Elated is how I feel for this opportunity to serve as President of the Beverly Hills West (CA) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated. My term, also runs with Officers Sherri Jefferson, Recording Secretary, and Kimberly Freeman, Financial Secretary, who were installed with me; as well as all of our continuing officers and those whom I had the privilege to appoint in various capacities
When I became a member of this illustrious chapter in 2015, I joined with the intent to be actively involved and to learn as much as possible about The Links, Incorporated. I wanted to serve my community and chapter to the best of my ability. Fast forward, the members of my chapter have determined that I am fit to serve as President.
My theme for the next two years is Honoring Our History and Advancing our Future. We started the 2023-2025 Program year with “Slay in May” and slay we did, setting the agenda, defining our direction and illuminating what it means to honor our history and advance our future.
I honor our history by recognizing those whose shoulders I stand upon. The foundation was laid by all 13 former Chapter Presidents including Joyce Black our organizer and first Chapter President from 1985-1987, and continues with the daughters of three of our former Presidents who remain active in our chapter.
I know that the office of Presidency comes with great responsibility, and so I will be relying upon the wisdom of our current active Past Presidents through the formation of our newly created Past Presidents Council which includes:
La-Doris McClaney - 8th 2003-2007 (Our Only Active Charter Member);
Monet Daniels- 9th 2007-2011
Karen Cole-10th 2011-2014 (Current Western Area Director)
Ruth Creary-11th 2014-2017
Adell Walker-12th 2017-2021
Sherril Rieux-13th 2021-2023
Natasha Joplin-Lightfoote (Former San Jose (CA) Chapter President)
I hope you will enjoy learning about them all on our Past Presidents Page.
In Honoring Our History and Advancing Our Future, I reflect upon my personal chapter history — being sponsored by Ruth Creary, and those in the class of 2015 with me: Victoria Beeks, Stacey Bowers, Lisa Holly, Senta Newell, Shanta Sullivan, and April Woods. My personal chapter history also includes Addie Arbor who showed up for my first committee meeting focused on preparing youth for success…and it was just the two of us! No one else came, just Addie Arbor! She believed in me as a new member and I continue to be honored by herconfidence. Mary Davis was my mentor and continues to support me. My personal chapter history would not be complete without acknowledging those I have been privileged to sponsor, Jasmine C. Houston, Kimberly Freeman and Congresswoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove.
I plan to regularly reflect on our history as we advance the future of our chapter. In doing so, I have several goals which include among others:
Enhancing our scholarship opportunities for students; and increasing our outreach to the community for our service based projects.
In Advancing our Future…
We celebrated our 38 years as a chapter on May 21, 2023 at First AME Church Los Angeles; we inducted 5 new members and celebrated with a luncheon that included a panel entitled Art of the Story: Our Stories Told on Screen, in Print and Through Museums with Moderator, Mitzi Miller, Vice President, Warner Bros. Television, Drama Development; and Panelists: Stacey Evans Moran, Writer & Supervising Producer-Disney Show “Saturdays”; Gloria Zuurveen, Founder & Editor PACE News and Cameron Shaw, Executive Director-California African American Museum.
Trust in my leadership, confidence in my ability to expand our footprint in the community and throughout Links motivates me. To that end we have a few new appointed positions that will allow our chapter to fulfill multiple components of The Links, Incorporated and share the results of our commitment with the community at large.
Thank you to all the members of the Beverly Hills West (CA) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated. One of the tenets of our organization is Family Relationships and so I must thank my family, my rocks. My husband Cedric cheers me on unconditionally, my children, Zya and her husband Ikhide and my son Coleman. Jasmine C. Houston, a member of our chapter and my niece supports in every way possible; my siblings and host of relatives and dear friends whose love circles me. Gratitude to all those who claim me as family, my BFF and sis for life Bridget Harper; Ruth Creary, Ludlow B. Creary, Pastor J. Edgar Boyd and First Lady Florence Boyd.
Zna Portlock Houston, Esq.
Beverly Hills West (CA) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated