SILA banner
Soroptimist International of Los Angeles

                      Continuing the Journey

September 2011Vol 3, Issue 1

President GingerWelcome Back . . .  I hope that everyone had a wonderful, rest-filled summer break because it's time to get back to the work of advocating for women and girls in our community, and throughout the world.   

We, as a club, are about to embark on a world wind journey that will culminate on July 19, 2012, the official 90th anniversary of our chartering! Your reservation has been confirmed; the itinerary and ports of call have been "somewhat" formalized.  We just need YOU on board, ready to participate in the activities! 

The SS-SILA set sail on July 10th, when Sheila and I represented the club at the 19th International Convention in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  The program was filled with powerful speakers, all focusing on the theme -- Women: Leaders in Civil Society.  We have much to tell you about the information gleaned at this convention and look forward to sharing its highlights at an upcoming program meeting.  (Note:  the 2011-2014 Program Theme is Education and Leadership).  
Upon return to Los Angeles, we immediately formally established a "Friendship Link" with SI South Kolkata (see article) at the LAX In-N-Out Burger with SISK Correspondent Laxmi on July 17.  New Member Ann has graciously accepted the role of SILA Correspondent and will keep in contact with our "Links"  around the world with the assistance of Emily and Joyce.  Thanks to All! 


From there, our vessel lowered its anchor at the Hollenbeck Palms for our 2011-12 Planning Retreat.  Members, veteran and new, met to plan our portfolio for the year.  We discussed our resources, combined expertise, targeted advocacy, global impact, strategic partnerships, and how to make ourselves visible during this upcoming club year.  We reviewed our mission and our reported work of the past.  We talked about our history - where we've been and where we are going, and we discussed next steps.  Thanks to Barbara for allowing us to meet at her place!


And now the gangway is being lowered to pick up the rest of the club.  We dock on September 7th at 6:00 p.m. at Taix Restaurant.  Won't you be there?  You can see that we are picking up steam and trying to get to full cruising speed.  But we can't do it without you.  The work done at the annual retreat is all for naught if you aren't there to help finalize the plans for this historic year. What will we do to commemorate our 90th?  We want to make sure that this will be a productive year for everyone involved because this is YOUR club and what we do must reflect you. 


We are here for the betterment of women and girls.  The strength of our organization depends on all of its members.  We can make a difference if we all work together.  We've been doing it for 89 years and we plan to be around for many, many more!  


World wind . . . whirlwind? 


See you soon,
President Ginger
In This Issue
Save the Dates
Charter Member: Susan Miller Dorsey
Summer Planning Retreat
Violet Richardson Award Winner: Ernistine Fu
New Friendship Link: SI South Kolkata
Janet and Buzz's Adventure
Honoring Our Leaders
Quick Links

2011-2012 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 Gloria Cole at or 213-910-0810 
Editor Janet Elliott at or 310-809-2438; Co-Editor Ann Read at or 626-919-9202

Save the Dates


September 7th, 6:00pm: business meeting at Taix Restaurant, new members will be inducted. It is critical that members attend the meeting to help finalize the year's agenda.  Camino Real Regional Workshop

September 21thpm: regular meeting,Taix Restraurant, featuring Governor-elect Linda Haines, SI Downey. Let's have a good turnout to meet the next govenor of our region

October 22thFall District Workshop, hosted by SI Montebello. The cost will be $30 and the registration deadline is October 12th. All members are urged to attend as there will be many interesting workshops and this will be our opportunity to tell other clubs of 90th year plans.


First Among Us: Charter Member:

Susan Miller Dorsey


Susan Miller Dorsey 

Born in Penn Yan, New York, Susan Miller attended local public schools before moving to Vassar from which she graduated in 1877, at a time when few women even went to college. Four years later she returned to Vassar to teach in the classics department. In 1881 Miller married Baptist minister, Patrick Dorsey; they moved to Los Angeles where he accepted a position at the First Baptist Church. While Miller was teaching at Baptist College in Los Angeles, her husband deserted her, taking with him their only child.

Dorsey High School
Dorsey High School

Two years later Susan Dorsey accepted a position at Los Angeles High School. By 1902 she had moved on to school administration, where she had many active and productive years as Vice-Principal of Los Angeles High School, assistant superintendent, and then as Superintendent of the Los Angeles City Schools. During her time as superintendent, the public school system experienced rapid growth going from 47,000 students in 1920 to nearly 360,000 by 1929.

Dorsey High School, Law & Public Service Magnet School courtroom

In 1929, at the age of 72 years, Dorsey resigned from a third term as superintendent and began a long period of service, including participation on school committees, speaking engagements, and writing and as a charter member of SILA.

