The P.E.O. Record January-February 2022 (public)

j a n u a r y / f e b r u a r y 2 0 2 2

OFFICERS OF International Chapter


Patricia L. Brolin-Ribi

P.E.O. STAR Scholarship Chair, Jayme Resnik

Vice Chair, Sheri Bailey Isabelle DuBois Wattles Susan Smith Sue Barker

First Vice President

Cathy Moss

P.E.O. Foundation Chair, Nicole Berner Margaret “Peggy” Rose Jennifer Bream Finance Committee Chair, (Barbara) Ann Bowen Ellen Fox Belinda Hargrove Audit Committee Chair, (Barbara) Ann Bowen Ellen Fox Belinda Hargrove Study and Research Committee Chair, Elizabeth McFarland Vice Chair, Christine Ankeney Judith French Karen Leftwich Ellen Busby Glenda Dixon Special Appointment Parliamentarian, Barbara Rosi, PRP Nominating Committee Chair, Cathy Manhart

Second Vice President

Alix Smith


Kathryn S. Ebert

Recording Secretary

Jennifer G. Mitchell

Standing Appointments Administrative Staff Executive Director

Kathy A. Soppe

Director of Finance/Treasurer

Dana Van Roekel

Director of Communications/Historian

Kate Westercamp

Director of Information Technology

Dawn Clayberg

Director of Membership

Jennifer Chittenden

The administrative staff has offices at the P.E.O. Executive Office. Cottey College President, Jann Rudd Weitzel, Ph.D., 1000 West Austin Blvd., Nevada, MO 64772

Susan Penrod Lori O’Keefe Jacqueline Dawson Marylou Ruud Membership Committee Chair, Rita Briggs Vice Chair, Kathleen Feldman

Boards of Trustees and Standing Committees Cottey College Chair, Kathryn Bayne

Lauri Cushing Laura A. Parris

Vice Chair, Diann E. McChesney Secretary, Georgann Douglas

Becky Clines Susan Harber P.E.O. Leadership Development Committee Chair, Debbie Kotecki Julee Carucci Karen Fite

James R. Bickel Cheryl Denslow Tamara Kenworthy Hope Zoeller Jack Ewing

Joan Braddock Lydia Bangert Ariel I . Delaney P.E.O. Educational Loan Fund Chair, Ann Lambert Vice Chair, Nanci Rosensteel Laurel Andrew Stephanie Halton

To Reach P.E.O. Mail Phone 515-255-3153

P.E.O. Executive Office, 3700 Grand Ave., Des Moines, IA 50312-2899

Fax 515-255-3820

Web (Go to Members Login, enter username and password, then click Contact Us.)

Marti Ramsey Kristin Cresta P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship Fund Chair, Jan Knuckey Karen Neylon Bobbie Gervais P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education Chair, Debra Dumler

To Reach Cottey College Mail

1000 W Austin Blvd., Nevada, Missouri 64772-2790

Phone 417-667-8181

Fax 417-667-8103



To Reach The P.E.O. Record or Submit Material Becky Frazier, Editor Mail 3700 Grand Ave., Des Moines, Iowa 50312 Phone 515-255-3153 Fax 515-255-3820 Email Layout and design of The P.E.O. Record by Allison Vial

Beverly Prewitt Donna Corbin P.E.O. Scholar Awards Chair, Rebecca Daniel Terry Northcutt Lisa Cooley

Celebrate Founders’ Day! January 21

Show Your Involvement in P.E.O. Wear your pin Wear a P.E.O. t-shirt Share an impactful Facebook post from International’s page with your followers Take any opportunity to start a conversation about P.E.O.— who we are and what we do “P.E.O. provides educational opportunities for women. We do this by offering scholarships, grants, awards and loans to help women enhance their lives through learning.”

Share Our History INCLUDE A PROGRAM ABOUT THE FOUNDERS . Resources about the seven women who started our Sisterhood and the birth of our organization are available on the member website at . Share one of your favorite stories from the new history book “We Who Are Sisters.” AS YOU PLAN FOR CHAPTER PROGRAMS , take advantage of the accessible catalog of workshops and presentations from the 2021 Convention of International Chapter. Get your chapter fired up and learn how you can honor the vision of our founding sisters by watching the membership committee’s “Ignite to Invite” video. Discover best practices through any of the Connection Cafés. Explore professional videos such as “Celebrating Local Chapters” or connect with our mission through the stories of Project Night Speakers. Simply go to the Convention of International Chapter Resources page , which can be found on the member website by going to News & Events and selecting Convention of International Chapter .


January–February 2022 | THE P.E.O. RECORD


PRESIDENT’S | message

At the beginning of every biennium the executive board and executive director review P.E.O.’s 10-year strategic plan to determine the biennial goals which will move that plan forward. This biennium is no exception. Our planning session this past October was productive and enlightening. As we reviewed where we stand on the components in our 2019-2029 plan, and where our local chapter members and state, provincial and district (s/p/d) leaders are at this moment, we were challenged to know which items to advance and how best to do that. We must acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic left P.E.O.s a bit overwhelmed and anxious as many sisters faced life changes and some are still dealing with lingering issues. In terms of P.E.O., that means finding new ways to stay connected with our sisters and learning new technologies and procedures just to be able to hold meetings and accomplish the business of P.E.O. For some members and chapters, adapting has been easier than for others who have not yet had the opportunity to meet in person. Our discussions about how to proceed, as well as conversations with members across the U.S. and Canada, led us to recognize the importance of allowing our sisters time to regroup, catch their breath, and simply enjoy the two foundational tenets of P.E.O. – the loving concern we share with each other and the support we offer through our projects. To encourage that, for this biennium, International Chapter and P.E.O. leaders will support local chapters and members to focus on re-engaging and finding joy in P.E.O. To that end, the executive board has agreed on this single simple and yet powerful goal for our members and local chapters for the 2021-2023 biennium: This biennium, we encourage everyone to reconnect and renew , making our chapters places where sisters engage , show loving concern and find joy after the challenges of the past two years. International Chapter will support you to inspire each other and our project applicants to Raise the Bar to the Stars . We hope you will share your success stories for reconnecting and renewing on social media using the hashtag #peoraisethebar . International will post selections on the P.E.O. International member website, on social media and in The P.E.O. Record. We love sharing the stories of how P.E.O.s encourage women to be their best .

