ZONTA DISTRICT 15 FALL CONFERENCE – A NORTHERN EXPERIENCE! th Our 39 Annual Fall Conference held October 15-17 in Harris, Michigan was one to remember. Most members traveled several hours to attend the conference. There were 153 members and 9 guests in attendance (it was luck of the “troll” that we did not get snowed in way up dare in da UP!). The Zonta Club of Iron Mountain-Kingsford Area Conference Committee ensured that we were going to experience the feel and taste of the Upper Peninsula. Each day of the conference we were educated during the “Yooper Moments” on the traditions, or just plain mind-blowing highlights of the Upper Peninsula. Good job Nancy Schaub. Hey, Zontians, she is NOT a native Yooper, but she is a great artist. However, not to out-do Yooper Moments, our very talented, Emmy-worthy Area Directors provided us Membership Minutes; information and video creations to help us improve membership strength and attitude. On Friday and Sunday some members of the Zonta Club of the Sault Ste Marie Area entertained us with songs. Do we have Grammy nominees in our midst?? A highlight of this year’s conference, the Zonta Wellness Stations were set up with medical professionals from a public health service to provide blood sugar testing, bone density testing, and oral health checks on Saturday. Information on nutrition was also available. This opportunity emphasized that our own health is important and ensures we are able to help others. Friday’s events included a welcome that was well received as we entered the beautiful hospitality Suite prepared for us at the Island Resort and Casino. The homemade wine and the miniature pasties were delicious! The first business session brought us northern greetings from Noreena Meshigaud-Dwyer from the Hannahville Tribe who provided us with a beautiful Indian Blessing as well as insight on the staggering statistics of domestic violence experienced by Native American women and young girls. Vicky Crystal, a well known UP News Anchor from Marquette greeted us with excitement and filled us in on some amazing UP trivia. Patrick Kennedy, VP from Bay de Noc College also welcomed us. Last but not least, Peggy Jones, the President of the Iron Mountain Club was very thrilled that this day had finally come and welcomed us with open arms. Our key note speaker for the first night was Karen Macier, Zonta Club of Auburn, NY. She provided a very insightful presentation on “Leading by Chance, Reluctantly and with Optimism”, providing us with the history of volunteerism and important information on women and leadership as well as a strategy to gain membership for our clubs. Governor Quarles ended the session by reminding us that we are all leaders and through team work make a valuable contribution to the efforts to accomplish the Zonta mission. She suggested we follow the example of the animal world as depicted in the video titled “Lessons From Geese” which we viewed. Friday’s dinner and Fun Night,“Girls Night at Camp”, consisted of a genuine Yooper Dinner of mouth-watering pasties and salad, and we can’t forget the build it yourself ice cream sundae bar! The room was decorated in UP style, with lighted trees, raccoon statues and moose décor. We all had fun participating in marsh mellow shootouts, puzzle races, and good ol’ fashioned fellowship. During our second business session Governor Denise Quarles unveiled her goals and indicated that her two areas of primary focus for District 15 will be Prevention of Violence Against Women, and Women’s Health. These are the areas that she encourages all clubs to address in their communities for this biennium. Her concern for addressing these major problem areas was described in her first district newsletter. Also, we were provided with exceptional service project options that we could all take back to our clubs and initiate. The presentation was made by Darcie Clapp (Zonta Club of Grand Rapids) who was appointed by Governor Quarles to this new District Special Projects Coordinator position. This information was invaluable! Jackie Gudmundsen, Past Governor and District 15 Foundation Ambassador presented, “Making a Difference in the Lives of Women Worldwide.” She systematically covered the 2010-2012 Biennial Goals for Zonta International and stressed the critical need for donations from members and clubs to support the Zonta International programs. The service projects for this Biennium are: (1) Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV in Rwanda; (2) Safe Cities for Women Project in Guatemala City, Guatemala and San