I first met Francesco FEDELE in the autumn of 2012, when I attended the second ever Italian Toastmaster event organized, by Francesco, in Rome. At that time there were only 4 clubs in the whole of the country … and if today not only are Italian clubs blooming , but they are also exemplary in quality.. it is to a high degree thanks to the tireless efforts of Francesco.

When your first trip to the wonderful city of Rome is enhanced by a perfectly well organized, educational, fun event … how can you fail to be impressed? Now that I know Francesco better, I am no longer surprised by his organizational skills, his capacity to be the perfect host as he welcomes every single guest, and his intelligence to put together an event where real learning takes place.
Since that time, I have kept in touch with Francesco, and always look out for him at the (many) Toastmaster events I attend! And he attends so many of them. Francesco is indeed a dedicated Toastmaster, and as a leader, has occupied increasingly challenging roles in our Association, at Club, Area, Division, District , and now Regional level. He is not shy of taking on responsibilities, and notably always delvers what he has promised.
Unfortunately my present District 59, is no longer the home of Italian TM clubs: the number of clubs has grown so that they are now in a different one, but even beyond borders, I continue to read about, and to hear speak of Francesco’s progress.
I was especially touched when, in September 2023, he took the time to visit Paris in order to honour Peter KENTON DTM, on the occasion of his Presidential Citation for his longstanding commitment to Toastmasters. Coming from Rome to Paris involves personal time and expense … and Francesco was in no way obliged to attend this event. But Peter – 96 years young at the time – was delighted to see Francesco and his partner, and so were we all! Francesco knows how to give the personal touch … and does not hesitate to involve his own family in TM events: for me, that is really going above and beyond …
His many Toastmaster accomplishments are already known. I prefer to say how happy I was to see him last weekend at the Italian Division conference. Francesco gave a remarkable speech on leadership, never hesitating to appear vulnerable as he listed the many “mistakes” he claimed to have made as a leader (no one believed him!). What impressed me the most, as I looked around the room at Italian Toastmasters smiling and clapping, was the love in their eyes, the respect they all so obviously feel for Francesco. I was thrilled to see how much they all support him, and feel proud of their great leader. To be frank, that Italian Division conference was by far the very best I have ever attended in my 14 years as a Toastmaster! An event like that can only take place thanks to the exemplarity, support, and encouragement of leading Toastmasters, Francesco in particular.
When you are a leader at a Toastmaster event, you always have a lot to do, Francesco does everything he is required by protocol to do, but he is also constantly looking around to make sure that people have everything they need, whether that be information, or a lift to the Gala dinner!
I would love him to come and give tips to my 2 Districts: 59 and 91! I would love my Toastmaster Colleagues there to experience the warmth, camaraderie, and learning we shared in Pisa!
In conclusion, I have not the slightest hesitation in recommending Francesco to a position of even greater responsibility in our wonderful Association. I have no doubt that one day we will all be saluting him as our International President. We will be so lucky to benefit from his organizational skills, his generosity, his unfailing walking the talk and … of course, his Italian charm and elegance.
I am proud to know Francesco! He personifies our Toastmaster values: and that’s what we require of our leaders, is it not?

Founder Lyon Toastmasters Unlimited, D 59
VP Membership Shilling Speakers, D91
Past Division Director Div F, D59