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RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, CALIF. – Dilip Abayasekara of Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, has been elected President of Toastmasters International. He is the top officer of the world's leading organization devoted to teaching skills in public speaking and leadership.

Dr. Abayasekara was elected for a one-year term at the organization's 74th Annual International Convention, held August 24-27 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

An active Toastmaster for 19 years, Abayasekara is a professional speaker, trainer and speech coach. His company, Speaker Services Unlimited, helps people and organizations change for the better. One of his favorite quotes is: “If you want to change the world, don’t wait for the world to change; just look at the old world with new eyes.” He also serves as Special Assistant to the President at Central Pennsylvania College and is an adjunct faculty member of Eastern University’s School of Professional Studies in the area of managerial and interpersonal communication.

A native of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Abayasekara attended college in the U.S., eventually earning a Ph.D. in chemistry. After working for 12 years as an industrial scientist, he surrendered to his avocation – connecting with others through the power of the spoken word. He says the Toastmasters program has helped him discover his unique gifts, which provided the impetus to choose his current profession. He is not alone. “Toastmasters International is full of people who have achieved results beyond their wildest dreams,” he says. “We help people gain the skills and confidence to be the best they can be in whatever they choose to do.” As a result, Abayasekara’s motto for his term in office is “Find Your Voice. Serve Your World.” 

Since its founding in 1924, Toastmasters International has taught more than four million men and women how to become better speakers and leaders. Headquartered in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, the nonprofit organization has approximately 211,000 members in 10,500 clubs in 90 countries. Most cities have several Toastmasters clubs that meet at different times and locations during the week.

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