I don’t know about where you live, but it’s starting to seem like a long winter here in Central Pennsylvania. I’m sure, just like me, many of you are looking forward to Spring with its green grass, blooming trees and flowers and more than anything, warmer days. The month of March is Women’s History Month and March 8th is International Women’s Day. This is a month to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. Remember to celebrate the members of your club as well as those in your communities who have been forerunners in these achievements.
We also need to be preparing our clubs for what Spring brings for Soroptimist. This is the time of the year we will be looking at electing new officers, reviewing club by-laws, and standing procedures, giving out awards, reviewing our fundraising efforts while looking to give a portion of our funds to Club Giving, and looking forward to Spring Conference.
Preparations are well underway by the NAR board for our upcoming Virtual Spring Conference. Remember to mark your calendars for the weekends of June 5th and June 12th. You will soon be receiving the “Call to Conference” as well as information that your President and Delegates will need to review in preparation for a future Survey Monkey where they will need to provide a few votes for your club. The results of all voting will be mentioned during our virtual Spring Conference. Remember, the President and your delegates are voting for your club so once the materials for Spring Conference are sent out, be sure to distribute all documents to your members for review so they can express how they want those members to vote on their behalf.
I have already been in contact with our Federation Visitor for Spring Conference, who even though she lives on the west coast, plans to attend our virtual Spring Conference. I am working on preparing our “Healthy Region Report” and while much has had to be done virtually this past year, I must commend the clubs within our region for all you have done to keep your clubs and your members engaged in our mission.
Live Your Dream Awards reporting should have all been sent to our Region Live Your Dream Award chairs who will now have their committees vote on our region winners. This year, SIA will be providing our region awards in the following manner: one $5,000 award for the Northeast Region, one $5,000 award for the NAR and one $3,000 award for the NAR. In addition, the region board voted to give 4 additional LYD awards. There will be two $1,000 awards given in the Northeast Region and two $1,000 awards given in the North Atlantic Region. Remember, the budgets for both regions were kept separate for the club year of 2020-2021 so funds will be disbursed accordingly.
Please keep me posted with the dates, times, and links for your meetings so that I can try to attend and be there with you virtually. I have been fortunate to meet with several of your clubs already and although we are not together in-person, I still enjoy seeing all your smiling faces and hearing about what your club is doing. I so hope this pandemic will soon come to an end and we can all be together again. Until then, I wish you well and hope that this upcoming Spring brings you much happiness.
Diane M. Savidge
NAR Governor 2020-2022
As we begin the month of love, let us take time to remember that as Soroptimists we should reach out to our fellow mankind with love and kindness on a daily basis. Several of us are working as volunteers with SIA to do what they are calling “Member Care Calls”. What this means is we are given the information needed of a Soroptimist member within our federation and we are taking about 15 minutes of our time to reach out to them and make sure they are doing ok throughout this pandemic which just doesn’t seem to want to go away. It has been a real treat to be part of the team making these calls as I’ve had the opportunity to speak with some absolutely lovely ladies that I’ve never known before. Let us all remember to reach out to those we love and care about, our friends, neighbors, and relatives and just add a ray of sunshine to their day by letting them know someone cares.
I’m sure by now all of you are aware that we have had to cancel our in-person Spring Conference that we had so hoped to be able to hold. With guidance from SIA we have ALL been asked to suspend all in-person meetings and events until further notice from the SIA board. SIA held a webinar with the Governors and Governor Elects to explain the legal ramifications of holding in-person meetings at this time and how it could affect any legal suits that could come from someone saying they contacted COVID after attending a meeting or event held by Soroptimists. I ask that you PLEASE follow these guidelines and adhere to the request of SIA. None of us want to put our clubs, regions, or federation in a situation to have to fight a legal battle over something we CAN at least try to control. Currently, we are not to plan ANY future in-person events without the consent of SIA. So, if you are looking at an event you would like to plan this summer, I would ask that you reach out to SIA with the specifics and get their feedback prior to moving forward.
