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August 3, 2016

NYC Department of Design and Construction’s Toastmasters Club Wins Prestigious ‘Golden Gavel’ Award

Shana Hitt, DDC Toastmasters club secretary, stands next to DDC toastmatsters sign with award ribbons placed on top.
Shana Hitt, DDC Toastmasters club secretary

Shavone Williams
Public Information Officer

Dan Leibel
Junior Public Information Officer

Queens, NY—The Toastmasters International club at the New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC) has received the 2016 Golden Gavel Award from Toastmasters District 46, which encompasses clubs from the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Westchester, and Long Island. The award, granted for excellence in club functions, was received at District 46’s annual “Hail and Farewell” ceremony on July 30 in Queens

Toastmasters International, founded in 1924, teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs. The organization has over 345,000 members and 15,900 clubs in 142 different countries. DDC’s club, which was started in 2004, has 35 members who give speeches, receive feedback for public presentations, engage in critical thinking exercises, and develop leadership and communication skills.

“Staff development is essential, and we provide numerous opportunities for DDC staff to grow and enhance themselves and their careers,” said DDC Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora. “Good public speaking and leadership skills are very beneficial to DDC’s diverse staff, who are often called upon to lead project teams and make presentations to the public and groups such as community boards. I am very proud of the collaboration, teamwork, and leadership demonstrated by the DDC Toastmasters club.”

“It’s an honor to be recognized with the Golden Gavel Award in District 46,” said DDC’s Toastmasters Club Secretary Shana Hitt. “The members of DDC’s club are proud to uphold the measures of excellence required for this designation and we strive to continue to be leaders in our work community and respective neighborhoods.”

DDC’s club was one of only 16 of the District’s 224 clubs to achieve the Golden Gavel Award.

About the NYC Department of Design and Construction
The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor de Blasio’s lenses of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, new or upgraded roadways, sewers, water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $15 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative, and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to city projects. For more information, please visit