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Years of Membership Certificates held by Paula Day on the left and Beverly Parsons

Years of Membership Certificates held
    by Paula Day and Beverly Parsons

We start our Club year (August through July) with close to 40 dedicated members. Six new members joined in 2015. Many of our ongoing SISD members have been in our Club for decades, but our many stimulating activities keeps us all very young. Our Club attracts caring, dedicated women of all ages, backgrounds and experiences. New members consistently report that they feel immediately welcomed. They enjoy rapport with members of like intellectual and business minds, and eagerly embrace our service goals.


What is the Soroptimist Mission?
Our Mission is to improve the lives of women and girls in local communities, in our state and country, and around the world. 

How much time and effort is involved?
Members are urged to attend as many meetings and to participate in as many Club activities as possible. But SISD recognizes the personal and career responsibilities of members, and has a ‘no guilt’ attendance policy if circumstances occasionally interfere with attendance. That said, SISD is a busy Club, and most members enthusiastically serve on several committees. There is no shortage of interesting ways to participate.

What does active membership include?
Our Club operates through its committees, and active members are asked to participate on one Service Committee: e.g. Awards, Recognitions, or LocalIinternational projects; and one Technical Committee: e.g. Newsletter, Public Relations, Hospitality or Special Events. All active members are expected to participate in a variety of fundraising activities.

How does SISD raise money?
Every way we can!  Our Club raises money at several special, read FUN, events. Most iclude wine. Not a teetotler in the group! 

SISD is versatile in its fundraising events. If you love to have fun, you'll love us!
You can check out our annual fundraisers by using the links below, or wait
and see them all at the end of this Membership Section.

• Annual Wine Auction - April
• Afternoon Luncheon & Awards Presentation - April
• Wine in the Wilderness - September

What do new members identify as most important for them? 
New SISD members love our current member's welcoming friendship and respect, which is a given in all our activities. It's amazing to watch how dedication to our mission quickly fuses newcomers into our unique and high performing team. There's a lot to learn, and it never seems to stop. It's impossible to get bored. In addition members share similar life pursuits, both business and recreational.

What tangible rewards does membership have?
One of the tangible rewards is SI's focus on today's most challenging issues for women and girls in need. Our members have attained a high level of public awareness, and SI's world-wide structure puts us in a position to do something about local and global issues such as domestic violence and trafficking. Another tangible reward is learning how professional meetings are structured and conducted, with Robert's Rules of Order prevailing. We provide an opportunity to network with members with similiar interests, and we also have opportunities to attend wonderful workshops that provide insight on how to enrich not only our Club but our personal lives as well.

Can you give me an example of a workshop?
Absolutely. We recently enjoyed and profited from an excellent workshop on Storytelling as a way to instruct. We were looking for a better way to recruit members to our club, because they are our lifeblood. So Karen Dietz came to our rescue. Karen has a doctorate in folklore, which she told us is the forerunner of anthropology, since humans have been telling stories since they appeared on our planet. Karen explained that storytelling activates the entire brain of the listener, which greatly increases remembrance of facts. This has been proved, by the way, in a neurological lab by using brain scans.

Karen Dietz, PhD, master teacher in Storytelling. You can reach Karen at

One of our most moving exercises was to partner up, and tell what SISD means to us. And, from this very emotional telling, we immediately recognized that if we want to interest people in SISD, we can start by telling them what our Club means to us. About how it has changed and enriched our lives. Another important technique will be telling the stories of the youth and women we have helped, in their own words, and to begin incorporating these stories into our larger events when appropriate. Finally, Karen gave us an example of how to expand or contract a story without losing the essential details, important if time or the listener's attention demands it.

What optional activities may club members participate in?

Marilyn Stewart and Michelle Nash-Hoff enjoy a conference.

Linda Klers and Barbara Rolando catch up
             at a breakfast meeting.

Optional activities include attending SISD Board and Committee meetings. Attendance at District Meetings and Region Conferences.  Federation and International Convention attendance is encouraged, especially because they are as much fun as they are inspirational. The level of national and international member participation is an individual choice. SISD member Victoria Hobbs served as SIA Federation President in 2004-2005 and has served at Soroptimist International. In addition, SISD members Judi Dunnigan and Helen Baker have served on multiple committees with the Desert Coast Region, to which SISD belongs. Judi is currently  
                                                            Governor of our Desert Coast Region, and SISD'a Monica Logan is on its Governing Board.

What are club meetings like?
The first meeting, a breakfast, is at 7 a.m. the first Tuesday of the month. This is a Business Meeting, and it is presided over by the Club President. Our SISD President for 2015-201 is Marie Silverman, and by Soroptimist custom she is addressed using only her first name, as 'President Marie'. In the business meeting we approve minutes, give Committee Reports, and vote on Club, District or Federation issues. New members are always impressed by the amount of business chatter and catchup that is a constant. Committee reports are particularly important in keeping all members informed on the many levels of our Club activities. 

On the third Tuesday of the month SISD holds an evening meeting at 5.30 p.m. This is less formal and has a variety of uses. We may have guest speakers, or introduce the winners of the various Awards we provide for girls and women. Being an after-work event, the evening meetings are a welcome change from our busy early morning breakfast meetings. 

Pre-meeting catch-up: Pat Robbins, Cathy Hopper, Sandy
                         Luebben, Helene Grant

Paula Day and Karen Burrows. Token rewards for their help
               in developing SISD's original website 

Karen Burrows at the podium in 2012. SISD's Award banner in the background.

What additional benefits do members receive?

Besides the intangible rewards of friendships and personal fulfillment, members also have an opportunity for leadership development, networking opportunities at Club and District Meetings and Region Conferences, biennial Soroptimist International of The Americas Federation (SIA) and Quadrennial Soroptimist International (SI) Conventions. Additionally there are many opportunities to interface with SI members in other Clubs in our District and Region on special projects.