s we commemorate our Founders and welcome 2022, we celebrate P.E.O.’s

past and look forward with eager anticipation to the future. As we do, I want to thank our sisters who have stepped up with compassion through your loving concern for one another and through your efforts to support our project applicants as they pursue their educational goals. Your efforts and willingness to Raise the Bar to the Stars in these ways are inspiring.


THE P.E.O. RECORD | January–February 2022

Women helping women reach for the stars

PRESIDENT’S | message

As with any goal, it will be important for our members to take seriously this opportunity to reconnect and renew. At the end of the biennium, we want to be able to celebrate how much of a difference our bond of sisterly love and concern make for each other and share the impact P.E.O. makes for women pursuing their educational goals. We look forward to hearing how you reconnect and renew, as individual members and as chapters. Even as we offer this simplified version of our International Chapter goals for our members and local chapters, be assured that International Chapter will continue to advance the four components of the existing 2019-2029 10-Year Strategic Plan, as follows:

Strengthen Chapter Vitality P.E.O. thrives when local

Promote Philanthropic Vitality P.E.O. embraces our shared philanthropic mission

Champion the Advancement of Women P.E.O. celebrates women helping women globally

Provide Innovative Shared Services

P.E.O. is committed to provide resources to support organizational

chapters reach for the stars

efficiencies and growth

For each of these four areas, the International Chapter executive board, our leadership team, and wonderful staff team at the executive office are developing exciting strategies and tactics to move them forward. We will be cascading those to the s/p/d officers and will keep you all posted on our progress. As we go forward together to reconnect and renew, how will you Raise the Bar to the Stars? With P.E.O. Love, Patti


January–February 2022 | THE P.E.O. RECORD


Contents The P.E.O. Record | January–February 2022 | Vol. 134 | No. 1

Special Features


8 10 14 18 21 22 26 28

P.E.O.s on the Air—Sisters in Radio, Television & Podcasting

2021-2023 International Boards & Committee

A Sister’s Love for P.E.O. Remains through Fog of Dementia BY CORKEY WA I TE

Pandemics’ Impact on P.E.O. BY K ATE WESTERCAMP

P.E.O. Helps Restore Historic Buildings BY JEANNE TOML IN GERBSCH

How the P.E.O. Sisterhood Helped a Young Ballerina Land on Her Feet BY V ICK I BURDICK




The P.E.O. Pyramid of Giving BY DANA VAN ROEKEL


FOLLOW US Facebook:

Instagram: @peointernational

Twitter: @PEOSisterhood

LinkedIn: International Chapter of the P.E.O. Sisterhood

PEO International


THE P.E.O. RECORD | January–February 2022

Women helping women reach for the stars

IN THIS | issue

P.E.O. Philanthropies and Foundation 7  P.E.O. Foundation 2021 Distribution of Undesignated Funds 30  P.E.O. Educational Loan Fund Let’s Go Find the ELF Applicants BY ANN L AMBERT 31  Cottey College Cottey College by the Numbers 32  P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship Fund 2021-2022 P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship Fund Named Awards BY JAN KNUCKEY 33  P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education To Love and Be Shown Love BY DEBB I E DUMLER 34  P.E.O. Scholar Awards The Legacy of a P.E.O. Scholar Award BY TERRY NORTHCUTT 35  P.E.O. STAR Scholarship Shifts in Perspective Help STAR Students Shine During Pandemic BY SHER I BA I LEY 50  Cottey College Learn with Cottey Events and Reminders 1 Celebrate Founders’ Day! January 21 7 New Member Website Password and Security Features 16 N ew Year, New Fresh and Inspiring Communication from International Chapter! 24 Pay Your P.E.O. Dues Before February 28 36 Connect with P.E.O. International on Social Media

In Every Issue 2

President’s Message Raise the Bar to the Stars BY PATR ICI A L . BROL IN-R IB I


Your Letters


Tech Tip New Resources on the P.E.O. International Member Website BY ANNI E JENK INS 20  P.E.O. Leadership Development Leading Yourself from Intent to Impact in P.E.O. BY DEBB I E KOTECK i 25  P.E.O. International

Membership Committee Supporting Our Mission in the Simplest Way Possible— Paying Your Dues BY BECK Y CL INES

37 Centennial Chapters 38 Award Winning Ideas 40 P.E.O. Authors 42 Where in the World is The Record? 44 Fundraising Marketplace

48 About P.E.O. 49 To the Point

The P.E.O. Record (ISSN 0746-5130) is published bimonthly by the P.E.O. Sisterhood, 3700 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50312-2899. Periodical class postage paid at Des Moines, Iowa, and at all additional mailing offices. Subscription price is $5.00 per year. Single copies are $1.00. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The P.E.O. Record, 3700 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50312-2899. Printed in USA. Canada Publications Mail Agreement No. 40586518. Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to IMEX, P.O. Box 4332, Station Rd., Toronto, ON M5W 3J4. Submission of material to The P.E.O. Record is your consent to our right to edit and publish it, either all or in part, in any P.E.O. print or digital communication medium. The content matter may or may not reflect the opinions of the Sisterhood. Complete submission guidelines appear on the “Members Only” section of P.E.O.’s official website, The P.E.O. Record welcomes members’ submissions to the address on the inside front cover.


