Our Vision: "Women and girls have the resources and opportunities to reach their full potential and live their dreams."

Governors of Founder Region

1940 - 1942  Director,  Lessie M. Hancock

Soroptimist Club of San Jose
Theme:  The Song of Soroptimist - Beat the Drums, Loud and Clear"
Board of Directors
Hilda O'Neill, Bakersfield
Emily Ziegler, San Diego

Secretary: Abbie Farnsworth, Oakland
Treasurer: Eda Robinson, Marysville

Clubs Chartered: Even in war-time clubs were chartered and the April 1942 report              shows 46 clubs and 1,364 members.

Lessie Hancock will go down in history as the director that called conference sessions to order on time - to the split second.

The minutes of this biennium mention for the first time, such things as (1) requests that local chairmen send publicity to the regional chairman; (2) Soroptimists education in the form of a question and suggestion box on Classifications; (3) report of the regional Venture clubs; (4) the first attendance award for the number of members at a regional conference; (5) requests for orders from clubs for a history of Soroptimism; (6) a resolution that proper steps be taken to get the Soroptimist emblem in Webster's dictionary and the World Almanac; (7) a report of the president's round table (later called president's council); and the Peace committee, reporting as a national defense committee, showed fantastic amounts of work done, from baking to selling bonds, from staffing listening posts to donating blood, yet taking time to make a report!"

 It ends with this quote by Dr. Elizabeth Ayers of the Oakland club: "When we have won this fight, we must also win the peace."

1942 - 1944  Director,  Lois Stanley

1944 - 1946 Second Vice President of the American Federation
Soroptimist Club of Long Beach
Board Members
Mollie Johnson, Sacramento
Rose Vanderburg, San Francisco

Secretary: Helen Daly, Ventura
Treasurer: Esta Imler, Phoenix

Clubs Chartered:  The biennium closed with four new clubs, plus four Venture clubs.  

Even with war restrictions, 42 of the 48 clubs were represented by 106 delegates at the first conference of the biennium. Regional delegates voted to purchase the first of the two ambulances which were a part of the war effort supported by the region. One was given to the San Pedro Post of Embarkation; the second, which was voted the next year, was given to Oak Knoll Naval Hospital. Venture clubs assisted with this project.

Classifications were frozen by federation action in Cleveland, and Life membership could be granted to an active member of a club for 15 years of continuous service.

The club year was changed, the calendar year to conform to the SFA fiscal year, and presidents elected in December 1942, held office for 18 months.

Harriett Tyler, San Francisco, SFA president, reported acceptance of Director Lola Stanley's suggestion that Founder Day pennies be used to establish a fund to rehabilitate European clubs after the war. This fund was to be known as the Noel Fund in honor of the gallant French Soroptimist and surgeon who established most of the clubs in Europe.

1944-1946  Director,  Edith B. Kelley

Soroptimist Club of  Sacramento

Board Members
Catherine Pattrick, Watsonville
Margaret Pratt, Los Angeles

Secretary: Ruth S. Thomas, Chico
Treasurer: Josephine Pendleton, Berkeley

Clubs Chartered:  Ten new clubs were organized and one club lost its charter  this biennium.
By written ballot, the clubs approved the recommendation of the board that "in lieu of the 1944 full conference, area meetings of clubs be held with an agenda designed to aid the region in carrying on its business efficiently and to promote further vital participation on the part of clubs and individual Soroptimists in the war effort."

While to some, extending the business of the region was slowed, the smaller groups did allow for more member participation and attendance was good. The meetings were for one day only as hotel accommodations were extremely limited.

The regional project was the giving of collapsible wheel chairs, usually through the Red Cross. The treasurer's report shows $3,474 contributed by the clubs.

Although the war was over, the British and Europeans were still affected by rationing, due to shipping restrictions. The Sister club report showed thousands of packages of dried milk, eggs, fruit, tea, coffee, needles, thread, medical supplies, vitamins, and warm used clothing were sent to Great Britain and Europe.

Lola Stanley, second vice president of the federation, reported that of the $25,000 given to the Noel Fund, more than $14,000 had been contributed by this region.

There was a total of 14 Venture clubs reported.

1946 - 1948  Director,  Dr. Ruth S. Thomas (Heitfield)

Soroptimist Club of Chico
Theme:  "Clubs Which Work Together Will Grow Together"  

Board Members
Frances Haverle, Huntington Park
Ruth Sprowls, Phoenix

Secretary: Ruth Thomas, Fresno
Treasurer: May Overhouse, Salinas


The war was over and with the theme "Clubs Which Work Together Will Grow Together" much was accomplished this term.

Firsts for the region were: Attendance awards established; a printed regional roster; presidents established in all areas; and club by-laws were sent to the regional chairman for approval.

