Zonta District 15 Fall Conference Recap
Official Zonta Mission: Zonta International is a leading global organization of professionals empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy.
A Note from Governor Anna Sylvester
Wow! And thank you for attending the Fall Conference. The theme, “explore, engage, empower,” was relevant and resonated through every speaker and presentation at the Conference. As Zontians we do volunteer and overcommit ourselves, so if you were unable to attend please ask your club member(s) that were able to be present to share their experience and knowledge gained.
Another big thank you is for helping with the District Service Project. District 15 always provides very generous support and this time you excelled. Thanks to you, 22 tubs and many more bags and boxes of goods were donated. Mitzi Brown from the Shelterhouse in Midland said, “We are so blessed and honored by such an amazing group of women. Thanks.”
The idea now is to follow-up with your local crisis centers to see if there are needs your club can support. The significant statement I heard from a director of the center was, “Thank you, as we can now focus on client care versus fundraising.” You did this, we did this, resulting in a relevant and successful mission related service project.
The follow-up advocacy project resulted in all the postcards going in either the “Zonta mailbox” or going home with clubs for other members to complete. Thank you for your support in this. Keep reading The Bridge as we follow the representatives and see which ones take action. And if you would like to have more ideas for advocacy action such as this, please let us know and our District 15 advocacy chair will research the issue and draft language to use. This is for both Canada & the US.
The Friday “fun night” was a non-traditional event as we watched the documentary, Little Stones by Sophia Kruz. Thank you for all the support you have given her over the last several years. The final production showcases some of the many causes we advocate for in Zonta.
The sedate Friday evening was followed up by an active Saturday evening as the dueling pianos entertained us and inspired us to move with the music. This culminated in the MSU fight song winning over the UM fight song due to our Zonta members MSU cheerleader performance.
Talk about inspiring and motivating, Elizabeth McCormick of Soar to Success certainly showed us how to accomplish our DUI’s. I have been hearing many of you continue to speak her language. This was meant to help empower you so you can better empower others.
Finally, thank you again for your club pledges to Zonta International Foundation. You can send your check in at anytime and you want to do so prior to April so District 15 receives credit for a 100% club giving District. Your personal donations are what help reach the ZIF goals; thank you for more than $5,000 in donations at Conference! Also please consider doing a “Every member every November” donation. Remember, the Zonta International Birthday/Anniversary is Nov 8. Our International Treasurer and District 15 liaison, Bridget Masters, challenged us to a recurring monthly gift. Several members signed up and Bridget will match the amount of the first month’s donations.
Zonta International Foundation Report
Bonnie McArthur – Foundation Ambassador
Generosity at District Conference Was Amazing!
Thanks to all who have already donated, contributed at the District 15 conference, or pledged to Zonta International Foundation this biennium. Some conference highlights:
- Club giving is at 80%. Only 7 more clubs need to send their club contribution and we will be a 100% giving district. Let’s get this done!
- At least one club – Roscommon – is at 100% individual giving.
- Our international rep, Bridget Masters, offered to match the 1stmonth’s donation of any new, recurring monthly donor. Eight members signed up for a total of $225 per month, or $1,800 between now and May 2018; plus the additional $225 from Bridget.
- Sixty nine individuals donated a total of $5,739 during the weekend.
- Clubs pledged $4,282 to ZIF for 2017-18.
All of this, plus the $55,514 already received through 9/30/17, adds up to $103,715 in gifts from District 15 for the current biennium. And we still have seven months to go.
Obstetric Fistula victims in Liberia, adolescent girls in Madagascar and Niger, human trafficking victims in Nepal, Amelia Earhart fellows, Jane M. Klausman scholarship winners, YWPA award recipients all are touched by the generosity of District 15 Zontians. We do believe we can change the world. Thanks!
Thank you to everyone at the 2017 District 15 Fall Conference for embracing our advocacy call to action. For those who missed out, we learned about the Campus Accountability and Safety Act, H.R. 1949 / S. 856, what the issue is, what the legislation does, and that both of Michigan’s Senators are co-sponsors for this bi-partisan legislation.
