Category Archives: Spotlight

Member Spotlight – Jaime N

This week, we turn our focus to the incoming President of Peninsula Toastmasters Club, Jaime N. Jaime is a supply chain and logistics specialist in the merchandise department at America’s oldest piano dealer, Sherman Clay & Co. When he first joined the club, we all had the impression that he must be a orchestra conductor because of the intensity on his face and his frenzied hand gesticulations. After about a year in the club, the giant stride he has made in his self-confidence and public speaking has been nothing short of remarkable. He has represented our club in the Area H5 Fall Contest and won First Place!

Currently, Jaime is working on his Competent Communicator manual and his Competetent Leader manual. We recently interviewed our next Club President to find out more about his background and what he’s like outside the club.

1. Where are you from and what’s interesting about it?

I was born in El Salvador, a small country in Central America with the most amazing beaches and waves. Perfect for surfing. It is a country that is filled with stunning natural beauty, such as Lake Coatepeque (bel0w), the volcanos of Jiboa Valley, and the beaches at the Coconut Island of Mendez near the Gulf of Fonseca.

2. What was your fondest memory growing up?

I liked the people I grew up with. My childhood was great and filled with memories of the time I spent with my many friends. I seem to be always behind a ball of some sort: basketball, baseball, soccer, bicycles (Ed. technically not a ball, but has round wheels!). I still keep in touch with friends from childhood. Now they live all around the world.

3. What’s important to you?

Friends and family are important to me. I value friendships very much.

4. What do you like?

I love music and airplanes, but I like walking and hiking very much as well.

5. What do you dislike?

Negative people.

6. What do you do when you’re working?

I’m always on the phone with vendors. I make things happen. From a container from China, to a very delicate handmade piano from New York, I make sure all piano merchandise gets delivered to the stores. It gives me great pride to see a serial # on a shipping manifest transform into a stunningly beautiful piano on the floor at our store.

7. What do you do when you’re not working?

Music is my passion. I’m not a good musician, but I love music anyway. I enjoy taking a walk or a hike. I often eat out and visit friends. Believe it or not, I also like to do house chores.  I find it relaxing!

That’s about it from President-In-Waiting, Jaime N. for now. If you haven’t not yet done so, please say hello and introduce yourself to Jaime at a future meeting! Keep an eye out for our next member spotlight! If you’d like to be featured, please contact Timothy.


Member Spotlight – Eugenia

This week, we turn our focus to one of our long-time members, Eugenia. Eugenia is an adjunct professor at the San Mateo County Community College Distract. This Spring Eugenia is teaching a class on Nutrition at the Science and Technology Department of Cañada College. Currently, Eugenia is working on her Advanced Communicator manual “Special Occasion Speeches” for the Advanced Communicator Bronze achievement.

Eugenia was kind enough to to take some time to answer some of questions we’ve all been dying to ask:

1. Where are you from and what’s interesting about it?

I was born in San Francisco. I love the cultural diversity and the many ethnic neighborhoods in the city.

2. What was your fondest memory growing up?

One of my fondest memory growing up was going to camp without my family. I loved the independence.

3. What’s important to you?

What’s important to me is family and friends and having enough money to do things I enjoy to do while helping others.

4. What do you like?

I enjoy good food, social gatherings, and cultural activities.

5. What do you dislike?

I dislike to see messiness in the house

6. What do you do when you’re working?

I teach college courses in Nutrition and Dietetics. I also do food and nutrition consultations with clients in the community and for food service establishments.

7. What do you do when you’re not working?

I like to travel with family and friends on cruises or in car, attend cultural activities, listen to music, cooking, reading, and get a good workout at gym or simply going out for a walk.

That’s about it from Eugenia for now. Please say hello and introduce yourself to Eugenia at a future meeting! Keep an eye out for our next member spotlight! If you’d like to be featured, please contact Timothy.

