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Mary Ellen Laister

Mary Ellen Laister has successfully blended a 35-year career in the insurance business with her Federation volunteer activities, and currently serves as GFWC International President.

Mary Ellen first joined the GFWC Miami Junior Woman’s Club in Miami, Florida, and then transferred to the GFWC Narbeth Junior Woman's Club, where she was named Clubwoman of the Year. After moving to Arizona, she joined the GFWC Scottsdale Junior Woman's Club, served as the Federation Day Chairman, GFWC Las Noches Woman's Club President, and GFWC Arizona Central District President. She also served as Corresponding Secretary, Third Vice-President, Second Vice-President, President-elect, and President of GFWC Arizona (1996-1998). Mary Ellen established the GFWC Arizona Past President's Tree Grove in Tempe. Mary Ellen was GFWC Arizona Community Improvement Program Chairman, FREE Enterprise Chairman for three terms, GFWC Arizona Junior mentor for four terms, and Ball Chairman for a three-year term. 

As a member of the GFWC Board, Mary Ellen served as Treasurer, Recording Secretary, Second Vice-President, First Vice-President, President-elect, Strategic Planning Committee Chairman, and previously held positions on the GFWC International Hostess and Membership committees, and served as Budget and Finance Committee Chairman.

In addition to her volunteer work, Mary Ellen is a member of King of Glory Lutheran Church; a past member of Zonta International of the East Valley; a past president of PROFIT Executive Club; past president and three-term ball committee chairman of The GOVERNORS; and past trustee of St. Luke's Health Initiative. 

A graduate of Walsh College in Miami, Florida, Mary Ellen has been married to Mel for 45 years. They have one married son and granddaughter.


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