2015-2016 Leadership Team
Ally Dunn | President
Ally joined Toastmasters at the beginning of 2015 with the goal of advancing her public speaking skills in an encouraging and supportive environment. While striving to achieve this goal, she has witnessed Boston Toastmasters make a positive impact on the lives of each and every member. She has been particularly impressed to see that Boston Toastmasters not only fosters enhanced public speaking and leadership skills but also cultivates lasting friendships and support structures among members.
As this year’s club President, she aims to inspire others to achieve both personal and professional success through improved public speaking skills, strengthened leadership skills, and increased overall confidence. She truly believes that the positive environment of Boston Toastmasters allows club members to thrive and grow to become effective leaders and skilled communicators. She is grateful for the unique experience of being a part of this club and is excited to inspire others to join and grow with us!
Brett Burdick | Vice President Education
Brett is a 2nd-generation Toastmaster who joined Boston Toastmasters in July 2013. In his first year at Boston Toastmasters, he completed the Competent Communicator manual, won both the club Humorous and International Speech contests along with the Area 83 International Speech Contest, and served as a mentor for 6 members.
As VP of Education, Brett’s encouraging persistence and enthusiasm inspired 88 different speakers to give over 250 unique speeches in the 2014-2015 Toastmasters year. He helped lead the club to a record 16 awards for members, including 13 new CCs. As a result, Boston Toastmasters earned the President’s Distinguished Award from Toastmasters International for the first time in its 45-year history! Brett looks to continue strengthening the mentoring program and facilitating a professional yet energetic atmosphere. In his free time, Brett writes and performs sketch comedy at ImprovBoston with his group, Accidental Awkwardness, and spends his other free time with his merry band of mischievous yet whimsical ponies.
Alon Landa | Vice President Membership
(please read while doing jazz hands, it reads better that way)
Alon joined Toastmasters in October of 2014 in hopes of improving his public speaking and confidence in front of large audiences. He never expected the warmth and support he’s received to date, which makes him eager to attend every meeting and pay it forward. Outside of Toastmasters Alon works for a medical device company that makes a non-invasive glucometer (hint: think diabetics won’t have to prick their fingers anymore). He’s also a proud father and husband who thinks that his speeches revolve too much around his family. As the VP of Membership, Alon will do everything possible to ensure that new members feel as welcome as he did when he joined the Boston Toastmasters family.
Kiera Miner | Secretary
Kiera was the 2012-2013 Boston Toastmasters President and has continued to been a member of our leadership team since then. When she joined Boston Toastmasters, to foster her skill and confidence in her public speaking abilities, she never expected to be president. She found this experience immensely rewarding. It has always been her dream to speak before and motivate others. Boston Toastmasters allows her a great opportunity to hone her craft in front of an audience while at the same time helping other members to develop as better public speakers. She loves inspiring people to find the confidence and comfort needed to speak in front of an audience.Read more
When she is not participating in Boston Toastmasters, Kiera is managing the Law Offices of Jeffrey Glassman in Boston, where she gets to practice her people skills on a daily basis. She really enjoys working with different people and helping them face and solve daily challenges. After fifteen years she still learns something new every day.
Kiera is passionate about the environment and in her remaining free time she is the Project Manager for RainforestMaker, which is a non profit organization designed to motivate others to “replant what they use.” In addition, she is a co-host on a local cable access show called “The Fun Show,” which is a weekly program set up to discuss current events. She would never have gotten involved with this program if it had not been for her time with Boston Toastmasters.
“Even though I have discovered that I am good at working with people, I am an introvert. Everyone who knows me would say ‘No way,’ but it is true. Finding myself always working with people helps me to move away from my introversion and make meaningful connections with others. Aside from people, I enjoy reading, writing, running, traveling, riding my motorcycle, spending time with friends and maintaining a loving and rewarding relationship with my fiancé and best friend. I always remind myself, life is good.”
Jesse Welty | Treasurer
Although he is a Southern transplant in New England, Jesse spent much of his adult life living in Europe and Asia. In fact, it was in Japan that he first learned about Toastmasters International. Creating positive interaction between people from different cultures is a cause that Jesse cares deeply about. In his work life, he has collaborated with authors, publishers, educational institutions, and nonprofits with similar ideals.Read more
Once it became clear that his career path will always involve language and communication, Jesse joined Boston Toastmasters to grow professionally. He has enjoyed public speaking in some form or another since childhood, but speaking to groups is now playing an ever-larger role his life. He is proud to have met his goal of completing his first 10 speeches in his first year as a Toastmaster. The following year, he served as club President and earned his ALB, an advanced leadership credential. This year, Jesse was appointed Area Director for Toastmasters District 31, Area 33. Within Boston Toastmasters, he serves as club Treasurer and offers his experience as a past President to the current leadership team.
His goals as a Toastmaster are to improve his speech writing and to add more flexibility to his speaking style. He is finishing the Toastmasters Advanced Manual for Interpretive Reading and is now working in manual for Technical Presentations. He believes that everyone deserves a supportive and encouraging environment in which to improve his or her communication skills. In his work with Toastmasters, Jesse aims create that environment for his club’s members.
David Zheng | Sergeant-at-Arms
Having been an introverted person and having a fear of public speaking since his childhood, David joined Toastmasters in 2014 to try to overcome fear and develop his social skills. Knowing that the only way to overcome a fear is to face it, David is able to push himself to step out of his comfort zone, one small step at a time. During his time at Toastmasters, David has been able to take different roles and assist other Toastmasters officers in running meetings. As a result, he has gained a tremendous amount of confidence during his short journey with Toastmasters. Being grateful for what Toastmaster has brought to him, David decided to take the Sergeant-at-Arms role to get more involved with the club.Read more
David came to United States five years ago and went to Worcester Polytechnic Institute to pursue his Master’s Degree in Computer Science. In order to improve his English, he tried a lot of things, including taking standup comedy lessons and going to Toastmasters meetings. Having lived in multiple places in Massachusetts, he finally ended up in Boston and joined Boston Toastmasters. In his spare time, David likes running, biking, and exploring the city. He always tells himself, “always be open to new things because you never know what kind of inspiration these new things can bring to you.” The same holds true for Toastmasters: you never know how it will change your life if you never try it.
As the Sergeant-at-Arms, David’s goal is to make sure everything is ready before the weekly meeting starts so it can run smoothly. He also wants to encourage other people to join Toastmasters to improve their public speaking skills by sharing with them his own Toastmasters experience.
Photo credits: Peter Kuhn, Diane Sperandio
View the previous year’s leadership team here.