Past Events/Footnotes

Branch Meeting – January 2020 

STEM – Fulton Elementary Robotics Club
Lori Ruff, Robotics Coach, Chandler Unified School District Community Education 

Although the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) studies has been discussed for a number of years, girls still often face challenges to overcome barriers in public schools in STEM fields. Lori Ruff is the Robotics coach for CUSD Community Education. A retired engineer with 28 years’ experience, she now teaches Intro to Robotics and Competition Robotics to students in grades 4-8. She also coaches competitive elementary, middle school and high school robotics teams through her educational robotics company. 

With a goal of inspiring girls’ interest in STEM studies, Ruff coaches her students’ participation in competitive robotics challenges that build confidence while promoting technical, presentation and communication and teamwork skills. 


As the first generation in her family to go to college, Ruff worked hard at her studies and career. Her varied experiences taught her “being an engineer is fun.” So when the Fulton principal wanted to offer more hands-on science with a focus on robotics, Ruff stepped up to the challenge of structuring the program to share that fun while teaching valuable skills that build confidence.

Ruff’s first group of 16 had just four girls. “About half of college-educated people are women, but only one-quarter of those are in STEM fields,” Ruff noted. “I work to inspire girls’ interest in STEM. The girls I am teaching now are going to be the problem-solvers of their generation.”

Participants learn about gears, friction and simple machines as they design and build motorized devices as competition entries in local, regional and national robotics contests. Last year one of her teams brought home an award from a national competition. 

“If you have a STEM background, talk to your local schools and get involved,” Ruff urged. “Be role models. Girls today need that.”


Branch Meeting- November, 2019

Reimagined–Women’s Health Interventions
Ada Anaeme, PT, MHS, Director for Rehabilitation
Dignity Health – Arizona East Valley Hospitals

Physical Therapists use their musculoskeletal and educational skills to evaluate and treat female clients, and patients promoting and enhancing their pelvic health and quality of life (QOL) throughout the life span. Now a full-time administrative leader at Dignity Health’s Arizona Division , Ada Anaeme has gained more than 30 years of experience as a physical therapist in her native Nigeria, England and Michigan before moving to Arizona two years ago.


Anaeme believes that “at the center of patient care lies the patient, who should always be the absolute focus of attention,”by bringing attention to the role of physical therapy in treating a subject sometimes couched in embarrassment – women’s pelvic dysfunction ranging from incontinence and overactive bladder to pelvic pain, prolapsed organs and more.

Noting these problems can affect all ages of women (and men, too), Anaeme said “a lot of women struggle with it and it’s always hidden.” But with her attitude of “knowledge is power,” Anaeme aims to shed light on treatments for these “life-altering problems that can cause anxiety, depression and pain.”

Urging women to add physical therapy to the standard options of medication and sometimes surgery, she said physical therapists can pursue behavioral, education and physical solutions for pelvic floor issues. She passed along her advice for those suffering from these conditions:
“Don’t accept the problem as normal, tell your doctor about your pelvic floor issues, and ask to see a pelvic floor physical therapist.”

“PT is a non-invasive, conservative approach,”Anaeme said. “It’s low cost and low risk. Consider it as a first step, not a last resort.”                                –Report by Debra Austin 

RESOURCE LIST: Female Pelvic Health & Dysfunction   supplied by Ana Anaeme
The American Physical Therapy Association
Women’s Health Resource Directory
Section on Women’s Health
Arizona Physical Therapy Pelvic Floor Provider Directory
The International Pelvic Pain Society
The National Vulvodynia Association
US Pain Foundation
American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology
American Urogynecologic Society
National Association for Continence
National Lymphedema Network
International Continence Society

Branch Meeting-October, 2019

Chandler Unified School District Bond Issue — Explained
Lana Berry
CUSD Chief Financial Officer

Due to illness, our scheduled speaker cancelled her presentation.  Lana Berry, Chief Financial Officer, Chandler Unified School District , kindly stepped in at the last minute to discuss the  2019 Bond Issue, voters are currently considering to approve. 

Berry started with a brief lesson on how  public education is financed in Arizona.  The Arizona Legislature includes in their yearly budget a certain dollar amount for education but funds are short or non-existent  for Capital Improvements, thus the District needs to submit a Bond Override Issue for voters’ approval. 

Chandler continues to be one of the fastest growing cities in Arizona and the second largest district in the state.   CUSD is projected to add 300 students a year for the next several years to the current 45,000 students.  In order to continue to provide an excellent education and maintain low teacher-pupil ratio, bond monies will be applied to additional classrooms, related furniture, technology  and equipment.  Proposed Capital Improvements outlined in a distributed Fact Sheet included:  $225,500,000 for Construction, acquisition, additions and/or improvements to new and existing schools.  $25,000,000  for Purchase of air conditioned buses.  $31,750,000 for Purchase of technology, furniture, equipment and miscellaneous, school  furnishings.  $8,000,000 for Construction, acquisition, additions and/or improvement to new and existing administrative facilities including technology, furniture and equipment. 

Berry shared the many academic accomplishments of the CUSD including a four-year graduation rate of 92.2% and answered many questions about education finances and administration issues in Arizona.  The projected bond tax rate in fiscal year 2018-2019 will be approimately the same as last fiscal year .

Ballots were mailed October 9,  last date to mail in ballot is October 31,  and Election Day is November 5.  The CUSD District Office located on 1525 W. Frye Road is a polling site.  

Branch Meeting-April, 2019

The Impact of Humor and Joy in Our Lives
Dr. Nancy Yeaman
Psycholgist & Comedienne

Dr. Nancy Yeaman, a clinical psychologist of 30 years, is in private practice in the East Valley. She provides treatment for a variety of conditions including anxiety, depression, chronic pain and brain injury recovery using  a strategic way to improve coping strategies and mood management skills.  Yeaman strives to help people develop a more positive mood and outlook on life.  She believes that “laughing more is living better.”    Utilizing her skills as a comedienne and author, Yeaman  has emphasized how laughter strategies will help people heal, realease endorphins, counteract anxiety  and increase the immune system.


Yeaman encouraged us to have a ‘fun plan’ every week rather than wait for fun to happen spontaneously.  She introduced us to a ‘silly’ bingo game in which members had to interview each other to fill in the squares to win silly prizes.  Moving about the room, asking each other silly questions was a great mixer and relief from sitting quietly in our chairs.

Branch Meeting-March, 2019

Artistic & Education Outreach Programs
Michelle MacLennan, General Manager,
Chandler Center for the Arts

Chandler Center for the Arts, is located in on Arizona Avenue in Chandler, and is jointly owned by the City of Chandler and the Chandler Unified School District. The Chandler Center for the Arts functions dually as the home theater for Chandler High School and the arts center for the City of Chandler.

Michelle Mac Lennan joined the Chandler Center for the Arts in 1999 and became the General Manager in July of 2014. She also serves as the President of the Chandler Cultural Foundation. Michelle was recognized as a 2006 fellow with the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust which honors the top non-profit executives in Maricopa County. She is the immediate Past President for the Arizona Presenters Alliance a consortium of arts presenters that bring artistic programs to rural communities in Arizona. She was recognized by the Phoenix Business Journal as one of the 30 Outstanding Women in Business in 2016.


The Chandler Center of the Arts is celebrating its 30th Anniversary as the only collaborating organization model in the country in its joint function with Chandler Unified School District.  100,000 students have participated in the joint art program  and over 1000 events have been offered to the public.  A new project has been launched with a $106,000 grant to broaden the impact of the Center on the community.  A survey of 11,000 past and current audiences changed the marketing focus from printed flyers to 77% digital and specific marketing by type.  ‘Not everything to everybody’.  These changes have resulted in a 45% increase in attendance.   There will also be physical renovations in the property and greater promotion of learning and educational assessment of current programs.  As transportation is difficult for Title I schools, the Center will go to the schools.  The community is welcome to utilize the Center’s website to find out about these innovations, upcoming community events and volunteer opportunities.

