Metro Leaders Toastmasters




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President Durward Blanks is a REALTOR/Broker with The Oxford Company of Middle TN. With offices in Leiper's Fork, The Oxford Comany is a full service real estate company, representing area builders as well as indiviual clients. Durward has extensive educatiion and experience in several areas of real estate, including Luxury Homes, First time buyers, and is a Certified Short-Sale Professional. In additin his real estate practice he is involved with several other business interest. After so many guest appearances on local radio station WAKM 950 AM, Durward was asked to be co-host for the SPOTLIGHT on SPRING HILL program every Monday morning., which he has done for the last year. Recently, Durward began a BlogTalkRadio program and expects to have a full time internet radio station in operation by Christmas 2010. The current internet radio program is broadcast weekly is inspirational and motivational, with guest that have achieved lifetime dreams, or made a remarkable difference in other lives. Durward has also been a professional Santa Claus for over 20 years. His goal is to make at least one person smile every day. Listen to the internet broadcast at The Summit Lounge and for your real estate needs visit the RealtySanta


Vice President of Education Kristopher Fisher is currently employed within the financial services industry as a regional manager of an insurance company. He and his wife, Danita just celebrated their eleventh wedding anniversary in March of this year. He is the proud father of a nine-year-old son, Daylen Kristopher.

Kristopheris heavily involved in numerous volunteer activities. He serves as the cubmaster and as a den leader for his son’s scout pack. He serves as the district membership chairman for the Middle Tennessee Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He is a charter member of the MetroLeaders Toastmasters Club in Brentwood, Tennessee, where holds the designation of a Competent ToastMaster (CTM). He also served as the clubs secretary/treasurer, and was the 2009-2010 president. He is the director of a vocal ensemble and serve as the group’s secretary/treasurer. He, also, plays saxophone in a brass band ensemble. He is an officer for the Grand Lodge of Tennessee’s Long-Range Planning Committee. However, the most rewarding volunteer service in which he participates is as a member of the Board of Governors for the Shriners’ Hospital for Children in Lexington, Kentucky. This is the same hospital where he was a patient twenty-five years ago.

Vice President of Membership Joey Sims is an account executive for NuVox Communications in Brentwood, TN.  NuVox is a voice and data service provider that has been serving small to mid-size business customers for 10 years.  NuVox provides local, long distance, Internet, private networking, VOIP, and security solutions.  At NuVox, we focus on the customer and pride ourselves in providing top of the line customer care while helping our customers to use technology to be more efficient and to positively impact their bottom line.

Joey has nine years in the telecom business working with companies like AT & T, Southeastern Telecom and now NuVox.  Prior to that, she was in the food industry selling for Carvel Ice Cream and Frito-Lay.  Joey graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where she was involved with the American Marketing Association and Sigma Kappa Sorority.  She is the mother of three and enjoys coaching her daughter and son's basketball teams.  Joey is the current director at Lakeview Elementary for the WWBA basketball league.  She is a member of St. Stephen's Catholic Church in Hermitage, TN.
Her company website is

Immediate Past President Andrew Callaghan is a business consultant at Crowe Horwath, a top 10 public accounting and consulting firm. A native of Alexandria, Virginia, Andrew has lived the majority of his life in Nashville, apart from a six-month experience living abroad as a student of International Management in Belgium.

Andrew works in the Performance Services business unit of Crowe Horwath, which provides revenue enhancement, operational improvement, and change management solutions. Andrew is trained as a black belt in six sigma and holds the Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) designation, a certification requiring in depth knowledge of operations management. Andrew’s background in finance, paired with his experience in operations make for a well rounded consultant, however his commitment towards continuous improvement, both personally and with clients, drives him.

He is an active member of the Nashville Junior Chamber of Commerce and a volunteer for VITA, Nashville’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program. Andrew is also a member of the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence (TNCPE) Board of Examiners.

