SEC Roughriders Toastmasters
Mona and her sons more than 30 years ago as pictured on the Mona's Granola label.
The member:
Mona Gale

About her:

Mona is the chief executive officer and founder of Mona’s Granola, an all-natural granola company that generates roughly $2 million a year in revenue. Mona started the business from her kitchen when her oldest son was a toddler. She’s been building the business for over three decades. Her granola is now available in 1,100 grocery stores including Whole Foods and Publix.

Why she joined:

“SEC Roughriders was exactly what I was looking for,” she says. The boardroom environment and formal meeting structure is especially good practice for when she pitches grocery store executives, she says. “Like Toastmasters, I’m often given a set amount of time to make my pitch so I better be prepared.”

Her first speech:

Mona looked forward to her first speech. “I knew it would be an easy one because it’s autobiographical,” she says. “It’s a high-level club but everyone made me feel very comfortable.”

Her proudest SEC Roughriders moment:

Becoming a mentor is a big highlight for Mona. She’s greatly enjoyed watching her mentee develop. “She was so nervous at first but now she’s relaxed when she speaks.” “I’m very proud of her,” she says.

How she’s served the Club:

Mona’s served on the Board as Secretary and Vice President of Public Relations. She’s also chaired contests and continues to mentor. Each role has helped her business in some way. “When I was Treasurer, it helped me improve my cash flow tracking skills which was useful at work,” she says.

Her advice to prospective members:

“Just tell your story,” she says. When Mona starts to get nervous during a speech, she pretends she’s telling her story to a friend. “No one knows your story better than you.”

Her public speaking tips:

Take time during your speech to look into the eyes of individuals in the room, she says. “Briefly holding the gaze of different people will help you relax and makes a personal connection with the audience.”

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