Our Hosts

We have a diverse team who are working together to ensure all delegates have an engaging experience. Meet the team who will be making sure your entire conference journey is a smooth one!

Andrea Righi

Do you know our Division A Director, Andrea Righi? The very first member to buy a ticket for this year’s conference and we’re thrilled to announce that he’ll also be one of our talented conference MCs for the weekend. 

Be sure to say ‘hello’ to Andy in Bristol.

Jeff Grace

Jeff is the founding member of Lewes Speakers and believes that those who speak well, do well.

You can catch him hosting one of our pre-conference webinars –  “Up Close and Personal” Insights from Public Speaking Champions.

Andrew P. Bennett, DTM

Andrew is Past District 91 Champion for Speech Evaluation and Table Topics. He is delighted to be in conversation with distinguished 2009 International Speech Champion Mark Hunter for our pre – conference webinar series.

In the spirit of ‘Limitless You‘and the development of online Toastmasters events Andrew has become known to our Toastmasters and their guests worldwide for his interactive, online voice workshop ‘Your Engaging Voice’ which has been delivered over 40 times to clubs and Districts. He has also given many workshops on Table Topics and Evaluation.

Diwakar Labh, DTM

Diwakar Labh, a DTM (Distinguished Toastmaster), serves as an Engineering Manager at a reputable insurance company in the UK. With over 11 years of experience as a Toastmaster, he has actively participated in Toastmasters clubs across District 41, District 82, and District 92 in India, as well as District 91 in the UK.

Throughout his Toastmasters journey, Diwakar has held various leadership positions at both club and District levels, including District 41 Public Relations Manager, Area Governor, Area Director, Club President, VP-PR, and Treasurer.

In recognition of his outstanding performance, he was honored with the best District 41 Area Director Award for the year 2015-16. Notably, during his tenure as District 41 Public Relations Manager in 2016-17, District 41 achieved the 1st rank globally, with PR playing a pivotal role in this success. Diwakar was also presented with the Late Navneet Joshi PR Memorial Award for his exceptional contributions to District 41 PR activities. Additionally, he has been associated with numerous corporate and community clubs across District 8, District 41, District 92, and District 91.

Currently, Diwakar is an active member of Kent Speakers. Diwakar will be our conference correspondent during the weekend, capturing special moments with our delegates through out the weekend.

Jessica Breitenfeld

Jess joined our conference last year and gave a workshop online for District 91 in 2021. She is joining us to celebrate our 100 year anniversary in Toastmasters, as an international member to bring ”injections of connection” throughout the conference weekend.

She’s known as the blond who lives on Linkedin- she tells me- it’s not so true: She let her blond grow out and she lives in downtown Barcelona.

She won district in 2022 as top female in Europe region and loves to help women get their ideas heard. Jess is a therapist in Gestalt Psychotherapy and a volunteer hospital clown. There is some fun in Linkedin.

Gemma Nevers

5 years and counting, Gemma has previously been a President of North Avon Speakers and is still a member of Bristol Central Speakers. Enthusiastic about connecting with others via effective public speaking and leaderships skills, TMI continues to deliver value in all areas of her life.

Fran Nyugen

Fran has been a member of Toastmasters since 2018. She first joined Gatwick Communicators and went on to serve as President in 2019/2022. She has run Speech Craft sessions, been involved in club sponsorship and supporting district contests for several years.

Now she is a member of SOS and is living up in Suffolk. She enjoys Toastmasters and has visited many clubs both in the UK and overseas, both in person and online. Currently serving as secretary to SOS and now on her 2nd Pathway… She shares a Victorian cottage with her German Shepherd Cleo, and runs her businesses, Trauma Counselling and Upcycling!

Arnaud Sartre, DTM

Part of our District’s legacy as District Director 2020/2021, catch Arnaud hosting Past International Presidents from our Speak to Communicate and Connect pre-conference webinar series.

Arnaud will be part of the fun as we celebrate on Friday evening, as our ”Sparkle Consultant” – so wear a touch of sparkle or load up a sparkly background and you could win a prize!

Arnaud will also be on stage during the We Are District 91 panel led by Rupa Datta, District Director 2022/2023.

Serena Salvatore

Serena Salvatore is our Bristol Host. As President of Bristol Central Speakers and an Area Director Elect, she is focused on ensuring our delegates in Bristol have a fantastic experience in her amazing city!

Catch Serena during the conference weekend, especially as part of the team hosting our Gala Dinner!

Smita Narayan, DTM

Smita, a seasoned Toastmaster with nearly 8 years of experience, has earned two Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) titles during her tenure. Originally hailing from India, she has cultivated a diverse professional background, having worked with esteemed organizations such as GE Capital and Bank of America Merrill Lynch across the globe.

With a marital journey spanning 30 years, Smita has spent the last 25 years residing in London. Proud mother to a 20-year-old daughter, Smita retired from her career in Financial and Consulting Services to dedicate her time to transforming, motivating, and upskilling individuals.

Now a passionate public speaker with a penchant for stand-up comedy, Smita finds joy in mentoring Toastmasters, delivering learning modules, and actively participating in club meetings. Her guiding mantra remains, ‘Smile DESPITE All’, reflecting her resilience and positivity in navigating life’s challenges.

Haritosh Srivastav, DTM

Haritosh brings a wealth of expertise as a passionate Storytelling Coach and Certified World Class Speaking Coach. With a proven track record spanning India, the US, and the UK, Haritosh has earned acclaim as an award-winning speaker, recognized at prestigious events such as the International Public Speaking Championship and the Table Topics Contest.

