Dawn Agliata, Immediate Past President & Board of Director
Dawn grew up in a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania but moved to Dallas more than 34 years ago – a place she now calls home. She received her BS in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. She is employed as a Senior Director at Hilton Reservations and Customer Care where she is responsible for process improvement and customer experience. She currently resides in Plano. Once her daughters graduated from high school, it was time to leave the Preston Bluebonnet Chapter of the National Charity League and that is when she began her quest for another organization that would allow her to fulfill her mission of empowering women and girls. She was recruited by another member of Soroptimist International of Dallas a little over 3 years ago to join their organization and what they strive to be—women at our best, helping other women to be their best.
Linda Alexander, Corresponding Secretary & Board of Director
I joined Soroptimist International of Dallas almost five years ago, and I am currently serving as President of our Club. I recently retired from a 27 year career with Hilton Reservations & Customer Care where I was Sr. Director of HRCC Dallas. I’m a wife, Mother, Grandmother and Great Grandmother; titles I thoroughly enjoy. But, I joined SI Dallas because of my desire to make a difference in the lives of others, not just family, friends and co-workers but those who could not help themselves. SI Dallas fit the bill because it filled the hole that was missing in my life. I am proud to be part of volunteer women who are dedicated to helping support, educate and empower women and young girls around the world. We’re consistently looking for other women who share our vision. If you’re one of these women, please consider attending a Club Meeting in your respective area. We would love to have you.
Linda can be reached at: email@example.com
Debbie Davis, Delegate
Lala Gonzales, President -Elect & Board of Director
Lala was born in the Philippines and immigrated to the United States of America in 1977. She is currently retired having worked in the hospitality industry for over 40 years. She joined the Soroptimist International of Dallas in 2014 after being invited to that year’s A Star is Born Award Luncheon. The event really touched her and she was amazed at what the organization does for local women and girls. Since joining the club, she has held the positions of Corresponding Secretary, Nominating Committee Chair, Board Member, Audit Committee Chair, and Recording Secretary. Lala and her husband lives in Carrollton, Texas. They have one son and three grandchildren. Her interests include scrapbooking, reading, and traveling. And of course, what gives her the greatest enjoyment is spending time with her grandchildren.
Lala can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
*Wanda La Russa, President & Board of Director
Wanda La Russa is a motivational speaker and owner of TEAtime with Wanda. She was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area living most of her life in Northern California and relocated to the Dallas, Texas metropolitan region (from Cali to Dalli!) in 2018. Wanda earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies with a minor in Human Development while attending California State University, East Bay (formerly known as CSU, Hayward). Throughout the years, she has volunteered and committed her time and efforts to several organizations such as: Youth Football & Cheerleading teams, The YMCA, Chamber of Commerce and Toastmasters International to name a few. Her favorite quote is by Mahatma Gandhi “The best way to find yourself in the service of others”. She has been a member of Soroptimist International of America since 2014 and has served in leadership roles with SI, Patterson (CA) and currently with SI, Dallas. Some fun facts about Wanda are that she loves to eat tacos, learn about food & wine pairings, is an avid reader, enjoys creating scrapbook albums, and her adventurous nature has taken her to exciting places where she has enjoyed zip lining, ATV riding, horse back riding and sailing on catamarans. She also has a yellow belt in Tae Kwon Do, so watch out negativity!
Wanda can be reached at: email@example.com
Ginny Lloyd, Treasurer & Board of Director
Ginny’s aunt once asked her if she was involved in any community service or non-profit groups and she said yes – Soroptimist. After coming to Dallas on her own, she needed to expand her group of friends beyond work. And she wanted to support my community. A couple ladies from work invited her to a meeting and asked her to join SI Dallas in 2009. Since then she has been actively involved with their events and regional meetings and made some great friends. Besides this club she is active with my Alumnae sorority group serving as treasurer. She is on a bowling league hitting the lanes every Wednesday night. Ginny likes to travel, but she also likes to sit at home reading a book. She is an accountant by profession, hence always being asked to be a treasurer.
Ginny can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nanell Mawbey, Dream It Be It Committee Chair
Nanell was born and raised in Red Bluff, California. She graduated with a degree in Sociology and a minor in Psychology from California State University, Chico and received her Masters in Social Welfare from University Nevada, Reno. She is currently working towards her MBA Masters Essentials through Kansas University. Nanell has been in the banking industry for 46 years, starting as a Teller and moving on to Banking Center Manager. In addition, she has held the positions of Consumer Loan Officer, Mortgage Loan Officer, and Commercial Loan Officer. Currently, she is a Personal Banker with Legacy Texas with an emphasis on Business Development. Nanell has been a member of Soroptimist International for 37 years. She joined the club at the request on her employer and to be more involved in Community Activities. She stayed because of the mission and the knowledge that we are helping to empower women and girls. Nanell started in Carson City, Nevada and carried her membership to San Francisco, California, Camarillo, California and now to Dallas, Texas. She has been on board positions in Carson City, San Francisco, and Dallas, serving as President of all three clubs. She is also active in American Business Women’s Association as well as other Community Service Projects. Nanell lives with her husband in Carrollton, Texas. She has two children and four grandchildren. She enjoys cooking and reading as well as attending events and conferences. She believes that it is important to keep learning and growing. As women, we should take every opportunity to educate ourselves both professionally and personally.
