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Home : METC News : News : News Display
NEWS | Jan. 20, 2017

METC staff member honored as distinguished Toastmaster

By Lisa Braun Medical Education and Training Campus Public Affairs

Some would say that Lt. Col. Joy Schmalzle is very driven. Others may call that an understatement.


The Army optometrist is the program director for the ophthalmic technician program at the Medical Education and Training Campus, or METC, at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston.She holds a Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Management, is an avid triathlete who founded a motivational group for beginner runners, cyclists and triathletes, and is an active member of Toastmasters International.


On Jan. 3, Schmalzle added Distinguished Toastmaster to her portfolio, joining less than one percent of the 345,000 Toastmaster members worldwide who share this prestigious title.


Schmalzle attended her first Toastmasters meeting in 2010 when she started her MBA program. “I had so much fun I became a member immediately,” she recalled.


Six years later, Schmalzle became the only Distinguished Toastmaster ever to receive the award as a member of the Fort Sam Houston Toastmasters club, Future Speakers on the Horizon.


But earning this achievement was not an easy road to ride. Schmalzle needed to complete several milestones in the Toastmasters Education Program in order to reach its highest level award.


The program offers two education tracks, communication and leadership, that enable members to develop their communication and leadership skills one step at a time. Completing both tracks is a requirement to become eligible for the Distinguished Toastmaster distinction.


Schmalzle dove in head first, spending the next six years progressing through both tracks of the program. She had to complete a series of manuals that contained a number of projects and evaluation guides, collecting education awards and recognitions along the way.


“To become eligible for the Distinguished Toastmaster award, I was required to give more than 40 speeches, serve as a club officer and club sponsor, give oral presentations, participate in district-sponsored officer training, serve as a district leader and complete a high performance leadership program,” Schmalzle explained.


While Schmalzle was busy working through the entire education program, she managed to find the time to charter a new Toastmasters club while assigned at the Defense Health Headquarters located in Falls Church, Va., and holding various leadership positions at the club, area and district levels, as well as continuing with her active lifestyle.


Although she has earned the highest award she can achieve from the organization, Schmalzle has no intention of slowing down. “I plan to remain active in the local club and support others grow as they work through the program,” she stated.


She also encourages those who want to see the regimented meeting format in action to attend at least one meeting.


“Toastmasters has a very effective process that builds self-confidence and allows multiple avenues of constructive feedback for those that want to work on their public speaking and leadership skills.”


Toastmasters International is a world leader in communication and leadership development. Members are spread out over 15,900 clubs in 142 countries. Famous members include actor Tim Allen, astronaut James Lovell and Nancy Brinker, founder of the Susan G. Komen Foundation.


The Future Speakers on the Horizon Toastmasters club meets on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month at noon in building 2264, U.S. Army Environmental Command, 2450 Connell Road, room 60. The club is open to all interested parties and more information can be found at