Reporter General Introduction

Written by: Cynthia Parnell, Reporter General
September 5, 2019

What an incredible honor to be a part of the VanBuren “Rise and Shine” Administration.  Just the sound of our theme encourages enthusiasm and dedication to DAR.  The women I serve with on this Executive Committee are talented, educated and have many years of experience that will surely lead us to shine brightly toward America’s 250th anniversary.

The Office of the Reporter General is responsible for committee services and assistance.  Our accomplished DAR staff members prepare almost 12,000 certificates of award and certificates of appreciation each year!  The Office helps chapter and state committee chairs with committee-related contests, awards, and recognitions for youth and adult recipients.  The Office is also responsible for the management of the four DAR Founders Medals and oversight of the new DAR Scholarship online application system.  It is so special to work in an environment where the job is to help recognize and reward individuals for their achievements and service. 

Our two principle staff members are Lakeisha Graham and Valerie Holmes.  Not only will they assist you with committee business and acknowledgements, but they will also provide you with program material for chapter presentations. The Office has worked hard over the past three years to review and digitize programs that were originally submitted in VHS, slide and paper manuscript formats.  The updated digital format offer quick program access for you and your members.  My congratulations to Mrs. Connie Olde and staff for moving forward with this project!  Have you created your own chapter program that you wish to share with others?  Be sure to contact the Reporter General’s Office about donating program material.    

My personal DAR journey began at age 12, when my maternal grandmother, a DAR member from Michigan, showed me her DAR Application papers and member certificate.  She told me the story of our patriot ancestors, Abraham and Sally Shipman.  Their history fascinated me, and I was shocked to learn that the Shipmans’ New Jersey home had been burned down by British soldiers.   My father later told me that women in his family, too, were DAR members, so I guess fate took me by the hand and led me to join the Belle Passi Chapter as a Junior member in 1988.  After thirty years of membership, I am proud to say that my sister, Beth, and many of my cousins are also DAR members.  

Like many of you, I have served in numerous DAR roles, (we call them opportunities), and have enjoyed them all.  The year 1997 was the first of many years I wore a colonial or prairie costume for DAR events. That same year I became an accredited genealogist, and I have since worked on or completed up to 200 new member and supplemental Applications in Oregon, California and elsewhere.   My college education in communications, business and history has helped me to create DAR chapter programs, lectures and service projects.  I am hopeful that my professional work as a banker, human resource manager, management consultant and productivity planner will serve NSDAR into the future.  My first trip to NSDAR Headquarters and Continental Congress was in 1998, where I spent three wonderful days opening doors for members at the “Tiers” entrances.  I was hooked!  Since then I have returned to Congress as often as possible, and I can honestly say that I learn something new and wonderful about DAR with each visit.  

My time as a DAR member, chair and officer in Oregon, California, back in Oregon again and now in Washington, D.C., continues to be a rewarding experience.  I am so grateful for the many friendships made along the way.  


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