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Overturf new membership VP for Carlsbad-Oceanside Toastmasters


Last updated 1/10/2008 at Noon

Bonsall’s Rich Overturf is the new vice president of membership for Carlsbad-Oceanside Toastmasters.

The club members elected Overturf to the office for a term which began January 1 and which will run through June 30.

The duties of a club’s vice-president of membership include not only new members but also renewals. “The retention, that’s the key one,” Overturf said.

Carlsbad-Oceanside Toastmasters, which meets on Wednesday nights at the Salvation Army building in Oceanside, currently has 15 members. “We’re sort of in a building stage right now,” Overturf said.

The minimum number of members required for a chapter to charter with Toastmasters International is 20, and a Toastmasters chapter is also required to have 20 members or a net gain of five members to qualify for distinguished club awards.

“We’re under charter right now,” Overturf said. “We’re going to have to work hard on that to get that back up there, but I think we can do it.”

Overturf was not a club officer for the July-December 2007 term, but he was the club’s vice president of public relations for January 2007 through June 2007. He had spent several terms in that position before stepping down.

“I thought it was time for somebody else to learn how to do the stuff,” he said.

Overturf has reached the Advanced Communicator Bronze and Competent Leader certifications in Toastmasters.

“I like the mentoring at the club level,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun to see people develop as speakers, and I enjoy it.”

Overturf joined Toastmasters in 1989. “I started thinking I’ve got to do something about public speaking,” he said. “I really wish I had done that when I was about 30, 35 years old.”

Overturf, who had been in the Foreign Service before his retirement in 1988, served two stints at Voice of America. He was the Korean section broadcast chief from 1970 to 1974 before an assignment to Japan, and he was the Asia and Africa policy chief from 1983 to 1985.

“I really enjoyed working at Voice of America. We had some really good people,” he said. “The Voice was pretty much unpoliticized back in that period.”

Overturf has been in Carlsbad-Oceanside Toastmasters for his entire 18 years as a member of Toastmasters.

“When I came to my first meeting the people in this club were so nice to me,” he said. “I’d just finished my Foreign Service life and I didn’t know what to expect, and they were so warm and helpful to me.”

Overturf moved from Oceanside to Fallbrook in 1990 and lived in Fallbrook for 11 years before moving to Wildomar. He lived in Wildomar from 2001 to 2003, when he moved to Bonsall.


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