Proudly serving as SmoothTalkers’ President, Neta has been in the club for more than 2 years.
She is a Development (R&D) Engineer at NuVasive where she works with teams of surgeons in and out of the Operating Room to develop and test innovative surgical systems. Neta is passionate about personal growth and development, and is grateful for the opportunities SmoothTalkers presents to practice her public speaking, presentation, and leadership skills.
In her free time, Neta enjoys swing dancing, learning new languages, reading, and learning to play piano.
What are your proudest Toastmasters/Public Speaking moments?
“My proudest moments are winning 2nd place on my first competing in the Toastmasters District 5 Area contest (in 2019) and serving as a panelist in a Young Women in Bio (YWIB) event. In both experiences I was amazed at how calm, prepared, and confident I felt in front of the audience. Moments like these make me realize how much SmoothTalkers helps me maximize my potential, and get me excited to keep coming back!”
Vice President of Education
Born in Ridgecrest, CA, Brian says he has always been a self-help addict. He loves learning and growing because he believes it helps us make the most of our precious lives.
Brian first joined Toastmasters in 1992 when he became a member of Spirit Masters. Currently ranked ATM Silver, Brian has a passion for Toastmasters. Today, he is a member of both Smooth Talkers Toastmasters and Hardhats Toastmasters. He has held the position of President, Vice President of Education, Vice President of Public Relations, and Sergeant at Arms.
In 2005 as VP of PR, Brian served as chief editor for the Hardhats Herald. A monthly Toastmasters newsletter that won an award for Excellence from Toastmasters International.
What attracted you to Toastmasters?
"While in my early thirties, I listened extensively to motivational speakers like Earl Nightingale, Tony Robbins, Brian Tracey, and Zig Ziglar. It was during that time that I discovered Zig Ziglar's 28 Ways to Raise Your Self Esteem. One of Ziglar's top techniques for raising your self-esteem was to join a Toastmasters club. I consider this piece of advice to be one of the most valuable messages I've ever encountered. It has changed my life."
Vice President of Membership
Aditi has been a member of SmoothTalkers for almost 2 years and is currently serving as the Vice President of Membership. Her favorite role during a meeting is the Toastmaster, facilitating the meeting to make sure the meeting is organized and fun. Besides exploring San Diego, she enjoys yoga, reading, and hiking.
What is a skill you learned in Toastmasters that you use in your day-to-day life?
“ Through Toastmasters, I’ve gained the confidence I needed for handling any situation. The skill I value most is evaluation – it has benefited me greatly in my career and relationships. The club has provided valuable experiences to challenge myself and grow as a strong communicator and a platform to develop my leadership skills.”
Vice President of Public Relations
Christopher is an Electronics Engineer and has been with SmoothTalkers since January 2020. He is currently the Vice President of Public Relations. He enjoys travelling, hiking, programming and all sort of things related with technology.
Why did you join Toastmasters?
“I joined Toastmasters because I had a chance to travel to Beijing, China on 2017 after winning an international student competition. I realized I wanted to improve speaking in public and on job interviews, and I was recommended to join a local Toastmasters club. After moving to California, I felt the urge to continue improving my public speaking skills. Over time, I've learnt to go beyond my comfort zone and even more importantly, it has allowed me to engage with other people and create a positive and supportive environment."
Stephen Cicero is a mathematician, software developer, and self-taught economist. He is married and has a son who is currently enrolled at UC Santa Cruz. His primary interests are in economics and its relationship to political issues, fantasy role-playing games, and Toastmasters.
He joined Toastmasters in April 1998 and joined SmoothTalkers in February 2014. Steve is a Distinguished Toastmaster. He has joined three additional clubs and taken offices in each of them. He also served one and one-half terms as an Area Governor and has been a Club Mentor for a new club. His current clubs include Excelsior, Hi-Fi Speakers, Liberty, and SmoothTalkers.
Cindy has been a SmoothTalker since 2012 and became the club's first Distinguished Toastmaster in 2016. She has served in all the officer positions and as Area Governor. She has competed in a few Humorous Speech contests up to the Division level. She's also a member of an Advanced Club, Toast of the Coast. Outside of Toastmasters, Cindy likes to read, attend Improv classes, play in senior women’s sports leagues, hike, backpack and travel.
Why did you join Toastmasters?
“The club was meeting at my church so I popped in just to see what was happening. It was so exciting and entertaining I got hooked! I didn't want to speak, just to come and listen. I was finally encouraged to join and it's been a fabulous ride ever since. I've learned that through Toastmasters, you can move out of your comfort zone and grow and become absolutely anything you want to become or achieve. I have so much more confidence now in every area of my life.”
Sergeant at Arms
Janey Wassel, DTM, has been a SmoothTalker for twenty-six years. She has held every officer role multiple times and is our Club Historian and has a permanent position on our Executive Board as Mentor Chair. Her dedication and inspiration to all of our members makes her our most beloved member.
Why I stay in Toastmasters?
“I continue to learn, grow, and stretch every week. And now that I’ve been retired from a career that stimulated my mind every single day, I want and need that engagement more than ever, especially since I’m an introvert and could easily just curl up with a book and be happy. The other big reason I stay is I love seeing and being a part of the transformation of new members as their confidence grows and they learn invaluable communication and leadership skills. ”