Can you tell me more about the international clubs?

International Visitors (L to R) Bogusia Kalita from Poland, member Beverly Parsons, Sue Whithead from Australia, member Carol Levy

International Visitors (L to R) Bogusia Kalita from Poland, SISD member Beverly Parsons, Sue Whithead from Australia,
                       SISD member Carol Levy.

A Soroptimist can attend meetings with an almost identical format in any SI Club in the world, and find herself welcomed and appreciated.
Foreign visitors are not strangers to our SISD Club. In recent years we welcomed members from Poland, Australia, Turkey, Israel and Canada, and SISD members have traveled to Taiwan, the UK, Israel and Turkey. Soroptimist interaction with Clubs worldwide is an on-going reality.

SISD proudly provides ongoing financial support to Clubs in Tijuana, Mexico, and Istanbul, Turkey. From humble beginnings we have seen our projects grow to attract government attention and ultimately, participation. Read the many exciting details under 'Living Our Mission'.

Who are the SISD Officers

President: Mariue Silverman
First Vice President: Helen Baker
Treasurer: Colleen Lilly Marlow

What are member financial obligations?
The new member fee is $100. Your membership pin and portfolio are included in this fee. Annual dues are $120. Breakfast and dinner meetings are $20. The Soroptimists of The Americans (SIA) Best For Women magazine is included in your annual dues.

Who is eligible for membership?
To qualify for membership a candidate must be working in or retired from a profession or business, or an occupation of comparable status or responsibility. The range of what constitutes 'business, profession or comparable occupation' is widely interpreted, and consistent with today's multi-faceted world of professional and working women. If you want to be a member of an active women's service Club, SISD is perfect for you!

How do I join?
Most prospective members come to one or two meetings to assess if the club is a good fit for them. Your first meeting is complimentary. If we meet your expectations you will need a club sponsor, but any club member will be delighted to sponsor you. Most new members are introduced by a current member.

To join you can contact our SISD Recruitment and Retention chair, Jennifer Keller, at (619) 561-6574. Or, email Jen at jkeller323@outlook.com for more informatioin, and/or application forms.

Or, you can print and complete the attached Application For Membership and email it to SISanDiego@soroptimist.net with a note in the subject line: 'Attention: Recruitment & Retention Committee'.


The woman in the Soroptimist emblem represents the spirit of womanhood. The leaves and acorns
of the oak signify the strength and growth of our organization, and future progress and achievements. The leaves of the laurel symbolize friendship and success. The pin is to be worn, by itself, over your heart.

Does Soroptimist have a member installation process?

Yes. We have a simple and meaningful installation procedure. A member is chosen to do the installation, and your sponsor stands with you for it. The installer hands you your Soroptimist pin,
and reads the description (printed on the left) of its details for you to examine. After which you are 'pinned' by your sponsor.

SISD induction of three new members

Beverly Parsons pins member Marie Silverman
Paula Day, Lisa Frankovich

Paula Day 'sort of' pinning Lisa Frankovich, who transferred from a Club in NV
Karen Burrows and Maggie Pound

Karen Burrows pinning returnee Maggie Pound. Maggie made a geographic move for two years,
but couldn't wait to rejoin us, AND keeps bringing friends with her.


Patty Jacobson and Lilly Marlow

Patty Jacobson pinned new member and close friend Colleen Lilly Marlow. First step: explain the significance of the pin's design.

Rilla Lovell, whose generous estate gift of $48,000 founded the SISD Foundation, Inc.

What is the SISD Foundation?
The SISD Foundation, Inc. is a nonprofit charitable organization founded as a result of the gift of $48,000 from the estate of long-time member Rilla Lovell in 1994. Rilla joined the club in 1971 and was President 1975-76. She was a Captain with the U.S. Naval Reserve, and a business education specialist for San Diego City Schools. In addition to SISD, Rilla was active in the San Diego Chapter of the Freedom's Foundation at Valley Forge. The highlight of her presidency was the presentation and dedication of flags for the front of the Aerospace Museum in Balboa Park. With Rilla's generous bequest, the Soroptimist International of San Diego Foundation, Inc. was formed in 1998. The goal of The Foundation is to accrue assets sufficient to provide additional funds for Club projects.

Is membership in the SISD Foundation a part of SISD membership?
Yes. Members of SISD are automatically members of The Foundation. Contributions to the Foundation are optional, and can be made individually, or through The Torrey Society or Torrey Legacy.

Torrey Society Pin

Torrey Society Pin

The Torrey Society is a Recognition program of the Foundation. It honors financial dedication to the Foundation and its mission. With a minimum donation of $1,000, SISD members can join The Society. All Torrey members are acknowledged with the specially designed Torrey pine tree pin at the left. Diamond contributors of $10,000 or more will receive a Torrey Society pin with a diamond, representing their membership status.

The Torrey Legacy is an important way to participate in SISD's future by making estate bequests. By naming the SISD Foundation as a beneficiary in your will or trust, you may choose to gift cash, real estate, personal property, life insurance, annuities or deferred annuities.

You can access detailed information on gifting by clicking the
                                                                                                                          attached links, where Torrey Society, Torrey Legacy and
                                                                                                                          Individual Gifting forms are available.

Is there anything else I should know?
Can't think of anything at the moment. Just come to meetings and grow along with rest of SISD's members. Being in SISD is definitely a journey. Learning the scope of the organization and carrying out its mission is a kaleidoscope of adventure, ever changing, ever growing, immeasurably rewarding.

See out Fundraising Events on the next page, then come join us. We won't let you be disappointed!