Greater Albany Chapter

Linda GillisChapter History

In January 1989, Mrs. Linda Gillis attended a brunch at which she participated in a conversation expressing the need for a Jack and Jill Chapter in Albany.  Mrs. Gillis moved to the Albany area in 1985 from Seattle, Washington where she had been an active member of Jack and Jill.  Another guest at the brunch, Mrs. May Bryan, forwarded Mrs. Gillis’ name to Mrs. Charlie Mae Brown then National Vice President.  In February 1989, Mrs. Gillis received a letter from the Regional Director, Mrs. Nellie Thornton, inviting her to organize a chapter.

Mrs. Gillis solicited names from the community and held the first interest meeting on March 31, 1989.  In attendance, in addition to Mrs. Gillis, were:  Mrs. Vera Bryan, Mrs. Elousie Crowder, Mrs. Robin Flanagan, Mrs. Rolene Ford, Mrs. Denise Houston, Mrs. Renee Johnson, Mrs. Carolyn Morgan and Mrs. Rita Pete.  The Regional Director was also present at the meeting to respond to questions.

A planning meeting was held and nine individuals shared ideas and additional names to contact for membership.  During the planning meeting, elections were held and the following officers were elected by affirmation: Mrs. Linda Gillis (President); Mrs. Robin Flanagan (Vice President); Mrs. Elousie Crowder (Corresponding Secretary); Mrs. Rolene Ford (Treasurer); Mrs. Rita Pete (Historian); Mrs. Vera Bryan and Mrs. Ford (Program Co-chairs).  Mrs. Bryan later became the sole Chair of the Program Committee.

Shortly thereafter, Mrs. Gillis asked Mrs. Denise Houston to accept the position of Recording Secretary, Mrs. Rene Johnson the position of Membership Chair, Mrs. Carolyn Morgan the position of Parliamentarian and Chair of the Constitution and By-laws Committee and Mrs. Diana Ritter the position of Financial Secretary and Chair of the Budget Committee.  All accepted these positions.

A second interest meeting was held and the group established a membership of thirty families and agreed to be called the Greater Albany Area Interest Group of Jack and Jill of America, Inc.

In October 1989, the group lost one member, and in November, two members transferred from the Syracuse Chapter.  In January 1990, the group established an active membership roster of twenty-eight members.  In June 1990, the Greater Albany Area Provisional Group submitted twenty-six official members’ names to the National Treasurer, Mrs. Bennie Tolles, to be recognized for membership by the National Office.

On July 19, 1990, The Greater Albany Area Provisional Group was approved at the National Convention in Memphis Tennessee to become the Greater Albany Provisional Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc.

On October 6, 1990, the Greater Albany Provisional Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. was installed as the Greater Albany Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. with twenty- four charter members.  The twenty-four charter members were Vera Bryan, Elousie Crowder, Sandra DeMond, Robin Flanagan, Rolene Ford, Linda Gillis, Denise Houston, Robin Jacobs-Yanthis, Cheryl Holley James, Renee Johnson, Beverly Littles, Carol Livingston, Carolyn Morgan, Marsha Mortimore, Juanita Murray, Desiree Nix, Stefanie Perez, Rita Vann Pete, Jacqueline D. Peterson, Diana Jones Ritter, Esther Sargent, Barbara E. Taylor, Morena Walker-Howe and Carolyn Williams.