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Village Speakers Give Voice Even to the Soft Spoken

By Kalecia Wright, Village Speakers President
In early 2013, a couple of adventure seekers gathered for a quiet meeting of the minds to brainstorm their next big thing. Netania Walker, DTM, and Rev. Timothy McDonald III, First Iconium Baptist Church, were inspired to create a new addition to the Toastmaster’s organization. Since 1924, Toastmasters International, a nonprofit educational organization, has taught public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of meeting locations. Starting a new chapter requires dedication, proper planning, and most importantly twenty other individuals motivated to lead. On April 24, 2013, the vision was realized, and Village Speakers was born into the thriving East Atlanta Community. The keynote speaker at the chartering ceremony, Principal Robin Robbins of Burgess Peterson Academy, shared words of inspiration and solidified the important role that Village Speakers hoped to play in developing great leaders and speakers in the East Atlanta community.
Like all great adventures, the anticipation of something new subsided, and the real work of the club began. “The mission of a Toastmasters club is to provide a mutually supportive and protective learning environment in which every individual member has the opportunity to develop oral communication and leadership skills, which in turn foster self-confidence and personal growth.”
The embodiment of this creed is charter member. Nicolia Gruendler, who wasted no time in capturing the opportunity to expand her leadership skills. Voted Vice President of Membership, she quickly immersed herself in the new role. Nicolia, already an active civic participant, is involved in the East Atlanta Community Association (EACA), East Atlanta Kids Club, Burgess Peterson Garden Club, and The Porch Press. While public speaking seemed a bit out of range for the soft-spoken advocate, she has long since proven to be a voice of strength and presence. She brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience,\ and is able to deliver speeches that command her audience’s attention.
Motivational speaker Dale Carnegie once said, “History has repeatedly been changed by people who had the desire and the ability to transfer their convictions and emotions to their listeners.” Nicolia Gruendler has found ways to have her voice heard. Share your voice with Nicolia and other members of Village Speakers at First Iconium Baptist Church located at 542 Moreland Avenue. Meeting times are the first and third Thursdays of the month from 6:15pm until 7:45pm. For more information contact Kalecia Wright, or visit

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