Salvador, El Salvador; and (3) Reduction of Obstetric Fistula in Liberia. Sandy Soifer, Executive Director of the Michigan Women’s Historical Center and Hall of Fame, discussed the important role of this first of its kind organization in the United States that was co-founded by Gladys Beckwith (Zonta Club of Michigan Capital Area). For many years the Center/Hall has chronicled and recognized the significant contributions of women in Michigan some of whom are Zontians who were noted by Ms. Soifer. We were encouraged to view pictures of the honored Zontians and their biographical information on the beautiful display board prepared by District Parliamentarian Sally Randall. Ms. Soifer also made note of the Genessee County Women’s Hall of Fame established this year by the Flint I Club. A member of that club, Pam Fernsler, encouraged clubs interested in setting up a hall of fame in their communities to consult with the Flint I Club. The Status of Women Luncheon was hosted by the Zonta Club of Marquette. Through District Board arrangements we were provided with a riveting guest speaker, Theresa Flores, author, and victim of human trafficking. Theresa presented a real-time warning of the human trafficking of young women and girls in the States of Michigan, Ohio and Minnesota. She then sent us on a journey of her heart- wrenching experience being trafficked at the tender age of 15. Most in attendance were moved to tears, including our Governor, Denise Quarles. It was then that we all were reminded of the critical importance of the Zonta efforts to prevent violence against women. Additionally, at this luncheon Governor Quarles and Amelia Earhart (AE) Coordinator Bonnie McArthur (Zonta Club of Pontiac –North Oakland) presented the AE Fellowship Wings and certificate to recipient Azadeh Sheidaei, a young Iranian Women attending Michigan State University. Azadeh provided us insight on her studies to improve the structure material in airplanes and vehicles, thus ensuring more protection on impact. Other District Service Committee members shared information about District recipients of other awards. Jane Klausman Women In Business Scholarship Coordinator Gayle Manley (Zonta Club of Sault Ste Marie) provided information about Cailey Ryckman, the recipient of that scholarship. Young Woman in Public Affairs Award Coordinator Penny Boldrey (Zonta Club of Alpena) provided information about Rachel LIchty, the recipient of that award. We also had the fortune of having International Jane Klausman Committee Chair Karen Macier (Zonta Club of Auburn, NY) provide background information about Ms. Klausman and the scholarship. The Third Business Session was called to order by Governor Denise. District Treasurer Patty Johnson reviewed the May 31, 2010 Financial Report. Julia Miller, District Coordinator for the Z and Golden Z Clubs presented an overview of the programs and how the Z and Golden Z Clubs are a spawning ground for growing membership in Zonta Clubs. The Northern Michigan University Golden Z Club advisor Laura Klar, shared with fellow Zontians this Z Club’s history and their accomplishments. By the way, Laura was a Golden Z Club member. The Marquette High School Z Club was founded in 1985. Kara Applekamp, Z Club advisor, indicated that a second Z Club was started at Negaunee High School in 1997. She outlined how to start a Z Club, the objectives of a club, a sampling of their activities such as developing leadership skills, educating, scholarships, and hands on service projects. The remainder of Saturday afternoon was devoted to President’s Training facilitated by the Area Directors, Christine Meyers, Cheryl Hall, Joy Smith and Linda Nabers. District 15 Treasurer Patty Johnson conducted the Treasurer’s Training. Many Zontians went shopping in the Zonta Store before it closed at 5:30 pm and stopped at the Zonta Wellness Stations. The highlight at this year’s Governor’s Reception was something new….. pink coupons were the legal tender for one’s favorite cocktail. The Banquet was filled with beautiful Zontian smiles and attire. During the course of the night we were entertained by the Millie Street Blues band. Installation of the District Board and Nominating Committee were performed by Past Governor Sandra Vosper (Zonta Club of Sault Ste. Marie) and assisted by Karen Macier (Zonta Club of Auburn, NY). Our new District Board members are Governor Denise Quarles (Michigan Capital Area Club), Lt Governor Karen Armaly (Detroit I Club), Secretary Martha Belfour (Leelanau County Club), Treasurer Patricia Johnson (Ludington Club), Parliamentarian Sally Randall (Northwest Wayne County Club), Area 1 Director Christine Myers (Marquette Club), Area 2 Cheryl Hall (East Lansing Club), Area 3 Director Joy Smith (Lenawee Club), and Area 4 Director Linda Nabers (Southfield Club). This board has many important tasks ahead of them this biennium. Their efforts will guide District 15 in leading the way to end violence against women and address women’s health issues, encouraging Zontians to take care of themselves, and never losing sight of the plight women and young girls face around the globe. The Governor’s Award was presented to Joanne Lose (Zonta Club of Meridian East), Webmaster and Co- Chair of the Public Relations Committee. Joanne has proven to be invaluable to our district and this award was well deserved. Additionally, 4 members were recognized for 30-50 years of service and 6 members received the Yellow Rose Award for recruiting new members into their clubs. Past Governor Sandra Vosper presided at the Service of Remembrance for Zontians whose tasks are done. A musical tribute Tribal Winds; a reading “Your Sister” by Reesom Haile; candle lighting; followed by Bob Morrow’s “The Yellow Rose” reading; the floral presentation for each departed Zontian and Robert Gharrity, late husband of Past Governor Mary Lou Gharrity; and the closing reading, “Earth, Teach Me” fashioned a moving tribute. Zontians gathered for brunch and the raffles. The lucky winners had to figure out where they were going stow their baskets for the journey home or if they take the 50/50 raffle winning to the casino or save it for a rainy day. Governor Denise call the fourth and final business session to order. There was a presentation by Past Governor and United Nations Committee Chair Sandra Vosper “Demystifying Zonta’s Association with the United Nations”. The presentation covered: 1.) History & Significance of Zonta’s Partnership with the UN; 2.) Zonta’s Responsibility to the UN; 3.) UN WOMEN update, check out www.unwomen.org); 4.) Explanation of the UN Charter; 5.) Update and Call to Action on CEDAW, join www.cedaw2010.org and the importance of Michigan members calling their senators urging ratification of the treaty. District 15 Public Relations Committee co-chair and Webmaster, Joanne Lose, guided Zontians thru the Communication Web; club websites, Public Drum, and email communication. Joanne emphasized the importance of a Zonta club website. And it’s easy to accomplish, she will help you build and maintain a website. Use Public Drum for your event promotion. It’s a time saver. Gov. Denise underscored the importance of keeping ZI, District 15 and your local club informed of your correct email address. Almost all communication from ZI, District 15 and your club will be by email. Lt. Governor Karen Armaly chaired the committee that drafted the proposed new District 15 Rules of Procedure. She reviewed key provisions and noted that the committee recommended adoption. The District 15 Rules of Procedure were adopted. The 2010 ZI Foundation Financial Support Goals were presented by District Treasurer Patty Johnson. International Service Projects $13,637 ZISVAW 11,870 Eva Mowbray Fund 990 Rose Fund 2,807 Other, Endowment 400 Amelia Earhart Fellowship Fund 7,170 Young Women In Public Affairs Fund 4,844 Klausman Women In Business Fund 3,947 Total ZIP Goals $45,715 Lt. Governor Karen Armaly and Parliamentarian Sally Randall presented the First Timers/Delegates Team contest awards. Governor Denise recognized the Conference Hostess Club, Zonta Club of Iron Mountain-Kingsford,for a job well done. Paula Somerville (Zonta Club of Southfield) humored us with the Courtesy Resolutions which were based on her keen observations and those of Lucy Contois (Zonta Club of Marquette). th A musical invitation to the District 15’s 40 Fall Conference by members of the host, the Zonta Club of Southfield. It’s My Favorite Things from the Sound of Music, wait, no its My Favorite Zonta Things. Zontians will find their Favorite Things at the Marriott Dearborn Inn, October 14 - 16, 2011. The Retirement of Colours by Julie Dyer (Zonta Club of Cadillac) and Marquette High School Z Club members concluded a Northern Lights Experience weekend in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula. By the end of the conference we were all energized to maximize our people power by recruiting new Zontians to accomplish our mission. Most importantly, we became ever more empowered to be the voice of reason and advocacy for those women and young girls who need us more than ever.