Members 2019-2020

Board Officers

Every year, Mercury club members elect our board to a one-year term beginning July 1. If you’re already a member, why not consider running for office? Every year brings exciting new opportunities to support and develop our club.

Therese Pitt – President
Mercury is like a playground where you actually learn tons while having fun! I have been on stage as a professional actor and singer for over 20 years and continue to be pleasantly surprised by all the new tools I gain through my Mercury experience. In my work as a Performance Coach, both acting and my Toastmaster skills really come in handy. Mercury has the added bonus of being a great place to make new friends.

Viktor Dychko  – VP Education
As an IT-person, I spend a significant part of my time “talking” to machines, so developing soft skills is extremely valuable to me.
Mercury Toastmasters is an amazing place not only to improve public speaking skills and certainly gain confidence, but it also gives something much more valuable — an environment with people that surround you, inspiring and genuinely helping to improve. Furthermore, it opens a door to connecting with like-minded people almost anywhere in the world, having hundreds of thousands Toastmasters members worldwide.

Nadezhda Gogova – VP Membership
At Mercury, I have the great opportunity to develop my communication and presentation skills. But not only that… Mercury is a family to me, a safe and unique environment in which I can improve my soft skills and grow supported by the fellow members. It’s a unique experience I can highly recommend.

Pooja Ghosh – VP PR
An architect, new to Berlin and transitioning into writing; in short, I was in a pickle. My burn-out from work rendered me paralyzed in social settings, to the extent that I felt I had forgotten how to talk to people. I needed a supportive community and to rediscover myself. With Mercury, I found exactly that. I found people who believe that self-love is not dunking into rose petal baths but watering the buds. It’s challenging, goofy and makes me constantly reinvent my comfort zone.
Three levels into my Pathway, I’m still stoked that the stage is the safest place for forging a profound connection with large audiences. Within a year, I got my writing on track and served as VP Public Relations. That’s Mercury, it can take you places.

Svetlana Kokalarova – Treasurer
The best public speakers started from the bottom. It is a skill that everybody can master. If you experience fear to speak, come to Toastmasters. There is a magic pill called practice and you can get it at Mercury. But not only this. You get confidence, become a leader and make friends.
Joining Toastmasters was one of the best decisions in my life because “Speech is power, speech is to persuade, to convert, and to compel” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Stephanie Haight-Kuntze  – Secretary
Believe it or not, this picture is of a former institutional equity investments advisor with 35 years experience! Much of that advice happened over the telephone or in writing where communication relied mostly on the voice. Toastmasters is allowing me the chance to enter an expanded comfort zone of not only voice and writing but also visual and stage communications to enhance that content. AND most importantly, I am able to explore other areas of interest in a multicultural setting and carry on climbing a learning curve to infinity. There is nothing more rewarding than meeting and conquering challenges, a constant feeling of achievement! No wonder we refer to Mercury as the “Incubator of Confidence!”

Katerina Apostolova  – Sergent at Arms
“Speak and feel on stage like Oprah” – this was my goal at the start of my Toastmasters journey with Mercury. I believe public speaking is a superpower and I was ready to work towards it. The club turned out to be so much more!
Joining the board was the best decision ever since it allowed me to engage even deeper in the insides and outs of the club and keep my eyes on the goal.

Lucio Buffalmano – Immediate Past President
Lucio likes trying new things and becoming a better person. He gave Mercury a shot on a quest to improve public speaking. You can imagine Lucio’s pleasure in finding out Mercury is much more than “just” public speaking. Mercury is live entertainment, live art, and it’s being part of that art. The people at Mercury are a family of bright, fascinating people. Lucio writes on social skills and social dynamics and he swears he is not as douchy as the picture here suggests.

Introducing More of Our Club Members

LarsLars Siegert
At Mercury Toastmasters Berlin I found a fun and safe place to work on my communication and leadership skills. As a consultant and business development manager conveying my thoughts and concepts effectively is a key to a successful collaboration with clients and colleagues. Beyond that, I met wonderful people with the curiosity and lifelong learning attitude I appreciate.

EvaEva Goellner
As an interpreter, I spend a great deal of my time thinking about the right word – expressing the thoughts of others. I love Toastmasters because they give me a chance to explore my own thoughts! In my spare time, I love running, reading and roaming the great Brandenburg plains with my dog.


Ronald Czachara
As an entrepreneur and in private I love to learn and I love to grow. For me, Mercury Toastmasters is about public speaking, it is about listening and it is about leadership. But it is so much more. Mercury Toastmasters is an inspiring place where you can grow and where others want you to grow. You meet exciting people from all over the world. Oh, and it is fun, too.

Hanjo Lu_cut_smallHanjo Lu
Being a sales person in IT for work and passionate sports person in my spare time requires me to constantly step out of my comfort zone to improve skills (which isn’t always easy, but rewarding). Speaking in public, expressing thoughts and exciting the audience has been one, which I always wanted to work on. Seeing people at toastmasters mastering that skill, and having heard from, how they started have inspired me to follow that path and join the community.


Wendy Wallace Husser
A “sun bunny” from snowy Denver, Colorado I now live in the hipster playground of Berlin and coach people to boost their English and communication skills. Oh the Places You’ll Go! – a children’s book by Dr. Seuss – best describes my Toastmasters experience. It’s been a sparkly adventure of laughs and learning.