Burrard Toastmasters
Vancouver's leading business-oriented public speaking club
Club Speeches

Club Executive

Amy Liu, Club President
Amy joined Burrard Toastmasters in March 2015. She loves to talk but found out that when she had to speak in front of her colleagues at work, she was so nervous that she would start to sweat and forget important things that she was supposed to say. After lots of practice, she has overcome most of her nerves and has even volunteered to speak at staff meetings. Joining Toastmasters has given her the confidence she needs to speak her mind in front of an audience.

Amy enjoys working in the HR department of a non-profit organization. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and is a member of a book club. She plays badminton, softball, and paddles on a dragon boat team. She loves living in Vancouver where she enjoys the many outdoor activities that this city has to offer. She has most recently taken up snowboarding in the winter.

As Club President, Amy is looking forward to leading the club and helping members maximize their Toastmasters experience. She hopes that many others can realize their own potential as speakers just as she has through Burrard Toastmasters.

The Club President leads the club, inspires members, and chairs meetings.

James Haddad, VP Education

The VP Education plans weekly meetings and encourages members to work on their Toastmasters manuals.

Anthony Hillairet, VP Membership
Anthony joined Burrard Toastmasters in December 2015. When he was working as a researcher in physics, Anthony witnessed the best and the worst when it came to presentations during conferences and meetings with colleagues.

He now works as a data scientist where reporting to non-experts is an essential skill to ensure that the best data-driven business decisions are made. To that end, Anthony decided to improve his speaking skills to get closer to the best speakers he had seen: people who can clearly communicate the information and inspire experts and non-experts alike. One visit to Burrard Toastmasters was enough to know that this was the place to help him reach this goal.

Besides work and Toastmasters, Anthony enjoys learning new skills and practicing the ones he already has. His current interests are data science and cooking. He also tries to work out regularly to burn the products of his cooking, such as his famous chocolate mousse.

Anthony is looking forward to helping guests interested in joining become members and supporting them as they start their Toastmasters journey. He is eager to see the new members he helped become talented and inspirational speakers.

The VP Membership builds membership and handles membership applications.

Christopher Mark, VP Public Relations

The VP Public Relations publicizes the club and handles email and phone inquiries.

Mohammad Samadanian, VP Mentorship
Mohammad is a Mechanical Engineer who worked as a Project Manager in his home country of Iran and in Italy for 15 years. After settling in Canada, his plan was to earn a Master's Degree at UBC. However, he found that he needed more soft skills (communication and leadership) than hard skills (University degree). This led Mohammad to attend Burrard Toastmasters as a guest in 2016.

Two months later, Mohammad became a member as he found the club could help him adjust to Canadian society and the workplace successfully. In his first year, with the help of a mentor, he was able to complete both the Competent Communicator and Competent Leader manuals.

In his second year, Mohammad was elected VP of Mentorship. In this role, he will use his Toastmasters experience to pair new club members with experienced members to fortify their communication and leadership skills.

In his free time, Mohammad enjoys going to the gym, swimming, walking through Vancouver's spectacular scenic spots, and reading books.

The VP Mentorship works with members and their mentors to develop a plan to achieve their educational goals.

Nancy Tania, Treasurer

The Treasurer prepares a budget, collects dues, pays bills, and keeps records for audit.

Patricia Dickens, Secretary

The Secretary maintains supplies and takes minutes at Executive meetings.

Ralph Fraatz, Sergeant-At-Arms

The Sergeant-at-Arm sets up the room before a meeting, cleans up the room after the meeting, and brings meetings to order.

Nam Phan, Videographer
In the fall of 2000, Nam attended his first Burrard Toastmasters meeting as a guest, not knowing what to expect and unsure if he would return again. Two hours later, he left the meeting a changed person. He had spent the last 2 hours laughing, learning, and being inspired by the speakers' stories, courage, and desire to improve.

One month later, Nam joined Burrard and has not looked back. As club member, he has served a variety of Club Officer roles, maintained the club website, and achieved his ACB designation. As Videographer, Nam will provide speakers access to their greatest evaluator themselves by recording their speeches.

In his free time, Nam enjoys listening to podcasts, studying the stock market, and exploring the numerous events and festivals in Vancouver. Currently, he has a healthy obsession with The Walking Dead.

Lucy Zhang, Videographer

The Videographer records speeches and uploads the videos online for viewing.

Dino Laurel, Past President
Dino joined Burrard Toastmasters in July 2014 to work on his impromptu speaking skills and increase his confidence personally and professionally.

From his first year in Toastmasters, he experienced one of the many benefits of joining Toastmasters improving his leadership ability. In his first year, he organized the International Speech Contest for Burrard Toastmasters and successfully campaigned for a club officer role. He relishes the opportunity to display his leadership prowess and his social media savvy.

Outside of Toastmasters, Dino is an accomplished paddler. He has competed in International competitions and has represented Canada in a dragon boat competition in Hong Kong in 2011. He also completed his first marathon in Honolulu in December 2014.

Dino is looking forward to the opportunity to building brand awareness of Burrard Toastmasters and Toastmasters International. He believes that everyone has a chance to grow professionally and personally and that Toastmasters is the way to grow.

The Past President provides guidance and ensures the club is run smoothly.