It's Toastmasters' philosophy that to become a strong leader, one must be an effective communicator. So members practice organizing their thoughts and presenting them to a supportive audience during their meetings, gaining feedback and confidence.
Members take that experience with them to use in their personal lives, occupations or philanthropic endeavors.
Outgoing President Viviana Ardila recently handed off the gavel to Gary Monji, who will lead Burbank Toastmasters Club 1320 this year.
Monji told his fellow members that the nonprofit organization has been helping people hone their speaking abilities since 1924.
“Toastmasters has helped thousands of people worldwide who are looking to develop speaking and leadership skills, win that job interview or ignite their careers,” he said. “During Viviana's tenure, the Burbank club became President’s Distinguished and inducted 24 new members. I have big shoes to fill and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
Monji is an optometrist in Burbank. He is a graduate of the Southern California College of Optometry and has been in practice since 1989.