Cristina Francolini - Division Director

Passionate Toastmasters since 2017, and I quickly became fond of Toastmasters life and values. From the
very beginning, I understood that I preferred Leadership rather than Communication. In fact, I covered the
roles of President, Immediate Past President, Secretary and Area Director, and now Division A Director.
As I strongly believe in inclusiveness as a value, I led the Italian Translation Team in translating to Italian all
Level 1 and Level 2 Pathways Manuals.
Last year, for the first time, all Clubs in Milan were under the same Area and I facilitated all Milan Clubs to
share the same approach in welcoming guests, so they could find the best club for them, and in Clubs
helping one another everytime it was needed.
This year, as Division Director, I give all my support and my enthusiasm, to facilitate all Areas to work
together, and to improve Toastmasters experience be better Leaders and better Speakers.

Katia Burdet - Conference Chair & Sponsor Manager

In Toastmasters since 2012. The first club: Toastmasters Torino, where I held roles such as VPE, President and Secretary. Later, I was VPE in the Radiant Rhetoric club and served as Sponsor and President in the Trucks and Tricks corporate club. I sponsored the Speech & Spritz club.
 Pathway Guide in 2017, Area Director 2018-2019 and Division Director 2019-2020. Currently President of the Pisa Toastmasters club, after having carried out VPE and VPM. I am Sponsor and VPE in the Intranerd corporate club and Speechcraft Advisor in the CGD Team 2023-24.

In the Toastmasters competitions, I won the Evaluation contest and second place in the Italian Speech contest at the Division Conference in Athens in 2017. In 2022, third place in the Multilingual speech contest, second in the Table Topic and Speeches in Italian at Division level in 2023.
Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) since 2018 and Conference Chair of the Division Conference 2024

I have a degree in Industrial Engineering, with a master's degree in Business Administration and more than 15 years of experience as a Purchasing Manager in international companies. Currently, I am Purchasing and Supply Chain Manager at SSI-SCHAEFER International, certified in Project Management and professional Coach since 2023, I was TedEX coach at the Polytechnic of Turin in 2019.
Outside of my career and Toastmasters, I am a mother of two little girls, and I am passionate about skating and swimming. I am inspired by Don Bosco and believe that fun is essential for success, just as Ralph Smedley, the founder of Toastmasters, claimed

Annavera Caliandro - Registration Chair

I am Annavera Caliandro, originally from Puglia, Tuscan by adoption.

I have a degree in Environmental Engineering and a controller profession, that is, I deal with planning and control for a service company.

A quality I have?
I would define myself as a creative person. So I try, outside of work and away from numbers, to vent this creativity by becoming:
- a Miss Marple when I knit or crochet, while watching a good detective story on TV!
- a generator of ideas for organizing events to promote a culture of peace, for a voluntary association of which I am a member;
- a little mess in the kitchen, when I want to get my hands dirty.

A quality that I don't have and that I would like to develop?
Know how to communicate! That is, with a metaphor that I like to use, I would like to know how to sew the clothes best suited to my words.
That's why I'm in Toastmasters!
Since June 2023 I have been a member of the Pisa club.

From the first meeting as a guest, two things thrilled me:
- the structure of the meetings,
- the energy of the Pisa club.

I therefore immediately decided to join the club and start the motivational strategies pathway.

The first results are showing, but there are still many steps to take... calmly, like a little snail, to enjoy the journey!

Alberto Ferretti - Venue Chair

59 years old, I live in Massa Cozzile, a charming town in the Tuscan countryside, together with my wife Linda and 2 grown children and 2 cats.

Surveyor diploma, I work in the construction world and it was precisely for this job that I decided to join Toastmasters: in February 2020, immediately before the medical catastrophe that would soon overwhelm us, I was called to carry out an intervention on a engineers' seminar to talk about my experiences on work in the environmental engineering field in which I specialize.

A colleague of mine advised me to contact a certain 'Nicola Di Grazia', I did so with a bit of reticence, also because the conference was really imminent, I went to him and what I found was a friend and beautiful evenings when we we find with families.