With all that said, your NAR Board has now moved to planning our Spring Conference to be held virtually. We are planning 3 sessions over two Saturdays, June 5th from 10 to noon, June 12th from 10 to noon and then a celebration of awards and accomplishments the evening of June 12th from 7 to 8:30-9:00. So please put these dates on your calendar and we hope you will join us via Zoom. More information will come out with the call to conference sometime in March. As there is some voting that will need to be done, we will once again be asking all clubs to submit the names and email addresses of your President and club delegates to your District Directors so that when we have the survey monkeys ready to send for voting they can be sent, and results returned in a timely fashion.
I know these are not ideal times but as we move forward with more and more people becoming eligible for and receiving the vaccine, perhaps our lives will soon become more normal again. We can only hope so. However, in the meantime, we continue to do what we can to help and support the women and girls in our communities that need us now more than ever. I praise the work you are all doing and urge you to continue to move forward as best you can.
Please keep me posted with the dates and times of your meetings so that I can make an attempt to attend and be there with you virtually. I wish you all a Happy Valentine’s Day and I look forward to our time together.
Diane M. Savidge
NAR Governor 2020-2022
As we welcome 2021, let’s take just a moment to reflect on the things of the past. 2020 is certainly a year we will all remember and yet also want to forget. It was a year of cancelled in person meetings, cancelled vacations and travel and a year of sadness, sorrow, heartache and stress for many. And yet it was also a year of new beginnings. We learned how to use new technology to hold our meetings virtually, we also learned how to hold on-line fundraisers and come up with new ideas of how to raise funds. And more importantly we learned how to keep in touch and reach out to one another for help when needed. And although we couldn’t be together in person, we still held onto the connections we have through this wonderful organization we call Soroptimist.
As we enter 2021, I look forward to a year of excitement and hope. Your NAR board and Spring Conference Committee are already working on a possible in-person Spring Conference to be held at the Hilton Scranton Conference Center in Scranton, PA the weekend of April 23rd, 24th and 25th. It is our sincere hope that by then, we will be able to physically be together once again and share a few laughs, hugs and most importantly some great information. A new SIA program, the “Dream Big Campaign” will be launched at Spring Conference so be sure to plan on attending. We will also begin planning for our Fall District Meetings. And of course, 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of Soroptimist so as we progress into the year, be sure to watch your club email for exciting events that will be occurring.
I ask that you please email me the dates and any links for your upcoming club meetings. I was a bit out of the loop during the end of 2020 due to some physical complications, but I am back on the road to recovery and would like to connect with your clubs to see what exciting things are happening in each of your worlds of Soroptimist.
I encourage you to connect with your District Directors and let them know of any and all upcoming events your club may have planned so that we can post it on our updated NAR website (www.soroptimistnar.org). I also encourage you to connect with your members and be sure that they are doing ok and ask if there is anything they need or anything you can do for them. A simple act of kindness can mean the world to someone who is experiencing a hard time.
I wish each and every one a safe, healthy, and happy New Year and I look forward to the hugs and laughter we can all share again soon.
Diane M. Savidge
NAR Governor 2020-2022
Greetings to all NAR Soroptimists, Wow! It’s almost hard to believe we have reached the last month of 2020. While it’s been a year of trials and tribulations, ups and downs, social distancing and lots of mask wearing, there is always something we can all find to be thankful for.
I want to thank each and every one of you for doing your part to try to keep your clubs functioning and your members engaged. It’s been quite a road to forge but I feel that we have each played a particularly important role in trying to keep things running as smoothly as possible.
It has truly been my pleasure to work with my board and with many of the clubs that I have been able to connect with virtually. I look forward to connecting with many more in the new year and hoping that we can soon all be together again.
At this point we don’t know what 2021 has in store for us, but we will continue to persevere. Together we can and will become a stronger and more vibrant region as we continue our mission to help many women and girls in our local communities and around the world.
Please remember that no matter what comes down the road, together we can make it work. As I have said so many times, your NAR board is always only an email, a text, or a phone call away.
I want to wish each of you a healthy and happy holiday season as you reach out to spend time with loved ones, be it in person or virtually. Remember, this is indeed a wonderful, magical time of the year. I wish you all an incredibly Happy New Year. May it be filled with laughter, excitement, good health, happiness, and love.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to All!
Diane M. Savidge
NAR Governor 2020-2022
As 2020 marches on, many of us will be glad to see it come to an end. This year has been very frustrating, challenging, and unforgiving for many of us but during this month of November, let us concentrate on the things we also must be thankful for.
