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Big Sky’s Toastmaster club recognized by Toastmasters International

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Top Shelf Toastmasters has been named a Select Distinguished Club of Toastmasters International, a certification achieved by 30 percent of Toastmaster clubs.

To be considered for the recognition, a club must achieve seven of 10 established goals for success including new member growth, and competent communicator and advanced leadership achievements for individual club members. 

Jackie Rainford Corcoran spearheaded the initial effort to establish a Toastmasters club in Big Sky. With the commitment of 20 initial members, Top Shelf Toastmasters was created in March of 2016.  It’s made up of business professionals, massage therapists, artists, firefighters and retirees looking to hone their communication skills for a myriad of reasons. The club meets for one hour every Tuesday.

“I joined to stop saying ‘ya know’ and build confidence,” said Kinga Wilson, the vice president of membership for Big Sky’s chapter. “I can speak from the hip, but needed help planning out presentations. I’ve also noticed I am more focused, get to the point quicker, and am winning more arguments at home!”  

“My friends have noticed that I’m more articulate during conversations and have the ability to distill complicated subjects down to be more easily understood,” said Carlye Luft, Top Shelf Toastmasters’ vice president of education. 

The following officers were recently elected to Top Shelf Toastmasters:

  • President – Kari Gras
  • Vice president of education – Carlye Luft
  • Vice president of public relations – Kate Ketschek
  • Vice president of membership – Kinga Wilson
  • Treasurer – Lianne Kershaw
  • Sergeant at Arms – Tallie Lancey
  • Secretary – Katie Alvin

Meetings are held each Tuesday 12-1p.m. in the Town Center conference room, above The Cave. Those interested in participating are invited to attend a meeting to learn more. Contact Kari Gras at or (406) 570-4257 for more information.

Toastmasters International is a world leader in communication and leadership development. The organization and its chapters empower individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders by providing a positive and supportive learning experience in which members are empowered to develop communication and leadership skills, resulting in greater self confidence and personal growth. 

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