International Dinner 2019

A Personal Reflection

                                                                                                by Margaret Noser 

This writer attended the annual International Dinner on February 18, 2019, at Palo Verde Country Club with the expectations of a good meal, congenial conversation and an interesting speaker. Co-Chairs Marylou Remley and Pat Noack selected a menu offering three entrees giving diners a nice choice. Table seating and a good turnout of members and guests provided great social opportunities.

While the first two expectations were enjoyed as expected, I then found myself transported back into an undergraduate lecture hall in the 60’s as Colin Tetreault, ASU College of Sustainability, made his presentation on ‘Equality’. Tetreault used a relaxed speaking style of moving about the room and involving the audience, encouraging them to ask questions. However, he changed focus abruptly many times making it difficult to follow his reasoning: history of Phoenix, Haiti, past presidents’ impact, brief history of Arizona starting at the Civil War, air quality, equality  directly related to income. Perhaps if I could have seen the slides projected high up on a side wall outside of my range of vision, I would have been able to track him better. The next day reviewing my written notes and preparing to write a news article, I realized I had nothing cohesive to report.

Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised by my ‘flashback; as Tetreault labels himself Executive Hippie” on his business card!

Branch Meeting-January, 2019

Arizona’s Foster Children Get a Helping Hand
Dan Shufelt, CEO, Arizona Helping Hands

Arizona Helping Hands, a non-profit organization was formed in 1998, and has served tens of thousands of needy children; providing essential needs to boys and girls in foster care in Arizona. Besides basic needs, this largest Arizona program also fulfills birthday dreams and a Holiday Toy Drive. 

Dan Shufelt, a long time resident of Arizona, has experienced great benefits through the satisfaction of helping others. His whole family including children and grandchildren have been involved and see the importance of charitable work. He is eager to share their experiences on “changing a life.”


Currently there are 15,000 Arizona children in the foster care system (birth to 21 years) served by:  licensed foster homes, group homes, and family relatives.  Although Helping Hands serves all of these groups, Shufelt shared many touching stories of grandparents finding themselves suddenly in positions of raising young children.  Families come from all over the valley.  In 2018, 3338 new children beds & cribs Including all bedding  were distributed.  Holiday Toy Drive’s first year served 50 children; in 2018, 6500 children.  The Birthday Dreams program has grown to 2800 in 2018; an opportunity for a child to have a special day. 

Helping Hands has corporate sponsors but the biggest support is the AZ Foster Children Tax Credit.  Ninety cents of every dollar goes to services.  In nine months they have reached 2/3  of their $3 Million Capitol Campaign goal allowing them to move into their new 18,000 sq.ft. warehouse facilities in November 2018.  

Branch Meeting-November, 2018

Empowering Independent Living
 Ann Marie McArthur, CEO, About Care

About Care is a non-profit organization that delivers compassionate support services using insured trained volunteers with special concern for elderly and physically challenged residents of Chandler, Gilbert and Queen Creek. About Care’s free support services include transportation, shopping and errands, respite care, case management, friendly visits, reassurance phone calls and minor home repairs.

Ann Marie McArthur, hired by About Care as the Executive Director/CEO in October, 2008, has lived in Chandler Arizona for more than 35 years. Prior to working at About Care she served as the Executive Director of the Mental Health Association of Arizona. McArthur explained that the goal is to encourage and enable independent living by assisting our neighbors to continue living in their homes with self-respect and independence. Of the 469 clients currently being served, 85% are women. Volunteers pick and choose the services they want that fit with their schedule.

Branch Meeting-October, 2018

AZCEND: Helping People Move from Crisis to Stability

 Trinity Donovan

AZCEND, founded in 1966, is a nonprofit that helps people move from crisis to stability and ultimately to prosperity through comprehensive services including a food bank, early literacy programs, and emergency assistance. Trinity Donovan has worked in nonprofit leadership positions for the past 19 years focusing on hunger and homelessness, early childhood, senior programs, financial stability, domestic violence, and youth development. Donovan also served two terms as a Council Member for the City of Chandler. A graduate of Chandler High School, she holds a bachelor’s degree in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, and a master’s degree in Sociology – both from Stanford University.


The AZCEND program has grown over the years in size and services offered to transform lives. 
–Food Bank: Over 16,537 food boxes enough to feed 61,496 people for at least 3 days. Client participation on average is 4-6 times a year. Hunger impacts many aspects of people’s ability to work, to learn, to function.
–Meal Delivery: 68,361 meals served to senior centers in Chandler and Gilbert. Also home delivery which allows seniors to remain in their own homes.
–Childhood Literacy: Child/Parent programs for 3 to 5 year olds, meeting for two hours, twice a week. Coordination with other community programs such as STEM. Encourage parents to take additional classes in parenting.
–New expansion in Gilbert, bringing medical and financial services including thirteen funding sources to assist with rent and utilities to avoid homelessness. Case Managers are available to teach skills to manage unplanned events.
–Homeless Services: able to serve up to 25 men/women a dinner & a bed each night. Also helping clients find housing, get a lease and structure paying bills on time to encourage financial stability. The faster a client gets placed, the less likely to become long-term homeless.
–The organization is over 1000 volunteers strong providing 32,000 hours of service. Lots of reward as clients are ‘able to graduate’ into independence. Always need volunteers; more information go to


Branch Meeting – April, 2018

Water Management in Arizona 

Jeff Tannler 
Arizona Department of Water Resources 

Jeff Tannler’s  responsibilities include water resource planning, policy development, water rights administration and staff oversight for the five Active Management Areas (AMAs statewide).  Tannler began work with ADWR in 1988 in Tucson AMA office.  Water is always an important issue in the desert, but water rights have been in the headlines almost daily. And as we found out in March, the Arizona Legislature is currently debating many ‘water rights’ bills.


Tannler shared a wealth of information and statistics on the complex condition of Arizona’s water. He reviewed the history of water conservation and control in Arizona; sources of water (groundwater, surface, reclaimed); and types of needs (rural, urban, tribal, wildlife). Uses of surface water includes municipal 21%, industrial 5%, agricultural 74%, tribal 32%, wildlife .6% . He also outlined the Groundwater Management Act which attempts to control severe groundwater depletion; set mandatory conservation requirements; develop an assured water supply program. Various factions with strong differences of opinion including adjourning states, at times has ended in state legislatures and the courts.

Since water is such a complex issue the readers are recommended to visit: Or you can contact Tannler at


Branch Meeting – March, 2018

Making a Difference for Arizona’s Environment

Sandy Bahr, Director
Grand Canyon Chapter, Sierra Club

Sandy Bahr is an advocate for environmental protection and has worked actively on Arizona issues for the past twenty-seven years, both as a volunteer and as staff for various organizations. She is a familiar face at the Arizona legislature and state and federal agencies. In addition, she is responsible for conducting research, developing and implementing priority projects, fund-raising, budget development and supervising staff.


Bahr reported that water is key issue in the Arizona Legislature this year with a bill to weaken cultural resources and develop state control of the water program.  Currently Arizona has five active water management areas with controls on use of ground water; however, outside those areas there is no control.  For example Mohave County has huge issues on water use for agriculture including crops that are shipped to other countries.  The battle between developers and farmers often ignores the needs of preserving water for rivers and wildlife.

Bahr encouraged members to speak out on environmental issues using their right to speak on legislative bills.  She reviewed the process of a bill becoming a law and the frequent use of ‘striker bills’ in which committee hearings are eliminated and a previously ‘dead’ bill is passed without public comment unless citizens are ever vigilant .


International Dinner, 2018

American Citizenship:  The Elusive Dream?