We also learned that only Representative Kildee is a co-sponsor on the House side. Therefore, we filled out postcards for our U.S. Representatives (for those in Michigan), educating them about the Act and asking that they co-sponsor and support the legislation. Below is the language for the post card if clubs would like to continue on as a project with their members and/or community.
Finally, don’t feel intimidated to call or contact your members of congress at the state/provincial and national level – they count the number of times they hear from constituents on an issue. It took a long time for women to get the right to vote, let your voices be heard.
Text to use in postcards:
Current Federal Law supports colleges to under-report sexual assaults of students. The bipartisan Campus Accountability and Safety Act, H.R.1949 / S.856 would protect students and professionalize the response to and reporting of sexual assault in the following ways:
- Establishes new campus resources and support services for student survivors.
- Requires fairness in campus disciplinary process.
- Ensures minimum training standards for on-campus personnel.
- Creates historic new transparency requirements
- Ensures coordination with law enforcement.
- Establishes stiffer penalties for violations.
I have learned of this issue from Zonta International District 15, which supports this legislation. As your constituent, I ask that you support the Campus Accountability and Safety Act, bring this bipartisan legislation to a vote, and vote in favor of its passage.
FALL CONFERENCE RECAP
Suffragettes, advocacy, membership drive, ZIF, Golden Zs, SANE, CAE, LMS, district finances, Madagascar – we learned about all these at Fall Conference, and – oh yes, how to fly a helicopter! It was quite a busy weekend, if you weren’t there – let’s bring you up to speed with a quick recap (no helicopter lessons though).
The 2017 Fall Conference, put on by the
District Board and the Zonta Club of Midland, opened with welcoming remarks from District Governor Anna Sylvester, Midland mayor Maureen Donker, ZI President Sonja Honig Schough, and Zonta Club of Midland President Karla Oldenberg. Sonja addressed the group via video; all video and Power Point presentations as well as the conference program are available at http://www.zontaclubofmidland.org/zid15-fall-conference-materials.html.
Friday evening’s keynote speaker, Dr. Caitlyn Perry Dial, executive director of the Michigan Women’s Historical Center and Hall of Fame, reviewed the suffragette movement in Michigan – how it took years of work by many courageous women and men to empower women with the right to vote. The evening was capped off with a viewing of Little Stones documentary – an award-winning film that unites the personal narratives of four women around the world using art to create positive change in their communities. Director Sophia Kruz opened the show with a video message and thank you for the support she has received from the district.
Voting for district officers for the 2018-20 biennium began early Saturday and was followed by a review of the Zonta International membership drive goals presented by Celina Shoji and Denise Kiepert. Mari McKenzie then presented the treasury report and budget for the next biennium. The financial reports are available in the conference program. An increase of $5 for District dues was approved.
The Status of Women’s Luncheon kicked off with recognizing youth – the Young Women in Public Affairs scholarship winner Norah Johnson and the seven Golden Z members from Olivet and Northwood Colleges in attendance. These outstanding young ladies are the leaders of the future.
Janine Ouderkirk, Shelterhouse/The
Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault of Midland Gladwin Counties graciously accepted the donations from the District for use by the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners Program (Shelterhouse) and Saginaw Area Crisis Center. We then learned about what a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) program is and how the nurses and advocates aid victims of sexual assault and their families.
Club and individual donations support the Zonta International Foundation and Zonta’s global advocacy projects. Through 9/30 District clubs and members donated $55,154 and pledged and additional $42,821. Donations during the conference brought in $5,739 for a total of $103,714 for the foundation. Bonnie McArthur brought us up to date on the two ZIF projects for this biennium: The Elimination of Obstetric Fistula and Reduction of Maternal and Newborn Mortality in Liberia and Let Us Learn Madagascar: An Integrated Program for Adolescent Girls.
Zonta International is launching an exciting new Learning Management System (LMS) to help develop leadership skills at the member, club, district and international level. Jacquie Gudmondson provided an overview of this web- based program and announced that the first modules will be available for Zontians later this year.
