BENTON HARBOR — Jason Gries recently received his Competent Communicator Award from the Whirlpool Toastmasters Club, an honor recognizing him for completing his Competent Communicator manual.

The manual provides a series of speeches that focus on different aspects of speechmaking, including organizing a speech effectively, using vocal variety and inspiring an audience.

“The milestone is nice, but I’m more happy with the progress I’ve made with public speaking. (But there’s still plenty of room for improvement!)” he said in a news release.

Gries said he joined Toastmasters because he knew he needed to become more comfortable with talking in front of groups, big and small.

“I am much more confident when presenting material at work,” he said, “and have a better understanding of how to prepare to talk in front of others. I have received positive feedback after some presentations that I attribute to Toastmasters.”

Gries is from Perrysburg, Ohio and lives on South Bend, Ind. He works at Whirlpool Corp., as a project manager in HMI Assemblies, and serves as Toastmasters Club president.

In his leisure time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and three children, exercising, grilling and learning new things.

The Whirlpool Toastmasters Club meets from noon-1 p.m. the first, third and fifth Wednesdays of the month at Whirlpool’s Riverview Campus, 600 W. Main St. Guests are welcome to attend.

For more info, contact Carolyn Cline at