 A full house of members and guests (including 20 husbands) experienced a stimulating evening on February 19, 2018, at the Palo Verde Dining Room for the annual International Affairs Event.  Dinner was delicious, the decorations colorful and the featured speaker was outstanding. 

 Josh De La Ossa, spoke on “American Citizenship: The Elusive Dream?“,  in a competent, non-partisan way about what is currently happening with the immigration issue, based on his own experience in this field as a lawyer.  He carefully presented the history of immigration and its impact on  current struggles and confusion.  He also outlined the difference between regular immigration and the current refugee program which has its own set of problems.  De La Ossa’s use of concrete examples made complicated issues easy to grasp, and cut through the rhetoric.

Kudos to the Committee of Holly DeVinck, Marcia Wagoner,  Gail Jones and Sharon Gale, for organizing this very successful evening .    As an additional bonus, Sharon Gale raised $200 for the Local Scholarship Fund with the sale of her colorful cards. paragraph_separator

Branch Meeting -January, 2018

Women’s Health in the Trump Era

Jodi Liggett, VP for Public Affairs
Planned Parenthood Advocates

Jodi Liggett is Vice President for Public Affairs of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, a 501(c)4 for organizing, lobbying, election support and voter education. Liggett has been involved in Arizona goverment for years, and most recently served as senior policy advisor for Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. She has a continuing role as Chair of the Phoenix Women’s Commission. She has been a good friend of AAUW for many years.


Founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger was a nurse who endured jail time 101 years ago to ensure women’s reproductive rights. Contraception was illegal for much of our lives and required a ruling by U.S. Supreme Court even for a married couple to use it. Republicans used to believe in pregnancy prevention. Peggy and Barry Goldwater were supporters of birth control. Title X – family planning education through contraception was passed and promoted by President Richard Nixon.

However, for the past twenty years, Republicans have passed multiple restrictive laws to weaken Planned Parenthood and deny women the ability to make their own health decisions. Numerous Medicaid women in rural areas use Planned Parenthood for their complete health care because it is the only clinic available for miles yet several clinics in Indiana were closed due to elimination of state funding by then Gov. Mike Pence. Gov. Ducey prevented state employees from setting up automatic payroll donations to Planned Parenthood. Many laws are eventually ruled unconstitutional by the courts but the taxpayers pay the price… in attorney fees…$2 million in five years.

The Trump administration is actively attempting to repeal Title X; Trump appointees are pushing abstinence for family planning, which does not work particularly for the young. These attacks on women’s reproductive health resulted in 8000 new Planned Parenthood supporters in the first year of Donald Trump’s administration. Every supporter is needed as the attacks continue in states across the country.


Branch Meeting – November, 2017

Shelter for Children Who Have Been Involved
in Sex Trafficking

Lori Regnier, VP
 Starbright Foundation

The Starbright Foundation offers free services to victims of trafficking and family members. It works in conjunction with other agencies that work with children in need.   Lori Regnier, one of Arizona’s top ‘Women of Courage’,  focused on the prevention of modern day slavery, the issue of sex trafficking increases in our community and how we can make a difference. Currently she works with law enforcement to help children victims of sex trafficking, infant to 17 years, and the recovery of missing children and runaways. Regnier  cautioned us about the danger of cell phones and social media.


Writer was not able to attend program due to illness. The following information was gathered from the Starbright Foundation’s website.

“Starbright provides the following services to Valley youth that have been exposed to domestic violence, sex trafficking, abuse, pornography or neglect:
♦Advocacy provided for victims of child abuse and crimes such as sex trafficking, pornography, sexual abuse, ritual abuse, neglect, domestic violence and sextortion in all areas where support is needed.
♦Counseling to child abuse victims and families
♦Starbright “House of Hope” is for victims of child abuse and or trafficking and foster children in our Valley. It is a place where children are served and treated with the highest of value.
♦Education for public schools, private, churches, first responders, scouting troops, medical professionals, service groups and other child welfare organizations on issues surrounding sex trafficking prevention, dangers of social media/cell phones/video games and chat rooms for children and young adults. To schedule a training please email:
♦Support groups for foster and kinship parents.
♦Self Defense… classes for groups of children to teach them personal safety skills.”paragraph_separator

Branch Meeting –October, 2017

We Are All Neighbors

Eric Ehst
Executive Director, Neighbors Who Care

Neighbors Who Care, a provider of innovative practices of cost-effective community-based solutions to allow our senior population to “age in place” with dignity, was the focus of Eric Ehst’s presentation. He has an extensive history of civic service and nonprofit management including serving on national boards, and presenting nonpartisan programs on voter initiatives.


With six years experience as NWC representative, Ehst particularly enjoys speaking to AAUW branches when invited because its members are intelligent, educated and involved. Neighbors Who Care (NWC) grew from a few caring Sun Lakes residents helping the elders in their neighborhoods to 20,000 volunteer hours, serving 650 seniors on average in a year, in the area between Price Road to Val Vista Rd and Hunt Hwy to Queen Creek Rd. Forty percent of the clients are over 85 years old and need quite a bit of help. The oldest client, at 104 years, recently moved into a group home after 17 years of assistance from NWC. NWC funding includes various community and state grants and private donations. Proud that NWC is very cost effective in its operations.

As the population ages, more volunteers are needed, particularly longer distance drivers. Hours are flexible and no minimum is required. Services include: transportation to 45,000 doctors’ appointments; meal deliveries, including free meals to low income residents; and work with hospital/rehab facilities to facilitate a safe adjustment to returning home, particularly if no family in area. New programs for 2018 include hosting fall prevention classes and nutrition training for cardiac patients.



Branch Meeting – April, 2017

Arizona Charter School Accountability

 Jim Hall
Founder of Arizonans for Charter School Accountability 

Jim Hall is a fourth generation Phoenician and was a principal in Arizona for 23 years serving in the Fowler, McNary, and Washington Elementary school districts. He founded Arizonans for Charter School Accountability three years ago and has worked to expose the waste, fraud, and corruption that plagues many Arizona charter schools. The organization recently released two reports on charter school classroom spending in 2016 finding that 191 Arizona charter schools are efficiently run and spend more money in the classroom than on administration and facilities combined. A majority of charter schools, however, spend less on classroom instruction than on administration and buildings. Hall concludes that “ The Arizona Auditor General needs to monitor charter spending and the Arizona Board for Charter Schools needs to sanction charter schools that divert public funds to corporate profits at the expense of children in the classroom.”


Hall shared a great deal of specific statistics about Arizona charter schools including the following summary of his research  and a basic PowerPoint presentation on Charter Schools (reprinted with Hall’s permission.)

ACSA Research Summary 2016
The Consequences of Unmonitored Charter Schools:
A first time look at Arizona charter school spending reveals massive waste, fraud and corruption.  (click on title above)

ACSA Presentation on Arizona Charter Schools

Hall also updated articles on Charter Schools with current collected data on our “Discussion Topics” page.


Annual Branch Meeting-  March, 2017

Maintaining a Healthy Estate Plan

Becky Cholewka
Estate Planning & Probate Law

Becky Cholewka is founder of Cholewka Law in downtown Gilbert. One of the biggest mistakes Cholewka sees in estate planning is not keeping documents up to date. Revocable trusts, wills, and powers of attorney are living documents that need to be maintained.  They must meet federal law and laws can change thus, should be reviewed yearly.  


Snowbirds need two sets of documents as states have different laws.  For example, Health Care Power of Attorney is state specific. She recommends having 3 people listed to cover all circumstances.  HEPA is an universal form –not specific to one doctor or institution.   Financial Power of Attorney designates someone to sign you name on a legal document.  Arizona allows a Beneficiary Deed which when signed before death, passes the home to your designee after presenting a death certificate.  