The results of the delegate voting, and the 2018-20 District 5 board and nominating committee were announced. The new board will be inducted in mid-2018. The 2018-2020 board is:
DeAnna Cambridge, Lt Governor
Mari McKenzie, Treasurer
Lani Ochs, Area 1 Director
Deb Jackson, Area 2 Director
Bea King, Area 3 Director
Deborah Godfrey, Area 4 Director
Cheryl Hall, Nominating Committee, Chair
Susan Noakes, Nominating Committee
Bonnie Odom-Brown, Nominating Committee
Saturday evening everyone brought out their finest with fancy shoes, that special
outfit and lots of bling to mix and mingle at the Governor’s reception and banquet. During the evening members and clubs were recognized for exceptional years of membership (30+!), membership recruiting and high percentage attendance at the conference (congratulations Roscommon!). The celebration continued with lots of singing and dancing to tunes old and new including a battle between the UM and MSU fight songs – including an expert rendition of the MSU cheer!
Sunday’s keynote speaker Elizabeth McCormick riveted everyone with her story of how she defied the odds and became a Black Hawk helicopter pilot. Her experiences taught her to believe in and motivate herself to work hard, accomplish her goals and become a Rock Star! Elizabeth shared her P.I.L.O.T. program (Potential, Implementation, Leadership, Optimize, Tenacity) and used hands on activities to show how we can influence our own outcome by adjusting our attitude and effectively managing our to-do lists.
The conference wrapped up with a review of the upcoming events that every member must have on their calendar:
Spring Workshops: Area 1&2 April 28, 2018; Area 3&4 May 5, 2018
Zonta International Convention: June 29-July 3, Yokohama, Japan
Governor’s Summit: October 20, 2018, Owosso, MI
District 15 2019 Fall Conference: October 18-20, 2019, Detroit, MI
FALL CONFERENCE EVALUATIONS
There were 148 attendees at Fall Conference and 107 (or 72 percent) surveys returned.
Here are some of the results:
17.8 Area 1
29.9 Area 2
24.3 Area 3
21.5 Area 4
6.5 Didn’t fill out Area info
What was the purpose of attending the conference:
Did conference fulfill your purpose?
2% left blank
Rate overall impression of conference:
Rate registration process**
Rate agenda – topics
Would you attend again
18% didn’t respond
**There were no FAIR or POOR ratings, except 1 person rated registration FAIR.
Many comments of well organized, food excellent, service excellent, best conference ever or in a long time.
Best entertainment: Dueling Pianos, Little Stones and Anna.
Congratulations to our very own Adrienne McCormick for receiving the Governor’s Award this year for all of her work on launching our new websites!
Say “tech yeah!” today
Also, many thanks to Kristine Armaly, Area 4; Cindy Vickery, Area 2; and Amber Theriault, Area 1 for volunteering to help with the District 15 Facebook page. Kathy Bardins, the current admin, will get in touch with you soon!
Below: Your Tech Yeah! Committee: Raquel Boone, Gail Johnson, Lynn Reed, Adrienne McCormick and Denise Keipert!
District 15 Conference’s Empowerment Keynote Speaker Elizabeth McCormick promised her closing TENACITY story about nearly crashing the helicopter:
And her Confidence Boosting Strategies for you (or to share):
Strategy #1: Boost Your Confidence by being aware of your language you use with yourself or others:
Strategy #2: Delete your negative thinking that doesn’t serve you
Strategy #3: Create Your Invisible Suit of Armor of Positivity
CONFERENCE FUN AND TAKEAWAYS
|ZCELA at Fall Conference
Traverse City Club_ top left to right_ Val Contanche_ Susan Noakes_ Deb Jackson. Bottom L to R_ Rose Coleman_ Rhonda Estes. Great conference and speakers. Very motivational and great ideas to take home.
Gaylord Zontians at Conference. Amber Theriault: My take away from Conference was from the inspirational speaker, Elizabeth McCormick. She encouraged us to tackle that huge to-do list. When we feel overwhelmed, to take a big breath (feeding our brains with oxygen) and ask ourselves out loud, “What’s next?” She taught us how to break down that list into manageable tasks and to tackle the most difficult task first. She encouraged us to cross items off our written to-do lists because it releases feel-good endorphins.
