Cherie Lee Williams
Cherie Lee Williams is a vibrant leader who has found GFWC to be a wonderful outlet for her love of community service and her can-do attitude. As both the President of the Mesquite Club (Nevada) for 2016-2017, as well as a 2016 LEADS candidate, she quickly learned the value of making connections in order to bring positive change to the world.
How did you get involved with GFWC and your club?
I am a serial volunteer. At an event at the Las Vegas Country Club, I met a dynamic lady, Joan Powell, who is the current GFWC Nevada State President. We hit it off and she invited me to the Mesquite Club Holiday Luncheon, and I felt so welcome that I decided to join the club. She asked me to be the editor of their monthly newsletter, and it’s a position I still proudly hold.
Which club project has been the most important to you?
At the 2016 Annual Convention in Baltimore, I connected with the representative from Heifer International. I told her that I lived in Las Vegas, and we started talking about a Rock and Roll Marathon that was coming up. She told me about Team Heifer, so I joined and started asking for donations, ultimately raising $850. I plan to walk in the next Rock and Roll Marathon, and this time I hope to add more team members. Additionally, for our recent Western States Region Conference, I headed a Heifer International project and we raised $2,500 to purchase five cows for women in need. I am very proud of how the ladies stepped up to the plate.
When you follow your passion, it is not work, but a rewarding experience.
What was your biggest takeaway from your 2016 LEADS experience?
It was very inspiring because I got to meet ladies from all over, share ideas, and learn that the challenges and rewards of leadership are felt by others. As mothers, wives, and business owners, we are all leaders. LEADS helped me realize that we need to fine-tune those skills and develop them to further our passion, whether that means leading club members in a project or leading the community to join our club’s mission. In October, the Mesquite Club will host a leadership workshop that’s open to all ladies in the community. It’s meant to promote self-esteem, hone networking skills, and help you find your passion for a project that’s important to you. When you follow your passion, it is not work, but a rewarding experience.
What has been the most rewarding part about being a clubwoman?
I had the privilege to be president of the Mesquite Club for the 2016-2017 club-year. Even though you receive guidelines, it is still a learning process. I learned the art of delegation and how to let ladies take ownership of their projects. As the president of a club, it is your job to inspire members to create projects, implement them, and encourage the members and community to join in the work. When you engage the community, they take ownership and help with all aspects of the project, which is a win-win situation.
A leader must be inclusive, so I tried to include every member in projects, and to encourage them to pursue their passion and develop their own projects. It is never good to micromanage, as it constricts members. It’s also important to me to thank my members as often as possible. I let them know that I acknowledge their hard work and appreciate their efforts. We all need to know that we are valued, and we deserve a pat on the back now and then.
Melanie Carriker understands GFWC tradition and legacy. Daughter of GFWC Communications and PR Chairman Wendy Carriker, Melanie was inspired to form the GFWC Legacy Woman's Club, which celebrates the dedication of grandmothers, mothers, aunts, sisters, and cousins. The GFWC Legacy Club received its charter at the 2015 GFWC Annual Convention in Memphis.
Success For Survivors Scholarship
Each year, GFWC awards scholarships to help intimate partner abuse survivors obtain a post-secondary education that offers a chance to reshape their future by securing employment and gaining personal independence.
The Rochester Junior Women's Club
The Rochester Junior Women’s Club (Michigan) was established in 1956 with 16 members, and today has over 70 members that always come together to support one another. The club chooses three or four major charities to support and several smaller ones, donating approximately $30,000 each year. In total since its inception, the club has provided more than 1 million hours of community service, and raised more than $928,000 to support their community!