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Soroptimist International of Los Angeles

                Continuing the Journey

November 2011Vol 3, Issue 3

President GingerDear SILA Members and Friends,


Blessings to you and your family as we enter this season of Thanksgiving.  The President's column this month is not original. It is an excerpt from a message which I believe was written in 2001, however, I have not been able to trace its origin.  It has been used for years, in cards and blogs, each with a different person's name attached as the author. 

As you read this, take time to reflect upon the words, remembering those, past and present, who have enriched our lives and given us the treasured memories that we hold so dear:   

Life's Riches

When we count our many blessings
It isn't hard to see
that life's most valued treasures
are the treasures that are free.

For it isn't what we own or buy
that signifies our wealth.
It's the special gifts that have no price
our family, friends, and health.

I'd like to take this opportunity to tell you just how much your friendship and love means to me. . . it is the gift of family and friends that are the riches in my life. Those precious times that we hold dear to our heart and memories and special moments that can never be replaced, neither by time nor all the wealth in the world. . . I give thanks for you all, friends and close loved ones. You have touched my life in many ways and I am a very wealthy individual for this. . . I will be thinking of each and every one of you during this season of Thanksgiving, and even though we may be separated by miles, you will be close to me in my heart. . . For those that have passed on to be with the Lord, I know there will be a special place for you in the hearts and minds of many of us as we observe Thanksgiving this year. . .Whether you have planned a grand feast surrounded by friends and family, an intimate candlelight dinner for two, or a simple frozen dinner or takeout, it is not really the edible food, but rather who we share with that counts most of all, and to me, this is the true value and meaning of Thanksgiving.                      Author Unknown

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone,

President Ginger

In This Issue
Message from SIA President
Meet Our New Member: Teresa Harvey
Pioneer Member: Mae Carvell
Social Media Program Meeting
Fall Workshop Hosted by SI Montebello
Thinking About Hawaii?
Woman of Distinction: Tanya Walters
Soroptimist Flash Mob
Honoring Our Leaders Decade by Decade
Quick Links

2010-2011 Board


President: Ginger Cole
1st VP (Programs): Carole Oglesby 2nd VP (W&M): Pamela Smith
Secretary: Joyce Jacob
Treasurer: Janet Elliott
Directors 2010-11: Karen  Johnson and Dona Lawrie
Directors 2011-13: Barbara Jury and Joan Johnson
Contact Information


For more information about SILA or this Newsletter, please contact:


President Ginger Cole at or 323-276-0766
Editor Janet Elliott at or 310-809-2438; Co-Editor Ann Read at or 626-919-9202

 Message from SIA President


We're already several months into the Soroptimist year, but this message from Pat Donahue, current President of Soroptimist International of the Americas, is a good reminder of important information on the Federation's website

New Club Year!
New Club Year!


Meet Our New Member:  Teresa Harvey

T.Harvey-finalNew member, Teresa Harvey, is manager of the California Credit Union branch which is located in the LA Unified School District Headquarters.  She was responsible for opening the branch in 2004.  She has enjoyed a 32-year career in banking while raising her family.  She started with Bank of America in her hometown of Long Beach, where she still lives today.  She also worked for US Bank before joining California Credit Union (formerly LA Teachers Credit Union) in 2002.  She has two grown children and five grandchildren in Northern California and North Carolina. 


Teresa spends time volunteering at local schools with Wonder of Reading and currently mentors a middle school student.  Her interests include sailing, reading, gardening, cooking and long distance walking.  She got  hooked on walking when she signed up for a 3-day breast cancer walk in 2002, repeated it in 2003, and continued to walk half marathons and marathons.  She has completed five full marathons and 26 half marathons, including 14 just since October 2010!  She did the 75-story Stair Climb in the Library Tower in downtown LA in September 2010 and is now training to run half marathons.  Quite a string of accomplishments given she had a knee replacement in 2008! 




Welcome to Teresa.  What a great new member!!


Pioneer Member: Mae Carvell

Mae Carvell was a charter member of SI Los Angeles and the fourth SILA President, serving from 1926-1927.  Betsy MacCracken, who was featured in last month's newsletter, was a close friend and remembers Mae as being "an outstanding attorney, brilliant, as well as being a good President."  Mae graduated from law school, but because she was a woman, she could not get a job comparable with her education and abilities.  But Mae had a very valuable talent: a way with figures. Her mastery over numbers helped her to become the accounting supervisor for Broadway Department Stores in downtown Los Angeles.

Broadway Los Angeles
Broadway Dept Store in Los Angeles where Mae worked.


At the first meeting of all Soroptimist Clubs in 1926 in Oakland, Mae was named chairman of a committee to negotiate a buyout of the Soroptimist name from Stuart Morrow.  After several proposals, Soroptimist Clubs ending up paying a total of $5,500, (nearly $70,000 in today's dollars).  Members from the eight Clubs on the west coast (Alameda County, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Portland, Spokane, Sacramento, and Los Angeles) raised most of the money. 