Cholewka recommends consulting with a specialized estate planning attorney to establish a Revocable Trust.   On-line documents might not do what you not give advice on these complex issues and can result in vague or incorrect information requiring  your heirs to go to court.  Arizona offers good inheritance protection and if established in Arizona would apply even if an individual has residency in another state.   IRAs can be placed inside a Trust. Special needs trust can be created within the Trust.  Establishing a Trust can be expensive: $4500 for an individual;  $6500 for a couple but will cover all the numerous documents needed.  


 International Dinner, 2017

Total Immersion into the Refugee Experience

The African Refugee Experience was the theme of the annual International Dinner, held on February 20, 2017, at Palo Verde Country Club. One hundred and five paid attendees enjoyed a “total immersion” experience: visiting with refugees from Somalia and Democratic Republic of Congo; viewing a mask display created by Sharon Gale and a display of Makonde sculpture from East Africa; and enjoying food that is familiar to us and also to Africans.

Sharon Gale found a variety of pictures of African Masks on Google. She drew and painted them on poster board.. Then she researched the country and tribe that the masks were from and attached that information to the mask. After the painting was done she laminated it, then attached palm leaves, feathers, or beads depending on what the original mask looked like. After all was done she glue gunned the mask to a foam board . Sharon had a great time painting them all.











Katie Hartle, last year’s local scholarship winner, brought members up-to-date on her college aspirations. [Read more about Katie .] Also, Gale’s masks were available to take home at the end of the evening in return for a donation to the Local Scholarship fund. Including the ‘Have a Heart’ promotion, approximately $500 was raised. 

Somalian women with Judi Edmonds

Displaying colorful slides, Judi Edmonds spoke briefly about who refugees are, the vetting process, how refugees get to Arizona and what happens to them once they arrive. Samia Musse, refugee, personalized that process with the story of her family’s 22-year journey from Somalia to Saudi Arabia to Libya, through war-torn cities and a sparse refugee camp and finally to America. She spoke of their joy when they heard they had been chosen to settle in the U. S.
A children’s choir from the Congolese church concluded the evening with a delightful performance. Everyone left feeling both informed and entertained.          -Judi Edmonds,  Co-Chair

paragraph_separator Branch Meeting – January, 2017

Crime Prevention and Awareness

Ray Stanifer
Sheriff’s Posse Deputy Commander

Roy Stanifer , an Arizona native, has spent a lifetime in law enforcement. He has been with the Sheriff’s Posse for just over 20 years with the last 2+ years in Sun Lakes, serving as Training Officer and now as the Deputy Commander. Stanifer also holds a full time job working as a Police Dispatch Supervisor with the Maricopa County Community College Police Department.
He shared a wealth of information on various threats to our security and safety.  

                           Sun Lakes Posse – Information  480-895-8751               9531 E. Riggs Rd. Sun Lakes
Maricopa Sheriff’s Office- Crime Stop 602-876-1011
Headquarters- 550 W. Jackson St., Phoenix


Common Fraud Themes:
Mail Theft-  Both incoming and outgoing mail can be stolen from mailbox.  Checks can be washed to remove payee and cashed.  Thieves can also obtain credit card & Social Security information.  Don’t use your Flag when putting out mail;  Better yet drop directly at Post Office.
Advance Fee Scam–  “You won a great prize but to collect your winnings you must pay a fee/taxes up front.”  Perhaps contacted a second time.  The prize never comes.
Bank Examiner– Call claiming to be police or investigating embezzlement authority, asked you to withdraw cash from your bank so officer can watch bank employees.  Asked to give cash to ‘detective’ who will return to bank; instead disappears with the money.
Home Repair- Suspects go door to door offering a great deal on yard work, painting, roof repair, etc.  Usually materials and work is inferior.  Asks for money to buy supplies or more work than anticipated.  Can either disappear before completed. Or be very intimidating in demanding money.
Distraction/Imposter- Suspects come to door claiming to be from city or county agency such was water/power and needs you to come out your house. While distracted, a accomplish  goes into your house and steal cash/valuables.

If it sounds to good to be true  –  IT PROBABLY IS!   If you feel uneasy, DO NOT PARTICIPATE.  Call Police.  Ask questions and do your research – background checks, Registrar’s Bureau, BBB.

Home Burglary
Light up your Residence;  Turn on outside lights at dusk and leave on overnight.  Use motion lights.  Use timers while away for extended period of time.
Lock your doors and windows at all times;    Use 3″ screws in your strike face of your deadbolt to reach the stud.  CLOSE YOUR GARAGE DOOR!!  Use window locks.  DO NOT keep spare keys under doormats or planters or ‘fake rocks’.  Trim trees/shrubs around home.  Draw the curtains and blinds at night and when gone.  

Vehicle  Safety-
Lock your doors and windows.  Do NOT leave valuables visible at any time.  Do NOT leave your garage door opener in your vehicle particularly if parked in driveway.  Look at your vehicle inside and out as you approach it.  Park in well-lit areas at night.  Do NOT leave running if you’re not in it.  Be alert at all times.  NEVER let a stranger use your phone; offer to make the call for them.

Call Police when you see something suspicious.
Material provided by “Safety Briefing” presented by The Sun Lakes Sheriff’s Posse.


Branch Meeting – November, 2016

Women’s Rights in the U.S. and the Rest of the World

Diane Post
Attorney & Author

Dianne Post has been an attorney for over 36 years. For 18 years, she practiced family law in the Phoenix area representing battered women and molested children in family and juvenile courts. Since 1998, she has been doing international human rights work mainly in gender-based violence. She has lived in five countries and worked in fourteen. Post will be returning to Cambodia soon for the ABA to observe the trial of a human rights defender.


Post shared with members an overwhelming amount of statistics about women and families collected by a variety of organizations and agencies–how the U.S. ranked in the world on the gender gap, maternal mortality, political empowerment, education attainment, income, and happiness. The agencies or organizations conducting the studies varied in items used to determine  rank. The U.S. ranked in the middle on the majority of studies, with embarrassing low ranks in some, i.e. ‘Health and Survival’, ‘Child Poverty’. Change is extremely slow. Outcomes are not just lack of opportunity, but what the citizens value in that society. paragraph_separator

Branch Meeting – April, 2016

The Ancient Hohokam Indians of Southern Arizona

Ann Howard

State Historic Preservation Office

Ann Howard, introduced us to the lives and accomplishments of the Hohokums — Arizona’s ancient peoples. She is a professional archaeologist who serves as the Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer for the Arizona State Historic Preservation Office, a subdivision of Arizona State Parks. Howard supervises the archaeology staff, focuses on providing technical assistance and advice to state and federal agencies on their compliance with relevant historic preservation laws. She also oversees the annual, statewide celebration of Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month and works with a large and diverse group of partners to host the Arizona Archaeology Expo – a unique, outdoor educational Fair that focuses on making the public aware of the importance of protecting and conserving our heritage resources.


The ancient Hohokam peoples were agriculturalists who lived along the rivers near Tucson and developed a 1000 mile irrigation system, the largest in the New World, without metal tools.
It was so sophisticated that it became a map for modern irrigation paths and is still visible in a few areas of Arizona. The system included distribution canals which circulated water out into the fields.

Archaeologists explored their Trash Mounds to uncover information about their families and living conditions. In Pre-classic times, their home were individual family pit houses arranged in courtyard groups. Later times, individual homes change into apartment dwellings with Great Houses as meeting places.  Not sure what caused the collapse of their society…warfare, floods, overpopulation? Some perhaps migrated to Hopi mesas.

Site Preservation Program was started in 1986 to stop looting and vandalism. Nine hundred trained volunteers monitor over 2700 sites. In 2012 they also completed over 3200 hours of public outreach. The public can help by encouraging lawmakers to establish stronger penalties for looters and vandals.


