Governor’s Message Archive

(May 2019)

SIA & Status of NAR
Saturday May 4, 2019
General Session

Over the course of our Soroptimist history we have had many changes. Sometimes we do not openly accept change, but like so many things in life, change when done right, can lead to new and exciting adventures. Over the past decade we have seen many changes to membership, funding, leadership and how we view our relationship with clubs, regions, federations and being an integral part at the International level.

This past January SIA Board of Directors after reviewing healthy region reports and doing a feasibility study determined the necessity to possibly integrate regions along the eastern seaboard.This past fall, a task force was developed to explore possible options for integrating The NER with our NAR region. There was discussion about the status of all regions on the east coast, ours, the Northeastern, the South Atlantic and Southern regions. The SIA board has recommended that the Northeastern Region and the North Atlantic Region, be combined. SIA put together a task force which includes, Heidi McNamar, past SIA Board member, Iesha Brown, SIA Senior Director of Membership and Leadership Development, NER Governor, Ruby Mercado, NER Governor-elect Beth Peterson, NAR Governor-elect Diane Savidge, and NAR Governor Peggy Gentile-Van Meter.

Beginning last fall, phone conferences and email correspondence began to discuss ways to incorporate our two regions. Membership is a key factor in combining our regions. Although we have been maintained a stable membership, and many clubs have increased membership, the NER, has experienced declining membership and has just ten clubs in their region. We are all aware that there is tremendous encouragement for all regions to not only increase membership, but to try to add new clubs to our regions.

Your NAR Board has had several conversations about this merger. Your board has been kept informed after each phone conversation and sent emails that have transpired. As you can imagine,  there have been many mixed emotions about such a merger. One issue is the concept that our name, The North Atlantic Region would no longer exist, as well as the name Northeastern Region. Several suggestions have been made about what the new name would be.

As Soroptimist, we want what is the best possible outcome for both regions. There is a lot of work to be done in order to combine our two regions and several key decisions that will need to be  made, such as a new name for the combined region, governance structure and new bylaws. The task force is having a face to face meeting in Montreal while we are attending the annual Governor’s Round Table. SIA states that this effort could take up to two years and as the process continues it is business as usual for both our regions.

As far as your NAR board, let me tell you that we have questioned and discussed many avenues. The 100th anniversary of Soroptimist is very near, and we know that our region has played a very instrumental part in its’ development for almost as long as Soroptimist International has existed. Many of our clubs in the North Atlantic Region have passed their 80th anniversaries, some have passed 90.

As Soroptimists we should always strive to do the best for all involved. No Soroptimist club or region should ever feel that their existence is not important. We should always do what we can to help members, clubs, and regions when possible. We do not have a crystal ball to see what our future holds as a a region. What we do have is dedicated members and leaders that want to look at possible changes in a positive manner, to research, to ask questions and offer solutions.

So… what do we do now? What the NAR board needs from you is number #1, trust, #2, patience, and #3 time… time to reflect and consider the possibility that the NAR may grow by a district with 10 new clubs, and may have a new name. Please keep in mind, that we will always be the members we are, we will maintain our general structure, and will always be doing what we can for women and girls.

Between now and tomorrow, I encourage you to talk to your NAR board members. The board meets for a post conference meeting and I will ask board members to recap your outlook based on conversations with you. Once you return to your clubs, I encourage you to discuss this with your members. Clubs not represented here I hope will do the same once the Governor’s memo is sent. Sometime next week, the region secretaries will send a governor’s memo to all club presidents. The email will include this memo as well as the original HQ’s memo that outlines all the issues that SIA has looked at. The email will ask Presidents to collect questions/concerns from their members and forward these to me. I will compile these emails and send a copy to the Board. I will take your comments and questions with me to Montreal and present them at our meeting.

I promise you, that as we receive information and answers to our questions that clubs will be kept informed through their Presidents. The North Atlantic Region Board truly believes in  transparency. Let us remember, that we are all Soroptimists and as Soroptimists we should pull together and hope that decisions made are decisions based on input from you, the members who make Soroptimist what it is.

