My wish is to connect members with their hopes and dreams
It isn’t easy in the digital age but certainly possible with TI’s practical and helpful resources.
HELEN HE, DTM
ILC Nominated Candidate
Why is CONNECTION vital in today’s digital world?
The COVID pandemic in 2020 cast a dark cloud over all of us. But it also allowed me to learn and grow in so many valuable ways.
Toastmasters China, just like in most parts of the world, had taken a great hit with members concerned with far more significant issues than improving their communication and leadership skills. Attendance was dwindling with a severe loss of 1000+ members.
Toastmasters in China was bleeding … badly.
My D85 team and I reached out to clubs in Wuhan, China’s COVID epicenter. We discovered that members felt disconnected, not just with Toastmasters, but with their own lives severely affected by the pandemic.
We ran an online club workshop in Wuhan and I listened lovingly as members opened up and shared their stories with surprising honesty.
The release and relief made them feel more connected with their inner strength and our fellow members! They became empowered to deal with the unfolding pandemic with new hope!
With a deep sense of empathy, we used skills learned in TM to help our members reconnect in a human and deeply personal way. This is something that is sorely missing in our impersonal digital world, made worse by the pandemic’s social distancing rules.
After our experience in Wuhan, we continued reaching out to the other clubs in D85, and within a month, more than 1000 members re-joined Toastmasters during the pandemic. We finished the year by achieving the President’s Extension Award as the world’s third-highest growth district!
How did this happen? There was no magic formula and our intention was to help our members find themselves again and reconnect with their dreams and aspirations with the help of our community.
This was when I felt deeply aligned with my long-standing desire to connect with people and help them fulfill their life aspirations.
That defining moment also cemented my dream of creating a global village of Toastmasters, with each “citizen” continually growing and thriving with the help of Toastmasters!
“Helen has a big Toastmaster heart with endless energy to connect with her fellow toastmasters and make them always feel inclusive. She is exemplary in applying the core values of Toastmasters International: integrity, respect, excellence and service. She is a wonderful toastmaster and a great asset to any team.
Kees Broos, DTM, Region 14 Advisor 2018-2019
How does Helen CONNECT us?
I am the channel to connect members globally with the best of Toastmasters. And to do this, I will listen to what members need and want as they strive for the life they desire.
Toastmasters International has many valuable resources to help members transform their lives. Many members feel that Toastmasters is useful mainly for public speaking. Nothing could be further from the truth!
From my Club to District-level experience and conversations with international members, the deep value of Toastmasters’ resources is often underestimated. Even though the personal and professional development benefits are exceptionally high, members don’t always see it that way, what a pity!
As a channel to connect members with the best of Toastmasters International, my goal is to help Toastmasters globally share the enduring benefits that membership brings!
“I first met Helen at the Vancouver Convention and was impressed with her warmth, insight, and compassion. I am impressed by her willingness to help, even those far outside her district. She is a great role model for Toastmasters.
David Jones, DTM, Past President,
Franklin Club 524, District 40
Why is Helen a CONNECTOR?
I’m the first to admit I’ve been fortunate with how my professional life evolved over the last 20+ years, working with 4 Fortune 500 multi-national companies operating in countries across the globe.
Learning from many amazing colleagues and leaders I met along the way, I developed a leadership style that is adapted to the different leaders, teams, and clients, all of whom had contrasting needs and wants across different cultures.
I was lucky as I developed my communication skills and honed my questioning and listening techniques to a tee. And after several years accumulating my leadership experience as a business leader and volunteer leader, I took the plunge and went into leadership coaching full-time last year.
Today, as a professional leadership coach, I help individuals find their purpose and core values and for companies to build a culture where business values align with their staff’s values and purpose.
Becoming a professional coach has proven most fulfilling as it is my life’s purpose. Little did I know that TI had an oversized role to play as the over 100 workshops I’ve attended, facilitated, or chaired were instrumental in my decision to focus on coaching.
Thank you, Toastmasters!
“Since meeting Helen several years ago, I have seen tremendous growth in her as a leader. Helen demonstrated through her approach to Wuhan's members that she is visionary, innovative, strategic and dedicated to helping members achieve their goals. These skills are necessary for International Directors of Toastmasters International.
Instead of thinking only about how she can help the members in her district grow, she has become interested and involved with Toastmasters globally.
With her ability to listen and truly connect, her humility, her positive attitude to challenges, and her desire to be part of a team to continue to make Toastmasters the way for all people to be the ones they want to be.
Helen would be an asset as a Board Member.
Coral McVean, DTM, Region 12 Advisor 2018-2020
“Through the eyes of the Māori of New Zealand, one must know how to weave people together to be a leader; their strengths, weaknesses, temperament, and objectives.
Helen He is such a person. She knows how to keep people motivated with a genuine interest in creating an environment that helps people achieve their speaking and leadership goals.