Branch Meeting – March, 2016

Encouraging Girls in STEM

Joan Koerber-Walker

President & CEO of Arizona Bioscience & Medical Technology Industry

Joan Koerber-Walker  presented the challenges and opportunities for girls and women in bioscience in Arizona. She described her work with teen girls promoting interest in science leading to the confidence and excitement of pursuing careers in science. The Arizona BioIndustry Association (AZBio) serves as the unified voice of the bioscience industry in Arizona striving to make Arizona a place where bioscience organizations can grow and succeed. Active in the entrepreneurial and investment communities, Koerber-Walker also serves as Chairman of the Board of the Opportunity Through Entrepreneurship Foundation which provides entrepreneurial education, mentoring and support to at-risk members of the community; is on the Board of Advisors to Cell Trust, Inc. which provides secure communication technology to the healthcare industry; and as Chairman of CorePurpose, Inc. which she founded in 2002.


Challenge to the nation in the 1960s was to get a man to the moon and home again.  At that time NASA was composed of only men.  Today it is full of women.  Today’s challenge, outlined by President Obama in his State of the Union Address, is Cancer’s Moonshot  2020 with all aspects of the health and research industries working on a cure for cancer.   Vice President Biden will operate as Mission Control.

For more information

Ways to Get Girls Involved in STEM      Women have been involved in the sciences and engineering for decades but not always recognized in the public.

  1.  Let Them Dream     Need to encourage curiosity,  Need to focus on science and math in the elementary grades.
  2. Teach Them How to Explore   Kitchen science is often their first introduction to science (needing baking powder for cookies to rise)
  3. Experience It Together   Show them that you are engaged because it is important.
  4.  Start Early.   Multiple experiences, repetition.  Show them that this is “fun”

AzBio Expo  2016  will take place on April 21st at the AZ  Grand Resort and Spa, Phoenix.  Students can attend this conference for scienitists Free of Charge.     The AZBio information is at (articles) and (videos)


Branch Meeting – November, 2015   

 The “Structured Life”: A Female Engineer’s Story  

Stephanie Templeton

Stephanie Templeton, engineer-in-charge of the construction of Terminal Three at Sky Harbor Airport, gave us a rare, inside look at the planning and challenges of an engineering project of the prominence and scale of a major metropolitan international airport.   She explained the steps that are necessary, from the architect’s model through the structural engineering stick model and drafting model (CAD) to the design set. She outlined some of the challenges of this project such as the strength that needs to be built into the steel and glass structure that will hold thousands of people to meet safety requirements for load-bearing. She brought samples of the anchors and the carbon fiber steel that wraps the rebar inside the columns. There are five architectural firms and multiple engineers working on this project, so communication is key, and the main players meet weekly. They are now working of phases two and three of the twelve-phase project; by phase five, hopefully in July, 2016, the building will be functional.

Templeton graduated in May of 2011 from Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Engineering in Civil Engineering and in 2013 with a Master’s of Science in Engineering in Structural Engineering. When she decided to pursue engineering, she quickly found that some people did not believe girls should be in engineering. Her circuit professor graded her very unfairly. She decided to talk to her (female) civil engineering professor about the discrimination, and she learned to stand her ground. She was one of a half dozen girls in the program, and they banded together through repeated incidences.

When she graduated (one of eight women in a class of eighty-three), Templeton was hired by a large mining firm, which gave her the opportunity to gain experience in several fields and work on multi-billion dollar projects. However, it, too, was an “good old boys” company with few women. Her friend started a web site “I Look Like an Engineer” that showcases women in engineering.  She currently works in the NSB Group of Gannett Fleming as a structural Project Engineer where she sits on the special inspections committee. She believes in mentoring younger engineers and looks forward to a time when women will be more accepted in the field.

—Judi Edmondsparagraph_separator

Branch Meeting – October, 2015

Arizona Governor Hunt Alive!      by Don Shields 

Don Shields is a doppelganger for the first state governor of the State of Arizona, Gov. George P. Hunt. He uses voice and mannerisms reminiscent of speakers of the time to bring the framer of the Arizona Constitution to life. Utilizing extensive research (including interviews with Hunt), the former high school English teacher presented stories of the struggle to statehood, Hunt’s rise to power and the growth of the Grand Canyon State.
Shields graduated from Eureka College with a degree in theatre and went on to successful careers in teaching, coaching, and broadcasting. He has given tours at the Arizona Capitol Museum, where he was referred to as “Governor” by legislators and state officials who passed through.


Hunt arrived in Globe, AZ, with 92 cents in his pocket and no shoes on his feet, after taking 3 years, primarily walking from Missouri,    Through hard work at a  wide variety of jobs, he eventually became the 4th richest man in Arizona.  Hunt courted his wife for 14 years before marrying in February, 1904,  The Mayor convinced him to run for the Territorial Assembly in which he served for 17 years.

Hunt considered himself a “Jeffersonian Democrat” and was a major participant in creating the first Arizona State Constitution.  Referendums, Initiatives, and Recalls were features of the Constitution giving  voters direct involvement in law creation and control of the legislature. Leading the country, women suffrage was added in December, 1912.  Also schools were the #1 priority and the Constitution clearly states that every child deserves an education.  In 1930, Arizona was the envy of the nation, first in teachers’ salaries and very high adult literacy rate.  A strong economy requires a strong education.

Hunt was elected 7 times and was very accessible to his constituants, often staying until everyone was seen.  After leaving that position, he flirted with  U.S. Senator but President Woodrow Wilson appointed him to the position of  Ambassador to  Siam in order to take him out of the running!


Branch Meeting – April, 2015

World Refugee Crisis & Resettlement

Judi Edmonds,  Branch Member

The scheduled speaker cancelled due to illness so our Co-Vice President- Program,  Judi Edmonds stepped up and presented a thorough and interesting overview of the process of refugee resettlement in the United States. For the past 14 years,  Judi and her husband, Roger, have volunteered in assisting multiple families successfully settle into their new lives in the Valley.


Refugees are fleeing for their lives because of persecution due to their race, religion, or ethnic group.  There are currently 15,200,000 refugees in countries neighboring countries in conflict. Additionally 27,000,000 are displaced within their own country’s borders.  80% are women and children.  Boys and men are usually killed or conscripted into terrorist groups.  At least 70% spend at least 10 years in camps with limited medical and other resources.

Solutions include:

  • Integrate into the courtry of first asylum;  rarely happens
  • Voluntary repatriation to home country
  • Resettlement in a third country

America has always welcomed immigrants and refugees receive special consideration.  Illegals are given a separate classification but after processing, refugee status could be granted.  Sixteen countries accept refugees.  The U.S. takes 1/2 (70,000 in 2014) ; the remaining to the other 15 countries in various quantities.  The U.S. has 9 resettlement centers throughout the world which screens for medical diseases and security issues.

Steps for resettlement in America are complex and take a long time.

  • Flee homeland
  • Seek protection of the United Nations to be evaluated and admitted to a camp
  • Apply for resettlement in the U.S.
  • Be approved by USCIS
  • Be assigned to a local agency

There are four volunteer agencies and two state agencies in Arizona. The state agencies handle the legal paperwork and procedures; the volunteer agencies are advocates and assist families with becoming settled in their new home.  They need all basic services:  apartment, furnishings, food, clothing, classes in English, health screening, child immunizations, employment orientation, transportation, job placement.  Many aspects of our society  are totally foreign concepts particularly to women who often have little education.  Learning English then getting a job are priorities.  Also important is learning how to move about the city:  bus, bicycle.  Many have suffered great trauma and suffer from panic attacks, depression, pain, and need emotional support as well.


Branch Annual Meeting – March, 2015

 Magical Musical Tour of the World

     Prof. Timothy Rice       

Prof. Timothy Rice took members on an enlightening tour of the world’s music.  He explained about the many ways humans use music to create community, express their identity, and understand the world in which they live.   His presentation included maps, music audios and visuals of seven countries, beginning in the South Pacific and ending in North America.  Some notes of his presentation are available below in the Footnotes.