Respectfully,
Governor Peggy

 


(March 2019)

Dear Members,

In just about six weeks we will be together at our annual Spring Conference! The Board has planned a very exciting and informative gathering. SI Butler as the host club has worked very hard to ensure our visit to Mars is a fun-filled weekend.

Our theme for Friday evening is A 50’s Sock Hop. We hope you will all participate in dressing in your 50’s attire and be ready for dancing as our DJ will be spinning records from 8:30pm to 10:00pm. So, dust off those saddle shoes and press that poodle skirt and “Pink Ladies” jacket and be ready to dance the night away. There will be games and contests of that era too! (50’s attire is optional).

Don’t forget to purchase your tickets for the Beach House Raffle! Presidents were mailed raffle tickets. You do not have to be present to win and tickets will also be available to purchase at conference.

Reminder to help our NAR Service project supporting the Victim Outreach Intervention Center. List of items is on the website.

We are happy to announce that you will once again have a chance to join the Laurel Society thru the Looking Beyond Matching fund given by a generous anonymous donator. Funds are limited so please review the document explaining the details.

We are collecting shoes for donation at Conference. It is a great time to clean out your closet to make room for the new spring and summer shoes. Proceedshelp support NAR projects.

Governor’s Cup Applications were due by March 15th. Remember all clubs that sent an application will be recognized. Thank you to those clubs that submitted.

Great to see all you are doing and that you celebrate your clubs!

Social Media applications are being accepted by District 2 Secretary Stephanie and News Letters (3) are being judged by me.

“Toot Your Horn” items are being compiled by District Director Phyllis.

It has been great reading about all the wonderful events our clubs are doing. Your community projects and fundraising events have been numerous! Also I have enjoyed seeing so many post on social media about induction of new members, Live Your Dream celebrations, and your amazing Dream It Be It events!

Thank you to the clubs that are using social media to celebrate Women’s History Month. Social media was filled with acknowledgements on Women’s International Day!

Spring is around the corner, and just like the fresh growth that comes with Spring, I hope that our region as well will continue to grow with new members and new and creative ideas.

Thank you for all you do!

Fondly,
Governor Peggy


(February 2019)

Greetings!

It may not “feel” like Spring at this moment, but before we know it, the days will be lighter longer, flowers will be popping up, the smell of cut grass will be in the air, and warmer weather will be surrounding us!

With Spring approaching we will be ‘cruisin’ into Mars, Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania on May 3 for our annual Spring Conference! The Board has been working since last spring to develop a conference that will be uplifting, informative and fun.

We are so happy that SI Butler is our host for this year. They too have been working diligently to ensure that your visit to Cranberry will be perfect in every way. They have compiled a list of “things to do” during your visit.

Many items will be sent to each club president so that they can share with each member. Presidents I encourage you to forward and discuss all items that you are sent.

Some highlights for Spring Conference:

  •  We will welcome our Federation visitor, Bonnie Domonchuk from SI Cambridge.
  • And of course there is a Friday Evening Party with a 50’s Theme, so get those Poodle Skirts ready!
  • Our Region project this year is the Victim Outreach Intervention Center (VOICe).
  • Your continued support for Laurel Society will be recognized at our opening social Friday evening.
  • Our Live Your Dream Awards and Ethel F. Lord recipient will once again highlight our Saturday luncheon.
  • We are having a special film viewing of “In Plain Sight: Stories of Hope and Freedom” which focuses on six modern-day abolitionists as they fight sex trafficking across America.
  • As with each new biennium, the Board has reviewed and revised our bylaws and we will need a vote to approve.
  • This year we have added two additional recognition awards, Newsletter development and Social Media for public awareness.
  • We think you will love the new NAR merchandise that has been designed for this biennium.
  • Raffle tickets for the “Beach House” will be sent to Presidents for pre-sales.

**And yes the coveted Governor’s Cup Award! This year we will recognize each club that sends the application.

I hope we can set record numbers for attendance this year. I encourage all members to attend and I hope each club will be represented. I look forward to welcoming our First Time Attendees too.

