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Stefano McGhee, DTM

 

Hi! I’ve been a Toastmaster for 14 years (and counting) and — perhaps like you — have worked my way up the Toastmasters leadership chain, serving as a strong advocate for the members of my Clubs, Areas, Divisions and District. The lessons I learned on this journey enabled me to advance my career and enrich other areas of my life. I’m now ready to share my vision with you by serving as your International Director from Region 9. Vote for me and I’ll work alongside you to adapt our organization to meet the challenges of our complex world and better serve the global community of Toastmasters everywhere.

 
 
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Why Stefano?

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“The skills I built in Toastmasters drive my success in Information Technology and the United States Air Force.”

After a number of years in District leadership, I wondered what was next. I posed the question to an International Director, thinking that was my next role. His response has guided me to this day. He said, “You have learned a great deal from your leadership journey. Go out into the world and use what you’ve learned in Toastmasters to advance your career and learn about strategy and vision. Then come back and become a Visionary for Toastmasters.

“Out in the world”, I found that the skills I built in Toastmasters could be applied to drive my success in Information Technology and the United States Air Force. Because of those skills, I landed an assignment to direct a multimillion dollar project at my regular job. In the military, those skills helped me rise to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel where I now serve as the Communications Director for the State of Rhode Island, advising a General of ways technology can solve problems that may occur during a hurricane, snow storm or other domestic challenge. These opportunities out in the world taught me vision, strategic planning, and financial management of large organizations. Just as that International Director had predicted, those opportunities taught me a lot about strategy and vision. I’m now ready to bring these skills back and become a Visionary for Toastmasters.

 

Forward, Together.

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Toastmasters works because we work together. We require collaboration to get better at public speaking and we need teamwork to accomplish leadership goals at all levels of the organization. Without each other, Toastmasters doesn’t work. Working together means we operate with Integrity, provide Service to others, strive towards Excellence and never fail to Respect each other. Forward, Together means unity of effort and that requires open, transparent communication. We can’t move together if we can’t communicate our Envisioned Future across our entire organization. Everyone—from a club’s Sergeant-at-Arms to the International President—needs to understand our direction so we can achieve our mission to be the world’s leading provider of communications and leadership development.

Toastmasters has given me so much. For the past twenty-five years, I’ve worked in Information Technology while simultaneously serving in the United States Air Force. The opportunities available to me were often a direct result of my work with Toastmasters. I have led departments and planned for their success. I have learned that the most highly respected leaders are those that care about the well being and advancement of their people. I’ve seen the great things that happen when you plan ahead—years ahead—to ensure that the resources and funds will be there for your organization when they are needed. I would not have been successful without Toastmasters, and so I will always continue to give back by volunteering to lead critical teams in the District, organizing our past District leaders to be a force for good in the District, and—with your help and your vote—ushering in a new era of Toastmasters as your International Director from Region 9.

GlobalLY Aware

During my career, I’ve been lucky to have the opportunity to work with teams around the world. Luckier still, I had the opportunity to travel to visit them where they work and play. Through these experiences, I learned first hand that we are all different. We have different ways of communicating. That leads to different ways of working and different ways of providing feedback. However, the most important thing I learned is that we are more the same than we are different. I was treated like family wherever I traveled. This happens when you become one with the people you are visiting. By sampling their cultures, understanding the local challenges and working within the local framework, you cease to be a tourist or outsider. You become part of the solution. You move Forward, Together.

 
 
 
While most of us may have entered Toastmasters to learn to make speeches, that benefit is but the beginning of the good which may come to us and the good which we may do for mankind.
— Dr. Ralph Smedley
 

I have had the opportunity to lead departments and plan for their success. I have learned that the most highly respected leaders are those that care about their people. Great leaders care about the well-being and advancement of their people. Great things happen when you plan ahead — years ahead — to ensure that the resources and funds will be there to ensure the success of your organization. I would not have been successful without Toastmasters. I continue to give back by volunteering to lead critical teams in the District and organizing our past District leaders to be a force for good in the District.

Professional

TOASTMASTERS

MILITARY

Director of Global Monitoring

Director of Information Technology

Enterprise Cloud Operations Manager

Network Administrator

Senior Operations Engineer

Systems Engineer

Conference Chair

Credentials Chair

Nominations Chair

Immediate Past District Director

District Director

Program Quality Director

Immediate Past District Governor

Select Distinguished District Governor

Lieutenant Governor Education & Training

Lieutenant Governor Marketing

Division Governor (twice)

Area Director

Director of Communications — Rhode Island Air National Guard

Deputy Director of Logistics

Executive Officer

Deputy Commander

Operations Officer

Officer in Charge — Network Operations

 
 
 

"Stefano McGhee embodies everything that’s good about Toastmasters. He has given freely of himself over the years, taking on the District Director position twice. Whatever role at whatever level he’s assumed in the District, he’s been a leader by example. Highly personal, organized and articulate, I believe he’d be equally effective as an International Director."

