Published On: Mon, Aug 22nd, 2016

Dave Aronberg At Division C Toastmasters Leadership Institute

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Photos by John Schneyer

From losing his own election to being dragged into a political firestorm raging around Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, Palm Beach State Attorney Dave Aronberg has experienced many bumps and bruises in public life. He’s learned more from those struggles than from his success, he recently told members of an international leadership and communications group in Boca Raton.

Aronberg was the keynote speaker August 13 for the Toastmasters Leadership Institute at Lynn University. The event was sponsored by the Southeast Florida and Bahamas district of Toastmasters International, a worldwide organization that empowers individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders. Members attended workshops on values and leadership as well as on various aspects of public speaking and communication.

About 200 Toastmasters attended the leadership event, which was capped by Aronberg’s address on “Achieving the Pinnacle of Success.”

Aronberg’s career has brought him to the pinnacle many times, but it was a loss that led to two of his biggest wins. He was defeated in the Democratic primary for the 2010 Florida Attorney General race. The seat eventually went to a Republican, current incumbent Pam Bondi — who then hired Aronberg to work for her. Together, they worked to eliminate Florida’s “pill mills,” the once-flourishing industry of overprescribed addictive pain medication.

When he decided to seek a state Senate seat in 2002, he hired his former opponent’s campaign manager. And he won.

Aronberg earned plenty of laughs from his recollections of an incident related to the Trump campaign. In March 2016, Jupiter police filed a charge of misdemeanor battery against Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who’d been accused by a reporter of improperly grabbing her at a Trump campaign appearance. Aronberg declined to prosecute after viewing tapes of the incident — but not before being at the center of raucous coverage of the incident, most of it inaccurate.

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Photos by John Schneyer

One especially remarkable story in the New York Post accused him of pursuing Lewandowski because he was “Hillary’s man,” referring to his support for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Aronberg noted that he, like most Democratic officials, had made a personal contribution to the Clinton campaign. But in the end his refusal to prosecute Lewandowski showed no partisan leanings in doing his job

Aronberg’s address offered many lessons for the audience of Toastmasters, who often join the organization to overcome fears of public speaking. He recalled being quite nervous at the press conference announcing his decision not to prosecute, but was able to recover after a short interruption helped him calm down.

His chief lesson, however — learning from defeat and recovering from setbacks to move on to victory — was even more relevant to the Toastmasters goal of developing leadership skills and helping members achieve success in their personal and professional endeavors.

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