Speakers Showcase

Gerri Almand

Humor; Inspiration; Storyteller; Other

I am a high energy, enthusiastic speaker who has a story to tell. The Reluctant RV Wife, my first book, tells of a reluctant wife and her excited husband through two humorously-conflicted years of RV travel. I entertain and inform audiences on the nitty-gritty of RV travel while addressing the common human themes of growing old, retiring, and making major lifestyle changes. I also can speak of the challenges of writing a book and navigating one’s way through the highly-competitive world of publishing. For a Toastmaster audience, I can include the myriad ways Toastmasters has helped me in creating a second career and marketing a book.

Jim Ellis

Leadership; Business; Inspiration

I have found the ability to motivate others to accept and excel in leadership roles at work and in Toastmasters. I get satisfaction from seeing those I mentor succeed on job interviews, presentation skills, and leadership activity. I feel successful in presenting to large groups, small groups and to individuals.

Glenn Erickson

Leadership; Inspiration; Business; Other

I am an original “Geek.” I am conversant in many technologies. I love to expound on technologies, using alliteration to allow non-technical audiences to grasp technical issues. I will research any area an audience wants to understand and create examples from everyday life that describe the technology or process.

Photo: Farhan Malik

Farhan Malik

Leadership in a Snapshot

I am a pediatric critical care physician who has to lead a large, diverse team in highly stressful emergency situations. My ability to perform comes through my ability to effectively lead. I have discovered that leadership comes down to recognizing your unconscious bias, fostering your curiosity, mastering conflict dynamics, becoming a mentor, and finally becoming civic engaged.

Rick Rhodes

Leadership; Inspiration; Storytelling

I am a ten-time nonfiction author, with three books with major national publishers (e.g., Pelican Publishing Company, New Orleans). I am also an authority on American History, especially, but not limited to, the 19th Century. I relish elucidating folks on the nuances of our own and varied U.S. History.

Jim Simms

Leadership; Inspiration; Storytelling; Other

Toastmaster since October 1997. Member of multiple clubs. Officer roles include President and VPE. Also Area Director and New Club Chair. Judge for Rotary District 6890, US Academic Decathlon, Tropicana Speech Contest, and Optimist International. Helped start Direct Auto Insurance Toastmasters, Cott Beverages Toastmasters and Hofstra University Graduate School of Business in District 46.

Parveen Vahora, MD


Dr. Parveen Vahora is a board certified, fellowship trained laparoscopic gynecological surgeon, who is in private practice in Trinity, Florida. Her practice mission statement is: Inspiring women to live their best life by providing personalized a Compassionate Care. She finished her fellowship in laparoscopy and pelvic surgery at Celebration Health, Florida. Prior to, she completed her Ob/Gyn residency at Drexel University, in Philadelphia. She calls herself a minimalist and offers her patients various medical and surgical options and tailors her treatment to each patient. Dr. Vahora is highly acclaimed in minimally invasive surgery and performed the first single-site Robotic hysterectomy in Pinellas County. Dr. Vahora has implemented an early recovery program/ERAS protocols for her all surgical patients resulting in improved quality of care, a shorter length of stay, less adverse events, decreased narcotic use with alternative options, better patient.

Photo: Jason Silverstein

Jason Silverstein

Overcoming obstacles to achieve what you want; How to get over the fear of public speaking; When you have a strong purpose you can achieve great things

I started in Toastmasters because I wanted to be able to communicate better. I had trouble communicating my thoughts and ideas verbally. I joined in 2011 and it helped somewhat. I stayed in it for 5 years before quitting because public speaking was just too hard for me. I came back to Toastmasters in October 2018 and then joined a second club in May 2019. I had a much stronger purpose this time. I had a goal to speak in front of large audiences and document my progress along the way. I want to inspire people by showing people how far I have come as a public speaker starting from the lowest point. I have done it through consistent practice and dedication. As a great byproduct of public speaking, I can now communicate with people verbally much better. This has helped me in relationships and as a Realtor. I want the audience to think if I can do this what can they do?
I like to throw in some humor in all my speeches.