January–February 2022 | THE P.E.O. RECORD



Letter of Gratitude FROM NEW P.E.O.

I just feel compelled to share these thoughts with you this morning. It’s taken me some time to understand the purpose of P.E.O. I only know that I’m very grateful God worked thru you to get me involved with it for my own personal growth. Never before have I felt comfortable getting together with a group of women just for the purpose of sharing a “sisterhood.” I’ve always developed friendships within work organizations, but this organization is different. It is about “trusted relationships,” based upon the principles of faith and moral character. I feel safe within this group of women. Unfortunately, many times women’s groups have a “behind the back” or “catty” atmosphere about them. I’ve never felt safe sharing personal feelings within that type of group or letting my “guard down” to trust any of the women within those organizations. But, this group seems different. Its purpose is to foster the development of confident, caring and loving women, who bolster and support one another, not compete or take advantage. What a blessing and a breath of fresh air in a very polluted society to have such a group of ladies to call friends. Thank you for identifying me as a possible member. I’m deeply appreciative and honored to be a part of it. — Sue Willke, BW, Wexford, Pennsylvania

P.E.O. Sheila Gray (first row, far right) was thrilled to meet a group of Cottey students and Shaun West, director of student life (second row, far left), on a flight to Hawaii

Connecting with Cottey Students on Flight to Hawaii While landing in Hawaii for a vacation with my husband, a young man helped us fill out our agricultural card. He mentioned this was his third trip to Hawaii in a month! Not a businessman, he worked for a small, women’s college in the Midwest! That’s how I discovered I was on the same flight with one of the Cottey College sophomore trips. Since they couldn’t travel internationally because of COVID-19, they postponed the trips to the end of the semester and went to Hawaii in smaller groups. I jumped at the chance to talk with the students for a few minutes when we deplaned, finding out about suite life and changes to the school year due to the pandemic. They were as excited as me to spend 10 days in the paradise that is the state of Hawaii. Also, Shaun West, the Cottey director of student life, has no idea that he was spared a nine-hour interrogation about all that is Cottey College if we had introduced ourselves at the beginning of the flight! So glad that Cottey figured out a way to give the students a great travel experience in a safe environment. — Sheila Gray, T, Fort Thomas, Kentucky

License Plate Frame is Moving Billboard for P.E.O.

I was away frommy home community recently, shopping at a plant nursery when I was approached by a woman asking if it was my car that had the license plate frame stating “P.E.O., Educating Women.” I proudly answered “Yes, I am a P.E.O.!” She said she wanted me to know that she has two daughters who have benefited from P.E.O.’s Educational Loan Fund. Because of P.E.O., both women have become medical doctors, one finishing a residency in Salt Lake City and another who is at Mayo Clinic, both as anesthetists. She said her daughters would not have been able to accomplish this without

the help of P.E.O. “It made all the difference,” she said. She was quite emotional as she told me again and again how grateful she was for P.E.O. and what a wonderful organization it is. We talked more about P.E.O. before departing and that conversation has stayed with me, knowing I needed to share it with my P.E.O. sisters. How amazing is our P.E.O.! How incredible to know the impact we have had on the lives of these two women, who are now a part of the medical community that is so critical for our world today. My P.E.O. license plate frame is like a moving billboard for P.E.O. and has sparked more than one conversation since I put it on my car, prompting interest in P.E.O. or acknowledging sisterhood wherever I travel, and I am so proud to broadcast our goal of advancing the lives of women everywhere through education! — Sandra Thompson, Q, Montevideo, Minnesota

Sandra Thompson’s P.E.O. license plate frame sparks conversations with strangers and P.E.O.s alike


THE P.E.O. RECORD | January–February 2022

Women helping women reach for the stars


Iowa Wesleyan: $10,000 For care of P.E.O. Memory Room

P.E.O. Foundation Trustees are pleased to announce the 2021 Distribution of Undesignated Funds Total: $ 2,078,100 This distribution was made possible by the loving generosity of P.E.O.s and their families and friends.

P.E.O. Educational Loan Fund $200,000

P.E.O. STAR Scholarship $505,033

Cottey College $298,035

P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship Fund $200,000

P.E.O. Scholar Awards $360,000

P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education $505,032

new Member Website Password

and Security Features

IN ORDER TO MA INTA IN PR I VACY AND SECUR I T Y FOR MEMBERS IN AN EVER-EVOLV ING ELECTRONI C AGE , the P.E.O. International member website passwords were updated on January 1, 2022 and will continue to be updated annually on the first day of the year. In addition, the login process for the International member website now requires that you complete a reCAPTCHA, an image identification, with an audible option or the visually-impaired. The P.E.O. International member website passwords were updated on January 1, 2022. All passwords will have the current year added to the end. For example, the new password for members will be formatted like this, with the original password filling in the blanks: _ _ _ _ _2022 . Your state, province or district (s/p/d) website passwords may have also changed on January 1. Check with your s/p/d board for more details.


