By PP Freddie Yap, ACB, CL (FY)
After the usual initial exchange of pleasantries, we quickly placed our order as this was supposed to be a EAT (eat and talk) interview. ZZA was in a relaxed mood and appeared prepared for my onslaught of questions. Without showing any mercy, I immediately launched into a series of questions which I thought would have been tougher than Table Topics. However, to my surprise, she used all that she learned from Toastmasters to deftly address all my questions hurled at her with ease and confidence.
Here are the excerpts of our lunch chat:
FY : Besides being an accountant, you are known to club members as a regulator with the Securities Commission (SC). Any changes career-wise?
ZZA : Yes, I was working with the SC for twelve years in the regulation department principally tasked with overseeing the financial players in the capital markets. The industry players are the stockbrokers, unit trust managers, the local bourse and many more. With the knowledge and experience gained, I thought it was time to do something different in my life.
FY : What have you ventured into?
ZZA : I invested a huge sum of money to re-invent myself, so to speak. I took the time to equip myself with many new skills eg. selling and relationship building skills, to name a few. Then, I took up the challenge of building a wellness care business which involves a lot of sharing and presenting the benefits of wellness care.
FY : What keeps you motivated as a Toastmaster?
ZZA : The meeting roles. Every role provides a unique learning experience. It is through taking up roles such as Timer, Ah Counter and Grammarian that gradually opened me up to various other speaking opportunities.
FY : What helped you decide to run for President?
ZZA : I am one person who believes in completing what I’ve set out to do. I have been an EXCO member, I might as well do it! Being the President gives me the opportunity to explore new speaking and leadership roles and also share what I’ve learned in Toastmasters.
FY : What do you intend to accomplish during your term?
ZZA : First, I would want to continue the legacy which the club is known for i.e. the President’s Distinguished Club status. It will provide the benchmark for me to work on. Going forward, there are many possibilities that we could explore to make the term exciting and beneficial to all. It will definitely be a challenge to lead the club into a new level.