History making activities of this biennium were: Club contacts were made in Mexico and Director Ruth translated Soroptimist pamphlets into Spanish; Fellowships and Grants in Aid were established by voluntary contributions of $1.00 per member each year; and the Redwood Memorial Grove became a real project and completed -- it was tribute to the Founders on our 25th anniversary.

During this biennium the matter of dividing the region, because of area growth was recommended to the regional constitution and bylaws committee and was referred to the clubs for ratification.

1948  - 1950  Director,  Emily N. Ziegler

1950-1952  Federation Secretary
1952-1954  Second Vice President
1954-1956 First Vice President
1956-1958 President of the Federation
Soroptimist Club of San Diego

Board Members 
Jimmie Beronio, El Centro,
Alida Dysen, Los Angeles
Secretary: Marie Graves, Oakland
Treasurer: Jo Deterding, Sacramento

 Clubs Chartered:  There had been tremendous growth in the region during the past ten years. This again was made possible through extension under the direction of Blanche Edgar, who organized 22 clubs during the biennium, making a total of 116 clubs as of June 30, 1950.
 War restrictions in 1944-46 necessitated smaller (area) meetings with less travel. These became the fall district meetings. These meetings were under the direction of the secretary, treasurer, and two board members, each in her own area.

At the April, 1949 conference, 90 of the 95 clubs were represented by 241 delegates, Presidents' reports were not given orally at the conference, but a copy was prepared and given to each club.

For the first time it was possible to obtain federation supplies through the regional secretary, and a display of material at the conference received much attention.

1950 - 1952  Director,  Ruth G. White, M.D.

Soroptimist Club of Whitter

Board of Directors
Jo Deterding, Sacramento
Mary Ellen Pangle, Riverside
Secretary: Marguerite Blanchard, San Marion-South Pasadena
Treasurer: Sally Nelson, Albany
District 1:  May Overhouse, Salinas      
District 2:  Marjorie Frye, Modesto      
District 3:  Elsie Edminson, Los Angeles      
District 4:  Katherine Finchy, Palm Springs      
District Secretaries 
District 1:  Sylvia Spencer, Vallejo
District 2:  Gladys Seymour, Fresno
District 3:  Gladys Dunlavy, Pomona
District 4:  Lillian Dolde, Albuquerque

During this biennium the Regional "Eye Bank" was established. The president of the Phoenix club, who had willed her eyes, passed on. The necessary operation was successfully performed and another saw after 28 years of blindness.

The first club in Mexico was chartered. Dr. Ruth Thomas, a past regional director, speaking in Spanish, presented the charter to the new Soroptimist Club of Tijuana. Three clubs were chartered this biennium.

Other accomplishments this biennium were: each of the four district directors had visited clubs in her district at least once; 96 club bulletins were published; 108 clubs had corresponded with overseas clubs; all clubs joined the United Nations; and clubs contributed $7,485.55 to the Women's Medical college, a federation project.

Southwestern region became a smaller region in April 1952 - the Northern part of the region retaining the name Southwestern and the southern part became Pacific region. At this conference two slates of officers had to be elected.

1952 - 1954  Southwestern  Region Governor,  Josephine Deterding

Soroptimist International of Sacramento 
Theme: "Team Work"

Region Board
Secretary: Gladys Seymour, Fresno
Treasurer: Sally Nelson, Albany
May Overhouse, Salinas
Hazel Scarlet, Woodlan
District Secretaries    
Sylvia Spencer, Vallejo    
Garnet Hart, Reno
Clubs Chartered:   During this biennium 17 clubs were formed.
Southwestern region became a smaller region (in area) by federation action in July 1952, at which time the Pacific region was created in the southern part of the original Southwestern region. The region consisted of 64 clubs in northern California, northern Nevada, and Hawaii. At the time the title of Director was changed to Governor.

The region was divided into two districts, each headed by a director and a secretary. There were four district meetings presided over by the directors and two regional conferences presided over by the Governor.

This term the governor initiated a newsletter. It served to familiarize clubs with the requirements of the organization; second to remind presidents of important dates for meeting various obligations; and third, to stimulate pride in making reports and to generally promote assimilation of Soroptimism.

All clubs were asked to turn in their rosters and classifications to the regional committee for checking and putting their classifications "in Tune" with the Key to Classifications.

It was Josephine Deterding, governor, who recommended that the governor's pin have a "banner" hanging attached to the pin indicating "governor and years".

1954 - 1956  Southwestern Region Governor,  Maryn Overhouse

Soroptimist International of Salinas
Theme:  "The Joy of achievement - Challenges Met, Projects Completed "

Region Board  
Secretary: Gladys Seymour, Fresno
Treasurer: Dorothy Osborns, Placerville
District 1:  Bess Combs, Antioch
District 2:  Robina Sleeper, Sacramento
District Secretaries
District 1:  Mildred Myers, Concord
District 2:  Esther DePaoli, Jackson

Clubs Chartered:   Eight clubs were chartered this biennium.
Emphasis this biennium was especially given to "Soroptimist Only" projects; to meet community needs; to sponsoring "Second Horizon" groups; to Eye Bank contributions; and to "Soroptimist Assimilation" (education).