January–February 2022 | THE P.E.O. RECORD


COVER | story

As you get to know the P.E.O.s in your chapter or flip through the pages of The P.E.O. Record, you’re sure to recognize what a wide variety of special interests and areas of expertise those in our organization possess. We’re continuously impressed with how P.E.O.s use their talents—whether it’s a casual hobby or a career built over a lifetime—it’s all part of the beautiful mosaic that makes up our Sisterhood. In this issue of The Record, we’re excited to share stories of P.E.O.s who have taken their special interests and expertise to radio and television airwaves, and to the wide world of podcasting. These sisters explore topics ranging from career advice, aging and politics to ghosts and storytelling. P.E.O.s ON THE AIR Sisters in Radio, Television & Podcasting

WHO: Roni Burgener, IN, Louisville, Colorado WHAT: “Big Girl Money” podcast Roni Burgener, a fourth-generation P.E.O. and engineer, had been working in tech for only six months when the corporate world began to pummel her with some hard-to-learn lessons. She soon learned that no matter what rocky

road you’re on, there’s a woman who has been there and all you have to do is find her. Thankfully, Roni found that woman early in her career, Wendy Bohling. Wendy’s advice helped her through discrimination, bad bosses, infuriating meetings with HR, pay negotiations and coping with everyday work life. Through all this turmoil, Roni couldn’t stop thinking about how incredibly ill-prepared she was to deal with all these challenges and how many other women must be feeling the exact same way. Roni has never known a world without P.E.O. She remembers going to pancake breakfasts and holiday galas. She joined her mom and aunt’s chapter, Chapter IN in Colorado, when she was 19 and has been an active member for seven years. For Roni, growing up with P.E.O. instilled in her a core value—women should help women reach for the stars. As Roni was dealing with challenge after challenge at work, the P.E.O. in her couldn’t stop worrying about all the other women in corporate America dealing with these same issues. Roni had an instant career advice hotline through her mentor, Wendy. What about women who didn’t have a Wendy? That’s when it hit Roni—they should start a career advice podcast for women. Fast forward to today, they have now released more than 80 episodes of their award-winning show, “Big Girl Money.” The pair blends their intergenerational wisdom to deliver career advice and leadership skills in a practical and humorous way. Each episode they feature guest interviews, career advice, leadership skills and more. You can hear an interview with another P.E.O. in episode 43, titled Joan Motley – Doctor and Two Time Cancer Survivor. For Roni, producing the podcast has been a beautiful lesson in perseverance, positivity and staying open to unexpected friendships. She encourages all P.E.O.s to never stop thinking about the new and creative ways they can be women who help women reach for the stars. Roni (left) with her co-host Wendy Bohling

WHO: Kay Henderson, GH, Des Moines, Iowa WHAT: “Iowa Press” TV show Kay Henderson, GH, Des Moines, Iowa, is the host and moderator of “Iowa Press,” the Iowa PBS public affairs program. Kay first appeared on “Iowa Press” in October of 1987. For the past 20 years, she has been the national political director for Learfield news networks in Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota and Wisconsin. She has served two terms as president of the National Association of State Radio Networks’ news directors group. Kay received the Iowa Broadcast News Association’s 2002 Jack Shelley Award, an annual recognition of “outstanding contribution to the cause of professional journalism.” In addition to her work in Iowa broadcasting, Kay has appeared on the “PBS NewsHour,” NBC’s “Meet the Press” and ABC’s “This Week” as well CNN, Fox News and MSNBC. Each week, “Iowa Press” invites newsmakers, policy makers and elected officials to join capitol reporters in a weekly discussion. The program airs Friday evenings and Sundays at noon on Iowa PBS. Past episodes of “Iowa Press” are available online at


THE P.E.O. RECORD | January–February 2022

Women helping women reach for the stars

COVER | story

WHO: Cheryl Beversdorf, N, Arlington, Virginia WHAT:  “Aging Matters” radio program and TV show “Age is just a number, not a label.” That’s the closer for a radio interview program called “Aging Matters” that broadcasts each week on Arlington, Virginia’s community radio station, WERA-LP Arlington 96.7 FM. Produced and hosted by P.E.O. Cheryl Beversdorf, N, Arlington, Virginia, the interview show features experts who talk about timely aging topics of interest to older adults and their families. Cheryl got the idea to produce her own radio show in 2016 when Arlington Independent Media, a local not-for-profit media organization that brings independent information, art and entertainment to television viewers, decided to open a radio station. Cheryl took the required course to become a radio producer and submitted an application to produce and host a program called “Aging Matters.” Each week she interviews individuals and representatives from organizations who talk about informative and entertaining topics that affect the lives of older adults and their families. The goal of the show is to educate listeners about how to live better and longer. Since January 2017 she’s produced more than 200 shows covering a broad array of interests to older adults: health and wellness, housing, financial planning, retirement, local government services, transportation, employment, social activities, volunteering and more. Some programs feature issues not often discussed like senior dating and finding new relationships, elder mediation, digital learning, hoarding, end of life choices/funeral planning, learning how to play an instrument and singing as an older adult. All programs can be heard any time on demand by visiting In September 2018, “Aging Matters” debuted as a half-hour TV series, broadcast twice weekly on Arlington, Virginia, channels and streams live online and is available on YouTube.