— Richard Bianchi

 

"Stefano’s charismatic leadership style inspires people to achieve their full potential. The enthusiasm he brings to Toastmasters is evident in every project he completes, but where he truly shines is in the strong relationships he has built with everyone from District leaders to fellow club members."

— Laura Brady

 

“Stefano’s communication skills are simply...superb! His use of those skills to align with other strategic partners to identify common needs, define common benefits and achieve common long term goals is a definite advantage and helps break down silos allowing the organization to move forward.

Stefano understands the need to stay ahead of the curve and ensures that his teams are prepared for whatever is just around the corner by creating new processes/procedures, providing time for training, identifying and practicing new skills, and using new technologies before they are needed so that when called upon they are already running toward a solution while other teams may be running in circles.

Stefano shows no fear in the face of danger. His strength in assessing situations and either quickly choosing a path or guiding/mentoring others to develop their decision making skills (especially during highly stressful events!) with a calm, encouraging demeanor ensures everyone is working together and part of the solution.”

— Jody Housman

 

"For the past 14 years I have had the honor of both learning from and working with Stefano McGhee, both at the Club and District levels of the Toastmasters organization. If I were to rank his top talents, I would list first his excellent interpersonal skills, where he fosters cooperation, engagement and achievement from his teams. Second, Stefano is a natural leader who continually challenges himself to become better and better. His leadership ability is demonstrated not only within Toastmasters where he has held numerous positions in the District, but also as a nearly 20-year military reservist, and as an in-demand information technology professional at prestigious organizations and companies. Third, and by no means last, he manages responsibility with grace and ease. He is loyal to Toastmasters, follows through and delivers, adhering to guidelines, yet with insightfulness and creativity. He communicates extremely well, earns respect, and elicits participation. Stefano McGhee is an excellent choice for International Director."

— Ellen McCurdy

 

I was honored to have Stefano work on my leadership team for 6 years and would work with him again in a heartbeat. He improves every team he's involved in, whether he is the formal leader or a team member. When he creates clear vision and strategy for his teams, they see that he prioritizes both people and work to create an atmosphere where stronger teams accomplish goals and feel a greater sense of purpose and connection. His contributions have helped me be more successful while his friendship and advice have made the time more rewarding.

— Rachel Sage

 

“I cannot say enough good about this man. He was my LGM and I could not have asked for a better one. As a leader, I *love* people who take a project and run with it, while keeping me informed. That was Stefano. He made my life much easier. He is smart. He is personable. He works hard. He cares. He is the person for the job.”

— Bil Lewis

 

“I have known Stefano McGhee since 2011 when he was Lieutenant Governor Education and Training and welcomed me as a charter member to my first club. Since then we have worked together many times as District leaders including appointing me to my first of three terms as an Area Governor. As Chief Ambassador, I recruited Stefano to the Pathways Ambassador team and then worked with him closely when he transitioned to Pathways Guide Coordinator. And why did Stefano continue to tackle the big issues? ‘It meant a lot to the members and that makes me happy.’”

— Deb Siwik

 

“It was my pleasure to work with Stefano as his District 31 Finance Manager.
Stefano always goes above and beyond. When I applied for a new job that required a reference highlighting my work ethic and financial capability, Stefano was happy to write the reference and it was instrumental in me landing my dream job. Which, by the way, required a good amount of public speaking – thanks to Toastmasters, I was able to jump right in!

I am eternally grateful for Stefano’s mentorship and friendship. He is a dedicated Toastmaster, leads with integrity and inspires delivery of the vision.”

— Sandi Barrett

 

About Stefano

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meet stefano mcghee

Toastmasters is only one facet of my life. I have a wife, Jennifer (who is also a DTM), a tweenage son, Tucker, and a beagle named Trevor. I spend time on things that challenge my mind and enhance my skills like serving in the military, motorcycling, flying airplanes and teaching people about wine. These pursuits and my memberships in related organizations round out who I am. I love chatting with Toastmasters who share my passions, and I have even been known to take up new interests that I learned from listening to speeches by fellow Toastmasters!

The way we spend our time defines who we are.
— Jonathan Estrin
 
 
United States Air Force

United States Air Force

Lieutenant Colonel

“I want to fly jets, sir!” Did I want to become an Officer and a Gentleman? Sure. But more than that, I wanted to fly! I joined the Air Force to fulfill a boyhood dream of becoming an airline pilot, but my imperfect eyesight kept me from qualifying for the flight program. Instead, I made my career in Information Technology. I began as a Second Lieutenant pulling cable in aircraft hangars with my team. It wasn’t technically my job, but I believed that you cannot honestly lead a team without knowing the challenges they face, and I wanted to experience those challenges first hand, by working right alongside them. I witnessed a few great leaders during my service, but I saw many more average leaders. It wasn’t until a few years in to my 21 years of service that I began to understand what great leaders were all about. The best leaders take care of their people, get to know their people and listen to their people. They are fair. They understand that when people feel respected, they can be called upon to do almost anything. Being a leader in Toastmasters reinforced this message and cemented this understanding in my character. This understanding will serve me well in the role of International Director.

Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association

Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association

Private Pilot*

The world looks different from the pilot’s seat of a small airplane, and it takes a while to understand how to translate this new perspective into a recognizable landscape. It’s like stepping into another universe and learning an alien language with new rules and a new culture. Nothing invigorates me more than learning about something new.

Ever since I was a boy, I have been fascinated by flight. My parents encouraged this interest by giving me flight simulator software. I sat for hours in front of my computer, flying virtual passengers around the world. I joined the Air Force with the dream to fly for the military for a few years before becoming an airline pilot. When my imperfect eyes kept me from qualifying for military flight, I thought my dream was lost.

Then two years ago, with the encouragement of my wife, I started taking flight lessons. Just last June, I earned my pilot's license at last. Now I fly as often as I can, all around New England, sightseeing and taking short day trips to see interesting towns. Recently I achieved my complex aircraft endorsement, which allows me to fly a wider array of aircraft.

Flying involves a great deal of concentration. I need to take into account the weather, the airplane itself and a lot of regulations that keep flights orderly for all of the airplanes in the sky. In learning to manage all of these details, I also learned a lot about myself. I now have a new dream: a possible career change to the aviation industry. To that end, I have already begun working towards my next rating. I also joined the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), a group that advocates for general aviation pilots like myself, as well as for commercial pilots, as I aspire to be. AOPA is a larger non-profit, so it is interesting to see how they handle member communication and cater to the needs of their membership. I’m looking forward to bringing this knowledge to the table as International Director.


BMW Club Motorcycle Owners of America

BMW Club Motorcycle Owners of America

motorcycle enthusiast*

A bright blue blur! That’s what you’ll see if you encounter me on the open road, riding my blue BMW R1200RT. I love the freedom of the ride and being more connected to the world.

I started riding motorcycles about 12 years ago, thinking it would be a fun way to challenge myself mentally. Riding a motorcycle requires a great deal of awareness of other drivers who might not see you or are not paying attention to what they are doing. I regularly commute to work during rush hour, and I must maintain an enormous level of awareness of my surroundings to stay safe.

But, the best part about riding is when I am away from the city, riding in the open air where I can smell the grass and the sea as I ride along. I recently started riding with some local Toastmasters, which has increased my enjoyment of both hobbies. I joined the BMW Motorcycle Owners Association (MOA) because it puts me in contact with other people that like to journey by motorcycle. Like the AOPA, the BMW MOA is a nonprofit and has given me yet another perspective on how such an organization works for its members, a perspective that will help me be a better visionary for Toastmasters as International Director.

 

PRUDENT RISK TAKER

* I know what you’re thinking: motorcycle? Airplane? This guy’s a risk taker! You are right! And you are wrong! Toastmasters has taught me that in order to grow, it’s important to stretch beyond my comfort zone—to take risks. At the same time, Toastmasters meetings provide a safe place for me to try new things—to minimize the risk of failure. When I fly and when I ride, I get a thrill! And safety is always paramount in my mind. It’s important to maintain a balance between staying so safe that you never grow and risking so much that failure would be a disaster.

Wine Spectator

Wine Spectator

WINE Aficionado

My interest in wine started while I was in college. (no, not in the way you are thinking!) I started wondering Where does it come from? How is it made? How does where it is made define what it delivers? I took a few courses with Wine Spectator and discovered that making wine requires its own bit of strategic planning. A winemaker always begins with a vision for their wine. What will it taste like? What will the style be? While the winemaker may encounter challenges along the way with cost, quality and weather concerns, holding to the vision is critical because it always shows the way forward. This is the same way I view working on the Board of Directors. Vision is key. It guides our organization through challenges to assure the desired result.

My Italian heritage naturally drew me to Italian wines, but I appreciate many styles. I take great pride in not being the “snobby wine guy,” and I’ll drink an interesting wine even if it comes from the bargain bin. By being a non-judgmental ambassador of wine, I’ll make wine more approachable and have more friends to enjoy it with. I enjoy sharing my love of wine with friends and have given more than a few speeches about wine. I have even organized a few wine tastings. One of my favorite things is to find someone who doesn’t drink wine and ease them into it by selecting just the right wines to enjoy.

I return every year to Napa and Sonoma counties in California to celebrate my wedding anniversary. Over the past 20 years or so, we have gotten to know a few people in the area and really find the area to be unmatched in its beauty and hospitality. We will be returning there this year to celebrate a vows renewal with close friends at a winery (of course).

 

 

Contact me:

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I’m looking forward to speaking with you! Click the button below to make an appointment to speak before the International Convention in August or fill out the form below to send me a message.

Name *
Name
 

Stefano McGhee

Weymouth, Massachusetts

United States of America

 
 
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