Another great take-away: Jacquie Gudmundsen told us about the leadership training modules that will soon be posted on the Zonta International website. There will be many modules about 10 minutes in length covering everything from parliamentary procedure to leadership skills. They will be great tools to show during Zonta meetings or simply as members wanting to learn more.
Pictured from Left to Right: Raquel Boone, Nancy Schaub, and Lynne Reed)
Conference was a great reminder to me as to how amazing we all are individually and how even more amazing and effective we are as a unit/team! In short, the speakers and presentations were inspiring, motivating and engaging. I especially loved the last keynote speaker we had, Elizabeth McCormick. She reminded us how powerful our minds and thoughts are – they can either work for us or against us. Remembering that little nugget will allow us to soar and fly!
I am proud to be a member of the D15 PR Committee and am very honored to work with this team of ladies. For the remainder of our term, we will be continuing to improve, enhance and work out bugs on our D15 Facebook Page and the D15 Website along with the club pages that are managed by our committee. During conference, a presentation was given by part of our team re: current website status, website update requests with some Q&A. We were also able to get some volunteers for assisting with the maintenance of the D15 Facebook Page postings for area/club events. Tech Yeah! J
Lansing Club, L to R: Melody Atwood, treasurer; Lisa Barcy, president; Jacqueline Pulford, past president. We had a great time connecting with new and old friends. Can’t wait for future gatherings.
Patty Johnson, delegate, Ludington Club. The theme of Explore, Engage and Empower was apropos. We got to explore other clubs’ ideas during the roundtable discussions on Friday and engage in the selection of our district leaders and the broader picture of international service through foundation presentations. The Sunday speaker vibrantly urged us on to be the best we can be through self-empowerment!
Gayle Manley, Zonta Club of Sault Ste. Marie, with Governor Anna. Excellent speakers, including an inspiring speech from Governor Anna, great venue, great food and fun! Viewing the video, Little Stones, stood out for me because I had been at the first Fall Conference when Sophia Kruz came to talk about her project, Creating 4 Change – an amazing creative transformation! Thank you to the Zonta Board and the Zonta Club of Midland for an excellent Fall Conference!
Zonta Club of Metro Detroit – Grace Chang and Bonnie Odom-Brown. Takeaway from President, Gloria Patterson:
My takeaway from the Fall Conference is that it was very successful. As of a matter of fact, one of my Club members sent a email to the members who didn’t make the conference telling them how great the conference was going. I had a opportunity to Explore, Engage, and feel Empowered. I explored Downtown Midland, with visits to a deli, Farmers market and Peel n’ Pare, “Gifts for the Kitchen,” store. I Engaged with other Delegates and Zontians in the Round Table Discussions, and found 5 Weird Marketing Tips for Your Zonta Fundraiser very informative. I learned about some of the struggles and successes other Zonta Clubs have had. I was privileged to be able to nominate one of our Club members, Bonnie Odom Brown, to be part of The Nominating Committee of 2018-2020. I was Empowered and inspired by our Keynote Speakers.
Everything was great from the accommodations, food, and even the candy on the tables, also the candy bags from the Zonta Club of Mt. Pleasant was very nice.
Laura Klar and Kim Winokur, president, Zonta Club of Marquette. Takeaway:
We brought home many exciting ideas for service and advocacy projects and a goal for our club of 100% individual contributions to ZI. Great networking opportunities. inspiring, empowering speakers, great service and advocacy projects to take back to MQT Club.
Thank you very much!!!
The Zonta Club of Pontiac-North Oakland had three presenters at this year’s fall conference. Gail Johnson spoke on District 15 technology issues, Bonnie McArthur informed us about the Foundation and Let Us Learn Madagascar, and Jacquie Gudmundsen discussed the new learning modules that will focus on leadership in Zonta. Two other club members attended the conference, club president Marilyn Valeri Colton and club Vice President Jackie McCarroll.