An interview with our club member, Mary Ellen Laister, who is the new 2012-14 GFWC International President:
International President Mary Ellen Laister has been hard at work moving in and getting settled at GFWC Headquarters in Washington, D.C. We caught up with her to see how it's been going.
How has it been living and working at Headquarters so far?
I'm very comfortable in the apartment. It feels like home already. I've found the staff to be very warm, very willing to work, and very willing to work with me. It feels like a very comfortable place to be at this stage in my life.
What's been your biggest adventure?
Grocery shopping was a challenge! I'm used to shopping in Phoenix, where I drive to the store in A/C, buy whatever I want, and put the groceries in my trunk. On Tuesday, I walked all the way to Safeway with my little "granny cart" and barely made it back before the rains! It was a feat! But I found it was an exciting challenge, and I met it. I survived.
What are you most excited about for the next two years?
My goal is to increase public relations, membership, and leadership—that is the focal point of this administration. Wecan increase numbers, we can get better PR, and we canprovide the leadership this organization needs. We're going to do the job. It's that simple.
What do you see as your job here?
I'm just a clubwoman. I joined the Federation in 1966, and I never thought I would be here. It's true—any member can be the International President. My job is to do the business of GFWC, and to make it a better organization than it is today. I am fortunate and humbled to have the honor of being International President. I serve at the pleasure of GFWC members. That's my job.
(The interview and photo are courtesy of the GFWC International newsletter, News and Notes.)