is now a full-service domestic violence agency that offers all victims of domestic violence shelter services and community-based services for those not wishing to come to a shelter. AAI also developed La Paloma, a supervised visit/safe exchange program that permits non-custodial parents to see their children in a manner so the custodial parent need not fear more violence. AAI also offers an animal safe home system, which keep the pets of women in the shelter.

AAI’s Thrift Store provides basic household items for women preparing to move back into their communities, as well as a clothing bank for women and children.

Against Abuse, Inc. was also recognized nationally in 2009 with the Sunshine Lady Foundation Inc’s Sunshine Award. This award recognizes organizations and programs dedicated to providing opportunities for advancement of education, well-being, and new life choices for disadvantaged people. AAI celebrated their 40th anniversary last year, long with Pat as its Director for 40 years, the agency provides the widest possible range of services to all victims of domestic violence.

In 2005, the city of Maricopa who had seen Pat’s work in Casa Grande, went to Pat seeking her guidance in their efforts to raise the necessary funding to build La Casa de Paz in Maricopa. The shelter opened last year and continues to provide the same excellent services expected from AAI.

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 2021Debbie Nez-Manuel AZ Democratic National Committee Woman
Spring 2018Jody McPhearson Three C’s Youth Project
Fall 2017Dr. Gerard Van Belle
Fall 2016Jessica Cox
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

Michael J Holian, DTM, PDD, Region 3 International Director

DCP Panel (2:00 PM – 3:30 PM)

Zoom Link: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMkdOiorD8iGNK0P2ve0iuT_YxEGSLB96zC

Learn best practices for your club to become distinguished

Neil Giuliano

Keynote (6:30 PM – 7:30 PM)

Zoom Link: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEpcumspjgiHtPl8w6SDhanEYP6G_1adKCR

Neil with be presenting “Stories of a Public Leadership Journey: How to Build a Lake in the Middle of the Desert” The dream of Rio Salado had been discussed for nearly 27-years when Neil Giuliano was elected mayor of Tempe in 1994, with his expressed goal of making it a reality or toning back the fervor of the decades old dream if it was unlikely it could happen. Three years into his tenure, construction of the massive urban redevelopment project commenced and in 1999 Tempe Town Lake at Rio Salado was a reality. Giuliano will share stories and insights of Rio Salado, being the first directly-elected openly gay mayor in the US, winning an anti-gay recall election at the height of the culture wars and other tales of his decade long tenure as mayor of Tempe.

Neil Giuliano serves as President/CEO of Greater Phoenix Leadership, the forum for CEO leaders to collaborate with the government, education, and philanthropy sectors to create and sustain a safe, healthy and prosperous community.

From 2010-2015, Giuliano was President & CEO of San Francisco AIDS Foundation (SFAF). Prior to his work in San Francisco, Giuliano was bi-coastal (NYC & LA) as President/CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and executive producer of GLAAD Media Awards from 2005-2009.

Before becoming a national activist and NGO executive, Giuliano was councilmember, 1990-1994, and then the youngest person ever elected mayor of Tempe, Arizona, a post he held from 1994-2004.

Giuliano is the author of “The Campaign Within: A Mayor’s Private Journey to Public Leadership” (Magnus Books 2012) and has received numerous awards for his work in public policy and community activism.

He currently resides in Tempe, Arizona.

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

Zoom Link: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYucOitrDgrHtZ5pdznZ0IKvrzm86yQM7S-



Rhiannon Allard

Kelli Bradstreet

Helen Chapman

Sarah Gayle Galbreath

Annamarie Harris

Serban Morea

Lisa Pivin