GFWC holds international convention
By Susie Hovater Malone
The General Federation of Women’s Clubs annual convention was held at the downtown Louisville, Kentucky, Marriott, June 9-12. This year’s them was “Celebrate-Collaborate-Communicate.”
The convention included many banquets, workshops, speakers and business sessions. Kentucky’s lieutenant governor, Jacqueline Coleman, addressed the opening business session. Coleman is an educator, basketball coach, assistant principal, writer and founder of a nonprofit organization, Lead Kentucky.
She is a public service advocate for public education and a strong proponent of young women stepping into leadership roles. Lead Kentucky ensures Kentucky’s college women are prepared, encouraged and empowered to seek leadership positions on their campuses and later in their professional fields.
As an affiliate partner of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, the Alzheimer’s Association sponsored the “The Gift of Communicating Gala Banquet.” Debra Strahanoski, GFWC International’s president stated, “Alzheimer’s is a disease without a cure. Many people have experienced the effects of the disease on loved ones, friends and neighbors.”
Sheri Klym, director of memberships and associations for the Alzheimer’s Association, was the featured speaker for the Paint the World Purple gala. She partners with membership and association organizations to advance the Alzheimer’s Association’s mission through collaboration to increase awareness, access to care and support and community mobilization.
Shannon White, a nonprofit executive with 20 years of experience in both public and private sector leadership roles, also spoke. White leads the Greater Kentucky and Southern Indiana chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. She provides strategic direction and administrative oversight for the chapter’s employees, as well as education programs for individuals, families, caregivers and professionals dealing with Alzheimer’s.
Robin Yocum, a well-known fiction author, shared his most recent novel, “The Sacrifice of Lester Yates,” by Arcade CrimeWise. He was a finalist for the 2021 Dashiell Hammett Award for outstanding crime writings with “A Perfect Show,” “A Welcome Murder,” “A Brilliant Death” and “Favorite Sons.” He covered the police beat four years before joining The Columbus Dispatch as investigative senior reporter and received local, state and national journalism awards for his work, including from investigative reporting to feature writing.
Workshops covered topics such as the facets of fundraising, teamwork to make dreams work and designing nonprofit identity and strategies. A panel discussion on hunger, nutrition and health addressing food insecurity also took place.
When not in meetings, members enjoyed taking in the many unique attractions of Kentucky, such as Churchill Downs; Mohammad Ali Museum; Kentucky Science Center; Louisville Mega Cavern Museum; and Century-Old Belle of Louisville. Many clubwomen from Alabama attended the convention and received the GFWC International Fundraising Award.