District meetings developed into workshops, directed by "teams of consultants" giving members the opportunity to listen to experts, to discuss club problems, and to share Soroptimist experiences.

It was in this biennium, December 1955, that torrential rains fell on California and brought disaster to many areas of the region. In each of these areas, where there was a club, money poured in from clubs throughout the federation to help relieve Soroptimists communities, which suffered severe damage.

The first memorial service was held in the Redwood Grove.

1956 - 1958 Southwestern Region Governor,  Robina Sleeper

Soroptimist International of Sacramento
Theme: "Facing the Challenge"

Region Board  
Secretary: Harriett Kelly, Martinez
Treasurer: Kathleen Sievers, Palo Alto
District 1:  Cheever Mitchell, Oakland  
District 2:  Grace Patton, Stockton    
District Secretaries
District 1:  June Zegar, San Luis Obispo
District 2:  Dr. Evelyn Ross, Fresno

Region Conferences           
1999 -        Clubs in region:              Registration:      
2000 -        Clubs in region:             Registration:

Clubs Chartered:  In all there were 12 clubs chartered this term.
It was during this biennium that, Corcoran, the regions' 100th club was chartered.

Presidents' Councils became area meetings (43 meetings were held during these two years); the first transportation pool was tried; redistricting of the region from two to four districts became law and the regional board of directors enlarged from five to seven members; a plan for operating the Redwood Grove as a memorial was devised;a monthly bulletin from the governor to each board member, club, and chairman became a first; the region sold the most UNESCO cards in the SFA;and the first "Woman of Achievement" regional award was given.

Kathleen Sievers, treasurer was elected SFA secretary and served from 1962 to 1964. She later served as SFA treasurer from 1964 to 1968. 

1958 - 1960  Southwestern Region Governor,  Grace Patton

Soroptimist International of Stockton
Theme: "Together We Buildt"

Region Board  
Secretary: Dr. Evelyn Ross, Fresno
Treasurer: Edna Colville, Reno
District 1:  Mary Lorentzen, Lafayette-Orinda    
District 2:  Lilly Budde, San Francisco    
District 3:  Joan Crawford    
District 4:  Miriam Petihome, Calaveras CO
District Secretaries
District 1:  Mildred Patterson, Oakland
District 2:  Gene Kern, Burlingame-San Mateo
District 3:  Catherine Bunting, Red Bluff  
District 4:  Elsie Hilton, Modesto

Clubs Chartered:  Nine clubs were chartered this biennium.

It was during this biennium following the federation convention that many time consuming re-organizations were carried out. Four districts replaced two; the regional roster was reduced to pocket size; club boundaries were established, clarified and filed; district and club budget guidelines were established; and a governor's monthly plan book (later known as a calendar) was started.

Firsts during this term were: Northwestern and Southwestern regions joined to charter Mt. Shasta; the first "S" club was chartered at the Alameda High School, on May 1, 1960; the Harriett Tyler "LAW AWARD" for $1500 was awarded to Agnes Duggan of San Francisco, ($300) and to Emily Thompson of Stanford University ($1200); and for the first time installation of regional officers was held at a regional conference.

Grace was the first governor to serve on the SFA executive committee.
1980-1982- Marge Conley
1982-1984- Patricia Daniels
1984-1986- Del Nickerson
1986-1988- Carol Steele
1988-1990- Susan (Lompa) Joyce
1990-1992- Lorraine Komor
1992-1994- Dorothy Avilla
1994-1996- Patti Cross
1996-1998- Nancy Walker
1998-2000- Linda McDoniels
1960-1962- Mary Lorentzen-Moser
1962-1964- Evelyn Holland
1964-1966- Mary Ellen George
1966-1968 – Mary Gianotti
1968-1970- Matie Barker Sparks
1970-1972- Charlotte Chichester
1972-1974- Julia 'Bess' Combs
1974-1976- Margaret "Maggie" Knott
1976-1978- Violet Unland
1978-1980- Catherine (Jordan) Burns
1940-1942- Lessie M. Hancock
1942-1944- Lois Stanley
1944-1946- Edith B. Kelley
1946-1948- Dr. Ruth S. Thomas (Heitfield)
1948-1950- Emily N. Ziegler
1950-1952- Ruth G. White, M.D.
1952-1954- Josephine Deterding
1954-1956- Maryn Overhouse
1956-1958- Robina Sleeper
1958-1960- Grace Patton
1927-1928 Jeannie G. Todd
1928-1930- Mae Wright Hutchins
1930-1932- Blanche O Edgar
1932-1934- Amelia F. Johnson
1934-1936- Helena M. Gamble
1936-1938- Mayme V. Matthay
1938-1940- Alta D. Hengy