Rice has written two books and is published in numerous journals in his field.  He was President of the Society for Ethnomusicology (2003-2006) and has served on the Executive Board of the International Council for Traditional Music (2007-2013).  From 2005-2008 he was Associate Dean of the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture and served as director of the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music from 2007-2013.


A sample from the presentation:

Music is just as important in human life as being able to speak.

South Pacific: Papua New Guinea–  music replicates their natural environment.  Sounds like birds which are considered their ancestors.

Asia: China–  considered to be the oldest music in the world.  As part of their teachings, music often has no audience but rather is used to help concentration and thinking; focused on the sound.

Asia: India-  Hindu religion influences the music which relates to the caste system and type of instrument, i.e. sitar player was from a higher caste than the drummer.

Middle East: includes North Africa-  musical instruments are very important and the origination of western instruments.

Africa: Western Africa–  Griots share their oral history through song and often go back to the 13th century – all memorized by the singer.  Must sing through the family history before being allowed to marry.

Europe:Bulgaria– gender roles very distinct.  Men are in the fields and play for their animals;  Women are much too busy and can’t waste the time.  However, women among themselves would  sing about their problems, often about men. Choir music in harmony are performed by women.

South America:Peru– panpipe and drums are major part of religious fiestas; all used by men same as running the political system.

North America: United States/Canada–  wide variety of music due to wide ethnic populations.  Environment has gotten much noisier; reflected in music i.e. heavy metal.


 Special Interest Group Event>>

A Special Dialogue with the Authors

The Southeast  Valley Branch Evening Book Group sponsored a “Meeting with the Authors” Book Discussion on February 10, at  Cottonwood Country Club, Sun Lakes   to discuss the book, Adrift: Charting Our Course Back to a Great Nation, by William Harris and Steven Beschloss.      

Dr. William (Bill) Harris, President and CEO of Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz) and Steven Beschloss, an accomplished award-winning author and journalist suggested joining the Book Group for the discussion with no expectation of compensation.

This short book (small in size and less than 200 pages) is packed with major discussion  issues (within a historical context) on America’s decline in influence within the world;  problems with the slipping of our education excellence, and Arizona’s faulty ‘solution’ to immigration to name just a few.  Without offering the ‘right’ answer, the authors outline the various necessary factors  to chart a course and once again be a ‘great nation’.

Although the majority of the 30 people  attending were Evening Book Group members,  other Southeast Valley Branch members, spouses and some AAUW-AZ Board members from Scottsdale joined in the two hour dialogue.  At the evening’s conclusion,  since the group only barely scratched the surface on many of the book’s topics,  a number of members expressed interest in developing a follow-up  Interest Group using the book , Adrift, as a stimuli for discussion.  More information will be available soon.

 Branch Meeting – January, 2015

What is Your Investing IQ?

Nancy Tengler, Financial Columnist for The AZ Republic

Nancy Tengler, columnist for The Arizona Republic, gave the members an excellent overview of the tenets of good financial health based on her experience as a Chief Executive Officer and a Chief Investment Officer. She has written two investment books, has been featured in Barron’s and named by Money Magazine as one of the Best Women Investors. She has been a regular guest host on CNBC’s Squawk Box, frequent guests spots on Kudlow & Co. as well as PBS’s Nightly Business Report and others.

Currently, Tengler is an acting head of wealth management for an Arizona bank. To answer many of the basic questions asked by her readers, wrote Women’s Guide to Successful Investing. She is working on a new book, Zero Sum Game, a memoir from her years in the investment management business. She admitted that she is not a fan of mutual funds due to fees and administrative costs.


The essence of investing is making connections, which is a strong suit of women (multi-tasking). Women research more thoroughly and even in hedge funds women had better returns according to research.

The biggest risk is not taking enough risk. Consider investing a life-long practice.

Investing is not a science; it’s about being “mostly right”.

Value stocks have a greater return than growth stocks in markets around the world.

Dividends are an excellent clue as well as increase growth of stock.

Look for companies that have survived difficulties and came out the other side.

Frequent trading reduces returns. Best to consider stocks for the long run. Automatic roll over of dividends is an excellent way to build wealth rather than trying to ‘anticipate’ buying at ‘just the right time’.  A rule of thumb: To determine how long it will take to double your money, use the ‘Mathematical Rule of 72′: divide 72 by the average rate of return or interest rate i.e 72 ÷ 10 = 7.2 years.


Branch Meeting – November, 2014

AAUW Commitment to College Campuses: the Future

Sherrie Soria, Central Arizona College and  Cristal Severino, CAC Student

Sherrie Soria, Project Director for TRiO Student Support Services at Central Arizona College (CAC), primarily works with students planning to continue their education at a 4 year institution. Sherrie is also our branch AAUW’s College/University Representative and liaison. Her CAC slides gave an overview of CAC as the only institution of higher learning in Pinal County.  She shared the issues and challenges facing young women students today and ways to expose these young women to AAUW, ie mentoring.

AZ Women in Community Colleges –  Statistics

Women in Community Colleges; Access to Success  –  AAUW Research


Branch Meeting –  October, 2014

Breaking Barriers:  A Glimpse into the  Life of  a Egyptian Woman

featuring Keely Embleton

Newlywed Keely Embleton moved to Cairo, Egypt with her husband and newborn baby and lived there for over a year. Keely shared with members some of her personal experiences with her Egyptian friends and their families.  She showed slides of daily life in the Cairo , and described the challenges to meet family needs such as laundry (4 to 6 hours).  She felt frequent frustration in getting common appliances to work, particularly when all instructions were in Arabic.

Keely made efforts to learn and practice her Arabic. The people were very friendly and willing to help.   She enjoyed the feeling of ‘togetherness’ of women.  However, she reported that many women face depression, sexual harassment, domestic violence, and gender inequity.

She encouraged everyone to initiate close contact with people of other cultures:  invite an exchange student into your home;  work with a refugee family;  donate to organizations that help women become financial independent.  “My hope is that our eyes will be more open to other women around the world. How can we…encourage and love one another without the barriers of culture and religion getting in the way.”


Branch Annual Meeting –  April, 2014

Status of Education in Arizona

featuring Carolyn Warner

Originally Carolyn Warner, a member of the National Skill Standards Board and current Co-Chair of the Arizona Quality Skills Commission, planned to discuss the challenges and opportunities for women in the global economy of the 21st Century, however, the happenings at the Arizona Legislature were alarming enough for a change in topic to the status of education in Arizona..

Carolyn has been active for more than three decades on state and national levels as a respected and effective education advocate and public policy leader. An acclaimed speaker and best-selling author, she has led U.S. delegations to many countries, including Japan, Australia, Germany, Russia and China; and conducted on-site studies of European Union vocational and technical training programs.

Carolyn served for twelve years as Arizona’s elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Proving there is “life after politics,” she received Congressional and Presidential appointments to the national Skill Standards Board and the White House conference on Small Business. She is past chair of the United Methodist Foundation for Higher Education and past president of the Arizona Women’s Forum.

Carolyn ‘s numerous awards include the Racial Justice Award – YWCA of the USA; Policy Leader of the Year – National Association of State boards of Education; Distinguished Service Award – National Association of Secondary School Principals; and the Carl Perkins Humanitarian Award in 2008 from Arizona Association for Career and Technical Education. She is the author of four books, including Everybody’s House – The School House and The Last Word: A Treasury of Women’s Quotations.