With over 16 years of experience as an IT Portfolio Manager at TCS, Haritosh offers a unique blend of storytelling prowess and real-world leadership insights to their coaching practice. Their debut book, ‘Small Town Bigger Dreams,’ has captivated readers seeking personal growth and time management mastery.

As a Distinguished Toastmaster, Haritosh stands in the top 1% of Toastmasters International members, showcasing their commitment to communication and leadership excellence. Join Haritosh on their YouTube channel and Confident Storytelling Podcast for inspiring content, insightful interviews, and practical tips to master the art of storytelling and engage audiences like never before.

Sean Dean

Sean is serving as Division L Director this year and is a past president of Society Speakers. 

Sean is ecstatic to be involved with the conference webinar series and be able to experience first-hand the amazing panel discussions, workshops and presentations!

Jacqui Hogan, DTM

Author, speaker, painter, explorer and huge penguin enthusiast, who also enjoys dressing up in Regency costume. She has won many speech contests and is a current/former President of 4 clubs.  Formally a senior manager/consultant in the IT industry, she is now retired.

Mike Weston

Toastmaster since 2008, member of London Public Speakers since 2019.

Serving as a Zoom Host and our video editing virtuoso! Thrilled to be part of the virtual team, he wields his technical prowess to craft top-tier video content, ensuring our message shines for our esteemed audience.

Sam Lloyd

Sam is a data scientist working with computer vision and sensor fusion. He’s been a toastmasters for 9 years, and is passionate about helping people find confidence in public speaking. Outside of work Sam enjoys kite surfing and sewing.

Anthony Day, DTM

The voice of our conference podcast!

In 2002 three people who had never met before and had never been to a Toastmasters meeting came together and set up Leeds City Toastmasters.

This bridged the gap between clubs in Birmingham and clubs in Edinburgh.  Anthony Day was one of those three and became involved in setting up a further five clubs. For 2012/13 he was Divisional Governor of the Year for Division E. At that time the division included the whole of Scotland, all of northern England and the Midlands. Since then he has taken a back seat and is a member of only three clubs: the original Leeds City Toastmasters, Headingley Speakers (which he represented in the final of last year’s D71 District Humorous Speech contest) and D91’s Sustainable Speakers. Happily, two of those clubs are online!

Anthony is a member of the Professional Speaking Association and for 15 years presented the Sustainable Futures Report podcast, with reports and interviews on the theme of sustainability. After more than two decades as a Toastmaster, he sees no reason why he shouldn’t continue for another decade or so.

Guler Cortis

Guler Cortis is serving as our Division H Director this year. In the past she’s enjoyed challenges in her Toastmasters journey including being Conference Director in 2021.

She can’t wait to welcome our delegates at the conference and be part of the team helping bring your conference to life!

Andy Hammond, DTM

Andy joined Toastmasters in 2001 to improve his presentation skills in the workplace. He went on to found County Communicators at West Sussex County Council and become a well respected leader in our Toastmasters community. Andy was recognised with a Presidential Citation in 2022 “For outstanding and continued contributions to Toastmasters International’s organizational growth and excellence”. He was particularly recognised for having ‘ a gift for bringing people together during difficult situations and times’.

Here in the UK, Andy was Division Governor in 2005-2006, a Pathways Guide and Pathways Chief Ambassador from 2016 to 2018, District Director in 2018-2019, a Board Committee member in 2019-2020 and a member of the International Leadership Committee from 2020 to 2022.

Legacy fact – Andy inspired our conference director at her first club officer training in 2016 to consider the opportunities beyond the club and we know Amy is chuffed to have Andy as an MC at this year’s conference!

Hilary Briggs, DTM

Hilary Briggs served as the first (and only!) District Governor for District 91 in 2014/2015. Following her year, the title changed to District Director.

A seasoned business strategist and leadership coach boasting over three decades of experience. Initially trained as an engineer, she transitioned from corporate roles at Rover Group, Whirlpool Europe, and Laird Group plc to become a trusted consultant for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Acknowledged as “Britain’s most exciting woman executive under 40” by Business Age Magazine, Hilary specialises in assisting businesses in overcoming obstacles and achieving their goals. Drawing from her extensive experience and success in triathlons, she offers practical strategies to navigate distractions and drive progress.

In addition to her business accomplishments, Hilary is a renowned speaker, having clinched the 2022 PSA’s Speaker Factor Emerging Speaker of the Year contest. Her resilience is evident in her athletic pursuits, where she has triumphed despite overcoming a significant Achilles injury. With Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals in triathlon championships, Hilary epitomises determination and excellence both in and out of the boardroom.

Satchin Semage

Meet Satchin Semage, a new addition to our District! Formerly active in District 82, he now serves as the marketing project manager for the conference, enhancing our brand and keeping delegates informed.

In his professional capacity, Satchin advises on future skills and technology shifts. Based in Bristol like Serena, he’s your go-to for all things Bristol-related during the conference. Reach out anytime!

Jane Houghton

Jane is a consultant in the Private Equity industry, specialising in supporting C-Suite management teams throughout the investment process and preparing their pitch for future investment. Her expertise extends to working with early-stage companies, where she plays a pivotal role in guiding founders as they navigate and pitch for their initial and subsequent investment rounds.

Her expertise lies in blending hands-on support with a forward-thinking approach, contributing to the success and resilience of businesses in various stages of investment