I’m often asked how or why I became a parliamentarian. My elevator speech/answer is that after I was elected and installed as state regent ten years ago I realized I didn’t really know as much as I needed to know about running a meeting using proper parliamentary procedure. I also reply that I like to color between the lines – meaning that I want to know the rules. I joined parliamentary organizations, studied, passed examinations and credentialing, and became involved at the different local, state and national levels. My background and education in law enforcement also makes it a good fit. While some argue that parliamentary procedure is too restrictive, confining, and hard to understand, I try to explain it is actually liberating and orderly. Robert Rules of Order (emphasis on order) helps organizations have orderly business meetings, allowing the managers of an organization get the necessary work done while at all times protecting the rights of the members. In a deliberative organization, such as DAR, it is the member who affects decisions through the process of motions, debate and a vote – every member being equal. I also enjoy sharing and teaching parliamentary procedure because I believe every member needs to know her rights.
I already mentioned that my primary background is in law enforcement and my degree is in Criminal Justice Administration. I spent 20 years dispatching, either as a 911 dispatcher or as a state police regional dispatcher (secondary PSAP). I also had short stints as a reserve police officer, corrections officer and I volunteered as a Rape Victim Advocate. After leaving law enforcement I reinvented myself and still continue to do so every few years. I’ve worked as a professional genealogist, did layout and design in desktop publishing, was an income tax preparer for H&R Block and am now self-employed as a professional registered parliamentarian.
My husband, John, (who is a retired police officer) and I have been married for 30 years. We have two sons and six grandchildren. John and I have a deep love for Golden Retrievers and volunteer with Golden Bond Rescue, helping to rescue unwanted/abandoned Golden Retrievers, and preparing them for adoption by their forever families.
It was a privilege to serve the National Society during the Young Administration and it is such an honor to now serve the Dillon Administration. My job is to provide the National Society and the National Board of Management the best advice and solutions to real-life and sometimes very complex issues while protecting the rights of the members and the rights of the group. I also share my parliamentary knowledge through monthly parli points posted on the National Parliamentarian’s website. Parliamentary procedure is not limited to leaders and parliamentarians – it is for everyone!