Soroptimist Announces New President

Tustin, California, Resident Named President of Global Women’s Organization

September 2017
Contact: Kamali Brooks, Communications Manager, kamali@soroptimist.org

Philadelphia, PA —Beginning on September 1, 2017, Dawn Marie Lemonds of Tustin, Calif., will serve a one-year term as president of the board of directors for Soroptimist International of the Americas (SIA), a global volunteer organization of women who work to economically empower disadvantaged women and girls.

As president, Lemonds will oversee strategic planning and program development for the organization. She will also lead Soroptimist’s efforts to increase its collective impact in helping women and girls around the world to lead better lives. SIA economically empowers women through its Dream Programs, which provide women and girls with access to education.

"Education is the single biggest indicator in society that has taken people from poverty and despair to self-sufficiency and more meaningful existence," Lemonds said. "The benefit of educating women and girls has an exponential impact on their families and communities.

"I am so honored and pleased to have this opportunity to help steer Soroptimist. Working together toward common goals, and also having a great deal of fun while working, has brought immeasurable richness to my life."

Lemonds is a member of Soroptimist International of Newport Harbor Area, one of 1,300 SIA clubs. A member since 1982, she has held several leadership positions at all levels of the organization including Soroptimist International programme director; SIA board director; region governor; and club president and treasurer.

Lemonds retired in 2014 after serving as the director of the South Coast Region Project for the state of California. She holds a master of science degree from Cal State University, Fullerton, and a bachelor’s degree in social ecology from the University of California. In addition to her Soroptimist activities, Lemonds also serves as a board member of the Global Center for Women and Justice, and Peppermint Ridge. She also volunteers with the Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Tustin, and the Crystal Cove Alliance.

Headquartered in Philadelphia, Pa., Soroptimist (Soroptimist.org) improves the lives of disadvantaged women and girls through the work of volunteers in 20 countries and territories. Its Soroptimist Dream Programs ensure women and girls have access to the education and training they need to reach their full potential. The Live Your Dream: Education and Training Awards for Women provides cash grants for head-of-household women seeking to improve their lives with the help of education or training. Almost $30 million in awards has been disbursed to tens of thousands of women since the award-winning program began in 1972. Dream It, Be It: Career Support for Girls provides girls with tangible strategies to accomplish their career goals. A 501(c)(3) organization that relies on charitable donations to support its programs, Soroptimist also powers LiveYourDream.org—an online community that offers actionable volunteer opportunities in support of women and girls.

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