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My name is J. Kevin Chapman and I am 4th generation Irish on both my Mother and Father's side. My Mother's maiden name was Sullivan and my Father was Malone. I have always taken a great interest in my heritage.
Upon graduation from college my brother Brian and I visited Ireland and some of my relatives in Sligo and then we visited the rest of the British Isles. Four years later, I visited Ireland and Northern Ireland with my wife and Mother-in-law. My Mother-in-law was from Limavady, Northern Ireland,  and was one of the original war brides.

My great grandmother had 6 children by the time she was 22 (birthday was leap year). On my mother's side the Sullivans were all Chicago Firefighters. The first Michael, became a Captain on the CFD and was killed in action in 1881. My grandfather-Harold P. Sullivan MD was a firefighter and studied on the Fireboat for med school and eventually became the Chief Physician for the Chicago Fire Department.

My dad was a severely wounded Paratrooper injured in the Battle of the Bulge and my Mother was a musician and taught for 30 years in the Chicago Public School system. I believe that my drive comes from my relations and the drive to be the best at what we do. I am one of three boys that my parents had.

Regarding Toastmasters, my father was in Toastmasters back in the 1960's and over the years I decided to join when I was out of work and wanted to improve my public speaking. I have been in Sales all of my career and I constantly sought ways to improve my skills. Toastmasters definitely fit the bill as it help my speaking, presentation skills and my extemporaneous speaking skill. It has given me tremendous confidence  to speak before large crowds when I give presentations on the history and myths of the great Highland Bagpipe.

I give these talks to libraries in the Chicago area and to small colleges. I feel I am utilizing my skills to present on a subject that I am passionate about.

Also with Toastmasters it has given me the confidence to network and meet people to help me during times when I was in job transition. It also offered me the ability to visit clubs not only around the Chicago area, but China. I used to travel internationally and used that opportunity to visit clubs while I was there on business. I also visit clubs throughout the US either when I was on business or visiting and have found it exciting and very rewarding.

When I am not involved with Toastmasters as my club president this year, I am competing with my Pipe band at grade 4 and Solo competitions. My wife (Tish) and I are raising 4 children. My oldest son Kevin O'Neill Chapman is married and continuing the tradition of Fire Fighter, Mary Kate is in healthcare, Maggie is expecting our first grandchild, and my son Brendan is in college.

I plan to continue in Toastmasters for as long as I can and continue meeting wonderful people who are dedicated to improving themselves through better communication.

Cherish the Ladies

February 2018

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