Introduced by Heather Drakes, Kris is an Account Manager with Kenilworth Media Inc.; a subsidiary of FORUM MEDIA GROUP GMBH and before that the Sales & Marketing Manager of John McLellan Contracting Inc.

Kris joined Toastmasters in 2014, and it was a direct result of that very common fear of public speaking. Kris led meetings, took on club officer roles, and competed in contests, and then began coaching a club, and then served as an Area Director. As an Area Director, she connected with Toastmasters at other clubs and learned about their challenges. She appreciated some of the creative additions to their meetings, and built bonds which still exist years later.   As a Club Coach, she gained valuable lessons about stepping in to act, and stepping back to push club members in their own skills.  As a Club Sponsor, she has learned that sometimes the hard call to “let it go” is the best choice, and that new, more fruitful, opportunities exist. As Division E Director this year, she has had opportunities to jump unexpectedly into leadership gaps, to take new initiatives in online Club Officer Training, to connect with Toastmasters in Division E and throughout District 60 (Toronto east to Belleville) , and to build her own support team within Division E in offering promotional and web support to Toastmaster clubs.  In “leading leaders”, she has had the privilege of watching leaders in Division E grow and develop their own skills, and to encourage them in their own diverse goals for the coming year. Her own personal experiences with single parenthood, entrepreneurship, homelessness, and a severe injury with lifelong repercussions have all helped her to develop a skill she sees as key in any leadership role:  adaptability.  The past few months have clearly shown that maintaining the status quo isn’t good enough – as humans, as leaders, it’s essential that we are able to find, and create, new solutions when change occurs.  While some of her past experiences weren’t pleasant, she is very grateful for the experience in adapting to these – it’s a valuable skill in any leadership role.

Here are the key points of her speech:

  • Powerful, inspirational, impactful talk of her own life experiences and what she learned along the way

  • The need for control, safety and self worth; the keys to this are within ourselves

  • Learning to live with choices we have made but cannot control

  • Appreciating the power of friendship

  • Okay to make changes and right the wrongs

  • We don’t know what’s coming so embrace change

  • We all have the power to make change. It lies within us

  • She gained the opportunity to gain control over her life and gained the desire to make change

If you wish to talk to her, Kris can be reached at

Iona Rodricks a guest of Kris Nelson requested to read a poem of appreciation for Canada and what it means to her as an immigrant.  This was a very fitting closer to our meeting at this “Remembering” season.

Mark Blackmore (Heather’s fiancée) and a member of Toastmasters, thanked Kris on behalf of our Rotary Club of Oshawa-Parkwood.



Topic: Rotary Club of Oshawa-Parkwood Weekly Meetings on ZOOM, UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

Time: 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

         Nov 17,  2020   07:00 PM

         Nov 24,  2020   07:00 PM        

         Dec  1,  2020   07:00 PM

         Dec  8,  2020   07:00 PM         

         Dec 15,  2020   07:00 PM


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