Member Spotlight – Jenn

This week, we turn our focus to one of our new members, Jenn. Her field of expertise is Education Management. Jenn currently works at the Pacifica School District and owns her own small business. She joined our club last year and often brings her daughter Jaci to the meetings. Apparently public speaking runs in the family! Jenn  was kind enough to to take time to answer some of our burning questions to help us know her a little better as a person.

1. Where are you from and what’s interesting about it?

I was born in a mountainous part of the Philippines called Baguio City and at about 5,000 ft above sea level and what’s interesting about the place I came from is the way to get there. It will take at least 4 hours of driving in a very windy zigzag road from the main land (Ed. This road is called Kennon Road).

The Banaue Rice Terraces also called Payew, are 2000-year old terraces that were carved into the mountains of Ifugao in the Philippines by ancestors of the indigenous people. The Rice Terraces are commonly referred to by Filipinos as the “Eighth Wonder of the World”

2. What was your fondest memory growing up?

When we were younger, my older brother, friends and I would hike up the mountain close to our home to spy on the Igorot tribes who wears Bahag refers to the loin cloth or G-string worn by male members of various ethnic groups in Northern Luzon, Philippines, particularly in the Mountain Province.

I’m not that old but I am very fortunate to be able to experience the transition of generations from tribal to technology.

3. What’s important to you?

My faith, family, and friends.

4. What do you like?

P E A C E – Pray, Eat, Arts, Charity, Entertainment (Ed: And ACRONYMS)

5. What do you dislike?


6. What do you do when you’re working?


7. What do you do when you’re not working?

“R’s”…reading, relaxing, reflecting.

That about wraps it up for our interview with Jenn. Be sure to click on the pictures of the Banaue Rice Terraces and Kennon Road. They’re spectacular! We are grateful for her wonderful world geography and history lesson and appreciate all her contributions to the club. We are also very happy that she always brings Jaci along! Don’t hesitate to introduce yourself and say “Hello” the next time you see Jenn at a meeting! Although, if you happen to be wearing a Bahag from the Northern Luzon region of Philippines, she’ll probably come to say “Kumusta” to you!

Every Day Is Christmas

Film is one of the most powerful mediums for capturing and conveying the human experience. Peninsula Member Jaime Espiritu from VCP Film recently completed a short film for the East Palo Alto Senior Center. The Center was in danger of having its funding cut by the City Council for the new fiscal year. Jaime’s film shone a spotlight on the critical community function that was being performed by the Center.

At the East Palo Alto Senior Center, every day is Christmas. Many needy senior citizen enjoyed free meals, revitalizing activities, and most importantly, human fellowship at the Center. Without funding, the Center would no longer be able to provide for even the most basic needs to these vulnerable members of our society. Please watch the short film below to learn about a story of the triumph of human compassion and generosity.

Member Spotlight – Jaime Espiritu

This week Peninsula Toastmaster sits down with one of our members from the film industry, Jaime Espiritu. Jaime first joined our club two years ago. He had been an officer in our club and is half way to his Competent Communicator goal. Jaime currently works full time at his video production company, Visual Creations Productions (VCP Film). VCP Film specializes in generating short video productions for clients in the non-profit and private sector. Be sure to visit Jaime’s website at

1. What is VCP and why do people choose you to help tell their stories?

Visual Creations Productions is a boutique video production company that specializes in creating 60 second video promotions for small businesses and non profit organizations. We also create customized videos on request. People choose us because I’m easy to work with. They think of me as a trusted advisor to bring in and convert potential customers into buying customers. I’m their creative consultant to help them deliver their marketing messages.  Non-profit organizations love my work because I help them create compelling video stories that make people think and touch their emotions.

2. Do you consider yourself an artist?

I do. I worked in the IT field for about 11 yearsl at a major San Francisco law firm. This skill was self taught and I had the passion for IT. I was being paid well. At the same time, video was a hobby at about the same time I was doing IT. After being burned out, I decided to pursue it as a business and to help small businesses.  I started video by creating wedding stories for brides. I put together 40 minute stories by including interviews of the bride and groom’s wedding day. As an artist, you love to touch people’s hearts and remind people of their special day.