It is great seeing many familiar members who attend and meeting new attendees is fun for everyone involved! Please make every effort to attend YOUR Spring Conference this year.

Fondly,

Governor Peggy


Happy “To Be Thankful Month”!

Well I am very happy to report that both FDM’s were very successful.  The board has reviewed all the evaluations and it seems the topics were well received.  Most members were very pleased with the venues, the food, the content, and mostly the friendliness of our members.  Thank you to each member who took the time to attend and  learn more about Soroptimist.  Our Laurel Society membership is still growing which makes all of us truly grateful for the graciousness of our anonymous donor. Photos from both events are on the photo page, but they are also on the NAR Face Book page. Presentations used are on the SIA website.

Please plan ahead!  We hope by giving you these dates early your clubs will consider not planning club events on these dates so members have a chance to attend NAR events.  I hope everyone has already marked their calendars for Spring Conference 2019, May 2-May 5th. Our SOAR Leadership Seminar will be in August, and tentative date is August 17th, 2019.  Please mark your calendars for 2019 FDM’s. Host for Districts 1/2 will be SI Rancocas, October 18/19 and host for  Districts 3/4 will be SI Fayette, November 8/9. Again, tentative dates depending on availability for hotels.

Keep those newsletters coming.  Also, I would like names and addresses of your new members since September.  Keep your Face Book post going, I try to repost on the NAR Face Book page.

It seems unreal that in a week many of us will be traveling for our Thanksgiving weekend or we will be preparing for our tables filled with family and friends.  Let us take time to remember those who are not fortunate to have a place at a table for Thanksgiving dinner.  Perhaps you will donate to a local food bank, a church or community center to help make a Thanksgiving Dinner a reality for someone.

I wish each of you a very Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels.  I am thankful for all you do to support Soroptimist, and mostly I am thankful for our friendships.

Fondly,
Governor Peggy


Peggy Gentile-VanMeter

It is such an honor to be the NAR Governor for 2018-2020. I promise to always have an open mind and to listen to your ideas, comments and suggestions. The Board is anticipating a very productive term and we are always working to give you the best meetings and conferences.

Our SIA Convention in Japan was indeed a very exciting experience for me as well as our NAR Treasurer, Karen. I will be posting news from Headquarters as well as ideas and strategies that have been suggested by SIA.

SOAR Leadership Seminar will no doubt be another exciting event and items will be posted here as well as on Face Book. As we move from Summer into Fall I look forward to seeing many of you at our Fall District Meetings!

Fondly,
Governor Peggy

PS: Remember to utilize Facebook, this website (please send items to your District Directors for posting), and please send your news letters to your directors and to me. If you have not already done so, please consider setting up a Club website and a club Face Book page. Please be sure to check your club email at the club email address that each club has been given.


Governor Tammy

Words can not describe the awesome feeling as Diane Thompson made her “Big Announcement” at our SOAR Leadership Seminar.  The outpouring of donations to the Laurel Society that are being matched is over $30,000.00. There is still time for members to take advantage of such a generous gift.  The North Atlantic Region has placed ourselves in a first of its’ kind recognition.  THANK YOU!

I hope to see many of you at our Fall District Meetings.  Once again we are combining districts so that more members can be together. We have designed this meeting based on YOUR recommendations made on evaluations. Please consider attending these very informative and fun Fall District Meetings!

Looking forward to seeing everyone.

—Governor Tammy


Summer 2017 Governor’s Message:

Dear Soroptimist Sisters,

Thank you to everyone who helped plan and organize a terrific Spring Conference!  A special thank you to past Governor Butsy McElroy and Pottstown chair President Heather Wanner.  It was a pleasure having our Federation visitor, Karen Johnson attend our conference and giving a very energetic presentation about Soroptimist goals.  Also a special thank you to Shea Rhodes for her dynamic presentation on Human Trafficking.  Without the support and dedication of our membership, a successful event such as this would not be possible.

As always, The Best for Women & Girls.

—Governor Tammy