Zonta Installs New Officers, Names Zontian of the Year

Outgoing Zonta president Jorja Harris (l) presents a bouquet of Zonta yellow roses to newly installed Judy Penman, who is serving her third non-consecutive term as president of Zonta Club of SCV. Courtesy photo
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Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley installed Judy Penman as its new president for 2017-18, honored outgoing President Jorja Harris and named super-active club member Barbara Meyer as Zontian of the Year at the group’s annual installation dinner recently at the Tournament Players Club in Valencia.

Zontian of the Year Barbara Meyer shows off the trophy she received as Zontian of the Year for 2016-17. Meyer’s introduction as Zontian of the Year highlighted the recent installation dinner for Zonta Club of SCV. Courtesy photo

Meyer has served the club as club treasurer and Zonta Foundation treasurer in recent years and has been active on almost every committee for Zonta. “She can be seen at every Zonta event—as a chair or helping where needed to make sure the event is successful,” says one of her several nominations. “She is interested in making our community the best, and to help others succeed.”

“She always volunteers, particularly for positions no one else is willing to do,” says another nomination. “With her positive attitude, she embodies the true Zonta spirit.” She has been actively involved in Zonta’s Tribute, Lunafest and fundraising committees and has worked tirelessly on membership and social projects such as the Celebration of Life, Reyes Summer Social, Sock Hop and Zonta Zing.  She has been helping with Zonta’s LifeForward workshops this year as well.

“Barbara works really hard and always is there to support everyone,” her nomination papers say. “When asked, her answer is always ‘yes’—whether she is part of the committee or not. She cares about people in general and more specifically Zonta members and Zonta’s mission.

Zonta Club of SCV Foundation board members installed at the recent dinner include (l-r) Francine Fiel, Suzie Alziebler, Cathy Gundy, Christine Sexton, Jorja Harris, Barbara Meyer, Judy Penman and Sue Hayward. Not shown is Adele Macpherson. Courtesy photo

Other nominations mention her dedication and support of all Zonta programs and her willingness to step into leadership positions. She currently serves as a trustee and treasurer of Zonta Foundation and has been active in membership outreach, including interacting with College of the Canyons about forming a Golden Z club at the local community college.

In addition to her Zonta activities, Barbara is involved with the Child & family Center, Single Mothers Outreach, Domestic violence Center and Bridge to Home. She is at every Zonta business meeting, greeting and checking in attendees electronically, a process she created.

Incoming club officers installed at Zonta Club of SCV’s installation dinner include (l-r) Marguerite Berg, secretary; April Schwartz, treasurer; Phyllis Walker, second vice president/membership; Gloria Mercado-Fortine, first vice president/programs; and Jorja Harris, president-elect. Courtesy photo

Zontian of the Year is selected from member nominations. The final winner is selected not only for her leadership in Zonta, but also in the way she represents the club in the local community. The final selection committee is composed of former honorees.

Penman was installed as Zonta president by Installing Officer Sharon Langenbeck, a Zonta International vice president and two-time recipient of Zonta’s Amelia Earhart Fellowship for women pursuing upper level degrees in aerospace and aeronautics–a member of the local club as well as an international dignitary. Penman chose “Cohesiveness, Camaraderie and Compassion” as her theme for the upcoming year.

Other officers and board members installed at the annual dinner include Jorja Harris, president-elect; Gloria Mercado-Fortine, first vice president/programs; Phyllis Walker, second vice president/membership; April Schwartz, treasurer; and Marguerite Berg, secretary. Incoming directors include Patrice Rifkind, Ronnie Erickson, Beth Heiserman, Alicia Estrada and Debbie Blakely. Newly installed Nominating Committee members are Nancy Tucker, Peggy Edwards and Susan Hayward.

Newly installed directors for Zonta Club of SCV include (l-r) Beth Heiserman, Debbie Blakely, Alicia Estrada, Ronnie Erickson and Patrice Rifkind. Jorja Harris will also serve on the club board as immediate past president. Courtesy photo

The evening also served as installation for SCV Zonta Foundation trustees, who include Barbara Meyer, Adele Macpherson, Christine Sexton, Susan Hayward, Suzie Alziebler, Francine Fiel, Cathy Gundy, Jorja Harris and Judy Penman.

Outgoing President Jorja Harris was saluted for the club’s outstanding accomplishments under her leadership in the 2016-17 club year. She noted that the SCV club is one of only two Zonta clubs in the world that has donated $50,000 or more to Zonta International during the current biennium. Karen Maleck-Whiteley, who chaired this year’s Installation Committee, was the club’s first president who served a biennial term, and the local club has reverted to one-year terms for officers since 2016.

City Council member Marsha McLean (r), also a Zonta member, presents the City of Santa Clarita’s certificate of recognition to outgoing Zonta President Jorja Harris, one of a number of certificates Harris received from the area’s elected officials at Zonta’s annual installation dinner. Courtesy photo

Theme for Wednesday evening’s installation program was “She’s Hot,” celebratingPenman’s infatuation with chilies, the hotter the better.  The “fake” theme utilized on the event invitation saluted Penman’s interest in making jellies with local fruits. Following Zonta tradition, the installation dinner is organized by a committee composed of all of the club’s active past presidents, and is chaired by last year’s president. All past presidents also donated door prizes, which were awarded to guests throughout the evening.






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