3. Why did you choose film as your medium?

I had the passion for film since I was a child. I wanted things that no child would dare ask for. My first thing I wanted was a still camera. I learned from my dad on what not to do when creating home movies.

My video hobby started out in the church as a ministry at the same time I worked in the IT industry. I created stories about our homeless ministries that fed the homeless. In the business world, creativity really takes a backseat. You create videos to help bring in more profits. You really have to create videos that small business owners want. They are the experts in their field and I partner with them to create a visual story for them

4. What is your goal as a filmmaker?

I want to touch people’s hearts. I want to create things that help people out. Everyone is being called to have one assignment in life. Mine happens to be video. It’s my passion. It’s my duty to share my gift to everyone who cares to watch and to listen. As a Christian, I also want to tell stories that spreads the Gospel throughout the world.

5. How did Toastmasters help you hone your skills?

Toastmasters helped me get over my stage fright by speaking in front of people. Table topics improved my improvisional skills in business. When someone asks me a question that doesn’t relate to anything we are talking about, I can quickly react with an clever answer.

Toastmasters helps me with telling effective stories by telling them to a person or telling them through video. Toastmasters also helped me bring out my personality when speaking.  I use these skills heavily in my video marketing videos that I create on my website. Although I use a teleprompter for speaking in front of the camera, the little things like body language and vocal variation has helped my video presentations run smoother.

Rory Vaden Interview On Toastmasters Bay To Bay

If you’re a Toastmaster, you should know the name Rory Vaden. He is a TWO-TIME World Champion of Public Speaking Runner-Up, renowned motivational speaker, and all-around cool guy! He just released a wonderful book on how to motivate yourself to success called “Take the Stairs: 7 Steps to Achieving True Success“. You can buy it on Amazon by clicking HERE. I already have the book and I plan to write a review on it soon!

Rory was interviewed recently on the monthly TV special “Toastmasters Bay To Bay” by Birgit Starmans. You can watch the segment by clicking on the Episode 41 hyperlink on the left side of the page. Skip to the 12:43 mark of the video if you just want to see Rory. Who can blame you? Rory is so dreamy!

Be sure to check out other Bay To Bay episodes to see great speeches and unbelievable Table Topics. Rory also appears in Episode 32.

Member Spotlight – Tryn

This week, we turn our focus to one of our new members, Tryn. Tryn studied Multimedia Arts and Technology at College of San Mateo. She is very active in her community and in her church, the Church of the Highlands, where she serves administrative support functions. Tryn has been around Toastmaster clubs for years, and joined Peninsula Toastmasters last year.

Tryn was kind enough to to take some time to answer some of questions we’ve all been dying to ask:

1. Where are you from and what’s interesting about it?

I am San Francisco-born, and what is interesting about  it, is the people I encounter everyday, and the environment i embrace walking the streets , it is inviting as well as it is very welcoming and engaging, You get a taste and feel of everything. The atmosphere is very bright, and shines with a view of the whole city

2. What was your fondest memory growing up?

The fondest memory I had growing up, was playing soccer, as well engaging in musical and theater extra curricular activities.

3. What’s important to you?

The things that are of importance to me, is encouraging, motivating, inspiring, supporting other’s. The different dynamics of personalities of people and getting to know people are also really important to me.

4. What do you like?

Things I like, are getting to know people, hanging out with friend’s, texting, movie’s, ice cream,  sushi, Facebook, organizing get together’s,  Toastmaster’s, church activities, school involved functions, friend’s, cooking, health, and sports.

5. What do you dislike?

Things I dislike are cliques among friend’s, pet names, negative feelings, soup,  reading, and pet peeves. Did I say soup yet?

That’s about it from Tryn for now. Please say hello and introduce yourself to Tryn at a future meeting! Keep an eye out for our next member spotlight! If you’d like to be featured, please contact Timothy. Even if you’re not a new member, we want to get to know you better!