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President's Message

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 the illustrious Beverly Hills West (CA) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated (“BHW”) 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 my chapter to the best of my ability. Fast forward, the members of my chapter determined me fit to serve as President. 


The first year 2023-2024 of my two-year term has been so rewarding! Click here for a glimpse of our year in review. 


Note to Lisa: can you hyper link “here” to go to the document that shows our Programming? (document is attached to this email) 

 

As I embark on the 2024-2025 Program year, I am filled with enthusiasm for what we will collectively accomplish. It is my privilege to serve alongside all of our officers and those I have been honored to appoint as committee chairs and co-chairs. 


My theme is Honoring Our History and Advancing Our Future. We started my 2023-2025 term 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 inaugural Past Presidents’ Council which includes: 

La-Doris McClaney - 8th 2003-2007 (Our Only Active Charter/Platinum 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) 

In Honoring Our History and Advancing Our Future, we returned to our namesake city for the Green & White Friendraiser held at Mercedes-Benz of Beverly Hills and held our induction of 10 new members at the Beverly Hills Women’s Club. 
My personal chapter history began in 2015 with sponsorship by Ruth Creary, and induction with Victoria Beeks, Stacey Bowers, Lisa Holly, Senta Newell, Shanta Sullivan, and April Woods. When I became Chair of our Services to Youth Facet, Addie Arbor attended 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 her confidence. Mary Davis was my mentor and her ongoing support is inspiring. My personal chapter history would not be complete without acknowledging those I have been privileged to sponsor, Jasmine C. Houston, Kimberly Freeman, and Congressmember Sydney Kamlager-Dove. 

I plan to regularly reflect on our history as we advance the future of our chapter. My initial goals included honoring our history by acknowledging our sister whose mother founded our chapter and our sisters whose mothers served early on as presidents; establishing the Past Presidents’ Council; to have chapter events in the City of Beverly Hills; and to assure that memorial recognition was properly presented in programs and ads. My goals in advancing our future included creating a chapter newsletter named, Chapter and Verse; to reduce or eliminate chapter assessments for fundraisers and to have a sharpened focus on fund development; to bring greater attention to our rituals and protocols; to create greater awareness of our  governing documents; to expand scholar engagement with appropriate committee funding and to create greater exposure for our chapter through the creation of the Press Secretary position and Community engagement committee.   While 100% of these goals have been accomplished during my first year, I will persist in creating new distinctive and impactful opportunities for our chapter to be of service in the community and to strengthen our friendships amongst one another. 


Trust in my leadership and confidence in my ability to expand our footprint in the community and throughout Links motivates me. To that end, we have first time committees like the Past Presidents’ Council, Family Linkages, and Press and Community Engagement. These committees will add to our Chapter’s ability 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, who cheers me on unconditionally, my children, Danielle, 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; and so do 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. 
 

Historically yours,

Zna Portlock Houston, Esq.
President

Beverly Hills West (CA) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated

 

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Contact Us

Beverly Hills West (CA) Chapter

The Links, Incorporated

8306 Wilshire Blvd. #1033

Beverly Hills, CA 90211

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