WHO : Dawn Larsen, N, Florence, South Carolina, Deidre Larsen McCormick, JR, Branson, Missouri, Dina Larsen Gillman, Cottey College, class of 1994 and Pam Atha WHAT: “Ozarks Haints N Hooch” podcast Three sisters and Cottey alumna join another native Ozark woman to present the podcast “Ozarks Haints N Hooch,” about Ozark lore and history. These four women from the Ozarks gather bi-monthly, remotely from three different states, to offer stories about Ozark ghosts, monsters, superstitions, people, places, lore and history—with a bonus twist, a cocktail themed to the feature story. They did an episode about Cottey College in November 2020. Dawn, Deidre and Dina are sisters who grew up in Forsyth, Missouri. Dawn lives in Florence, South Carolina, is a singer/ songwriter, performer and theater professor. Deidre lives in Forsyth, Missouri, and is the assistant general manager for Tanger in Branson. Dina lives in Forsyth, Missouri, and owns her own childcare business. Pam Atha, from West Fork, Arkansas, now lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a choreographer, teacher and performer.

WHO: Abigail K. Perry, AM, Foxboro, Massachusetts WHAT: “STORY EFFECT” podcast

Abigail K. Perry, AM, Foxboro, Massachusetts, is a Certified Story Grid Editor with literary agency, publishing, teaching and film production experience. She graduated from Syracuse University (Newhouse) with a B.S. in TV, radio and film and worked multiple internships in publishing after college. She earned her master’s

Cheryl (left) hosts both radio and TV programs about aging

degree in secondary education and created curriculum for creative writing and film courses that she taught for a handful of years. As the host of her podcast, “STORY EFFECT,” Abigail has the pleasure of sharing the joy, lessons and wisdom stories have given and taught others. Each episode, Abigail interviews a variety of guests on the top stories that touched their lives–pulled from tales across all mediums. “STORY EFFECT” is a podcast that celebrates the butterfly effect of stories on our communities, cultures and selves. In May 2020 Past President of International Chapter Brenda J. Atchison was a guest on Abigail’s podcast talking about the power of saying “yes.”


