Republican women’s group elects 2015 officers

Published 8:41 am Friday, January 16, 2015

On Wednesday, Judge Robert J. Black administered the oath of office to the newly-elected 2015 officers for the Washington Parish Republican Women at Maria’s Restaurant.

Black charged the new officers to uphold the standards and principles of the Republican Party.

Officers for 2015 include President Joannie Miller; First Vice President/Treasurer Debbie Farmer; Second Vice President Kensy Thomas; and Secretary Fran Harry.

“In accepting these posts, you are assuming a leadership role among Republicans,” Black said before the swearing in ceremony. “It is important that you remember that it is not enough just to hold the important title but that you exert every possible effort to offer this club and the Federation the best of your energy, integrity and devotion, especially at this critical time in our country’s history.”

Black quoted Shirley Foote, past president of the California Federation of Republican Women on the meaning of true leaders. She said there are five traits of those who are true leaders.

“Foote said true leaders are innovators,” Black said. “They work together to set new goals and institute new programs. Remember that leadership functions best in the present and future tense. The status quo of ‘We have always done it this way,’ limits your horizons.”

Black said Foote also described true leaders as mentors.

“Mentors offer direction, but don’t be tempted to dictate,” Black said. “Offer your successor the benefit of your experience so that she may become more effective sooner. Delegate tasks. Bring new members on board with your projects promptly so that they will feel included and welcome.”

A true leader is also a motivator, a problem solver and a character model, according to Foote.

“Motivators build enthusiasm by sharing the goals of the Executive Board with the membership,” Black said. “Let them know their opinions are considered, and their help is vital and appreciated. Communicate.

“Problem solvers strive for unity and common cause,” Black said. “Remember that you not need agree with the whole club on every issue. We are all individuals with our own lives and opinions, but supporting each other will foster success for our common purposes — and they have never been more important to our country than now.”

Black said character shown by honesty and integrity are traits that bind organizations together.

“Acknowledge the work of your other officers and members,” Black said. “Remember to give credit to those whose teamwork makes you look like a great leader.”

Black said the Republican Party has been friendly to women in the past.

“Be proud of the fact that you are leaders in the party that passed the 19th Amendment and gave women the right to vote as its first act after gaining control of Congress in 1919,” Black said. “The Republican Party elected the first woman to Congress. It is the party of the presidents who appointed the first women as secretary of health, education and welfare, U.S. ambassador to a major power, national security advisor, interior secretary, agriculture secretary and secretary of state.”

Black said women are an integral part of the party.

“You promote the principles of freedom, equality and justice,” Black said. “You promote, support and preserve conservative ideals. You recruit, train, support and elect candidates. You are a self-governing, autonomous organization. You are a partner with the GOP but not governed by it.”

The next meeting of the organization is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 11, at Maria’s Restaurant.