UMSL’s chief marketing officer earns rare Distinguished Toastmaster distinction

by | Aug 20, 2015

Toastmasters International recently bestowed the organization’s highest honor to Ron Gossen (second from left), founding president of the Triton Toastmasters Club.
Triton Toastmasters Club

In this 2014 file photos, UMSL Chancellor Tom George (left) and Ron Gossen, founding president of Triton Toastmasters, show off the club’s charter that was presented by Sandy Kardis and John Barry. Gossen was recently named a Distinguished Toastmaster, the organization’s highest honor. (Photo by August Jennewein)

The emergent University of Missouri–St. Louis Triton Toastmasters Club only received its charter status last year. And yet it already has among its members a Distinguished Toastmaster.

Toastmasters International recently bestowed the organization’s highest honor to Ron Gossen, UMSL’s chief marketing officer, senior associate vice chancellor for marketing and communications and the founding president of the Triton Toastmasters Club. Only about one in every 200 toastmasters has received the award in Toastmasters International’s history.

“Ron truly deserves the Distinguished Toastmaster award,” said Triton Toastmasters President Ann Larsen. “The members of Triton Toastmasters have been motivated by Ron’s success and continued guidance to work through the projects in their communication and leadership manuals. And he continues to encourage and support our members in their individual goals as well as planning for the long-term success of our club.”

While the Triton Toastmasters Club might be young, Gossen is a veteran member of Toastmasters International, having participated in multiple clubs. Achieving the Distinguished Toastmaster status means devoting at least five years of dedicated service and leadership to the organization. Gossen was also required to perform more than 40 public presentations of varying degrees of difficulty, complete more than 10 leadership projects and serve as a club and district officer.

“Ron has served as a formal mentor to a few members of our club but has been an informal mentor to all of us by encouraging each of us to follow the steps of the Toastmasters program,” said Melinda McEndarfer, Triton Toastmasters vice president – marketing. “He has led many Toastmasters’ members to greater personal achievements by his example. His experience, enthusiasm and sense of humor have set the tone for our club.”

“There are many meaningful ways to volunteer our time and our talents,” Gossen said. “Helping others to acquire life-changing skills is built into the Toastmasters ethos, one that mirrors Maya Angelou’s intonation: ‘When you learn, teach, when you get, give.’ Earning the Distinguished Toastmaster recognition is just something that comes with dedication to the organization’s values.”

The Triton Toastmasters Club meets most Thursdays between noon and 1 p.m. in 101 Woods Hall at UMSL. Read more about Triton Toastmasters at UMSL Daily. To learn more about the UMSL club, contact Melinda McEndarfer at 314-516-4149.

Ryan Heinz

Ryan Heinz