Obviously he was the one who introduced me to our reality.

I definitely needed to improve speaking skills and perfect my connection with people.
Attending Club meetings helped me develop an understanding and effective technique of speaking to people, which has been of great use to me in my work.

I was a sportsman, now I apply myself a little less. I love the sea and the mountains with the same intensity, I like meeting new places and new people, confronting myself with things I don't understand, I consider differences as additional reasons to be able to talk to each other.
I like listening to music, any type, ranging from classical to Casadei, the choice depends on the situation, the environment I am in, the company.
Even though I consider 70s rock unsurpassable.

I am a dreamer, curious and always ready to have new experiences. I have already faced the battles to find what "one is looking for in life" and for this reason I feel rich, I only regret not having known Toastmasters before, which for what it gave me, really took me very little...

Nicola Di Grazia - Public Relation Chair

Nicola Di Grazia was born in Lucca in 1969.

When you meet him in person, it raises a spontaneous question the first time: how tall is he?
1m 98 - follows as an answer - with the telling of a series of stories, connected to height.

Perhaps from there, Nicola understood that he liked telling stories and speaking in public. In fact, he has been with Toastmasters since 2019; he was Area Manager of the clubs in Area A6 and is assistant PR of the Division this year.

By profession he deals with digital marketing and the creation of informative content. He lived on 3 continents, which formed him - so he says - in 3 values: identity (Europe), change (Latin America), harmony (Africa).


Elia Zuccaro - Fun Chair

Toastmasters’ member since May 2022, Pisa club VPM since September 2023.

I got to know Toastmasters through one of my essential daily activities: wandering around the Internet and browse everything that catch my attention.

I’m always been interested in communication, and when I discovered Toastmasters I realized it was the ideal place for expressing myself through the exercise of public speaking.
As soon as I knew “Engaging humour” was a Toastmasters learning Pathway, I had no doubt on which one to choose. Humor and critical thinking are the two main ingredients of my way of reasoning, and consequently of my way of communicating. I believe that communicating and reasoning are deeply connected: learning how to communicate means learning how to reason.

I have a degree in Robotic Engineering and I currently work as a tech consultant.

Valentina Fatiguso - Hospitality  Chair

I’have been a member of Toastmasters since 2019 thanks to The invitation of a friend. At the beginning I was esitant, I didn’t feel up to speaking in public with fimness and confidance. But this is preccisely one of the Toastmasters missions, insn’t it? Then love blossomed. I have held various roles in Excom and this year I’m VPE and in the future we will see. What is certain is that Toastmasters is a familywhere you can increase your skills in a protected environment and where you can meet a lots of people and create new relationships, such as important friendships.

I love playimg sports, I’m an ex artistic gymnastics and football athlete.I s till often follow football and my favourite team and obviously I play fantasy football. I’m currently a crossbowoman of the assosiation of Contrade San Paolino of Lucca we partecipate in events organized by us, such us Medioeval Lucca and by other historical reenactment assosiations scattered throughout italy. We also have an Italian crossbow championship, where we partecipate as an assosiation. I am appasionate about cinema, especially science fiction, horror and documentaries. I love reading everything and I love rock .
I like to define myself as spontaneous, cheerful and empathetic but fundamentally a joker.

Marco Albasio - Zoom Master Chair

Graduated in optical engineering, I worked in telecommunications and fiber optics.

I have lived and studied in Italy, France, USA and Kuwait. I speak Italian, English, French and Mandarin.

Always passionate about oriental philosophy. In 2018 I opened Tea&Tao in Milan, where I dedicated myself to spreading growth and spirituality by organizing individual and corporate events.

Since 2018 I have also fallen in love with the Toastmasters method and have helped spread it with the YLP programme.

Chiara Ruggeri - Judges Selection Chair

I'm a computer engineer keen on computer science and technology since I was a child.