January–February 2022 | THE P.E.O. RECORD


2021-2023 INTERNATIONAL BOARDS& committees

P.E.O. Executive Board

Patricia L. Brolin-Ribi Pres i dent

Cathy Moss F i r s t V i ce Pres i dent

Alix Smith Second V i ce Pres i dent

Kathryn S. Ebert Organ i ze r

Jennifer G. Mitchell Record i ng Sec ret a r y

P.E.O. Executive Office Staff

Kathy A. Soppe Execu t i ve D i rec tor

Dana Van Roekel D i rec tor of

Kate Westercamp D i rec tor of Commun i cat i ons/ Hi s tor i an

Dawn Clayberg D i rec tor of I nformat i on Techno l og y

Jennifer Chittenden D i rec tor of Membe r sh i p

F i nance/ Treasure r

P.E.O. Educational Loan Fund Trustees

Ann Lambert Cha i r

Nanci Rosensteel V i ce Cha i r

Laurel Andrew Stephanie Halton Marti Ramsey

Kristin Cresta


THE P.E.O. RECORD | January–February 2022

Women helping women reach for the stars

BOARDS& committees

P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship Fund Trustees

Jan Knuckey Cha i r

Karen Neylon Bobbie Gervais

P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education Trustees

Debra Dumler Cha i r

Beverly Prewitt

Donna Corbin

P.E.O. Scholar Awards Trustees

Rebecca Daniel Cha i r

Terry Northcutt

Lisa Cooley

P.E.O. STAR Scholarship Trustees

Jayme Resnik Cha i r

Sheri Bailey V i ce Cha i r

Isabelle DuBois Wattles

Susan Smith

Sue Barker


January–February 2022 | THE P.E.O. RECORD


BOARDS& committees

P.E.O. Foundation Board of Trustees

Nicole Berner Cha i r

Margaret “Peggy” Rose

Jennifer Bream

Finance Committee/Audit Committee Parliamentarian

(Barbara) Ann Bowen Cha i r

Ellen Fox

Belinda Hargrove

Barbara Rosi

Study and Research Committee

Elizabeth McFarland Cha i r

Christine Ankeney V i ce Cha i r

Judith French Karen Leftwich

Ellen Busby

Glenda Dixon

Nominating Committee

Cathy Manhart Cha i r

Susan Penrod

Lori O’Keefe

Jacqueline Dawson

Marylou Ruud


THE P.E.O. RECORD | January–February 2022

Women helping women reach for the stars

BOARDS& committees

Membership Committee

Rita Briggs Cha i r

Kathleen Feldman V i ce Cha i r

Lauri Cushing Laura A. Parris

Becky Clines

Susan Harber

P.E.O. Leadership Development Committee

Debbie Kotecki Cha i r

Julee Carucci

Karen Fite

Cottey College Trustees

Jann Rudd Weitzel Pres i dent

Kathryn Bayne Cha i r

Diann E. McChesney V i ce Cha i r

Georgann Douglas Sec ret a r y

James R. Bickel

Cheryl Denslow

Tamara Kenworthy Hope Zoeller

Jack Ewing

Joan Braddock Lydia Bangert

Ariel I. Delaney


January–February 2022 | THE P.E.O. RECORD


SPECIAL | feature

A Sister ’ s Love for P.E.O. Remains through Fog of Dementia by Corkey Waite

hen my friend, Jean Kendall, AP,

she had quit smoking 25 years earlier. She adored her brother, Jack, enjoyed fishing at the summer cabin, proudly called herself a daddy’s girl and preferred cats over dogs. Now, in the winter of her journey, what remains most is a continued dislike for country music, a deep and abiding love for her late husband, Dave, going outside regardless of weather—and P.E.O. In 1959, Jean was encouraged to accept an invitation to join P.E.O. by her friend, Helen Hobart, who at the time was Dean of Women at Roanoke College, Jean’s alma mater. Chapter V, Salem, Virginia, was filled with women who so impressed Jean, she found it difficult to call them by their first names. She held each of the offices in order, starting with guard, and told me more than once that her least favorite office was treasurer: “I’ve never enjoyed working with figures.” Over time, Chapter V grew so large, they had trouble finding a place to meet, so Jean requested permission to select a charter for another chapter; in 1970, Chapter AE, Salem was born, with Jean as its first president. Three years later, Jean remarried and moved to New Jersey, became a member of Chapter AB, Madison, and began putting her minor in drama to good use when it was her turn to provide the program. Having found her element, her style of programing continued when she and her husband retired to Minnesota and Jean became a member of Chapter AP, Winona, her final P.E.O. home. Of all the programs Jean presented over the years, by far, her favorite was her one-woman show featuring the life

of Mary Todd Lincoln who she felt strongly, had “not been treated kindly by history.” Now, wheelchair bound, and completely dependent for every aspect of her being, I visit Jean often, taking her on long strolls in the park adjacent to the skilled-care facility where she lives. No matter what kind of weather Minnesota delivers, Jean has a going-out-for-a-roll coat and a hat to go with it. Fewer than a dozen silver strands peek through her still thick and shiny, strawberry-red hair, always Jean’s favorite physical feature. The lines in her face illustrate the weariness of nearly 90 years of a life well-lived, but glows with the spirit of the gracious woman who remains inside. It is not at all a stretch to imagine a time when she was chosen to be Apple Blossom Queen. Jean listens to her husband’s voice through headphones, an old recording from 1990 converted to MP3. Her face melts into a warm smile. She nods. “That’s right,” she says quietly but unmistakably. “We did.” It’s enough to soften the stonehearted. Then The P.E.O. Record arrives in the mail, and I read it to her cover to cover, finding something to discuss on every page. The issue is filled with convention news and amendments. Over Jean’s P.E.O lifetime, she was delegate to six state and one international convention. “What do you think?” I query. “Do you want to go to next month’s convention?” Jean shakes her head, no. It’s time to pass the baton.

Winona, Minnesota, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2009, she asked me to be her legal health-advocate. Widowed for eight years and her children living in distant states, Jean understood she needed some immediate guidance. I agreed, making it clear that I would help her navigate immediate decisions and with the understanding that she and her family would come to an agreement for a more sustainable arrangement moving forward. But “stuff” and family dynamics happen, so 13 years and four facilities later, Jean is still in Winona, and I am still her healthcare power of attorney. I set out to learn everything I could about dementia in general, and Alzheimer’s in particular. Jean and I had been friends for many years, but I listened anew to her stories and made note of treasured memories. Along the way, I learned to meet Jean where she was at the moment—not where I wanted her to be, especially in circumstances that were becoming increasingly confusing and overwhelming for this once well-organized and highly successful businesswoman. Widely traveled, profoundly curious and ever the welcoming hostess, Jean at one time, could easily engage in thoughtful conversation covering art and culture, city planning and marketing, bridge games and traveling, music and Shakespeare, German beer and good Scotch. As the fog of dementia enveloped Jean, I paid close attention to what resonated with her, and noted when things fell away. She had forgotten

Jean Kendall passed away on November 20, 2021. Corkey was by her side, holding her hand.


THE P.E.O. RECORD | January–February 2022

Women helping women reach for the stars

SPECIAL | feature

Jean as Mary Todd Lincoln Jean and Dave

Now, in the winter of her journey, what remains most is a continued dislike for country music, a deep and abiding love for her late husband, Dave, going outside regardless of weather—and P.E.O.

Jean Kendall


January–February 2022 | THE P.E.O. RECORD


New Year, New Fresh and Inspiring Communication from International Chapter! We know the two most enduring benefits of belonging to P.E.O. are the bonds of sisterhood and our shared philanthropic mission. In 2022, International Chapter plans on sharing inspirational stories with you through periodic emails that highlight sisterly love and the impact our philanthropies have on women all over the world. Enjoy features about recipients from the International Chapter projects and stories showing the amazing loving concern and encouragement shared among sisters. A little fun will be mixed in with quick tidbits of news, too! Rest assured, we’ll remain respectful of your inbox while providing this meaningful connection.

Make Sure Your Email is Correct To ensure email messages land in your inbox, take a minute to verify your email address. Simply go to the Membership tab on the P.E.O. International member website and select “Member Update.” After you input your member ID, your current information will appear and you can easily review and update your contact information.

REMINDER : your Member ID is printed on the back page of this magazine within the mailing area.

**ABC-DE LOT**F-123 MIX COMAIL AA\IA 1234567 0_123_456789 0123 4 567890 1234567 MARGUERITE MERRYWEATHER 12345 STARDUST DR DAISYTOWN IA 12345-6789 P.E.O. ID number

Chapter letters\ state or provincial abbreviation


THE P.E.O. RECORD | January–February 2022

Women helping women reach for the stars

TECH | tip

NEW RESOURCES on the P.E.O. International Member Website

by Annie Jenkins, Digital Communication Specialist, P.E.O. International

The P.E.O. International member website is frequently updated with new resources. Here are some of the latest updates that will be helpful to you and your chapter members. Inclusion Resources Page

The next two resources are not exactly new, but they are exciting enough to deserve some extra attention! Find a P.E.O. Chapter The Chapter Map Tool debuted at the beginning of 2021, and since then, more than 16,000 P.E.O.s have accessed it! (Source: Google Analytics) This mapping tool allows members to see communities and the chapters located within them in a new way. Members are using the map to locate a chapter, connect inactive members and invite prospective members into P.E.O. Find this resource under the Membership tab, then Find a P.E.O. Chapter . P.E.O. Zoom Backgrounds In 2020, so much of our lives, including our P.E.O. lives, moved to Zoom. You may have noticed some of your chapter sisters using special P.E.O. branded backgrounds during your virtual meetings, and these are available to all members! Along with Zoom backgrounds, there are also computer and cell phone wallpaper designs available for download. Find these items under the Resource Library , Local Chapter Members , Brand Resource Center , then Logos and Images.