Your NAR board was thankful to be able to have our first in person board meeting during October and while we made sure to social distance and wear our masks, it was very rewarding to be able to be together in person. We put together some very informative Leadership sessions which we are presenting to our members via Zoom. The first sessions based on leadership roles were presented on October 22nd and 23rd and both sessions were well attended. The next set of sessions will be on Membership, November 2nd and 5th and the last set of sessions will be on using Microsoft Office (via your club email account) and these will be presented the week of November 16th. So, I encourage all club President’s to continue checking your email as well as the club email account for all future links to these sessions.
We are also in the process of working with our webmaster to launch an all new updated NAR webpage and we are hoping to make it go live sometime in mid-November. This will be a much more up to date and SIA logo compliant website so be sure to keep checking for all the new features. I encourage you to send your District Directors details of all your upcoming events so we can share them on the website. I also encourage all clubs to send your District Directors links to any of your club webpages and Facebook pages, as there will be links to these posted on the new website so that we can all share our information.
The NAR Conference committee is currently working on putting together a Spring Conference in hopes that we will all be able to gather and enjoy each other’s comradery again soon. The projected dates are, April 23rd to the 25th, 2021. Be sure to watch for more info as we get closer.
As we approach this season of giving, I encourage you to reach out to those less fortunate. As the weather turns cooler, there are many that will be in need of warm clothing, food supplies and shelter. Perhaps you might consider collecting things for your local food bank or homeless shelters. These places are always in need of gloves, scarves, hats, and coats as well as food supplies.
The North Atlantic Region Board wishes everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving season. Although it might be a bit different this year, remember you can always connect with family and friends via modern technology. Please take care and remember all the blessings each and everyone of us has been given.
Diane M. Savidge
NAR Governor 2020-2022
Greetings to all my Soroptimist Friends and Family,
Although 2020 has been a very trying year for us, it’s hard to believe that we are already into September and looking to what we hope will be beautiful fall weather with all the beauty it can bring us.
In the words of an unknown author, “Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go”. So, let’s let go of the past months of quarantine, isolation, and sense of loneliness and come together for a renewed life as we begin our club year of 2020-2021 together.
It is time for us to once again, be looking to new beginnings in Soroptimist, renewing old friendships among us, inducting new members, new ways of doing business, new Live Your Dream applicants, new fundraising opportunities, and so much more.
I do hope that each of your clubs are engaging with your members, be it in person or virtually because it is of utmost importance that we connect with one another and continue the important work we have done in the past.
Just as the women we help in our local communities and all over the world, our members need us now more than ever and without reaching out and connecting with them, they are going to feel lost. So please, if you have not already done so, make sure you are conducting business as usual in whatever way you can. Zoom has become our best friend and although it’s not the same as meeting in person it is still a way of staying connected and showing one another that sense of belonging.
I hope many of you are planning events to make your clubs known in your local communities and allowing your communities to know that you are still here for them in these times of need. Please share those events with your NAR board, and in particular with your District Directors, and we will be sure to share them to the NAR website and Facebook page so that all of us may have an opportunity to help one another. Also be sure to share your newsletters and meeting dates so that the members of the board can connect with all of you.
The NAR board has continued to meet virtually throughout the summer and we are excited to announce that since we were unable to have our late summer conference, leadership seminar or Fall District meetings, we have decided to put together several virtual educational programs for you this fall and we do hope that you will join us for these events. Please stay tuned as we work out the details and dates for these opportunities.
Always know that your NAR Board is here for you, so please do not be afraid to connect with us if you have any questions or concerns. I look forward to seeing many of you virtually, if no other way is possible, and I wish you all a great beginning to a new club year.
July 1, 2020
Greeting to all the Soroptimists of the North Atlantic Region,
As we begin a new biennium, I would like to take a moment to say “thank you” to each of you for putting your faith and trust in me to be the leader of our newly merged region for the 2020-2022 biennium.
It is through programs such as the SIA Dream Programs, that we as Soroptimists have been able to reach so many women and girls in our communities, our states, our region, our federation and around the world. Many of these women and girls would not have the potential to reach their dreams if it had not been for the help of Soroptimists like you and me.
