Convention Recap

by Shirley A. Holly, NJSFWC President

Thank you to Patricia Dahl, Convention Chairman, Carole Speechley, Credentials and Registration Chairman and their committees for a wonderful convention!!

Thank you to everyone who attended the Convention. I hope that you all enjoyed the new venue, The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City. For those who weren’t in attendance Monday speakers were GFWC International President Deb Strahanoski and Congressman Andy Kim who spoke about volunteerism and the impact on our communities. Bylaws were approved and Best All-Around Reporting Awards were given in 7 categories.

Monday night the EX Clubs were honored along with five amazing Women of Achievement for their outstanding accomplishments here in NJ: Shanel Y. Robinson – who was instrumental in developing a county plan for integrating open space, farmland, and historic acquisition of new properties for environmental benefit and for supporting tourism and economic development in her county, Jacquelyn Litt – former Dean of Douglass College, Pamela Brug, M.D. – Medical Director of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, Julia Orlando – Director of the Bergen County Housing, Health and Human Services Center in Hackensack and Leslie Morris – licensed clinical social worker who founded and serves as CEO of Women of the Dream – an organization dedicated to improving the lives of girls and young women in underserved areas.

Tuesday’s business session included keynote speaker former Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, currently Executive Director of the Mercy Center in Asbury Park, Resolutions were passed along with Awards for Best All Around Reporting for the Community Service Programs.

Mary Schneider, Past President of the Gloucester County Woman’s Club & Convention Secretary announced the processional at Tuesday’s banquet of Past State President’s, Executive Committee Members and Club Presidents. The keynote speaker was Donna Roman Hernandez Owner/President of Violence Intervention and Prevention Specialists LLC, an educational training and consulting company. Donna also speaks every year at Girls’ Career Institute. Best All Around Reporting Awards were presented in 3 areas. The Cecelia Gaines Holland Award was given to Joelle Wentz from the GFWC Woman’s League of Mount Holly, and the Past State President’s Club gave $50 checks for bringing in new members to Holland Twp. Woman’s Club (12), Roxbury Woman’s Club & Woman’s Club of Upper Saddle River (15 each) and Woman’s Club of Wenonah (36). The first Carol J. Sas Awards were given with both of Carol’s children, Patti & Jason, in attendance. Recipient clubs were GFWC Woman’s Club of Runnemede, Woman’s Club of Parsippany Troy Hills and the Woman’s Club of Upper Montclair. Each club received $100. Jan Atwater of the Book and Needle Club was recognized for 50 consecutive Conventions attended. At 92, Jan serves her club as Historian, Bylaws Chairman and Parliamentarian

Wednesday Jean Revis read the in-memoriam for the past state board members and Deen Meloro read the in-memoriam for Marion Graham Arnao, Past State President 1990-1992. Honor Roll and Order of the Lily recipients were announced as was the winner of the Mega 50/50 Raffle. Joyce Donnelly from the Woman’s Club of Belleville received $4,135.00. Thank you for making this raffle a huge success.

To view/buy photos online (photos will be online for 90 days) go to:

For more information contact Jen James at 609-994-4886 or email

You can read about all the winners in the Convention Chatter found online on the website; click on Materials then ALMANAC.