In the top navigation bar, you will now find a link to an Inclusion Resources page that contains a collection of videos, documents and past articles from The P.E.O. Record you can use for your own benefit or as an educational opportunity with your chapter sisters. Local Chapter Programs Page On the new Local Chapter Programs page, you will find many of the videos from Convention of International Chapter, plus a collection of P.E.O. history programs. There are videos to watch and discuss along with activities to do together, so you can choose what will work best for your chapter. Find this page under the Resource Library tab, then Local Chapter Members and Local Chapter Programs . Simplified Member Updates The Change in Membership (CIM) form and the Address, Email and Phone Update online forms were merged into one streamlined form that members and chapter officers can use in making information updates. This improvement offers members an intuitive online experience when making updates to their own information, as well as for chapter corresponding secretaries to report membership changes. Find this form under the Membership tab, then Member Update . News from P.E.O. International and website banners Any time you are on the P.E.O. International member website homepage, pay attention to the News from P.E.O. International updates on the left hand side and rotating banners at the top of the page. These sections are updated multiple times each month and are where you can find any recent news or updates.


January–February 2022 | THE P.E.O. RECORD


SPECIAL | feature

Pandemics’ Impact on P.E.O. by Kate Westercamp, Historian, International Chapter of The P.E.O. Sisterhood

ortunately for many of us, the COVID-19 pandemic is the only personal experience we’ve had with a worldwide pandemic. However, it is not the only pandemic the P.E.O. Sisterhood has dealt with in our 153-year-history. More than 100 years ago, the world experienced the 1918 influenza pandemic. The first civilian cases of the Great Influenza epidemic in Canada were reported in the

that we must continue our meetings and state gatherings even tho we were in the midst of war, and thus be prepared to serve our country to the utmost since we were organized and trained for that purpose; the next few months after that when the ban had been placed for months on all meetings and a great, distress had arisen in many quarters because meetings could not be held and no progress made, I found

“We shall hear in a later report how splendidly we have given an account of ourselves as ‘Patriots Every One,’ and we shall hear how wonderful we rallied after the epidemic was over and made good all the time lost.” — Margaret Durward , President, 1919 Supreme Chapter

autumn of 1918, according to Parks Canada. In the U.S., it was first identified in military personnel in the spring of 1918. It is estimated about 500 million people, or one-third of the world’s population, became infected with the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control. To tell stories of P.E.O. history, we are fortunate to have proceedings from past conventions and archived copies of The P.E.O. Record as valued resources. They are both great sources of information that give an inside look at what was happening within our Sisterhood at any given time throughout history. The Proceedings of the Twenty-Third Session of the Supreme Chapter P.E.O. Sisterhood, held October 16-19, 1917, in Omaha, Nebraska, tell us that, as of March 1, 1917, there were 14 Grand Chapters, 663 local chapters and 18,344 active members. Through 1917-1919, our Sisterhood grew with the organization of Wisconsin Grand (State) Chapter, 74 local chapters and the initiation of 3,309 new members. Michigan State Chapter was then organized in 1919. It is surprising to find limited content about the Influenza epidemic within the proceedings of the 1919 Grand Chapter Convention. As our nations were also in the midst of World War I at the time, the 1919 proceedings did include a Report of War Work Done. In the 1919 Convention of Grand Chapter Convention Proceedings, Margaret Durward, President, Supreme Chapter, is quoted as saying, “Much of the correspondence has been directed toward two great efforts, each a seeming contradiction to the other; during the winter and spring of 1918 an effort to show many states and many local chapters

myself writing much that sounded contradictory to my earlier statements; my main theme became ‘Hold the line just where we are. We are large enough and strong enough to overcome temporary lapse.’ We shall hear in a later report how splendidly we have given an account of ourselves as ‘Patriots Every One,’ and we shall hear how wonderful we rallied after the epidemic was over and made good all the time lost.” The P.E.O. Record at the time had reports from local

chapters. This is where we get an inside look at what P.E.O. chapter life was like and what members were experiencing. Our Sisterhood was stronger as those important letters of P.E.O. helped us come together through the two major

international events of that time: World War I and the 1918 influenza pandemic.

P.E.O.s always raise the bar to the stars and we’ll come out of the COVID-19 pandemic upholding our letters, P.E.O.


THE P.E.O. RECORD | January–February 2022

Women helping women reach for the stars

SPECIAL | feature

Just like in 1918 into 1919 and in 2020 still

through today, the importance of our letters, P.E.O., has helped us come together.

1918 inf luenza

COVID-19 pandemic


March 1, 1917: 18,344 March 1, 1919: 20,798

March 1, 2019: 223,902 March 1, 2021: 213,511


President at beginning of the pandemic: Margaret Durward, Colorado 24th biennial Convention of P.E.O. Sisterhood Denver, Colorado September 30 - October 3, 1919

President at beginning of the pandemic: Brenda J. Atchison, California 75th biennial Convention of P.E.O. Sisterhood Virtual September 20-25, 2021

First convention held after the beginning of the pandemic


January–February 2022 | THE P.E.O. RECORD



Leading Yourself from Intent to Impact in P.E.O.