 She was the recipient of numerous honors and tributes. Susan Miller Dorsey High School  was dedicated in 1937. Susan Miller Dorsey Hall at Scripps College, houses 70 students, and  was financed almost entirely by women. 

 Susan Miller Dorsey died in 1946, a few days before her 89th birthday.

 Information supplied by Julie Mairs.


SMD Hall at Scripps College
Susan Miller Dorsey Residence, Scripps College, Claremont


Planning Retreat: August 6th


L-R: Joyce Jacob, Pam Smith, President Cole, Jeri Durham

Starting with an introspective ice breaker, Carole Oglesby challenged us to examine our inner voices, do we use our Adult, Natural Child, or Parent voice during our conscious time. Most of us use a combination of all three.


President Ginger ColeBarbara Jury and Joyce Jacob all contributed to a discussion about Soroptimist structure and protocol. President Ginger used a slide show to illustrate our early history, including the name "Soroptimist" pruchased from Stewart Morrow for $5,000, with Calfornia clubs providing most of the money.


Janet Elliott outlined our early history. Did you know we started as Soroptimist Federation of Los Angeles and it was not until 2003 that SILA became our official name?  Janet, SILA Treasurer, then presented the Financial Statements and gave a clear detailed account of our financial status.


Past President Jeri Durham presented some unusual and previously unknown by-laws as well as discussing our current ones. Carole and President Ginger started the program discussion with ideas for a fund raiser and a special event to celebrate our 90th year.


After a delicious box lunch, provided by Joyce and Barbara , we discussed the various committees and selected our assignments.  Among the assignment are: Karen Johnson, Fellowships; Emily Dell, membership recruitment and highlight video; Diane Vernon, Fellowships; Dona Lawrie, "Read Across America;" and Ann Read, newsletter. There are a number of committee openings available, contact President Ginger to join a committee.


 Ernestine Fu: 2009 Violet  Richardson Award winner on Forbes Cover


Our 2009 Violet Richardson Award winner Ernestine Fu, now a sophomore at Junior, had quite an impressive summer. In addition to an internship with the world's largest oilfield service company, Schlumberger, she appeared on the cover of Forbes, an international bi-monthly business magazine.  Fu was chosen as one of nine men and women to be profiled in Forbes Magazine as an "All-Star Student Entrepreneur."

Forbes Cover

Ernestine Fu, August 22 cover of Forbes


Her internship with Schlumberger took her to a number of pertinent areas including Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, site of the 2006 BP oil spill. Ernestine had the opportunity to work on three different projects in Alaska. She was then flown to Cambridge, Massachusetts to visit the Schlumberger Research Center. Then on to Houston, Texas where she met with Mr. Ramakrishnan, an engineer that works with the Stanford Global Climate Energy Project, funded by Schlumberger. What a summer! 


Although her parents had planned for her college years, Fu has chosen to pay her way through Stanford with awards, grants and entrepreneur activity. Reasons Fu, "I feel like I've always been an independent type of person."




 New Friendship Link Finalized: SI South Kolkata


Laxmi, Ginger, and Janet


Meeting at LAX In 'n Out Restaurant with Janet Elliott and SISouth Kolkata's Laxmi Parasuram, President Ginger Cole signed the Friendship Link agreement which was taken back to SISK by Lexima to be signed and finalized by SISK President Ranjana. No, Lexima and her husband did not have a hamburger, but they did like the french fries.


Our June newsletter ("News & Events" link) discussed some of SISK's many activities. A major activity includes work with a group of underprivileged children toward further development of their English communication skills. The group of 30 to 35 children attend classes on all Saturdays for two hours with the assistance of  members of the club as well as resource personnel. Occasional field trips are enjoyed by all.


From funds donated by several organizations like Kobe Charity Bazar and a few of the link clubs including Japan, SISK is able to sposor mid-day meals for 16 school children. Some of the children among those sponsored are attending the Higher Secondary Schools.




SISK visit to Nature Park

SISK's visit to animal park




Update: Janet and Buzz's wonderful adventure

1940 Waco UPF-7 bi-plane.


Janet Elliott left on Tuesday, August 23rd, with husband Buzz as the pilot of their 1940 Waco UPF-7 bi-plane. Their mission for these two months is to see the National Parks of the Western USA including Mount Rushmore, Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce and Zion, and visit friends along the way.


Where are they? The oldest National Park in the U.S.



Follow their progress from their website: Waco trips.

Honoring our Leaders Decade by Decade


 Decade 1922-19023


Member note: condolences to Pam Smith who lost her 102 year old aunt this week.  Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.