Distinguished Toastmaster, Arunsalam Blaraj made history being the first Sri Lankan to serve on Toastmasters International board. During the election for Toastmasters International Board of Directors held at the organisation’s annual convention in Las Vegas USA, Balraj was unanimously elected as the International Director for Toastmasters Region 13, comprising Sri Lanka, India, China, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea and will hold office until 2013. 37% of world’s population come from this region. Sri Lanka alone has 64 Clubs with more than 1500 members.
Balraj was instrumental in spearheading the toastmasters movement in Direct 82 of Toastmasters that comprises of India and Sri Lanka and was also the first Sri Lanka to hold the position of the District Governor in the year 2008-2009. A singular honour for Sri Lanka, Balraj was elected at the International Convention in Las Vegas, USA.
He has been a Toastmasters since 1990 and is currently a member of the Colombo Toastmasters Club and the Ralph Toastmasters Club. Balraj is the Chairman and Managing Director of Gemtrans Engineering Company (Sri Lanka), the leading fabricators of industrial belts.
A dedicated Toastmaster, Balraj has held numerous positions in Toastmasters. He has a Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) – the highest level of achievement in the Toastmasters movement. Furthermore, he was presented the President’s Distinguished District Award in 2009 for leading District 82 to the number one position in performance in the Toastmasters world. Balraj credits his Toastmasters training for his achievements and says, “TI taught me to think critically, focus on specifics, and plan for effective implementation of projects. I also learned how to make effective presentations to motivate and inspire audiences. Today I am a better listener, open-minded and tolerant of others views, and able to set and focus on priorities.”
As a member of the Toastmasters International Board of Directors, Balraj will be a “Working Ambassador” for the organisation and will work towards fulfilling TI’s mission. He will help develop policies and procedures that will guide the international organisation to meet global challenges in communication and leadership.