During the course of the next two years I will use the theme:
“Become the Key to Someone’s Dreams”.
Each time you put a key in a lock to open a door; be it your car, your home, your office, your safe deposit box, or whatever; think about the key role YOU have played in being an integral part of someone’s dreams. When we reach out to help women and girls, we are a key to the future for them. All too often I have heard members of clubs say things like “But the small amount of money we are able to raise really doesn’t go very far in helping the women and girls in our communities”. ….. ; I want you to remember this: no matter how large or how small the amount may be,…. each turn of the key is a step in unlocking a promising future in someone’s life.
Due to the pandemic we are currently facing in our country and around the world, the future as we know it may be vastly different from what it has been in the past. The women and girls we serve through our programs leading to education and economic sustainability are needed now more than ever.
I ask you to join me in the 2020-2022 biennium to help unlock the dreams for a promising future of even more women and girls as we support them through our Soroptimist endeavors.
I look forward to working with each of you and I ask you to join me, as together, WE “Become the Key to Someone’s Dreams”.
Diane M. Savidge
NAR Governor 2020-2022
Dear North Atlantic Region Members,
Well your board gave it our best, but even though with all the planning and rearranging, we can not in good conscience hold the Late Summer Conference that we had hoped to have. After much deliberation and discussion, we MUST put the health and safety of our members first. Even if we were able to go ahead using the the same venue, we know that many members may not be comfortable with travel out of their own states. The conference would have at minimum,100 members in attendance, to have less would be costly, and there is always the possibility that some states will still have a 50 person limit to gather in groups. Even if the numbers are lifted to over 100, to have distancing of six feet between each of us would be impossible. It is always better to be safe.
So, we are going to “entertain” you with virtual meetings. The board has decided to hold three separate virtual meetings through the use of ZOOM. We are working on an agenda that will allow us to present awards, do a virtual installation of the new board, and say our farewells. We promise to do our best to make it fun and informative and we hope that each of you will be able to “ZOOM” in to say hi and enjoy some face-to-face time with us.
The following dates have been designated for combined districts. You will need to download the app for ZOOM. www.appdirectory.online/Zoom It is a free app.
Tuesday June 23, 2020
Thursday, June 25, 2020
President’s Virtual Meeting
Saturday June 27, 2020
Time for all three meetings:
Connect time: 6:30-7:00 pm.
Meeting begins at 7:00 pm.
ZOOM link and passwords were sent to Presidents and club email on May 26th & May 27th.
We invite Presidents to join the evening that your district is Zooming as well as the President’s virtual meeting. Committee Chairs, we do invite you to join both scheduled district zoom meetings. A general agenda will be sent before the first scheduled Zoom meeting. If there are any questions, please contact your District Director.
I wish everyone continued health. Stay safe!
Seems just like yesterday that I was writing my first Governor’s note for my first Spring Conference as your Governor. Here we are today, with an agenda and plans for the second conference of the biennium!
This year we are going to “Get Happy in Happy Valley” and celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage. The board has planned a very exciting agenda that has something for everyone! SIA Centre County is our host and I know they have been working very hard to make your visit extra special. Many items are being sent to club presidents and we hope each item will be shared with the members. Presidents, please encourage your members to attend Spring Conference.
Some of the major highlights for Spring Conference 2020:
- This year we welcome Federation Visitor, Pat McCay from Alabama who is a member of the SIA board for 2019-2020.
- Please remember to bring items for the NAR Project: “We Support the Girls”.
- Friday evening festivities will be very special with the Celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage.
- We will once again have our First Time Attendee/Laurel Society Recognition reception Friday
- This year we are going to change things up a bit by recognizing clubs with some awards on Friday evening.
- There will be an update on the merger with the NER and the new transitional bylaws will need member support. Please have your members review the transitional bylaws. Delegates need guidance from your members in order to ask questions and know how to vote on behalf of your club.
- A new biennium means a new NAR Board to vote for.
- Region Merchandise will be on sale and we are going to try pre-orders this year.
- Look for the “Beach House Raffle” tickets which will be mailed to the clubs.
- I can’t wait to award the 2020 Governor’s Cup!
Flyers and information will be emailed and posted on the Home Page of the NAR web site. Look for Face Book post as we continue towards Spring Conference 2020.