I first met Helen when I visited her District 85 in 2016—being far away from home. Helen made me feel welcome. She possesses a warm smile that lights up her face; this would help me find calm whenever I felt lonely.
Leadership is not only about what you do; it is also about the type of person you are. Helen is a special type of leader. I unreservedly support Helen He and believe she will make a great Board Member.”
Nākū noa nei
Kingi Biddle QSM
Runner-up for World Championship of Public Speaking 2013
“Helen worked with me in business planning at Coca-Cola China.
I very much enjoyed working with her as she was a great team player, hardworking and effective. She was particularly strong in data crunching, problem-solving and managing communication at different levels, which were important skill sets required in our work - from performance tracking to competitive analysis and integrated planning process management.
Such efforts positively impacted various parts of our business in driving sales and market share gain during the period.
Since she left Coca-Cola, I have maintained contact with Helen, and I am extremely impressed with Helen's career progression and leadership development!”
Director, Business Planning, Coca-Cola China
“Helen has a big Toastmasters' heart with endless energy and empathy to connect with her fellow toastmasters and make them always feel inclusive. This feeds her toastmaster heart with great joy and inspiration.
As Region 14 Advisor during 2018/2019, I had the pleasure to experience her Toastmasters' heart and authentic qualities first-hand. She will always explore and weigh all options before sharing her point of view and leadership decisions.
She is exemplary in applying the core values of Toastmasters International; integrity, respect, excellence and service. She is a wonderful Toastmaster and a great asset to any team.”
Kees Broos, DTM
Region 14 Advisor 2018-2019
"If I had to summarize Helen in one word, that word would be BELIEF.
She believes in the power of Toastmasters to fundamentally change people's lives and to make the world a better place.
She has a gentle soul, tempered in the fiery crucible of the pandemic into a powerful and empathetic leader.
I've spent many hours working with her. I'm always impressed with her deep thought and careful consideration of all topics we discuss. Helen's fierce belief in the value of the Toastmasters experience in the lives of our members, her work ethic, enthusiasm, humility and sharp mind make her a pleasure to work with. Every time we work together, I can't help but think how much I would have enjoyed working with her when I was on the board of directors.
During Helen's Connection workshop with Wuhan clubs during the Covid outbreak, a member in personal crisis said to her, "I need this!". Toastmasters gave this member meaning, purpose and a voice when his whole world was flying apart. Helen has taken this to heart and feels compelled to bring Toastmasters to everybody in the world who needs Toastmasters.
I believe that Toastmasters and the Board of Directors "Need Helen!" to help lead us through our current challenges into a brighter future.”
Andrew Little, DTM
Past International Director
“Helen is one of the most passionate and dedicated Toastmasters leaders I know. I've had the privilege to witness her journey from an ordinary member to Area Director and then District Trios.
Helen's outstanding leadership abilities were best tested in 2020 when she was D85 District Director.
At the time, D85 was the first district hit by COVID-19. During those turbulent days full of fear and helplessness, Helen demonstrated great empathy in giving her team care and confidence. She motivated clubs impacted the hardest by the pandemic to continue regular club meetings virtually and invited Toastmasters worldwide to participate in their meetings to show support.
Despite much uncertainty and great difficulties, Helen worked with her team to organize a very successful online District conference, which further uplifted the morale of the whole district.
Thanks to her strong leadership, D85 quickly resumed normal operations and received the Distinguished District award that year, which is truly a remarkable achievement. Helen will be an excellent addition and asset to the Toastmasters Board of Directors.”
Past D85 District Director 2018-2019
2020-2021 Immediate Past District Director
District Conference Workshop Chair.
2019-2020 District Director
President Extension Award – #3 District in the World.
Distinguished District Director.
Excellence in Leadership.
2018-2019 Program Quality Director
Excellence in Program Quality.
2017-2018 Club Growth Director
Excellence in Club Growth.
2016-2017 Area Director
President Distinguished Area.
2015-2016 Club President
President Distinguished Club.
Helen has extensive experience in corporate leadership strategic planning teams as a marketing and consumer insights expert. Using her knowledge and expertise in analyzing data for decision making, she has helped many different organizations develop short-term and long-term business strategies.
Consumer Analysis & Insights
20 years of experience with consumer analysis using qualitative and quantitative methods has given Helen a deep understanding of consumer psychology and how to create targeted guidelines for product design, marketing, and sales strategies. One of her most outstanding achievements was helping China's second-largest sportswear company become the dominant player within two years, mainly due to her intelligent and perceptive consumer analysis and insights.
Helen built high-performing teams in Toastmasters and Fortune 500 companies. Helen then used this experience to develop a purpose-driven coaching program. She designed the program to align the purpose of the organizations with the values of employees. The program noticeably improved employee engagement and revenue growth. The positive results encouraged her to start her own coaching business. She now helps business owners to lead with purpose and humanity to achieve sustainable growth.