I come from Sicily and there I got my bachelor, then I moved in Turin to attend Turin Polytechnic for my master degree. It is right inside the polytechnic that I had the luck to discover toastmasters organization, with a club, Polito Toastmasters, made by students for students. Used to talk to computers rather than people, I joined my club in late 2019 to improve my poor communication skills but after a while I was also involved in leadership roles.

In 2021 I covered the role of VPM and I worked to let my club grow. The next year I took the role of VPE and I worked to let people grow. With these experiences I gained so many useful and unexpected skills that I decided to continue on the leadership path and serve as area director for the current year, working to let all the clubs of my area grow.

This experience made me meet a lot of people all over the world and taught me that anything can be achieved by cooperating with others. I know that the path to become a better speaker and a better leader is still long, but I also know that I have the support of amazing friends that I met during this journey.

Michelle Bassanesi

I'm Michelle, in Toastmasters since 2018 - today halfway through its third Pathways journey.

I approached to TM to overcome my shyness and I succeeded, but I can always improve!

I have held various roles at club and area level, as well as participated in competition and conference organizations up to district level. Partner of TM Rome and one of the founding members of Eloquentis and Toastmasters Academy Rome. In 2021 it receives the DTM recognition

I love challenges and getting involved. At 60 I ran MY first marathon: from zero to Marathon at 60!

You can be found me running or cycling through the historic center of Rome, or in the swimming pool... preparing for my first Ironman 70.3 and in the meantime raising funds for the non-profit organization #Michelle Possible.

I'm a mom and an entrepreneur!

People say about me that I am a dynamic, cheerful person and that I'm full of energy.

Laura Filippi - Area Director

Laura has been with Toastmasters since June 2019, she was immediately enthusiastic about the leadership roles that TM offers. Assistant at SAA, then VPE, later as dual member she was VPPR of Milanesy and President of Rimini Riviera.

Last year he took on the challenge of becoming a PR Manager and challenging himself in the PR skills acquired at Club level.
This year Laura expands her TM leadership experience with the role of VPM of Rimini Riviera, secretary of the Prospect Club Toastmasters Crescita Pro and as Area Director of area 6

Liliana Gredjuc

I am Liliana Gredjuc, Romanian by origin, Italian by adoption.
My dream growing up was to save, heal and help people. To this day I know that this is only possible if people want to be helped.
I have always worked as a nurse. A quality I have?
I tend to always see the full part of the glass even when the glass is full of air.

One of my limits is still perfectionism and consequently I have doubts about knowing how to communicate appropriately what I want to convey.

This led me to sign up for a Toastmasters meeting in Pisa in 2021. Finding myself in a welcoming, assertive and at the same time professional and instructive environment, I am taking steps day by day towards better communication.



Emanuela Pallottini

I was born in Arezzo but I have always lived in Ancona, I like to say that I am an "aretina anconetana". Since I was young I went on stages, starting with parish plays, and I have never strayed from it. I like speaking in public and that's why I didn't hesitate to become a member of Toastmasters, when I met it in 2023.

I am part of the Pisa Club where I have found great professionalism, friends, and continuous support in every step of my journey.

I certainly still have a lot to learn but in the last year I have undoubtedly made a leap in quality thanks to Toastmasters!


Giusy Pennacchio - Logo Designer

Hi, I'm Giusy.

Student in pharmaceutical chemistry and artist, reader and dreamer in my free time, I entered the Toastmasters world in 2020
out of pure curiosity, fearing that it was the wrong environment for an introverted person like me and instead...

Here I am still! Vpe 2021-22 , Vppr 2022-23 and who knows what the future holds for me.

Thanks to TM I now believe in the importance of personal growth and challenge to become the best version of yourself and live a full life.

Domenico Menegazzi

Domenico joined Toastmasters in 2020, at the beginning of the Pandemic, and had to wait more than one year before enjoying the magic of an in-person presence at the club. Public speaking slowly became a true passion.

As an officer, he supported his club as SAA, VPM, VPE and President. He completed his first Pathway at the end of the year 2023.  He believes that Toastmasters is a sterling tool to break communication barriers, become an effective speaker and be part of a passionate community.


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