Please join me as I install the new officers of the 2020-2022 NAR board. I will have my Farewell Address with my Governor’s State of the Union Address on Sunday morning.
Spring Conference is our time to shine. It is our time to acknowledge all the dedicated clubs that have given their best the past year to help women and girls reach their dreams. I look forward to seeing many friends I have made the past several years and meeting first time attendees.
Please make an effort to attend YOUR Spring Conference!
Season’s Greetings to all…
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and now we have the December Holidays to look forward to. Let us continue to remember all those who are not as fortunate as we are as we shop for our families and friends. Please reach out to your family and friends who have suffered the loss of a family member or close friend this past year. The first year of holidays and special occasions can be a very depressing time to face alone.
The NAR board elections are this spring and candidate biographies will be sent with the Call to Conference in February. The board meets in January to finalize plans for Spring Conference, which looks to be another informative and fun conference. Don’t forget items for the Region Project: Support the Girls as you shop for family and friends.
SIA is running a friendly competition with our Social Media outlets. Below is a summary of HQ’s email and attached to an email sent to club Presidents. As you know, NAR started Social Media awards this past year along with the newsletter awards, so I think we already have a great running start! The important thing is to keep posting and include the hashtag
#SOROPTIMISTATWORK with each of your club post. Please tag Soroptimist NAR so we can keep re-posting.
If your club received a Peace at Home Grant, you MUST submit your impact report.
The Governor’s Cup Application is on the website and attached to an email sent to club Presidents. Some items have been deleted and some added, so please use the new form. Remember, all clubs who turn in an application will be recognized for their participation. All applications are due by March 15th, 2020.
If you have flyers for 2020 events please send to your District Directors so we can post on Face Book and the web site.
Wishing everyone a happy and healthy holiday and a wonderful new year. Let’s continue to do what we do best… Helping Women and Girls!
We continue to hope for Peace on Earth.
Happy Fall Everyone!
We had two perfect Fall District Meetings! Thank you to SIA Rancocas Valley and SIA Fayette County for being the host with the most! The Friday evening events were well planned. The Peace Garden is a place of serenity and is beautiful. The Canteen evening reminded us of days gone by and that we owe so much to those who have protected our freedoms! Be sure to view all the photos under FDM 2019 on the photos page. Thank you to all the planners and the presenters. I especially want to thank each member who took the time to attend.
We now have nine new monthly giving members for Laurel Society. Our new Fundraising chair, Barbara Andre-Maxwell is doing her best to spread the word about Laurel Society. We hope that each club will try to get one more Laurel Society monthly giving member before the end December.
Club delegates have a lot of information to share at your meeting. Most important is the new e-balloting system that will begin with the new year.
The merger with NER is progressing in a very positive way. Below is the summary that I gave at both FDM’s.
Please post your events and upcoming activities on Face Book so we can share on the NAR Face Book page.
Nominations are being accepted for the 2020-2022 NAR Board. Please think about the member that has leadership qualities that would be an asset for the region. Nominations forms are on the documents page and Chair Stephanie Shoemaker needs these nominations by December 15th. It is going to be a very exciting time for NAR as we add a district 5 and grow our membership!
Check out the upcoming events page so you can mark your calendars for Spring Conference and SIA Convention.
Please remember the importance of Club Giving and Member Giving with the upcoming SI President’s Appeal. The purchase of the “Road to Equality” pin is a great way to support Soroptimist.
As this is the beginning of the giving season, I encourage you to help those less fortunate as the weather becomes so much colder. Homeless shelters are in need of items as well as your local food banks. Many places of worship and schools collect gloves, scarves, hats and coats. Perhaps you might consider buying a Thanksgiving dinner for a family in your area. A few hours “Ringing the Bell” for the Salvation Army is very rewarding.
The North Atlantic Board wishes everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends.
I hope everyone has enjoyed the summer months! Doesn’t seem possible that students are already returning to their classrooms. Let us all hope that each and every student is safe during the school year!
Our 2019 Leadership Seminar was a great success. We covered a lot of information and I hope those in attendance will share their “lessons” with their clubs. For the first time, we had a presentation about working moms and leadership. This was a big hit, with a wonderful message about how clubs can support and encourage working moms. A big thank you to Brianna Apfelbaum (SIA SUN) and Annmarie Levy (SIA CJC), both are first year members in their clubs.
