Club history

Club history • Club officers • Club members • Club awards • Where we meet

The history of Toastmasters International is almost a century long already. As early as in 1924 Dr. Ralph Smedley, a farther of the organization, founded the first Toastmasters club in Santa Ana California. The Santa Ana club grew into a well-known non-governmental international institution, and 65 years later our Toastmasters club was chartered in Russia. Its creation is owed to an American Robert Meyerson – a man who was passionately committed to the cause of Toastmasters. Robert organized our Club on 14 June 1989 and suggested the name “Moscow Free Speakers” Club. Robert meant in 1989 “that there was not yet freedom of speech in Russia, but I was giving the club members back then a goal to aim for and a title that would remind each member of that goal, no matter how difficult or how far away it seemed”. The Club was chartered on 1 April 1990 as #6386-U (“U” means “undistricted”).

Moscow Free Speakers club is the third Toastmasters club in Russia. Firstly, Robert Meyerson organized the MSU Toastmasters club in Moscow in 1988. The club’s first honorary member Mikhail Gorbachev’s spokesman, Gennady Gerasimov suggested to start the second club at MGIMO. But the clubs only lasted two or three years.

Larisa Zorina, Olga Shiryaeva and Andreas Schmidt (BRD) organized German-speaking TI Club on 20/10/2003. They took the name “Redefluss Moskau” and received #606654-U on 16 April 2004.

Ever since, the Russian branch of Toastmasters International has been spreading the word about the power of communication and leadership skills in Moscow. And the latter is the cornerstone of our mission – “to provide a mutually supportive and positive learning environment in which every individual member has the opportunity to develop oral communication and leadership skills, which in turn foster self-confidence and personal growth” (article 1 of the TI Constitution).

The Club elected the following presidents:

06/1989-12/1990
Lora Lomakina
01-12/1991
Mariya Churaeva
01/1992-06/1993
Eugeniy Buff
07/1993-06/1994
Alex Linetsky
1994-1995
Leila Yangurazova
1995-1996
Olga Kurenkova
1996-1997
Tatiana Radoshevich
1997-1998
Joyce Class (USA)
1998-1999
Natalia Lapitskaya
1999-2000
Vadim Saveljev
2000-2001
Nina Tsygankova
07-08/2001
Leila Yangurazova
09/2001-2002
Vadim Saveljev
2002-2003
Nina Lukina
2003-2004
Larisa Zorina
2004-2005
Vladimir Kovalyk
2005-2006
Olga Pryakhina
2006-2007
Helen Dyakonova
2007-2008
Taisia Gerasimova
2008-2009
Elena Filya
2009-2010
Valeria Kholodkova
2010-2011
Valentin Novikov
2011-2012
Denis Shevchuk
2012-2013
Andrey Kosilov
2013-2014
Oxana Sibileva, Simon Scotting
2014-2015
Andrey Kosilov
2015-2016
Ilya Nefedov
2016-2017 (currently)
Max Kostyuk

The club history was compiled by Henry Norman, ATM-S in 2004 when he was elected as the club Vice President Membership.