In 1926, Mae also envisioned the sponsorship of youth groups as a way to provide vocational guidance.  In 1934, the Venture Club model was created to provide guidance for Soroptimist clubs that wanted to support young women entering into the business and professional world.  Venture clubs still exist across the country and honor outstanding young women with an award named after Mae Carvell.

Social Media Program Meeting                      by Carole Oglesby

One of the goals for SILA, this our 90th year, is to build our presence through social media. SILA now has a Facebook Page and Group but, of course, such a step is only a beginning.  We also wanted some hand's on training.


We found we could "look to our own" for expert assistance.  Jessica Washington, and a key staffer for her company "Patients Unlimited Medical Consultants" Colleen Studebaker, used "Go to Meeting" online technology to lead members during the October 19 meeting.  From her home (with sick children) in Oceanside,

Colleen took members on a tour of the basics of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  With plenty of time for questions and answers, there were "no holds barred" on positives and vulnerabilities associated with social media engagement.


A one-on-one session will also be available for any members interested in participating during the hour prior to the 6pm meeting on December 7 at Taix.  Joey Ally, a colleague of member Emily Dell and yet another home-grown expert, will also join us that evening. 


The current SILA Facebook Group has had nearly 200 postings in its first 4 months.  In the world of social networking, the number of "impressions" associated with these postings is incalculable.


Fall Workshop Hosted by  SI Montebello


Fall Workshop Group

Eleven SILA members attended the Fall District Workshop held on Saturday, October 22 in Montebello.  Those attending were Barbara Jury, Karen Johnson, Ann Read, Julie Mairs Jessica Washington, Teresa Harvey, Joyce Jacobs, Bev Johnson, Diane Vernon, Sheila Tatum, and President Ginger Cole.


It was a great opportunity for many newer members to hear about Soroptimist activities beyond Los Angeles. "I particularly enjoyed the conversations with women from other clubs," said member Bev Johnson.  "We discussed things of mutual interest and then got to activities of the local Soroptimist group." 


The agenda allowed time for committee reports on the Region Nominating Committee (by our own President Ginger, Chair), on membership, fundraising, public awareness, website design and international projects.  Dr. Maria Capaldo, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology, SI Manhattan Beach, described the President's December 10th Appeal for 2011, Birthing in the Pacific. This program provides trianing for individuals to go to remote areas to assist as midwives and to teach about proper care before, during, and after the birth.


Invitations were also extended to all members for upcoming Soroptimist events, including Spring Conference at Hotel Maya Long Beach on April 20-22, 2012 (chaired by SILA member Sheila Tatum), the SIA Biennial Convention in Hawaii in July, 2012 (see below), and initial save-the-date cards from President Ginger for the CRR Youth Forum on February 25 and SILA's 90th Anniversary Celebration on March 31.


Member Ann Read remembered one quote from the Workshop that stuck with her: "Volunteers don't get paid because they are worthless; they don't get paid because they are priceless." (no source given for the author).

 Thinking About Hawaii?


SIA 2012 ConventionIt's not too soon to be making plans to attend the Soroptimist International of the Americas 42nd Biennial Convention in Honolulu, Hawaii in 2012.  The Convention will be held from July 18-21, 2012 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.  SIA,  despite its name, includes several countries outside of the Americas, including Japan.  Because this Convention is being held at a location more convenient to these countries, it will have a definite "international" feel.  It will include simultaneous translation of many of the proceedings. The Hilton Hawaiian Village is now accepting room reservations at the special SIA rate of $199 per night plus tax ($226.78 total) for a garden view and $219 per night plus tax ($249.57 total) for an ocean view. To make reservations visit, click on "Reservations" and enter ALH into the "Group Code".

Woman of Distinction Award Winner:  Tanya Walters


Tayna Walters bus driver
The face of opportunity.

You might remember when SILA honored Tanya Walters as a Woman of Distinction at our annual luncheon several years ago.  Since then Tanya has continued and expanded her work with Godparents Youth Organization, which she started in 2005. As a Los Angeles school bus driver, Tanya realized that she and her fellow drivers had formed bonds with the teenagers that they drove to and from school every day.  This revelation evolved into using the bus experiece to "provide learning through various travel opportunities." 


During the years since our award, GYO has been recognized by many local papers, given many awards and featured in People Magazine with a six page article.  Last month they were showcased on the popular PBS documentary Turning Point. Tanya was described as a "modern day Harriet Tubman" turning a "can't do" attitude to that of "Yes I can, I did it!"


Well done Tanya!


 TW and BYO

Soroptimist Flash Mob

Have you ever participated in a flash mob? As part of their fall leadership meeting, Western Canada Region members organized a flash mob in their local mall.  Club members did a choreographed dance and held signs with the Soroptimist web address to raise awareness of the organization. Click below to see Western Canada Region members in action. 

Soroptimist Flash Mob Video
Soroptimist Flash Mob Video

Honoring Our Leaders Decade by Decade


 decade 1942-1953


Happy Thanksgiving