At this time, dues and the 200 form should have been sent to Treasurer Karen.
As fall approaches, so does our annual Fall District Meeting. Dates and places are on the flyer above. I encourage you to send as many members as possible to FDM. This is a great way to introduce new members to the mission of Soroptimist. The agenda and materials will be sent by the second week of September. Treasurer Karen and Governor-elect Diane enjoyed a very fun time at SI Convention in Kuala Lumpur and will share their travels with us.
The board has chosen a project this year, chaired by District III Director Patti, entitled Support the Girls (End Period Poverty). Flyers are below, and we will begin collecting items at Fall District meeting through Spring Conference. This may be something that your clubs would like to begin collecting items for.
Please get the information out for the Live Your Dream Award. The SIA portal is open, and MUST be used to apply. I would like to challenge each club to have at least one recipient. It is very important that one or two members of each club are assigned to check your club email on a regular basis. All voting for SIA will be by electronic voting only! To ensure that your club email is correct we will be doing a “test” email before FDM’s. Each club has an SIA email address.
As we continue to update our website it is also important to have the correct club website addresses. We want to have each club with a website to have a link directly from the NAR website. Please have the member who does your website updates send the correct link to your District Secretary. We want these links set up by mid October.
Please take the time to scroll though and see announcements and events that are coming up. Again, all flyers must be sent to your Directors before the 10th of each month so that we can compile and have posted on the NAR website.
As a new year begins for your club, please begin keeping a log of everything your club is doing and begin a draft for the Governor’s Cup. Also this list can be a perfect reference for you to use to in order to fill out your Celebrating Success Awards application which is due next July 1st. The Peace Begins at Home Grant is due by December 31st.
I encourage each member to “like” and “follow” the NAR Face Book page. There are so many wonderful things that our clubs are doing and are sharing on Face Book.
As always I do appreciate the support and all that each member does for our region. Enjoy the last few weeks of summer!
I look forward to seeing many of you at Fall District Meeting!
Hope everyone is enjoying the long summer days! I know many have suffered through severe storms and dread the sound of thunder coming your way on these humid days. Just remember, it is not snow! LOL
The board has worked on our agenda for our annual Leadership Seminar on August 17.We think there is something for everyone! Please encourage as many members as possible to come SOAR with us. All presidents and treasurers should have an email with the agenda, the flyer, and a Governor’s note. If your club has a new President, I hope that the past president has forwarded this information. (see below)
Governor-elect Diane and Treasurer Karen are making their way to the SI Convention in Kuala Lumpar, so please join me in wishing them a safe and fun journey! I know they will have lots to share at our FDM’s.
Things are progressing with the merger of the NAR and NER. Communications are positive with lots of exciting ideas. A short report will be given at Leadership and I hope to have more detailed information at FDM’s.
Governor’s Roundtable in Montreal was very informative. I have a lot of information to share, and some items will be incorporated into FDM’s. I do encourage you to check out the SIA website to see all the new helpful tools for your club to use.
Please send your dues for SIA and NAR as soon as possible. Treasurer Karen and Secretary Alice need your new officer information as soon as possible as well. Forms are included below and on the Forms and Documents page. Please send an updated club roster to your Directors.
I am requesting that each club that has a web site send the complete link to your Directors. I want to have a section on the NAR web site that will allow all clubs to directly link with each other.
I hope that many clubs are working on developing a Dream It Be Event for the upcoming year.
The Live Your Dream portal opens on August 1st, but it is never too soon to get thisinformation out to your community. There are many great items for you to use on the SIA website. Although the application is listed on the Forms and Documents page, applications are only being received on line, through the portal.
As you plan your budgets for the coming year, may I ask that each club consider “Club Giving”? Every dollar helps programs for women and girls.
Please review all future dates for NAR events. We have planned far enough so that clubs will not schedule their events on the same dates.
I am enjoying your newsletters and I love the information that many clubs are posting on Facebook.
Thank you for all you do! Together we really do make a difference!
Hope to see many members on August 17th!
SIA & Status of NAR
Saturday May 4, 2019
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.