Marie Garner has dedicated her life to helping people get healthy and stay healthy. In 2007, she launched her own personal training company, Elite Performance. She has helped over 300 people lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Marie is currently creating wellness programs for small businesses and church organizations. Not only does Marie provide a service, but she also works independently with Ardyss International, a unique wellness company providing reshaping garments and nutrition supplements that help with weight loss, back pain, and nutritional deficiencies. She is an true believer in "green living" and holistic medicine; and enjoys organizing community events to combat obesity. Her love for public speaking started in high school. Marie won numerous speech contests, and challenged herself all the way to become a Zone Winner. She graduated in 2008 from MTSU with a BBA in Entrepreneurship and became a certified personal trainer in 2006. Marie is also a member of NASP and the Nashville Chamber of Commerce. Marie has one son and is an active member at Bethel World Outreach

Barbara Stewart is the owner and Managing Director of shapingHR, LLC, an independent HR consulting firm, that focuses on a broad range of HR services and training products targeted at helping employers ensure compliance and to better manage and develop their human capital to achieve organizational goals and objectives. Barb’s client base is not industry-specific, and client size ranges from 20 to 2,000 employees.

She started her consulting business in 2003 following a successful career as an HR professional working primarily in the manufacturing industry for two Fortune 500 companies. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Professional Communications and Business Management from Alverno College, Greenfield, Wisconsin, and is certified as a Sr. Professional in Human Resources.
She has managed a wide variety of HR functions over the past 20 years, including recruitment and staffing, performance management and training, compensation and benefits administration, HR policy and employee relations. She has held leadership roles in both corporate and field assignments, in union and non-union environments, in multiple-location business units.
Barbara is a member of Middle Tennessee Society of Human Resource Management (MT-SHRM), as well as the National SHRM organization, and Metro Leaders Toastmasters. She serves on the Board of Directors for MT-SHRM, and the HR Committee for the Girl Scout Council of Cumberland Valley. Barbara is a past board member for Mediation Services of Middle Tennessee, and also has served as a volunteer mediator with Mid-South Mediation Services. She is a qualified EEI Testing Coordinator and an affiliate for Vital Learning Corporation focusing on employee development programs in leadership and customer service.
For more information about Barbara’s business, visit


Julie Lewis Julie is a healthcare consultant in the strategic planning department at Brim Healthcare. Previously, she worked for Community Health Systems in a marketing and PR role after overseeing the grand opening of HCA’s Skyline Medical Center as the marketing and PR director. Julie moved to Nashville in 1996 to start a career in healthcare and worked for a hospital billing company following a successful sales experience in Alabama as an account representative for a Fortune 500 company.

Julie has been involved with Metro Leaders Toastmasters since the beginning of 2009 and DogEars book club since 2003. She is a member of Cathedral of the Incarnation and active in the Cursillo community. Julie is a Young Leaders Council alumni and has been honored as a The Tennessean’s Top 40 Under 40 for her community efforts. Currently she is an active Junior League member and volunteer at the Oasis Center.

Cindy Houston Hazen (founding member) enjoys over 25 years of involvement in the sales field, starting at 8 years old selling Girl Scout cookies, and continuing through her 20 years as a “road warrior” sales representative for three different companies.
At Hunt Manufacturing she sold to all levels of the distribution chain, selling to distributors, wholesalers and retailers in addition to the end user. She futher developed her skills at long sales cycles and relationship selling by selling commercial furnishings products to architects, designers and commercial dealers.

In 1999, Sales Executives was launched by Cindy and her partner to address a deep void in the Middle Tennessee market--the lack of recruitment firms specializing only in sales. Sales Executives experienced a warm welcome from local corporate clients that quickly expanded the firm into a national recruiting firm. Today, Sales Executives offers recruiting services throughout the US in many different industries. The specialty is sales and management and the goal is matching the right sales professional to the right job with the right company. For more information about Cindy's business, visit