Fatuma Mwende, Club Member
Debra Purdon, Board of Director & Awards Committee Chair & Alternate Delegate
Debra Purdon has been a member of Soroptimist International of Dallas since 1979. She has served in numerous officer and committee chair capacities including twice as President, most recently for the 2017-18 club year. Debra was very involved with Camp Soroptimist, a camp for the disabled founded by the Dallas Soroptimist Club in 1947. She served as its Board Chair and was instrumental in recruiting community board members and transitioning the camp to a community run non-profit. Debra is a CPA and is Accounting Director at Atrium Windows and Doors, Inc. where she has worked since 2007. Debra has worked in various financial management positions within the banking and manufacturing sectors during her career. Debra and her husband Bill enjoy playing tennis and traveling, including spending time in Breckenridge, Colorado.
Theresa Ream, Alternate Delegate
Theresa was born in California, but raised in Havana, Illinois. When she was 12 her family relocated to Texas, she graduated from South Garland High School and has lived in The Colony for over 25 years. She has been married for over 30 years and has one son who is in Medical School and married. Theresa is currently unemployed and seeking new opportunities. She has worked in the Real Estate/Mortgage Industry for over 30 years and holds a DE CHUMS FHA and VA SAR underwriting licenses. Currently, she is embarking to obtain her Bachelor’s Degree in BAAS, a Real Estate License so she can become her own boss. Her dream is to achieve being her own boss one day, because it will allow her to travel to see places on her bucket list. She wants to rely on herself, and control her future rather than someone else having control of it. Theresa has been a member of Soroptimist International of Dallas since 2009, but unofficially in 2008. She has served as club President, Vice President, Director, Recording Secretary, District III Recording Secretary, South Central Region District III WOA Region Chairperson, Chairperson on various committees held within our club. In 2007, her son graduated High School and all of her volunteering, etc. stopped. She was laid off in 2008, and Angela Standish introduced her to a Soroptimist Social Networking Event. The members were very supportive and helpful in that time. She loved the mission of the club, and the support it gave to the community. She needed to fill the void of being a part of something again after her son graduated. Theresa’s hobbies include the love of reading, traveling, going to the beach, volunteering to help others in the community and she also enjoys most activities that are outdoors when it is warm weather.
Angela Standish, South Central Region Governor-Elect
Angela has been involved with the Soroptimist organizations since 1985, whereby she was the Charter Treasurer for the Venture Club of Phoenix. During her tenure in Arizona, Nevada and Dallas, since 2008, she held every office at the club level many times, as well as Region Secretary, Treasurer and District Director. Angela is an accountant by profession and in her spare time she enjoys traveling and spending time with family and friends.
Not pictured: Julie Armstrong, Club Member; Elaine Havens, Club Member; Cindy Jan, Recording Secretary & Board of Director; Jennifer Roth, Club Member; Leslie Williams, Club Member; Betty Jay, Life Member and Theresa Steele, Club Member.
Linda Mills, Volunteer
Linda is from Havana, IL, and lived in Mahomet, IL for 19 years before moving to TX in 2013. She currently lives in Denton with her husband Gilbert and they have been happily married since 1968. That’s over 50 years of wedded bliss! Linda’s work experience includes being a waitress at her parent’s business when she was a young girl, a cashier at grocery stores and she was promoted from store clerk to a certified 7-11 store manager with Southland Corporation. She changed career paths in 1991 and went to work for GATX Logistics Co. contracted by Caterpillar, Inc. In 1995, she applied and accepted a position with Caterpillar, Inc. as a Material Planner/Supply Chain for Manufacturing. Her employment date started on 10/2/1995 until 12/1/2009 when she had to take early retirement due to the company’s downsizing at that time. Throughout the years, Linda has received valuable “hands on experience” and has developed exceptional customer service. She has always loved people and working with the public. Linda enjoys helping others through her volunteering with Soroptimist International of Dallas and she has been involved with the club since 2014. Linda’s daughter, Theresa Ream, has been a member since 2008 and recruited her mother when she moved to TX in 2013. Linda decided to join because she wanted to be a part of an organization that helps others to better their current life as they fulfill their future dreams. In the club, she has served as Corresponding Secretary, a member of the Nominating and Dream It Be It committee and is currently the Facebook Page Administrator. She is also learning a form of knitting with “HUGS” which is a woman’s ministry at her church and they meet once a week. They make hats of all sizes for babies, cancer patients, the elderly, and others. Linda and Gilbert joined First Baptist Church in Denton in 2013 and she absolutely loves her church family. Her sisters in Christ have embraced her and prayed for her many times throughout her tenor. During their first year as members of the church, a Deacon was assigned to her and her husband. Linda says that the Deacon and his wife have both been a blessing to them as they have showed them agape love through Christ. Linda enjoys playing BINGO and especially loves spending as much time as possible with her family which consists of children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Her goal is to travel and visit places in TX, Black Hills, Federal State Parks.
Ericka La Russa, Volunteer
Ericka has been a Soroptimist International volunteer for since 2015. She volunteered for the Patterson club in California for 4 years and is currently a volunteer for the Dallas club. Ericka attends Special Abilities of North Texas twice a week where she participates in activities such as: arts & crafts, exercise, education and life skills. She is also a member of Faces & Hearts Christ Ministry and she participates in retreats and monthly social outings. Ericka’s hobbies include: crocheting, cooking, scrapbooking, puzzle books, going to movies and shopping at the mall.
Jordan La Russa, Volunteer (aka Soroptimister)
Jordan is a high school student. He is an avid football player and on his team his position is defensive end. In his free time he enjoys playing video games, playing basketball and traveling to his favorite vacation destination – Cancun. His favorite NFL football team is the Los Angeles Rams and his desire is to attend University of California, Berkeley and major in sport broadcasting.