Some facts shared by Carolyn:

  • AZ Legislature has reduced speading 17% since 2002.
  • Student:teacher ratio is 30:1, a recipe for failure.
  • AZ is third from the bottom in every category.
  • No accountibility for money given as part of scholarships.
  • With the late resistance and sudden paranoia about Common Core, no monies have been allocated for testing and there is little money for teacher training.
  • AZ’s poverty level is 19%  vs 15% for the nation.
  • Families in AZ has reduced access to Head Start & preschool which puts children at a distinct disadvantage.
  • Important to vote in the primary on August 26 as well as the general election in November.  Look at the voting records of candidates.
  • Make a Difference.  Consider running for office.  Good place to start is the School Board.     Important to follow the proceedings of School Boards, perhaps more important than the Governor or Secretary of State.  Vital to put people in position to help children.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Reference recommended by Joye Kohl,  Northwest Valley (AZ) Branch.

50 Myths and Lies That Threaten America’s Public Schools:  The Real Crisis in Education by David C. Berlineer, Gene V. Glass & Associates.  New York: Teachers College Press, University. c2014.

Two world class scholars and a team of talented analysts take a hard look at 50 widely held yet unsound beliefs about US public schools. The authors:  “Many citizens’ conception of K-12 public education in the US is more myth than reality.  The mythical failure of public education has been created and perpetuated in large part by political and economic interests that stand to gain from the destruction of the traditional system.


Branch Annual Meeting –  March, 2014

“Who Says You Can’t”
The Journey for Women in the Law Enforcement Profession

Sherry Kiyler, Retired Chandler Police Chief

Sherry Kiyler retired in June after 9 years as Chandler Police Chief. She started over 40 years ago as a dispatcher with the Phoenix Police Department, a job she took to pay for college tuition. Two years later, she took the police academy exam and was one of two women selected. After working her way up through the ranks she became the Commander of the Violent Crimes Bureau.  Sherry shared candid, throught-provoking and often humorous experiences. At each step of her career she faced some of the same obstacles and prejudices.  She found wearing her uniform at all times would cut down on false assumptions about her skills and position.

Sherry challenged the listeners to  follow their own path, based upon their own skills and aspirations. And not let the “can’t do that” people determine their choices.


Branch General Meeting – January, 2014

                                      Planned Parenthood: Status Report                                    Bryon Howard, president, Planned Parenthood Arizona

Bryon Howard joined Planned Parenthood in 1984 in the Chicago-based affiliate. For 12 years he worked in each area of the organization: communications / marketing, education, finance, fund raising, human resources, medical services and public policy. In 1997, Howard was appointed President of Planned Parenthood of Central and Northern Arizona, predecessor to today’s Planned Parenthood Arizona, Inc.

Howard has served in numerous capacities in the national Planned Parenthood Federation of America, including as a member of the PPFA Board of Directors from 2006 through 2012. While serving on the national Board, Howard co-chaired a redesign of Planned Parenthood’s overall fundraising program that is now a successful pilot in five states. He was a Board member of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund which conducts voter and candidate education. He has also served as a Board member and Chair of the Reproductive Health Technology Project, a Washington, DC research organization.   Bryan also shared that his mother has been a member of AAUW!


Planned Parenthood Arizona is going to emphasize three issues this legislative session:

1.  Expand access to medically accurate, comprehensive sexuality education.  (Arizona is one of only three states that require parents to “opt in” for students to receive sex education.)

2.  Protect expanded access to preventive health care under the Affordable Care Act.  (One of the biggest challenges for Arizona’s young women – premature parenting and interruption of education and employment.)

3.  Recognize and undo the harm that recently imposed barriers to safe health care is causing.  (Arizona is one of the worst states regarding access to to sexual and reproductive health care.)


Branch General Meeting – November, 2013

Inside INTEL


Renee Levin, Community Engagement Manager in Chandler

Intel, one of the southeast valley’s largest employers, has a history of extensive community involvement. Renee Levin is a part of that involvement as an integral manager of Intel’s community grants and strategic relationships. She coordinates the employee volunteer program where over 5,000 of Intel’s 11,500 employees in Arizona logged over 150,000 hours. In addition she oversees the team of 200 volunteers who raised over $8.6 million during the 2012 United Way campaign. Levin is further responsible for Intel’s neighborhood relations program that is currently focused on the new $5 billion manufacturing facility being built in south Chandler and the new $300 million research and development facility at the Chandler campus.


Chandler site is one of Intel’s most diverse sites:  manufactoring, fabricating, assembly, testing, logistics,chip design, marketing, package design.  Goal:  to be a $60 Billion company in 2013.  Vision:  “extending computer technology to connect and enrich the lives of every person on earth.

Strong committment to volunteerism including employee hours on site, in-kind donations, mentoring,  teacher training in how to use technology and empowering women & girls .    Education is Intel’s primary philanthropic endeavour.  Levin shared an excerpt of a  wonderful documentary, “Girl Rising”, which follows 9 extrordinary girls around the world as they seek an education.


Branch General Meeting – October, 2013

 Chandler: Past, Present and Future


Terri Kimble, president /CEO of the Chandler Chamber of Commerce

Terri Kimble has held her present position as president and CEO of Chandler Chamber since 2011.  Prior to that, she spent 2 years as president and CEO of the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce.  This was preceded by extensive Chamber involvement in her home state of Michigan.


Kimble shared a wealth of information about Chandler and welcomed all to visit their website:

Some miscellaneous facts:

Chandler Chamber is the 3rd largest in the state  *   Chandler offers 69 parks  *    7000 new jobs in Chandler  *  Downtown Chandler only has 2% vacancy rate   *   Continuum complex on Price Corridor at full build out will supply 8000-12,000 jobs  *   PayPal- all woman board of directors and a strong promoter of women in business

Small selection of  Chamber programs:

Small Business Development Center for entrepreneurs and start ups  *   SCORE- helping businesses learn how to finding financing  *  Host yearly Ostrich Festival   *   Leadership Institute  *   Innovations Incubator in the old Intel building  *  Lobbyist at AZ Capitol


Branch General Meeting – April, 2013

 What is Laughter Yoga and Its Benefits?

Facilitated by Theresa Weeding

Laughter Yoga is based on the principle that people can laugh for no reason.  It begins as an exercise in a group – playfulness and eye contact turns fake laughter into the real thing.  It combines breathing to bring more oxygen to the brain and body.  Laughter Yoga was started in 1995 in India, by Dr. Madan Kataria and there are now over 6000 laughter clubs in over 45 countries.

Laughter relaxes the whole body and relieves stress for up to 45 minutes.  It boosts the immune system.  It riggers the release of endorphins to promote a overall feeling of well-being.  Laughter lowers blood pressure and increases muscle range of motion.  Laughter has proven to be a great cardo workout.  For further information visit:

Branch General Meeting – March, 2013

Is Civility Dead? 

Mission:  Civil Talk Leads to Civil Action

Speaker: Elva Coor,    Sandra Day O’Connor House

As our government grapples with major national problems, the break down in civil political discussion is apparent and a constant obstacle to reaching lasting solutions. Our speaker, Elva Coor, a founding member of the O’Connor House Board of Directors and chair of the SpeakOut AZ Civic Engagement Project, discussed this current state of civil discourse and what can be done to improve effective communication.

A fourth generation Arizonian,  Coor has had an impressive and varied career as an employee for Barry Goldwater, and as a founder of three communication companies, one of which she ran for 18 years.  She is active in local, state and national business associations, a board member of AWEE, AZ Historical Society (Central AZ Chapter), Life Development Institute, Charter 100, and Maricopa County Merit Selection Committee.


Some notes from Coor’s speech:       People are out of touch with responsibility of Democracy.  Gallup Poll indicated that 10% believe elected officials represent their views;  25% vote, even in Presidential election;  12% believe the people in their communities care about them;  36% can name the three divisions of American government.

The O’Connor House proposes:

1.  to promote civil dialogue by training facilitators all over the state to learn how to respect each others’ views.