Are you lingering in the “Land of Good Intentions” or are you leading yourself on the “Path to Positive Impact” in P.E.O.? No matter what your role is in our organization, from an experienced chapter president to a brand new sister, having the skills to take a good intention from the thought stage all the way to successful results is essential. What good are your best ideas if you don’t have a clear and simple path to move them forward to meaningful contribution? The impact of your service in our Sisterhood is unfolding NOW, as it will continue to be throughout your lifetime. This can either happen by default, wandering without direction, OR it can unfold with purpose due to your powerful planning.

by Debbie Kotecki, Chair, Leadership Development Committee

Use these four key stepping stones to map out your own Path of Positive Impact: Define Your Best Contribution •  Determine what brings you a spark of energy, excitement and joy about the work of P.E.O.

Track Your Efforts •  Your personal promises are just as important as those you’ve made to someone else, so be accountable to yourself. •  Create a tracker for your efforts using a phone app, excel chart, calendar with stickers or draw some stepping stones to color in when you take an action step! •  Review your progress and celebrate small victories, adjusting your steps as needed to make them even easier to accomplish. •  Share what you are doing with another sister for encouragement. Visualize Your Future Impact •  Keep a big picture vision of your intention front and center! Why do you want to take this good intention all the way to a true positive impact? •  At your 100th birthday party, what would you like your P.E.O. sisters to be saying about your positive impact of contributions?

•  Consider what is naturally easy for you…this is your sweet spot and what you are wired to do! What do others praise you for? •  Come up with a list of fun-sounding ideas you’d be interested in taking from thoughts in your mind to actual fruition. Some examples are: learn more about one of our philanthropic projects, tell a friend about P.E.O. and introduce her to a few sisters, encourage a project recipient, etc. •  Choose just ONE you’d like to move from the idea state toward real positive impact over the next six months. Create Simple Action Steps •  Break your desired contribution down into baby steps… so small that your success is ensured! •  Be realistic and go easy on yourself, recognizing the time you have to give them. •  Keep them bite-sized and enjoyable.

A printable “P.E.O. Intent to Impact Plan” worksheet and all the guidance you need to work through these steps for yourself is now available in the module “Leading Yourself from Intent to Impact in P.E.O.” This is posted on the P.E.O. International member website under the Leadership tab, “Inspiration” competency section. This resource has various formats and is perfect for use as: • an interactive workshop for groups • a great chapter program • an individual sister’s personal planning Imagine the cumulative power of all P.E.O. sisters leading themselves to accomplish just one positive step toward our mission’s forward motion! Let us linger no longer in the “Land of Good Intentions” and instead lead ourselves in our own positive contributions of impact!

What I love about P.E.O.



My current viewpoint (years as a member, officer, long-time chapter member who has done it all, etc.)

What I do well (things that feel easy and enjoyable)



My P.E.O. intention (one P.E.O. related thing you’ve been meaning to do)

My action steps for this intention (small baby steps; broken down into easy to do chunks)

My tracker system

1. Way I’ll remind myself to do the current action step

2. Way I’ll track and record what I’ve done

3. Where is there space for notes?

4. Where I will keep my tracker?

5. When I will review my progress

Visualizing my P.E.O. legacy A look back from the future from my chapter’s celebration of my 100 th birthday. What I’d like to hear said about my P.E.O. legacy:

What “my P.E.O. Legacy” puzzle box cover picture shows:


THE P.E.O. RECORD | January–February 2022

Women helping women reach for the stars

SPECIAL | feature

by Jeanne Tomlin Gerbsch, DG, Noblesville, Indiana

Emily Whelchel restored the terra cotta façade on the former Indianapolis Coca Cola Bottling Plant

EMI LY WHE LCHE L , DG , NOB LESV I L LE , I ND I ANA , HAS A PASS I ON FOR RESTOR I NG H I STOR I C BU I LD I NGS . She attended Purdue University where she earned a Bachelor of Science (2014) and Master of Science (2016) in civil engineering, with an emphasis in structural engineering. During her sophomore year at Purdue, Emily began working with ARSEE Engineers in Fishers, Indiana, through a co-op experience. Following

graduation, Emily started full time work there where her responsibilities include investigating and repairing building exteriors as well as analyzing and designing wood, concrete and steel structures. Emily traveled to Christchurch, New Zealand,

to learn about repair of earthquake damaged structures and her thesis project studied the long-term performance of concrete crack sealers and deck surface sealers on concrete bridge decks. Emily has worked on four of Indiana’s historic county courthouses, including one in Decatur County that is famous for the tree that grows out of the top. She has helped restore the centerpiece of the Circle City, the Soldiers and Sailors Monument as well as the historic Scottish Rite Cathedral. Mentoring engineering students and engineers new to her firm is important to Emily. A favorite project of Emily’s is the recent restoration of a terra cotta façade on the former Indianapolis Coca Cola Bottling Plant, which has been transformed into the new Bottleworks District in downtown Indianapolis. This area is now home to restaurants, boutiques, a movie theater and hotel where visitors of all ages can spend time enjoying the capital city. Emily serves as Chapter DG’s corresponding secretary and was recently married to Ryan Whelchel, who is also an engineer in central Indiana. Emily was principal flutist in the Purdue Wind Ensemble and has provided beautiful music programs for our chapter. We are proud of how Emily is making a difference in our state!


January–February 2022 | THE P.E.O. RECORD


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