2.  to change focus of education to include understanding civics; even our officials don’t understand civics. inspire teachers to use tools at ICIVICIT!.org.

3.  to increase voter participation including understanding consequences of that power.

4.  to identify ‘who’s not here?’ and bring the missing into the discussion.

5.  to identify what needs to happen to learn how to work collectively in a positive way.

6.  to promote social cohension via social interaction in families and neighborhoods; volunteerism; attending public meetings; encourage corporations to include civic engagement at all levels.


O’Connor House website for supporters and teachers:

National Institute for Civil Discourse (U. of Arizona):


Branch General Meeting- January, 2013

The Returning Veteran     by  Art Sloane  

Art Sloane, a columnist for the Arizona Republic covering veterans’ news in the greater Phoenix area, serves on the AZ Attorney Generals Veterans Commission and works with homeless veterans.  Art has served in the US Air Force, Air Force Reserves, the Air National Guard, and the Coast Guard Reserves.  In 2008, Art was inducted into the AZ Veterans Hall of Fame.  He volunteers as a Veterans Benefits Counselor at a VA clinic.

Many of the homeless in the Phoenix area are veterans.  They often have special needs and deserve our help.  A great Resolution for New Year would for us to thank these brave men and women who have served our country by attending to their basic needs of housing, jobs and health care.


Go to to help homeless veterans. The  largest requirement is volunteer help for the StandDown at the Arizona State Fairgrounds on Mar 8-9. We need 1,200 volunteers for the largest StandDown in the United States. We are expecting upwards of 1.500 homeless veterans this year and at least 150 homeless veterans women.  We need new and used jeans, particularly women’s jeans.  Donations can be brought to me in Sun Lakes.  Any questions can be referred to me at 480-802-6810.     —Art Sloane

You can donate furniture which will used by the vets, not sold, by calling 602-303-6112 Tues through Friday 9-3.

To contribute to assist vets with rent and utilities, go to .


Branch Event- December, 2012

AAUW Funds Holiday Luncheon

and Celebration of Margaret Horn’s 90th Birthday


CakeTableDecorationsAttendance:  75 members and 5 guests
Donations Total:  $2080 was donated for AAUW Funds


Thank You♥♥

I just want you to know how much I appreciated my recognition at the  [AAUW Funds] luncheon.   It certainly was above and beyond any  expectation. Our members are the greatest and I can’t tell you how I feel when such  love and attention is thrust my way!

♥♥♥Margaret Horn 

Branch General Meeting- November, 2012

Saving  Underage Victims of Prostitution

Speaker: Terry Teets, StreetLightUSA

         StreetLight was begun in 2007 in response to awareness of a seldom discussed, but growing, pandemic of child sex trafficking in the USA. This problem is clearly prevalent in the greater Phoenix area.

The Phoenix branch of StreetLight is a residential program providing a healing and safe environment to girls age 11 – 17 who have been rescued from sex trafficking. StreetLight’s mission is Stop Childhood Rape, and it works with a large variety of legal and social agencies to attempt to reduce this crime. As well as describing the realities of childhood sex trafficking in our own backyard, Terry Teets will tell us about Streetlight’s three-pronged approach to this problem: awareness, prevention and direct care.

Our AAUW members may recall that when Justice Ruth McGregor spoke to our branch about human trafficking last year, she mentioned what remarkable work this organization is doing in combating childhood sex exploitation. 


 History of StreetLightUSA (from handout)

In 2007, a group of individuals became aware of the growing pandemic of child sex trafficking that happens throughout the United States as well as abroad.  They began asking a series of “what if” questions:

    • What if a model could be built as an example for market place leaders, city leaders, young people, churches, faith based and non-profit organizations to work together to eradicate child sexual exploitation?
    • What if one of our greatest testimonies to society became a unified, loving effort that not only talked about issues of injustice but also helped solve one?

In response, we developed a dynamic case study of the potential for solving problems through multi-sector collaborations.  Our collaboration has grown to include the various law enforcement agencies (from local vice units to State and US Attorneys General), Mayor’s offices, like-minded non-profits, national Center for Missing and Exploited Children, FBI, Human Trafficking Executive Council, students and faculty of universities, and thousands of individuals zealous to play a role in eradicating this injustice.

From 2009-2011, more than 70 places of worship from across the nation combined their fundraising efforts and generated $2.5 million in initial support StreetLightUSA.  We are deeply grateful to these churches of many different denominations whose members have shown their compassion and their faith that, together, we  can apply national resources to save the lives of these girls.    623.435.0900

PolarisProjectAnother National resource available:

Polaris Project:  For a World Without Slavery,

NOTE:  For updated information on this topic, go to “Advocacy:Discussion Topics:Human Trafficking”

Branch General Meeting- October, 2012

The Power of One Vote

-a nonpartisan mini-convention-
“Understanding the AZ Ballot Measures”
Michael Valder, AZ Advocacy Network

           Our featured speaker, Michael Valder, as one of the founders and the first President of the Clean Elections Institute, a non-profit organization created to implement the Clean Elections Act,  has become involved nationally in the movement for campaign finance reform. He has also been a principal organizer and is the President emeritus of the Arizona Advocacy Network, a broad-based coalition working to coordinate advocacy efforts in all domains of democracy and social justice within the state of Arizona.

Your vote is IMPORTANT.   Your vote makes a DIFFERENCE.    Your vote has POWER.

AAUW Post Election Analysis (teleconference)

Election Firsts:

• 20 women in the Senate, including:

Openly gay woman (Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-WI)

Asian-American (Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-HI)

• Record 78 women in the House of Representatives

• All female congressional delegation (New Hampshire)

Some emerging facts:   • Women more likely to vote, not just respond to polls  • Young people make up 19% of voters  • Seniors make up 19% of voters  • Women are not a single group.  Gap between single and married women indicates a referendum on government’s roll in women’s lives.  Single women -68-69% (all ages) voted for Obama vs 44% married women.   Need both parties to pay attention to AAUW issues.  Don’t want to be ignored by one party and taken for granted by the other.  Need moderates in both parties.

Predictions:    • Gridlock continues   • Some rule changes on Senate side   • Some leadership changes on House side

AAUW’s focus is more important at Executive level if Congress continues to be in gridlock.

1.  Executive action to prevent retaliation for attempting to discover others wages in corporations.

2.  Pay Check Fairness- success not great; challenge to get Speaker to bring to the floor.

3.  Concern about Social Security age being increased; impact on certain jobs requiring more physical labor, i.e. nursing.

4.  Importance of redistricting – greater possibilities in getting women elected

5.  ERA amendment- deadline passed yet most amendments do not have deadlines.  Specific states are unlikely to pass (VA, MO, FL)

6.  Working within new coalitions formed during the “Get Out the Vote” program.


Local Scholarship Fund-raiser Is a Winner!

      The Premier Designs Jewelry Sale  was held  on Saturday afternoon, November 3, 2012.  Participants including AAUW members and their friends and neighbors were able to browse through ‘user friendly’ displays showcasing  a variety of jewelry styles set up throughout Helen Semple’s lovely home.  After making their selections they enjoyed tasty treats offered on the patio by our  Scholarship Co-Chairs, Debbie Brewster and Hema Chary. This ‘no pressure’ sales event netted over $1200 for the Local Scholarship Fund. This success was due to the generousity of the buyers who  freely opened their wallets and Sarah Carey, Premier Designs representative, who donated a fantastic 50% of the sales to the Fund.

       Members who were unable to attend on Saturday can still participate by ordering from the catalog now through November 20 also with 50% of the sales going to the Fund.  Contact Helen Semple to arrange a mutual time to see the catalog.  Or arrange your own jewelry party as a way to thank Sarah for her generous donation and get another 10% for the Scholarship Fund.   She can be reached at, or 602.502.5899.




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